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Today my mother told me to go out into the market to buy a nice dozen of eggs from Mrs. Marla. Mrs. Marla is known for the sales, and the only thing that makes her different from others is that she always gives a nice golden taste, with the cheapest of pay per egg. Our time is a harsh winter in Europe during the 1600s.
As soon as mother left, my boxed in room with no windows and only a candle lit, I pulled on my sweater and my boots then I ran down the stairs. We were very poor which meant that we didn’t have large enough jackets, so when I stepped outside the coldness of the air and the snow hit me instantly like a bird that ran into a window.
Mother gave me 2 pounds last night since I did more chores then I would normally. I didn’t want to go back and ask her for her money because I knew that it would be rude, so instead I walked down the sidewalk with a feeling of acceptance.
When I came to the corner that I would normally turn I saw this real tall skinny man with a long top hat, a long black trench coat, with dress pants that were white, and I became tense. I ignored him and rounded the next corner as though I didn’t see him.
I can’t explain why I felt so uptight, because he didn’t do anything to me. I guess it was only the vibe he gave off to me.
I was never so relieved when I came to the cart and brought the eggs, but Mrs. Marla saw exactly how I was feeling.
“What may have come to you on this dreary and gray morning?” She squinted at me.
“It’s nothing Mrs. Marla I’m ready to go home, no worries though.” It wasn’t really a lie, after all I was ready.
“Yes, I see then, be on your way my dearest.” Then she turned and serviced the next man.
Once I got home and gave mother the eggs I told my self that I was going to act as though nothing happened.
“Laura, dear wakeup” It was the next morning and my father was leaning over me rubbing my hair out of the way of my forehead.
“You went to bed quite early after dinner is everything fine?” He looked so concerned.
“Yes, I was tired that’s all.”
“So it may be.”
“Yes sir.” Then as soon as he left my room I awoke to prepare for breakfast.
I washed up real good and then took my seat at the table. I said my prayers and ate until I was full. My mother told me to go talk to Mr. Larsen about the rental deal and to see if the company replied back to the letter my mother submitted. I ran upstairs and pulled on my clothes, only to skip out the door. I took the same route to get to the market. Today it wasn’t as cold but rather foggy.
When I was finished and there wasn’t any news to tell I decided that I would be on my way back to where I was going. Instead, I took my favorite shortcut which lead me under a bridge and then to our back door. When I was under the bridge I ran into the stiff and muscular stomach of a man and almost screamed.
“Shh!” He hissed at me. It was the same man as yesterday morning, I noticed as I was backing up and away from him.
“Who are you?” I said with a twinge of a cry in my throat while I was backing away from him.
“I am a man called The Man.” He whispers softly as though if he were to speak too loud he would die.
“What do you want?” I had spoken with the same tone.
He placed his face in front of mine so close that I could see he looked gray. He had beady eyes that were black and a pointy nose that almost touched mine. I felt shocked.
“If you do not do as I command then I will break your neck and feed it to the dogs, are we understood?” He whispered to me.
I nodded my head to him real fast.
“Good we better be. I am not going to reply to your mother’s rental letter Larsen sent to me, and I am not going to send anything to your poor and ignorant house hold. I feel that your mother and father don’t have to be that way if they didn’t kill me.” He continued, “You don’t understand what they have coming their way but the only thing that I can tell you is to keep buying the eggs from Marla.”
With that he turned and walked away into the fog that was in front of me and I couldn’t do anything except for run after him and try my hardest to see him again. Sadly I didn’t, because he had vanished into the fog.
I cried the whole way home and mother saw my face, and she sat down to ask me what was wrong, but I refused to say a word to her. I didn’t think that she would approve of it.
Now everyday I would go to the market and buy at least one egg from Mrs. Marla, even if mother didn’t tell me too, and wait a minute before going home to see if anything would happen. It seems as though I didn’t see The Man anymore. I then came up with the idea; I wanted to talk to Mrs. Marla about the event, because I wanted to know what she would say about The Man.
“Mrs. Marla, Can you help me with this man?” She looked at me in the eyes. Without wasting any time, she looked around us. Afterwards, when she thought everything would be okay, Mrs. Marla told me to follow her.
She had this secret room that was for a gypsy behind a shop. Mrs. Marla took me to it. When we were inside the red and gold room I took a seat in front of a crystal ball.
“Tell me everything and don’t leave out details.” I told her the whole story from start to finish, and then she looked at me and shook her head.
“You are seeing a man named Mortimer Jones.” She let out a smug giggle. “I am sorry to say he isn’t going to leave you alone.”
“What do I do?” I was so sad and confused.
“You can’t help it unless you let him take you. He spoke to you ‘kill me’. Meaning, you are going to suffer.” I didn’t know what to think.
“How did he die?” I had to know.
“From living in the square so long and serving in the market everyone knows the story of old Mortimer Jones. If a person didn’t have authority of anything or anyone they can’t tell it. But I have authority of this room and my cart and this is how it’s told.” She continued on.
“At the gates of the mansion on Old Hole Hill where only the richest sat and ate there was a masquerade party, where who ever were known came. The party was a success but there’s a catch, it was your mother and your father’s party and Mortimer was the poorest in the whole neighborhood. Your parents broke Mortimer’s heart when they denied him coming into the mansion in rags.
“It was after the party when things went wrong. It was said that Mortimer placed a cursed on them; he was a gypsy also. The curse was that they would have a sweet little girl and they would be poor afterwards. When she became 14 she will meet him, and they will live together in a different world as one before she turns 15. Your mother and father were fierce, so your mother gave him food 2 days later, and inside of the bread and chicken was rat poison. As expected he didn’t know, so he ate it.”
“Just go with him of you want your parents back rich. If you want to see him again don’t buy an egg. He brought eggs from me only to live.”
I ran home crying again and then I just went to bed without eating dinner this time and awoke to seeing Mortimer in my room the next morning.
“You used Marla to tell you. Now you have to come with me. The action you did was not in the instruction.”
“What?” I said it so loud and I didn’t know if anyone was awake.
“Come little one do not be afraid of me.” Then just as I was going to run away he took my hand and I fell into a sleep that I never woke up from.