Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Work of Fiction - Part Two

The following is a work of fiction. This story and the previous installment, here, do not depict my life. I have written these, and future planned posts, purely for entertainment value. Sooner or later, I must give a title to this collection. Do you have a suggestion?

Priscilla Truley was a mystery. Girls envied her and wanted to be her friend, even though she could be cruel at times. Adults were impressed by her sweet demeanor and impeccable manners, but often were shocked by her outbursts. Boys wanted to own her but sooner or later were burned by her rejection.

She was a character of contrasts and magically cast a spell over all who entered her sphere of existence.

Born to wealthy parents – Dr. Truley and his much younger wife Constance – she lived in the town’s only “mansion,” a Georgian two-story brick columned house dominated by a monumental Tuscan style portico that spanned the entire 60-foot wide front facade.

Credit: wikimedia commons

The house was built by Priscilla’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Truly, as the centerpiece of his 2,500 acre cotton plantation. The house was badly damaged in 1862 during the American Civil War, and almost demolished by a tornado in 1875.

Land from the plantation was sold off over the years to finance the house’s two restoration, and by 1955 the former Truley plantation consisted of just nine acres.

Our home, a modest one-and-a-half story bungalow built after the First World War, sat directly across the road from the Truley mansion. My great grandfather had taken advantage of the Truley land sale following the 1875 tornado, purchasing a prized two-acre lot with street frontage directly across the street from the mansion.

Credit: jamestownri.com

My grandfather, Theo, inherited the house from his father, married Georgia Ann and they raised their only daughter, Nelladean, my mother, in the house. Nelladean was married to Gunter Foster in 1943, before he shipped off to the European theater during World War II.

My father returned safely from the war in 1945 and I was born in 1946. When I was two, my father was tragically killed in a sawmill accident, leaving Nelladean penniless. And so it was that my Mommie and I moved in with my grandparents, across the street from Priscilla.

One of, if not the first, memory of my life was of Priscilla. I was less than two years old. Mommie is kneeling along the sidewalk that ran from the house front doorsteps to the street. She’s digging holes on either side of the walkway and planting verbenas. I’m toddling nearby. Looking across the street there stands Priscilla, two years older than I, wearing a green plaid shirtwaist dress with a white Peter Pan collar. She’s frowning into the sun, long golden curls softly framing her face.

She’s beckoning to me, using her index finger sticking out of a clenched fist as a sign to “come here.” I watch her, fascinated. Then I looked in Mommie's direction.

“Come back, baby. I don’t want you there. You know Mommie has told you to never go near the road. One of those mean old cars might come by and hit you.”

Mommie returned to her planting, humming a happy song as I continued to watch the little girl across the street.

I glanced around at Mommie. Her back was toward me, searching for her misplaced trowel. And apparently, even at that young age, I saw an opportunity and across the street I dashed.

Mommie turned and looked up just in time to see Priscilla reach down to take my hand and hoist me up over the slight slope and into the safety of her yard.

I remember running, being pulled along by Priscilla. Mommie was screaming, standing there waiting for a car to pass before she could cross the road. That gave Priscilla just enough time to dart around to the side of the house, pulling me along behind her. My arm was hurting, so I ran fast as I could to keep up.

Mommie was behind in hot pursuit.

Priscilla was headed to a trap door that led to a crawl space underneath the house. She jerked open the door, entered the crawl space and was about to pull me inside when Mommie reached us.

She picked me up, crying and scolding me all at the same time. That’s the last memory I have of my Mommie, who died in a car accident two weeks later.

And this was the story told to me over and over again by my grandparents, Georgia Ann and Theo, who raised me after Mommie died.

So do I really remember the incident, or has it been burned into my memory by the retelling of the story? But it doesn’t matter, after all. Priscilla would play a pivotal role in my life for the next 16 years. And there are enough memories to last a lifetime.

...to be continued.


  1. Wanted to keep reading....didn't want to get to last line! Such a spell binding story and so much mystery between the lines.
    I can see some familiar things in the story! Love it!!!

  2. This along with the first installment need to be a book! I love your writing and am looking forward to more.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement! Well maybe it will be! You are very kind.

  3. Don't have a clever idea for a title but I am certainly enjoying the story. Starting to see that street.


    1. It's amazing; when I start I don't know when to stop. My head is spinning with this tale!


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