Invitation #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

portal

 

Letter found at the gate, pinned on a mysterious (dead) body…

Dear Miss Marples, I wish to let you know of circumstances that, hopefully, may attract your attention. You should know first of all that I am the sole successor of a once extremely wealthy Yorkshire family. My ancestors were land owners, industrialists, sea captains, officers, and our roots go back, at least, to the War of the Roses. My parents died of a tragic accident at sea when I was still in infancy. I was educated by my aunt, the last owner of the family manor called “The Invitation”. Indeed the property was the last asset left in the family after a succession of poor investments. After my aunt’s departure from this world, a few decades back, The Invitation  was left closed and unoccupied for some time, and I was recently astonished to receive a letter from a very old notary in Skipton, asking me to contact him for a matter of extreme importance related to the said property.

It turned out that some unknown and apparently extremely rich foreigner had enquired about the property owners, and wished to make an offer for it. To tell you the truth I never considered the property of being of particular interest to me personally, as my business is mainly conducted overseas, and I have only rare opportunities to visit the beautiful county. Still the notary insisted in letting me know the particulars of the query, since I was, am, the only inheritor of the family’s once great fortune. To be precise, and according to the notary, The Invitation’s value is probably close to ten million Sterling, due to the extent of the land adjacent to the manor, and, I was told, the surprisingly  good conditions of the manor itself. And here is a mystery. The notary told me that the opening offer from the rich foreigner, was about ten times as much, which for him did  not make sense. He had very little other information, but had a postal box address in Hong Kong for contacting the said foreigner. I hesitated but finally made up my mind, and wrote to the man (assuming it is a man) suggesting a meeting to discuss the business. To be honest this was as much  motivated by curiosity, than by appetite for profit. I am myself reasonably wealthy now, having gained from various speculative activities over the years.

I heard nothing for nearly two months, then I received a proposal from the would-be buyer, to meet me at the gate of The Invitation. Hence this letter to you. I have attached a computer file containing all the information communicated by the notary, and what I have drawn from my own research. I am somewhat concerned about the identity of the would be buyer and the reasons for the interest shown. The proposed meeting is in three weeks time, in the evening. I must say that the would be buyer has warned me, as you can see for the recent communication, not to contact anyone about a deal, including the Skipton notary, who denies any personal knowledge. Can you please advise me on what to do. The secrecy surrounding this worries me, but I cannot find any reason why it should.

Yours faithfully…

The Yorkshire police is still trying to identify the victim, and has engaged Miss Marples’ services to assist them.

Spectral #writephoto

Spectral

spectral

 

The old mill stands still, in the frozen landscape; there, they worked, had fun, sometime loved. Now, there is only emptiness, silent stones, pale ghosts recounting long forgotten stories. All round lived once a multitude, poor but hopeful. Children were born, iron was cast, dreams were woven. Why they all left, what was their fate, did they lose faith? We dare not ask the ravens, and shall never know.

Arch #writephoto

Arch

arch

 

For centuries the great abbaye had stood, in its majesty and glory, in the peaceful landscape. It was then a centre of faith and science, where wise men worked, and kept the flame of civilisation burning. They were frugal, up in the frosty mornings before dawn, ploughing the fields and teaching the children; their chants filled the vales and forests, rising to the sky.

Then the heretics had come, plundering, burning, torturing the faithful. A dark veil had fallen on the earth, the Dark Lord’s reign had begun.

But today, in the faint light of dawn, I can hear the monks’s voices, the soft footsteps of their sandals. I sense their presence, their curiosity, even, about this strange creature, this human being who survived the fall. Their anthem is but a light breeze through the icy air.

The arch stands, witness to a millennium of folly. And there, on the cold stones, I kneel, praying to the true God, in submission and piety, the last, shivering survivor of the war, that ended the evil empire.

Dedicated to the builders of the great abbayes of Yorkshire, and their defenders.