Saturday, July 31, 2010

MAGPIE/ Prompt #25


           photo/willow/magpie tales


PEEPHOLE

The Havilland mansion was the place we kids were warned to stay away from.  No one had lived there for years.  No historic elegance remained.  It stood abandoned and was allowed to diminish at nature's whim.  The grey shingles, long ago torn off and tossed by the wind, gave the summer bats easy entry into the attic.  The front door, the lock long since missing, swung and creaked, holding on, hanging by one hinge.  No path lead to the door.  Tall grass and broken branches moved back and forth, dancing an old jig.

When I walked past the old house, I always tried to see over the stalks, believing that the three Havilland sisters were making their way up the rotting stairs.

I saw no one, but sometimes heard a music box chiming, "Three Blind Mice...", that wasn't anywhere to be seen.  I wanted to go closer.  Of course I was afraid, but this time prepared.  I clutched a handful of silver saints and angels to protect me.

The stories about Emma, Louise and Mary Havilland were still told in whispers.  If one girl could disappear, it was said, no matter the passage of years, another girl could vanish too.

The police eventually gave up finding a solution to Mary's disappearance.  Many years after the case became cold, a reporter from Life Magazine came to town to find a ghost story for the Halloween issue.  I'm posting the photo they featured on the cover.  They told the story of Mary going out for a walk on the eve of her wedding, taking the path behind the house, climbing the slight incline to the gazebo, leaving a pink silk ribbon with a drop of blood, twisted around a string of pearls, and never coming back.  Except in a legend, told over and over, as the grey girl on the stairs, signaling us to follow her.

I pushed the high grass aside, kept my head down as I made my way to the splintered door.  I tripped on the third step up, my foot went through the rot, and when I bent to rub the scrape, I saw, beneath the earth, a rusted lock.  I brushed the years of soil off it, tried to fit it to the front door, from which it must have tumbled.  Playing with it, I put my eye to the peephole and pushed the door in.

The hallway was buried in deep night.  A scurrying outline brushed against me, but I kept the lock pressed to my eye because I saw something through it.  Ascending the stairs was a shadowy figure, a floating gown, a grey girl, a pink ribbon in her hair, pearls unstrung cascading down her dress, smiling a dark smile, beckoning for me to follow.

I'd run so fast from Mary's wraith, never spoke a word of my encounter. 

I've found the lock after all these years.  I had tossed it into a box of broken dolls, forced my self to forget it.  Never held it again till now.

I wonder what I'd see through the peephole if I held it up to my eye?




Emma, Mary and Louise Havilland



Thanks again to Willow @ magpie tales for a terrific challenge..and don't forget to check the other responders!!


http://www.minblu.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/lynxny

44 comments:

Paul C said...

What the eye of the lock can reveal...Eerie and mysterious tale!

Sam Liu said...

This is a truly chilling tale, Lyn. I was hanging of your every word, the tension was brilliant. You told this story in a wonderful fashion that kept me on the edge of my seat. I wonder indeed what you would see through that peephole...

Lyn said...

Hi Paul-
A bit of a chill is all I ask!! Thanks...

Lyn said...

Hi Sam-
You are so kind...but I will not look any further!!

Helen said...

Ghosts everywhere ... your Magpie is an actual word picture ~ I can see everyone and everything!

RA said...

Cool! :)

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Wow! Nicely done.

Lyn said...

Hi Helen-
Thank you for that! I have to say that for me...everything is a movie!

Lyn said...

Hi RA-
Thank you..I'm trying!!

Derrick said...

Go on, Lyn, I dare you!

Lyn said...

Hi Trish and Rob-
Thanks for visiting...right up my alley!!

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
Took your dare..and..aarrrghhhh!!!

Studio Sylvia said...

I was drawn into the story easily, Lyn, as you captured my imagination and interest. Thanks for sharing.

Jeane said...

oh, look, look!, please look, I know there is more! xxo

Lyn said...

Hi Sylvia-
So glad it had that effect on you..my kind of tale! Thanks...

Lyn said...

Hi Jeane-
What if I send it to you..then you can look!! haha...

Brian Miller said...

ooo....very nicely played...delisions chill to your tale...left me wanting more.

Jingle said...

spooky one,
admire your talent on telling it nicely.

sheri said...

magnificent story, dear lyn!! her bravery was to be commended- you would NEVER see me anywhere close to that door!!!
the images were powerful, luring me to where i didn't want to go!!

Lyn said...

Hi Brian-
Thanks..I think there will be more..ghosty stories, that is!

Lyn said...

Hi Jingle-
I sort of really like this type of tale! Thanks..

Lyn said...

Hi sheri-
I think that's what a ghost story does...take you where you don't want to be! Thank you so much..

willow said...

Deliciously chilling tale, Lynn! It's completely dark here in the little area off the kitchen with just the light of my computer screen. Now I'm scared to climb the dark stairs to bed!

CatLadyLarew said...

Ooooh! Peepholes and wraiths and scurrying outlines of creatures! Deliciously spooky! Now I'll have to investigate the Havilland sisters more closely.

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
My favorite word is...Booo!! If I can put a fright into our leader..well..
Hope you made it up the stairs!!

Lyn said...

Hi CatLady-
I sure would like to know what you can find about the "Havilland sisters"! Thanks for visiting!!

CatLadyLarew said...

Where did you find the photo of the Havilland sisters? Did they truly exist?

Lyn said...

Hi CatLady-
Welcome to my mind! I have zillions of photos that may come in handy some day...and then I could possibly be said to make up a story..
Havilland? Maybe Olivia de, in that big old house in "The Heiress"?
I can tell the truth if I want to!!

christine said...

Omgosh... a ghost story indeed and creepy.
Don't look through it again, it might be the last thing you do!!
Christine

Lyn said...

Hi Christine-
Thanks for the warning!!

Karen S said...

What a cool story! We had an old house like that on our street -- I never had the guts to peek in the windows...

Lyn said...

Hi Karen S-
Don't peek! A memory of an old house inspired this..
Thanks for visiting..

Selma said...

This is a really good story and may I be presumptuous to say that it would lend itself well to further exploration. It was suspenseful, chilling and engaging. My favourite part is the lock itself and wondering what could be seen by looking inside. I have shivers just thinking about it!

Jim Swindle said...

Spooky. I think you accomplished what you aimed at.

Lyn said...

Hi Selma-
Good for shivers! I think I will always explore this sort of story...thanks..

Lyn said...

Hi Jim-
Thank you so much..I'm glad you think so!

Words A Day said...

this is so ghothic and tense, I really enjoyed its sumptuous eeriness. Are the sisters real, I loved the photo.

Lyn said...

Hi Words a Day-
Things become real in my mind..the sisters, the photo, somehow belong together..all in spooky fun..and I thank you....

Jennifer said...

I just love that creepy music box, and the lock in the box of broken dolls. Great story! I really enjoyed it.

Lyn said...

Hi Jennifer-
I too like the spooky stuff...thank you..so glad you liked it!

Tumblewords: said...

Mysterious and wondrous - what can be seen through the eye of a lock? I so enjoyed the read!

Lyn said...

Hi Tumblewords-
Thank you..I always enjoy going down that path, fictionally speaking!

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful story, Lyn! I love the ending!

Lyn said...

Hi Vicki-
So happy that you liked it..aren't the prompts fun?

LinkWithin

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin