The Spinster is a wonderfully wretched tale. The story is filled with awful people and compellingly graphic descriptions in a way that reminds me of tv shows like "Tales from the Crypt" and "The League of Gentlemen", although The Spinster is not a comic story.
I can't recall where, I think it was linked in the bottom of one of the horror newsletters, but I have read the first part of 'The Spinster' before. I'm delighted more has since been written, although it ended very well at the point of Benoit coming out of the bathroom. Where the story ends now seems to be the beginning of a novella or a much longer short story still in progress, leading in to the mission Benoit has been given with the shadow of the spinsters stalking him.
Benoit is a terrible egotist. Before I get to the end of the first page, there is plenty of evidence for this just in his tone. He finds insult in little things as though the world ought to be doing more to humour him, while clearly expecting to be handed the short end of the stick. By the end of the story, we see a degree of sociopathy. Benoit is the kind of man who believes that if he doesn't take the short end of the stick and beat the world into giving him what he wants, he won't get what he deserves.
It's a telling touch that Benoit says "That's all you need to know" when Gert is probing about his brother. It's a defensive comment telling her to back off rather than a reticent answer stopping at "He had an accident". This is a nice hint that he's not hurt by the memory, he's afraid of it.
Gert is completely unashamed of herself. I get the impression she find satisfaction in forcing her company on Benoit. Until her identity is revealed, she is a powerfully drawn version of a public conversation many people have been trapped in: the elderly person you are certain you don't know, but who takes advantage of politeness and will not let you get on with your business. Excepting that Gert proves to have ulterior motives.
Dennard clearly has no patience for Benoit. He shows as much unspoken disdain for the lawyer as Benoit has for the oily vet.
The introduction of Regina could do with some more work. Although Benoit has met her previously and is initially distracted when he arrives, this is the first time she appears in person in the story. Benoit could provide more information by comparing her behaviour in this meeting to the last time they met or you could weave in more little details in gestures and actions.
Your world-building is well paced again, like in DOMINO EFFECT . It seeps through slowly as needed, making the story and setting one. It also crosses over into characterisation nicely, particularly because Benoit is our narrator. The things Benoit observes show the world and the other characters, but through Benoit's eyes.
There is one thing that strikes me as off: we are in Louisiana and Regina is Creole, but Dennard has to be told Benoit – a French name – is European, despite the setting. Maybe that's just Dennard's personal ignorance, but this appears to happen to establish for the reader how the name is pronounced. I think you can cut out the exposition between "hey, I thought" and "sophistication".
Check on "it"s. In some places, where "it" doesn't refer to the last noun, the sentances can be clarified.
"but with nothing to show for my venture makes it sting" feels like it needs a verb. Perhaps "but having nothing to...".
More on clothing: "custom tailored" is tautology. Also soles are the bottom of a shoe and can be replaced or repaired, it's the uppers that you wouldn't want to damage. So "soles" might want to be "shoes" or "loafers".
Pendants hang on chains, it's why they're called pendants, so you need to change this word out when you're talking about the brooch.
I find it Dennard's strong reaction to Benoit's story about Gert to be too strong. I understand there is a secret he doesn't want out and he might not be rational, but Benoit's manner at this point doesn't haven anything to indicate malice. He's just as confused about Dennard's question as Dennard is about the answer. I just think Benoit's story is a very strange lie if it were a lie.
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