Elizabeth [Ghost-Story, A]

Elizabeth, twin-brother Noah & best-friend Jennifer walk-home barefoot having-attended 1843 Christmas-Eve celebrations at the Henry J Fate Flour-Mill. Twins are tragically-killed in a 'road-traffic-accident'. Opening-scene; standing on the dirt-road [NO-pavement/sidewalk] a few steps away from the stone-wall entrance of the Henry J Fate Flour-Mill, camera moves-past gate-keepers [night-watchman’s] wooden-hut [on the right-hand-side] across the cobble-stones toward & through the school-room window. Moving forward to the table nearest-lectern camera focuses-upon Jennifer & her best-friends Elizabeth & Noah listening-intently to their-employer reading closing Christmas Carol paragraphs... ‘God bless-us everyone’. Closing the book Henry thanked the children for attending the modest flour-mill seasonal-celebrations; standing quietly, the children dutifully lined-up, thanked Henry & wife Zoë as they collected a token-bonus of nuts, flour... Walking-home barefoot Jennifer fell-behind a few paces, holding the Royal Oak wall for-balance as she brushed the soles of-her-feet to remove stones that had been hidden under the light-dusting of-snow. Standing upright she caught-sight of a pair-of-horses impact Elizabeth & Noah, their bodies falling-lifeless on-the-road. Tolling of single church-bell; screen fades-to-black. We move to 21st-century with Valerie standing by the Royal Oak wall, husband Allan walking-up behind wife of 30yrs. Elizabeth is hidden-from-view... Alive-&-mortal Elizabeth & Noah get to live in the 21st-century.

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1. First-Meeting

Standing by the dry-stone wall adjacent to & enclosing the garden of her favourite countryside restaurant, The Royal Oak, Valeries attention was drawn to a bare-foot young-girl of no-more than 10yo in a plain period-dress looking directly at her. ‘Are you lost’ asked Valerie, ‘Where are your shoes’. ‘No madam, I am not lost & I have no shoes, I am waiting for my brother, we work in the flour-mill behind this tavern’. Valerie was confused, the flour-mill was a derelict-ruin & the water-wheel had been broken for as long as she could remember.

Husband Allan walked up to wife Valerie, took her hand & asked with whom was she talking; ‘To this adorable-child’ Valerie replied.

Turning to the ‘little-girl’ Valerie spoke ‘My name is Valerie & this is my husband Allan, may I know your name’. After a curtsey she replied ‘My name is Elizabeth, I am 10yo, Sir, Madam’...

Elizabeth initially appeared in a plain, light-blue, short-sleeve, knee-length dress addressing modesty, practicality & her moms financial-situation [tied-cottage...]. Child-workers were expendable at the time, even where enlightened-employer Mr Fate ‘invested’ [training, machinery-guards...] cash in the expectation of increased profitability & loyalty [no social-security, welfare... in the 19th-century].

At this point Elizabeths brother walked-up & joined his sister; ‘& this is my brother Noah. We both work for Mr Fate at the flour-mill’. ‘Mr Fate held a Christmas-celebration for all his employees today, he read a most-wonderful new book called A Christmas Carol by Mr Charles Dickens’. ‘Mr Fate encourages ALL of his employees to learn to read & write though few adults take-part, choosing to earn extra-money in the one-hour allocated every-day. I love to read, dance too, though I could never afford to buy my own books‘.

Valerie asked Elizabeth if she knew todays-date. ‘Yes Madam, today is Christmas Eve in the year of Our Lord 1843’.

Valerie reached-into her Hayley Alexander Dubai shoulder-bag & bought Elizabeth & Noah a sparkling-orange each at the bar.

Elizabeth looked at Valeries shoulder-bag in fascination; it glowed with blue-lights inside, the leather looked so-soft, the metal-&-leather strap were something she had never seen-before.

The logs on the open-fire crackled & waves of heat warmed their skin. Sitting by the fire Valerie asked ‘Are you cold, this is not the weather to be walking barefoot‘. Elizabeth innocently replied ‘Thank-you, we are used to the Winter‘.

Walking the few hundred-yards to the snow-covered derelict-ruin that once was the flour-mill where the kids believed they had worked only hours-before, Valerie led the conversation ‘I did not know the flour-mill was still in use‘.

Shaken-&-disbelieving all-four walked-back from the ruin, half-mile to Valerie-&-Allans home.

Wide-eyed Elizabeth & Noah recognised their former-home, though 21st-century inventions of electric-lighting, fridge-freezer, LED TV... were more amazing than fresh fruit & vegetables in Winter. It was their home too though not as they left-it ‘that’ morning.

Valerie was in a dilemma; who were Elizabeth & Noah, how did they know so-much about Valerie & Allans home, the village & the flour-mill?

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