Tag Archives: The Old Mill

The Ball – the Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Invitation.  The Table of Contents is here)

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With a look over my shoulder, I entered the mansion. I let the door close naturally behind me.  The hall was empty when full of light, but as the light faded with the shutting door, Martha became visible.  When the door was completely closed, she looked full and solid, the middle-aged version of Martha.  She was wearing the party dress, I realized that Mike was right, that the dress custom tailored for the 15-year-old Martha fit the middle aged one very tightly, making her look both a little ridiculous, and slightly sexy at the same time.   We walked towards each other and stopped a little more than an arm’s length apart.  I pulled out my invitation.

“I’ve returned, but this time with invitation in hand,” I said.

“And you are just in time, Mr. Baxter,” she said.  “The ball has begun.”  I grew aware of the faint music from above us.  “I need to say a few words so you truly understand what you are about to witness.”

“Sounds good to me.”   She turned old for a flash, then returned to middle-aged.

“First, understand that you can see our world more than most of the living, so we can see you better than we can see most of the living.” Continue reading

Amy and Jessica (Part 1) – The Old Mill

Mill Building

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Lyndsey 3.  The Table of Contents is here)

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Thursday turned out to be a great day at work.  You know the type; the ones were everything goes exactly right and it makes you feel that anything bad that has happened in your career was totally worth it.  That was my work day.  Everything went so smoothly.  Everyone, from the customers to the executives to the coders beneath me, all had good things to say.  I can’t imagine things running as smoothly as they did that day.  And yet I had a hard time enjoying it.  I felt that the gods were playing with me.

Near the end of the day, I sent just that in a text to Lyndsey, “Work was fantastic – the gods must be playing with me”.  She answered, “I know exactly what you mean :- (“.  I’m sure she did.

When I got home, I wasn’t surprised to see Jessica’s truck in my driveway, but there was a car I didn’t recognize.

As I got out, Jessica came around from the front of the house with a woman in tow.  After a half of a second, I realized that it was Amy Lansing. Continue reading

The Library 2 (Part 4)

loading_dock_bw

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  The Library 2 (part 3).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note 2 – This is Part four of a four part chapter)

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“After the ‘Thomas versus the world’ part,” Mike said, “we have the ‘sibling rivalry’ part. I have to say, the saga of George and Martha is my favorite chapter of the Goode story.”

“That sounds, well, a little sick,” I said

“‘A little sick?’  No, a lot sick.  You haven’t heard it yet.”

“You’re right, I haven’t heard much.  I know there was little love between them.”

“To back up a second, after Thomas died, his brother, Samuel came up and spent a lot of time helping to get the family settled.  He had recently married and his wife helped with George.  But as his responsibilities grew and his family grew, he spent less and less time in Amesbury.  You have to remember that it was quite the hike out here from Boston, a major journey.”

“I can imagine.  It’s a major hike driving today, particularly when the traffic is bad, which it always is in Massachusetts.”

“Right.  I think you need a time machine and live it for a while to understand what ‘a major journey’ means.  Actually, so do I.  I heard you hang out with the Wallaces.  They’re clever.  Can one of them build us a time machine?”

“I’ll ask.” Continue reading

The Library 2 (Part 3) – The Old Mill

Wilton Mill and water fall

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  The Library 2 (part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note 2 – This is Part three of a four part chapter)

— —

“Before we get into the ball itself, I have to bring up one thing I forgot I forgot to mention.”

“Martha’s boyfriend, Samuel.”

“Yes, how did you know?  Samuel Larson, who was about 18, was the oldest son of one of the mill owners in town.  Of course Thomas owed more money to William Larson, Samuel’s father, than just about anyone else except Alexander.   Samuel and Martha had been making googly-eyes at each other for over a year, and the ball was going to be a time when they could actually dance together.  Remember, it was her coming out party.  Everyone expected a marriage announcement by summer.”

“Since I know a bit about Martha, I can only guess it turned out poorly.” Continue reading

The Library 2 (Part 2)

Old Mill on two Rivers

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  The Library 2 (part1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note 2 – This is Part two of a four part chapter)

— —

“After Samuel and his two sisters left, Thomas went right back into his old routine,” Mike said.  “Nobody ever found out what it was, but he sure lost money hand over fist while doing it.”

“Ouch,” I said.  “You’ve already talked about debt.”

“It got worse.  He sold a lot of land and other mills were built in Amesbury on land that he had previously owned and planned to use.  And then, to stay afloat, he took loans from all of the other mill owners.  It wasn’t good.”

“I can tell.”

“Since history repeats itself, I’m sure you can guess that one day he came home to another preemie child, a boy this time.  Ignoring the calendar, he named it Thomas Jr.”

“How nice.  He had his father’s name, if not his eyes.”

“Exactly, though as the boy aged everyone talked about how much he looked like his father, meaning Thomas.  Maybe he was the father and history is just unkind.  Nobody at the time seemed to think anything was out of place.  People said the boy favored the father more than the mother and he looked like a younger version of Martha.  They say she doted on him.”

“It’s nice to hear a human side of her.”

“As opposed to a ghostly side? That was in 1811.  In 1813 there was another child, Abigail.”

“Sweet.  One for mom, one for dad.”

“Exactly.  Margret took a shine to little Abby.  They were inseparable, though she loved the little Thomas as well, almost as much as Martha did.  She was a very maternal girl, which continued into adulthood.” Continue reading

Galvin 2 – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter he  was  Lyndsey 2 (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

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After my call with Lyndsey, I puttered around the house for a while, but felt restless.  I really didn’t have breakfast, so I decided to go down to Maude’s for a bit of brunch.

Galvin was standing outside of Maude’s, as if expecting me.

“Hey Gill, buy me a cup of coffee?”

“Sure, Galvin.  I was just on my way in for some brunch.  You can have a Danish or something too, so you don’t feel uncomfortable sipping coffee while I’m eating.”

“Don’t mind if I do.”

Maude’s granddaughter, Em, poured us a coffee as we sat down.  She came back a minute later and took our orders.  When she walked away I looked over at Galvin.

“What’s up?” I asked.  “I’m sure there was something more than you needing a bit of caffeine.” Continue reading

Lyndsey 2 (Part 2) – The Old Mill

hollis-barn

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Lyndsey 2 (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 2 of a two part chapter.  Here is part 1)

(Note 2 – There is an editorial between Lyndsey 2 Part 1 and this part)

— —

Lyndsey called me shortly after she left in the morning on Sunday.  She had me on speaker in the car so she could talk as she drove and I put on the headset I usually use when I’m working.  This allowed me to walk around the house and get things done as we chatted.

And mostly that is all it was, we just chatted. After a while I gave her more of a run down on the time I spent with her father the day before.  She had me go back and we spent some time discussing the ghosts in the carriage house.  She had me tell her over and over again how they looked, how they were dressed and such.

“Something about all of this bothers me,” she said.

“It bothered the Hell out of me when it was happening,” I said.

“No, seriously, there is something simple here that you’re missing.  Baby ghosts?  It doesn’t make sense.  There should be no baby ghosts.  There must be something they need.  You need to find out what it is and help them.”

“Not me, I’m not going back into that place!” Continue reading

An Editorial Intermission – The Old Mill

reflection

(This is an editorial break in the series The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Lyndsey 2 (Part1).  The Table of Contents is here)

I have to pause the story for a moment.  As you know, this is a rough draft, and at the beginning I posted as I wrote, sometimes posting within minutes of writing the last word.  Of course there were times that I realized that I needed to go back and edit.  I did change a few little things in the posted chapters, but I’ll wait for the next draft for most of the changes.  In the mean time, I found that I need to talk a little bit about Gill and Lyndsey so you can understand some of what happens as we go on.  Over the course of their conversations they talked about their jobs (or at least they are going to have these conversations when I do the next big off-line edit of earlier chapters).  Here is a just a quick description of what you missed (because I’m adding it to earlier chapters offline and it isn’t part of what you read):

Gill is a first level manager/supervisor for a team of software developers at a mid-size software firm, LMDF (don’t ask me what it stands for 😉).  The seven developers under him each have between one and four projects, depending on size and complexity.  There is a pool of around 35 coders/programmers that work on the projects.  There are four others at Gill’s level.  His manager, Kunhal, is coming up on retirement and Gill has been shadowing him and will most likely take his place.  Three of his developers are local (Nashua), the other two are at a remote location in Brattleboro, VT.  The other two work remotely.  The actual coders are all over the world, though many are based out of the Nashua or Brattleboro offices.  Most of his time is spent doing administrative work, but he works with each team (seven developers) once a week using teleconferencing (videoconferencing) technology.  He also likes to sit in on a SCRUM meeting with each development team at least every other week. Continue reading

Lyndsey 2 (Part 1) – The Old Mill

Mill Building

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 1 of a two part chapter.)

— —

I took my eyes off of the road for a second to glance at Lyndsey.  Her face was slightly illuminated in the dark by the dashboard lights.  A surge of emotion ripped through my body, feelings I hadn’t felt since the early days of my relationship with Becky, almost 15 years in the past.  My right hand slipped off of the steering wheel and onto Lyndsey’s thigh.  I could see the smile out of the corner of my eye.  She put her own right hand on mine and caressed it while threading her left arm under my arm and putting her left hand onto my thigh.  Her left hand lightly squeezed my thigh in rhythm to the music.

“Oh, this used to be one of Jess’ favorites,” she said as a new song came on the radio.  She hummed along for a minute.  “Thinking of Jess.  I was met her for breakfast this morning and she was the old Jess.  I always wonder why sometimes she is so, well, present, and other times it’s like, well…”

“It’s like someone pretending to be Jess,” I said.

“Exactly!  It’s like someone going through the motions of being Jess so that nobody would know that it isn’t her.”

“I have a theory about that.”

“Ha!  I knew it.  Does it have something to do with Martha or the Goode mansion?”

“Uhm, yes.” Continue reading

Sean (Part 2) – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 2 of a two part chapter.  Part 1)

— —

A hand fell heavily on my shoulder.

“Hey Gill, having trouble finding them?”  It was Bill’s voice.

I was looking into an empty black space, no people were visible, no woman and no children.  I turned to look at Bill.  There was only him there, no other men.

“Uhm yeah, Bill.  Coming in from the bright outside my eyes just didn’t want to adjust.  I’m still a bit blinded.”

“Here they are.”

Several garden rakes, a hoe, a spade and a yard rake were leaning against the wall just inside of the entrance to the main building.

“Oh, I must have walk right past them.  No wonder I didn’t see them.  I was looking over there.”  I pointed past were the woman and children had been, into the dark far corner of the building.

“Here, I’ll grab a couple,” he said.  “You take the rest.  Let’s go, the air in here is unhealthy.” Continue reading