Theodora's journey. April 29th (completed)

Author:  Beecharmer [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Theodora's journey. April 29th (completed)

Warning: Some distressing scenes later on, adult themes and at least one supporting character death.

This is in my mind the same Ted as in my All Change drabbles. However I don't think her backstory is going to fit the general tounge in cheek nature of the main drabble. It isn't finished yet, but I know it will have more distressing scenes than my normal fare.

You don't need to read this for anything to do with reading All Change, so if you would prefer not to read a slightly darker story right now then don't feel you need to read to keep up with the random witterings of my brain I usually subject you to at the moment!

Author:  Beecharmer [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Theo Grantley stared down at the tiny baby girl in front of him. A huge feeling of protectiveness rushed through him, and he just wanted to stand watching forever.

Myra Grantley, his wife, sat in bed with a sulky look on her face. Her she was after such a horrible labour, and all he could do was look at the child. The dark, scrawny looking child, already with a look of her father, already starting to take her husband's attention away from her.

Theodora Grantley, born as a mistake to an elderly father and a spoilt petulant mother, slept soundly.

Her elder brothers, the youngest of which were twins 15 years younger than her, waited impatiently to see this new sister.

But all Theo was aware of was that this tiny little bundle in front of him was his own wonderful daughter.


A couple of years later.

The two of them were a funny sight. Theo's thin face with dark brows was reflected in his little miniature of a daughter looking back up at him from his knee.

His own bushy eyebrows were lifting rapidly up and down to get a chuckle out of his toddler daughter. She giggled and put out a chubby paw to grab hold of the eyelash.

Myra Grantley, sitting on the other side of the room, sighed at the way the picture looked. If she had to have another child, why couldn't it have been a pretty little thing, a little doll that she could dress up and show off. Theodora, while very much loved by her father and brothers, could in no way be described as beautiful.

Her little face was full of character however, and she was already bright enough to get a measure of her mother's dislike for her, and would wail strongly on the few occasions that Myra tried to hold her. Since those occasions nearly always coincided with guests, the only served to further embarrass Myra, and she began to keep little Theodora to the nursery except when Theo was home.


"I'm going to get you!!" puffed Theo, as his 5 year old daughter darted on in front of him. He felt a sudden desire to sit down, wondering if he had eaten something bad for dinner. His arm was painful and he felt even shorter of breath than normal.

Theodora hid behind a chair and peeped out at him, thinking this was part of the game. As he slumped forward she giggled, thinking he was playing to get her to cone nearer so he could catch her. As he fell to the floor with a thump and still didnt move, her little face creased in concern.

Suddenly it was all bustle and confusion around the little girl. Her brother James picked her up and carried her away to the nursery, giving her nanny strict instructions to keep her there and keep her occupied. Theodora was by now screaming and crying, thoroughly scared by the tears that were falling down her brother's face.


A year later

6 year old Theodora wandered into the attic storeroom. Her mother payed so little attention to where she was, that the little girl simply roamed the house, looking for entertainment for a bright mind that needed stimulation as much as her body needed food and drink.

She opened some of the cupboards and looked within them. Her face lit up as she saw the treasure trove in front of her. Her brothers old toys and clothes had been packed away here and forgotten.

Theodora happily got out a train set and began making it up. Over time, since no one ever came to the room, she added houses, cars and airplanes made from meccano and a set of tiny bricks that could be laid with a trowel and type of toy mortar. Her dolls were brought up to the room, and she enacted games of being Amilia Earhart or a jungle explorer. Her dolls went along with her, having fights and battling evil doers. One of her favourite dolls ended up with a makeshift crew cut after getting superglue all through the hair. Several of her dolls then followed suit, "because if our captain can't have long hair neither will we" being Theodora's play excuse, but mainly just because that she liked the look.

As she grew older, she began reading her brothers old books, far more interested in the efforts of Tom Brown to get through his time at rugby than the simpering fuss of the books she was expected to read. Theodora went on happily, building her own little cocoon and following her instincts to build, create and analyse, rather than sew, cook and look after babies.


Brought upstairs on a search for an old flower press, Myra watched her little daughter, unaware and contentendly at play with an army of toys soldiers, who were going to battle with "Hitter" and "Growing", these being her interpretations of the names that had been used almost daily around her for most of her short life, the war having only just finished a year or so earlier.

Myra frowned and cleared her throat to reprimand Theodora for the damage she had done to her dolls. Theodora jumped, saw her mother and for one brief moment, thought she had come up to play, to be shown the constructions and world that Theodora had created.

Her mothers harsh words dimmed that brief light in her eyes and she followed her down to the nursery and her tea sets and prams, where Myra left her to think on her sins and went off back downstairs to her own self absorbed life.


Miss Lorellia smiled graciously at Myra Grantley.

"Your worries are perfectly normal Mrs Grantley " she soothed. " You are doing the right thing bringing her here to the Beehive, we have had many successes in turning confused young girls into refined young ladies."

Ted sat next to her mother, barely listening. She was thrilled to go to school. Images of sports and fishing and learning Latin and other subjects danced before the lonely girl's eyes, as she placed herself in her mind as a new Tom Brown, off to explore the world of education and meet new friends.

Author:  Liz K [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Sounds excellent. Thank you.

Author:  jayj [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Another drabble? Good god, woman, do you ever rest? :lol: :lol: :lol:

This is really nicely done, with a really delicate sense of Ted growing up - but ugh, the Beehive does not sound like a nice place at all!


Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

I can't wait for more - dark is always good! :lol:

Author:  Eleanore [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Lovely images of young Ted, fits in completely with what EBD said but expands on it so much - but I don't think the Beehive is going to live up to her expectations.

Author:  Jools [ Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Am liking this :D Thank you.

Author:  Beecharmer [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey Part II

jayj wrote:
Another drabble? Good god, woman, do you ever rest? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Lol, Sorry! :lol: serious drabbling ADD going on at the mo. Though with the frequency of updates maybe AD(H)D ! My brain is quite a tiring place to be right now I have to admit. Though it isn't quite as bad as it looks, I did about 8 hours drabbling on the plane, then a lot of the parallel posts/crossovers and random scenes ones are what I have actually been writing now.

And I might just possibly have a bit of an obsessive compulsive personaity :-) Just a bit. Little bit. Maybe. :roll: :roll:

Then again, compared to real life, this IS resting. I just can't believe I've taken this long to find the CBB and drabbling.

Just to potentially worry you even further, this is also me keeping an obsession (reasonably) under control too! Don't even get me started on Disney or Fried Green Tomatoes ....

Edited to add : Technically you couodcsay this is the same drabble all the way through, if you discount Rocky and Thomas :-)

Another of EBs characters I quite like, I realized I was shamelessly ignoring the girls from St Clares. :-)

From the start Theodora felt like a round peg in a square hole. The girls here were precise, prim little maidens, the majority of whom deplored getting themselves dirty or playing using their imagination. She looked to the lessons for comfort, but was quickly bored by the lack of challenge. She began to pick up French and was forced into having a reasonable skill in sewing, but in general she was in a constant ferment of frustration and boredom.

Because of her attendance there being aimed as a form of reform, the 7 year old was supervised constantly, and any unladylike behavior was punished quickly and severely. She cried herself to sleep week after week. She wanted to be good, she was so tired of standing in a corner with a book on her head, or having to write essays about what was appropriate behaviour for girls and what for boys. But she just didn't know what these people wanted from her. She grew thinner and lost huge amounts of spirit.

In her second term however, things began to improve slightly. A new girl, Roberta Ellis, with a cheeky freckled face, was sent to the beehive for the same reason as Theodora. Out of school hours, the two formed a strong bond of friendship, escaping to build dens and camps, and to learn to ride the young horses in a field nearby.

As they grew older the two of them drew other like-minded girls to them, and they began to get confident enough to start playing around in lessons. Even the more femimine pupils, who watched much of Theodora and Bobby's antics with alarm, enjoyed the tricks and amusements that the spirited girls provided.


Finally, after Theodora had treated the girls to a display of bareback horseriding, climbed up a drain pipe after a lost ball and been discovered sitting happily on the roof watching the world go by, the headmistress had had enough. Theodora was expelled and had to return home.

Her mother, in embarrassment, was even harder on the puckish little girl, who began to lose spirit again.


Myra Grantley next tried a young French governess, Suzette. This worked for a time. Theodora was completely enamored of the girl, and tried to copy her in everything, which did at least mean her French improved dramatically. She behaved reasonably well for her, and occupied herself in making small gifts to give Suzette.

Myra was shocked one day into paying attention to her daughter when the Vicar's wife took her aside. Apparently Theodora had asked in Sunday School what age girls had to be to marry each other, and was it the same as for boys and girls. A little questioning of the girl elicited a half formed plan to marry Suzette when she got old enough.

Suzette was dismissed, and Theodora was taken under the tutelage and supervision of the Vicarage briefly while other arrangements were made.

In this time, Theodora was left under no illusion that girls were EVER allowed to marry girls. She tried so hard to understand what it was that they wanted from her, but she just didn't really know what was upsetting everyone so much.

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Poor Theodora :(

Am really enjoying this back story

Author:  Beecharmer [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey

Thank you. Not intentionally promoting young people smoking here, I've seen too many grotty eyes from lifelong smokers to do that. But this seems likely, and fits the later story. And it is true that many people start and continue in order to deal with stress. At the time if this Drabble it probably would still sometimes be medically recomended.

Another very select and refined school was tried, and Theodora withdrew even further into herself. She couldn't see the point of working at such silly subjects, or spending time with such simpering little ladies as the girls here were. So she fooled around and did no work.

Finally she was found with the son of the school cook lying in a den they had made under a bush in the school grounds. She had caught her outer garments on the thorns, so had taken them off to be able to play properly. Noone would believe it was completely innocent, since none of the girls at the school still wanted to play such games at her age. Petrified of a scandal the school asked Mrs Grantley to remove her.

Theodora spent another session being educated at home. She found it less lonely this time, as her eldest brother was back home for a while. She hero worshipped him, and began to watch his movements and copy his actions, even to the point of trying his cigarettes. She mainly just stood holding one in the pose he normally used, but occasionally she tried lighting one, gradually getting used to the foul taste and starting to get a feeling of calm from them, feeling more able to cope with the feelings of inadequacy that her mother and the schools kept emphasising.

She discovered some of her 3 brothers' old clothes fitted her well and were much more comfortable for play. Wearing them made her feel closer to him, for very soon he had married and emigrated to Canada. Secretly she would go and dress up in those clothes, and allow herself to believe she would one day be able to wear them outside of the little box room. The only thing that spoiled the image for her was her long bushy hair.

In a fit of irritation one day, she got the kitchen scissors and chopped off her long locks, leaving herself with a neat short cut that suited her new clothes beautifully.

This was a mistake however. Even Myra noticed the new shorn Theodora, and it didn't take much to discover her illicittly dressing up in a small suit and waistcoat that had belonged to one of her brothers.

Myra was now in a complete state of rage about the whole thing. She grabbed the girl and slapped her, then tore the clothes from her, ignoring Theodora's cries of distress, and being far rougher than she needed. She screamed at Theodora that she was not to cut her hair again, and that she was a little pervert, how could she be her daughter, behaving like this?

Her mother was now in a complete panic about how her social standing would go down for producing such an aberration.

She took the girl to the doctor, who noted the details, then passed her on the number of a clinic specialising in treatment of homosexuals and other such 'mental illnesses.'

The clinic were initially unwilling to take Theodora on, since they normally did not start treatment until 13, and Theodora was only 12. But Myra was so insistent that they gave in and admitted her.

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 3

Poor Theodora :( :poke: Myra for being such a nasty mother

Author:  Beecharmer [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 3

This will probably be the last bit of this for a while, it isn't quite completed, but the plot bunny that has been hopping around my brain squashing all the other plot bunnies has finally worn itself out. It is only sleeping though. Little bits of this are lifted from Fried Green Tomatoes, I have no idea if the oyster comment is biologically true, but I have always like the story. I think I have the right name for the twi brother, I think I am right in saying this CS character had a twin brother, but feel free to correct me. The references for the facts behind the story are at the end if anyone is interested.

Theodora was shown into a bare, bland room, and told to put her clothes away. The room had a small bed, fixed table and some fixed shelves. A small window high in the wall was open behind a wire grid.

Food was brought to her in her room, and she was informed she would meet her therapist the following morning. Her door when she tried it was open, but when she looked out she saw a nurse at the end of the corridor look up straight away. Theodora backed away into the room again, and eventually curled up on the bed, trying not to cry.

The next day she began her therapy. She wasn't allowed to communicate with any of the other patients, and imbetween therapy sessions she stayed in her room, afraid of doing something wrong if she went out.

They talked to her about her " issues" and did various tests on her, trying to get a reaction from images of girls and of boys. Theodora, who really didn't have any particular thoughts about either sex other than as playmates at this stage, just got more and more confused.

Eventually the therapist declared her cured, mainly because their tests were just not able to work on someone as young in body and mind as her. However Myra Grantley had disappeared on a holiday, leaving no alternate contact details. The payments were still coming in, so the centre head just decided to wait until Mrs Grantley came to collect her daughter. Theodora was given more freedom and was finally able to go to the recreation room and meet her fellow patients.

Several were only a few years older than her, forced there by their parents or families. Others had booked themselves in. Many were hoping for a "cure" so that they could get on with their lives without problems. They were almost entirely men, with only a few quite fierce looking older women that Theodora avoided when possible.

A separate group were there as they had been caught by the police and found guilty of homosexual acts. They had been given the option of attending this retraining program, or prison. They were quite often just biding their time, and were watched suspiciously by the staff, since they had a tendency to try to pass on contact details to each other or arrange to meet after treatment. This stopped after one persistent offender was made to leave and sent straight on to prison instead.

One young man, Simon, took Theodora under his wing. He was there because of his family, and was undergoing all of the treatments available, since this was his second visit. After treatments he was withdrawn, or if he had had the aversion drugs, he was absent, usually throwing up.

But imbetween, when he was undergoing therapy, he became her protector, helping her to feel brave enough to come out to the recreation areas, and encouraging her when she forgot her nerves about being a perfect lady. She gradually became brave enough to talk more freely and exercise her natural wit and observation.

Simon had a long session of electroshock and drug therapy, and was declared a success. He came to say goodbye and Theodora never heard from him again. She often wondered in later years whether he had managed to stay straight, whether he married and had several children, or stayed a celibate bachelor. Those were the two options offered by the therapy team as potential futures.

Having found one friend, she was a little more confident, and started talking to some of the boys and young men in the common room. One in particular she became close to, a young man called Mike, who had booked himself in, actually against the will of his family.


Simon's story

Simon left the facility, went back to his family and eventually became engaged to a young girl. Three days before the wedding, he drove to Beechy Head, sat for a short while in the car. Then just as evening began to fall, he put the car into gear and just kept going.

Contrary to his expectations, it was a painful, messy death. He stayed half conscious in the car for some time before his body finally gave up.

His family made a donation to the conversion centre in his name.


Mike and Theodora became firm friends. On visiting days, Theodora would curl up on a chair to the edge of the visiting room, while Mike saw his family, who took it in turns to visit. His older brother and sister in law came most often, and every time she heard them trying to convince him to come back home, that he didnt need to be there. He would deflect their attempts with a joke and eventually they gave up trying and just told him about life at home.

One day he was visited by a younger girl, so alike as to have to be his sister, or maybe twin. Theodora was near enough to hear the conversation between the two. She started listening unintentionally to begin with, attracted by the name of his sister, which was a polari, or homosexual code,word for her "condition". She had learnt many such words while in the centre, although she barely understood what they were meant to stand for. "Gay" was a word she liked, it had a happier tone to it than most of the other options.

The girl was trying to get Mike to check himself out.

"You shouldn't be here, these treatments are making you ill Mike, not curing you. We don't care who you are attracted to, we just want you back home."

Mike put his hand over hers.

"I know, Ruth and Tommy have told me every time. I know you don't understand why I have booked in here Gay. But there are so many things I want to do with my life, I can't do many of them with this hanging over me. I've seen so many of my friends arrested, or lose their jobs. My doctor is sure this can cure me, and I have to try."

Gay was clearlynot convinced, but she knew her twin, and there was no point in arguing with him in this sort of mood. She changed the subject and they left on good terms.


A week or so later, Mike noticed that Theodora wasn't anywhere to be seen. He eventually found her curled up in her room, facing the wall.

"Hey there Theo, what's going on with you" he asked gently.

She refused to answer for a while, then he eventually got the whole story about the attack by her mother, her loss of her father, and the final straw, which was the realisation that her mother must be back from holiday by now, but still hadn't come to visit or take her home. Mike grew angrier and angrier about this woman as he heard more.

Eventually he got her to stop crying. Searching his brain for a way to help, he remembered a story he had heard from a GI soldier during the war.

"Theo, someone once told me something their brother always used to say to their little sister. It sounds to me that she was a lot like you. I want you to remember it every time your mother makes you feel bad."

After he told her, Theodora felt comforted, and often used the story as a way to keep herself going when the feelings of uselessness over came her.


The story about the oysters. Originally said by Buddy Threadgoode to Idgie Threadgoode, then by her to Stump Threadgoode, Whistle Stop, USA. (FGT)

Buddy: Did I ever tell you about the oysters?

Idgie: Oysters?

Buddy: I didn't tell you bout the oysters?

Think about all the millions of oysters lying around on the bottom of the ocean. Then one day, God comes along and he says, "I think I'm gonna make that one different." and you know what he does? He puts a little piece of sand in it. and guess what it can do that the others can't.

Idgie: What?

Buddy: It can make a beautiful pearl.


Finally the centre managed to contact the trustees of Mr Grantley's will and Theodora was released from the cente.

By now the trustees had realised that more action was needed for Theodora's education. They arranged for her to go to a much better type of school. Also, one of her twin brothers had now moved back to the area. He finally became aware of the effect Myra was having on Theodora's life, and promised her that as soon as he could, she would come to live with him and his wife in the holidays.


About a month after Theodora was released, she made her way to the address Mike had given her, fully expecting him to be back there by now.

The young woman called Gay opened the door.

"Please," said Theodora " I am a friend of Mike's... From the centre. I wanted to see if he was home?"

Gay's face crumpled. Scared by this reaction, Theodora turned to go.

"No - wait!" said Gay. "You must be Theodora, please, please come in"

A little while later, Theodora left the house, eyes red rimmed, completely in shock.

A few weeks before he was due to leave, Mike had had a reaction to the aversive therapy drug apomorphine. They had tried to reverse the situation, but had been too late. He had never left the centre. ... pe=article ... 84947.html ... 527612.htm

Author:  jayj [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 4 UD 26 April

Yowsers, poor little Theodora! and what a story - one that makes me feel just so very lucky to have been born when I was.

Thanks, Kathryn. Hoping things are going to turn out better for Theodora in the future!

Author:  Eleanore [ Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 4 UD 26 April

Oh, that's so sad, poor Theodora. I'm glad we've got the later All Change posts so we know things turn out better for her.

And yes, I think it was her twin brother.

Author:  Fiona Mc [ Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 4 UD 26 April

Thanks Beecharmer. I found those articles interesting and sobering. Poor Ted. Cannot believe a parent would do that to their 12 year old child. Well I can, but am still horrified by it.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 4 UD 26 April

What a horrible story for her, she must have felt so awful. I'm so glad that she found the CS and was healed by her wonderful time there as much as she ever could be.

Thankyou. :cry:

Author:  Beecharmer [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 4 UD 26 April

The plot bunny lied to me, there obviously is a bit more. Thanks for all your comments, it does seem mad to think how recently all if this was pretty normal practice. Even now there are plenty of places trying to cash in on gay people's insecurity.

I agree Jayj, I feel very lucky too.

I know there was a world of difference between my experience in the late 1980s-1990s and my partner's experience in the 1970s - 1980s, and as you look back, the changes in understanding, tolerance and attitudes we are lucky enough to have most of the time today are in sharp contrast to how a lot of people in the 50s might have had this situation.

In terms of the cross dressing side, that is still fairly recent that girls can dress in a more masculine way - my parents had to fight in the 80s for me to be allowed to wear trousers at Primary school instead of a skirt, and in my first job in the early 2000s I was required to wear a skirt for part of my job, and the manager just couldn't conceive of the fact that I just didn't have any, I wasn't trying to be awkward. I did end up having to buy one, which has never been used since. Nothing against them, I think they are very useful things, and like how many women look in them, but I look like someone has made me dress up for a dare if I ever have to wear one :-)

The new school turned out to be one much more suited to Theodora, and she started to make some friends and get back into learning again.

But, typically for Theodora's luck, a teacher from one of her previous schools turned up. She lost no time in passing around the fact that Theodora had been there for conversion, and in filling in her own limited knowledge of the situation with speculation about the girl's perversion.

The teachers began to be wary of Theodora, and she returned to the situation where she felt watched and judged the entire time.

Fresh from her grief about Mike, Theodora turned aggressive and belligerent, gradually losing the good friends she had made, and attracting other girls of lesser character.

One in particular was very attentive to Theodora, and frequently did things like hold her hand, sit close to her and make excuses to spend time alone. Theodora was completely confused. She couldn't risk making a mistake with this, but her now teenage body and emotions were sparking like crazy at this possibility of more contact with this girl.

To deal with the stress, Theodora's slight smoking habit became a full addiction. She got through the day thinking up more and more mad things to do, and could only sleep after a nightly smoking session in one of the lesser used bathrooms.

Finally, it came to a head one evening. Theodora and the girl were the last ones left in the bathroom smoking, after the others of their gang had gone to bed.

The girl came closer than ever, and asked for a light. Confused, Theodora lit the cigarette for her and they sat there in silence, the girl not moving any further away. Almost without knowing it was hapening, they were even closer and kissing. Theodora was both amazed and afraid at how it made her feel.

"Girls!! What do you think you are doing?" came the sudden crash of reality into Theodora's world yet again.

The housemistress was there at the doorway. To Theodora's horror, the girl burst into tears and said, "She made me,
I didn't know what to do" and pulled away as if Theodora were the aggressor.

The housemistress was in fact quite doubtful about this, having seen plenty of the scene before alerting them to her presence, but the other girl had not been caught in any misdemeanor before, so was let off with a caution.

Theodora, who had been on a last warning anyway for the smoking, was asked to leave.


Back at home, relief came finally for Theodora. A cousin of her mother's came to live nearby and suggested a school she used to work for, in Switzerland.

Theodora didn't hold out much hope by now that it would work, but she just wanted to be anywhere but with her mother. So she agreed to go to the Chalet School.


After the enforced containment of the train and bus journey accross the continent, Theodora left the train almost crazed for a cigarette. She was distracted briefly by the whirl of the first day of term, and was nicely surprised by the friendliness of some of the girls.

A meeting with Joey Maynard, the mother of one of the girls, had been almost like a dream. Joey, had been informed of some of Theodora's situation by her friend Carty, and was determined that the girl understand that this was a fresh start, including a new name.

Ted, as she now became, was almost afraid to hope that thIs fresh start could really be true.

As she went to do her unpacking, she had noticed the tell tale stub marks and remnants of paper on a roof outside of one of the attic windows, and guessed correctly that this was a smoker's retreat. After lights out that evening, she stole out of the dormitory and onto the little flat roof for a smoke.

This continued almost nightly until one night a figure came out of the shadows and spoke to her. To Ted's horror, she recognised the figure as the senior Matron, known as Matey.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 5 UD April 28th

Oh, eep! :hiding:

Author:  Eleanore [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 5 UD April 28th

I think Matey's going to be nice to poor Ted - although I do wonder who else it was who's been smoking there.

And you and I obviously have completely opposite styles of dress, Kathryn - the only trousers I own are uniform trousers that were issued to me by my job because their safety rules say I can't wear a skirt!

Author:  Beecharmer [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 5 UD April 28th

*Runs screaming at the idea of Eleanore's wardrobe ...*


Author:  Fiona Mc [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 5 UD April 28th

I can't believe you weren't allowed to wear trousers to primary school in the 80's, we were in the 70's. High School was slightly different but part of the uniform when I left was making trousers an option for girls.
And I can't see any work place banning trousers for girls.

Anyway, hope Matey is supportive of Ted

Author:  Beecharmer [ Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. Part 5 UD April 28th

Yes Fiona, I was quite surprised when I found that out after the fact about the primary school. It could well have been because it was a tiny C of E Village school, or a particularly awkward staff or something. The workplace one still goes on at that practice. For me it was only for one day a week, as they couldn't force me to sit close to people and test people's eyes in a skirt if I wasn't comfortable, although this woman would have done if she could. Also I knew it was for a limited time, so just let it go.

Anyway, enough if my oddities, on with the story ...

Ted jumped, and dropped her cigarette, followed by an undignified dance as she tried to avoid it landing on any part of her clothes. Luckily it just missed, and bounced onto the floor, where she was able to stamp it out, glad for the excuse to avoid looking at Matey.

Matey watched this display in silence. Then she quietly told Ted to follow her, and they went back to the San, which was empty for once.

"Now, why don't you tell me why you are breaking bounds, and smoking, when you know full well that that is why you had to leave your last school?" asked Matey.

Ted, had expected scolding, punishment and possibly to be told to pack her bags and leave again. She had never had someone sit down and ask her WHY.

"I, I need it to help me sleep, I'm sorry, I have tried not to, but its all so new and...I've been at home where I can go out when I need to smoke... and, please, I don't want to go home." she rambled.

Matey frowned. She had to stop this, to avoid other girls copying. Also more recent reports were suggesting health problems from smoking might be more serious than previously thought. But her instincts for dealing with girls had noted the shadows under Ted's eyes, the general air of wariness from the girl, and the way she had initially held the cigarette to her as if for comfort.

"Let's address this bit by bit then," Matey said eventually. "Why do you need to smoke to sleep?"

Ted was amazed at this treatment. She was expecting her stress to be dismissed as naughtiness and lectured against. Not this calm question.

"Because, because it, well it just works. I can't sleep before, and I can after" she replied. She didn't feel she could mention the effect on her general anxiety. After all most adults simply laughed at the idea that someone her age could be anxious.

Matey considered. She knew the signs. This child was worried about something, and needed careful handling. She made a decusion.

"Ted, it can't go on, but I can see there will be no point just telling you to stop. But let me ask this - do you want to stop if you can?"

Ted nodded. She wanted to stay here, and she had already gathered the lack of support from her peers for smoking while young.

"What I want you to do then Ted, is when you feel the need to smoke, report to me. You may tell people it is for a tonic. I will give you things to do to distract you, and if you feel you want to, you can talk to me. If you still feel you need to smoke after that, you can go to where I found you, and do so. Does that sound fair?"

Ted was speechless. It sounded more than fair. She nodded.

"Now off you go to bed. I will be along with some warm milk in a moment. " said Matey.

Ted went. Matey briefly considered dosing Ted, but decided changing one habit for another was not going to help. Also, with Jack and Jem's tendancy to dose for everything, she had enough of the Maynard,Bettany, Russell clan on a gradual detox from medication every term , she didn't need to add any more.


To Ted's amazement, the plan worked. She only occasionally had to go as far as the smoking hideout. She had been shocked to find Josette Russell there one time, but as they sat and chatted, she realised that this was only an occasional beginning of term occurance, brought on by pressures of being almost assumed to be aiming for head girl all her life, and various family tensions. Josette was a kind young soul, and once she had chatted a little more to Ted, she offered an ear for any worries that maybe Ted didn't want to discuss with Matety. Ted never actually took the offer up, but knowing that the option was there was a huge reassurance.

The final break with the habit came with the enforced isolation with Len and Ros, after their smallpox scare. Ted knew neither of them would approve, and she wanted their approval.

Also she was so busy using her brain during the day, that the times when she lay awake worrying became fewer and fewer.


Ted began to settle down at the Chalet more and more, and her natural good humour and wit began to resurface.

One night, after an attack of insects had caused disruption to an evening church service, Con Maynard had sleepwalked into Ted's cubicle. For one awful moment, Ted thought she had a repeat of the curious girl situation, then she realised that Con was asleep.

As she waited for Matey to be summoned, Ted looked down at the sleeping form. A strong sense of protectiveness came over her, and she gently tucked the sheets a little tighter around Con.

The end - nearly. I think this fits reasonably well into jayj's "At the station"

jayj wrote:

As the taller woman, astonishingly dressed in trousers, waistcoat and tie, stood talking to pretty little Miss Ferrars, one girl amongst the group stood transfixed. Ted felt, oddly, like something that had been loose and homeless in her head had just slotted into place. Suddenly the world, or part of it at least, made sense.

“Ted? Ted, come on!”

A voice interrupted her thoughts, and Ted suddenly realized that she was alone on the platform, and the rest of her class were already on the train. Her great friend Con Maynard was loitering in the doorway, beckoning to her.

Ted picked up her case, and hurried over to her.

“Honestly Ted, when [i]will
you learn to stop being so moony?” Con said to her friend with a wicked grin, as she took her hand and pulled her up onto the train.

“Moony? Me moony? Constance Maynard, of all the cheek!”

And as Miss Andrews gave a quite impressive whistle, and signalled rather furiously to Miss Ferrars that she was about to miss the train, and as Ted settled into the affectionate pattern of teasing that had developed between herself and Con – a fairly recent development, but something that somehow both thrilled her and made her feel very much at home – she couldn’t help casting one long glance at the woman on the platform.

She wasn’t alone. She wasn’t the only one.

Author:  Vick [ Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. April 29th (completed)

Poor Ted, she did go through the mill to get to where she was finally happy. Glad Matey was supportive for her.

Thank you for that backstory, Kathryn.

Author:  ChubbyMonkey [ Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. April 29th (completed)

Good for Matey for knowing how to deal with it - though I like the idea of half the school needing to smoke or be weaned off of medication! :lol:


Author:  Fiona Mc [ Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. April 29th (completed)

Matey was lovely and handled that really well.

Ted went. Matey briefly considered dosing Ted, but decided changing one habit for another was not going to help. Also, with Jack and Jem's tendancy to dose for everything, she had enough of the Maynard,Bettany, Russell clan on a gradual detox from medication every term , she didn't need to add any more.

I love this comment and am wondering if that's what all the tonics were; an excuse for girls to have a break with Matey, when life got too hard.

Author:  Eleanore [ Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Theodora's journey. April 29th (completed)

Loving the MBR detox :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I knew Matey would be understanding, especially after reading your backstory for her :)

This was lovely - and a nice start to the Ted/Con relationship :)

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