The Ford Estate lay amidst the rolling hillside and landscapes of Ruby, Michigan about 10 miles west of Lake Huron, as a vulture flies. The old country road leading up to its gate winds its way through the area's woodlands along Mills Creek on the left. In its heyday the road was maintained with fresh gravel but now it lays neglected and washed away leaving large potholes that fill with water after every rainstorm.
At the end of the old road stood the old iron bridge which passed over Mills Creek on the way to the estate. It could no longer support the weight of a vehicle so had been blocked off and disregarded for quite some time. These conditions made traveling to and from the estate nearly impossible but in former years it was a scenic and tranquil journey. The locals long believed that the road represented a persons life journey. The Creek its arteries leading up to the heart or bridge. The bridge connected the land on each side to the Ford Estate that set in rhe middle and represented the soul.
The mansion's walls which had once been sound now had a lower section of cracked and damaged concrete. The upper section and gate were rusting and weakened all of which had stolen it's abilty to keep the chaos of the world from intruding. Behind the walls, the estate was overtaken by a field of high grass hiding the dilapidated old mansion crying out in pain to any that would listen. Everything was in a prolonged state of disrepair. The whole place was completely boarded up and had not had a visitor in many years.
Human reason would suggest that its floors were too weak for even the slightest person to walk on. The passage of time had not been kind leaving the paint faded and the estate looking like a lifeless corpse in a pale grey iron coffin.
However, Minnie now an old woman in her nineties found herself down the road that ran along Mills Creek, across the old bridge, through the broken walls and rusting iron gate. She was already past the high and dying grass and at the front porch where she now stood and was waiting. In a instant, she remembered growing up in the house with her family, how much they all loved the mansion and the many memories that must still echo inside of its chambers.
As she stood there, a key suddenly appeared in her right hand belonging to its door and a tear ran down her cheek. She remembered her family were all long since gone as were all her remaining hopes, dreams and future aspirations. It seemed, both she and the mansion were aged beyond repair, weather battered, and disheveled with the passage of time.
Minnie turned the key half hoping she would be flooded with the images and memories from childhood bygone days. Instead she was confronted with cobwebs and the telltale signs of rats and other rodents that had taken over the beloved mansion. The creatures had turned its inner corridors from the organized and tidy home she remembered, into a disorganized array of chaos that made no sense to her. Especially now, 25 years after she had taken here last step here, a stroke, and the onset of dementia.
As she explored the estate room by room at every turn it seemed as if she was seeing things for the first time and yet she was strangely driven toward one door in the house. A new door, one she didn't recognize from her childhood, a door seemingly in perfect condition. A door that represents a new beginning. She opened the door and went inside.
She found the room was filled with memories, an antique mirror and someone's important things. As she touched each item, old memories seemed to flow back to her. Suddenly in a chair that looked so familiar a blond headed girl sit looking at intently back at her.
Minnie asked, "Who are you and how did you get into this room? The house is completely boarded up its just a broken-down old mansion."
The young girl was offended, "I have always been here at our house. I don't know what you even mean by broken down old mansion. This is our family home and its filled with the memories of our lives. Our yard is kept in immaculate condition and beyond our gates lies an iron bridge that crosses over Mills Creek connecting our home to the adjacent countryside."
In an instant the old woman started hearing the voices of everyone she had ever loved echoing through from the lower level of the house. She started to look back toward the blond girl but instead found herself sitting in the chair where the young girl had once been. She shot up, quickly glancing in the mirror, a woman in her early twenties looked back at her and she realized that she had been the blond girl. Bolting to the window, she saw on the now perfect porch the old woman from only one hour ago fading away.
She ran from the room and down the stairs to the main floor startled. The voices were coming from the kitchen. It was her mother and sisters preparing dinner while her father and the boys played out on the lawn of the estate. She supposed after they would all stroll down the road to the iron bridge that crossed over Mill Creek. Minnie no longer cared if she was the blond girl, younger woman, older woman that died on the porch or if she had even ever been even there at all. Nothing longer mattered. Everything was perfect in this place just like she always remembered it.
Merci pour la lecture!
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