BRING ME TO LIFE
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Cyberchase of Liberty's Kids characters. This is just my own attept to cross-over two of my favorite PBS shows.
Jackie couldn't contain herself as the school bus made it's slow way down the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The teacher stood up and grabbed the small intercom from the head of the bus. "We're just now passing Independence Hall," she began. "We will be going here very shortly. This is the very place where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America were drafted and signed. The President of the Declaration Committee was Mr. John Hancock, and the President of the Constitutional Convention was George Washington, soon to be the First President of the United States of America.." the teacher's loud voice wifted slowly away from Jackie's mind as she and Inez pasted their faces toward the window. She tunred around and raised her hand. "Yes, Jacqueline?"
"Can we go and see where the Pennsylvania Gazette was first printed?"
The teacher smiled. "Indeed we can, dear. That's not too far off."
"All right!" Jackie cried out. " I can't wait to see where my great-grandfather worked."
Matt poked his head up from where he sat behind the two girls. "I still can't believe it, Jax, you have a relative that worked with Ben Franklin? THE Ben Franklin?!"
"Yep..my ninth great-grandfather, Grandfather Moses. My Mom told me that he used to work as a printer and fix-it-man at the Pennsylvania Gazette and he was a PERSONNAL friend of Benjamin Franklin himself!"
"Wow, Jax, that is SOOO cool!"
"Wow, I'd love to have relatives that were a part of history," Inez said.
"Me, too," Matt said.
"I can't wait to see where my ancestor lived and worked. A part of me is here!" Jackie said."I got a feeling this is gonna be the COOLEST class trip ever!"
About an hour later Bianca, the tour guide, dressed in an old fashioned 18th century outfit, pushed open the old wooden door of what had ben the Pennsylvania Gazette. "This is where Benjamin Franklin's famed newspaper, 'The Pennsylvania Gazette' was printed. Benjamin Franklin himself took great pride in this paper, often doing the editing for the articles himself when he was in America. The Gazette was one of the first projects the Doctor founded in his long and productive lifetime. If you wil look over there," she pointed, "This is an 18th century printing press, the kind that was used to print the paper. AS you can see, it's a far cry from the presses that are used today." Jackie raised her hand.
"Can I get a closer look at it?"
Bianca smiled. "Well, I don't see why not, but please don't touch it." Jackie came closer to look at every part of the press.
"Wow, this is amazing, just think, my great-grandfather Moses actualloy touched this, he used this very press. I'm standing right where he stood! Wow, to think my grandfather actually worked in here, he walked these halls!"
"Really?" Bianca asked.
"Really, my Mother told me this."
"Well, so you're a part of history What's your name?"
"Well, nice to meet you," she looked around. "All right, now if you'll all gather around, I'll tell you how this works. This is obviously a far cry of the mechanical presses we use today." She walked over and picked up a wooden box. She took out what looked like a small block of wood with a metal reversed letter on it. "What the people operating this press, your grandfather included, used to do is they would take these letters," she walked over to where the press was and pulled out a panel. "They would lay these letters, in reverse over of course, on this bit of wood. They would spell out the news story this way, then they would take these," she lifted up wooden handles with wide bottoms covered in ink. "These are eqivilant of ink stamps of today. They would dip these into ink, which they would boil outside. They would cover the letters with the ink, then slide it back in," she demonstrated." They would then get a blank piece of paper, and put it right here, on the platform here. They would then push down on this metal bar, it takes someone with strength to do it. Then the ink would print one page of a paper on here. As you can see it took a lot of work and a lot of time to print one paper. With a paper as successful as the Gazette, it took a lot of work just to make many copies. As you can see, because of this, the paper would probably only get distributed once a week, instead of once a day, like we can do today with our automated presses."
"Wow," the children said, impressed.
"Now right here," the guide continued, "Here's one of the desks where the reporters would edit their stories, before they went to the press. Feel free to look around you, but please don't touch anything, and whatever you do, please DO NOT go up into the bedrooms, upstairs." The kids began to walk around. Jackie walked carefully around her, taking pictures of all she saw. "Wow, Mom's gonna love this," she thought. "I can't believe my grandfather stood here, he sat at this desk, he walked up those stairs!" She made her way over to the stairs. "To think, my history is here, right here, UP there!" She looked around and began to climb the stairs quickly. Matt and Inez noticed her.
"Jax, Jax, what are you doing?"
"Jackie get down from there! They told us NOT to go up to those bedrooms. We're gonna get in trouble!"
"But, guys, my grandfather walked up these stairs! I mean, this is my history! My Mo will be so impressed."
"She won't be impressed if we al get detention. Jackie, come on, get down we're gonna get it."
Bianca then turned around. "Oh, Jacqueline, Jacqueline, please come back down, you shouldn't be up there!"
"Don't' worry, Biaca, we'll go get her!" Matt said, as he and Inez climbed up the stairs. "Jackie, Jax, please come back before we get it." Matt and Inez reached the top of the stairs and looked around at the hallway where many doors lay. "Where do you think she could have gone?"
"I don't know. Let's split up and looks, you take one door and I'll take the other." Matt nodded. Inez opened the door neares to her. "Jackie?" she looked around her. Jackie wasn't there, she had looked around her. What she saw she guessed was a girl's room. She saw a small four-poster bed in the center and a desk near the window. The curtains were lacy and red, in one corner sat a spinning wheel. Inez curiously walked around, this was fascinating. So, THIS was what a girl's room looked like back then! It wasn't too much, she put her hand on the bed, it was rather small, but soft. It smelled faintly of lavender. She walked over and touched the spinning wheel and spun the wheel absently. Books were along the bookcase, out of curiousity Inez went to take a look at them. Just then she began to feel somewhat chilly. Oh, well, she guessed there was no indoor heating back then. She walked over to the small fireplace that was against the wall to see if she might try to light a fire...but then her back felt rather cold again, and she sensed the presence of someone else in the room. Inez slowly turned around, "Jackie?" But what she saw WASN'T Jackie! She stared at what lay before her, unable to speak, to even move. She staggered around, gasping. She back up, falling over the spinning wheel in the process. Quickly she stod up and righted it, trying to make for the door, but getting more and more frightened at this presence. Suddenly she felt herself falling backward as everything went black.
"Inez..Inez..." a few voices surrounded her a few moments later as some hands were patting hers and helping her up from the floor where she had fainted.
"Come on, Nezzie," Matt urged her.
"Don't call me Nezzie," Inez cried, shaking off his hand.
"She's fine," Matt assured the people around him, one of whom was Jackie.
"Jackie, where have you BEEN?!" Inez cried.
"I found her in the second bedroom I looked into...then we looked for you and we found you passed out on the floor."
Inez's eyes looked wide as she remembered why she HAD passed out. "OH....OH MY GOD, OH, MY GOD, OHHHHH MYYY GOOOOD, GUYS, GUYS, WE GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE!!!"
"Inez, calm down, calm down!" Jackie cried. "Inez, what's going on?"
"I saw her..I saw her.."
"Her..what?" Matt asked.
"A..a ghost, a ghost, I saw a ghost!!!"
"A ghost.." Matt snickered. "Yeah, right..Inez, this isn't Cyberspace, there aren't any ghosts in the real world!"
"Matt, I'm telling you, I saw a ghost!! I saw an eighteenth century ghost! It..it was standing right there..i..in that corner!" her whole body began to tremble.
"Are you sure it wasn't just one of those costumed actors we've been seeing around here?"
"One I can see right through?! Absolutely NOT!!" Inez cried. "I'm telling you, I SAW A GHOST!!!"
"You saw her, huh?" Bianca said, reluctantly climbing up the stairs.
"Her?" Matt said.
"The ghost girl," Bianca said. "That's the main reason I asked you not to come up here! There IS a ghost, she's telling the truth."
"There IS a ghost," Matt said.
" I KNOW I saw a ghost!" Inez cried.
"Did she have a ponytail?"
'Yes," she answered.
"Was she dressed in a simple riding dress?"
"Did she have a small locket around her neck?"
"Yes, she did!"
"Then that was her," Bianca sighed. "Well, I suppose I should now tell you the truth." She motioned for the kids around her to sit down. "This Gazette..actually this room..is haunted by a ghost..a ghost of a nineteen year old girl. Actually, I better back up and start at the beginning. See, a long time ago, around the start of the revolutionary war, there was a young girl who stayed in this very room. She was a guest of Benjamin Franklin. You know Benjamin Franklin was friends with a lot of people? Well, he had good friends, in London, the Phillips family. Major Phillips, the father, he was off exploring lands on the frontier on an assignment to the King.They had one daughter, Sarah. When she was about eleven, her mother decided to send her to live with Dr. Franklin, until her father could come and get her."
"Why did she do that?" Jackie asked.
"I don't know, I guess because Sarah wanted to see America. Anyway, she settled here in this bedroom and made friends with his appretinces and his asistant, Moses."
"MY grandfather," Jackie said happily.
"That's right, anyway, during the corse of the war, she began to fall in love with the idea of journalism and writing all about what she observed in the war." Bianca went to the desk and opened up a drawer. She took out several papers and passed them around. "As you can see, she was a well-respected journalist. Anyway, she wrote all about what she saw in the war and she had many adbentures along with his chief apprentice, James. James Hiller was an orphan who had just one dream, to be a journalist. Dr. Franklin saw his potential and trained him. He and Sarah became best friends. They helped one another out."
"How?" Inez asked.
"Well before she came to American she was a die-hard Loyalist, and James was a bit cocky. But she helped him to be a gentileman, and he inturn helped her be a Patriot."
"Well, along the way she and James of course got older (they were the same age) and they started noticing more of each other..and by the end of the war, one thing lead to another..and they fell in love."
"Yeah..but..unfortunately, they couldn't be together.."
"What?" Inez asked.
"Why not?" Jackie asked.
"Because her parents were from a wealthy family and her mother was a socalite in London society. They had ties to London and their names were well known there. James was nothing but a penniless orphan, he had to titles, no money, NOTHING he could give to her. Society would talk and people would stare. In those days you couldn;t imagine a English Lady, Patriot or not, with a scruffy penniless orphan."
"Wait, wait, wait," jackie said. "You mean that she loved him, he loved her, but they couldn't be together becuase he was an ORPHAN!"
"But.that's STUPID! Not like it was HIS faultt! That's not fair!"
"That's not right!" Matt said.
"I know, and they knew, but there was nothing they COULD do. Her mother, naturally, didn't find out."
"That's dumb, I mean, hello, Lady, you leave your daughter a teenager, in a strange place, where she is living with a boy her own age, for years and years as a war goes on..does she NOT expect something to happen?"
"I guess in those days it wasn't 'proper'"
"Proper NOTHING what about her daughter, what about her feelings? God, some people can be so wrong!" Inez said.
"Well, naturally, she came to America shortly after with somewhat of a surprise. She told Sarah that she was arranging a marriage to a wealthy Lord back in England."
" Go on."
"She was forced to separate from the man she loved forever. While she and her husband settled in New York, she went with Sarah to England to meet her intended fiancé."
"Please don't stop."
"Well, Sarah fel into a deep depression shortly thereafter. I mean, she was never again to go on any adventures, to never be a part of a newspaper again, To nevr se James again." Tears began to form in Jackie's eyes. "She could never do anything she loved ever again. Money never mattered to Sarah anyway, she didn't care how much money a person had, she cared about the person."
"Way to go, Sarah."
"Well, unfortunately in a proper English family, that kind of thinking wasn't acceptable. Every time she met her intended, even though he was kind and considerate, she didn't love him and he never loved her. The engagement parties were boring after her exitement in America, and the dances almost put her to sleep. She lived to get leters from her beloved James. He started his own paper in New York."
"Why couldn;t she marry him then?"
"Yeah, didn't he become important then?"
"Yeah, how about that, he did nit with his own two hands."
"That might be impressive in America, but not in England, and especialy not in her family, where the amount of money her family and her fiancé had would NEVER be equal to his newspaper."
"As the wedding day neared, she longed to be with James, and she fell into a deeper depression. Finally her Mother did notice something was wrong. After a lot of urging, Sarah finally confessed that she had fallen in love with James. Even though her Mother sympathised with ehr, she had to explain to Sarah that the people would talk because James had nothing to give her, no money, no titles, no socal standings."
"Not like that was HIS fault," Matt said.
"That's so not right! It's not fair."
"What do you mean he can't give her anything, he loved her, he can give her LOVE!" Inez pointed out.
Bianca gave a sad smile. "I wish her family was as wise as you. But they weren't.l Sarah's depression got worse and worse. She even went to her priest, begging him to try to find some means to remove her from this marriage. But everyone said the same, he;'s a nice man, he's wealthy, he could take care of her, he's better for her position in society...."
"That's a load of nonsense."
"Man, if I were there I'd tell 'society' to shove it up their..petticoats." Jackie said angrily.
"Not even the priest could help cause he knew he'd get into trouble if he did. Finally the night before the wedding, Sarah got a letter from James telling her all about his paper.. Sarah's heart finally broke when she realised that this was gonna be the last letter from James. After the next day she would never see James again, never be able to talk to him in the same way or to even act on her love. She cried hysterically all night. The next morning, her family was setting up for the wedding. Her mother went up to get her in the morning. She opened the door and Sarah was lying on her bed....dead."
"Dead..she DIED?" Jackie said through tears.
"You mean..she killed herself?" Inez asked.
"Well, seeing as how there were no autopses in those days and the doctors weren't as trained..they couldn't tell if she died of a broken heart or if she kiled herself."
"What happened to James?" Matt asked.
"He threw himself and his grief into his paper, and never got maried."
"That's unfair..why did girls have to get married, and not boys?" Matt asked. Jackie and Inez were in tears.
"That's so sad," Jackie cried. "That's not FAIR, just because he's poor."
"Poor thing, "Inez said.
" I wish I could talk to her in those days, I'd just give her a hug"
"I hope her mother suffered," Matt said angrily. "It would serve her right. She got what was coming to her. Prejudiced rich people."
"I'd glad I'm middle-class," Inez said, wiping her tears.
"Me, too," Matt said.
"They say she DID kill herself, because her ghost has been seen around here. They say her ghost still haunts this very place, crying for her lost love."
"Yeah, if you kill yourself, you can't go into Heaven until about 10,000 prayers are said for her." Inez said.
"Yeah, but, I still don't believe it," Matt said.