Short Story: Haunting Catherine Blaque 1

A work of fiction by Erin LeFey Copyright 2011

The year is 1950. Mrs. Blaque is presently a ward in wing C of Valley Springs Mental Hospital. No one knows what drove her mad exactly, but in the Fall of 1947 she was admitted, quite delusional and unable to care for herself. She was rambling on hysterically. She could not be subdued by the authorities, so they brought her here. After a brief medication induced sleep, she woke up and spoke not a word to anyone, ever since. The reason for her hysteria, behavior, and silence remain a mystery to this day. A neighbor was just cleaning out the house for resale and came across this diary. Maybe it will shed some light on the events prior to her coming here.

The Notes of Mrs. Blaque

Spring 1946

Dear Diary, Hello out there, Good Morning Book,

I've never written one of these before so let me introduce myself. My name is Catherine Blaque. Let me tell you a little story that will bring you up to date.

Summer 1945, I used to be the fashion! My friends at the marina said so. My husband and I were involved in most of what was going on anywhere in the city, day or night. You see, he had just returned from the war a decorated officer, so we went everywhere together now - finally celebrating our honeymoon in this big city. And we wives of the retired officers had our own little club since we all lived uptown in the finer districts. I loved my life, my husband, our future plans...all seemed to be in order. For years we'd been separated by a big ocean and finally, he was retired, and we were enjoying our lives in the City on the East Coast. We did everything together; all the charity events, the wine and cocktail parties, the little concerts on the harbor.The end of the war changed our lives.

It did change our lives. My husband was driving home from a night out to a charity event when a drunk driver struck his car and killed him instantly. Everything died with him, my whole world. A widow at only 36. The military wives carried me along for a while to events and charities; the wives were so good to me. In all my lace and pearls and very finest black gowns, I’d go to all the galas to help raise money for the City, for a Charity, for any cause really – I knew them all! I was the widowed wife to their once rising star, and he left me a generous amount! All I needed to do that year was to dress in the latest fashions of demure mourning black with sparkle and pearls to shine with the rest of the wives of the officers. I grieved, publicly – at every event that year. It so helped me get over losing my dear husband and would help to secure my future which was now so up in the air! What was I going to do? I decided when the season was over that I needed to be alone, away from all of it. I'd stay here; my life was here.

So, at the end of the summer, I faded from limelight as was my intention all along. For I did miss my dear husband; I just needed a house in which I could live alone in peace. These days there were many deals on land Northeast of the City, Charm City, you know. I could find an amazing old house on a beautiful parcel of land for not a lot of money since I didn’t have to be in any specific neighborhood. My real estate agent said that it helped that I wanted something more secluded.

So last fall, A new development was just going up! Five acre parcels - Big beautiful houses were being built on them, and on one stood the original Old Victorian House. It had been restored but was the original manor to which all of this land used to belong. I wanted to see the old house.

We drove down a long winding road to get there. Then suddenly we were in a large clearing and all around us were land sites roped off. Way in the back I could see her standing, the majestic Lady who commanded the attention of the entire piece of land. This was to be my house, I could feel it already. She stood larger than she was, with a dignity that far exceeded her frame and a countenance of pride and confidence whether or not she was secure in it. I needed this house already.

As we pulled in front, I could see her paint was cracked and chipping from the hot sun, but walking up those front steps, a new world was opening up to me. There were rooms upon rooms of furniture, wall hangings, silver, a piano! It looked absolutely grand. My agent explained to me that the poor widow had died in this house and the furnishings would convey in the sale, unless they were not wanted of course. I felt as if I was the one who had died and gone to heaven. I could move right in and just send our old things to the auction. I would have a new life here.


The seasons have turned, and I've settled into the house now. I've gotten to know it, and it's gotten to know me. There is a strange life to these walls, I don't ever feel as if I am alone. But I'm not sure yet how I feel about that. I feel whatever is here is keeping a comfortable distance from me, but wants me to know it's here. Listen to me! I'm an educated woman! This is the first time I've lived alone, I'm sure this is just my imagination.

I'm keeping this diary now because I feel the need to write suddenly. Its morning, and usually I have a few hours of peace in the early morning. There is something strange about this house, or me and this house - it can't be just me. Things are not where I am leaving them. I hear voices crying out to me in the night. I don't tell a soul because no one would believe me and besides, if they did, my property value would go down. This is my investment, my future. I may just be having too many cocktails in the afternoon and letting my imagination run off with me. It is lonely back here watching all the new construction from my front porch while nestled back quietly farther in the trees. Those houses seem to all sit in a field of sun while I dwell in the shadows of this swamp.

I'll be writing in here every now and then as a sort of diary. I've never had one before. I guess its never too late to start.

Ciao Bella, Catherine

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Comments 28 comments

Gerda 5 years ago

can't wait for the next chapter. xoxoxo


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

You're up early! I'm glad you like the start of this one Aunt Gerda! Let's see where it goes! Love you xoxox


babasanju profile image

babasanju 5 years ago from India

@Erin I just can't afford breaks anymore. Tell it ALLL in one go when you make next update!


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

The stories just develop with time...you don't have to read it, I write other things in between. Sometimes things come to me in pieces. Sorry!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Very good! Takes you by the hand and gently leads you down the path to...where?

I'm hooked!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Excellent...and I am hooked awaiting the continuation, Erin. Up and awesome.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Intriguing Erin!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is it. This is my kind of story. The picture of Gene Tierney just tops it off. Years ago i saw a movie, ' Leave her to Heaven ' starring Tierney. I loved it. For years, i tried to buy that movie, couldn't find it anywhere, finally i found it on Turner Clasic Movies, ordered it and watch it about once a year. Back to your story,i love big old houses, and i like seclusion. I guess you could call me a loner, but that's me. I'll be back.

Smiles and Hugs.......


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Beautiful story, Erin. Well done. Thanks for share with us. Rated up!

Prasetio,


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

This story promises to be a great one. Every person has a marvellous story that needs to be told and I look forward to the continued story about Mrs. Blaque! Rated up.

Tina


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

WillStarr, Genna, Fossillady, Ruby, prasetio30, thougtforce, I'm so glad you like it so far. I was hesitant about starting another short story so soon but Mrs. Blacque just came to me and promised me an intriquing twisted tale. Sorry for the delay - but I had a nerve block done this week and I'm happy to report that I have relief from 95% of my pain! Just took a while to recuperate from it. Thank you all for hanging in there!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Erin, You have an adventure to read, Las Vegas, here we come........... I'm so glad your pain has subsided. Hugs


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, Ooh, this is good! lol going over to read the next chapter, cheers nell


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Ruby, I will have to read it! Can't wait!

Nell, you'll like this one! :)


CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

What a nice start to a good story. I am interested to see how things turn out for Mrs. Blaque. I have been a nurse professionally in Psychiatric Wards before, so I am interested to see how the story continues.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

hi Christina,

I hope you like it!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..you really know how to put it all together Erin - you are a master of the short story genre .......and now onto part two ...


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Wow, Epi, now if only there was a career in the short story genre! Thanks for your constant support, my friend!


sameerk profile image

sameerk 5 years ago from India

very nice , keep it up , love u


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Thanks so much, I will. Love u too


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi erin,

I love this one and I am bookmarking the series so far so that I can come back later to read them properly.

I loved this one and can't wait to read the rest.

Up and up for you becuase I love your style of writing..

Take care

Eiddwen.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Eiddwen, thank you so much! You are too sweet! Have a beautiful day! take care.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Love the beginning- I alway have a soft spot for 'diary' stories and flashbacks. Well written, intriguing and addictive. I will follow the trail to the next chapter. voted up!


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

I'm so glad you like it Docmo, its so fun to write as well. Please do come back, you won't be sorry, I promise!


ltfawkes profile image

ltfawkes 5 years ago from NE Ohio

Very nice start. Intriguing. Good job.

L.T.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

L.T.Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. Please do come back for the rest of the series.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Very good start, I am off to read the next one.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland Author

Lovely!

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