by julia lay

Inside a small, ruined cottage at the base of Craigh na Dun
April 16th, 1746


We had failed: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army was encamped at Culloden, Dougal was dead, and we were fleeing for our very lives.

Or rather, I had failed: Julia had hours left to live.

Julia lay still in my arms, her pulse unsteady and erratic.  Her little brow was furrowed with the effort it took to draw another breath. Jamie’s face was buried in my hair and I could feel his hot tears trickle down my neck. My own tears fell as I helplessly watched the life drain away from my precious child. My herbs and poultices could only go so far. I knew even with the medicine of my own time, there was nothing that I could do to save her.

“Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. I do like to be beside the sea…”

My voice stuck in my throat and I couldn’t finish the chorus I had sung so many times as I rocked my child to sleep. My own mother had sung it to me before she had died. Soon, she would be singing it to Julia in heaven. The thought of her being together with our parents in eternal rest gave me comfort and I told Jamie so.

“Aye,” Jamie’s voice was horse with emotion. His hands traveled across my womb and held me close, his breath tickling my ear. “They’ll take care of our braw, canty lass. Just as you’ll care for this bairn in the safety of the future, mo chridhe.”

***

A sudden noise outside told us that we were not alone. Springing to his feet, Jamie bounded across the small room to peer thru the slats in the dilapidated door. He muttered a Gaelic expletive under his breath and I struggled to stand.

Jamie whirled around, wrapped one arm about my waist, and dragged me thru the door. He pulled me along as we struggled to climb over the uneven ground.

We stood panting atop Craigh na Dun between the outer circle and center stone. Julia started to cry, the first sound she had made in days, and buried her face in my neck. My heart dropped to my toes as I realized she was trying to cover her ears. She could hear them. She could hear the stones.

“Please, tell me you hear it too.” I begged Jamie, even though I already knew his answer.

He took my face in his strong hands. “Nae, mo nighean dubh. I canna hear it and I canna go with ye. But you and our calman geal must. Take the both of our bairns to safety.”

Jamie took a step back and reached into his sporran, bringing out a silver pendant. It hung on a delicate chain and was engraved with a Scottish thistle entwined in swirling pattern of knots. He placed it around Julia’s neck and turned the pendant over. On the back small, elegant script read: Julia Ellen Fraser. I looked up at him thru misty eyes. It was beautiful.

“For mo bheag nighean,” he whispered, gently kissing the top of her head.

He reached into his sporran again and withdrew his father’s signet ring. Jamie’s eyes mirrored the desperation and emotion that thundered thru me with every heartbeat. Placing it on my finger he continued, “Give this to the bairn, when he is old enough, aye? Name him after my father. He is all that will be left of me.”

“I will,” I promised, never taking my eyes off his.

8

Pretty Woman Trivia

-Edward (Richard Gere) snapping the necklace case down on Vivian’s (Julia Roberts) fingers, was improvised by Gere, and Roberts’s reaction (laughter) was totally natural. The filmmakers liked it so much, they decided to leave it in. 

-During the lovemaking scene, Julia Roberts got so nervous a visible vein popped out of her forehead. Director Garry Marshall got into bed with Julia and Richard Gere. Marshall and Gere massaged her forehead until the vein disappeared. Julia also broke into hives and was given calamine lotion until they were finally able to shoot the scene. 

-While shooting the scene where Vivian (Julia Roberts) is laying down on the floor of Edward’s penthouse watching old I Love Lucy (1951) re-runs, in order to achieve a genuine laughter Director Garry Marshall had to tickle Roberts’ feet (out of camera range) to get her to laugh so hysterically. 

-During the scene where Julia Roberts sings along to Prince in the bath tub sliding down and dunking her head under the bubbles, Julia came up and opened her eyes and saw that everyone had left even the cameraman (who got the shot). 

-Julia Roberts was far from the first choice for the role of Vivian. It was offered previously to many successful A-list actresses including “brat pack” member Molly Ringwald (who starred in Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986)). Ringwald turned it down because she felt uncomfortable with the content in the script, and did not like the idea of playing a prostitute. She has since stated in several interviews that she regrets turning the role down. 

-Richard Gere and Julia Roberts had obvious chemistry upon their first meeting. However, Richard was not planning on taking the role. He was on the phone ready to turn down the part when Julia she slid him a post-it note with the words “please say yes” written on it. Richard accepted the role right then. 

-Julia Roberts’s head was superimposed on Shelley Michelle’s body for the poster. Richard Gere’s hair is brown on the poster, but graying in the movie. 

-Vivian states that she was originally from Georgia and she has a mild Southern accent (notably in her “well, colour me happy!” line the first time she is in the elevator). Julia Roberts is originally from Smyrna, Georgia. The director was not entirely sure that her accent could be successfully hidden and the line about Vivian’s hometown was added to explain any slips. 

-Disney didn’t want Julia Roberts for the role of Vivian, instead they wanted Meg Ryan. Other actresses who were considered for the role of Vivian before Julia Roberts got the part were: Kim Basinger, Kathleen Turner, Debra Winger, Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher, Bo Derek, Kelly McGillis, Melanie Griffith, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Thompson, Rosanna Arquette, Heather Locklear, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Joan Cusack, Phoebe Cates, Elisabeth Shue, Tatum O'Neal, Bridget Fonda, Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane and Justine Bateman

-The bathtub in the scene where Vivian is singing had a lot of detergent in it to make a lot of thick bubbles. The detergent was so strong that it rinsed the red dye out of Julia Roberts’ hair. She had to have her hair re-dyed late that night. 

-Valeria Golino was originally offered the role of Vivian but turned it down. She was the finalist along with Julia Roberts.

-Steven Soderbergh directed both Julia Roberts and Laura San Giacomo in different films: Giacomo in Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) and Roberts in Erin Brockovich (2000) and the “Ocean’s” trilogy. 

This scene is in place of the apostle’s spoons moment in S2E7, right before Fergus tells Claire what happened with Black Jack Randall. Its the middle of the night, Julia and Claire are alone in the nursery.

You can find links to Chapters 1-3 here.

Prologue, Chapter 4: Croodle*
September 1744; Paris, France
Claire.

Julia lay asleep in my arms in what was quickly becoming her signature-sleeping pose: right thumb in her mouth, left hand clasping her ear. It had taken well over two hours, but Julia was now fed, changed, swaddled, comforted, and finally asleep. She had firm opinions on how she liked to be swaddled and was not afraid to let me know when I didn’t quite get it right. I was getting the hang of it, as was Suzette, but no one could do it quite like Mémé Hélène.

Somewhere in her mid-seventies, an impressive feat in this century, she was a force to be reckoned with. She was stooped and thoroughly wrinkled with a smile that could turn winter to spring in an instant. There were conflicting stories of how Mémé Hélène had come to be a part of Jared’s household, but the main consensus was that she had simply always been. She was grandmother to all and could charm the socks off the most hardened criminal. I swore she knew some sort of secret infant language. She always knew what to try when I couldn’t get Julia to stop fussing, which was often.

Julia didn’t frequently outright cry, she reserved that for when she was most annoyed with me in the wee hours of the morning, but she was rarely content. She had a clear, shrill little voice and I often wished she could just tell me what she needed. Of course, she couldn’t yet, and I was left to play the never ending, nerve wracking game of “eat, sleep, or nappy.” Eating, sleeping, and making a mess of her nappy was really all Julia did at the ripe old age of one month.

Louise had visited a week or so after we returned home, twittering on and on about how much the baby had grown and changed since she had seen her last at L’Hopital, how healthy the baby looked. This was a lie, and we both knew it. Louise’s child had grown within her, but my child had only recently stopped loosing weight. Julia’s skin lacked the healthy pallor she should have by now, her hands and feet were often slightly blue.

With Mémé Hélène’s tutelage, Julia and I had a feeding routine that had all but forced her to gain weight. She had us up at all hours of the night, even waking the baby up to nurse. It had worked. Julia’s cheekbones were starting to recede; her little arms and legs growing stronger and more active.

I tipped my head back, against the solid hardwood of the headboard. We had placed a small, narrow bed in the nursery and it was worth its weight in gold. I spent many hours in this bed, most often with Julia. I could count on one hand the number of times I had slept in the bed I had shared with Jamie since returning home. It was too large, too haunting, too menacing without him. This bed was small and cozy; barely long enough for me to stretch out length-wise on it. I didn’t care, as I was usually curled up around Julia.

My eyes burned with fatigue as I stared up at the dark ceiling. It was well past midnight, the few candles that were lit burned low. I hated these moments of emptiness. The darkness threatened to swallow me whole as my mind found its way back to Jamie. I could push him away in the daylight. I could let the hatred and betrayal keep my mind from dwelling on him.

But here, alone with our daughter in a dark nursery, I couldn’t. I was helpless to do anything but love him. The fear and longing threatened to strangle me. I brushed a teardrop from my chin, not wanting it to fall on Julia, but made no effort to hold back my tears.

The sound was quiet at first, but it was clearly a child crying. I instinctively looked down at Julia, even though it was obviously wasn’t her, and found her still fast asleep. There weren’t any other children in the house except…

Fergus.


*croodle: to nestle close together for warmth or protection.