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The Tedworth Ghost

by Willow

This is only the start to this story. It's kind of an introduction.

It all started that fateful day. My father, one of the most respected magistrates in England was called to duty, as he often was. I was caring for my mother, who at that time was heavily pregnant.

My father went to the nearby town of Ludgershall were he was to meet someone from London on business. Shortly before his return a strange boy came by our mansion. He was quite handsome, but he was dirty and I assumed he was a poor boy. He was acting very strangely, hiding behind my mother’s prized rosebushes, looking in the window, watching.

I was upstairs when I saw the boy. He was tall, probably taller than me from what I could see. He had dark hair, almost black, which went just past his rather pointy chin. I decided to confront him. I crept round the back, planning to sneak up on him. I didn’t think anyone else saw him because if they did, they surely would have chased him away by now; my family had very strong (negative) feelings toward beggars. I was the only one who pitied them; they couldn’t help the situation they are in.

When I was right behind him he still didn’t notice me.

“Pardon me, sir, but what are you doing?” I said. He jumped, and when he turned and I saw his face I gasped. He was incredibly handsome. His eyes were deep, dark, blue and his face looked somewhat familiar.

“Who are you,” he asked, looking rather nervous at being caught.

“I think I am more entitled to ask that question, since I am not the one watching through people’s windows,” I said.

He raised an eyebrow at me and said: “I’m William Drury, and I was not watching through the window!”

“Then what are you doing here?” I asked, silently laughing at his nervousness.

“What business is it of yours?” he replied.

I didn’t really want to tell him that I lived there yet, so ignored the question and asked one of my own: “How old are you?”

“Seventeen miss, and you?” he answered, a little calmer now.

“Sixteen,” I answered.

I reached out a hand to help him up, he took it. As he did so he said: “You still didn’t tell me who you are.”

Not being able to think of a way to side-step the question, I answered.

“I am Emily Mompesson, and I live in this house.”

When he heard the name Mompesson, his face darkened.

“I take it you have heard from my family before?” I asked.

“Only today miss. Begging your pardon, but I don’t think very much of your father. At least I know his daughter is kind,” he said “and beautiful,” he added.

I felt myself blush as he smiled at me. I smiled back, but just then our housekeeper called me in so I had to go. Looking back I saw him walk on, he also looked back, he waved and disappeared around the corner.

I was in a state of happiness after that. I could hardly concentrate on what I was doing and my mind kept wandering to the mysterious boy.

That is, until my father came home. He told us al through dinner about an annoying beggar, drumming away and disturbing his work. He had taken a drum from him and tried to arrest him, but the other officials thought it unnecessary.

The drum, which was now being kept in our music room, had the initials ‘W. D.” carved into it, and I remember the boy saying that he had only heard of my family today.

“Why did you take his drum, father?” I asked. I knew people were usually cruel to beggars, but I couldn’t understand what was so wrong with them. My parents had raised me a good Christian and I thought that God wouldn’t have wanted us to be cruel to anyone.

“Because he was a damn nuisance, that’s why!” my father replied, and I knew that I had better keep quite about the affair. My father was very on edge these days, what with my mother expecting any day now, and him having to go to London the following day.

So, I didn’t mention it again.

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685 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 685

Tue May 10, 2005 5:16 pm
Rei wrote a review...

I'll have to second what Writersdomain said about your opening sentence, and really the entire first paragraph.

Overall, it's an okay start. I agree with the points made already, positive and negative. Great style, some potentially good ideas. The dialogue is far to friendly, though. It sounded more like a conversation one might have at a bar with a guy who was checking her out, only about ten times more formal. In a situation like this, a doubt if either of them would care about the other's age, or be willing to tell their names.

One thing I was uncertain about was when this was set. You gotta make that clearer.

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563 Reviews

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Sun May 08, 2005 8:35 pm
Writersdomain wrote a review...

This is nice and a good start. I have but one suggestion:

In the beginning, you say 'It all started that fateful day' What all started that fateful day? I think you should start it by sucking in the reader immediately. Maybe describe her emotions from where she is right now looking back on the story.

For instance, if she is heart broken at the end, you could start it with : If only...'If only's are futile and I have known such for long, but there are always those times you look back on and wonder what would have happened if you had acted differently, if you had not brought such terrible consequences upon yourself. Everyone has their own set of 'if only's and there are times when I am led to believe this disaster brought upon me was the worst ever and now as I look back, I see all the mistakes I have made. It all started that fateful day...

That isn't very good and doesn't really suck you in, but I think it should help you understand my point. This was very good though

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Sun Jan 09, 2005 7:12 pm
Sam wrote a review...

All I can say have a very elegant writing style. It's very formal, perfect. And you have impeccable grammar. What more could a reader ask for? My only critique corresponds with Nate's. She seems like a ritzy sort of girl, and her father is snobbish. That's what I'm getting. So I don't think she'd be all 'Oh, you're cute' when some guy she doesn't even know is looking into their windows behind the rosebush. And she seems to be OK with it when she sees him out the window. I just thought that strange. :D I did like the two characters, though, as Nate said, you could use some work on the dialogue. I've read some of your previous work and the dialogue is awesome, so just use some examples from some of your own 'Burk and Hare.' :D Loved it, thoroughly enjoyed it...whatever else you can think up for this one I would love to read.

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41 Reviews

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Sun Jan 09, 2005 7:05 pm
Willow says...

Thanks Nate, I'll work on it

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Sun Jan 09, 2005 5:41 pm
Nate wrote a review...

This sounds like the start to a good story.

Right now, though, it needs to be more developed. The situation does seem realistic, as does the sudden infatuation between the two, but the dialogue does not seem quite real. I kind of viewed the speaker as someone graceful yet brash; someone who would sooner say "How dare you look into the window of my house!" than act politely.

William, I think, also needs more character description. At first, I thought he was a political rival, not a beggar. To keep up the pretense, and still shock the reader with the revelation that William is a beggar, you could describe him as the typical 17 year old unkempt boy who looks like he just got back from a rugby game.

But what have you going now is actually very good. The story was eloquently written with nary a grammatical error in sight, and you keep the story flowing so that it's never boring and always interesting. I also liked how you didn't dilly dally with poetic descriptions of what the scenery looked like, but instead jumped right into the situation; I hate it when people try to describe the environment (it's boring and they nearly always fail).

Overall, nicely done!

'They are afraid of nothing,' I grumbled, watching their approach through the window. 'Together, they would brave Satan and all his legions.'
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights