Monday, 19 January 2009

The Secret

This is the time of month to write a fictional story that Jeff B has set on Word In Edgeways on a given theme. If you would like to read the rules and see what the theme is all about, then please look him up. Maybe you would like to have a go and try your hand at writing a story. It is amazing how the discipline of writing on a given theme, makes it so much easier.

Here is my story:-

Vera looked at the letter that she'd received the day before and quickly shoved it back in her bag. Could the contents be true? She guessed not. It was probably one big con.

Vera had always had a feeling that there was something missing in her life. She'd had this feeling as long as she could remember and now she was fifty-two, so she just accepted it as part of her personality, though why she felt like this, she didn't know except that she had never married or had children.

When her mother had died, several years before, she had continued renting Hydrangea Cottage. She had lived there all her life and her mother had struggled to bring her up  because she had been widowed before Vera had been born.
Hydrangea Cottage was very small and was situated in Church Street near the Post Office. There was no garden at the back, but on opposite sides of the front door, in identical tiny plots of earth, there were two pink hydrangea bushes that flowered all through the summer. Across the road was the Church with the cemetery at the side of it. All Vera's ancestors were buried there and the names on the gravestones went back generations. Vera felt she had roots here in the historical town of Creswick that attracted many visitors during the holiday season. The town had quaint cobbled streets and lovely listed buildings in the town centre and to add to the attractiveness, it was also a seaside town on the south coast of England.
Walking from Church Road eventually led into the High Street with a good variety of shops and further up the hill, in the most prominent place, was the Grand Hotel. Nestling around it were small restaurants and pubs. At night time it was all attractively lit by old fashioned lamps. The most unusual thing to be seen in this area was the horse drawn stage coach and an impressive looking driver perched on top. The visitors were really glad of the lift up from the seafront and just as many paid to go down the hill as well. There were two similar coaches and when one went down the hill, the other started back up and when the two coaches passed each other, they doffed their hats. Living in Creswick was like living in a time warp of a bygone age.

Working in the Grand Hotel had been an enjoyable part of Vera's life. Sometimes she waited on tables and sometimes worked behind the bar. In the summertime she worked very hard and long hours. However during the winter months she had to turn her hand to anything and if it hadn't been for the rich, elderly lady residents, who liked to stay all year round, the hotel would not survive these lean months. Christmas and the New Year were always busy and that did give the hotel a little boost in the way of income.

Always busy, Vera had never met anyone she wanted to settle down with and now she suddenly found herself middle aged ........ too late for children. She did regret this. As she got older, Vera felt her life speeding up and the days seemed to go by much more quickly. She likened it to being on a carousel (and she had loved these as a child) and being unable to get off because it was spinning faster and faster and her life seemed to be following the same patterns day by day. She'd often thought of a carousel and reckoned that it was a good analogy of her present life. She had to admit it ....... she was lonely.

Vera sighed at the sudden change in her mood and then she remembered with a jolt, the letter. It was from a man claiming to be a relative, but incorporated into the letter was a solicitor's address and phone number. She had phoned for a meeting after the solicitor had confirmed that yes, he had news for her.

What the solicitor told her, nearly finished off Vera altogether. Her carousel stopped and time stood still. Gradually the solicitor disclosed there had been a secret in the family and Vera quickly deduced that her life had been based on a lie.
The mother she had known, was not her mother at all, but her aunt. Her real mother had given birth to twins out of wedlock. It was usual in those days to have the babies adopted in such circumstances, but the twins mother could not agree to it. Both she and her sister ran away, their mother taking the boy, Ray and the aunt taking Vera.
They had both come from a completely different part of England. Her aunt had chosen Creswick and had taken a new name from out of the cemetery. None of the relatives there had anything to do with either twin. Vera felt her world was falling apart. Their natural mother had done a similar thing with Ray and chosen a new name and a new place to live. Both of the sisters had made a success of their lives and had somehow managed to survive and prosper against all odds.

Ray was a widower by now and had only recently discovered that he had a twin sister after their mother had died.
Vera had talked to him on the phone for hours and they had immediately gelled together as though they had always known each other. Ray had grown up children and small grandchildren who were all eager to meet up with Vera and he said he wanted her to be part of all their lives.

Immediately that feeling of loss slipped from Vera's shoulders. She had a family. There would be much visiting and lots of catching up to do. Things started to look good.


Retiredandcrazy said...

A lovely uplift story Maggie.

Anonymous said...

That was a lovely uplifting story, Maggie; I do so love a happy ending. Your desciptions were spot on, if there is a town like that, I want to live there.

BJ Roan said...

I enjoyed this descriptive piece. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, and found one here. Good go!

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Maggie,
Such excellent writing and a wonderful story!
I was so happy for Vera at the end! and I want to live in Hydrangea Cottage! It sounds so idylic!
You've set my imagination on fire!
Big Hug!
Donnie X

Jeff B said...

Nice that Vera's carousel stopped spinning and she could find some joy in her life.

That one put a smile on my face. Thank you for joining in again this month.

bettygram said...

I enjoyed this story, and I am glad that Vera found a family.

Mean Mom said...

Charming story, Maggie. Well done! I could see it all, as you described it.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

That was a good story with a happy ending, Maggy. What a nice thing for that lonely woman to happen. Don't we all wish we had a secret brother like that? I know I do. You did a great job, as usual. I enjoyed reading it.

Anonymous said...

A lovely happy ending. Well done.

CJ xx

aims said...

I love that you're getting into this writing so much Maggie.

A great job as everyone says with a happy ending. Everything we all wish for.

Akelamalu said...

Ah a happy ending. Great writing Maggie. :)

Suburbia said...

That was lovely to read. Can I read the next chapter?

Rose said...

I didn't expect this ending at all, Maggie May--a happy ending, but not the usual boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love type. A great story!
Hydrangea Cottage sounds like a place I'd like to live in:)

Finding Pam said...

I enjoyed your story and it made me feel good to know that Vera had family!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I did enjoy that Maggie - a great story and with a happy ending too. A x

Dr.John said...

Wow! Your main character came to life. What attention to detail. I'm glad I held off reading this until I posted mine or I might not have posted.
You have such talent.
But then I'm a sucker for happy endings.

Sandi McBride said...

Wonderful Maggie...just wonderful

cheshire wife said...

What an unusual story!

Quilldancer said...

A love story, but not a romance. This was sweet. I very much enjoyed reading it.

I've come very late to this party, but my Portrait of Words is up. Come see.

Debra in France said...

Maggie, you write so well, I didn't want the story to end. Your descriptions of Creswick and of Vera's life are wonderful. Hydrangea Cottage sounds just the sort of place I would love to live in. Well done!

This story is very similar to my mother in laws real life story. Her mother gave her away as an infant to her sister. The sister (mother in laws aunt) eventually adopted her, her blood cousins becoming her sisters as she knew no different. She found out she was adopted when she was getting married but they were all a close family it didn't really matter. About 10 years ago a 'blood' sister emerged from the USA proclaiming that my MIL was the best thing since sliced bread and that they were 'real' sisters, not the pretend ones she had had all these years. You can imagine the upset through the family especially with the other sisters.

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