Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Woodman's Garden



Many years had passed since last she had seen the sights that were before her now. Truly she had believed they were a thing of her past. She had left vowing never to come back or even near this vicinity again. Too much pain and terrifying memories had occurred before and finally she had escaped. She was free. Free to be whoever and whatever she wanted to be. She left on that rainy October morning with all she had: herself. And that was really all she needed.

Yet here she was 11 years later. The same thing that had made her leave all those years ago was the same thing that brought her back, death. The first time it was her mother’s passing and this time it was the untimely death of her brother James. They had lost all contact after their mother’s death yet it was as she had wanted it to be, as did he. Although they shared the same mother this was where it ended. They did not have memories of close sibling ties. On the contrary, their relationship memories were often scarce and at times violent.

It was the lawyer who had contacted her to inform her of his fate and well after the funeral. She had not even known of his illness or sudden death until that afternoon when she received the call; the call that informed her that she was the last living heir to the Bayless estate. Although honestly, she never truly felt a true member of the family.

Memories of whispers and talk since she could remember filled her mind. They never really liked her, nor her mother. Yet her mother had choose the “Bayless way” and kept silent of their reasons. When her father, Mr. Bayless, passed her mother became even more distant. It was as if she did not acknowledge her anymore. When her mother passed she wept silently and alone for she knew she would never know all the secrets that she would take with her to her grave.

After her mother’s funeral, her brother continued the same treatment towards her. The will was quickly read and it was James who was placed in control. A meager allowance was given to her yet nothing more. It was as if it was the Bayless way of solidifying their intentions and feelings towards her once and for all. So she left, for there was nothing truly which held her there any longer.

As she met with the lawyer and he began to inform her of all the assets that now rest in her possession, she was astounded to find out the accumulative wealth she had just acquired. She had no idea there was so much. As he spoke of the Bayless manor she laughed. She found it comical that he would call the simple house in which she grew up a manor. He quickly corrected her, informing her that the house which she spoke of no longer existed. It had been torn down and burned shortly after the death of her mother 11 years ago. He spoke of Bayless Manor that lies on the outskirts of town.

It was the home in which her father’s grandparents had lived in the mid 1800’s. Passing it down to her grandfather Floyd and later to her father. A second home, slightly smaller stood adjacent to the main manor. The story was that it housed orphans up until the late 1800’s when it was suddenly shut down. It had long been boarded up and to her knowledge not used for anything but possibly occasional storage since she could remember.

She was given the keys to the manor as well as to any other buildings she could possibly need access to. The home was old and had not been kept up as it needed to be by her late brother James. She was informed of a petition being circulated throughout the town to tear the old home down as well as all buildings on the property. This was part of the reason that she had arrived back in her home town. She had a short period of time to review all she had be given and decide what actions to take in regards to their futures.

As she pulled her car up to the dreary home it loomed over her like her childhood, dark and uninviting.

2 comments:

Wendy Hawksley said...

Hmm, sounds like a gothic romance of sorts. I'm curious to know what happens next.

Anonymous said...

Me too, it is an intriguing story sofar.

Rob