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Excerpts

The windows at the back were not open, and the shutters had not been disturbed. The fireplace looked untouched. He could not imagine where she was or any way she could have gotten out. She was probably hiding, but he couldn’t find where. He went through most of the house continuing to call her but got no answer. Thinking she might have gone back to the car, he finally went back, but she was not there. He really didn’t know what to do now, as he had a rising feeling of panic. She obviously didn’t want to go back with him. She could take the path back to the village and get there in about twenty minutes, if she chose to. Okay, if that was the way she wanted it, he would leave her to her own devices. He started his car, heading home, a bit bewildered, angry and also hurt. That was the last he ever saw of Meghan. In fact, it was the last anyone ever saw of her.

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Fettigrew Hall Exerpts

The windows at the back were not open, and the shutters had not been disturbed. The fireplace looked untouched. He could not imagine where she was or any way she could have gotten out. She was probably hiding, but he couldn’t find where. He went through most of the house continuing to call her but got no answer. Thinking she might have gone back to the car, he finally went back, but she was not there. He really didn’t know what to do now, as he had a rising feeling of panic. She obviously didn’t want to go back with him. She could take the path back to the village and get there in about twenty minutes, if she chose to. Okay, if that was the way she wanted it, he would leave her to her own devices. He started his car, heading home, a bit bewildered, angry and also hurt. That was the last he ever saw of Meghan. In fact, it was the last anyone ever saw of her.

As she worked her way to the other side of the fireplace something clicked under her hand, and with a creaking sound, a panel opened inward. As Megan was pushing against it at the time, she fell forward against the inside wall and onto a small landing. . . . . When she had descended about twenty stairs, she could see something below her. Something was most definitely there but her light was not strong enough to discern any details. Continuing down slowly, she saw what appeared to be an old leather shoe. Following the light up from the shoe, she could see it attached to something, and her heart began to pound.

  

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A breeze had picked up, and the whooshing of the wind around the window sounded like a ghost moaning. This began to annoy her as she worked, so she adjusted the windows to stop that sound. Back on the ladder again the sound was more like “youoooooooo.”

 

* * *

When she arrived at the door it was closed. She struggled opening it. “Dammit,” she said aloud. “I’m half tempted to remove this damn door completely.” Finally she got the door open, looking again at the latch and handle. ‘I don’t understand what is with this thing,’ she thought again. The floor was shiny and had a beautiful oak patina. It was soft and smooth. Melody had left the windows cracked just a bit. As Megan walked around the room she began to hear “Waiting for you, waiting for you, waiting for you.” Thinking this was her imagination and probably the wind whistling through the windows again, she shut them. Then she heard very clearly, “I am waiting for you” in a raspy whisper. Megan stopped and looked around startled.

Her heart was starting to pound. As she backed toward the door, she was overcome with a faintness. When she found that the door was closed again, she slumped against it and began pulling on the handle. It wouldn’t open, and she began to cry, as the whispering became louder and more distinct. “God help me!” she cried, weeping.

The 13th Century Excerpts

The ghost lingered, floating beside the stairs, sometimes looking as though it would form more substance but then thinning out to almost nothing. Jancis was transfixed. She stood watching as it shimmered with a light of its own. Finally, it simply faded away and did not return.

* * *

A book on remedies caught her eye. "Cut the head off a toad at once and let it dry. Observe that the A book on remedies caught her eye. "Cut the head off a toad at once and let it dry. Observe that the one eye be closed and the other open. For sleep the one that be closed will serve thee. For waking the open eye. Eat."

Next up was Hugh Gifard. Before putting on his helmet, he rode to the stands and lowered his lance to Jancis. This was symbolic for asking a woman's blessing and support for his contest. Most knights did this if there was a woman he cared for watching him. She removed a ribbon from her hair and tied it to the end of his lance. He bowed to her and walked his horse back to his pavilion where he was made ready for his contest.  Like John, he was a skilled knight. He defeated his opponent with a spectacular splintering of his lance. The crowd roared.

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With that, everyone started toward the church with Brammon leading the way and the rest trailing behind the crowners and their scribe. As they walked the street, more villagers joined the line, with the dogs running alongside. When they came to the gravesite outside the stone church, the sexton had just reached the body, which was wrapped in a formerly white shroud. Tying a cloth around his nose and mouth, the sexton jumped into the grave and hoisted the body up to another assisting him. Then he was given a hand in getting out of the grave. The crowd stepped back and gave an audible moan. The stench was nearly unbearable.

* * *

 

“I am the Widow Green,” she said, taking a seat at the table. She appeared to be around forty or so, with missing front teeth, a grey pallor, and thinning grey hair. There did not seem to be much attractive about her, but then, one never knew what would appeal to another.. . . “Has anyone been paying you court?”

At this, Widow Green began cackling with laughter. “My lord, certainly you cannot be serious! Who would want the likes of me? Besides, I have eight children, as well. No, no one pays me court.”

“Very well, you may go.” Still chuckling, Widow Green left.

 

* * *

  

Starting down the staircase, she was careful to step so that as much of her foot was on the outside of the stair and step down carefully. It was cold and dank up here, and she suddenly wanted to be on solid ground. Just as she reached for something to steady herself she slipped and nearly tumbled head first down the rounded staircase. She caught herself just in time, but her heart was pounding with fear when she began to recognize how stupid it was to be exploring alone. If she had fallen, she could have killed herself or lain there helpless and injured. There was no chance anyone was going to come by, and no one knew where she was. As all this came to her she had a vague feeling of some force pushing against her back. She turned to look back up the stairs.