Saturday, August 8, 2009
Anne is not your average girl. Imagine a deeply flawed Anne of Green Gables. For one thing, she sees ghosts, two of them to be exact, who live with her, and raise her like a good family should. For another, she is not fond of actual humans and this distaste for her own kind leads her to do some very, very bad things. Haunting Anne follows the adventures of a modern version of “the young, creative, protagonist,” at the same time as it chronicles the tragic family history that precedes her, chases her, and ultimately defines her.
In the novel Haunting Anne, a dark, unstable young woman, finds herself on a unique (and sometimes dreadfully funny) journey from her industrial urban playground to the Deep South where she confronts a father who abandoned her in order to get rid of ghosts who she cannot afford to lose. The 80,000 words of this strange, sad, character driven novel, weave history, magic, mystery, and psychological horror into a Gothic story that is, in the end, a simple tale of a girl who needs to find her way home.
Chapter Three: Anne’s Kingdom
Anne walked home from school up Grand Street Hill and rounded the corner onto her own block. The spire of the cupola smiled at her, welcoming her home. She picked up the pace, swinging her books by their belt, enjoying the crisp fall day. The fall in New England. Anne thought it must be the most glorious natural show God created on the planet.
There was work waiting for her at home. Fall was always a transitional time for the Blue and White house gardens. The pruning back of perennials and removal of annuals. The winterizing of sod and fertilizing of vegetable plots. The ivy turned bright red and the berry bushes gave one last burst of fruit that seemed out of place on the tongue. Anne could taste the red already.
The deciduous trees along the streets and on her property took on jeweled tones and made Anne think of large, half ripe nectarines or lemons or pears. Anne thought that nature always mirrored itself within itself and wondered if human nature did that too.
In the fall Anne left the schoolyard before the bell rang in order to run down, not up the hill to the river where she sat on the old draw bridge with her feet dangling through the iron guard rail bars. She sat there and thought about all sorts of things, but mostly she watched the people. It was a good place for a sweeping view of the river banks where people would gather in late fall farmers markets and all the way up Grand Street to the downtown as well. This was a particularly brilliant and sunny afternoon, so Anne lingered a little longer than planned. And now she was rushing... a bit. She did have chores waiting and homework and daily news reports for her ghosts.….
As she made her way back up Grand Street Hill she stopped to pick up an oddly formed stick that she thought might make a nice axe when she played Anne Boleyn in the Cove House ruins later on. Walking with the stick she even tried it out as a cane, pretending to be an old woman.
She heard them before she saw them. The neighborhood children were not a kind bunch. And Anne, for her oddness, was an easy target. They were chanting that stupid rhyme they made up about her.
“Crazy Anne is in your cellar
Crazy Anne under your bed
Crazy Anne is creeping slowly
Just one look and you’ll be dead!”
Anne felt the first pebble hit the back of her head.