Posted on 2014-10-31
1. It started when she noticed things were not where she had left them. Rooms rearranged themselves when she exited and appeared subtly different when she returned. A chair facing the other way, a workbox left open, a vase moved from mantel to sideboard.
2. Her maid never appeared in the morning, and when she rang, nothing happened. She went downstairs after pinning up her hair as best she might, and a housemaid walked right by her without stopping to curtsy.
3. She couldn't find her favorite books on the shelves of the library, and when she did, the inscriptions weren't the same. Suddenly they felt too heavy to lift, and she let Evelina slide to the floor with a thump.
4. She sank into a chair and gazed stupidly out the window for some time, and when she turned around, Evelina was back in its place on the shelf. No one but herself had been in the library.
5. It was a miserable day visible from the library window, sputtering rain and gloomy, but she felt she might stifle if she didn't breath fresh air. She always had been one for the outdoors. She fetched a cloak and wandered out through the garden. The garden at least looked as she remembered it.
6. But then she realized the rain was not soaking her.
7. There might be an explanation for the inscriptions in the books. In a careless hand, the initials E. W. turned upside down look like M. B. Or was it the other way around?
8. Edward Ferrars was the priest now. She walked toward the parsonage. He might have some solace for a girl feeling her world had turned her away. His study faced on the little back walk, so feeling oddly nervous of ringing at the door and facing the housemaid, she tapped on the window. He looked up - and he looked straight through her.
9. Her feet weren't touching the ground.
10. Wildly she ran back to the house, calling "Colonel!" although she suddenly feared no one would hear her. He was sitting writing letters, where he always sat. And he looked up. He looked at her. The expression on his face was not reassuring - it was calmer than she thought he would be, with his deep heart, and compassionate as he always had been in years past. But it was sad.
"Help me!" she cried. "I feel like a ghost in this house!"
"You always were, Eliza," he said gently.The End