With the change of season comes a change of attitude.
I like this winter to spring transition . . . not as much as the summer to fall . . . but it is what it is.
It was a beautiful morning and will go into a beautiful day.
I ran my necessary errands . . . and decided to go to the cemetery. It is usually peaceful. It’s a nice place to walk around and gather my thoughts.
I was reminded of several stories I’ve heard over the years. Strange how that happens when I try to clear my mind.
I did see some women having tea . . . yes, they were spirits. They were carefree . . . maybe as in life . . . I do wonder what they are discussing . . . and what they would say about what they are wearing . . . and if they are aware of the passage of time . . . and compared their attire to mine . . . oh dear.
Well, my thoughts went to a story of a woman who inherited her great aunt’s house after the passing of her mother. She was named after this Aunt Helen. It was a nice enough name . . . could have been worse.
Well, this was a difficult time in Helen’s life. There was the passing of her mother . . . finishing up her college studies for graduation . . . breaking up with her long-term boyfriend . . . and deciding what she was going to do . . . as a career . . .
She did want to see her Great-Aunt Helen’s house again . . . maybe it would be a good place for her to settle and begin her new life.
Helen didn’t remember visiting her great aunt often. Her mother didn’t like the long drive . . . and Aunt Helen was very opinionated. Why she ever named her daughter after the woman was a mystery to Helen.
The attorney handling Great-Aunt Helen’s estate was contacted and he was available to take Helen to the house that afternoon. So, Helen set out early to begin her new life.
The attorney wasn’t very friendly. He kept staring at Helen in a strange way.
Helen confronted him, “Is there something wrong, Mr. Harris?”
“Oh, no, but you are aware that there were many expenses in caring for the house for the past 40 years.”
“Yes, and my accountant did take care of the bills you sent him for such repairs and your overseeing the estate.”
He was surprised Helen knew so much about the money transfers.
“I believe, Mr. Harris, that you have been compensated for your services which will now end once you hand over the keys to my house.”
“There are some matters I must bring to your attention, Helen.”
She waited . . . but nothing was forthcoming.
“The keys please, Mr. Harris. I’ve had a long drive and I’d like to get settled in my new home.”
Reluctantly, he handed over the keys. “Do you know the way?”
Helen stopped at the local grocery. Then the hardware store. She had every intention of adding dead bolts and changing the locks. Something was on Mr. Harris’ mind and she wasn’t going to take any chances.
Yes, Helen was young, but she and her mother learned to fix a lot of things around the house after her father died. Helen was very confident she could change the locks and secure the windows.
Her accountant had a security system installed with cameras. The cable and internet had been installed at the same time . . . right after the death of Helen’s mother . . .
Helen had planned this move for quite some time. She would dream of having a place of her own. Her great-aunt had left her financially secure as did her mother . . . so working wasn’t an issue . . . at least not for now.
Helen did have an internet business she wanted to pursue further.
While driving “home”, Helen thought of Dan, her former boyfriend. She didn’t know what came over her that evening when they broke up. It was as though she saw things clearly for the first time. Yes, her mother had passed and she had returned to finish up her last year of college. But there was something more . . . something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Helen drove into the driveway. Looked around the grounds and went inside.
Over the fireplace was a large portrait of Great-Aunt Helen.
Except for the clothing she looked identical to Helen. It was uncanny. Maybe she had been unfair with Mr. Harris earlier.
She took her purchases out of the car and started unpacking the trunk. She didn’t have much, just her laptop and clothing. Earlier, she and a few of her college friends packed up her mother’s house and spent a weekend at Great-Aunt Helen’s waiting for the movers to bring items Helen wanted to keep.
She was hoping the house would feel like home . . . but it didn’t. She made a sandwich, poured a glass of orange juice in a glass and sat at the table to eat and think.
It was so quiet. She couldn’t remember when she had last been alone . . . except for her drive . . . but it was uncomfortable silent.
“Oh dear, what have I done? Is this going to work?”
She thought of how she later pushed Dan away and even her friends . . . after they had been so kind and helpful to her. Then, she did the same to Mr. Harris. Was she ready for this?
Helen was studying the occult . . . as an elective . . . she had heard rumors about her Great-Aunt Helen and had yet been able to contact her.
She cleaned up her lunch dishes and set out to change the locks on the doors.
“Don’t worry about Paul Harris. He didn’t mean any harm.” Helen heard quite clearly.
“Aunt Helen? Is that you?”
She waited. Nothing more.
“This is something I have to do. Mr. Harris has no reason for coming around. I can manage without him.”
“Of course, dear. I knew you would take care of things here.”
“Yes, and I believe I have . . .”
Helen suddenly realized she was talking with her great aunt. Or was it her imagination?
Over time Helen became comfortable with the silence . . . and the occasional exchange she made with her great aunt. Her research on her family and the house was coming along nicely. And her internet business was going strong.
The only problem was that Helen had no friends. She was completely alone. Neighbors didn’t come around to welcome her. People in town were not at all friendly.
Helen decided to attend the local church. She volunteered for several committees, but no one wanted to be her friend. Helen never had any problem making friends in the past . . . what was different now?
Well, she finally overhead some women talking about how she lived in a haunted house and she was the ghost of Helen Grant who dabbled into witchcraft. She also caught odd comments of how the house was promised to Mr. Harris and who did this witch think she was moving in and taking over the house.
Would it do any good to set the record straight? Did she want to stay there? Was her great aunt a witch?
Over the years, Helen became more reclusive.
She grew herbs in her yard and made a good business out of it with her internet contacts. She did learn of her great aunt’s coven and joined them. She was a full-fledged witch . . . a good witch, not that the locals cared . . . to them a witch was a witch. And it did amuse Helen that the locals thought she was Helen Grant’s ghost.
I suppose the point of this story is: Be yourself, do what you love . . . enjoy your life . . . and what other people think of you is none of your business.
Until next time,