The Kitty Bennet Adventure Series #1

Vanities & Vexations

by Ney Mitch

Vanities & Vexations by Ney Mitch

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a tale like Kitty’s should never be told.

Being the fourth of the Bennet sisters, Kitty is the least significant and the least noticed in her family. As a young woman who is desperately trying to find her place in the world, she undergoes romantic disappointment, unconscious cruelty, facing her flaws, and the trials of growing up. Following the time between Mr. Bingley’s arrival in Hertfordshire, up until Elizabeth and Jane return from Netherfield Park, Book I shows Pride and Prejudice—from the perspective of the least likely eyes: Kitty Bennet. Thus here comes Kitty’s story, the flawed young woman who undergoes the same growing process that many overlooked individuals do!

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Release Date: September 26, 2023
Genre: Historical | Regency

~ A Pink Satin Romance ~


Chapter 0
A Woman Incomplete


It is a truth, always believed, that a girl like me is not meant to be a heroine of any kind. Truly, I have long noted that my character is not recommended to anyone’s favor, no matter how hard I try.

Often, I wondered what unfortunate star I had been born under. Superstition must be adhered to. Often, those who are intellectual, scoff at the word ‘superstition’, declaring that there is no such thing as fate, foreshadow, luck, bad luck, or higher powers that move and shape our adventures. Yet this is England, in 1809, resting in between the madness of King George, and the follies of the Prince Regent. My spirit was like the state of England itself, almost irrevocably tied to it, in its looseness and search for a more solid identity.

Yet, reason be damned!

I am like most of England: told to exercise logic, while secretly embracing the idea of a mystical power that wields fortune and misfortune out like it is a mere whim. I even believe that love is a spirit, that flies around like the winged cupid, unafraid of who it strikes. We are all subject to the whims of chance—unless we are those sorts who are powerful enough to control our destinies. Yet I, being the fourth born of five sisters, on a country estate where none of us have control over anything, cannot control my life.

Although that is not why I am no heroine. That is not why fate, fortune, and felicity, are against me. My revelation about my unhappy situation was realized when I got old enough to learn what bad luck was. That was when I was three years old, and my mother was waiting for Lydia to be brought home from the nurse. Lydia was like the rest of us; she spent her first year of life living with a paid nurse and was not returned to our mother until we were old enough for our parents to withstand our tempers.

I was sitting down on the floor, with our eldest sister, Jane, sitting on the couch, attempting to finish sewing her first pillow. In the other side of the room, my second oldest sister, Elizabeth, was practicing at the piano, while my third oldest sister, Mary, was tugging at Elizabeth’s apron.

“Lizzy, I want to try now!” Mary cried. “I want to try and play.”

“I am almost done,” Elizabeth cried in return, “just let me finish trying this last bit of music.”

Folding her arms impatiently, Mary sat on the floor, next to Elizabeth’s feet. I couldn’t tell if Mary was looking at Eliza with jealousy, or with apprehension. I was too young to understand those sorts of things back then. But even at so young an age, we want to be as good as our older siblings and get angry when we realize that we might not be.

All while this occurred, I was playing with my doll, and our mother, Mrs. Bennet, was pacing back and forth, anxious.

“Five daughters in my home,” she kept repeating loudly, “how can I cope? No, I cannot. Not one born a son. Not one!”

“How old will Lydia be when she comes home, Mama?” Jane asked.

“She will be a little over a year old, my dear,” Mama replied, “and I hope she is pretty. You all show the promise of having my youth, but if she comes home with traces of her father on her face, then the poor girl will be hideous. No girl who looks like her father ever has any luck.”

“You will make yourself tired, my dear,” our father said, entering and kissing her on the cheek. “Sit still. Your fears of Lydia being as ugly as myself should not vex you until the child arrives.”

“You very well know that I do not find you hideous, Mr. Bennet. I just don’t think your face should be attached to a woman’s figure.”

“Yes,” he answered with a chuckle, “that would be a sight indeed.”

That was the main mark on my childhood: I recall how my parents were still in love with each other.

“Oh, Mr. Bennet,” Mama cried, going up to him as he sat down, “this anxiety has made me remember the times I was with child and as large as a wagon. How did you withstand my appearance?”

“I decided to find something aesthetically pleasing about wagons,” he said, taking out his newspaper and beginning to read.

“How will I ever survive your wit?” Mama smiled, tapping his chin lightly. “But truly, I remember it all. Recall how obsessed I was with having the nurse write down the exact moment that each child was born. I was so foolish, was I not? To turn the midwife into an archivist! Of course, I still don’t ever need the nurse’s records to recall when Kitty was born. Fortune made that decision for me.”

“Me?” I asked, lowering my doll, and trying to speak as clearly as a three-year-old could. “You remember when I was born?”

“Yes, my dear, your birth moment was more memorable than them all, because you were the only one born at exactly on the hour. You were born at 12 o’clock in the morning, precisely. All your sisters were born where there were no zeros anywhere. And with each of them, time felt like it was moving so heatedly, with so much frantic energy. But with you, it was different. Because it was on the hour, the clock struck, and I felt the ominous sound of it. In that moment, it was as if time stood still.”

Mama sat down, and it was as if she were gazing into a distant horizon. I only stared at her in wonder, trying to understand what spirit had taken hold of her like a cypher. Slowly, it occurred to me that she was recalling when I was born and had fallen back into the memory of when she gave birth to me.

“Yes,” she continued, “the clock struck twelve, it sounded out, I felt a heavy doom placed on my shoulders, and I felt as if time was not moving. Indeed, it seemed like time would never move again. It took forever for me to even hear your cries. But when the midwife placed you in my arms, and I was roused by the weight of you on my lap and your cries of life reached my ears, I thought that it must have been 12:15 in the morning. But it wasn’t. It was still 12:00 on the hour and the clock was still sounding. With you, my dear Kitty, it was like time just wouldn’t move and we were frozen.” Her eyes shifted and again she became fidgety and energetic. “Oh, well, it was just a passing bit of euphoria, caused by my mind being affected by just giving birth. I am sure that I was quite out of my head.”

“When will your mind return to you, I wonder?” Father asked, playfully.

“Wicked man,” Mama chuckled, slapping his arm. Yes, indeed! They were once very much in love. Soon, the midwife returned with Lydia in her arms. Mama fell in love with her immediately, and she became her favorite child.

But for me, that was the moment. With it being one of my most prominent memories, mixed with learning about superstition the older I got, that was the moment!

The moment where I knew what I was.

The moment where I learned that I was not, nor ever would be, a heroine.

For my mother and sisters, time moved forward for them, energy filled their births, and showing them that their journeys would have a natural progression. My birth was perverse. My birth was too marked by time and energy whirling around me. No, time and energy had stopped.

Standing completely still.

Not moving backward or forward.

Just resting there, with no progress.

Time froze.

And that was when it occurred to me; time had no notion of what to do with me. I was a question mark to it. My sisters would clearly move, and their lives would move with everyone else’s. But what of my life? No, my life would never start. Internally, a mad voice cried out within me that there might not be a place for me anywhere.

When I realized this, that was when I knew that I had no future, but I was not dejected. No. But rather, since I had no future, I decided to live for the present!

That was my great choice. I decided to simply live. Where I should cry, I would try and laugh. Where everyone was determined to sit still and do nothing, I would long to run, play, and dance. While everyone else was determined to get old when they were young, I would cling to my childhood for as long as I could.

My life started at zero, when everyone else’s life in my family at least began at the number one.

They had a future, but I only had a present.

And what do you do when you have no future? The answer is quite simple: you laugh!

And I would laugh and live. Whether anyone wanted me to or not.

And so, here I am. I am Kitty Bennet, the fourth daughter of five sisters, and you shall read a tale where there is no heroine to be found. For I was chosen, long ago, to never be a heroine at all.

Isn’t it funny?


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