An excerpt from Let it Go…
My footsteps felt lighter once we were inside. I was surprised by what I saw. The room was small but clean and tidy. Dried herbs hung over the fireplace, and there were several pieces of strong wooden furniture. One soft armchair stood next to the hearth. There were no ornaments, and no dust or cobwebs to be seen. I had the feeling they wouldn’t be allowed in here. The air itself didn’t seem to move as if time stood still.
Samuel asked us to sit down. ‘I have been expecting you.’
I chose one of the wooden chairs that stood around the table, and as I sat down, a strong feeling of peace enveloped me, like being inside an empty church. My romantic side would describe it as a feeling of coming home. Mark, with his Sixties kind of mind, probably noticed it before we came in.
He sat down at the table, on the chair nearest to me. Samuel reappeared with a tray. He hadn’t asked if we wanted tea and I hadn’t even noticed him move to make it. I was too busy looking around the place like a local tourist. He put bone china cups and saucers in front of us. The orange liquid smelled slightly perfumed, a pleasant smell.
Mark noticed me wrinkling my nose.
‘Cinnamon,’ he said. ‘Drink it, it’s good.’
I took a sip, and it was spicy on my tongue. I put it down, rather too quickly.
Samuel had sat himself down in the armchair. It was strange, but seeing him sitting down, I noticed how long his legs were. His clothes were almost threadbare, but his large black boots had a shine on them. When he spoke again all the fear in me slipped away. There was no harm in this man, this man born of fire. He must have heard the stories as he grew up but they hadn’t left their mark on him. Was it Ruth who had done such a good job of mothering, or was it Martha’s genes he carried into the Despite the fact, she had been playing with the fire, which eventually took her life.
He spoke without looking at us. Mark reached across the table and laid his hand over mine. I didn’t need the reassurance he offered, but I didn’t move my hand or look at him. My eyes were on Samuel, ears at attention.
‘You found Morgan’s diary, been letting the writing get to you. Asking too many questions and spending long hours in the house of books. There’s nothing in there to help, should have come to see me sooner. Save time and a lot of mixed up feelings.’
I found enough air in my lungs to speak and said I had plenty of time to spare, that my feelings were fine. ‘But I do believe someone should be held accountable for what happened to Martha,’
The sound of her name didn’t seem to mean anything to him. I saw no change in his face or voice.
‘Why?’ He said. It didn’t appear to be a question. ‘Keep pain alive, when living is pain enough for far too many people? I know the story of my birth and the things they have said about the mother who bore me. Of Ruth, who fed and clothed me and taught me how to help even when help was not asked for.’
Mark had told me all about the herbs being left on people’s doorsteps when they were needed. About one young girl who might have died had Samuel not helped her. They actually used these herbs while speaking so ill of him, yet leaving food outside his door as payment.
‘There are many good stories in the Bible. I will tell you something from it. Look to the living, leave the dead to take care of the dead.’
As he spoke these words, looking directly at me for the first time, I felt strange, all empty inside, as if some part of me had been scooped out. I knew what it was without him saying it. My need to punish them had simply left me. But what did ‘look to the living’ mean?
He looked at me with those pale grey eyes that darkened with the words he spoke next.
‘You have a sister, a small part of yourself.’
God, I had never thought of Sally like that, nor would she like me to. He was right though, she was a part of me.
‘You need to watch over her, keep her close to you.’
I told him then this wasn’t something Sally would let me do.
‘No matter. It’s to her you need to give your concern.’
Then I asked him why to say what was in his mind in plain English.
‘Sally appears to have been marked by an early death, one of her own making.’
This reminded me of something Nan had said, about Sally drowning in a storm of her own making.
Samuel couldn’t explain what he felt. ‘The visions are too vague as yet. They will come, and then I will find a way to let you know.’
It didn’t help me much. He had just told me Sally would die as if the Mafia had a contract out on her, and I had to wait?
I was getting more than a little annoyed at his Bible prophecies, as good as double Dutch when there was nothing you could do about them. My initial instinct had been right. I should have walked away. I shouldn’t have come here, shouldn’t have let Mark lead me through the door.
I knew Martha and the diary would all take a back seat now. That my stupid mind would play tricks on me, waking and sleeping about Sally. The hands of death reaching far too early for her immortal soul.
People often ask us if we have a competitive partnership, and to be honest, I don’t think we do. So far, our achievements have been pretty equal, although I will always admit that Anita is the far better writer.
So, it came as a bit of a surprise, that when I mentioned how many hits my book The Last Life had just received on Amazon’s KDP, (137 plus one print copy) Anita came back with “I don’t usually get that many, do I?”
Not really a question I could answer, but it will really be interesting to see how many Let it Go gets as it is now #Free on Amazon for the next five days.
Will you make her day and prove my theory?
Universal Amazon Link: myBook.to/LetGo