Tragedy Awaits: The Diary of Elizabeth Hope Kebble–Part 1 by E.J. Aire

November 13th, 1763

Dear Cloud,

Today Father went out to fight in the war. I am very scared, as the fighting is near our house, and I am but twelve years of age. I am to help Mother with chores, but each stitch of the thread, each flash of the needle reminds me of who we are sewing these rough broadcloth overcoats for: the soldiers. Like Father. The Bennetts have already received news that the eldest son fell in war, and dear Mary is inconsolable. Last night may have been the last time I  shall ever see dear Father again. He rode off on his trusty steed, Lightning. On a more cheerful note, we have just gotten a new horse. She is dove gray, and named Beth, a fine name, named after me, Elizabeth. We also have Annie, Kate, and Lily, named after Anne, Katherine, and Lillian. Mother is calling me, so I must go.

❀Miss Elizabeth (Ella) Kebble


Dear Cloud,

Bad news. Father deathly ill, Mother weeping. Father was brought back with a bullet in his shoulder. The bullet is weak; it only infected a small area. Anne, the eldest, has taken over Mother’s position. She applies a poultice prescribed by Dr. Barnes, and then bandages it tightly. I must help Katherine keep house, for we are practically orphans. Mother hasn’t stirred from her chair by the fire. Oh, wait! Anne is calling that Mother is going out to get fish for supper! Joyous news, as it means that she has sensed that Father will heal.

❀Ella


Later:

Well, we are orphans now. Though Anne tended to him so well, Father has passed into the next world. Mother knew Father would die, and walked off the dock into icy black waters. Eyewitnesses said that she strode with purpose toward the water’s edge, spun around once, said a short prayer, and walked straight into the water, sinking to the bottom like a stone. Anne and Katherine lie weeping in the same places that the late Mother and  Father sat in their last hours. There is no grave that says R.I.P. Jess and Edward Kebble. I shall draw one, so that they may live on in memory. I sit and write my feelings out to you, Cloud, as I sit next to a wailing baby Lillian. We mustn’t let the officials catch onto the fact that we are orphans, lest they send us to the orphanage. The Matron at the orphanage is a frightful thing-and humongous!  Anne and Katherine would be sent to work, the whereabouts of the workplace unknown. I would be sent to live with a family as a servant, and I don’t want to think of the ghastly things that may befall Lillian. I used to shudder at the thought of being an orphan, but that is what I am now.

~E. Kebble


Dear Cloud,

Anne has taken a boat back to our dear homeland, England. The boat is one used for transporting livestock and worse. It has many a foul mouthed sailor, who would be more than ecstatic to woo Anne, for she is a classical beauty. With her flowing red-gold hair, and mystical aqua eyes, with her fancy dress that speaks of wealth. How surprised the naive sailor would be to find out that we had to resort to the poor box, and that we were orphans. Anne shalt surely die. And be ‘buried’. By a sailor’s funeral. But who would be there to cast her off? The poor sailor whose secret love perished? I should hope not! No, she shan’t go! I must hurry down to the docks.

~Your harried friend, E. H. K.

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