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.


41. School-Room [wip]

Sitting on one of the school-benches [restored & now being-used within the restaurant] Valerie informed Jennifer she was in the same place her namesake-ancestor occupied so many years before.  A shiver ran-up Jennifers spine; she actually felt a sense of belonging. ‘Do you know where Pear-Tree cottage used to stand’ asked Jennifer, ‘Its up for sale & I know the realtor will let you view, take photos & use a metal-detector in the back-garden to look for a metal-box, a few hundred yards from here; un-modernised it’s proving hard to sell’. ‘I live in Cherry-Tree, a few-doors down from Pear-Tree cottage, you are welcome to visit my-place’. Jennifer asked ‘Why would there be a metal-box’. Valerie continued ‘Zoës grandmother Elizabeth left me priceless-treasures including photographs & a diary in the back-garden of my home’.

‘When did your family move to America’ asked Valerie. ‘The strangest-thing’ replied Jennifer ‘My great grandmother Daisy was persuaded not to sail on the Titanic by her friend Zoë in this village; they crossed later that year in a shared-cabin on the Californian’. ‘I have relatives in Canada, my ancestor Zoë worked for JP Morgan after the sinking’ ‘Zoë was an unusual-name at the time, I wonder if our ancestors knew each other, maybe they just-adopted employers-wife name’ replied Valerie. 

Jennifer opened her pocket-book to reveal a felt-wrapped diary & photograph of ancestors Daisy & her husband Albert with friend Zoë with whom they shared a UK£5 cabin ‘I paid UK£2,800 return’. Valerie looked at the faded b/w photograph; the broach on Zoës dress was that she had given Elizabeth as a graduation-gift in 1844. Maybe Zoë wore the St Christopher for-luck. Further, Valerie had a duplicate-photograph retrieved from the second metal-box; the mystery of the unknown-couple now resolved.

Reaching-into her Hayley Alexander Manchester shopper-bag Valerie removed & turned-on her iPad; ‘I think you would be interested in this couple rehearsing before winning bronze at Blackpool Winter Gardens’. Watching-&-listening Jennifer could not help-herself ‘If I did not know-better I would swear the dancing-couple were my ancestors class-mates, what an amazing-voice’.  Valerie just-had to share her-secret ‘Elizabeth both sang-&-played the audio-track, she especially-chose that pink ball-gown with matching-stilettos, identical to that worn by Mercedes in the movie Licence To Drive ’. Jennifer was-hooked ‘Thats impossible, my ancestor & ALL-those in the 1844 school-photograph died a century-&-more ago’. Valerie related her-experience, how she first-met the twins, their all-too-short stay in the 21st-century, Valeries own-visit to the 19th-century ‘How-else would Elizabeth have-known about the Titanic-disaster with her limited-education before-hand’.  Watching Valeries priceless-archive Jennifer struggled to reconcile the evidence of her-own eyes.  Valerie resolved to compare the cardboard-&-ink fingerprints with those of the twins on the online school-registration database; a perfect-match. Valerie selected-&-played the first of Elizabeths recollections to-camera; reciting her-life in 19th-century Porterville. Working in the Henry J Fate flour-mill with twin-brother Noah from the age of 8yo was hard though nobody-complained. She loved the one-hour dedicated to schooling, apple-picking in her aunt Susans orchard.  Finding-herself in the 21st-century was like a-dream ‘My best-friend Jennifer would have loved to share this-time too’. In the last of Elizabeths testimonys she-disclosed ‘Not-unlike the girl-ghost in the 1983-movie Esprit D’Amour I feel something pulling-me, maybe back to the 19th-century or perhaps another-place’.  21st-century Jennifer was engrossed ‘May I have copies of these videos, including the ballroom-dancing’; ‘Of-course, I will burn-them to DVD, just give me the address of your-hotel’ replied Valerie. Increasingly-convinced Jennifer probed Valerie for more-information ‘What was her ancestors-job, what did she look-like, did she sing’.  Valerie softly-answered this-strangers questions, picturing her 19th-century student as a child, an-adult & now; the present-day descendent-visitor to Porterville. 21st-century Jennifer teasingly-informed ‘Great... grandmother Jennifer sang in music-hall under the stage-name of Miss Sarah Porter here in the UK before emigrating to the USA where she became a Hollywood silent- movie-actress to MGM & later married a musician she met on the-set of Through The Looking-Glass’. ‘Sadly, I have not found a celluloid or transferred-copy, just entries in her diary & a single b/w photograph’.  ‘Louis B Mayer had selected Jennifer to co-produce & voice-over Through The Looking-Glass remake as the first-talkie, plan was shelved when rumours of business-rival Warner Brothers signing-up Al Jolson to film Jazz Singer in 1927’. ‘LBM strongly-believed he could circumvent any Hays-Code objections from-those who remembered the original-movie’. ‘Wendy, the-character she-played, bought a mirror with an inscription on-the-back, from a curiously-familiar antique-store. Attended by an-older Chinese woman with a walking-stick the mahogany surround-&-handle drew-to-her; even-at the unbelievably high-cost of US$200. Reading the-inscription Pure-Of-Heart I Wish To Learn The Truth as-instructed that-night, the night of a full-moon, the reflection changed showing a stunning ‘girl’ from-the-future. In the next-scene Wendy slowly-raised both-arms & her-clothes changed from respectable early 20th-century into a low-cut black mini-dress with matching stilettos & Hayley Alexander New York shoulder-bag that would not-be out-of-fashion today. Technically-difficult at-the-time her downmarket bedroom shimmered to-be replaced by a stunning 21st-century floor-to-ceiling glass-walled penthouse-apartment, complete with black-mirror LED-televisions.’.  Walking confidently from her apartment front-door to the lift [elevator] Wendy looked for-all-the-world like a 21st-century super-model. Within-minutes Wendy was driving her fully-loaded electric-powered EV-1 to her-office in the fashion-store she-owned.  Witchcraft-&-nudity [too-much cleavage-&-leg for-the-time], acceptable-today, were ground-breaking. Jennifers-diary states she collapsed on-set; the antique-store she described did NOT exist on the MGM-lot, neither-did the actress playing the sales-assistant. Jennifer was badly-shaken; LBM instructed the antique-store built as Jennifer-described, identical to that here in the Porterville High-Street. Valerie was curious ‘Where on High Street, there is no antique-store, I assure-you’. Jennifer was incensed ‘I called-in this-morning, I spoke with the assistant who knew my-name & address right-here in Porterville’ ’Curiously-enough the shop-assistant was the double of-that described in Jennifers-diary, must have-been related’ . Valerie was even-more confused ‘The only-place where a new-store may have been-built was a grassed-area occupied by a shop destroyed in WW2; the local town-hall must have granted Planning-Permission’.  Through The Looking-Glass a production in-its-own-right.  

Jennifer revealed her namesake-ancestor emigrated-to the USA, securing-work as-an-actress in Hollywood.

‘Very-cool, I wonder where the-inspiration came-from’ replied Valerie.

‘Seems there were indecency-complaints to the studio & the original-silent b/w movie was withdrawn’ smiled Jennifer as she carefully held the fragile-image in-her-hand. ‘Nice-dress, stilettos, hair-style & that shoulder-bag is familiar, you can still-see the-glow with the flap-open & the woven leather-strap looks just-like this.’ as Valerie proudly-raised her designer Dubai shoulder-bag.  

Naomi smiled ‘I love my New York shoulder-bag, it’s great for when I get-home late in the darker-evenings’.

Nieces joined Valerie in the cafe ‘May I introduce Naomi, Hayley & Nikita; they know a-little of Jennifer up-to 1843 though nothing-of movie-connection’.  

‘Hi’ the girls said-together. ‘Movie-connection’ exclaimed Naomi.

Jennifer replied ‘Ancestor Jennifer moved to the USA & became a silent b/w movie-actress & later producer’ ‘She was heavily-involved in a controversial-contender for the first-talkie’. Naomi was-hooked ‘Juicy, what was controversial back-then, flash-of-ankle, scary, violent’.  

‘Kinda, she played a 20-something-singleton who bought a magic-mirror & became a glamorous super-model living in her-future’ ‘The low-cut mini-dress exposing cleavage & calf is normal today, witchcraft-too was controversial, back-then the censors would NOT-allow’ replied Jennifer.

‘Great-plot for a movie, TV-series, theme-park; bring lots of badly-needed local-jobs’ ‘Quite fancy being an-actress, little black-dress, with adoring-fans’ teased Naomi.

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