Kaireen Ramsley pressed her face to the window of the carriage hoping to catch her first glimpse of Tynghedu Castle. Rain lashed the windows and lightening lit the sky making it possible to see the countryside but the castle remained hidden.
The narrow road twisted its way up a steep cliff leading to the ancient fortress high above the Northern Wales coast. Winter was fighting spring’s approach leaving the trees bare of new leaves. The naked branches looked like the hands of wraiths reaching out for her. The longer she looked the larger and more menacing they seemed to become.
Kaireen let the curtain fall back into place with a snap as she sat back in the comforting cocoon of the dark carriage interior and suppressed a shiver. She told herself to stop letting her fanciful imagination take over. It had been a long journey from Edinburgh to this remote corner of Wales. Kaireen took off her spectacles and rubbed a hand over her face as she let out a tired sigh; in her excitement to arrive she hadn’t eaten or slept in the past twenty-four hours.
Kaireen replaced her spectacles and reached into her receptacle to make sure she hadn’t lost the letter of introduction her father had written to the Earl of Farthington. Although the earl had tracked her down and requested she come and restore the castle gardens, Lord Ramsay felt it would be best for her to have the letter.
After reassuring herself that she hadn’t lost the letter she pushed her spectacles up her nose and smoothed any hairs that had dared escape from the snood she wore. The driver was slowing down so they must be getting close to their destination.
Kaireen felt the carriage turn left then heard the hollow thumping of hooves on a wooden bridge followed by the sharp ring of hooves in a tunnel paved with cobblestones.
Pulling back the curtain she saw they were going through a narrow medieval gate house lit by torches that danced wildly in the wind. Kaireen could almost believe she had come to the castle during the time it was built.
They emerged from the gatehouse into the courtyard. Kaireen gasped at the size of it. It seemed endless as she tried to see it in the dark of night. A bolt of lightning split the sky casting the yard in its brilliant glow.
Standing by a crumbled wall was an oddly dressed man. Kaireen leaned forward to get a closer look at him as another bolt of lightning cast its glow over the yard. The man seemed to have disappeared.
The Earl’s Curse by Donna Hatch-Moore. After we lost our home to a fire we were forced to live in our car. while my husband worked I stayed in the car with our pets. I read a lot of books and then started to write my own book. I wrote it long hand then would type the pages on an old manual typewriter I found. I wrote every day while my husband looked for work. The result was my first book, Twice In A Lifetime.
Today we are still homeless but now live in an old motorhome. My husband has found full-time work and I still write every day although now I write on a laptop my husband surprised me with for Valentine’s Day.