Willie was found laying on the floor in a pool of blood. A bright red ribbon was tied around her neck and a broken pipe was a few feet away. Constable Green tried to explain to Papa what he thought had happened.
“It looks as if she tried to hang herself but the ribbon she used gave way and when she fell, she struck her head on the corner of a table.”
Two weeks later, Flossie Malone, the new nighttime girl arrived at the factory. The foreman explained that the overnight hours might prove to be too demanding. Four other girls had tried and failed.
Flossie assured him that she would be successful. Her first shift was on Monday. The foreman met her, showed her where the cleaning supplies were kept, then left and locked the door.
Several hours went by and as she was dusting the sewing machines, she was startled when she looked up and saw a smartly dressed man walking through the middle of the room. He was devilishly handsome, she thought.
His crisp black linen suit, complimented by a bright red bow tie, had not a wrinkle in it other than the perfectly sharp creases in the center of each pant leg.
His face was flawless and his full lips were accented by a pencil thin mustache. His jet black hair was parted down the middle and his piercing blue eyes were mesmerizing.
On his arm was a beautiful, petite, small waisted young girl with thick black hair, tied back with a bright red ribbon. Her eyes were the color of rich, dark chocolate and her porcelain skin and delicate features almost gave her a doll-like appearance. She carried a singe dandelion in her hand.
Seemingly oblivious to her, Flossie watched the couple walk all the way down the long dark hallway and disappear.
As the sun rose, thinking she had finished her chores, Flossie was troubled when she noticed two large dark stains on the floor. “Goodness,” she thought to herself. “I wonder what caused these and how did I miss them?”
*Notes from the author.*
On a Monday, Albert Middleton suffered a fatal injury at the factory. Feeling that he had not accomplished enough, he continued to walk the floors.
Papa knew that Albert Middleton had died many, many years ago.
The other nighttime girls didn’t last because when they first saw Albert, they were frightened and never returned.
Willie was not frightened but she came to realize that the only way she and Albert could be together, was in death.