RoYds Part 13 - Bound to the Earth

Present Day

Lady Mabel Theawicke entered the room in which she had died and looked across to where there had once stood a heavily carved and curtained four poster bed. The view through the stone lintel and leaded windows had changed dramatically over the past three hundred years and yet she could still picture the fields and woods that had once been there.

Sometimes there was nothing at all. At other times, especially when a crisp layer of frost coated the ground and the nights crept in early, there was a part of her that knew she was still capable of giving up her soul to him. Cold, swollen tears fell as she remembered the taste of claret, the scent of lavender, the feel of soft woollen blankets and above all else the rush of his hair through her fingers.

Her thoughts were disturbed by an approaching coach party and their guide tramping through the Hall in their haste to reach the goal of a cream tea and rummage in the souvenir shop. The tale of Heyleigh Hall's Wicked Grey Lady had been attracting visitors for centuries. Lady Mabel considered it ironic that her infamy was enabling the present Lord to keep the property in family hands.

“I thought I might find you here,” Stanley said, clearly considering his words carefully. It occurred to him that Elizabeth and Lady Mabel were alike in some ways.

“Why does Elizabeth remind you of me?” Lady Mabel asked, drawing her attention away from the window.

“You are both such strong women,” Stanley answered without hesitation.

Lady Mabel threw her head back and laughed. The temperature in the room sank rapidly. Stanley knew without doubt that if any member of the Living had been in the room at that moment, their blood would have run cold.

Lady Mabel raised her eyes to boldly meet his. “I never was a victim.”

"Elizabeth has returned," Stanley announced, changing the subject.

“I never doubted she would,” Lady Mabel responded coldly, just as a tour guide and group of tourists entered the room.

“...this is reputedly the room of Lady Mabel Theawicke -– the Wicked Grey Lady of Heyleigh Hall -– who in 1690 made a pact with a disciple of the devil. According to local legend, her soul haunts the Hall and its grounds to this day and is said to be bound to the earth forever. You can see her portrait hanging in the long gallery...”

Stanley found himself recollecting the night Edwardina had entered the light without taking more than a second to acknowledge his presence. He could hardly bear the knowledge that she had chosen to leave him.

Lady Mabel approached him, her full grey skirts sashaying across the oak floor as she did so. “There was nothing to hold her back.”

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  • At 16 October 2009 at 16:43, Blogger Vesper said…

    A very atmospheric part... quite chilly... You characterise Lady Mabel very skilfully - a few words are enough for the reader to feel her ancientness and her power.
    Very well done!

  • At 16 October 2009 at 18:12, Blogger Melissa said…

    I love Lady Theawicke and her manor! You "paint" her beautifully. Such a sad soul and I love how there is a tour going through this scene giving us tidbits about her story! This, is my *favorite* bit:

    "Lady Mabel threw her head back and laughed. The temperature in the room sank rapidly. Stanley knew without doubt that if any member of the Living had been in the room at that moment, their blood would have run cold."

    Shivers!! :)

    Tim Roth is a very interesting proposal -- love it! Colin Farrell has such a Iris bad-boy vibe to him, but I love Tim Roth! Good thinking, lurker. :)

  • At 17 October 2009 at 15:27, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Oh! Vesper! I just love "atmospheric" and "chilly"! That's just what I am aiming for - thank you!

    & Thank you for all your wonderful comments too - it's such a delight to read what you have to say :)

    Melissa - I always remember that this scene is one of your favourites :)

    Some other weblit or webfiction writers have (or are to have) their own online shops attached to their fiction retailing T-Shirts emblazoned with readers favourite quotes and key rings, mugs, mousemats etc. I was toying with the idea of adding one here & also a forum...

  • At 17 October 2009 at 15:30, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Btw, I am planning a Halloween Special with 3 or 4 posts over a couple of days. One of the posts is completely new ...

  • At 18 October 2009 at 03:47, Blogger Melissa said…

    I *love* the t-shirt idea!!! And I'd buy any of the ones you decide upon. :D Halloween special -- yippee! I've been in the mood for a good spooky story ... can't wait. Have a great weekend!

  • At 18 October 2009 at 23:24, Blogger Miladysa said…

    I was lurking on twitter while 2 other webfiction writers were talking about marketing their stories.

    I thought what a great idea! We could have RoYds cups and saucers, Stanley's crystal tumbler, Elizabeth's pearl earrings, Heyleigh Hall souvenirs etc. etc.

    Then again we could have a couple of t-shirts with favourite quotes lol

    Just have to find the right people - cafe press are very expensive, red bubble is in Oz...


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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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