Taken from the end of Chapter 10 in “The Curse of Lecia” Takes place on 31st October 1832…

“I picked up the book and shook it in case the torn out pages might fall out. I felt troubled, a sudden unease and apprehension or that the book may reveal something to me that might shock me. The name”Lecia” seemed somehow familiar, and the mention of the wolf scared me. Could it possibly be the wolf that I had seen three times now?

My hands started to shake. Had this been one of the stories Joseph and Sarah had heard of?

“Where did you say you found the book Mary?” I asked, aware that my voice shook.

“In the dresser in my bedchamber, Louisa. I found it when I was putting my brushes away. I noticed a little gap in the bottom, and I pulled it open and found it there. Did I do something wrong, you look a little odd?

I shook my head, and felt suddenly tired and said goodnight to my cousins.

I chided myself as I walked up the stairs. It was just a story from a book, The Lore and Myth of Shropshire. It was not real.

I heard footsteps behind me, and turned quickly, ready to scream.

“Louisa, can I sleep with you tonight? I feel a little afraid.”

I had forgotten that despite all her bravado and confidence, Mary was still only eleven years old.

After Mary had changed into her nightclothes, she joined me. We sat on the bed, and I brushed her hair, which gleamed in the candle light. The texture was like silk and it reminded me of pure clean sand. As I brushed I started to sing the lullaby that Bron had sung at the gypsy camp. I had no idea how I knew he words, I just sang softly, and brushed rhythmically.

““Sleep my baby, at my breast,

’Tis a mother’s arms round you.

Make yourself a snug, warm nest.

Feel my love forever new.”

When I had finished, we pulled the cover over us, and I blew out the candle.

“I know that lullaby,” Mary said sleepily. “The lady in my room sings it to me every night before I sleep.”

I lay stiffly in silence and pondered her words. Before I could ask her to explain she was asleep, a peaceful expression on her face.

I leant forward to plant a kiss on her forehead.

And breathed in the faint aroma of rose and vanilla on her nightclothes.”