“I present to you… the mother’s room,” said Sean, opening the door for Mary. At that moment the thunderstorm announced its arrival with a flash and a bang. The thunder shook the wooden farmhouse.
“That was quite the dramatic introduction,” Mary said. She looked around at the small, square, room. Papered in an old fashioned rose pattern, the room’s walls were otherwise unadorned, save for a framed oil painting. A three drawer dresser with an oval mirror on top was next to the bed as well as an arm-less chair by the window. Mary opened the door to the closet; it was empty.
“Nothing,” said Mary.
“Everything of my mother’s is in the front bedroom downstairs. We can look into it tomorrow, but I don’t think there’s anything exceptional. My mother was pretty much all business style as far as her wardrobe was concerned. Her computers are here as well, and with the rest of my college stuff. I brought a SCSI to USB adapter to save the files on, although I don’t know how well we’ll be able to read them—it’s been fifteen years.”
“We’ll figure it out if we… ” Mary was interrupted by another crack of thunder. “… need to.”
The bedroom window rattled in its sash. Outside, the lighting illuminated the backyard as well as the pasture which lay beyond.
“Sean, how do you feel, being back here, is it like coming home, or do you even have a place that feels like home?” Mary said as she gazed out the window into the blackness, “This is the only place where Tina has ever lived, isn’t it?”
“It is,” replied Sean, “I think she visited Chicago once—when she was young. She never liked cities,” Sean said as he helped Mary put the sheets on the bed, “Home. I don’t know what it means. Our apartment in Seattle? What would it take to make a place into a home? A year, two years?”
“A baby,” said Mary, as she tucked in the top sheet. “A baby would make it into a home, for sure.”
“Well, then I’d say that we’re on the right track.”
“Yes, we are,” Mary said.
The storm passed, although the lighting continued. Sean slept soundly but Mary remained wide awake. She got out of bed and sat looking out the window into the dark. As she watched the strokes became more infrequent until they seemed to have stopped altogether. As she stood to get up to return to bed Mary was startled by an exceptionally bright flash. Outside, in the pasture, stood a woman—naked except for a shawl—who disappeared into the darkness after the flash. There was no more lighting. Mary was transfixed. She crawled back into bed and pondered the meaning of her vision.
“I saw someone outside last night,” Mary said to Sean as they lay in bed in the morning. “A woman, standing in the pasture.”
“Say what? How is that possible?”
“Sean, does Tina have any pictures of your grandmother?” Mary asked.
“Tina has a photo album, we can take a look at it if you like. Why do you ask?”
“This sounds crazy but…” Mary paused, “… that woman in the field, I think it was your grandmother.”
“Emily? What do you mean?”
“Sean, listen to me. Things that have been happening to me: the deer we almost hit, the coyotes at the motel, now this. I’m not imagining them, they aren’t hallucinations, I’ve never been more lucid. But there is something going on, these things are signs, signs that I can’t read. Yet.”
“Your night visions are getting interesting. You might not want to tell Tina about this.”
“How so?” said Mary, getting out of bed.
“It might set her off,” said Sean. “Emily is still alive in Tina’s mind. When I was little I often heard her talking to her.”
As Mary pulled a sweatshirt on over her head she bumped the painting on the wall, knocking it askew. As she straightened it, she looked at it closely.
“This is Emily's painting, isn't it?” she said, “In the corner, here, the initials ‘E. C.’ and the date—1921.”
“I have to say that I’ve never looked at it closely before,” said Sean. “She would have been a teenager when she painted that.”
“Look—on the right side of the painting—those two stones. The trees are different, but the stones are still there, beside each other, out in the pasture,” Mary said, looking first out the window, and then back at the painting, “It’s the view out this window.”
“So it is,” said Sean. “That makes sense, I guess.”
“Let’s go out to the pasture today, I just want to stand in the same spot where I saw my ‘vision’ standing last night. Just to… just to see if I can sense anything.”
“I can sense that Tina is making pancakes,” said Sean, “Let’s have some breakfast first. Then we’ll check out your night visitor.”
“Sounds good, and I am starving, again,” Mary said. “I’m… I… Sean, do you think I’m going nuts?”
“Your intuition has yet to lead us astray. I’m behind you 100%.”
“I appreciate that. I’ll need all the help I can get if this continues,” said Mary.
“It’s a family affair now,” said Sean, “Our family. We’re on the right track.”
“Yes, we are… ”
“You didn’t answer the question I asked you at dinner yesterday.”
“After breakfast, Sean.”