Chapter 13 Midnight Feast


Midnight Feast

The house was called “Draigor Manor,” and according to legend had once belonged to a mad man. A high classed family had bought it in the previous years and raised their son within the strong limestone walls without any problems. Lilly lay and waited by the warmth of the fire that thawed her limbs. A doctor was called for who turned out to be an old and kindly man with red cheeks due to the chilly night air. He checked her over and said; she would be fine, just some cuts and bruises but it was a miracle she was still alive.

Lilly was in the house of the Haggart family. Lord Haggart was a wealthy business man and had moved down from Scotland to set up his business in Yorkshire. The Lady Ceira Haggart was beautiful, and under her sweet, charming beauty was an equally wonderful personality. She had long chestnut hair which waved slightly in strands that had fallen loose from the bun on the back of her pretty head and her pleasant eyes were a warm turquoise. The woman was slender yet had a definite power to her physique and manners. She was kind, loving and sweet but also had an edge of humour and mischief that glowed in her eyes. It was obvious why Lord Haggart had chosen her for a wife. She was all that a good wife and mother should be, yet also adventurous and exciting.

Lilly grew in strength and after two hours managed to open her eyes. Under the constant watchful eye of Lady Haggart the maid brought in hot drinks and an endless supply of biscuits.

“How are you feeling, my dear?” The lady of the house held Lilly’s hand and patted it gentle.

“I’m . . . fine,” Lilly forced a smile but she still felt weak.

“You poor thing, can you remember what happened?”

“I was . . . I remember the river.”

“Do you remember your name?”


“Pretty. My name is Ceira. My gardener and gate keeper found you on the river bank. A doctor has been to see you he said you’ll be fine after some rest.”

“Thank you. Are you Lady Haggart?”

“Please, call me Ceira; this isn’t exactly a formal occasion.” Ceira smiled. “You’ve heard of me?”

“Only stories.”

“Ooh, interesting. I like stories. Let me guess I’m a Scottish witch and the long lost daughter of the mad man who owned this house?”

“Sadly that is one of them.” Lilly felt embarrassed.

“Oh please I heard that one ages ago.” There was a slight hint of a Scottish accent as she said this. “More biscuits?”

“No thank you ma’am?”

“Typical English - polite like I’m royalty. Lilly, if I wasn’t married to a lord I would just be Ceira McKenzie. Nothing glamorous about me unless you believe some of the stories I’ve heard. Have as many biscuits as you want, they need eating. So what other stories are there, I’m intrigued.” Ceira gave her a cheeky smile and bit into a biscuit. Lilly had to admit that they crumbling butter biscuits were making her feel better so continued to accept them to her hearts content.

“I’ve heard you saved a deer from the game keeper and slapped him in the face for trying to kill it.” Ceira laughed.

“I remember that. Only it wasn’t a slap,” she clenched her fist and grinned.

“What about the one where you’d been seen sleep walking with no clothes on as you headed to the church on Christmas Eve?”

“Nonsense.” Lilly was quickly feeling at ease around the Lady of the house. “I have to admit I thought that one was made up.” She took a sip of her sweet tea.

“It was Mid Summers Eve.” Lilly nearly choked.


“Mid Summers Eve,” Ceira repeated.

“What about that you worked a spell to drive old Andy mad and get the house?” Lilly tried the most outrageous rumour she’d heard in the hope that Lady Haggart wouldn’t say it was true.

“Now that was not my fault. I do know the actual true story behind Andrew Cole but first I think we better get you something to sleep in. Do you think you can stand up?” Lilly tried and with the help of Ceira managed to walk a few daunting steps. Her legs ached.

They slowly made progress to the stairs and climbed to an upstairs room that was cool and smelt of dust. It was cluttered with old furniture, baby clothes and toys. A wardrobe that was still accessible opened to reveal numerous clothes and dresses. The Lady of the house had exquisite costumes of rainbow colours and expensive fabrics like silk and linen, with wonderful embroidery. The only dress that was in Lilly’s size was a shimmering, pale blue, silk dress. It rustled when Lilly moved and the beads that encrusted the neck, cuffs and hem of the skirt glittered in the candle light. It was an old dress but still had its charm and enchantment. Lilly felt it was not necessary to dress her in such finery but Lady Haggart enjoyed dressing her up. Lilly allowed her to play with her hair and make a fuss. Lady Haggart wanted a daughter that she could buy pretty dresses for and treat like a princess, because the prince, her son, was a cheery child but loved to get dirty in the fields.

Lilly secretly loved the attention as Lady Haggart plaited her hair then folded it into a roll on the back of her head. When she emerged from the room she had transformed into a beautiful young women of higher class, dressed in finery she had never experienced. Lord Haggart thought it was too much for an ill girl washed up on the river bank but smiled lovingly at his over charitable wife.

The women returned to the living room and sat near the warm fire.

“There now, does that feel better?” asked Ceira.

“Yes, thank you,” Lilly stroked a piece of the silk skirt then was aware that there was another pair of eyes watching her. A small boy, who didn’t dare come out from behind the shadows of the door, simply watched her like she was an angel. He thought she was exciting and mysterious and soon was completely convinced that she was indeed an angel who had fallen out of the sky and hurt her wings.

Lady Haggart glanced into the shadows.

“Michael, come here sweetheart,” she called the boy from the shadows. He shrunk away at first but reluctantly obeyed his mother. He crept over to the sofa and gazed at Lilly who smiled sweetly. Michael blushed and ran to his mother where he hid in her arms but peered out to see the angel in his living room. Lady Haggart sat Michael on her knee and cuddled him. She loved her son deeply and proceeded to tell Lilly of his birth and growing up. Lilly listened politely until the toddler fell asleep and the clock struck midnight. The Lady of the house retired to bed with her son gently draped over her shoulder.

Lilly snuggled down into the warm and comfortable sofa but was disturbed by a scratching. The window was iced over and tiny claw prints were visible. Lilly quietly opened it to find Moulina huddled on the stone sill. She dove into her arms and curled up in her chest. Lilly shut the window and carried the strange creature back to the sofa. The little Polt licked her face and nuzzled her while Lilly stroked the cold coat to wipe the snow off.

Moulina sat up and looked at her with determined eyes. Lilly tickled her chin and smiled but the animal moved back. She concentrated her power till her eyes clouded over as she cooled the fire. The magic stopped and she turned back Lilly who understood what was wanted of her. She picked up a small cup of water from the table next to her and concentrated. She felt the power gathering in her fingers and her eyes turned silvery white. She froze the water - the cup too - but she could do it none the less.

Moulina cuddled up to her mistress like a child. Lilly had recovered. She was no longer ill and had her power back in full flow.

Two young eyes watched the scene from the shadows of the doorway. A draft blew at the fire and Lilly turned round to see who was there. Michael shrank out of view but his red dressing gown peered round the door. Lilly stroked Moulina who fell asleep on her lap purring like a cat.

“Michael,” Lilly whispered, “It’s alright. You can come in. You needn’t be afraid. Come here.” She spoke in a childish voice that lured the boy from the cold corridor. He edged his way behind a chair and watched from the armrest. Lilly smiled at him and continued to stroke Moulina. The young boy seemed uninterested by the strange creature that lay on her lap and gave his undivided attention to the enticing girl who had appeared in his house. He chewed the cuff of his dressing gown and never took his eyes off Lilly.

She beckoned him towards her but he stayed where he was. After a minute or so he slowly crept into view but quickly hid himself behind the foot rest on the floor. It was not a frightened stare; just a child’s curious eyes watching his surroundings. Lilly laid her hand on the table next to her and patted it to invite the child closer. Michael quickly darted to the table and hid from view again.

Gradually he reappeared but Lilly played with Moulina and pretended not to notice him. Michael was irritated by her change in attention so he jumped then disappeared below the table. He popped up again to see if Lilly was looking at him. She turned her face to him and smiled. The boy grinned with delight.

Moulina yawned and stretched herself out on Lilly’s lap. Michael held onto the table and edged round the wood towards the angel. He jerked down beside the sofa and gazed up at her.

“Hello.” The voice would have patronised an older child but was appropriated for a three year old. Michael didn’t answer but sat up slightly. He glanced at Moulina then back to Lilly.

“Are you hurt?” The child’s voice was sweet and innocent. He had yet to learn of the cruel ways of the world.

“No. I’m better now thank you, Master Haggart,” Lilly addressed him appropriately but still spoke in a child’s voice to put him at ease. Michael walked his finger onto a piece of Lilly’s new dress. The fabric was soft and cool. He quickly pulled his hand away from the sofa and grinned.

He was inspecting her. Moulina would have been the main interest for most children but Lilly held more mystery to the young boy than any fury animal. Where had she come from? Why was she sleeping earlier? Why had the doctor come to see her? Michael studied her and reached out to touch a loose piece of her hair. The brown hair was thick but raw with split ends. The boy glanced up to checked that the strange woman would let him touch her. She kept smiling so Michael began to curl the hair round his sticky little fingers. He kept rolling it until it was pulled tight then pulled as an experiment to see what would happen. Lilly cringed and held onto her hair. She pulled it back from the short chubby fingers.

 Moulina chose to wake up and gain some of the attention back to herself. She walked towards Michael who ran back over to the chair on the other side of the room. He retreated further as Moulina smiled to herself and jumped down onto the polished wooden floor where she strutted around as though she guarding Lilly who lay comfortably on the sofa. Michael climbed onto the chair and hid behind a cushion.

“Don’t be afraid Master Haggart,” Lilly reassured the boy but the fact that the creature was patrolling in front of Lilly made him stay where he knew he was safe.

“Who are you?” he asked from behind the cushion.

“My name is Lilly.”

“Why are you here?”

“I fell into the river and hurt myself so I am spending the night here.” Lilly spoke clearly and slowly. Michael knew she had fallen from the sky but learned she had landed in the river and hurt herself so she needed time to heal her wings.

“Did you fall far?”

“No. Not far.” Michael’s brow creased as he thought heaven was high up in the clouds.

“Did you hurt your wings?” It was Lilly’s turned to be puzzled.

“What wings, Master Haggart?”

“I thought all angels had wings.” Lilly smiled at the child and liked the idea of being an angel.

“I lost them. That’s why I fell, because I couldn’t fly,” Lilly liked the fantasy of being able to fly but knew it was wrong to lie to a child. Michael was piecing his own story together as the evidence mounted. He was certain that Lilly was an angel who had fallen from heaven because she lost her wings. Landed in the river and had been rescued then brought back to the house without her wings.

Moulina chose the moment to sneeze and in doing so she slipped on the polished floor. She regained her  balance and tried to look proud in the hope that no one saw her embarrassing fall. Michael giggled behind his cushion so Moulina jumped back onto Lilly’s lap to be petted again.

“Is he your pet?”

“No. She is a friend of mine. She is called Moulina. She won’t hurt you.” Michael slid off the chair and tiptoed across the floor. He stood in front of her and reached out to touch Moulina’s soft fur. It was thick like an otter but she did not look like an otter. The white eyes were strange and the tipped tail twitched when she was tickled behind her ears.

Michael became more trusting of the strange couple and stroked Moulina in the dim firelight. The animal suddenly jerked upwards, pricking up her ears. She darted under the sofa and didn’t come out. Lady Haggart tiptoed into the room with a candle lighting her way. She was smiling at the two and when he was close enough knelt down beside Michael.

“What are you doing up? It’s way past your bed time.” She picked up her son then grinned mischievously and said, “Midnight feast?”

Michael cuddled up close to his mother and laughed. She hushed him and led the way to the door where she waited for Lilly who eased herself off the sofa then followed obediently. They tiptoed through the house to the kitchen. The room was large, warm and smelled of food. Lady Haggart put the candle down on a rough and worn table then carried her son to the cupboards. They rummaged around in the darkness and giggled at the lack of sufficient light until Lilly carried the candle over so they could see.

From the cupboards they found a clay pot of clotted cream and a jar of home-made blackberry jam then cut some bread unevenly with a carving knife. In the small hours of the morning they had no need to be efficient so made as bigger mess of things as they could.

The huge fire place was set up for the next morning so they removed some of the logs and tried to light it. They couldn’t. The fire remained cold and dark until Lady Haggart used the candle to spark the kindling. It crackled and roared quietly.

They found some toasting folks, placed the uneven chunks of bread on the ends and proceeded to toast them in front of the small fire. They sat on the hearth with their picnic of jam, cream and bread surrounding them and instead of finding knives they dipped their fingers into the jam and cream to spread it over the large lumps of toast. Lilly bit into one slice and felt her mouth begin to water with a tantalising taste that melted her worries. She munched on the bread with sweet smears of cream and jam. Michael managed to get the delicious feast all over his face and to Lilly’s astonishment Lady Haggart wiped it off with her dress.

Lilly loved the Haggart family. They were happy together and it reminded her of her old family before Rose had infected the love with her parasitic charm and sour greed. Lilly watched the mother and child with interest and yearning for a son or daughter of her own that she could love. The need for love grew in her heart so when Michael came over and sat on her knee she cuddled him close and helped him stuff some more bread and cream into his fat little mouth. With the happy family Lilly forgot everything that had happened to her with in the past two months.

She would have been puzzled if some one had reminded her that she had died that same night. Or that she had magical powers. Evelyn could have still been alive and Rose could have disappeared from existence. Lilly was perfectly happy for the first time in years.

In the shadows some one lurked forwards holding a broom as defence. The maid, Emma, crept from the shadows but relaxed quickly when she saw who it was. Lady Haggart apologised for waking her and pulled her to the floor to join in their party. Emma was undisturbed by the fact that she was sitting in the ashes of the fire with her high classed mistress. It must have been a frequent occurrence as she nibbled at the feast and joined in with the giggles and warming of their hands in front of the fire. Lady Haggart was mother to all under her roof and loved them all.

WAN   WAN wrote
on 8/14/2009 2:07:57 AM
i already read this so long time ago, and i want to say, this is a very great story from you my fairy. I wish someday it will become a movie. I am your avid FAN!!!

Trenchtownrock   Trenchtownrock wrote
on 8/4/2009 8:13:03 PM
I want to write stories like you my friend..this is created just are so detailed with every morsel of your story..showing me the doctor and how is face is red..Lilly's limbs being thawed..magnificent writing my friend....I wish you nothing but the absolute best with your writing.

Novel / Novella
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Rating: 10.0/10

Chapter 13 is a little something to cheer you up after the previous chapters and it marks the start of Lilly's life getting that much better. A feel good chapter for all the kids in us. Enjoy