I have always wanted to write a book which is of two times i.e. the future and the past and the clash between the different generations but I have never had enough time to fit it in, or just seemed never to be able to get past a few paragraphs despite trying…
Here’s something I knocked up in five minutes… not checked so sorry about any spellings or grammar…
Set in 1930, six years before Erris’s death at the age of 46, a quaint English town on the outskirts of London. A grand magnificent Church together with a grand magnificent congregation. Erris a single mother of three children is snubbed and dies a rather sudden lonely unexpected death. Due to this her spirit is unable to pass over onto the other side and she is left in limbo and suffers until she sees in the late 1980’s a woman with the same eyes as her experiencing the same issues and from beyond she reaches out showing Alicia signs that she can read that spiritually help her through the maze. It is only on delivering her through this that Erris is able to pass over peacefully but not without one last dig to the new generation of the old families that dealt her the same fate. All that she does to help Alicia comes with Gods blessing and this blessing heals both her and Alicia and breaks the power of those who wish her harm.
Erris Beck Ridley.
This is the last Will and Testament of I, Erris Beck Ridley and I give devise and bequeath all my estate not hereby or by any codicil hereto to my children the said Aristo Blyth Ridley, Charter Boyd Ridley and Gracia Annabella Ridley of the address hereto aforementioned to be split between them in equal shares per stripes provided that each one survives me for more than 28 days failing which to any children they may have on the date of my death.
I give devise and bequeath to my children’s fathers the principal sum of £20.00 as a token of my appreciation for the magnificent gift of my children’s lives that they have bestowed upon me.
I request that my Grand Upright Piano goes to my first born son Aristo, my silverware to my second born son Charter and all my jewellery and other belongings to my beautiful daughter Gracia.
I request that I am buried in the shady spot underneath the tree in St Christopher’s Church yard and that a placard is written upon and placed upon the wall of the Church as follows :-
“In loving memory of Erris Beck Ridley,
Daughter of Major Timothy Boyd Wilson Ridley and Mrs Millicent Henshaw Ridley the daughter of the Late Reverend Barnard-Fawkes of this Church.
The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God
Blessed as a mother and blessed with the gift of being able to acknowledge not only her own pain but that of others.
A virtuous woman whose only downfall was to have been born at the wrong time”
Passing over the inked page of beautiful writing Erris turned towards old Burrnip the local Solicitor, and “make sure it’s a grand placard as well Burrnip, I may as well leave a reminder of me on the walls, I want it to be of the best quality, gold with all the intrinsicate trimmings, for they will not believe after I die that I would be capable of leaving such a thing but I want them to know that my family and I are of good stock so that all that tainted stuff they managed to rub off on me doesn’t rub off on my children”
Burrnip wasn’t really listening, it was his way of doing things, almost like you were actually just inconveniencing him by being there, without him having any thought for the fact that you were paying him or maybe it was just the way he concentrated either way Erris continued to talk well why not, it wasn’t cheap seeing him and he always took for the full hour even if you only saw him for half of it.
“Listen Burrnip, promise me when I’m gone, that’s if of course I go before you that you make sure those people, you know the ones, don’t get hold of my daughter quite like they did me. I would hate anyone let alone her go through the same as me, I’m still trying to get over it and it has left me rather without myself of late as I am so distracted into thinking bad thoughts and one can’t help it especially as she is born out of wedlock her future may in fact end up worse than what mine did and I was born of the church and in the proper way. I couldn’t bear the thought of it I really couldn’t, will you promise me that the mere hint of it you will sue them all for even thinking they could get away with it again?”
“I’m not sure that will even be necessary, Erris you know that the new Vicar has spoken with the congregation on very stern terms that you are part of the foundations of this church and nothing more and nothing less, your father was a good man he never deserved to be treated the way he was, they would not even go there with the children, God is your strength and you must trust him”.
“There are many on your side, it was just a couple of women who caused this, they would not dare step out of line with the children” he continued as his eyes drifted off towards the ceiling,
“I’d quite like you to put a post script at the end of the placard Burrnip something along the lines of “Ps Erris Beck Ridley was not a tart”. Erris said in a very pedantic way. “Let those church bells ring out across the town as well on the day so loudly they all choke upon their afternoon tea” she garbled on.
Burrnip just ignored all her idle chatter, he had known her for too long to be even bothered to listen to her but occasionally he would give a small nod, just so she thought he as engaging with her, he suddenly brought down his little silver hammer and lifted it up to reveal a beautiful red seal alongside her signature. “Right now just a couple of queries, are you sure you want to leave the large sums to the two fathers? I mean if you do, you will have to leave a record of who they are” he drifted off.
“I’m not ashamed of this Burrnip but I don’t want it written into records, I’m sure those who know will be able to discretely deliver it” she finished as she watched him pack away his desk and almost give her the shoo sign, her time was clearly up and now she opened her small purse and took out his payment and left it on his desk, as she said her goodbyes and scurried off out of the office and down the beautiful Church Lane through the Church Gate and past her designated spot in the graveyard, passed the bench she often sat on as a child.
She often felt a warm sense of security walking through the Church Yard a presence of her parents whom had been the ones to have really bore the brunt of her life, it was tragic really almost choked her at the thought of the misery that had been caused to them, the way they had to suffer her consequences quite the way they did made them better than those who were delivering it and she knew that despite the pain there was a deeper understanding that she would carry with her for the rest of her life and onwards that was a pride that despite it all she never gave up in fact even in her lowest of lowest ebbs she refused to, even when inside her heart was torn. For that in itself was something that no one else would of been able to do in spite of it all.
If it hadn’t of been for all those years she may not have survived it, Erris was pretty sure they’d be some sort of damage inside but as of yet it hadn’t materialised although there were many times when she felt it shoot through her like a peculiar feeling something she just couldn’t shake off, it was almost like a whole world had rested on her shoulders and the sheer magnitude of the weight was crippling her bones inside her body and her memories of her parents crippled her to. If only these people would of really understood the effect of the damage they’d spun out upon her and her life. Where they’d been able to continue it from the safety of their own homes and husbands, how frightfully lonely her whole life had been which had caused the issues in the beginning, how foolish those were whom had destroyed a woman without any thought of the pain they’d been part of causing, how they themselves slept with the pain of someone else within them and of their doing was beyond her. It was not something she could ever have done to anyone it was not part of her character to be the same and for that she could only thank the Lord, and to forgive and show a deeper understanding that for someone to be so nasty towards another and to stop another from flourishing in this life what a horrible time they must be having themselves to inflict on another such pain.
It never would go away the pain, it was like a mourning feeling almost like a loss of the child that you once were and Erris had lived with it every single day. All the should’s and should nots, all the woulds and would nots, the could’s and could nots it never left her but it also gave her a steely determination to believe the better people in the town wouldn’t allow it to continue and true as if a blessing came, one woman touched out in a knowing way and that was the start of Erris’s healing. It didn’t matter at that stage that it happened it only mattered that someone else had finally after all those years acknowledged it and that acknowledgement just took it away.
For it has been a rentless battle of silent despair, those who’d sought refuge inside the town had relentlessly shoved Erris into a world of decayed existence and it was only with the grace of God that she’d survived through all the different classes until she’d finally been brought to peace. She had been spun out into the country villages and they were even worse, there just did not seem to be a place for Erris, it was like she was in no-man’s land and was displaced from the place that she used to call home. The Church was not the fault it was the people…..
If you have got this far, what did you think ?