By Frampton Jones
No one quite knows where she came from or how and when she arrived. When did you first become aware of her? For me it began on an unusually bright spring morning outside the library, when I approached a pair I believed to be the Ephemerys, only to find them staring at each other in bemusement. “Why are you here?” he asked. “Why would I not be?” she replied. Then another long silence followed, during which I deduced that something odd had happened. How odd – I did not begin to imagine.
Such scenes played out many times, especially in the day. Those of us who know Mrs Ephemery well know that she no longer goes out in the daylight. This also took a while to establish, as for a long time many of us thought we were seeing her around town. We were not. Anyone we have seen outside in the last few years was very likely Michelle Souliere.
It is an uncanny phenomena I cannot begin to explain. I believe I have scrutinised both of them most carefully. It wasn’t until my scrutiny lead to the question, “Do I know you, sir?” that I realised just how odd things might be. Mrs Ephemery and I have been acquainted our whole lives. I wondered if she had some kind of temporary memory loss, or other affliction. She identified herself to me as Michelle Souliere and told me she was lost and touch confused by how everyone was treating her. I took her to The Crow, and we established beyond any shadow of a doubt that there are indeed two of them.
I have never been able to tell them apart by looking, although they were discernibly different in voice and manner. I am not entirely sure when our strange visitor left us, and she was never able, or willing to tell me how she came to be on our island or what her purpose was. Has she simply stepped back into the mist and returned from whence she came? Did we dream her into being and are we now waking from that dream? We will never know. But, there have been no sightings of her in more than a month, and that is usually my cue to suggest that a person may be lost to us, and that henceforth we must think of them as dead.
I admit to finding it difficult thinking of dead a woman whose whole person I see fairly regularly. It has been a most peculiar business and I am at a loss to explain what happened.
Michelle Souliere kindly loaned us her face for the Hopeless Maine character Mrs Ephemery. You can see her in the New England Gothic art remix in Sinners, and also here –
This declaration of probable death was brought to you by the Hopeless Maine kickstarter – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/countrostov/tales-of-hopeless-maine