Dive into this short story traversing centuries and brimming with character, written by a child author to give us a slight peek into the world bygone.
Many years ago, there lived a rich man called Neil Damiens. He lived in the Damiens’ bungalow on Heather street with his wife and two children and was the owner of a sugarcane plantation. One day, while he was working in the plantation, a fire broke out and many people died. Neil was one of them. The plantation was shut down. Thankfully, Neil had already made his will. Half his money went to his family and the other half to his sister. This was in the year 1751.
Two centuries later, in 1951, one of his descendants, Jacob Damiens found Neil’s diary. He read a few pages and finding it interesting, decided to read a page of it every day before going to bed. He read it till the very end. Interestingly, it was on the same day that he finished reading the diary – 17th of April, that Neil had died 200 years ago.
At the stroke of midnight, Jacob was awakened by a strange sound, like the whirring of pages. He arose and saw that the diary was closed. This was strange, because Jacob had been so sleepy that he had forgotten to close it. Just as he was about to go back to sleep, he heard another sound, like that of a cloak brushing against the floor. Jacob was surprised, as nobody in the house wore a cloak.
He took a torch and went out of his bedroom. He followed the sound of the cloak and reached the living room. There, he saw a cloaked figure standing and looking at a picture of Neil Damiens on the wall. The figure turned to face him and whispered, “Jacob.” After a pause, the whisper came again, “Jacob.” Then it said “I am Neil Damiens.”
Jacob was trembling with fear. The ghost of Neil Damiens said “Listen to me, Jacob. You must save your cousin, Ben Atkinsons, from dying like me. He lives in Wembley. You must not let him go to his factory, the Cotton Mill Factory tomorrow. It will explode. I do not want him to die in the same way as I died. You must save him.”
Jacob was very scared but agreed to do as the ghost said. The next day, he called Ben up and introduced himself as Jacob Damiens. He said that he needed 44 pounds of cotton. He also said that he wanted to feel the texture of the cotton and so would like to meet at Ben’s house the following day. After having wrapped up business, and feeling the cotton’s texture, the two men chatted till 12 ‘o clock. Later, that same day, the news of an explosion at the Cotton Mill Factory, Ben’s factory, appeared in the newspaper. It was also written that this was the very spot at which a similar explosion had taken place, 200 years ago, in a sugarcane factory. The owner of that factory was a man called Neil Damiens.