I write stories like movies. Legally Blonde inspired me to finish law school but I dream of caramel lattes in the morning and travelling to amazing places in the afternoon. The teen fiction on my blog is inspired by the classics Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Tweeting @summerdaylight
Sunday, May 19, 2013
(#Epilogue) From the notes of Mr Tom Bennett (lawyer) etc. Wuthering Nights by Summer Day
the notes of Mr Tom Bennett (lawyer) and visitor to Hampstead Heath, London.
In the morning, I was called to investigate
the business transactions of a certain Heath Spencer and the links amongst his
family which allowed him to divide his assets between three heirs. I was
alarmed by news of his passing, but not surprised. The Spencers hadn’t made it
public and there was no note so it had taken some years for the law to rule
that he’d died “of exposure” in the
night. It was all rather strange, since his body was never found.
Rather than try to navigate the heath on a
frosty winter morning, I stopped and parked near the local pub again and
decided to enjoy the ten minute walk along the winding, private road that led
to the imposing exterior of Hareton Hall. I was due to visit the new owner,
Hinton Spencer, a young man who was married to Katarina Hunt. They had a three
year old child and were in a hurry to get the documents signed because they
were due to leave for America to spend a summer painting abroad. They were
taking an extended vacation and assured me they did not care to live at The
Hall but did not wish to sell the place, either. It was a simple matter of the
transfer of documents that I’d waited some years to finalize. Hareton Hall would
then be returned to its rightful owners.
It was a grinding walk, starting flat and
easy and heading ever so slightly up hill, and then, when the sleet and wet
started, down again. I was glad I could see the imposing house in the distance.
When I finally arrived there was not a
hint of movement, save wind across ground, whipping the heather into a lavender
mix in the distance. Up close, there was no sign of the housekeeper either whom
I’d been led to believe still lived at Hareton Hall. There was no sign of
anything. The fact that the owner had gone “missing” had led to many years of
An elderly man, wearing gloves, who looked
like he worked with animals, wandered out from the stables, as if from nowhere.
He must have been close to ninety years old.
‘Is anyone at home?’ I asked.
‘Not likely,’ he replied. ‘I’ve just come
from exercising the horses…’
‘Is the owner here?’
‘You could say that, many do…’ he replied enigmatically.
He looked at me strangely as he walked into air.
I wandered around to the side of the
house, where the cobwebs grew and the foliage had been left wild, giving the
lower floor of Hareton Hall the appearance of being covered in unruly brownish
lace. There were windows and doors shut tight and locked. The garages were closed
and the stables remained empty apart from one where a door had been left
swinging open. The grounds themselves, once manicured, had grown wild and lush
The owner, I thought, the young man I
sought, a Mr Hinton Spencer, must have risen early to go riding across the
heath with his wife.
I remembered the tales of ghouls and ghosts, the objects seen moving in
windows, the people long gone that neighbours reported having seen only days
ago. Someone in particular, a young woman with long dark hair who wandered the
corridors and played loud music, turning on all the lights during wild, evening
parties and lighting hundreds of fire -hazardous candles. I’d assumed the
reports were simply jealous neighbours complaining about the noise created by
the beautiful young wife, the new Mrs Spencer who’d also had the keys and the
run of Hareton Hall. Since the noise always stopped at midnight, there was
little anyone could do.
I was about to give up, admit defeat and
return the copies of the papers declaring transfer of original ownership to the
rightful heirs of Hareton Hall, when I saw the curtains in the upstairs window
move. A young girl with long dark hair glanced down at me and smiled. I knocked
loudly and waited for a long time, but still, no one answered.
‘Katarina Spencer,’ I announced, calling out
distinctly, although I knew Katarina would be older now and the woman at the
window was barely out of her teens. The downstairs curtains waved and I thought
perhaps the housekeeper might be there. I looked up again. The girl who stood at
the window was beautiful, otherworldly. The image disappeared before my eyes in
a mirage of dark curls, cream lace and ruby cheeks.
I was convinced the cold, like the heat,
could make you see a mirage in the mist yet I waited on the doorstep for a long
time. No one answered. I was tempted to look back as I walked towards my car.
For the first time in my life I didn’t need proof. I was sure the rumours I’d
heard were true, though my notes had many pages missing. As I drove towards The
Grange, I was certain the lovers who had once inhabited Hareton Hall, lived
there still. The girl had not aged a day since she was last seen alive, more
than twenty years ago.
Day is the author of Pride & Princesses, a novel for young adults inspired
by Pride and Prejudice and Anne Eyre, a YA novel inspired by Jane Eyre. Follow Summer Day on: