She Waits

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The House of Imagination

A young girl will witness a glimpse into the past while on a field trip with her class to a historic plantation on the island of Grand Cayman that has legendary tales of ghosts and other spirits. Sightings of Mary Jane are most common on the island. Once you see her—you never forget.

She Waits

 

It was a breezy night as eight-year-old Mary Jane Eden sat in the wooden rocker on the top floor of the old Pedro St. James house. It had the best view on the island. The sun was just about to set as she watched its golden rays spread over the azure waters as if to illuminate and warm the sea. She smiled and felt at ease. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky this late September evening.  The mahogany wooden floor creaked as she rocked back and forth. The grounds people had left for the day. The tourists had been sparse lately and she had wondered who would show up tomorrow. Maybe someone who would want to stay.

She wandered around the three-tier plantation checking to see if anyone was still there. She peered out of the louvered shutters once again checking the night sky for any hint of a storm. She went from room to room twirling around in her long tattered dress. It looked just the same as it did that day in 1877. She decided to sit on the wooden rocking horse as she rocked away until she became very sleepy. 

***

 “Now please, please, stay with your guide,” Mrs. Taylor urged. “If you get lost then it will reflect on Grand Island Elementary and we’ll never get to come back to visit.”

Mrs. Taylor had been taking her third grade class to Pedro St. James Castle for the past five years on a field trip. It had been the old plantation house that was the home of democracy for Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. 

She tried to settle the children in hopes of gaining their interest on the structure. “Students, as you know in 1831 this island signed its first democracy papers and the government had been formed,” raved a tall elderly man who was the main docent for the tour.

“ My name is Mr. Dalton. You will first watch a movie on the history of the castle in the movie room and then we will begin our live tour.”

The lights all went out. There was only blackness as the big screen rolled down from the ceiling. Mrs. Taylor’s students began to scream.

“Ssh!” Mrs. Taylor hissed. 

“But, Mrs. Taylor, I’m scared and I don’t like this place!” Jessa Franklin clung to Mrs. Taylor’s sleeve.

Dana Benson had her arm around Jessa, being they were best friends. “It’s okay, Jessa. It’s just a movie.” 

“I can walk her outside, Mrs. Taylor,” offered one of the parent volunteers.

“I will be okay, Mrs. Taylor,” Jessa said. “I’m going to be brave.”

“The movie will be over soon and then we’ll be out in the sunshine,” Mrs. Taylor assured.

When the movie screen rolled up, the lights came back on and everyone clapped, especially Jessa.

“Okay, students, now that you know the history of the plantation you’ll get a tour from our guides, Mr. Dalton informed.

“I’m glad, that’s over, Jessa sighed as she wiped the sweat off her forehead while they walked outside. The bright sunlight hit their faces like a strobe light causing all of the students to squint.

“Mrs. Taylor, can I use the restroom?” asked Dante Reed.

“Sure, and you know, I think we’ll all take a break before heading on with the tour. Please stay with your group. We’ll meet out by the main house when you’re done.”

“ Ya know, Dana, for some reason this place really gives me the creeps. Do you believe the stories of the slaves they kept in the basement and all that went on here?”

“Yeah, and I kinda like it,” Dana confessed as she smoothed her long black hair in the bathroom mirror. “I especially like the story of how the Eden family moved out right after their daughter was struck by lightening on the stairs in 1835.”

“You’re weird, girlfriend!” Jessa shook her head.

“No, I just love old places, and I’ve been here before with my mom. There’s something about this place. It makes me feel good in a weird sort of way.”

“Well, it makes me feel sick,” Jessa had her hand on her stomach.

As all of the students gathered at the front of the steps to the main house as they listened to each tour guide give explicit instructions.

“Some of the rooms have been sealed off due to preservation,” announced Mrs. Kline, who was dressed as a former housekeeper from the 1800s in traditional Caymanian style. She wore a long red-checkered dress, a white apron and a scarf tied around her head.

Mrs. Kline explained to the children to respect and not touch any of the items. They were authentic and actually some of the original toys that had belonged to Mary Jane, daughter of the Eden family. 

Mrs. Taylor had a tight hold of Dante Reed’s arm. She knew he could be a handful and well aware of his previous antics on field trips.

Jessa and Dana were fortunately in the same group. They followed Mrs. Kline up the steps to the first level where the old kitchen was and a room with a long dining room table.

“Would you look at this wooden table!” Dana squealed.

“Yeah, I’m looking at it alright,” Jessa mumbled.

“ You’re still afraid, aren’t you?”

“Just a bit. It’s better now that we got out of that dark movie room,” Jessa replied.

“Just try to relax and enjoy yourself.”  Dana put her arm around her best friend.

As they now made it up to the second level a slight breeze picked up. It was a refreshing break from the heat of the midday island sun.

“The rocker— it’s moving!” Jessa shouted.

“Of course it is, silly, it’s the wind,” Dana informed.

Jessa and Dana followed the group to peer into the master bedroom where an old rocking horse sat. It was also rocking back and forth.

“Now, you’re gonna say that the wind is causing this too!” Jessa sassed.

“Of course. All of the shutters are open and the breeze is going to make it rock,” Dana countered.

“Ya know, Dana, I think I’m gonna walk downstairs to get a drink and wait there for the rest of you. I’ll tell Mrs. Kline.

“Okay, if that makes you feel any better,” Dana said. “I’m staying up here.”

* * *

The wind was picking up pretty hard now and some dark clouds were rolling in. It seemed Cayman was about to get another one of its famous squalls.

“Okay, everyone now gather round and hurry downstairs to the main floor. We’ll all walk back to the bus. Please stay with your guide,” Mrs. Taylor instructed.

Dana was the last one in line.  She turned hearing the creaking of the old mahogany floor. She could see the rocking chair was moving faster than ever.

She couldn’t take her eyes off it. It was as if she was locked in a trance. She was oblivious to the calls from the guides down below as they called the childrens’ names, and then commenced with a head count. She stood for a moment frozen in time.

She began to shake off the weird feeling and began to walk away when a voice called out softly,” Where are you going?”

She turned around to see an apparition of a small girl rocking in the chair. She froze in her steps. 

“Can you please stay a little longer?” asked the girl. “Please, don’t leave. I’ve been so lonely. They come to visit but they never want to play.”

She was wearing a long blue dress with a white apron that was torn and dirty. Her hair was blonde and stringy. A few of the strands blew across her face.

Dana’s feet felt heavy as bricks but she managed to force herself to get away as fast as she could without looking back.

Just as she made it to the bottom landing a crack of lightning struck and the storm had rolled in very quickly. She could hear Mrs. Taylor calling her but it sounded like a faint echo.

All of the students were running for the bus as strikes of lightening were bolting down. The rain was coming down in sheets.

“Dana Johnson, where are you?” Mrs. Taylor called out.

“I think she’s still in the main house, Mrs. Taylor. She’s my friend and we’ve got to go and get her!” Jessa cried.

“No, Jessa, you stay here. I’ll go and look for her.”

Mrs. Taylor covered her head with a plastic bag and ran in the storm over to the house. There she found Dana standing on the flight of the stairs in the rain, lightning striking like crazy.

“Come child, grab onto me!”

“No, I’m not leaving!” Dana protested.

She was able to pull Dana off the stairs and they got to the bottom of the landing. A giant crackle came and they turned around to see a little girl standing on the stairs being stuck by lightening. As the lightening hit, a large golden glow appeared and then she was gone.

Mrs. Taylor put her arm around Dana as they hurried back to the bus.

“What’s wrong, Dana? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” Jessa gasped.

“No, Jessa, I just saw a part of history and you know how much I love this place.” 

 

~ The end

 


Submitted: October 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Lorraine Carey. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Erika M Szabo

Goosbumpy story with a surprise ending! You never know what you'll find in old, historical buildings.

Sun, October 3rd, 2021 11:38am

Author
Reply

Thank you. This was my favorite place to visit on the island and always felt the presence of sadness there. Maybe it really was Mary Jane.

Sun, October 3rd, 2021 4:41am

Poetshri

I don't get scared that easily when it comes to ghosts. Actually, I enjoy reading ghost stories, or watching ghost movies. But this story chilled me to the bones for a second. The ending part was thrilling. It reminded me of the series that showed the paranormal activities in the castles of Ireland and Scotland in Discovery Channel. I enjoyed this story. :)

Mon, October 11th, 2021 7:11pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so very much. I actually lived on that island for ten years. I've been to the castle and have felt the spirit of Mary Jane.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mon, October 11th, 2021 12:20pm

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