The Ghostest with the Mostest
“The reading of the will of Miss Fanny Draper” the lawyer's boomed loudly. I was the only person there. I had Miss Fanny one summer when I was about sixteen. I had taken a job of house sitting for her. She was a neighbor of ours. She was also very eccentric. I could not understand why I was the only person sitting there, I knew she had relatives that lived in New York. Mr. James, the lawyer, continued, his voice lower. “Miss Charlotte (Fanny Draper) has deeded to you Miss Adeline Hanson all of her worldly goods including the Green Willow Plantation, her ancestral home, here in Charleston, South Carolina. I was stunned, I managed to stammer a thank you to Mr. James. I thought about the fun Miss Fanny and I had that summer I spent with her. I wondered why she had lived in New York for all those years. Mr. James also handed me a letter in Miss Fanny's hand. I opened it with shaking hands:
My dear Adeline,
I imagine this must be quite a shock for you to read this but please accept Green Willow from me. You are the very first person in my life, that cared about me as a person. I know I can trust you to keep Green Willow safe from my conniving nephew, Howard Dinkle. I never told you about him, he is a leech. He has wanted Green Willow for a very long time. That my dear is why I selected you to care for the plantation. I know you will make a grand mistress.
My love to you always,
I stared at that letter, trying to comprehend how I became a plantation owner, this is the year 2020 not the 1860's. Mr. James handed me a key. He had kindly made a plane reservation for me. All I had to do was go home, pack my bags and become a plantation owner all in a few hours.
The plane ride was a bit bumpy but not as bumpy as my ride to Green Willow. Green Willow was located on the Santee River. My first glimpse of the plantation took my breath away. Apparently it had been abandoned a good many years ago. It need a great deal of restoration but would make a great bed and breakfast when I finished. The road up to the main house wound itself through palmetto trees and myrtle. I alighted from the car I had rented at the airport. The house seemed to beckon me to enter. The front porch had brick steps. Above the front door was an intricate beveled glass that the letters GW entwined. The foyer the wood floors were highly polished oak. The winding staircase had a newel post had willow branches decorating it. The curtains were red velvet. I walked toward what was the music room or perhaps a ball room. There was a beautiful grand piano and next to it a harp. I was hopelessly in love with Green Willow.
I brought my bags in, found an upstairs bedroom no doubt the master's bedroom. The bed was a huge canopy with white linen stretched across the top. There was a beautiful set of dressers made out of mahogany. There was a portrait of a beautiful young woman, with silky brown tresses dressed in a dark green gown. Her eyes were azure blue, her skin like alabaster. She must have been the mistress of the house, I thought she bore a vague resemblance to Miss Fanny. I quickly unpacked my bags. It was then that I met a young woman who seemed to appear out of no where:
“Are you Miss Adeline?”
“I am Lizzie, I was hired to be your maid by Mr. James.”
She must have saw the surprise on my face:
“Miss Adeline, my family has served Green Willow for two centuries. I think you
have a great deal to learn about Green Willow. Miss Fanny, she was the last and youngest
daughter of Mr. Edward Draper and his wife Marjorie. It is her portrait you see in the
This whole thing was creeping me out to say the least. Lizzie informed me that dinner would be served in the main dining room at seven, the time it was served since the plantation was built in 1858.
I felt like a stranger as I should, I was a stranger and why Miss Fanny had left Green Willow remained a mystery. I opened one of the large windows that over looked the Magnolia trees which filled the air the with lovely fragrant smell. I could just picture Miss Fanny in this lovely plantation, yet I could not help wondering why she left it. I decided I had best change for dinner before Lizzie reappeared to summon me. I went down to dinner the meal was exquisite.
Once sated, I went for a stroll on the porch. The night was so warm and a soft breeze blew in from the Santee. There was no television, something I had to remedy tomorrow, I also needed cable.
I sat quietly thinking of the wonders of Green Willow. I heard a horse whinny and decided I should explore the barn. I entered the barn and there was a huge black stallion, glaring at me. I exited the barn just as quickly as I had entered it.
I went up stairs, readying myself for bed. The mosquito netting had been placed around the huge bed. There was no air conditioner, that was a bummer especially with the frogs that seemed to croak under my window.
Late that night, an apparition appeared, it was Miss Fanny when she was a young belle. She was beautiful. She motioned me to follow her, we went into the music room where she played the piano and harp. When she had done, she rose, walked over to the tea pot and poured tea. Scaring me half to death. She smiled as she moved around. I went back to bed figuring I had a good case of indigestion. The next evening the apparition appeared once again. We had tea once again, it was then she told me that Howard Dinkle had murdered her. I had to stop eating those pralines before bed, this indigestion was horrible.
The following night, Miss Fanny appeared once again, we had tea in the music room. She then told me this would be her last visit, her job was done. I hated to think I would never see her again. She truly had been the ghostest with the mostest. I did see her one last time out in the graveyard entering her grave, she waved graciously to me as we said our final goodbyes.
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The title caught my eye, and I'm glad it did. There is beauty in the way this story brought me in. Adeline's kindness to Miss Fanny in life brought her rewards after she passed. I felt I could see the plantation and hear those frogs. There was no fear in seeing Miss Fanny's, and I liked that as a change of pace from most stories. The only thing I would add is I would have liked to see Dinkle get justice. I enjoyed this story very much.