Dust

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Chapter 3

Three days after the events which changed Samuel's life, he was travelling by coach to a village nearly seventy miles away from his flat. To his surprise, on arrival at the coach station, he was hit with a large queue of tourists who were waiting to get on the same coach as him. The day was warm, the coach had very little air conditioning and the heat was starting to affect his body once again.

The flat back in the city was secure and locked, Samuel's bag was full of items including the family history folder from Roger. Reading back through the family tree bore some small pain for Samuel after reading his parents names. With both of them no longer around, they often visited him in his dreams and sometimes, that was reassuring for Samuel.

"Ladies and gentlemen! We will shortly be arriving at Emley Oak Village. Please make sure that you take all of your belongings with you." came a female voice from a microphone.

Samuel sighed. The long, hot journey on some uncomfortable seats was finally coming to an end and it was a good feeling as the coach that he would be travelling back on in a week's time would be smaller and more compact. No buggy tourists there!

As visitors pushed and pulled trying to get off the coach and stretch their legs, Samuel stared out of the coach window next to his seat, looking at some farm cottages in the distance. His sight wasn't brilliant but his glasses sometimes did help to make things clearer.

Samuel was one of the last to leave the coach and was met with a woman who took him by the hand, "Mr Dodds?"

"You are talking to him." breathed Samuel as he took a sip of water from his bottle and wiped his brow. On re-inspection, he noticed a youthful looking woman waiting patiently for him to finish drinking. She was around the same height as himself and had long wavy brown hair.

"I'm Jo," said the woman, "I hope your journey was pleasant."

"Well, apart from the lack of air conditioning and the length of the journey from A to B, it wasn't too bad!" exclaimed Samuel as he stared at Jo.

Jo smiled, "It does tend to happen nowadays, people just love the thrill and excitement of travelling somewhere new."

Samuel said nothing but stared at Jo intensely. After all, she was a beautiful looking woman. But he knew very little about Romance.

"Mr Dodds?" asked Jo out of confusion.

"Call me Sam," replied Samuel as he took another drink, "Yes?"

"Are you quite sure your ready to see the house?" asked Jo.

"Oh, do you work for the Pools?" asked Samuel.

"No, I live locally. My father is on the council and he ordered an investigation into the country home that is now yours." replied Jo as she started to walk in the direction of the village.

"Oh I see! So that is why the Pools got involved!" exclaimed Samuel, "That is a lot clearer now!"

Jo looked at him, "The house is about half a mile away from the drop off point where the coach is."

"That's reassuring to know," said Samuel as he walked slowly along the pavement, "Is the hotel close by?"

"The hotel is all booked I'm afraid." sighed Jo.

Samuel cursed in horror, where was he going to stay? Not on board a hot, stuffy coach!

Jo carefully noticed Samuel's facial expression, "There is a spare room at my house if you would like it."

"Would you mind?" blushed Samuel, "It's just..."

His speech came to an abrupt stop as Jo gestured towards the sight of a three storey country house. Taking in the sight of it was awe-inspiring for Samuel, as he didn't expect it to look so big.

"That's the one," said Jo, "The house."

Samuel stepped forward, "My goodness."

From the outside, weeds had started to grow by a large black iron gate, the walls surrounding the outside were red bricked and looked very outdated.

"This way." gestured Jo as she moved towards the gate.

Slowly, Samuel followed, making sure that he didn't trip over any weeds in the process. He was taken aback by the grounds of the house, an old hut was situated at the corner of the small ground area, dead flowers and weeds were placed in flower beds that hadn't been tended to for many months. It wasn't the most prettiest of sights.

Jo and Samuel slowly walked into the back of the house to the smell of damp. Samuel coughed as he inspected the back quarters.

"This is a three storey house built in the late 19th century," said Jo, "It was in your family for a long time."

Samuel gazed at the dust and dirt that covered the window panes, "Why didn't my parents bring it up?"

Jo shrugged, "Who knows? They may not have even known themselves about it."

"But that's stupid!" exclaimed Samuel.

"It may be to you but some families chose to keep secrets away from preying ears." added Jo as she walked up the grand stairs.

The grand stairs according to Samuel did not look grand at all. All of the splendour had been caved with dust and damp. It looked something out of a horror movie.

Samuel peered into a room on the first floor, a room with two big windows and wall markings where portraits used to hang up.

Jo noticed him dawdling, "That was the nursery many years ago, your great grandfather would come in here to play games and read books."

Samuel gave one last glance around the room before following Jo further down the corridor.

The creak of a door opening brought him to attention, his senses started to feel alert.

"In this room," gestured Jo, "Was where your great grandfather was born."

Samuel fully entered the room and looked around, taking in the whole atmosphere. Jo watched him with caution.

"So, in this very room on the first of May 1895, my great grandfather was born in here?" asked Samuel.

"Correct," replied Jo.

Just as he was about to ask another question, he started to hear noises. Noises of a female screaming, crying and fast talking. Ears prickled as he felt his heart start to race.

"Can you hear that Jo?" questioned Samuel.

"Hear what?" she asked back.

"Those... noises... I hear noises." whispered Samuel.

Jo looked at Samuel, "I'm afraid that the only noises that I can hear are your breathing and my talking."

Samuel slapped the back of his hand, "I'm being dumb..."

Suddenly, he felt the world surrounding him turning black, the sight of the room started to spin and to his horror, he could no longer see Jo.

'What's happening?' thought Samuel, 'Am I dead?'

He blinked and saw the same room that he was in but this time a different image. There were pictures on the walls, furniture adorned the room and a female adult was sat up in bed staring at him. Her eyes transfixed with fear, the corners of her mouth twitching.

'Can she see me?' thought Samuel as he moved towards the bed, 'I'll try talking.'

Slowly he spoke, 'Are you alright?'

But he heard no response. The scary thing out of all of this was that she didn't move, she was frozen solid as if time had come to a halt.

'I think I know why she can't see me, I'm only a vision from the future and she can't see people from the future or something like that,' he thought, 'Dear lord, whatever could be happening?'

Slowly, he moved next to the window and looked out by chance. Noticing some children wearing posh clothes and playing a game with hoops, the realisation hit him.

'I've gone back in time!' he exclaimed, 'To... to when the house was occupied!'

'Help!' screamed the female that was in bed, 'I need help!' Her screams startled Samuel as he remained confused about the whole thing.

'Too bad she can't see me,' sighed Samuel, 'Otherwise I would try and help.'

Running footsteps could be heard down the corridor as the whole atmosphere changed. At the same moment, the children that were with the hoops outside had simply vanished into thin air.

'Dear me! Who could this woman be?' questioned Samuel.

His eyes then noticed a small slip of paper on the bedside table, the letter that was half dangling off the edge of a small bedside cabinet.

'What does it read?' puzzled Samuel as he adjusted his glasses.

On reading, the words were clear as a whistle, First of May 1895, the day that his great grandfather had been born.

'So I see, that woman is the mother of my great grandfather and if I remember hearing Jo correctly, this was the room he was born in!' exclaimed Samuel, 'But where is Jo?'

The woman in bed started to move around in agony, begging for the pain to stop.

In reality, Samuel was going to witness his great grandfather's birth and how he was thrown into this position, he couldn't explain.

'Not too much blood please!' said Samuel to himself, 'I'm faint hearted. No wonder I didn't do well in Science at school!'

With his stomach feeling heavy, something must have brought him to this but what?

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