I awoke with revenge in my heart. Mrs. Madison, who was aware of my peculiarity, had informed me that the Hollingsworths had gone to great lengths to damage Abigail’s reputation. The rumors varied but they all carried the same vein of truth. Abigail had allegedly gotten pregnant with the illegitimate child of a nobleman who refused to marry her. Her brother, Benjamin, in an effort to save her reputation, had taken mother and child back to the continent.
The icing on the cake, as the expression goes, came when Mrs. Madison showed me the birth announcement in the newspaper: Lord and Lady Albert Frances Hollingsworth II would like to announce the birth of their son: Albert Frances Hollingsworth III.
I had been killed so they could claim my baby as their own. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I wanted revenge.
My dear reader, immortality had granted me the ability to become a convincing actress. A few days after the birth announcement, Lady Caroline had advertised for a wet nurse. I applied under a new identity and was hired. With a little makeup and hair dye, I was invisible to my murderers.
Caroline greeted me with a curt nod and ordered another maid to show me to the nursery where my son slept. George was alone in that massive nursery. Only a curious orange cat paid any attention to the infant.
Finally, the day came for me to have my revenge.
The lord and ladyship had gone to the theatre to a production of Medea. The irony of the play was not lost on me. A few hours after they had left, I swaddled George as carefully as I could and deposited my son into the large carpet bag I frequently carried, knocking over an oil lamp in the process. The staff did not bat an eye when I left for the evening, carrying my son away into the night.
The flames moved quickly, soon engulfing the entire mansion. I stood in the crowd watching as my murderer’s home disappeared in flames.
After the fire, I could not stay in London. I boarded a train with my son and disappeared north into Scotland. The Hollingsworth fire had made it into a few of the larger Scottish newspapers. Lord and Lady Hollingsworth had lost their only son in the devastating fire. I took some solace in knowing that they felt a portion of my pain.
My world was turned upside down once again, only five years later. George has been playing in the street with some other children. A yellow dog ran into the street to join in the fun. Little George had been too distracted that he did not see the approaching carriage. He died quickly.
I buried George Christopher’s ashes are buried in a plot near Margarethe’s cabin.
“You have experienced a great deal of grief… over your life. What skills have you developed to cope with the loss of your husband and children?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I struggled to find meaning after the death of my son. I guess one could say that he carried much of my hopes and dreams for the future.”
“Your self-worth should not be linked to your children,” said the doctor.
“I learned that many years ago, Dr. Grace. I enjoy motherhood. Caring for people is one of the reasons why I became a doctor.”
“What did you do after the death of your son?”
“I spent a good portion of the early nineteenth century in a sort of limbo as it were. I adopted several different personas, both male and female, drifting from city to city, job to job, and death to death. I didn’t know what I searching for; I still don’t, but that’s all right.
It was during the early days of the western expansion in the United States when I met Luke Bridges. Luke was… Luke was my sunshine and solace in a period of extraordinary darkness. You might wonder how I met this wonderful man. I will tell you – I answered an advertisement to become a mail-ordered bride.