|A Dream Within A Dream
Author: Yva J PM
When Carolyn contends with doubt about her writing, the Captain gives her a dream to help inspire her.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Fantasy - Chapters: 3 - Words: 10,313 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8512005
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is my very first 'Ghost and Mrs. Muir' story. While I don't anticipate it being the picture of perfection, it was an effort I wanted to make and really put a good deal of effort into.
A few notes about this story. It started out being based on the concept from the season 1 episode, 'Captain Gregg's Whiz Bang', which you may immediately recognize. It somehow evolved into a prequel from the season 2 episode 'The Ghost and Christmas Past'. Since these two episodes are my favorites, it stands to reason that my first fiction is about them.
Another note that you might wish to consider is how during the dream sequences Carolyn and the children ended up at Gull Cottage and this is one writer's perception of how she and the Captain might have met before that dream had happened. This story is almost entirely set in a dream sequence, with the first and third posting set in the present.
I hope you enjoy this somewhat obscure idea.
A Dream Within A Dream
A 'Ghost and Mrs. Muir' story
By: Yva J.
…As the beacon from the distant lighthouse drifted across the sea, I smiled. It had been quite an interesting voyage to say the least. As I stood at the helm of the Schooner Marianne, my thoughts drifted as though a wave rising and falling until it lapped lazily against the hull of the ship.
We had set sail from Boston to Bristol during the earlier parts of the month. It had been planned as a routine trip and our intentions were merely to transport goods and materials to the men who were stationed in Europe. On the day that the seven day voyage was due to begin, the sun peered only partially out from between a veil of clouds as the sails rustled expectantly in the breeze.
This brought back memories of the orders I had received just prior to coming aboard. Admiral J. Morton Henderson, upon hearing of my service in a previous mission, requested that I take command of the vessel and its crew. It was to be a normal journey with calm seas to guide us. However, the events, which transpired on board proved beyond any doubt that the best laid plans can veer drastically off course.
By the end of the voyage, I was nearing ready to throw my honor to the four winds and run like hell just as Captain Horatio Figg had done just prior to the Battle of Vera Cruz. This was due, almost entirely, to the mental stability of my crew.
These men had been straight from the bottom of a barrel of water rats. All matter of cutthroats and brigands who preferred to sign on for the voyage than to face the gallows. This fact became dangerously clear when a female stowaway was discovered in one of the lifeboats.
Prior to that discovery, I had always believed that women had no place aboard a seagoing vessel of this kind. Their fantasy stories and romantic impressions were the furthest from actual reality. However, I was bound by my honor as a seaman to protect and watch over her throughout the voyage. Of course, the last thing I anticipated was the newfound feelings in me that developed towards her.
The overall scenario was bothersome at best, but it had also hardened my resolve as captain to keep her from being ravished by the men under my command. It was for that reason that as we pulled into harbor, I felt a sense of bittersweet relief engulfing me.
It is only now; at a much later time that I felt compelled to record these events to paper…
The ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg lowered his pen, the feathers of the small quill resting gently against the pages of the small personal logbook that he had been writing in. This story was being recorded some one hundred years after the fact, but the memories were still as vivid to him as they had been during the voyage. The romantic essence of the story would ultimately be rewritten and presented as a gift to Carolyn Muir. He knew that in writing this, he could convey his overwhelming feelings towards the widow and still maintain that it was purely a feeble attempt at writing prose.
He raised his head and looked towards the typewriter that was on the desk. After a brief glance, he turned away as his hand brushed along the feather of the 19th century quill. There was something much more authentic about a handwritten story than there was about a typed out manuscript. He would never have admitted that to her, as it seemed counter productive.
He remembered the events of the day when the editor of 'Feminine View' had arrived at Gull Cottage and practically threw himself at the unsuspecting writer. While Daniel Gregg had, in fact, defended Carolyn's honor against Mr. Gordon, he still felt slightly remorseful for having put her in harm's way. If he had not changed her story, then none of this would have happened. Of course, he was still quite uncertain as to whether or not the story would have actually been published if he had not intervened.
Taking a deep breath, he recalled how her version of the story had been dry and uninteresting. Of course, this reminded the ghost about how too much historical accuracy had proven quite detrimental.
Taking a deep breath he blew lightly against the page and waited for the ink to completely dry. Closing the small book, he slipped it quietly into his pocket and disappeared as Carolyn entered the room. Physically, the ghost could no longer be seen, but he was still present.
Moving towards the French doors, he noticed that time had indeed passed quickly and dusk had fallen on Gull Cottage. He positioned himself right next to the telescope and watched as the woman went over and seated herself in front of the typewriter.
Upon sitting down, Carolyn remained stationary for several moments before rubbing her hands together and reaching for a blank piece of paper. Holding it, and instead of immediately inserting it into the typewriter, she stared into the depths of its whiteness. Moments passed and it silently slipped from between her fingers and landed lackadaisically on the desk.
As the widow remained where she was seated, the thoughts that drifted through her mind would not cease. It had been this way ever since Mr. Gordon had left Gull Cottage earlier that day. She smiled slightly as she recalled watching the magazine editor being chased from the sitting room by an angry ghost.
Why is it that I cannot get this blasted image out of my head? She asked herself. No matter how hard she tried, she could not. Even after having enjoyed a half a bowl of ice cream as well as a cold shower, she could still see the image of Captain Gregg in her mind's eye.
The stature of the seaman was overwhelming to say the least, but to actually see him brandishing a sword and preparing himself to defend her honor had left her quite at a loss. She had refused it admit it, but after the editor had left, she could not quite let go of the romantic and chivalrous nature of the captain.
It was really nothing, she tried to convince herself, but there was no way she could. His chiseled features broke into her conscience regardless of the intense resolve of her mind to dismiss it. It was just him being a 19th century gentleman, her thoughts continued to argue. Even in the wake of this, I don't think that anything will ever change between us. He will still call me 'Madam' or, worse, 'Mrs. Muir'.
Seconds later, the ghost appeared directly behind her. "Good evening, Madam," he said cordially, his words causing her to jump, her hands unconsciously clasping one another. "I did not mean to frighten you," he quickly amended.
"It's alright," Carolyn managed to speak as she began to relax. Once her heartbeat had returned to normal, she lowered her hands and allowed them to rest against the surface of the desk. "Good evening, Captain."
"Is everything alright?" He asked. "You don't quite seem yourself this evening."
In lieu of an immediate response, the ghost watched as she got to her feet before turning around to face him. "I'm fine," she said after several moments of awkward silence had passed between them. She then tried to force herself to smile, but this proved quite unconvincing.
"No, you are not fine, I think deep down, you are still quite upset by what happened today," he said in his usual matter-of-fact manner.
"I'm not upset, Captain," she began. "I'm just finding myself back at square one with story ideas and it's frustrating."
He nodded, but it was clear that he was not at all convinced by her words. In fact, if he did not know any better, these diversion tactics were quite typical of her. There was something bothering her, he was almost certain and he was determined to find out what it was. "Are you starting to doubt your ability as a writer?" He eventually asked.
Carolyn raised her head and looked at him, her eyes widening. "What do you mean by that, Captain?" She asked; her voice indicative that she had taken strong offense to his question.
"Madam, I did something that I regretted," he began. "I also apologized for it and as you know, apologies are not one of my strengths."
"No kidding," she muttered under her breath. "You can say that again."
Daniel Gregg took a deep breath as he tried yet again to make amends. "I did not intend to offend you, Mrs. Muir."
"I know," she relented. "And maybe you're right. Maybe I am thinking about what happened with Mr. Gordon and wondering…"
"Wondering what?" He asked, his words trying to persuade her to continue speaking.
"Wondering if what you said was true," she began. "Ever since this afternoon, I've been asking myself if the story that I wrote would have even been published on its own without your help."
"And so you're pushing yourself to write something without any of my influence?" He asked. "That's why you're sitting here now…to prove to yourself that you are good at what you do."
"You didn't say that when we collaborated on the story," she argued. "If you had believed in me or at least in my judgment as a writer, then you wouldn't have changed it."
He nodded. "You are quite right, Madam."
"It's sad that your acknowledgment doesn't really change anything," she continued. "I can't go through life second-guessing myself. It's not the way I am."
"No, it isn't," he affirmed.
"Now, regardless of what you said earlier, my reputation as a writer is still on the line. I have to write something myself and get it published so that I can prove to myself that I'm capable. If I can't, then I don't know what else there is for me to do."
"Was this experience working together really that horrible?" He asked softly, his voice taking on a more seductive cadence.
"I didn't say that, I've just had too much time to think about it and now I need to come up with something new and I haven't got a single idea in my head," she sighed.
"Then now is not the right time to try," he said. "You should get some rest and try again tomorrow," he said as he pulled the book from the depths of his pocket. "I had intended on giving you this much later, but perhaps you ought to read it now."
"What is it?" She asked.
"It's a transcript of my memories of what really happened on the Schooner Marianne. I had intended on transcribing it for you, but I have this strange feeling that perhaps it might help you now." He extended the leather-bound book towards her and waited for her to accept it. Once she had, he bowed slightly. "I will leave you now, Mrs. Muir. I wish you a good night."
Carolyn nodded and once the ghost was gone, she ran her hand over the cover. If only it was, she thought to herself as she crossed the room and placed the object at the foot of the bed. She then grabbed her dressing gown and started to get ready for bed.
Upon her return, she picked it up and placed it on the nightstand before pulling the bedding aside and crawling beneath the sheets. Once she was comfortable, she reached for the book, opened it, and began to read the story of Captain Gregg's adventure. As she began to internalize the events that were neatly penned to the page, she could feel herself becoming drowsy.
Within minutes, she laid the book aside, snuggled up to her pillow, and closed her eyes.
As soon as she had fallen asleep, Captain Gregg materialized next to her bed and spoke. "You will now see the events in your own way, my dear. It may perhaps seem unorthodox to you, but this time it is my memory that you will be seeing. The person you will meet will have no experiences of the 20th century or you."
He waved his hand and watched as a small smile spread across the sleeping woman's face.