Disclaimer: Is my name Charlotte Bronte? No? Then I don't own Jane Eyre.
A/N: Wrote this for an AS creative writing task. My teacher gave me a tick and no constructive criticism. Therefore please review so I know what other people think of it.
It was getting late now and I was hoping to return to Thornfield soon. I had already had to travel through the cold to reach Millcote and after spending six months in Iceland I was looking forward to sitting by the fire and having a hot meal. Of course I was also looking forward to seeing Adele, not that she would be awake to greet me and would be more likely to clamour over her 'cadeau' I would indubitably bring her rather than the fact I had returned after half a year's travelling.
I pulled myself out of my musings and rode on. I turned onto the road to Thornfield and as I passed, I could he sworn I saw a brief flash of gray pass my left side. I dismissed it as unimportant, my mind focused on my goal. Then before I could react, the world tilted sideways and I let out a startled oath as my horse slid on the ice. Pilot ran around us before racing pass me.
'Are you injured sir?'
I heard a concerned voice, high pitched, thick with worry.
'A woman? Out this late – unchaperoned?'
I ignored her, mainly as I was focused on swearing under my breath as my startled movement jarred my right leg.
'Can I do anything to help?'
'You must just stand on one side.'
I was somewhat stung at those words. I did not need nor desire her help; I could manage perfectly well on my own. I rose, keeping my face impassive, ignoring the sharp sting of pain in my right ankle as I did so. I put weight onto it and was forced to sit at the stile where the woman was standing, lest my leg gave out. Falling on my face would not be a good moment for me, especially in front of a lady.
'If you are hurt, and want help sir, I can fetch some one, either from Thornfield Hall or from Hay.'
I recall saying something but I was too focused on pondering the woman's uncharacteristic actions. I would have expected the woman to panic, to be too frightened, not for her to boldly ask me if I needed assistance. I was once again distracted by her words.
'I cannot think of leaving you sir, not until I see you are able to mount your horse.'
I cast her a side on glance. Her hazel eyes glinted with concern. I mentally slapped myself as I found myself thinking that she must be some type of spirit or one of the fae who had caused my horse to fall on the ice.
'I must be more tired than I thought or this fae has bewitched me for me to think such a ridiculous thing,'
'Should you not be at home yourself? It is quite a late hour.'
'I am going to post a letter at Hay for Mrs Fairfax, of Thornfield Hall.'
My interest was instantly piqued.
'How did this woman know Mrs Fairfax? I was not aware I had taken on another servant.'
I waved my hand in the direction of the prison I went out of my way to avoid.
'Do you mean that house?'
I found myself curious; I had never met such a forthright woman. I felt that I could use this opportunity to determine just who this woman was. That was the official reason, under that was the genuine curiosity of what this woman knew of me, her employer.
'Thornfield is owned by a Mr Rochester is it not?'
'Yes, but I have not yet met him.'
'He is not in resident then?'
'No, I do not know where he is.'
'Interesting, I wonder what reaction she will have when she realises who I am.'
I flinched suddenly; realising that I had just made a jester of myself in front of whom I assumed was my new employee.
'This would not end well for me.' thought I.
This was when I noticed her dress.
'Her clothes were too fine for a servant, perhaps she could be - '
'I am the governess sir.'
Perhaps she had noticed my look of confusion. I felt a wave of reluctance wash through me. If I was to return to Thornfield, I would require her help seeing as I found it difficult to stand let alone walk.
'Would you be so kind as to attempt to fetch my horse?'
I wondered how she would react, faced with such a request. To my surprise, she actually approached my horse. I stifled my laughter with difficulty when she leapt back as my horse tossed his head, snorting, his eyes rolling wildly. I requested for her to support me in limping over to my horse and in retrieving my whip from where it had landed under a hedge. The woman cast me a concerned look. I stopped myself from snapped at her when I realised that my face must be showing the pain I was in. I forced my face into icy neutrality and yelled to Pilot to come. Thanking the woman, I nodded before making a hasty retreat down to road to Thornfield. I turned my head back once, to watch the governess walking to Hay and could not help but wonder about her unusual behaviour, the uncharacteristic independence and stubbornness that I had never before seen in a woman.