Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm actually going to post something I've written. Something that is actually, well, good. I've posted some excerpts (two) but have never actually put on my blog something I've written that's any good. This is my "Short Story Extension" to a short story called "Xingu" by Edith Wharton. Personally, I love this short story. You need to read it before reading my extension so here's a link: Here is the only synopsis I found if you don't have time to read the whole story (although this does not spoil the ending):
I pick up exactly where "Xingu" ends. I hope you enjoy both the original and my extension.


            My dear Mrs. Roby, I regret to inform you that your behavior today at the esteemed Lunch Club results in immediate extermination of your membership. This was according to a democratic vote. We have previously enjoyed your company but find that this trip you took to South America has changed you in ways that the Lunch Club just does not appreciate. We hope you understand and wish you the best. Signed, Mrs. Ballinger.

            “Can you believe them?” Mrs. Roby asked her husband as she paced the floor. He had just finished reading the short note which forced his darling wife to resign from the Lunch Club which she attended faithfully… unless she was in South America, of course. Mr. Roby was silent. “Well?”

            In truth, Mr. Roby was delighted to put an end to his wife’s participation in the Lunch Club – she had more important things to work on. Yet it is always painful for a relationship to end in melancholy feelings. “Wife, can you really pretend to feel angry with them? You always complain about the Lunch Club upon returning home from a meeting.”

            “Oh, I’m not angry,” Mrs. Roby explained to her husband. “I am simply shocked that in three sentences Mrs. Ballinger would put an end to our relationship and to my participation in the Lunch Club.”

            “She wished you the best,” Mr. Roby told his wife. “And she never stated that you could not continue to be friends.”

            “You must not understand how it is among women,” Mrs. Roby told her husband with gentle eyes. “Word of my membership extermination will spread around town. People will begin to choose sides or avoid both of us. I will not only loose her friendship but could possibly loose others.”

            “Now I doubt that, honey,” Mr. Roby said, putting his arms around her.

            “But what if it does? And what if everyone chooses her side because they want a spot on that “esteemed” club?” she asked, tears forming in her eyes. Mrs. Roby knew in her heart that this was really her fault by bringing up Xingu. But she had enjoyed the cleverness of her conversation while Osric Dane, a famous author, visited the club. Mrs. Roby had described Xingu as if it were a literary device or some sort of novel rather than a river.

Xingu and the amazing South America were always on her mind; the idea of turning Xingu into something more than a river had fallen into her lap during Osric Dane’s visit. But now the trick she played was going to haunt her.

            Meanwhile, Mr. Roby had been thinking a few things over in his head. He truly loved his wife. His happiness relied on hers. He loved his wife so much, in fact, that he would follow her anywhere, even South America. Indeed, he might even lead the way.

            “My dear,” Mr. Roby said, “Please do not be upset. I have some exciting news that I think will cheer you up right away and take away some of your pain,”

            Mrs. Roby dried her eyes. “What is it?” she asked.

            “I have been in contact with Professor Foreland of late,” Mr. Roby said. Mrs. Roby looked confused that her husband would correspond with someone she had worked with in South America but she let her husband continue. “He says that he would love to hire you and that he can pay you a modest salary. I know we have our savings should finances be a problem.”

            Mrs. Roby threw her arms around her husband. “That would mean the world to me, darling,” she said, sobbing into his shoulder. But then she stopped suddenly and looked up into his eyes. “Are you sure you want to give up your career here just for my sake? We would give up your salary, our home, and…”

            “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Mr. Roby said, a smile on his face.

            Mrs. Roby smiled back as she got up, floated to her writing desk, and began composing a letter.

            My dear Mrs. Ballinger, I am pleased to inform you that my husband and I are moving to South America. I will be working with Professor Foreland and together we will make many scientific discoveries. My husband and I would be delighted to host the Lunch Club or any of its individual members in South America should any or all of you want to truly immerse yourselves with Xingu. Signed, Mrs. Roby

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