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by Sabrina Conrad
Description: Unaware of her family legacy, Sarah Griffith inherited a family estate in Savannah, Georgia. From the moment she arrived at Magnolia Estate, Sarah felt a connection to the historic family home. Bearing a strong resemblance to the painting of Elizabeth Griffith, the former mistress of Magnolia Estate, she knew, for the first time in her life, she belonged. But strange ghostly occurrences and threats on her life force Sarah to realize that the home harbors darker secrets. She embarks on a mission to solve the mysteries and learn the meaning behind the rose. Only when her faith is shattered can she learn the truth.
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing/solsticepublishing,
eBookwise Release Date: August 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [338 KB]
Reading time: 212-297 min.
"Don't die, Miss Lizabeth." Missy slumped over the edge of the mahogany four-poster bed. Hot tears spilled from swollen eyes and stung her cocoa cheeks. "Please don't die."
Elizabeth attempted to squeeze Missy's hand, and fluttered her eyes. "I'm weak. I can't hold on much longer. I'm not sure I want to hold on. I'm ready to die. I want to join Gerald. I long to be with him."
Elizabeth Griffith lay in the center of the bed, a mere shell of a once vibrant woman. Her peaches and cream skin was now colorless and pale. She was helpless and no longer possessed the will to fight.
Missy ambled to the washbasin, submerged the cloth in the cool water and wrung out the excess. She carefully folded the fabric and placed it across Elizabeth's forehead to cool her fevered heat.
"You's mustn't speak that way, Miss Lizabeth. Grant needs you. I needs you, Miss Lizabeth." Missy eased into the chair next to Elizabeth's side. She took the cup of soup from the bedside table with quivering fingers. "You must eat, Miss Lizabeth. You needs your strength."
Missy put her hand behind Elizabeth's neck and raised her fragile body. She propped pillows behind her head and elevated her to a comfortable sitting position. Carefully holding the cup to Elizabeth's parched dry lips, she tipped it to offer a small sip.
"Listen to me, Missy," She balled her frail hand into a fist over her mouth and coughed. "It's very important." Elizabeth glanced at Missy, who sat on the edge of her chair, and patted her hand. The corner of Elizabeth's mouth lifted to a weary smile. "Get closer."
Missy obediently sat on the bed with the soup cup in her hand. She started toward Elizabeth's mouth. Elizabeth turned her head and held out her hand.
"No more," Elizabeth struggled, "I need to talk to you. Please let me finish. We haven't much time."
"Yes'm." Missy placed the cup on the tray and inched closer to Elizabeth.
"I've been sick for a long time. A very long time."
"You'll get better, Miss Lizabeth. I knows you'll get better. You's so young."
Elizabeth continued, "I long to hold Grant. I want so much to hold my son in my arms, but I can't. I yearn for him, but I mustn't let him catch the sickness. I'm dying, Missy. A part of me has died every day since learning of Gerald's death. Now the sickness has consumed me. My strength is gone. Even the doctor said he's done everything possible."
"Don't talk like that, Miss Lizabeth," Missy sobbed. Removing a handkerchief from her tattered apron pocket, she dabbed at the tears that welled in her eyes.
"I'm not unhappy, Missy. I want to be with Gerald. I have missed him so. I'm happy. I feel at peace."
Elizabeth closed her eyes. "Grant is so young. I hope one day he finds the letters I left for him. That part of me I wish him to have, to remember."
"No, Miss Lizabeth, no." Missy sobbed.
"Tell him I love him. I will always watch over him. I want him to be happy and never shed a tear for me, for I am going to a better place. To be with Gerald."