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The Patchwork Daughter

By Sarah Reed All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Adventure

Introduction - The Old Young Woman

James Turner was an ordinary man, as far as anyone could tell. He was polite and considerate, and all who knew him thought him a very nice and clever gentleman. The fact that he lived in a large, falling down manor in the middle of nowhere was completely beside the point. He had short blonde-brown hair and deep green eyes. He had a wife, Marie, who passed away when their daughter was born. She had curly chestnut brown hair and dark blue eyes. The girl, Lydia, was their only child, and she looked very similar to her mother, though she had her father's eyes and manner. Nobody was entirely sure what happened, but one day, James stopped turning up at his job in the town, and Lydia, at the age of twenty-two, stopped going to the market. Neither was seen for nearly five years. James started going to work again near the sixth year, claiming sadly that his beloved daughter had caught a terrible illness that she was still conquering. Lydia was not seen for another seven years. By this time, the young woman should have been thirty-four, but she looked just as she had when she had last been seen twelve years previously. Lydia Turner was not an ordinary woman. Not anymore, at least. As the years came and went, she stayed the same. Her hair was a chestnut brown and her eyes a deep green, but they were different somehow, to how they had been all those years before. Her hair was more wiry and unattended, her skin was darker than most remembered and her eyes held less concentration and awareness. When she was, or should have been, fifty-three, her father passed away, and she stopped going to town.


As years passed and the people reproduced and died and the society moved on with the ages, a legend began to form around the old manor. Every now and then, or so they said, Lydia Turner would turn up at the town to buy materials. Cloth and metal and thread and wood were sold to her, and she would leave within a few hours with no clothes or food or supplies.  Eventually, the legend wilted and frayed and she disappeared from most people's memories, but the story of the old young woman was passed down in some families. But every now and again, an unidentified woman with unfocused eyes and slightly sagging skin would buy some unusual supplies and then disappear for another few decades. Sometimes, a curious child with too much time on their hands would go to the desolate manor, which was in even more disrepair than it had been when James Turner had been alive. They would look around a little, search for proof that Lydia Turner was still there, then get scared away by their imaginations. On a few rare occasions, however, their imaginations were only partly responsible and even rarer were the times when they never returned to the town, at all...

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