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The Burwell Mysteries- Part 14
Smelling the freshly cut grass invigorated me as I walked towards Courtney's room. My senses felt so alive and part of nature. Working as a grounds keeper was proving to be incredibly rewarding for me. I could appreciate the fruit of my labor as well as getting credit for my internship. Ringing the door bell, I nervously held a variety of colored tulips in hand. I thoughtfully checked my hair one last time, hoping it looked alright for Courtney. As she opened the door, I couldn't help thinking how beautiful she looked. Her blue and white polka dot dress had my head spinning. How can God make such a perfect specimen of a woman. "Ron, these are my favorite flowers and their so beautiful. What a sweet gesture." "Nothing but the best for my girl" he said, and softly kissed her lips.
Ron and I walked up to the Burwell entrance with a nice Pinot Grigio for the barbecue. We would finally get a chance to hang out with the Thoreeds outside of the work setting. Connecting on a deeper level was something we both looked forward to. We did have minor reservations about sharing how we were led here but knew it was the right thing to do. Ron and I had role-played this conversation over and over hoping it wouldn't sound too crazy. We didn't want to blow it and have Tom and Louis feeling uncomfortable and questioning their decision to hire us. We felt the best way to explain everything was to just walk them through the process of how it all unfolded.
As Tom and I stood at the kitchen window, chopping and preparing things for the barbeque, we could see Courtney and Ron coming up the walk. "Come on in you two, Tom screamed. You better be hungry. We'll be grilling fresh asparagus, potatoes and barbecue ribs." Courtney handed the bottle of wine to Louis and was pleasantly surprised to get a big hug from her. "You kids didn't need to bring anything but you picked out our favorite wine."
I insisted helping Louis with the prepping of side dishes while the men went outside to grill. The smell of garlic and homemade dinner rolls filled the kitchen. Louis poured the wine into vintage crystal glasses. I brought a glass out to the men but came right back in to help Louis. "Louis, these wine glasses are so beautiful. Can I ask where you got them?" "Courtney, we inherited these wine glasses when we purchased the bed and breakfast. Did you know the Burwell Estate dates back to the 1800's?. Many of the family heirlooms are still in the house and have been handed down to each owner since the Burwell's died. Most of the furniture in the bed and breakfast has been restored through the years but kept original. "What do you know about the family Louis?" Well, Charles Burwell was very successful in the milling industry and greatly admired in this town. He was a hard working man that made a name for himself and his family. One of the things Tom and I respected after reading about this man was his great love for his family. He was known in the community as a wealthy man but people closest to him knew him as a warm and tender person. Family always came first for him.
Laughing nervously, the men came in from the deck holding the meat on platters. "What on earth is going on out there you two?" asked Louis. Ron crashed into the screen door of the kitchen and replied "no worries, Tom and I are just going a little crazy. Maybe it's the good wine but when we talked about the Burwell family we thought we heard a voice saying something to us. We could swear we heard "get out, get out." Silence filled the kitchen as we finished setting the table for dinner. It was then that Courtney said, "Ron help, I feel like I'm gonna faint." Ron ran to Courtney and held her up as she held her head in her hands. "Ron, something isn't right, I don't feel well. Please hang on to me, I'm super dizzy." "Don't worry honey, your gonna be fine. I'll get you a glass of water." Louis quickly handed a glass of water to Ron who fed it to Courtney. "I'm sorry everybody, I'm so embarrassed, I don't know what is wrong with me." In a serious tone, Tom muttered, "Oh no, here we go again."
Ron helped Courtney over to a chair in the kitchen. As she sat down her facial expression became blank almost catatonic. Something was differen't about her eyes too. Her beautiful green eyes were almost a shade of ashen grey. Out of Courtney's mouth came an angry shout that wasn't her own. Ron, Tom and Louis stared in horror as they heard these words: "You must stop now, you must go, go away I say, go away." Courtney's face contorted into something ugly and not of this world. It was the face of something angry and evil. She transformed into someone who had been dead for many years. Grey hair, wrinkles, dirt and stench so nasty, breathing was not easy. At that moment, golden ribbons fell from the top of the ceiling down to the floor. The stench was gone and so was the frightening face of the woman. The wooden floor was completely covered in beautiful ribbons. Breathless, the group made sure Courtney was breathing. She had slumped over in the chair. "Courtney, are you ok, wake up," cried Ron. Coming to and back to her former self, Courtney's eyes opened and her dark green eyes were as beautiful as ever. "What happened, I feel so strange?" Courtney exclaimed. Tom assured Courtney that everything would be OK. "Let's all move into the parlour. Ron, you and Courtney take the larger couch. We'll get you a pillow to put on your lap so she can rest while we talk. Louis and I have something we need to tell you...
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
© 2011 Laura Rogers