‘We’ll be waiting’ is based on a true ghost story which claims that the spirit of Katharine de Montacute haunts the ruins of Bungay Priory in Suffolk, England. Katharine was forced to enter the priory by her grandfather and is believed to have escaped and run away with her lover. It is believed that she was caught and taken to Coldingham Abbey where she was immured.
Katharine is one of the main characters in my forthcoming book, Through the Nethergate and this is her story.
We’ll be waiting
One, two, three, four, five, fix, seven, turn. Katharine paced her small cell, the bottom of her habit, made from undyed wool, whispering softly on the cold, stone floor. What will he think of me when he sees me? she thought. I have no hair; will he think I am ugly? She raised her slender hand and touched her roughly shorn head. At least my hands are still soft and pretty. A shudder wrenched its way down her spine as she thought of the rough, work worn hands of many of the nuns who worked in the gardens and washed and cooked for the priory. As a novice from a wealthy background, she spent her time doing embroidery and spinning instead of the heavier physical tasks of the nuns who came from poor families.
The evening service had ended some time ago and she was certain that the nuns had all settled down for the night. Slipping her scapula over her head and securing it closed, she took a last look around the cell that she hated so much. Her wimple and veil lay on the straw filled mattress on the floor. Should I wear them? I really don’t want to, but I think I will; just in case I run into someone on my way across the cloister. After pausing momentarily to attach the offensive items to her scapula, she stealthily opened the wooden door and slipped soundlessly into the passageway.
From his position among the shadows of the trees in the orchard, William saw the slight figure come into view and run lightly across the garden in his direction. The moon slipped behind a cloud and the figure disappeared. He bent down, retrieving a bundle lying on the ground and, by the time he straightened up again, he was able to distinguish the delicate features of his beloved. “Katharine,” he whispered, stepping forward and drawing her into his embrace. She trembled a little and clung to him as he flung a thick shawl around her shoulders and drew the edges tightly around her neck. “I have missed you so much. Come with me, dear. We need to move quickly.”
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