By Rachel H Grant
The perfectly sculpted hedges were silent, sentries to another world, protectors of a hidden paradise. A bird cawed, before quiet descended once more, a blanket over the sleeping land. A shadow moved in the night garden, then was gone. All was still.
Inside the castle, the sound of silence stretched out like a sleeping cat. And just like a cat, it began to purr.
Only it wasn’t a purr, it was a soft lullaby.
The tall green lady slid effortlessly down the dark corridors, singing to the silent baby in her arms, crying for a life lost. And as she cried, it began to rain in the night garden.
Hannah was awestruck; Crathes Castle was truly a fairytale in stone. History lapped around her ankles like an ocean of memories trying to claim her. The past played with the present day like a cat with a toy mouse.
She had reached the Green Lady’s room, and stopped with a sad smile on her face. The tiny children’s chairs tugged at her heart as a stray tear pricked her eye. Hannah longed to conceive, but pregnancy eluded her like an impossible dream, a fragile future that broke apart in her hands.
Then she felt it, a hand on her stomach. Hannah shivered, suddenly cold.
That night, she dreamt she was holding a baby, her baby. Joy stirred in her heart, turning to tears as she awoke. Would she ever have her own child? There, beside her bedside table, lay a four leaf clover. Hannah fingered it uncertainly. Where had it come from?
Two months later, Hannah discovered she was pregnant.
Little by little, stories began to circulate online of women becoming pregnant soon after visiting Crathes Castle. It became an urban myth. Soon, Crathes Castle became the must visit tourist attraction for all women everywhere trying to conceive. And some would feel that little hand on their stomach, and find a four leaf clover later in their bedroom or in their hotel. Even in the delivery room at their hospital, a four leaf clover would magically appear.
Babies were born, mothers were overjoyed, happiness ran rampant like a benevolent virus …
Meanwhile, at Crathes Castle at night, a green lady roamed the empty corridors. Her tears knew no end.
One night, she ventured in to the gardens. As she walked four leaf clovers fell like dew from heaven. A cloud of four leaf clover formed over the castle, and rained down like candy. In the morning, children visiting the castle collected the clover in delight, making wishes and hoping they would come true.
High in the castle, a lone figure watched at a window. Finally, she smiled.