Prologue

1967

“Tell me what you see, Elizabeth.”

For God's sake, please don’t encourage her, Henry. It will only lead to tears!”

Henry Whyte turned in exasperation to his wife and lowered his voice. “Look Margaret, you can’t go on ignoring that this is happening. I believe there is a perfectly logical and natural explanation for it, even if your flaming religion wants to convince you it’s got something to do with devil worship!” Henry knew his wife's world was crumbling around her and she was losing control; being in control was the only way she knew how to live.

I don’t want either of you talking about it outside of our house, nor to anyone else do you hear me? I’ll wait for you both in the car,” she turned in a huff and walked away her auburn hair swaying with disapproval.

Henry Whyte sighed. He loved his wife above all others. Anything she wanted, if it was within his power to give, was hers. He understood about the scandal in her childhood, how hard her earlier life had been and that the scars had never healed. He was careful never to say anything cruel that might rub salt in her wounds nor would he ever permit anyone else to do so. He was not prepared to fail his daughter though.

“Don’t worry about Mummy, Elizabeth,” he said crouching down to her level and smiling. You’re not scared are you?”

Elizabeth shook her head. "I'm not scared, Daddy."

“Good! So... tell me what you see.”

“A lady, Daddy. A lady wearing clothes from the olden days,” she whispered with wide excited eyes.

“What is the lady doing, Elizabeth?”

“Watching us,” she paused, and Henry could see that she was seeking further reassurance.

“Yes?”

“I... don’t think she's the same as me or you, Daddy.”

“Why do you think that, Elizabeth?” Henry asked casually, standing up and taking her hand in his own. They walked on slowly.

“She doesn't talk to me when I talk to her and...”

“Go on, Elizabeth.” He smiled encouragingly.

“... she walks through us.”

Henry calmly considered what his daughter had just said. He did not believe in ghosts or the supernatural; the world he lived in was black and white. He did think it quite feasible, however, that buildings could retain residual images of people who had lived in them. He chose his words carefully, “Do you know when you go to Grandma's and you play with that old record player of hers?”

Elizabeth nodded.

“Although the people on those records died a long time ago you can still hear their voices because they were saved onto the records. Sometimes, even some buildings and places can save voices and pictures but only special people can see and hear what they have saved. The special people are like the record player and they can play back what happened a long time ago. You’re one of those special people, Elizabeth. Do you understand what Daddy is telling you?”

Elizabeth was even more excited than before. She let go of her father’s hand and skipped down the long, wooden panelled gallery of the stately home they were visiting, her skirt bouncing with each hop.

“I’m special!” she sang, and then raced back towards her father whose own laughter joined hers in an echo.

“Yes, you are special, sweetheart, and don’t ever forget it! Not everyone is special, though, and some people can get a little bit jealous of those who are. How about we keep this just to ourselves for now?”

“Like a secret, Daddy?”

“Yes, Elizabeth, it will be our secret for as long as you want it to be. Now, let’s go and find Mummy and have an ice cream.”

Elizabeth patted the Springer Spaniel that had just run up and placed a ball at her feet. Henry watched on as his daughter patted thin air.

“This doggy can see us daddy,” she said innocently.

"This isn't going to be easy," Henry thought as they made their way down the stately home's grand staircase and to the waiting car beyond.


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13 Comments:
  • At 15 November 2009 02:48, Blogger Rick said…

    I'm so glad I found your blog! What delightful reading this piece was.

     
  • At 15 November 2009 10:53, Anonymous Miladysa said…

    Thanks Rick - hope to see you again :)

     
  • At 15 November 2009 12:50, Anonymous Miladysa said…

    Just wondering if this chapter should appear earlier in the story - what do you think?

     
  • At 15 November 2009 16:10, Blogger pink bagels said…

    I love this bit of backstory into Elizabeth's childhood. Her father seems to be a very interesting person in his own right, being both skeptical and understanding of his daughter's abilities.

    Love the last few sentences, with the phantom dog. It's done so delicately, a little detail that shows just how complex Elizabeth's life has been.

     
  • At 15 November 2009 23:51, Anonymous Miladysa said…

    Thanks Pink Bagels.

    I've had a few comments back now about this and readers appear to like it where it is so I am going to leave it alone.

    Pleased you like Henry - I'm quite attached to the character myself :)

     
  • At 25 November 2009 17:41, Blogger Vesper said…

    Wasn't this how you opened the first version of the story?

    I think it should be in the beginning, you're right.

     
  • At 25 November 2009 19:02, Blogger Miladysa said…

    It was the prologue to the first draft Vesper
    - well remembered :)

    I received quite a bit of feedback when I asked this question via Twitter & the facebook fan page - the overwhelming response was for it to remain at this stage in the story. The ebook has been published now so it will have to stay where it is.

     
  • At 21 December 2009 17:33, Blogger Vesper said…

    An e-book published! How exciting!

    And definitely you're the best person to know where you want your scenes... :-)

     
  • At 21 December 2009 17:55, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Vesper :) You've been missed! Welcome back x

     
  • At 14 October 2011 13:32, Blogger Marissa said…

    It was SO GOOD to hear from you on my blog yesterday. You brought the biggest smile to my face...thank you. I love reading your stories...I am so excited to delve back into your work. You are an incredible story teller!
    xo

     
  • At 14 October 2011 21:51, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Delighted to hear from you, Marissa! Thank you for your lovely comment. :)

    Wishing you a speedy recovery! xxx

     
  • At 12 March 2013 16:35, Blogger Snowbird said…

    Ahha! You too have a blog...I'll sttle down later and have a good read.xxxx

     
  • At 13 March 2013 16:42, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Hello Snowbird

    Lovely to see you here :)

     

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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever

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