TALES FROM HAWTHORNE: AN ANTHOLOGY
“Tales From Hawthorne: An Anthology” is a collection of five short stories all taken place in Hawthorne, a fictional town located in Scotland. Each story is individual, and specifically set in a different place in Hawthorne and at a different point of time, surrounding from 1970s to 2010s, with different storylines and characters.
By WRITER team – SPECIALIST
HAWTHORNE /haw-thawrn/: A small town located in the Northeast of Scotland. It situates near the city of Aberdeen to the north, and borders the North Sea of the Atlantic Ocean. Its population is approximately 20000.
(HAWTHORNE’S GEOGRAPHICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA, BOOK I)
From now on, this will be a different adventure. For helping you- who are watching for Aadarsh’s story- to have an unfeigned feeling, I will show you our boy’s diary. Hope you enjoy, my friends
After waking up, a headache “attacked” me, I hoped it just a dream but no, I’m still here, in this weird mansion. And I thought that I would faint again when I saw these ghosts near me, but they just stand there in the same distance they were last night.
Then, I figured it out that when I ran away, they ran, too. Or else, they are just things surrounding. So, maybe, the solution to survive here is live with them?
If not, what do they want me to do? Today is the first day, I still haven’t found the answer yet, maybe I’ll spend time adventuring this place. This discovery is the answer for science about ghosts. If I never make it out, hoping someone can find my journal.
My food is running out. If this situation continues, I will be one of these ghosts and waiting for a new visitor??? But, well, living with ghosts does not bad like I thought. Actually, they are kind of good-looking and nice. They just walk on their paths, I just sit in my place. I don’t bother them, they don’t bother me. Exactly what I need, leave me alone at my place. Well, return to my problem right now, tomorrow, I will find food to survive and the way out. This happening doesn’t make any sense at all, so I’m kinda excited right now and cannot wait for tomorrow adventure.
Hopeless… Today, I did not find more food or water, on the contrary, my food has been used double times. Why? Well, in the morning, when I ate my breakfast, also my lunch, one guy (you know what I mean) came to me quickly and tried to take my bread. I was surprised and then I pushed him away (I do not know why I can touch him, so freaky) “You weirdo things”- that was exactly what I told him. At that moment, I thought I would be eaten by ghosts. But the strange is, he did not touch me again, just stayed away from me and sat at the corner.
You know, I’m a human. So I felt guilty, felt like I had done a terrible thing. Then, I just slowly approach and brought him a bread for my apology. Surprisingly, the man smiled with me, he said thanks and I wondered if my eyes had problems, but I swear, I could see the man more apparent, just like he was not a shadow anymore. So, today, I did a right thing, but tomorrow, I have to face with the fact that I have no more food now. Tragic. Well, I hope you will have a lesson from me, just bring a lot of food when you want to visit your Grandma, in case you will get lost in a huge old mansion in a huge wood, with ghosts are surrounding you every day. Ridiculous, right? But I have to fight against it if I want to live.
“I have to fight against it if I want to live..”
We have a big advance today. Finally, I have more food, and where they come from? From my ghosted-friend. The man I gave him bread yesterday, he paid me back with an apple. I did not know how he got them, but I was just too hungry, so I ate it, and good news, I still breath. So I think, I can eat food they give me. At this moment, I have a favorable impression with these guys. And I think I have figured out the rule to live in here. Just be nice to them, they will pay you back. And don’t worry, I will find the answer for leaving here, I don’t have an intention to live in this place all my life.
How many days have passed? I do not know, I am just too lazy each night to update my adventure story, especially when it does not have many strange stories to tell. My life in these days, day by day, is the same. I have learnt to write my journal like some famous explorers, but I made a decision to give up because I have no more story to be told. But today, I have to write. I have a food supplier now that I do not worry about the death of hunger, and my friends, ghosted-friends do that job. And time gone by, I believe I have learnt a lot of lessons now. As long as I have lived in this mansion, I have shared my food, my feelings with them, I have talked with them and I have heard their story. There are a lot of backgrounds in their lives that I didn’t know, until they told me. They almost have lived in the previous century. They all know the reason why they got here. But I heard an interesting story, told by the others. In this mansion, there used to a witch. She is ugly, and obviously, she was not loved, even by her father. Moreover, she was always hit by him. The witch, she always covered her body and face under the demonic purple, no one had seen her face, and no one would want to. She’s ugly, the curse of ugliness was so strong that made people disgusted when talking about her. Moreover, there was a rumor that anyone who had seen her, died, so people kept away from her…
One day, no one knew what had happened, they just heard that the witch’s father tried to kill her, however, he failed to do so. After that, the father disappeared and no one heard about him anymore. About the witch, with all her pain of being rejected by the people, by her father; with all of her loneliness, her broken heart, she made a curse, a curse of desolation. She buried a coffin of a living man inside, and then sacrificed her own self to create a spell. She cursed at every sorrow spirits in this world, just like her, will never be freed if they do not know the feeling of love, and, to feel the love in this mansion is impossible, so, they had stuck here for a long time. All they need, is love, love will release them from sorrow and pain. Maybe, they just need someone to listen to them, to feel them. And I did that, the more sympathies I gave, the more beautiful they looked. Now, most of them are no longer shadows, I can see them just like a normal people in our world. And above all of them, there is a pregnant woman that I feel warm most. She gives me the feelings like a sister loves her younger brother. About me, I always see her as my sister, my beloved sister. And I feel really sad for her that she passed while her child had not been given birth. This is the real tragedy. About her life, she has never told me. She just said that she had had a struggling life, that she was in love with one man, she had their child but that man, he had never known that. She said she was a prostitute. I have never belittled her because she was a…. I know she had to work that job because she had no choice. In her hometown, woman had to work that job. I really do not understand why, I just know it was a conservative and old custom. There are a lot of things in life that I have never known.
Now, look at myself, I just see a childish, soulless person. I missed too much chances in my real life to communicate with people, to understand them, to love them and to sympathize with them. I wish I had done it once. If I had done, I would never have felt so regretted right now. If I have another chance to come back home, I will say sorry and spend more time in my life on living, not breathing. One woman and the ghosts, they have taught me. Being lost in here, maybe the gift for me from the heaven.
“As long as I have lived in this mansion, I have shared my food, my feelings with them, I have talked with them and I have heard their story…”
We have read our boy’s diary in his long-living day in the mansion. And now, we will continue to watch for the day after he wrote his last diary…
The next morning welcomes him with the soft lights. As usual, Aadarsh is ready for a new day. In this morning, he is eating his potato as a breakfast and talking to his friends. He always seems interested in every single story they tell him. But, the strange thing is, today, he has not seen the woman. “Maybe she is having some stuffs to do”. He thinks so, and continues with his conservation. Suddenly, a scream resounds loudly and; it is a familiar tone: the woman’s scream. Aadarsh immediately runs from room to room, and then, he finds out the woman in the last room, also the biggest one.
There, in front of him is an unbelievable scene, the woman is trying to give birth. In that moment, the boy just throws away all of his thoughts, about how non-sense event can happen, now, he just knows he has to do his best to help the woman, to help her and the child being safe…
Aadarsh does not know how he can get through this. He just realizes that when he calms down, he is holding a baby in his hand, the woman’s baby, a beautiful baby. He gives the child to her. And the magic happens. Everyone in the mansion, suddenly, they all slowly ascend to the sky with a happy smile. The surrounding now is not the mansion, or windows, etc. anymore, anything have been disappeared, and the field of flowers came into view instead. A lot of gorgeous flowers that he has never seen. Small pink flowers are flying in the sky. Such a beautiful and touching scene! Over there, the woman is holding her baby with the happiness. It is not a long conservation to say goodbye, their goodbyes just conclude in two words from the woman “Thank you”. And then, everything vaporizes, just like a dream.
Waking up, Aadarsh realizes that he is laying in the familiar small path leads to his Grandma house with teardrops on his cheek. A strange feeling blooms in his heart: a touching feeling. Never in his life that has he had much regret like this time. He is upset though, but his heart is full-filling. He knows how to live happily right now among people. The key is: sympathy.
The boy, while recalling all beautiful memories he has had in this world, suddenly one thought strikes him “But how about my world?”. It is in the morning right now, but…WHAT DAY IS IT TODAY? He has lived in that singular world for at least one month, he thinks. “Does it mean that one month have passed either?”. Immediately, he gets up and runs as fast as he could to his Grandma’s house.
With all the heavy breathing, he is standing there, before his Grandma’s house. He wants to knock that door, but he is just too afraid to do that, because he scares that no one will trust him and his story. He is standing there, does not know what to do…
“He wants to knock that door, but he is just too afraid to do that, because he scares that no one will trust him and his story. He is standing there, does not know what to do…”
Unexpectedly, the door is opened, and, his father is behind it. The father seems to be rooted to the spot. They are both covered by silence.
-Where have you been, Aadarsh?
-D…Dad, I’m so sorry but I swear that I have never meant to leave, never. I just ran to Grandma, and then, a lot of weird things happen. I don’t know how to tell you. I’m afraid I will be a liar, I’m afraid you don’t trust…
Immediately, his father comes to him and hugs him tightly, like he has never hugged his son “Thanks God. You safely returned home, that’s enough for me. You are everything I want to see, to love and to trust. My son, forgive me for misunderstanding you. I love you”
They hug each other, they cry and they sympathize.
“My son, forgive me for misunderstanding you. I love you”. They hug each other, they cry and they sympathize.
Time goes by. No one actually knows what happened on that day, after the boy came home and what did the family say, no one knows and no one will know. They just know that after Aadarsh’s one-month missing case, the boy turned out to be a different one. Now, he is the best one whom you want to speak with most. And about Aadarsh, he learns to care for people and spends most of the time caring for them.
Aadarsh’s missing case is the most popular story to be told in Hawthorne Town. As usual in this town, parents use this story to teach their children about caring and be nice. But, the true reason why Aadarsh was the one to be chosen for that mansion is still mysterious, and just God can answer this question. In the end, maybe the encounter between our boy and a singular world is a gift from heaven, to free “people” who have stuck in that place for centuries and to teach the boy how to live.
And you? Have you had a good preparation to make a visit to them? Because, they are waiting for you.
Vaporize (v): bốc hơi
AUTHOR: đào thanh ngân
From SpecialistsCover Illustrator: Đào Thanh Ngân
Spelling and Grammar Checker: Hoàng Phan Anh Tuấn
Vocabulary Editor(s): Hoàng Phan Anh Tuấn
Executive Supervisor: Nguyễn Dương Trung Tín
The Anthology created by: Võ Thường Hằng, Đào Thanh Ngân, Danh Nhật Sang, Đặng Tiểu Bảo, Hoàng Phan Anh Tuấn from Specialists
Posted by Phương Vy from Communications