FROM THE CONFINES OF PROPRIETY
April 1, 2009
This is the story of Tianna, a frail and dying woman who has chosen to recall and record her life.
1732 - 1823
INT. BEDROOM - DAY - 1823
THE SHOT OPENS WITH AN AGED WOMAN LYING ON AN ENVELOPINGLY LARGE BED. SHE IS WEARING A DELICATE BUT FUNCTIONAL NIGHTGOWN AND WHITE CORSET. THERE IS A WRITING TRAY, INKWELL, AND A BARE PIECE OF PAPER ON IT. BESIDE HER IS A STACK OF BLANK PAPERS. SHE IS PROPPED UP BY PILLOWS. HER FACE IS SPOTTED WITH AGE, AND HER THICK WHITE HAIR IS PULLED UP IN A CURRENT BUT RELAXED STYLE. SHE IS NOT SICKLY, ONLY AGED. IT IS 1823. SHE SPEAKS AS THE CAMERA SURVEYS THE ROOM AND COMES TO REST ON HER IN BED.
ANN (V.O.): "Looking back on my early years I realize now how much I thought and dreamt of fairytales and those exciting adventures that lay beyond the world I knew. Through time I came to a place of such yearning to have some fairytale of my own, something that was real and mine, some adventure that would define my life and leave something for my successors to talk about, that I could no longer merely exist in the suffocatingly proper world my mother confined me in.
So now from my deathbed I write this story, the story of my life, it’s confinements, trials, adventures; the things that have made up this life of mine. I write them now to give hope to those who read this book. When this work is finished it shall be left as the legacy of my life, and shall be an account of the people, places, and choices that worked to create the person I have become. This is what I shall be remembered by."
Flashes on People, Places, and Choices
People: Johnathan, Christopher, lady Theresa, the Captain
Places: Island, First home, Tortuga
Choices: Running to docks
IT IS 1723, AND 17 YEAR OLD TIANNA LAYS ON HER BED DREAMING, THE ROOM IS LIT ONLY BY THE FIRST SIGNS OF DAWN. SHE IS RESTLESS. A STORY FLASHED BEHIND HER CLOSED EYES.
Narrated by Ann: The dreams were becoming more and more vivid, each time more intense, as if everything I was seeing was real, as if I where living inside them. Each morning I would awake and exist through the day. My dreams at night made the day tolerable, but a constant longing to return to them held a constant place in the forefront of my mind.
The camera rests on her as it sits at the edge of the bed, moves slowly to rest on her right shoulder, we can see what she is writing, in elegant black ink, the words begin to narrate and then fade to 1732.
I always awoke with a start, disappointed that I had come back to the scorching reality of my pitiful life. Waking up always left me feeling empty. My life seemed so utterly pointless compared to that which I lived in my dreams. At night I allowed my thoughts to creep into the corners of my mind that where never to be opened during the day, those that I knew others would deem insidiously improper. I dreaded what my mother would say if she found out others knew when on behind the closed eyelids of the girl behind the pretty face, feared knowing what they would think should someone see who I truly was. Deep down in my soul there was a girl waiting to be set free, fighting constantly against the current in the endless struggle of propriety. I lived in a world that had been created for me, by those who had great influence in the world I lived in, someone like my mother.
She was never a bad woman, in actual fact it was her commitment and sense of duty to propriety, and her need to foster and instil that in me, that was the cause of so much of the sorrow in my early years. Indeed she was a loving mother who only wanted the best for her daughter. But hers was a strange and harsh kind of love that, for a very long time, I misunderstood. It wasn’t until her passing years ago that I began to understand why she treated me the way she did.
Lady Theresa was one of those women who believed she held everyone's best interests deep in her own heart. She was the one to subtly orchestrate ones life in such a way that no one would ever suspect her presence. So sly were her ways that to know the truth would astound the whole of her audience. My life was in my mothers' hands, and hers alone. So carefully had I been groomed since the day of my birth, that any thoughts that may stray ever so slightly from those I was taught to think, they would be deemed treasonous. To Lady Theresa any improper thought was treacherous, a slip of the tongue could be the end to any hope of an advantageous marriage. So finely groomed one's mind must be, there was only one ideology that was allowed to rule in the minds of those who entered into the intriguing world of Lady Theresa.
For seventeen long years I had been held captive by this world, and only in the past few months had I come to the utter realization that the life I had been lead to live was utterly absurd. It seemed to me so far from the reaches of any pleasurable form of lifestyle that it could not in any way be a life at all. So governed was it by the rules of propriety that I could no longer see myself continuing on in such a repressed state of existence. And so, at night I freed my mind to seek out and pursue any notion of what a life of release would entail. To belong to no one, to find a rootless existence so appealing that one could not bear to deny it. That was what I wanted most in life. I cared nothing for the self-gratification or that continuous desire to maintain a "holier-than-thou" air about oneself. It repulsed me to the point where even the thought of it caused me to become nauseous.