@zeldacroft @FreeWriteHouse <a href="https://steemit.com/wewrite/@freewritehouse/we-write-10-the-manor-house-last-week-s-winners-announced">Contest Assignment</a> <hr> Boy, this wasn't an easy assignment! I wish I'd be given more time, but I will be busy this weekend so this would have to suffice. In this assignment, I had to split the prompt so if you don't like it throw a rotten tomato in my direction. I won't say anything 😶 https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/5ca233104bbe6f5937656e6c/960x0.jpg? <a href="https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/5ca233104bbe6f5937656e6c/960x0.jpg?"> Picture source</a> >“I can’t believe we’re here!” Clara gushed, gazing at the manor house. Its front steps were preceded by carefully-laid stone, centered around a magnificent fountain. Tourists bustled around eagerly with their cameras and visitor pamphlets as the two sisters joined them. > >“It says here that tours start every hour in the Grand Gallery,” said Kelly, holding up the guidebook. Clara was too busy admiring the variety of flowers that adorned the area, from the climbing vines near the elegant windows to the lush bushes around the stone path. So Kelly went back to her reading, but with a smile. It was nice to see that the manor was already living up to Clara’s expectations. <h2> My text start from here</h2> Сlara’s expectations… Surely they were something to consider. Clara worked in a fancy hair salon and was a good professional hairdresser, but this wasn’t why she was given big tips from her clients. She was a master communicator. That doesn’t mean she had graduated from a university with that major. She had that combination of seeming sincerity and good humor that entertained clients and made them feel comfortable to speak their minds with her and sometimes even ask her to give them advice in matters of big importance. She was like that hollow in a tree to whom king Midas trusted his shameful secret with the difference that the hollow was also flattering and entertaining. That communication talent brought Clara to the pinnacle of peer popularity and she would enjoy its warm radiation amply if not for Mildred Trenton. Mildred was another popular hairdresser in Clara’s salon and she and Clara had competed in everything: who is more beautiful, who wears more elegant jewelry, has a better car, a richer boyfriend, who was in an expensive restaurant and so on. One category of such competition was travel. "Ha,” Clara declaimed curling her upper lip and imitating Mildred “she bought a thousand dollars dress” and then returning to her natural voice “…big deal! I was on a cruise and you have no idea how great it was! Top class! What food, what service, and the evening dancing. There was one dancer there - a real master of his craft. Elegant like a grand piano. And, imagine this, of all the beauties on board, he chose me.” Clara gave her audience a look of a victory”, “Because he noticed something special in me: culture, grace, romanticism. Oh, what a partner he was. I was just flying - didn't even expect this from myself, truly." When Clara came to work last Monday, everybody only talked about the mansion that she visited; about magnificent gardens, flowerbeds and fountains, about huge beautiful rooms, luxurious furniture, statues, and ornamentation. Clara was stabbed. The interest of the entire community was so genuine; the story had so much momentum that she was apprehensive to belittle Mildred’s adventure for the fear to be seen as a groundless gossiper. Clara realized that she didn’t have anything in her arsenal to sway the momentum in the opposite direction. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” she remembered a phrase heard from Kelly. She tried to smile, but not liking what she saw in the mirror, she got a hold of herself and adjusted the smile to the most sincere and charming, and having it on her face went to congratulate Mildred. ‘It’s ok,’ she thought, ‘We’ll see who will have the last laugh, missy! I am going to call Kelly. She always goes to see those old dusty mansions. I bet she’s taking me to the one that would beat Mildred’s’ During the break, she indeed called Kelly, explained to her the emergency that happened in the salon and told her that she also wanted to see a mansion. Kelly laughed. “You want to see what?” “A mansion.” “But for that, you’d have to go to America.” “Why? We have mansions in England. Mildred just visited one.” “Perhaps Mildred visited a manor.” “Mansion, manor – what’s the difference?” “Well, a manor is an older Anglo-Norman word and mansion is that word that invaded English together with the French nobility, gentry, and clergy of William the Conqueror.” “Well, everybody knows that,” Clara retorted, “but you can still say these words interchangeably.” “Yes and no. Although mansions and manors are both physical houses, usually large houses with many bedrooms, a manor generally refers to the house of land owning gentry, while as mansion tends to be used more in America where they owned by rich people but of indistinguishable birth or origin. As they say ‘Two countries separated by the common language’” Kelly laughed. “Oh, Kelly, you are always so particular about these silly things. I also read it somewhere, but I am a person of more democratic persuasion. You know what I mean…” “I sure do”, Kelly was still smiling, “what do you want to do sis?” “Can you take me to see a manor this weekend? Only please make sure it is better than the one Mildred visited.” “Better? In what sense better?” “Come on sis. Stop pretending! I need the one that is more prestigious, of course. The one that has prettier gardens, more flowers, more rooms, more statures, more ornaments.” “Ok, sis” Kelly laughed again, “I think I know exactly what you want. We can go there next weekend. But we’d have to spend the entire day on it. It’s a couple of hours drive.” “That’s ok. You know I am between boyfriends now. So my weekend schedule is absolutely free for you, sis” “Ok, then. Don’t tell me then that you can’t make it because you have to go to the date.” “Don’t worry sis, I am between boyfriends, and I’ll be in your complete disposal.” Kelly right away knew where to take her sis as she visited all the famous manors in England and have been there many times. She actually felt happy that this time Clara would go with her. Now, she didn’t have illusions that her “airhead” sister would understand what those visits meant to her. Still, she loved the time to spend with Clara as her energy, even directed to an “unworthy” in Kelly’s opinion causes, was invigorating and her comments made Kelly laugh. More importantly, she felt warm, mothering her nutty little sister around. Perhaps this was a consequence of them being born in different years and months, but unlike Clara, Kelly was a more reserved child. That is not to say that she was shy for she valued a good substantial conversation, but she didn’t feel the need for attention from everybody, just from some special people. Kelly indeed loved to travel, visit museums and watch historical places and by large she did it not to impress anyone. She didn’t hide that hobby of hers and could discuss it at length with a suitable person, but at the same time, she didn’t impose it on anyone and more so didn’t brag about it. With Kelly, it was far more than just a desire to travel. Being of an ethical-sensory type of person, she needed to be filled with smells, tastes, the colors of the sky and the roughness of the road under her feet, gloomy view of Gothic castles, and levity of Pompadour style curvatures. This was a condition of her life; it replenished the reserves of her soul. That was the only way she could exist. Once she was able to convince her husband Harry to accompany her for a trip to the continent and was surprised to hear all kinds of complaints. The complaints were about the absence of escalators in Paris’ subway and dirty water in the Seine. The complaints about too many people riding bicycles on the tram lines in Amsterdam, on Milan being too expensive, the theatre La Scala too small, on everything in Venice being old and about to fall apart. “I don’t get it” Harry mused, “why can’t you be in one place as if you seat on a needle!” “If you don’t understand it yourself I cannot explain it. A couch potato won’t understand an asphalt gorger.” How could Kelly explain to him that only being away from home, she felt that she was herself, separated from her everyday mundane existence, allowing her temporarily suspend dull emptiness and make her senses glut with new colors, sounds, and touches? Away from home walking the same brick road as Roman legionnaires, rowing the Viking’s boats, to be part the invasion force of William the Conjurer, stand in the crowd screaming their demands to a king John immortalized in Magna Carta. While on the road she felt, as she was a particle of a different - dynamic and vibrant world rather than just a cooking device in her kitchen. After that European trip, Harry gave up on accompanying Kelly to her trips, and spent his free time in the local pub with his friends, discussing the parliament bills and the latest game of Chelsea versus Manchester United. Kelly waved the bang of that fell, obstructing her eyesight, preventing her from reading the tour brochure. “Look at these ducks!” Clara exclaimed smiling joyously. “I don’t recall Mildred talking about duck swimming in the fountain in her manor!” <h2> The prompt ending </h2> >After a brief distraction by a duck swimming in the fountain, the sisters quickly made their way inside. As they mounted the marble stairs, Clara’s excitement became tangible, an emanation of joy that merged with the curiosity of the other tourists. <h2> My continuation... </h2> Following the tourist crowd, the sisters entered the Grand Gallery that accepted confluence of their dancing spirits, screening them temporarily from, the screeching like the poorly greased slowly turning wheel, the daily routine of life.