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Hallowed Ground (1) One damp morning in the spring of 1951, an elderly woman sat in her drawing room, and stared out of the Edwardian window, stretching from the floor to the ceiling. The velvet green curtains fluttered slightly against a draft. This is her place of rest, were she chose to lead the rest of her life peacefully. She gazed into her garden. Her drawing room was vacant when compared with the beauty of nature. The walls were lined with great masterpieces, her tables decorated with beautiful and rare Ming vases. She sat upright against the silk tapestry cushions of the chair. She loved the outdoors, and always felt uncomfortable with the four walls enclosing her, no matter how beautifully they were decorated. She always adored her garden, the white and pink roses in her numerous and perfectly arranged, symmetrical beds. The garden had limestone stairs, and she peered out of the window, down the grey-white steps, to a garden that stretched to the horizon. The grass was a pure deep green. And in the centre, a pond, stretching horizontally from one end of the garden to the other, the only means of crossing was an old bridge of pale wood with small engravings of dragons lining its railings. ...read more.


But alas, this was not so. They did not just emerge, but the veins remained; no medicine could possibly cure it. She had simply not cared before. There were more important things to handle previously; age was a meagre aspect amongst her losses. She sat back, and allowed the painful memories to enter her mind. (2) Her mother, whom she adored with all her heart, would tell her stories when she sat up in bed, and listened with the same intent, even though the stories were often alike. Once her mother had left, and she had said her prayer, she looked out of her window to the star-studded sky, against the black sheet of infinity, and rested against it, was the chalky moon. She shut her eyes. At sunrise, she saw her father leaving the house, as usual. He shut the door with the same pessimism. His job was tedious, though he was too arrogant with false masculinity to ever admit it. He was well educated, well dressed, well paid and an owner of a leading company. He paid for servants to look after her family, even though her mother saw it as an intrusion of privacy. ...read more.


(3) Even though it was many years since her father's funeral, she remembered the light oak coffin in which her father's body rested comfortably against a white silk tapestry. She remembered the echoing aisle sounds of shoes against the limestone floor, her silent mother and wailing brother, still young and too small to understand. During the final stages of his life, he had grown incredibly weak and thin. Two dark pits surrounded his eyes and the red and brown liquid seeping from his mouth. Her mother was always kneeling at his bedside with a damp cloth in order to calm the fever. The injury in his chest had become infected, and his whole chest was swollen, and his temperature soared. He often vomited. He cried during the night and woke up the house. Her mother never allowed servants to look after him, and she stayed by him, feeling that it was her responsibility. The memories of her father stayed with Annabella for the rest of her life, traumatising her, and yet provided her with an inner strength and understanding of the temporality of life. Unable to hold her pen any longer Annabella sat back, shut her eyes and waited till she had the enthusiasm to start the next chapter. The book, rather than being a release of the emotional torments, became a burden of pain. 1 ...read more.

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