Hair Rising, Heir Raising, Erasing
Illegitimate daughter of Abraham Wilton Cough and Amelia Bates, Abigail was not conceived out of love. She is a pure mistake, simply made by her respective parents out of drunkenness. Despite her controversial conception, even unborn she is a blessing to all.
To her guilt ridden father, the mere fact that she is the growingly visible result of his action within the belly of the Widow Bates caused his nagging unrest and prophetic nightmare on his death bed. Her unseen presence pushes the proud Abraham first to admit that he did commit mistakes during his lifetime. With her mother playing the spiritual guide to the departing soul of Abraham, they help him to go from admission to making amends, passing by the acknowledgement of his errors.
‘Hair Rising, Heir Raising, Erasing’ is a tragi-comedy of errors: Wilton Cough’s ones with his heirs to be, his very own family. The play on words in the title is truly evocative of his entire nightmarish journey. It asks fundamental questions about how we raise our children. Are we partial to one and not the other? Are we imposing our views on them, destroying their talents in the making in brutal psychological ways? Did we simply show love to the ones we love when we had the chance of an entire lifetime to do so? Were we so head strongly proud and confident we were right that we hurt many in the making, in our path?
Home truths hurt. Abigail hurts the still living day life of Abraham. She is one he has yet to confess out loud to his lawfully wedded wife, minutes away from his death. However his wounded guts managed to find the strength to do so because the Angel that Abigail is, pushes is dying soul back to consciousness, giving him a short window to correct his errors, to do some sort of serious erasing.
Abigail’s character works as the sum of errors of any put to right. From refusing to acknowledge her as his own child, Abraham, meeting her finally, is mesmerised by her Angelic Being. She embodies more than what his legitimate sons achieved to be in their own after-lives.
In his premonitory feverish dream prior to his death, Abraham is allowed to see a night where the dead are rising. It constitutes a terrifying journey for him where the fate of his illegitimate daughter provides him with a much needed breather.
Abigail’s life is described to him by her proud mother Amelia within the Mausoleum that contains her daughter’s remains. Suitably impressed and chastised, Wilton-Cough expresses the wish to have done better with his own life: his dying wish. He is granted it by being allowed to be conscious for his remaining minutes of expiring life.
If that Angelic character brings about the redemption of her own father prior to his death, she is also a blessing in many ways to her human mother, the lonely good sweetheart that is Amelia Bates. For Abigail provides her finally with the family, the widow had craved for the many years of her childless marriage. She is a providential heavenly gift who repairs Harry Bates’ lack of progeniture to his loving wife on his funeral night.
Was Harry given a last death wish to his own soul and was the result little blessed Abigail given to Amelia? If you do not know, Amelia’s life is turning completely around in consequences of the birth of her only child. From lonely, she becomes a mother to all the tiny mistakes of Wilton Town, to all its unwanted children given to her big heart to be cared for.
The humble home of Amelia Bates provides the love to numerous souls created by mistakes, and offers to them the tools for a better future. The exchange is love for love. The Widow Bates is loved and respected by all for eternity. Her grave bestows a eulogy and his constantly decorated by flowers.
Abigail when born ends up on Amelia’s doorsteps where she pretends to find her upon the forever forgiving Father Odell’s plan. From that point on, the Widow finds many babies on her doorsteps which her heart adopts without question.
The questionable existence of Abigail fades in the fact that she is. Angelic from the start or from her human’s life cannot be argued either way. She is an Angel.
Scarce, yet forever in the background of Abraham’s conscience, his daughter only says one sentence to him:
Abigail, spreading her white wings majestically before her father took his bony hands within hers then whispered before pushing him into the deep hollow that was her own grave within the mausoleum, -It is quarter to three. Your wish is granted, Soul, however you have only minutes to repair what you can
The Compendium of Characters
- Book Dedication
- This comprehensive nomenclature will be ordered by the chronology of the published books and within it by the alphabetical order of the characters. Following the ‘Who’s Who’ of characters, you will find a ‘What’s what’ section, a list of created or combined words with their meanings. There are a fair few occasions where I applied this poetic license to fit closely to the heartbeat of the story or a particular individual within it. The last sections are the peep-holes to the future publications relating to those stories, spin-offs, prequels or next instalments to look forward to. It will offer the tangible glimpse of what is coming next or what happened before.
- Published the 21st of October 2014, this short story was born like many of my stories within the midst of a nightmare. I remember still vividly hearing some chilling noises, some eerie music, sad laughter, stuck in the darkness of a long box. I pushed the door open to realise that I was in my coffin. A cowardly glance outside revealed a hilly cemetery, a moonlight night and other corpses rising from their graves, some dragging others to do so. I was freaked enough at the sight to lay back in the safe darkness, thinking that it must be a bad dream and that it will all pass. But someone saw me, someone recognised me, called my name out loud and opened my coffin lid wide open. In front of that half decomposed cadaver, my heart seemed to fail to beat any longer. I closed my eyes of fright and I woke up in my bed safe and well. I was not exposed in a coffin, exhibited to other dead people, I was in my bedroom with for only witness, my black cat Mystic blinking her yellow eyes at me peacefully from the other pillow.
- It-666’s story can not be told in one sentence not even in one book. It has a fateful spin to it which will last for as long as it is meant to last. It is determined.
- Illegitimate daughter of Abraham Wilton Cough and Amelia Bates, Abigail was not conceived out of love. She is a pure mistake, simply made by her respective parents out of drunkenness. Despite her controversial conception, even unborn she is a blessing to all. To her guilt ridden father, the mere fact that she is the growingly visible result of his action within the belly of the Widow Bates caused his nagging unrest and prophetic nightmare on his death bed. Her unseen presence pushes the proud Abraham first to admit that he did commit mistakes during his lifetime. With her mother playing the spiritual guide to the departing soul of Abraham, they help him to go from admission to making amends, passing by the acknowledgement of his errors.
- We meet Abraham Wilton-Cough as a skeleton in the feverish nightmare he is having on his death bed. Our Anti-Hero rise from his coffin to reluctantly follow the Widow Bates on a journey to discover what happened to his heirs.
- Her shrieking voice is the dreaded and familiar one which guides Abraham Wilton-Cough during the night of the rising dead. Born Elroy, the widow Bates has the privilege to be Abraham’s impoverished neighbour. Always in the now and know, Amelia is his perfect guide.
- Angela is the beautiful yet suffering wife of Abraham Wilton-Cough. Present by his death bed, she hold his hand until his last breath. She is the recipient of his last orders, the soldier that can execute his last wills, which starts with burning the ones he had written previously with a lawyer and friend, with a cold and calculating heart: The very will which would have seen her become totally destitute and dying on the church steps of Wilton Town’s church a very bitter winter night, the 23 rd of January 1866.
- Private Harry Bates is the quintessence of absent characters. Talked about, missed, grieved, his lack of presence, nonetheless affects the other characters in many ways. Like a missing link the life of Harry Bates can explain and shed light about the lives of others and their behaviours. Let’s take the example of the always well informed Amelia Bates to illustrate the point. She has developed that trait of her character because of the military career of her husband. Harry is the determining factor behind a self taught Amelia who reads the newspaper to know if he is still alive, which part of the world he is located, which battles he faced, their results and consequences on the world and people, and trying desperately to guess when would he possibly be able to come back.
- Briefly mentioned, she is the character which presents Angela to Abraham in one of her tea parties, warning him to not fall in love with the Italian shop keeper’s daughter. Aunt Josephine is the would be keeper of old generations and old fashions yet to still be in fashion herself and for her parties not to be obsolete, she has to invite the new generation which brings life to the old town and the like of Angela. Angela is like a mirror of herself in her younger years, an up and coming socialite to be watched.
- Josiah by his imaginary piano/organ/organic instrument, playing beautifully and powerfully, is a pure vision. The youngest son of Abraham Wilton-Cough symbolises all the children who had to endure the will of their parents as their own. If they do not do so, they end up beaten up badly.
- Noah M Wilton is the revered character, founder of Wilton Town, ancestor of Abraham Wilton-Cough. We hear about him first, mentioned proudly by Abraham who boast to be the eleventh removed from him. Larger than life, Noah takes shape and form in a formidable statue in the delirious dying dream of Wilton-Cough. As Abraham catches his breath at the base of the colossal brass effigy of his ancestor, he regains stock of who he is, who he came from but also the courage to face his own future, hence the judgement for his mistakes.
- The character of Father Odell looks after his parish like a shepherd after his flock. Ready listener of their ailments and tribulations, he offers to them the comfort of an educated comprehension, wraps their shoulders by his understanding and instead of letting them face their worst nightmare alone, he leads them to forgiving solutions to their dilemmas.
- Father of Abraham Wilton-Cough, Terah is just mentioned by him with great pride. This character is not elaborated in this story. From the association of two powerful families, the Wiltons and the Coughs, Terah is a member of the third generation. His important wealth handed down to his son made him own half of Wilton Town. Still not enough, Abraham endeavoured to increase his fortune by creating the first bank of the town.
- Doctor Vincent Valdi is another character barely mentioned in the story. At the bedside of the dying Abraham Wilton-Cough, he is monitoring his last hours, unable to save him.
- What can I say about Zach? The first time you encounter him you will not like him a tad. I wrote him with his sheer stupidity aligned with his false cleverness. Zachary Wilton-Cough is a character as daunting as a sponge which was left to absorb vitriol until it is so poisonous, your guts instinct are to just leave it there and ran away without dealing with it or squeeze it out of the bullshit it is full of.
- Wilton Town is a whimsical place with a far-West feel to it. Created out of the sheer wilderness of a large, dark and strange forest by the broad axe of Noah M Wilton, it represents all the hope of a better future that people do carry with them. However it didn’t quite synthesise itself on the ground, despite Noah and his followers’s best will and efforts. The hard working and generous Noah provided them with the free land, built the houses, designed a small town out of the treasure of their surrounding seas of trees.