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Old 05-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #1
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The Ghost Within (closed to DeliciousMaiden)

“The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited.”
Stephen King

The words seem to escape Henry, his pen tapping on the notebook for what seemed like an eternity as he sat there in the diner. His seat slightly moving left and right as his eye remained glued to his notepad. Henry Allen, 27, single, writer; at least that’s what he wanted to be known for. As of now, he suffered from a bad case of writer’s block that only gave him doubt about his own ability. Maybe he wasn’t cut out for this, he thought, maybe he should just give up. After all what exactly could he possibly write about when he lived in this small town of Mournview all his life?

“Still nothing, Henry?”


The slight southern like accent caused Henry to look up, there stood a old heavy set woman in a pink waitress get up. Her dark eyes, grey permed hair, and face showing her years, yet able to convey the beauty that was once there so long ago. She gave a friendly smile to Henry as she refilled his coffee. He smiled back only to have it fade soon after. “Nothing yet, Mrs. Bea” he replied as he took a sip of coffee. “I’m sure you’ll think of something, you always do.”

Beatrice Daly, ever the supportive type. She had lived in Mournview since she was 5, working here in the Lucky Fox Diner for as long as Henry could remember. Every Sunday after church, his family would come to the diner and there she was with a smile on her face, laughing it up with the customers. After her husband passed, she seemed to become a bit of a workaholic; spending even more time in the diner. Supposedly, she was doing it for free now. Being in the diner and talking with patrons seem to be the only way she could forget about her husband even if it was for a little bit.

The bell attached to front door rang as the two turned around to see who came in. Francis Allen, Mournveiw’s illustrious Sheriff and Henry’s uncle. He walked up to the seats by the kitchen, tipping his cowboy hat to both Henry and Bea accompanied with a small smile. It was coming the end of his shift, and that meant he getting hungry and was in need of breakfast.

“Good to see you again, Frank. Same thing?” asked Bea as she went behind the counter. “Bacon, 3 eggs over easy, 2 slices of toast, coffee, black.” replied the Sheriff, the look in his eyes showed he was ready to call it a day. As Bea poured his coffee and went to put his order up, he brought his attention to Henry. “Still here, Henry?” he asked as he took his hat.

“Yup” Henry replied, not wanting to look at the Sheriff out of embarrassment. Henry had been at the diner since 3 in the morning, it was now 7am with nothing written down. "Can I be honest with you Henry?” He gave Henry little time to answer. “You’re a good writer, no one can deny that; but sometimes we got to know our own limits, maybe you ain’t cut out for this novelist thing. I’m sure they’d still take you back at the Courier.”

For 5 years, Henry had worked at the Morunview Courier as a reporter. It was the town’s most pristine and revered newspaper since the town’s found in the late 1800s. The job was conventional if not dull, but it taught Henry discipline. He managed to write article after article without once missing a deadline, even writing the odd editorial every now and then for his own sake. As time went on, he grew tired of writing about local contest and the occasional wild deer getting hit by some out of towner. Henry wanted something more, he wanted to write stories. He was never so proud to leave a job after he left the Courier, he felt he was one his way. Now, he wondered if leaving was such a good idea.

“Well I think, you got the chops for it.” said Bea as she came back with the Sheriff’s food. “You’re a good writer, always have been since grade school, I think it’d be a shame to waste that talent on the papers.” Bea, ever the supportive type. “Hell, you become a famous writer; maybe you draw more people to this place.”

“That’s the last thing we need, Bea.”

The sheriff interrupted. “We don’t need no more people coming here than we already do.” Bea looked over at the sheriff, his hand on her hip as she pressed on “Now what’s wrong with having some tourist, Frank?” she asked, the sheriff replying immediately “I got nothing wrong with tourist, but let’s just say some people don’t mesh well here. We’re a small town with good people, we don’t need this town turning this place into New York City or something.”

Sheriff Halleran, ever the xenophobe. Sadly, his feeling were rather common among the town’s people. Many strongly disliked the arrival of those who came from the city, even tourist would tend to get the cold shoulder. Mournview was founded of the principle of isolationism. It was meant to be sort of utopia cut off from the rest of the world, visitors rarely welcomed and newcomers were always suspect. The only few people who this didn’t apply to were Bea and Henry.

Bea rolled her eyes at the sheriff’s remarks as he began to eat; Henry feeling rather uncomfortable about it all. He never understood the way the town thought, then again; he never questioned it. How the town’s prejudice not fall on him was a mystery.

“I stopped some woman coming in before I came here.” said the Sheriff “She was English or something by the way she talked so I didn‘t think anything of her, but then I asked her why she was here. Turns out she’s the one who got the old Harrison house.” The house of the Harrison family had been abandoned across from Henry’s house for 2 years. The last known occupant had left for the city, leaving the house to an unknown party.

“Last thing we need is some city girl from England selling that place to god knows who or worse, having her stay here.” The were no words for Bea to convey her irritants. She simply shook her head and sighed “Frank” was all she could say. Henry had had enough as he began to stand up with his notepad in hand, getting ready to leave. “I think I’m gonna head home.” said Henry nodding to both the Sheriff and Bea as he left for his car. He was tired, the 12 cups of coffee to did very little in terms of inspiration. Maybe, he thought; maybe he should see who this woman was. She couldn’t be that bad, could she?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:23 AM   #2
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Emily Taylor



Emily steered the unfamiliar vehicle into the drive of the old house… .. of her house … she mentally told herself for the umpteenth time. But nothing about this run down place was familiar or even homely, which in itself wouldn’t have been an issue if the locals were anywhere near friendly. Parking up, she slid from the compact 4 by 4 and moved to the boot to take out the box she had stowed there. Locking it out of habit, she walked down the path and carefully balancing the box of supplies she managed to open the front door, kicking it shut behind her as she picked her way down the long hall to the kitchen at the back of the house. This room was primitive, but at least there was light and heat given off by the giant range which enabled her to cook and to heat at least some of the downstairs rooms. It was the room she lived out of currently and the only area she had managed to make habitable since her recent arrival.

The whole issue of the inheritance had been surprising to say the least. She had never heard of Martha Harrison to whom it turned out she was a distant relative. To actually have any family to speak of was a novelty to Emily having been brought up by elderly grandparents from a young age and without the benefit of aunts, uncles or even siblings. It was ironic how the news had been brought to her so soon after the loss of her grandfather. Giving up her university studies when her grandmother died, she had looked after the old man for the past 18 months during which his health had gradually deteriorated, doubtlessly due to the fact that he had never truly recovered from the loss of his wife. She nursed him with no expectation of reward, but had expected that there would be some money with which she could venture out into the world and finally become her own person. But Emily found herself in debt, rather than profit and went through 6 difficult months during which she had no other choice but to put the property up for sale and dispose of the items which she no longer needed, but which might fetch a price to help to set her up in the future. It was just after she had signed over the family home that the American company had approached her and she had finally been notified of the property and cash which were now hers.

Even then, she had not intended to come to America. It was too far away, especially for someone who had travelled little. Perhaps having lost their daughter, her grandparents had ensured that Emily led a relatively sheltered life, fearing that something untoward might happen to their grand-daughter should she venture too far from home. Besides which, Emily learned that far from being in a city which she knew of by reputation or via the TV, it turned out that Martha's place was a rural property ‘ in need of renovation’. And so the decision was purely made because Emily simply had nowhere better to go. Having basic qualifications, but uncompleted studies and 3 years as a 'carer' but no work experience to put on a CV, Emily found herself heading for 23 with no place to call home, no friends or family and no real direction or prospects in her life. And so, with nothing else to lose, Emily decided that she would at least go and spend the Summer at her new property and from there she would decide what her future plans might be.

Perhaps in her mind Emily had imagined that she would be welcomed and become the focus of attention, even if only for novelty value. After all she had been led to believe that all Americans loved all Brits, something about the accent, but so far, the reception had been chill and she was definitely out of practice at getting to know neighbours and making community links given that her life had been so solitary and become fully focused on her family commitments. But she would have to search out help from somewhere soon: She needed to find help to carry out work on the house and to help her with the heavy carrying and she had no idea where she could dump stuff over here and had made do by starting a modest pile of items to the side of the house until she could arrange to dispose of them later. Emily was no stranger to running a household or domestication, but with a building which had been empty for so long, she certainly was daunted by the extent of the project ahead of her.

Setting the water to boil, the box put upon the table, Emily turned and made her way back towards the door once more knowing that there were two more grocery bags for her to retrieve before she could begin to think about preparing a meal and then writing out a plan of action. With a heavy sigh she stepped out of the front door and unlocked the boot, leaning in to gather the items towards her and attempting to balance the two at once to save her a third journey …

Last edited by DeliciousMaiden : 05-16-2013 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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The sheriff’s words hung over Henry like a bad stench as he drove home. Even after all these years, he couldn’t be around his uncle when he talked about not wanting new people coming to the town. Sadly he was Henry’s family, really the only family he had in town. Two years after his father died, his mother passed away soon after. At 25 he was given the house as written in his mother and father’s will. To walk the hall of his childhood home still felt so haunting. The sounds of him laughing and playing as child filled his mind with a short sense of happiness only to be replaced with a bit of dolor.

He tried to spin his anguish anyway he could, thinking that the loss of his parents and the inheritance of the house could spark enough inspiration for him to write something down, but it was to no avail. There were time he thought of leaving the town and out of state, Ney York or LA. Anywhere to get out of this place. Sadly, money was slim. He only had enough to live off of and even if he wanted to sell or rent he house the house off, he doubt any tenants would stay long what with the town’s rude demeanor. It seemed to Henry, that he was doomed to live in Mournview for a long time to come.

As Henry began to make his way to his house’s driveway, he saw the young woman coming out of the house from across his. This must have been the new owner of the Harrison that the Sheriff had told him about he thought as he began to park his car. With the car parked and the engine turned off, he exited his car; not bothering to lock it as he looked over from across the street.

The woman was attractive to say the least. Her blonde hair covering a bit of her face as she went to her 4 by 4 to get a few bag out. From the look of her face, it seemed the people around here were less than social to her. Henry felt for her a bit, for all he knew she didn’t want to be here and town probably didn’t help that either. At the very least, he could say hi.

Henry began to walk over to her, watching as she struggled to get the 2 large grocery bag out of her car. “Let me help you with that.” he called out as he came beside her as he lifted the second bag. Even if the he should have stayed away from her, chivalry dictated that he should at least help her. “I don’t want you to break anything or have you fall over.” He gazed at her eyes for second, close up she was even lovely. “I’m Henry by the way, I live across the street over there.” His head moved back as if to point to his house while his hand that support the grocery bag tried to offer itself in a handshake.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:40 AM   #4
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“Let me help you with that.”

Even though she knew she was in America, the accent of those around her still sounded alien. She looked up at the unexpected voice and found herself looking into a friendly face!

“I don’t want you to break anything or have you fall over.”

She intended to thank him, but instead found herself returning his gaze, until she mentally shook herself and reflected that she had been alone for too long.

“I’m Henry by the way, I live across the street over there.”

She looked across the street at what turned out to be ‘Henry’s Place’ and then noticed his half extended hand and put hers into it with a chuckle.

”Nice to meet you Henry. I’m Emily. I’ve only been here a few days… “

It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him … and yours is the first friendly greeting I’ve had … , but she didn’t want to alienate him before she started.

”It’s really kind of you to offer to help. I should perhaps have done this in two trips …”

She indicated the grocery bags as she locked the door to the vehicle once more.

”Can I offer you some tea?”

Belatedly she realised how ‘English’ that sounded and that it was unlikely to appeal to an American neighbour.

” … or I can do you coffee if you prefer?”

She offered hastily.

”Seems a fair exchange…”

She coaxed realising that she was actually craving company and of course it would do no harm to get to know her neighbour, in the interests of getting the work started on the house she told herself and had nothing to do with the warmth of his eyes and his smile …

” … and I’m not short of groceries as you see … “

She told him as she led the way into her house and again down the hall and into the kitchen and putting the grocery bag down upon the table beside the grocery box which already laid there.

”I’ve not had much time to do much as yet.”

She told him as she looked around the kitchen.

”At the moment this is ‘base camp’. I’m hoping to clear outwards from here, but it’s turning out to be a bigger job than I thought …”

She switched on the kettle to boil the water through once more.

”Have you lived around here for long, Henry?”

She queried curiously, concluding that he might be a relative new comer and as such have less of a prejudice towards ‘newbies’.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:00 AM   #5
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From a distance Emily was quite striking to Henry. Now that he was face to face to her, she was simply stunning. Her blue eyes seemed to making him feel on edge and her voice was like honey. He was almost afraid to say anything to her as to not offend her in anyway. Visitors, let alone new people rarely came to the town for obvious reasons which gave Henry next to no chance of talking to them. For Henry to be talking not only to a new resident but someone from the UK was sort of exciting.

”It’s really kind of you to offer to help. I should perhaps have done this in two trips …”

“I just saw you and you looked like you were having some trouble and figured I’d be a good neighbors.”

Henry knew that no one around would have dared helped Emily if given the chance. Either they would looked over from their house with a cold gaze as if she were leper or simply peek from their windows. Henry didn’t know Emily yet, but he knew she didn’t deserve that.

“Tea is perfectly fine.”

Henry looked at himself, he didn’t want her to think he was doing this for something in return nor wanting her to go out her way for him.

“I mean you don’t have to” he fumbled “I wouldn’t want to impose.”

A fair trade indeed he figured. Just before followed Emily inside, his eyed turned to across the street at the house next to his. He could see old Mrs. Witman as she peeked from behind her white curtains, he didn’t even need to look to know there was disapproving look on her face as he followed Emily inside.

He set the grocery bag next to hers as he took looked around. The house was a derelict, but it was not without reason. The house hadn’t been lived in for months, it was only a matter of time before it looked like something out of old horror movie. However it still seemed rather solid, not rust upon the pipes, water and heat running smoothing, not signs of crack in the wall, if it weren’t for the massive mess, it would be perfect. It was no surprise to hear from Emily that fixing the house was proving to be a large task. The house was a large two story with more rooms than one person needed. Clearing it out all alone would take days for anyone.

”Have you lived around here for long, Henry?”

“Yup, I lived here all my life.” He said leaned against the kitchen entry way. “It’s a pretty small, most of the people who live here are related to the ones who founded it.” he hesitated to say the next part, but he was certain she had to have experienced the town’s outlook at least once. “I hope the people haven’t given you a hard time, they’re really… touchy about new people.” He tried to quickly change the subject.

“But enough about this silly old town, what about you? What’s girl from across the pond doing in a place like this?”
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:07 AM   #6
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Emily set about making tea, pouring water into the teapot she had brought with her and her usual teabags. There had been very little left after the sale of her grandparent’s items and together with her own meagre belongings meant that she had only had to ship one crate of items over for the Summer. Even though she did not intend to stay on at the house, it was easier than paying for storage.

”Help yourself… “

She invited setting out a milk jug, sugar bowl, tea pot and cups and saucers before pouring them both a cup and leaving Henry to add whatever he wished to the brew.

“I lived here all my life.”

He told her as he walked towards her to take a seat at the table.

“It’s a pretty small, most of the people who live here are related to the ones who founded it.”

She nodded. That seemed to explain a lot.

“I hope the people haven’t given you a hard time, they’re really… touchy about new people.”

He gave her no chance to respond to his query before he continued.

“But enough about this silly old town, what about you?
What’s girl from across the pond doing in a place like this?”


She gave a sigh, adding a splash of milk to her tea.

”I’m beginning to wonder myself … “

She told him evasively. He seemed nice, really nice, but she didn't feel she wanted to tell him about her family circumstances, how at the moment she actually had no place else to go.

”I’d intended to put this place to rights over the Summer and then sell it on, or rent it out … whatever is usual around here, but … “

She seemed to consider her words.

”I can’t see why anyone would want to move her, even on a rental basis…”

She told him frankly.

”A shame, it’s really lovely around here, but … “

She shrugged and used his earlier words to explain.

”.. touchy doesn’t even begin to cover how the locals seem to behave if you weren't born around here. Present company excepted, of course."

She smiled at him wondering what made his attitude so different, but couldn't really ask him. Instead she told him.

"I didn't even know the old lady who used to own this place. Seems it took a long time to find out how to dispose of her estate and turns out I'm the only heir; but that tenuous link doesn't make me 'belong' by anyone's definition.“

She told him wistfully as she sipped at her tea.

”No … Perhaps rather than waste my time I’ll see if I can sell the place locally, or if that proves a 'no go' I'll have to get it pulled down and then sell off the land instead … “

She was sure that would not endear her to anyone around there, or even the young man sat opposite her. It wasn't as if she wanted to do so, but her hands were tied.

”It’s a shame. I think this house could look so beautiful ... if … “

She halted, her eyes fixed upon the open doorway from which the hall and front door could be seen; yet now there seemed to be carpets, photographs on the wall, fine wall paper, the whole area appeared to be lit in a warm light.

”Sorry..?”

Belatedly she realised Henry was speaking to her and dragged her eyes to focus on him.

”I just … “

Unable to resist, she looked towards the door again, but all was as it should be. She shook her head as if to shake some sense into herself: Solitude was driving her crazy she decided.

”There’s ... there's just too much to do around here … “

She attempted to continue their conversation.

”And to be honest, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any point …”

Just as the words were spoken a loud crash resounded through the house making them both jump.

”What the … ?”

She stood up straining to listen.

”I haven’t even started moving anything upstairs yet … “

She told Henry, the hairs on the back of her neck standing inexplicably on end.

"Whatever could it be...?"

She questioned, strangely reluctant to go up and check herself what had happened.

”I’ll never last through Summer at this rate… “

The words were soft but audible and though they would make no sense to her companion, it was clear that she was unsettled ...

Last edited by DeliciousMaiden : 05-20-2013 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:24 AM   #7
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Henry listened to Emily speak as he took his tea, putting in a splash of milk and a spoonful of sugar, not want to take too much.

”I can’t see why anyone would want to move her, even on a rental basis…”


Henry felt a bit angered at the remark, not at Emily but rather how saddening and true it was. Despite being well known if not liked within the town, being that Henry did not share the ideals of the people of the town; he felt rather lonely. He hated being around them when a new person came, their eyes looking over the new person like vultures. The more he thought about it, the more disgusted he got.

He didn’t know Emily, aside from what she was telling him, but she seemed like a wonderful person not to mention easy on the eyes. She didn’t know anyone here, let alone the family who lived here. In no way did she deserve anyone here giving her the third degree.

”No … Perhaps rather than waste my time I’ll see if I can sell the place locally, or if that proves a 'no go' I'll have to get it pulled down and then sell off the land instead … “

A part of Henry felt crushed by that statement. He knew it was silly to feel that way though, he barely knew Emily. It wasn’t like they were going to fall for one another all of a sudden like some silly romance movie. Still, it would have been nice to at least befriend someone that wasn’t a local.

”It’s a shame. I think this house could look so beautiful ... if … “


Henry thought Emily’s silence was caused by her outlook of her situation. Surely fixing the house was no easy task, as well as being in a town where she wasn’t wanted. The least he could do was be her friend.

“You know, cleaning this place up is pretty big, too big for one person. If you want I could…”

”Sorry..?”

Henry turned his head at the realization that she wasn’t listening, feeling silly for basically talking to himself.

”I just …There’s... There's just too much to do around here… And to be honest, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any point …“


The loud crash caused Henry to stand up, looking up at the ceiling, wondering what could have made that noise, He began to slowly walk to the doorway, his eye still glued to the ceiling as he head Emily talk. It couldn’t be a burglar, not in this town. Henry was beaming with curiosity as to what could be up there.

“Well whatever’s up there, we should find out.”

He said as he began to walk to the hallway, looking back to Emily as he held out his hand.

“You coming?”
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:03 PM   #8
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They stood with eyes lifted to the ceiling as if straining for a further sound, but all was now silent. For her part Emily found herself holding her breath, yet it was as if her heart were thudding in her ears.

“Well whatever’s up there, we should find out.”

Somehow her reaction was to tell him no and to ‘leave well alone’, but if she let the opportunity of finding out whilst Henry was there, then she knew she would have to face the upstairs alone later. And yet there was something that made her instinctively hold back, so much so that she was still stood in the kitchen when Henry was already heading down the hall.

“You coming?”

She wanted to tell him no; wanted to tell him not to go up there himself, but she had no choice but to bury those instincts and nodding wordlessly she stepped towards him. It wasn’t until they reached the bottom of the stairs and paused to glance upwards and exchange a look that she realised that he had held out his hand to her and that she had not only taken it, but was now pressing closer to him as they began to mount the first then second step.

”Henry … you sure this is a good idea?”

She was whispering even as they continued to advance slowly up the staircase. Somehow she knew they shouldn’t go up there, or perhaps Henry shouldn’t …

”What if … ?”

She did not complete the sentence, a more subtle sound this time came from directly ahead as if someone was moving around in the abandoned front bedroom bringing them both to a halt.

”Oh my God… should we call the police or something? You do have those here too?“

She questioned. They were half way to the top, but surely Henry couldn’t even be considering that they should continue to investigate themselves.

”Henry, no … “

She pleaded, trying to draw him back down to the ‘safety’ of the downstairs once more…
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:50 AM   #9
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Henry was all too sure how to answer Emily about the police. Granted he could have allowed her to call, but something told him that that was a bad idea. For all he knew the sheriff would have came, done nothing and yell at Emily for wasting police resources; or worse found something and try to blame her for it. No, the police didn’t need to get involved, not with this.

“If you want, you go back to the kitchen.” Henry hated how sexist that sounded upon saying it “I’ll go check things out. If I don’t come back, you can call the police.”

He didn’t wait for her to reply as he took his phone and turned on the flashlight app. Normally the upstairs would have been lit by sun as it shined out the windows but the past day filled with rain left the sky in a gloomy blue, causing the upstairs hall to seem dark and unnerving.

Henry slowly walked the rest of the way up, his foot steps resonating as he walked closer and closer to the room where the noise came from. “Hello?” he said his heart racing as he drew closer and closer to the door. Why was he doing this, he thought. Was for Emily, a woman he barely knew? Or was it for himself, his own natural curiosity and sense of adventure getting the better of him, hoping that this would lead to the story who so desperately wanted to write.

His hand slowly went to the door knob, shaking as he began to doubt himself. With a deep breath and began to count to himself.

“1...2.…2 and a half…..2 and 3!”

He opened the door, pushing and letting go of the knob as he shined his phone around the room. It was a mess. A small gathering of books on the floor next to a dresser. The large bed laid in the center, it’s sheets no doubt filled with dust. Above the bed was a small window where the sunlight would shine had it not been for the weather. Henry’s light scanned the room more as he went inside, he looked to his left. Nothing, all he could see were the cob webs in the corner of the ceiling and a the peeled wallpaper. As Henry looked to the right, he jumped in fright only to sigh in humiliation for getting scared of his reflection in the mirror to the left of the dresser.

Henry was puzzled, something had to have made that noise; but there was nothing around. It was rather mysterious if not anti-climatic. With another sigh, Henry left the room and closed the door, leaving in a bit of disappointment; unable to help but feel a bit of chill as he walked back downstairs.

Last edited by The_Spectre : 05-27-2013 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #10
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“If you want, you go back to the kitchen. I’ll go check things out. If I don’t come back, you can call the police.”

Emily stood in indecision as he continued on his way up the stairs. She couldn’t let him go ahead without her and yet something seemed to hold her back from continuing upstairs with him. Despite what he said, she determined that she would ring the police and so she turned and retraced her steps until she was stood at the bottom of the stairs.

”Noooo… “

The one word filled her as if spoken through some incredibly expensive headphones and as such for her ears only. Glancing back up the stairs she could hear Henry’s voice as if from a great distance as he called out a ‘hello’ to any prospective intruder up there, but she found herself unable to react to what was happening upstairs in her property. Instead she found herself almost keeling over on that bottom step, her mind and body dizzy, confused, disturbed …

”Henry… “

She finally managed to whisper his name before she blacked out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Upstairs Henry had opened the door to the front bedroom and entered that dim dusty room that as yet had gone untouched by Emily. In truth she had taken one look at the contents and turned on her heel, giving up before even starting. If the shutters had been pulled back or light reconnected it would be obvious that the room had been a lady’s bedchamber, the evidence was all around as if suspended in some time warp that unfortunately dust and deterioration did not respect.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And yet HE had entered her bedchamber. He had finally come as she had known he would. But it was too soon. Her bond with the young woman she had left on the stairs below was not yet sufficient, but ever sensitive to the ways of the heart, she had felt an unexpected connection between him and the girl. But no matter, fate dictated that it would be she, Emmeline he would choose.

Emmeline watched him jump as he looked around the room and took the time to move behind him, her presence unseen as he caught his reflection in the mirror.

”Henry….”

She breathed the familiar name her arms moving around him, all her energy focused on pressing her body against the outline of his torso, even though she knew that she could not make him aware of her voice or her presence. Even for her, the sense of contact between their bodies was fleeting, especially as he turned so quickly to exit the room as if hastening to be out of that atmosphere.


Gone was the peaceful co-existence between Emmeline and the new unsuspecting property owner: From the moment Henry had stepped into the house Emmeline had recognised him as hers and set about drawing him to her. His unexpected compassion for the young woman, Emily who still lay inert at the bottom of the stairs had roused a seething jealousy within Emmeline. After so many years of waiting, Emmeline was not going to let anyone stand in her way! And so unbeknownst to the two, Emmeline’s plan to use the young woman to reunite the lovers had already been set in motion …
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:20 AM   #11
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“Emily!?”

Henry called out as he saw her collapsed upon the bottom stairs. Immediately, he ran down to her; pulling lower to the floor and leaning her against the wall along the stairs. A new sense of fear came over Henry. Now, it was fear for Emily’s well being. He still knew very about her. She could have health problems for all her knew.

Checking her pulse seemed to be the only safe thing to do as Henry put his two fingers just above her neck. He let out a sigh of relief, she was still alive. Emily was still breathing but was unconscious. He softly called her name a few times but to no avail, Emily was out cold. Still at her side, He took his phone and looked into his contact. He had no choice, he had to call Dr. Crawford.

Dr. Theodore Crawford was one of the local physicians in the town as well as the most respected. In his 40 years as a doctor he delivered over 100 children in Mounview including Henry. Living only 5 house down from where Henry lived, he currently ran a private practice, making house calls. It took only 5 minutes after Henry had called him to arrive at Emily’s doorstep.

“When I came back down stairs I found her laying on the floor.”

Henry gave the doctor his explanation as he went to tend to the young woman, opening her eyes as he flashed his pen light into her pupils, a neutral look on his face as continued to look over her.

While Doctor Crawford did not share the same disdain for outsiders, he didn’t show much fervor for them either. He was all strictly professional, on man of medicine who was abided to his Hippocratic oath. Years of medicine had left him a of white hair and whiskers, yet he still showed the enthusiasm and professionalism of a doctor in his prime.

“Give me a damp wash clothe”

The doctor instructed to Henry, not even looking at him. Henry obeyed as he went to the kitchen, returning with a few layers of damp paper towels. The doctor gave a sigh at what Henry had brought, but took it anyway. Dr. Crawford never raised his voice, always speaking rather deadpan manner; yet you could always when he was upset or disappointed, it was a feeling Henry had always felt when he would go to him for a check up as a child.

“No signs of concussion or trauma…. She seems fine.”

The doctor was blunt as he put his penlight away. Is was reassuring to know Emily was okay. Now all Henry could do was stay by her side and wait.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:38 AM   #12
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Emily had proved of little use to Emmeline, but even though the new owner did not understand the presence of the now hostile spirit, the English girl had put up a battle and in fact attempted to call out a warning to Henry before she was robbed of consciousness. Henry’s concern and attention for Emily did nothing to soothe Emmeline’s frustrated anger and when he brought a second man to tend to the inert girl, Emmeline determined once again to use Emily’s unresisting body as a ‘host’ and in doing so rid herself of the girl’s meddlesome opposition. But Emmeline under-estimated how weakened she had been by her attempted contact, a state which her repeated attempts to take over the girl merely exacerbated leaving her to withdraw defeated, though only for the present.

Finally free of the all be it tenuous hold exerted by the spirit’s presence, Emily began to stir, her eyelids fluttering as she tried to gather her senses.

”Henry… ?”

Why it was that his face was the only familiar anchor from which struggled to recollect where she was and what had led to her loss of consciousness?
For long moments she was disorientated, disjointed images and emotions playing out, but taking no logical form. She felt exhausted, unnaturally drained, but without reason that she could recall. Even now as she closed her eyes again her head spun and her pulse raced as if in panic, but there was nothing to be fearful of, no stranger drawing closer. Her eyes sprung open as she recalled the image of a young woman.

”There was someone else here? What happened…?”

She questioned as she attempted to sit upright and glance around as if to verify that they were indeed alone again.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:47 AM   #13
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”Henry… ?”

Never had his name ever sounded so honeyed as it did when Emily spoke his name. A small almost unnoticeable smile came over Henry’s face as Emily opened her eyes. He kneeled down in front of her while Dr. Crawford looked on, his face still little emotion. “It’s okay,” assured Henry “You’re gonna be okay.” It was all Henry could say, he had the need to want to comfort her to make sure she wasn’t in any serious condition.

”There was someone else here? What happened…?”

Henry was perplexed, aiding Emily as she attempted to sit upright. Perhaps the old dreary nature of the house had gotten to her. “There’s no one else here.” replied Henry “When I came out of the room, I found you on the floor. That’s when I called Dr. Crawford. He lives a few houses from here. Doctor, this is Emily; she‘s the new owner of this house.” The old doctor nodded to her.

“You don’t seem to have any serious problem,” said the doctor “I can only assume these living conditions are getting the better of you.” The doctor stood up with his bag in hand. “I would suggest until this place becomes habitable you find another place for sleep. I’m sure Henry would welcome you.”

Henry was in a bit of shock, his eyes bolting to the doctor then to Emily; it wasn’t advice that Henry was expecting. “I suppose..I I mean unless you’re uncomfortable…”

“What ever you choose do Miss Emily is your decision, I am simply a doctor giving advice.” Doctor Crawford began to make his way to the front door. “I you should need me again, I live a few houses from Henry. He can give you my number. Good day.” The doctor gave little to no time for either Emily or Henry to reply. Such was the way of the good doctor, all business, reluctant to be attached.

Henry looked back to Emily, the look of concern evident in his eye. “Don’t mind the doctor.” he said “He seems cold, but he’s a good man... Are you okay, can you stand?”
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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“There’s no one else here.”

Henry’s voice reassured her.

“When I came out of the room, I found you on the floor.”

Emily looked around and found that she was at the foot of the stairs, in the hallway.

”That’s when I called Dr. Crawford. He lives a few houses from here. Doctor, this is Emily; she‘s the new owner of this house.”

For the first time Emily became aware of the older man.
Typically he seemed curt and unsympathetic.

“You don’t seem to have any serious problem. I can only assume these living conditions are getting the better of you.”

The same story, Emily thought; no one wanted her there and didn’t care to hide the fact.

“I suppose.. I I mean unless you’re uncomfortable…”

She looked across at Henry’s hesitant tones and realised she had been paying little attention to the doctor’s words. She frowned realising that he had suggested that she couldn’t cope with her own house.

“What ever you choose do Miss Emily is your decision, I am simply a doctor giving advice. If you should need me again, I live a few houses from Henry. He can give you my number. Good day.”

Emily made no answer to the self important man and was actually relieved that he had left. She certainly had no intention of calling on him for help any time soon.

“Don’t mind the doctor. He seems cold, but he’s a good man …
Are you okay, can you stand?”


Emily didn’t want to be ungrateful for Henry’s obvious concern for her, so she made no comment about the doctor and moved experimentally finding herself still feeling light-headed.

”Think I just need a minute … “

She told him, trying to smile reassurance as she forced herself then to rise to her feet, finding she could only do so with Henry’s assistance. She let herself be led slowly to the kitchen and eased gratefully onto the sofa she had set up in the corner. Sure the house was a bit oppressive, but the kitchen was large and cosy and had all she needed in that one room. It would just take a bit longer, well a lot longer than she had previously thought to get straight: And if, or rather when she decided to move on and sell up it would be when she wanted and on her terms.

”Thank you … “

She managed a shaky smile as she took a steadying breath.

”I’ll be ok … last thing you need is a troublesome neighbour … sorry about all the drama…”

She told him with a blush.

”Never done anything like that before…”

The admission was out before she was aware she had spoken.

”… I’ll get an early night and be fit as a fiddle tomorrow…”

She hastened to reassure him realising that much as Emily found she would prefer to have him around than be on her own in the house again, she had already taken more than enough of his valuable time...
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:36 AM   #15
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Henry gave no verbal response as Emily spoke, sitting beside her on the couch as she spoke. Henry wanted to let her know that she was no nuisance to him, in fact this was probably interesting time he had ever had with someone who didn’t live with the town.

He was intrigued by Emily, a attractive woman from across the pond who had become the owner of a new home in a town that was less than pleased to have her there. It seemed like a set up to good story, at least to Henry it did. He had to know more about her, about her life before coming her, what her relation to the people of this was. There so many question, and Henry wanted to know them all.

From the way Emily, it seemed she had no need for Henry’s help any further. He wouldn’t have admitted it, but was sort of hoping she would have taken the doctors advice in at least staying with Henry for the night. The possibility of the two talking to one another all night, followed by breakfast at the diner had faded from Henry’s mind.

“Okay…”

replied Henry as he began to stand up, looking around the kitchen for a piece of paper to write on,

“Here” she said as he handed the paper to Emily “If you need anything, or if you don’t feel like being alone, you can always come over…. And if need some help cleaning this place up, don’t hesitate to ask.”

For a moment, Henry felt like he was coming on a bit strong; but he knew how Emily saw the people in the town and he didn’t want her to think that everyone felt that way about her. There was a brief moment of silence between the two, Henry wanting to say more, but only able to look over Emily with affinity.

“It was really nice meeting you, Emily”

It was Henry could say as he walked to the hall, making his way to the door.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #16
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She'd hoped against hope that he would insist on staying with her, or that she should come over to his place, that he would insist that she didn't stay alone, but of course he didn't.

“Okay…”

He rose to leave, pausing only to write his house number and telephone number for her.

“Here. If you need anything, or if you don’t feel like being alone, you can always come over…. And if need some help cleaning this place up, don’t hesitate to ask.”

She looked up at him and nodded. She wasn't sure if the offer of help was genuine or if he felt obliged to offer now that he assumed she was unwell?

“It was really nice meeting you, Emily”

She smiled as their eyes met. He really was a decent and good looking man. She could so easily be attracted to him, but she told herself that as he was the only person that had been remotely kind to her, that it was natural that she would be drawn to a person who had kept her company and been so solicitous during her strange collapse.

"You too ... "

She called after him realising that she had missed her opportunity to at least invite him round for a meal or to make some kind of arrangement to meet up again.

"... was nice to actually talk to someone for a change ... thanks ... "

She contented herself with stating. Shouting an invitation along a hall way when the man in question was making his way out of the front door would definitely be desperation in the extreme.

Easing back into the sofa with a sigh, Emily listened to the silence of the house. Nothing was moving around upstairs, not even a clock ticked she realised missing the sound of clockwork that had been so characteristic of her grandparent's house. All of a sudden a wave of homesickness hit her so strongly that it was almost a physical pain. The previous months settling her grandparents affairs had taken its toll. She had fancied the house was hostile, but now that she was on her own it was clear that it was just an abandoned shell. She laughed mirthlessly. An abandoned shell? That was just what she felt like.

... no turning maudlin, Emily...

She chastised herself, her voice sounding strange in the empty kitchen.

With effort she hauled herself up and though she felt unsteady at first, she was soon moving around the kitchen clearing discarded cups and tea pot and beginning to put away the groceries she had brought in earlier.

What wouldn't I give for a chippies...

She told herself suddenly discovering a yen for fish and chips!
But of course, that was it! She had snacked during the day, but in actual fact she hadn't really eaten that much over the past couple of days. It was no wonder that she had fainted as she climbed the stairs. Well she would remedy that with something quick and filling now and then perhaps put off her the tidying for a day and go domestic and spend the day cooking and baking, after all she had plenty of room in the overlarge 'American style' fridge/freezer that she had arranged to be fitted in advance of her arrival. It was high time to fill it up ...
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:49 AM   #17
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The communication between Emily and Henry appeared to be strained. It was as if they on two different wave lengths, both of them wanting something from the other only to be disappointed. Men from Mars, Woman from Venus indeed.

Henry was already outside before Emily could even respond to his words. His eyes looking down at the hard wood floor as he stood at her porch. In his mind he kept thinking that perhaps he had went about things all wrong. Perhaps he should have invited her over at least for a bit.

He turned around, his feet at the front of her door, his hand clinched in a fist just inches from the wooden door. Henry froze, his fist laid upon the door gently as to not make a sound. He played it all his head, he would come in offering to have stay with him for the night. She would accept, they would talk and then…..

Henry snapped back to reality as his hand sank to his side and left Emily’s porch. What was wrong with him? He barely knew Emily and already he was going to what he thought an unhealthy infatuation with her. He didn’t even know her last name, let alone if she was going to stay after the house was in good condition. As he walked back to his house, he kept looking back, hoping Emily would come out like in some romance movie. But nothing happened. Why did he feel way?

Perhaps spending his whole life in Mournview was the reason for his affinity toward Emily. She represented the outside world he never got to see. Her voice opening his eyes to places he always to go, her eyes showing him the beauties he never witnessed.

Or perhaps he was simply tired. Henry had been up for since midnight, not thinking straight was definitely a possibility. With Henry at his own doorstep, he opened the door and immediately went upstairs. Maybe sleep would help ease his thoughts and rid him of his ever last writer’s block. If only he were so lucky.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:36 AM   #18
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It was a totally different girl who knocked on Henry’s door at 4 pm the next day...

Emily had slept well and feeling totally refreshed she had indeed followed through on her intentions and had a thoroughly domestic day in the kitchen. Of course she had made an early morning visit to the local shops and stocked up her cupboards and bought more than ample ingredients for her cooking projects. She had glanced across at Henry’s house, but there had been no sign of life. Assuming he was either a late riser or had in fact risen early and was already busy, she left her one amicable neighbour in peace and set about the projects she had set herself for that day.

”Hi…”

She greeted him brightly as he opened the door.

”These are for you…”

She handed him a Tupperware container containing an assortment of flapjack, fruit scones and ‘fairy cakes’ topped with icing and a livid red cherry.

” … just a little thank you for yesterday … “

She told him, blushing as she continued.

” … and … I wondered if you’d made plans for this evening? I’ve been cooking and baking like crazy all day and … well if you’re hungry I have more than enough to feed an army … “

He had been so kind to her and of course was the only company available around here, but as her eyes met his, she found that despite her intention not to get attached to this inhospitable place he really did want to get to know him better.

” … or if you’re busy, or you’ve eaten then … tomorrow maybe…?”

She suggested.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:38 AM   #19
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Sleep had found Henry for most of the day. His body completely bundled in his bed with a pillow covering his face as he slept. Henry was what some would call a “night owl” years of spending his post graduation life working overnights had sort of distorted his sleep cycle, leaving him to stay up most nights and sleep through most of the day.

He tried to spending those sleepless night writing, and while it paid off when he was working for the paper, as “writer” it became more difficult. Tonight was a bit different though, with the meeting of Emily and the short expedition into her home in his thoughts; he began to write a few things. It was nothing solid, a few random thought here and there, but it was exciting to Henry; he finally felt like he was getting somewhere.

After a few random quips and thought typed and the sun rising, he began to grow a bit tired and retired once more to his bed. He didn’t wake back up until noon, taking a quick shower and dressing into something clean before returning to his computer and back to his story. All the thoughts he had written were like a puzzle and it was coming together.

Suddenly there was a knock, Henry couldn’t help but sigh in irritation as he stood and walked to the door. Just when he was getting somewhere, someone had to come over. He vigor sly pulled the door open, his annoyance tempered as he saw Emily.

”Hi…”

His heart stopped, he felt silly for feeling the way he did toward her.

”These are for you…just a little thank you for yesterday …”

Henry took the Tupperware in hand, only glancing at it for a moment before looking over at Emily with a soft smile. He almost considered not excepting it, but he thought against it. He thanked her a she continued on.

” … and … I wondered if you’d made plans for this evening? I’ve been cooking and baking like crazy all day and … well if you’re hungry I have more than enough to feed an army … “


Henry could see that Emily was trying to be friendly with him and truth be told, he welcomed it. He knew it must have difficult for her, but he wanted to be friends with her, perhaps a bit too much.

“That’s sounds perfect. But I insist on helping you straightening up your home though. If you‘re going to cook for me I think it‘s the least I can do.”
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #20
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Emily thought she sensed annoyance when he opened the door and hastily issued her invitation half expecting him to refuse.

“That’s sounds perfect.”

Her features relaxed in relief at his response.

”But I insist on helping you straightening up your home though. If you‘re going to cook for me I think it‘s the least I can do.”

She hesitated.
”You don’t owe me anything Henry, the reverse in fact.”

She told him blushing as she recalled the previous day’s drama.

”But, I would appreciate a bit of help.”

She conceded.

”Whenever you have time free … and .. just let me know when you’re hungry … today or .. well whatever suits you is fine … “

She halted self-consciously aware that she was rambling. Obviously being too much on her own was robbing her of even coherent speech.

”I’ll leave you in peace … just .. well let me know… it’s an open invitation … “

It wasn’t as if she was spoilt for choice when it came to dinner guests, but she found as she smiled shyly at the man before her that she really was curious about Henry and wanted to get to know him better.
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:11 AM   #21
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Henry tried to hide his smile as Emily stumbled with her words. It was adorable, as if she was in high school asking his out to the dance. None the less, he was flattered by her gesture. She wanted to cook for him after the other day, and it would be rude to decline such an offer.

“I’ll leave you in peace … just .. well let me know… it’s an open invitation … “

For a moment, Henry looked down at the Tupperware in his hand and back at Emily. He didn’t want her to leave, not while he felt there was a connection beginning to form between them.

“You know.. I might not be able to finish all this myself.”

Henry’s smile was soft and innocent. He was cautious about what words to choose as he attempted to invite Emily inside. Now he was the one who felt like he was in high school.

“Maybe you can come in and help me… if you’d like.”

Henry was uncertain about his words, fearing that Emily would think he was inviting her inside for an ulterior motive. Then again, perhaps he was.

Last edited by The_Spectre : 06-29-2013 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:47 AM   #22
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“You know.. I might not be able to finish all this myself.”

Emily saw his gaze move from the tupperwear box and back to her. She was about to tell him that the contents would freeze well enough if he wished when he suggested;

“Maybe you can come in and help me… if you’d like.”

It was a pretext, that was certain, but she smiled broadly as she realised he wanted her to invite her into his home.

"Sure, I'd like to come in ... and help you ... "

She added belatedly as he held the door wider for her.

"So this is what these houses look like when they're not derelict..."

She commented as she followed him inside.

"I really appreciate you being so kind to me. I hope it won't cause any trouble for you, with your neighbours and the other people around here...?"

She told him as she looked around curiously.

"What do you do work wise around here?"

She asked him.

"I don't remember if you told me ... though I know for sure you're not a doctor ... "

She teased giving him a shy smile.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:05 AM   #23
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"So this is what these houses look like when they're not derelict..."

Henry smiled as he led Emily to the kitchen.

“Once you get rid of the cobwebs and debris, they really do become quite lovely. I‘m sure when we‘re finished, you‘re house will look even better.”

The more compassion Henry gave toward Emily, the more he wondered what his intentions really were, and why he felt there could be something deeper between them. She was beautiful, but he would never say it, the word sound pretentious. To Henry, beautiful was what you described a sunset, something non living. To use it to describe a person, sounded cliché. Yet to describe Emily with any other word felt like disservice.

The problem lied in why he felt the way he did. He still knew very little about her, much less if she even planned to stay for long. Perhaps his infatuation lied in what she was, a woman with a lovely smile and alluring accent; from a place he never thought he’d see. She was different, she didn’t know who was and by the sound of her question, she was interested in finding out.

"What do you do work wise around here? I don't remember if you told me ... though I know for sure you're not a doctor ... "

A soft chuckle came from Henry as the two entered the kitchen. Henry wasn’t too sure how to answer that he was a writer seeing as he actually hadn’t had anything published, nor made a profit out of it. Regardless, he wasn’t going to lie about what he did. With a seat pulled out for Emily before sitting at the table, he began to answer.

“I actually used to write for the local paper, but I quit in order to become a writer….

He looked down at the table, his finger moving along the Tupperware lid before looking back at Emily.

“I suppose you could say, I’m an… aspiring writer.”

Henry’s words dipped in volume as he spoke the last two words. It sounded conceited to him, but he feared calling himself unemployed. He tried to changed the subject.

“What about you, what did you do before coming here?”
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:24 AM   #24
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“Once you get rid of the cobwebs and debris, they really do become quite lovely. I‘m sure when we‘re finished, you‘re house will look even better.”

He had encouraged her, the discussion giving her a reason to examine his home openly and note that there seemed no evidence of female influence. She assumed that he was single, but of course it was highly likely that he was dating some local girl even if she hadn’t moved in with him yet. Somehow Emily didn’t like the idea of that at all …

They laughed at her reference to the previous day and she listened with interest as Henry answered her question.

“I actually used to write for the local paper, but I quit in order to become a writer….”

She took the seat her offered and wondered what kind of writer he was.

“I suppose you could say, I’m an… aspiring writer.”

She nodded and could not help admiring him for following his dreams. She only wished that she had done something for herself in her life.

“What about you, what did you do before coming here?”

She looked at him across the table.

”In a word, nothing … “

She responded succinctly.

”I did go to university for a short time, but then my grandmother died and there was no one to take care of granddad so, I came home to look after him … “

She sighed sadly.

”It was just the two of us for 3 years. He finally died a couple of months ago …. After being around someone 24/7 then suddenly being alone … ”

She felt the stab of the grief and lonliness she had carefully suppressed.

” … it’s difficult at times … “

She stated simply.

”At least you know what you want to do. I feel pretty lost at the moment. I guess it depends on how things go with the house.”

She stopped short of telling him that the place was her only financial asset.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:52 AM   #25
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The look of heartache and anguish in Emily made Henry regret asking the question almost immediately. She given her education for her grandfather, a noble decision even if it didn’t seem so to her. He could more than relate when it came to being alone, simply within the confine of the very house he grew up was unnerving. Waking up thinking to hear his mother cooking breakfast on the stove only to come to the realization that he was alone always managed to leave his heart twinge.

“I think I know what you mean. I was born here. Sometime when I wake up I think I’m 12 and I’m gonna see my mom or dad when I go downstairs…. Then I remember they're gone.”

His words had no doubt the mood down, but at the same time it was sort comforting that Emily had felt much of the same solitude he had.

”At least you know what you want to do. I feel pretty lost at the moment. I guess it depends on how things go with the house.”


“Knowing is only a state of mind. Sometimes, I find myself sitting at my computer at a loss for words, unable to write about. Sometime I wonder if I’m cut out to be a writer. But sure enough, I keep trying.”

Henry slowly extended his across the table, resting just above Emily’s finger tips.

“I don’t what going to happen with my writing, just like you don’t know what’s gonna with your house. But we both keep going and can take some solace that the person across the street is in that same boat we are.”

It was shoddy attempt at binging any upside to their predicaments. But then again misery did love company, and if Henry had to be lost, he was more willing to be lost with Emily.
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