Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)
TITLE: Maris Manor
By Carolyn Kenney
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The English countryside was alive with lush green trees and vibrant flowers. Christine walked along the path leading from Maris Manor to Colina Hill situated on the edge of the family property. Her father, Patrick had passed away just months before from a sudden heart attack. She and her mother, Rose now lived alone in the beautiful mansion.
Christine’s uncle, Charles Kelly, told them after the funeral there was no will. Therefore, as the only surviving son, Charles said the manor would be his.
Christine reached the top of the hill; on the other side, it sharply descended to the raging sea below. Suddenly, a voice startled her.
Charles said, “Hello, Christine. I was hoping your mother would be here also. I could not find her in the house. You must watch out for her or something may happen.” His eyes had a sinister look to them. “I need papers in the library for my attorney. However, the door is locked.”
Ignoring him, Christine said, “I must be getting home.”
“Let me help you,” said Charles. He gripped her shoulder firmly forcing her to stop where she stood. The sea raged behind her.
“Let go!” she exclaimed. Charles released her and Christine stumbled forward. As she walked down the path, she could hear Charles laughing.
She was almost home when she heard a familiar voice. “Christine!” James Bentley was walking towards her.
“James!” said Christine. They had been friends since childhood. “When did you get home?”
“I arrived today. I am sorry to hear about your father.”
“Thank you, James. However, I have some upsetting news. Uncle Charles told us there is no will, so he will inherit Maris Manor. However, there has to be a will! Mr. Abington, our lawyer, is coming today to see mother. Can you stay?”
James said, “I would be happy to.”
“Wonderful! Let’s see if he’s here.”
Sitting in the drawing room minutes later, Thomas Abington said, “I drew up Patrick’s will, but he wanted to keep it himself. He took the will and I never saw it again. Did he say where he put it?”
Panic-stricken, Rose Kelly said, “Patrick told me about the will, but never said where he put it. I assumed you would have it.”
Thomas said, “It must be somewhere in this house. The sooner one of you find’s it, the better. When you do, please let me know at once.”
“We will Thomas,” said Rose and walked him to the door.
Christine said, “James, can you stay for lunch?”
“No, but I’ll return tomorrow. We can look then.”
“James, you’re a wonderful friend.”
“I’m glad to help,” he said smiling tenderly. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
As Christine walked slowly to her room, she suddenly remembered the widow‘s walk at the top of the manor! A little alcove was located near it. Years ago, her father had given Christine the key, which she put away and forgot all about - until now.
She hurried to her room, found the key and headed for the stairs to the alcove. Once at the top, she opened the door. She felt inside and suddenly her hand fell upon an envelope. Carefully she brought it outside into the light. Her heart raced as she saw her father’s handwriting with the words “Final Will and Testament.”
“What do you have?” said Charles.
Startled, Christine turned and said, “What are you doing here?”
“I see you have the will!”
“Yes! Now, you will never get this house!”
“Give me the will!” exclaimed Charles.
Suddenly, James walked through the door and shouted, “Get away from her Charles!”
“J-James,” said Charles. “I didn’t expect to see you.”
“I bet you didn’t.” Leave this property - now!”
“Th-this is my l-land!” he exclaimed.
“No, Charles it isn‘t your land and never will be!” replied James. “Now leave, once and for all!”
Charles turned and started for the door. Turning he said, “You haven’t seen the last of me!”
Walking to Christine, James said softly, “Are you all right?”
“Yes, but why did you come back?”
“I thought you could use a little company. I saw you go outside to the widow’s walk. Charles was right behind you! But, from now on you’ll never have to worry again.”
“James, I hope you’re right. I don’t think we have seen the last of Charles Kelly.”
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