Chapter 3 – Meeting Grace Forrest

Molly laid in bed awake, her curious mind too active to sleep. Will lay peacefully sleeping beside her. It was still dark outside and she had no idea what time it was. Careful not to disturb Will, she felt for her phone on the bedside table. It told her it was 3am. Wow, they had been asleep for 12 hours or more! Wide awake now, she quietly got up and walked lightly down the hall into the kitchen to make some tea and toast. Secretly Molly loved this time of day. There was a peacefulness to it that cannot be found during daylight hours. Having lit the fire in the wood stove, the kettle did not take long to come to the boil, at the same time removing the chill in the air. She leaned back in her favourite Bentwood chair at the kitchen table sipping hot tea from the cup cradled in both hands. As she relished warming her bare feet by the wood stove, Molly heard a sound coming from up the stairs. From where she was sitting at the table, only a pale glow was visible, casting a weak shadow which spilled down onto the wooden floor at the bottom of the staircase in the hallway just outside of the kitchen doorway. Curious, she refilled her tea cup then peeped around the corner and up the stairs – the door at the top was slightly ajar. Molly was sure Will had shut the door yesterday…well… maybe not – being playful at the time, her mind was on other things… What fascinated her more was the soft light which shone out from the crack of the partially opened door. Full moon had passed, and there were no street lights outside. Curiosity beckoned her. Walking up the stairs, she gently pushed opened the door to find a candle burning on the bureau and the writing slope was open! Maybe Will had been up here earlier whilst she was asleep? Walking across the room, she sat down in the captain’s chair and found one of the letters opened. It must have been Will! Molly sighed, feeling slightly disappointed. She had hoped he would have left this up to her, as she had wanted to ask Grace for her permission first. Looking around, Molly wished she could see Grace, to have some kind of contact with her and to get her permission to read the letters. She decided to write a letter to Grace. The candle flickered brightly, like it was agreeing, as she took out a blank piece of paper and looked quizzically at the ink pen. It had been quite a few years since she had used one of these, back in Art School when they studied calligraphy. Closing her eyes, she rolled the pen between her fingers and thumb, getting a feel for how to use it and thinking about what to write. Dipping the pen in the ink, the quill nib glided effortlessly across the paper in perfect script writing…

Dear Grace,
I know you are aware of us moving into the house and that I have come across your letters to Captain Forrest.
With your permission, I would like to read them. I would also appreciate meeting you or at least having some contact with you.
Kind regards,
Molly.

Staring out the window, all she could see was the reflection of the candle in the aged panes of glass, the swirled reflection created a dull glow as the candle danced on the dusty, rippled surface, highlighted by the darkness of the night outside. As her mind began to wander, she was sure she had felt a hand gently on her shoulder. Keeping very still, her eyes focussed on the candle, in her peripheral sight she saw something very unusual. The quill pen picked itself up and wrote one simple word…

Yes.

A little taken by surprise at the response, and more than slightly spellbound, Molly was unable to move, until the candle spluttered and went out. Sitting in the darkness, she heard a shuffling sound behind her. Having been lost in thought, maybe Will had come up the stairs to check on her, and had snuffed out the candle, trying to be spooky. She could sense someone behind her and expected to see Will. Instead, what she saw when she turned around was definitely not Will! The vision before her made her heat skip a beat. Standing in the middle of the room was an iridescent outline of a woman, her long wavy hair framed her face, falling softly over her shoulders and down her back. She was dressed in a Victorian cotton nightdress with bare feet! Molly was beyond excited, she was speechless, and all she could do was smile. The woman smiled back at her and sat down on the daybed, casually lying on her side, with one bare foot tucked up under her nightdress, the other dangling playfully over the edge of the bed, head resting casually in her hand as she observed her visitor more closely. Her loose hair cascaded softly over the pillow beneath her arm. Grace Forrest looked intently at Molly, taking in all the detail with immense curiosity. Molly was doing the same. No words were exchanged and the vision began to fade. She sensed the presence had left the room. Her hands felt around inside of the bureau for some matches and a candle.  As Molly relit the candle she noticed that there was more writing on the paper. Three simple words in perfect script.

Write to me.

She was beside herself with excitement, her heart racing, realising that she had made contact with Grace Forrest! Not only having seen her in spirit, Grace had physically communicated with Molly. By the dull light, she began to write a letter to Grace. With the brief letter finished and feeling tired, she rested her head upon her arm on the desk top, and fell into a deep sleep. 

Molly was woken by the distant sound of Will’s voice calling her name and the morning sunlight pouring through the window. The candle had burnt itself out. Will was standing behind her, and adoringly he brushed the strands of hair from her face and kissed her cheek. “Wow, you have been busy!” he complimented her, looking around at the clean room. “And I didn’t hear a thing! I’ve made us some breakfast, its ready in the kitchen, or would you like to have it back in bed….” He attempted to seduce her, wrapping his arms around her waist. “Kitchen will do….for now.” She teased him, unaware of just how clean the room was. There were no signs of dust anywhere, and the fire was stacked ready for lighting. Fresh candles filled the chandelier, and the hanging crystals sparkled, as did the window panes. Whilst she and Will went downstairs to the kitchen, Grace appeared in the attic room wearing a bibbed apron over her floor length dress, her hair pulled back in a bun, a scarf wrapped around her head. With hands on hips, she looked around the room, her face alive with a smile of satisfaction. She gently closed the door behind them. Molly heard the click of the lock as she reached the kitchen, looking back over her shoulder, she saw that the door had closed and smiled to herself at the obvious signs of her new friend’s presence.

“Will, have I got a story to share with you!” Molly started as she poured tea for them both.

Will never doubted her stories, always keen to listen. This one in particular had him intrigued. Molly shared with him her experiences of the wee hours of the morning in The Attic, and how she couldn’t wait to get back up there and do some more writing.

“I’ll leave you to it, think I’ll take a look at that roof and see what can be done before we get any more rain. I did notice some roof flashing out in the barn. I’ll catch up with you for lunch?”

“Sure,” Molly replied over her shoulder, already on her way up the stairs. The stairs felt different today, or was it the way she was feeling? There was a buzzing sensation in her body as she entered the room. The sunlight revealed to her the changes which had occurred whilst she had been asleep. At first, she thought that maybe Will had done it all whilst she slept at the desk. As she turned around, there standing by the daybed plain as day was Grace dressed in an apron, as before, hands on her hips and a smile on her face. Then she vanished and the lid of the writing slope dropped open, the quill pen rolled onto the chair.

Molly laughed, “Okay, okay, I’ll write to you again,” she said out aloud. As she sat at the desk and opened the draw to get a piece of blank paper, she found a reply letter from Grace!

Dear Molly,

I am so pleased you are here, I have been awaiting your arrival for some time. You are welcome to read my letters to Callum, although what is important to me is that you read the journal in the draw below. I so wanted to get this published but felt the contents were a little….imaginative! There is more to this room than meets the physical eye!

Yours truly,

Your dear old friend, Grace Forrest.

Molly, captivated by what she was reading, read over the words several times wanting to understand what was happening. Then she remembered – the journal! Lifting it out of the draw below and placing it on the desk top, she realised just how many pages there were! On the first page was a letter addressed to her! Shaking her head, slightly amused, she read the words again.

Dear Molly,

I have been awaiting your arrival. In my dreams I had seen you coming and was guided to write this journal for you. It outlines the visions, the waking dreams I would have whilst sitting here at this desk, waiting for Callum to return for me. And he did. However, since my passing over, I have returned to this room many, many times to see if you had arrived. This room is a doorway between worlds, between Heaven and Earth. I have seen others here on several occasions, purely out of curiosity and who were also awaiting your arrival.

We are so pleased you are here and now we can get on with the work that is required for you to do here in this realm we refer to as the World Between Worlds.

To you I am known now as Grace Forrest. All that you are about to read here is true and of my life during the 1800’s. However, there is another aspect of my relationship with you. Since I had returned with Callum to the Spirit Realm, we have both been assigned as Guardian Angels. At your conception I was assigned to take care of you. As a child you knew me as your invisible friend and as an adult you have had glimpses of me when you have prayed for help. My journal writings were about these dreams or visions I had about you.

So please, read on. I hope they inspire you to get writing!

Affectionately yours,

Grace Forrest.

Molly brought her attention back to the journal beneath this letter. Page after page, she read a story somehow familiar to her. But what she struggled to believe was that this story actually about her, of the events in her life up until now. Of her praying to Grace for help and Grace guiding her to the answers of the problems she had been experiencing, and sharing with Molly the magic of this special room – The Attic, through Molly’s dreams at night. Now she was remembering why this room had felt so familiar. Several hours passed quickly, and when Will came looking for her, it was well into the mid afternoon! 

“Will, Will!” she greeted him excitedly, taking his hand firmly in hers. “Can you feel her in the room, can you see her?”

Cautiously looking around him at the seemingly empty room, he replied slowly, uneasily “see…who? Feel…what? Oh come on now Molly, you are creeping me out a little!”

“No, no, don’t be afraid Honey! It’s Grace Forrest! She has been waiting for us. Here, sit down on the daybed and have a read of this.” She handed him the journal with the covering letter from Grace. “You stay here and read, I’ll get us a snack,” she called out as she skipped down the stairs. On returning with a tray of cheese, crackers, olives and sliced vegetables, Molly found Will lying on the daybed immersed in reading the journal. 

“Molly this is awesome, when have you had the time to write all of this?” He looked up at her with surprise.

“Me? I didn’t write it Will, it was Grace!” she replied, her eyes sparkled with mischief.

“No…. no…..” He shook his head disbelievingly, “this can’t be true. You must have done it, it’s all about you!”

Molly sat next to him on the daybed. “Look Will, look at the age of the document, look at the style of writing, it is all done by hand with pen and ink! Do you really think I would have gone to this much effort to make it look so old and authentic?”

“True” he replied, nodding his head in agreement. “But still, how did Grace know?”

‘You will have to ask her for yourself to get the answer to that one! There’s a pen and paper…”

Will interrupted Molly as he jumped up off the bed and said, “Uh ah! No way! That’s your job my little ghost writer, I’ll leave that all up to you!” Will backed away exaggeratedly, his hands in the air above his head in surrender, playfully teasing her. Sitting back down on the daybed, he selected some of the snacks Molly had prepared, and asked, “So where’s the wine? Hmmmm?” reaching out and pulling her down onto the daybed, he kissed her neck seductively. 

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