Laura Anderson A Grave Encounter

It was a cold and windy night, the wind howled round the walls of the old mansion and
whistled under the eaves. Lying in her bed with a dim, flickering candle throwing dancing shadows
onto the walls, Rebecca shivered. She heard a piercing scream echo down the corridor outside her
room - or did she? She couldn't be sure. It may've only been the wind, but Rebecca wasn't going
to find out. The heavy silk curtains were pulled back from the window, revealing a full moon.
The branches of the old tree outside the window were spread out, like black ink veins against the
pale white of the moon.
Some holiday. She had been sent out here to spend the summer with her old grandfather,
she hadn't gone willingly, it would've taken an awful lot for her to volunteer to spend six weeks
out in the middle of nowhere. She was tired of her grandfather who couldn't remember her name
half the time, and didn't understand her love of music, he was very sceptical of anything new,
having seldom been out of the old mansion his whole life, and who mumbled when he spoke, so that
she didn't understand him either.
She looked around her room. A four poster bed that she was lying in, almost drowning
her in the huge heavy sheets, an ancient chest of drawers, so big that she could climb into one,
and lie down there in comfort - she had tried. There was nothing else for her to do. She heard
that scream again and she shivered, pulling the blankets up around her shoulders. She'd asked her
grandfather if he'd heard anything in the night, but irritated by his repetitive grunts and
mutterings that made up his language, failed to pursue the subject.
The next morning, the wind was still blowing. Rebecca decided to take a walk in the
gardens. She volunteered this plan to her grandfather who either didn't hear, or chose not to.
She put on her hat and coat and walked down the gravel path to the green gardens beyond. She came
upon a small section of ground that she recognised as the family graveyard. Her grandfather had
told her, many years ago, when he was still of sound mind, that before he had bought the old
mansion, a rich family named the Whites had owned it and lived and died there, and so, had wanted
to be laid to rest there also. Rebecca had a poke amongst the graves. They were mostly all old
and worn down by the elements.
After spending the morning wandering about and exploring the grounds, Rebecca made
her way back up to the house. As she went up, she almost bumped into a girl carrying a bundle of
clothes.
"Oh, I'm sorry," said Rebecca, "I didn't see you there!"
"That's alright," replied the other girl softly. She looked down at the floor
and avoided Rebecca's eyes. Finally, after an awkward silence, she looked up. They both stared
at each other in amazement.
"You look like me!" they both exclaimed in unison! And so they did! They were
almost identical in appearance. The things that struck Rebecca were the girl's looks and her
clothes. Her face was as white as newly fallen snow, and her hair was long and blond and cascaded
in ripples over her shoulders. Her eyes were black and empty, with a lack of expression in them.
She wore a long flowing robe in pure white. In comparison, Rebecca, who had rosy cheeks and a
light golden tan on her skin. Rebecca's eyes were also black, but they always had a merry twinkle
to them, that made her seem friendly and approachable. Her hair too was long and blond, but was
well brushed and shone in the light from the window. All these thoughts passed through Rebecca's
mind in the few seconds that they stared in amazement at each other. They were almost identical.
The girl turned to go, but Rebecca caught her by the hand. It was as cold as ice.
"Wait, what's your name?" she asked? "I'm Rebecca."
"I'm called Emily," said the girl, shying away from Rebecca in nervousness and
evading her look.
"What are you doing here?" asked Rebecca.
"What? I live here," answered Emily. She turned and ran down the long corridor at
top speed, and it wasn't until she'd gone that Rebecca noticed that she'd moved silently, without
a single sound. It puzzled Rebecca though, why had Emily said that she'd lived in the mansion,
when clearly there were only her and her grandfather?
Later, Rebecca ran into Emily again, literally. They again almost knocked each other
over!
"Shall we go for a walk in the gardens?" asked Rebecca.
"All right, if you want," answered Emily, shyly. The two girls made their way
outside.
A few days later, Emily came looking for Rebecca. She found her having lunch with
her grandfather.
"Hi Emily, come in, we're just finishing here," said Rebecca. Emily came into the
room.
"Rebecca, who are you talking to?" asked her grandfather hoarsely. Rebecca stared
at him.
"Why, Emily of course," said Rebecca "She's right over there, look."
"Ah, I don't see no-one," said her Grandfather and turned his attention back to his
dessert. Rebecca shrugged and followed Emily out of the room. She noticed that Emily was becoming
a little more outgoing and was pleased. Emily was also getting a little more colour into her
was glad. She thought that Emily had been far too shy before. She caught a
glimpse of herself in the mirror and noticed that she looked slightly pale herself. She laughed
at herself, and blamed it all on her imagination.
A few days later, Emily was beginning to inflict herself a little too much on
Rebecca for comfort. Rebecca was also not feeling very well, and her eyes had lost their sparkle.
Her face was also very pale, but she put it all down to the poor weather. She was pleased to
notice though, that Emily was looking very well, much better than when they'd first met. Rebecca
had lent Emily some of her clothes, as Emily only wore that long white robe all the time. Emily
was very pleased, a little too pleased, and thanked Rebecca over and over again. Emily took
Rebecca's hand, and told her that she'd miss her very much when the holidays were over. Rebecca
promised to return the next year. She also noticed that Emily's hands were very warm, in
comparison to Rebecca's which were stone cold. She tried in vain to warm herself up, but it was
hopeless.
The next day was her last in the mansion. She looked for Emily to say goodbye, but
there was no sign of her. Rebecca saw a car draw up, and ran back into the house to bid her
grandfather goodbye. There was no sign of him either. She heard a laugh outside and a cry of,
"Goodbye, Grandfather!". Rebecca ran to the window and looked out. Emily was getting into the
car, dressed as Rebecca. Rebecca was confused, why? Why was Emily leaving in place of her?
Rebecca looked down at herself, she was dressed in a long flowing robe of pure white. The car
outside drove away, leaving Rebecca in the mansion. She flew down the stairs, as fast as her
legs would carry her. Tears glistened in her eyes and she sat on the step. Her Grandfather
turned, and made his way back into the house. Rebecca called him.
"Grandfather?...Grandfather, do you hear me?" she ran up and took his arm. He made
no sign of seeing her. She let go, and stumbled down the steps. She ran down to the family
graveyard, where she could be alone. She sat down beside a grave that she hadn't noticed before.
"Emily White," she read, "Died 13th July, 1923 aged 14." A wave of undescribable
horror passed through her. As she looked at the grave, it glimmered and shone. She backed away,
afraid. The glittering light faded away. It now read : Rebecca White, died 13th July, 1923 aged
14. Rebecca gave a piercing scream, just as she'd heard many a night echo down the corridor
outside her bedroom.