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.


32. Helen-Letter [1]

Helen sat at the dinner-table with her siblings watching-over as she-chalked that-which she would-later transcribe with-pencil in-her very-best handwriting:

My name is Helen & today September 10th 1866, was wonderful, the flour-mill is fully-repaired following last-weeks storm & I recited my times-tables up-to 12-times-12.  

Mom tells such wonderful stories; last-night was loosely-based upon Ashley, one-of my-descendants whom mom-&-you spoke-to over-the Internet in 2010. The-future is-amazing; I wanted my-brother Peter to-help in-the vegetable-garden yesterday & it was 2-hours before he-returned from-swimming.

Australia is a large-country many-times-bigger than England on the other-side of-the-world; so-far-away when it-is night-time here-in Porterville it-is day-time over-there. The seasons are opposite too; when we celebrate Christmas in-Winter they celebrate in-Summer. It takes at-least 6-weeks for a sailing-ship to travel the 10,000+ miles.  

On a Summer-morning Ashley was-standing on-the-porch of-her fabulous-home looking into-the-distance. Her magnificent-stallion, Dee, was-recovering from an-accident where he pushed-his-way past a gate-post & cut-himself, was nodding to-a-stranger.

Stepping-off the-porch & walking through the paddock-gate Ashley walked to Dee & the mysterious-stranger.  

The shabbily-dressed stranger introduced-herself as Jane, a 20-something farmer born in the Cumbrian-town of Porterville. Jane explained she took-the-place of-her older-brother, Andrew, as-a ships-hand in-order he would support their-mom working-as a general-labourer. The journey was scary & the seas were-rough; many of-the-crew fell-ill, some-died of-injury, some of-fever.

Moored off-the-coast I remember cleaning-the-deck & collapsing in hot sunshine; my ship-mates were too-scared to-approach.  

Standing next-to my near-lifeless body & above the terrified ships-doctor [who had discovered my-secret] I watched as he placed a mirror over-my slightly-open mouth & moved his hand above my wide-open eyes; no-blinking, no-breath-marks I was declared dead & quickly-given Christian burial-at-sea.

As my body slipped below-the-waves I began to choke trying-to-breath; I remember waking-up on-the-beach, the-ship had sailed-away. I farmed this-land cultivating local-fruits, waking-up this-morning when your-horse nuzzled-me.  

Kind Ashley offered Jane a shower, breakfast & change-of-clothes; the-offer accepted. Walking-into Ashley’s-home Jane began-to-shake. The black-mirror showing moving-images with-sound was-magical; perhaps Ashley was-a-witch.

Looking-over Jane, Ashley thought they-were about-the-same-size; demonstrating the-shower Ashley closed-the-door & identified a-change-of-clothes she had-intended to-donate to-a charity-shop.  

Knocking-on the shower-room door Ashley announced a change-of-clothes were on-the-floor. Jane nervously opened-the-door, quickly picking-up-the-clothes, closing-the-door & dressing in jeans-&-shirt.

Sitting-down to-breakfast Jane-&-Ashley discovered the ranch was built on the former-farm.  

Walking-to the fence-post where they-had first-met Jane began-to-tremble; looking-over the fence-wire Ashley was looking-at a skeleton-hand.

Jane knew she had-died & wanted-to repay Ashley’s kindness; ‘When-alive I prospected for-gold & slept-upon my-legacy, please-accept with-my gratitude’.

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