Transition #WritePhoto

transition

It wasn’t the priest hole in the wall or under the floor the Catholic priest had been expecting. Looking out of the small arched doorway, he could see a neat flagstone path leading to a small hut covered with ivy.

‘The well house,’ one of the maids explained.

‘Oh,’ was all he could reply.

The maid led the way with a quick step and the priest still clutching his bible followed her.

They left the family and other servants in the chapel behind, hurriedly tidying things away. Then everyone scattered as on the other side of the house, the guards and pursuivant entered through the main door and began their search for Catholics.

The maid open the hut’s door and rushed inside. The priest followed, closing the door behind him. He looked around in the gloom and saw the moss clinging to the walls and before him the huge construction of the well. Above ran thick wooden beams and there was a system of pulleys and weights to the left side.

The maid was turning the handle which was causing a long pole to also turn and a thick rope began to twist around the pole as the bucket was drawn up.

‘Where am I to hide? The guards will search in here!’ the priest cried for he could see no where safe.

‘In the well,’ the maid gasped.

‘In there….’ the priest trailed and looked over the edge of the solid wall of the well.

He couldn’t see anything but darkness.

‘They won’t look for you down here,’ the maid added.

The priest looked towards the door, ‘is there no where else in the house?’

‘Not that I know. I was told to bring you here. The bucket is coming up now,’ the maid pointed out.

The priest stood back as the rope came to an end and the bucket full of water appeared.

With some effort, the maid pulled the bucket over and unattached it. Water sloshed on the floor and splashed up her skirts. From the corner, she brought out an empty bucket and attached to to the rope. Then turning to the small window sill, she did something the priest could not see.

‘Here’s a candle,’ the maid said, lighting a thin white candle and handing it to the priest, ‘there’s a ledge down there for you to stand on. When the bucket gets there shout stop and I shall try to do so. Blow the candle out when you can. We shall come and get you when the guards have gone.’

Nodding the priest, helped put the bucket into the well then climbed in. Juggling Bible and candle in one hand, he held the rope with his other then watched the maid lowering him in.

The wet walls of the well rose up above him and the priest watched for any ledges sticking out. The candle flame fluttered and wax droplets burnt his hand. The priest held tightly on, feeling his stomach aching. Then meters down the well, he saw the ledge.

‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ he screamed upwards.

The bucket jerked and he heard the echoing strains of the maid trying to hold on. The priest scrambled out and found to his shock that the ledge was just enough for him to stand upon. Almost tripping on his robes, he nearly tumbled backwards and the candle fell from his hand.

Hugging the wall, he pressed his face into the cold, wet stone and took a few deep breaths. He shut his eyes and started praying hard as the bucket went down passed him. Further below, he heard it hit the water and then the bucket began to raise up.

The priest stood in the pitch darkness for so long he lost track of the time and his repeated prayers. At one point, he thought he heard voices above and the maid had returned for him but no bucket came down.

God delivery me for this, he thought, bring me peace.

What felt like a long, long time later, the priest heard movement and the creaking of wood. Gently, moving his face from off the wall, the priest looked up but could not see anything for awhile. Then a light, like the Spirit of God, shone down and the priest saw the bucket and a candle inside.

He grabbed the bucket, pulling on the rope to signal he had it. Taking the candle out, the priest climbed inside and tugged on the rope again. The bucket swung then he as lifted up and up till at last he could see the lips of the well.

He reached the top and all put fell out of the bucket as two male servants tried to help him.

The priest rested against wall, sipping wine that someone had pressed into his hand and shaking his head whilst repeatedly saying, ‘never again, never again.’

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/05/23/thursday-photo-prompt-transition-writephoto/ with thanks).

Advertisements

Inside #writephoto

The maid frowned in her cleaning of the grand staircase as her sharp eyes spotted the water on the stone window sill opposite. Shuffling over, she looked and tried to figure out where the water had come from.

The window couldn’t be opened for it was just a single panel of glass fitted into a thick stone wall so the rain from last night couldn’t have got in. Plus, this section of the castle was currently closed and she was the first person to come in for a few weeks now.

Deciding there must be a leak somewhere above, the maid mopped up the water and give the window a quick clean. Then getting back to her main tasks, her mind forgot all about reporting the problem.

A month later, the maid came back to that section again to keep on top of things. Once again she noticed the small puddles of water on the window sill. This time she checked to make sure there was no holes in the glass and that the other window sills were dry.

Satisfied, she made a note in her little notebook and went back to work. It had to be a little leak somewhere. The castle was late thirteen century so it was to be expected that some of the old lead lining was fading.

At the end of the shift, the maid reported the leak and detailed where it was; south tower, third window on staircase.  

However, every time she went into that section the water puddles were still on the window still. She mopped them up and tried to find a source for them which even on rainy days seemed a mystery. Then she would report the problem.

Finally, one afternoon the maid complained to her manager.

‘The leak I keep reporting isn’t getting fixed,’ she said, ‘it was there again this morning.’

‘The third window in the south tower?’ her manager said straight away.

The maid looked at her from over the top of a very cluttered desk. The manager’s office was a big space that had once been a part of the servant’s ground floor rooms. It had been converted ages ago and was filled with office furniture.

‘It’s been looked at every time you have reported it and no leaks have been found,’ the manager replied with a serious look on her face.

‘But there must be something….’ the maid uttered.

‘It’s the ghost,’ the manager responded with a shrug.

‘Ghost?’

‘The story goes that a young boy fell from the tower. It was raining and he slipped. The servants believed that the boy’s ghost keeps trying to get back inside because he’s trapped on the outside. The third window use to be the only one you could open…’

The maid pulled a face and answered, ‘I don’t believe in ghosts…’

‘Nor do I or anyone else who works here, but for the groundskeeper and the two old gardeners. They use to work here when this place was a stately home, before it got handed over to the Trust. They’d tell you the story better then I can,’ the manager added.

‘No, thanks,’ the maid replied and saying goodbye left to get on with her other tasks.

The water puddles remind still and once a month when the maid was there cleaning, she would wipe them away. She really didn’t believe in ghosts and thought that it must still be a leak somewhere.

 

(https://scvincent.com/2017/05/18/thursday-photo-prompt-inside-out-writephoto/)

Boots (Part 2)

Silhouette, Bokeh, Man, Out Of Focus, Fig, Bent, Black

The soft knocking on the door disturbed Faith. She rolled over, still half asleep and whacked her hand into the pillows on the other side of the bed. Moaning, she lay there for a few moments, but then the knocking got louder and she forced herself up.

‘Hello?’ she called in a tried voice.

‘It’s only me, Miss,’ the voice of Faith’s maid, Mary, called through the door.

‘Come in.’

The door creaked opened and the young woman shuffled in carrying a large jug. She was dressed in a typical black dress with a white frilled apron. Her dark hair was tied up under a white cap, allowing too much of her rosy face to be seen. Mary walked across the room and over to a bowl by the window. Tipping the jug gently, water splashed down and into the bowl. then placing the empty jug down, she moved to the wardrobe.

‘I heard something last night,’ Faith said as she slide from the bed, ‘it sounded like a man pacing the hallway. There seemed to be no one there though. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?’

Mary paused in her search through Faith’s wardrobe, ‘So, you’ve heard him have you, Miss?’

‘Heard who?’ Faith snapped.

‘The ghost solider, Miss,’ Mary said.

Faith frowned then began washing her hands and face.

‘At least that’s what the Morgans use to call him,’ Mary added as she selected a morning dress of pale blue and white trim from the wardrobe.

‘I don’t believe in ghosts,’ Faith finally responded, ‘no, no, one of my walking dress, please.’

Faith waved the maid’s choice away then waited till she came back with a totally different dress; of lime green and black strips, before beginning to get dressed. Both women stayed silent throughout then leaving the maid to tidy the room, Faith went downstairs.

Walking into the dinning room, she found breakfast all laid out and awaiting her. Even though she didn’t feel like eating, Faith sat down and made herself a cup of tea. Sipping, she heard the grandmother clock chiming eight and the maid humming above her. With some light pouring in through the window, it felt easy to dismiss the boot steps of last night.

Nipping on some toast, Faith decided she had enough and went out for a walk. The fresh morning air really brought her back to her senses. The small village was all ready wide awake. Shops were getting ready to open and people were hurrying about. Faith walked passed the small church and out into the countryside.

The smell of grass and animals hung in the air, but Faith felt at home. She looped around the village, enjoying the warm sun and the birds flapping between the trees and hedgerows. Coming back into the village, she went into a tea shop and sat down to have some lunch.

‘Are you the new school teacher?’

Faith looked up at the waitress who had appeared with her tea and sandwiches, ‘Yes. I am.’

‘Am sure the Rector is delight you are here. He has been trying so hard to manage things since dear Mrs Pieton left us.’

‘I am sure he has been more then capable,’ Faith said as she arranged her napkin and hoped the girl got the hint to leave.

‘I heard you had brought the Morgan’s house. It’s haunted you know,’ the girl added.

Faith shot her a look, ‘I believe in no such things.’

The waitress bobbed and left her to her lunch.

Upon returning home, Faith found Mary in the study. The maid was emptying some of the books onto the shelves.

‘Good afternoon, Miss,’ Mary said, ‘I thought I would get started in here.’

‘It will take a long while to sort all my books and things,’ Faith added.

She walked over to her chair and sat down at her desk positioned under a window from which the front garden could be seen.

‘Would you like me to help you dress for the dinner you have tonight, Miss?’ Mary asked.

‘Dinner?’

‘Yes, at the Rector’s?’

‘Of course. No, we still have time. Mary…what else do you know about this…ghost?’ Faith asked.

Mary slipped the last book in her hand onto a shelf then turned to her, ‘they say he was a solider, who was wounded on a battlefield close to here. He walked in begging for help, but the villagers were all scared and no one would open their door.’

Faith tapped a pencil on the desk and looked thoughtfully at the maid.

‘This cottage was empty at the time. The family in Manchester. He broke in through the back door and fell in the hallway. When the family returned, they found him dead and decided they could no longer stay here. If that had happened to me I would have left too!’ Mary gasped.

‘Where is the proof though?’ Faith asked a few moments later, ‘was there anything in the papers? Any witnesses?’

‘No, Miss. It is believed the army covered it all up,’ Mary answered.

Faith sighed and looked out of the window. The summer’s day was really getting underway and she could see the flowers in the front garden waving in the breeze.

‘Please go and get my dress ready for tonight,’ Faith uttered, ‘I wish to read awhile in here before I get dressed.’

‘Very well, Miss,’ Mary replied.

Curtsying, the maid left the room quietly.

Faith turned and began searching through the boxes. She found one of only three books she owned on the science of the supernatural and took it back to her desk. Flipping through, she read a few passages about ghosts before Mary knocked on the door and requested if she was ready to dress.

 

To Be Continued….

 (Inspired byhttps://wordpress.com/read/feeds/34771988/posts/1062669023)

Granted (Her Part)

This was the right address for sure, though I still couldn’t believe it. The house is a straight rectangle, red bricked with large coloured glass windows. There was no front or back garden, instead there was just a gravel edging and small driveway for a car. A tall large, iron fence encloses the area with the only way in being a double gate.

I step to the side, still clutching the piece of paper and looking past the house. About eight feet up, was the end of a graveyard and there was only a brick wall keeping it from land sliding into the house.

I went to the door and rang the bell. I slip the paper into my bag and felt my slightly sweaty palms. A dog started barking. I jumped a little then hurriedly straighten out my cleaning uniform which consisted of blue trousers and a t-shirt. Long gone were those little black white laced dresses.

The door open, revealing a smiling old man with a pair of sunglass balanced on his nose. He had a nice light grey suit on and his right hand was holding the handle bar of a dog harness. I smiled at the yellow lab, who’s tail was wagging hard, before announcing myself.

Hi, I’m Daphne from the agency, we have an interview today.

He nodded, welcoming me in and closing the door behind me.

Can I stroke your dog? He looks very handsome.

I put my hand down and the dog licked my fingers. I laughed and wiped his drool away.

The old man indicted to the first room and we went in there.

So, this place is a converted Methodist church right?

He nodded and told me a brief history. Most of which I had read online.

I settled into the overstuffed chair, he had taken the other one, and looked around the room. It seemed sort of bare. There was a small fire place with some ornaments on top of the mantle, a matching sofa to the armchairs, a small side table and a glass case in the corner. The wallpaper was dark cream with climbing ivy flowers and the floor was wooden boards, beside from a large rug in the middle.

When he had finished I asked if he had ever been able to see?

He shook his head and launched into speech. One he’d given countless times. I really shouldn’t have asked, but the internet hadn’t told me much.

I understand that, don’t amputees feel the same? I’m sure I heard that somewhere.

My other jobs? There‘s been nothing out of the ordinary really. I just do what I can to make money. Things have been difficult these past few years.

You are a famous author. I’ve often read about you in some magazine or other. You’ve received many prizes and been to some huge events.

Well, I guess that’s one thing less to do, I thought and looked at Theo. He seemed mega happy, with his tongue rolling out and his tail beating a drum on the floor.

I’m afraid I’ve not read any of your works. I’m sorry.

Your books. I’ve no read any of them.

Read to you? Yes, of course. I use to do that in the home I worked in. What other duties will I have? I know what the job advert said, but it would be nice to clarify.

Well, that all seemed reasonable. I’m happy with that. Would I have to live here though?

I thought about telling him I was planning to move in with my boyfriend. But I held back. He waved a hand up as he spoke then it dropped as he become thoughtful once more. I waited, trying not to stare, but finding nothing in the room to set my eyes on. He opened his mouth again and told me the tasks to do with Theo. The dog looked up loving and excitedly as his name was said.

Yes. I love dogs. I’d be happy to help care for him.

Questions? Do you need support getting in and out of bed? Or the bath tub?

Well, that’s fine. What about the weekly shopping? Ah that’s good know.

How many people have you interviewed now? You don’t have to tell me and I’m just curious.

Allergic to dogs? Why did she even apply? The agency stated you had to be okay with dogs. That would make sense. Oh, well I guess most people are. Still though I’m sure you’ll make the right choice…. Me? Oh? Well, thanks. Can I have some time to think about it? Would that be okay?

Yes, I’ll get back in touch before the week is out. How many more people have applied?

I nod away as he flows on to into story then remember he can’t see. I look around the room again and decide that I might take the job. He seems a nice enough old man and it doesn’t seem like too much trouble.

I laugh as his story tails off and points out one flaw.

Didn’t the Victorians hide anyone with a disability away? Or something?

He sighs and agrees with me, before getting back to the interview.

No, there’s nothing else I can think of right now. Any questions from you?

He brings everything to a close then stands up.

Oh, it’s okay. I can show myself out. Please.

He waves me away and commands his dog to the door. Theo takes us there, his tail forever wagging. At the door, I watch his hands feel across it for the latch and handle. I fight down the urge to help him.

I will let you know. Thank you for seeing me today. Shall I get that…? It was nice to meet you too.

He opens the door and we say our goodbyes.

I step out and walk down to the gate. The door shuts behind me and I take in a deep breath of cold autumn air. I turn back as I step onto the street once again and look up at the house. Yes, I think I’ll be taking the job.

Granted (His Part)

Image result for old man in a chair

I’ve never been able to see. Let me make that clear before we start. As for your other questions, I’ve been told the easiest way to experience it is to wear a blindfold. Do I miss it? How can I missing something I never had. Would you miss your finger if I cut it off? Why of course you would, because you’ve had that finger all your life. You know what it can and can’t do, you know where it is, etc. If I took it, there’d be days when you believed it was there still. Yes. I do believe that amputees have similar experiences.

Now, about the job, the agency told me you’d had lots of pervious work, some of it sounded quite different from what’d expect of a young woman. Yes, I know things have been bad. I got lucky, I guess, old family inheritance and the early discovery of a gap in the book market. Money is never anything though.

Ah, you heard about that did you? Well, I don’t write much these days. And don’t worry about having to take me to any public events, I’ve not been to one in years. In fact, don’t worry about having to take me anywhere. Theo does all of that, don’t you boy? Good dog. Good dog.

Sorry, what did you say? No, of course not, why would you have read any of them. There are some none braille ones knocking around somewhere. You’ll find it’s the same with some other books I have. Speaking of which, would you be okay to read to me sometimes? I’ll probably fall sleep and start drooling before you’ve even read the first page! But it would be so nice to hear some of the stories again. Now, what else is there?

Oh, your duties, so as well as that, daily; cleaning, cooking, opening my letters. Once or twice a week; shopping and some errands. No, you don’t have to live here, though there are many bedrooms available. I can give you all the keys, no worries there. Let’s see what else was there? Oh, feeding Theo and making sure he was water. I always take him for his walks, it’s good for me. Though, you could give him a bath and a brush. I think he’s due one. Would that be okay with you?

Good. Any questions? No, you won’t have to get me up or put me to bed. I might be an old man, but I’m still capable. No bathing either. Yes, I’ll give you the shopping list and money. You’re the third interviewee I’ve had. The first one was allergic to dogs. Can you believe that? She sit through the whole thing sneezing. I told her I was sorry about the dust then as she was leaving she told me, adding that she couldn’t accept.

The second was a middle-aged man. He did well, but I don’t think I’ll be choosing him. There was just something, I don’t know. He was a fan and he’d never had a cleaning job before. Seems he was very down on his luck.

So, if you want the job, Daphne it’s yours’. Ah of course, take all the time you want. But please get back to me soon. I shall have to be back in touch with the agency before the week is out. Would that deadline suit you? Unfortunately not, you are the last. I only had three apply. I guess it’s because I demand too much. Most just wish for a simple cleaning job, not to be cook and butler too.

Sometimes, I think I was born into the wrong era. If I had lived in the eighteen century or even further back I could have had a whole army of servants. I don’t know. Maybe, that might have been the case…. Is there anything else? No, good. Please, let me show you to the door. Don’t worry about it. If I don’t get up every now and again, I’d just stay sitting or lying and there’s no way I’m ready to give into that. Follow me. Good boy Theo, front door. Door, Theo. So, you will let me know won’t you? Yes, just call me. Here we are. No, I’ve got it, thanks. It was nice to meet you, Daphne. Thank you. Goodbye now.

Well, Theo what do you make of her? She seemed nice didn’t she? A good replacement for Mary, would you say, boy? I know, I know. It’s time to go out now. Go get my keys. Good dog.