The Patchwork Daughter

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Prologue - A Clockwork Life

Forgotten and lost, far away from the bustle of city life, a small eighteenth century town settled peacefully amongst the hills and valleys of England. The old stone buildings lined cobbled streets and bumpy lanes, while their inhabitants hurried in and out and up and down to the shops and their friends and their jobs. Life in this town, as it is in any other, was predictable and boring, as if it were run by clockwork. But the legend surrounding the old manor put an air of mystery about the place that the children loved and the adults ignored. No one, however, could ignore the vandalized graves. Whenever a young woman died, her grave would be dug up within the first week of her burial. The coffin would be found next to the grave in the morning. The deceased would still be inside, but there would always be something missing. So the skinless, eyeless women would be reburied, and a special ceremony performed in their honour. As society progressed, it became unusual for the young to die, however, so the older women would be dug up, instead.


This town was always misty in the early morning and late evening, leaving damp and foggy nights for the late workers and early risers to struggle through. The hospital had very few supplies and the little cinema played mostly black and white films that were easy to get, but with such little contact with the outside world this was hardly surprising. Some liked it here, while others moved away for a breath of fresh air. It was very rare for any strangers to arrive, so the young woman who always turned up around the same time as the deaths and disappearances was an obvious suspect for the police to concentrate on. But she was never around when she was being looked for, and no one wanted to try searching the ancient manor, for fear of what might be lost or found. Finally, there came a time, as there always does, when a small group of young adults and late teens decided to test the legend of Lydia Turner. It was an adventure that no one involved was ever likely to forget...


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