Well, hello there! I don’t think we’ve ever met. Although you may have met my older sister, my twin, Edie Penhryn. She was a character, she was. Had a mind of her own and nobody, but nobody could tell ‘er what she ought to do an’ think, though that poor young Vicar did try his best. Now Edie, she went out with a bang. I laughed, and laughed and laughed fit to bust when I heard what had happened. Even to the very end Edie was in charge of her 104 year old self. I must say going out live on national TV was sheer genius. Sheer genius! She ain’t never been forgotten.
You know what the best thing is? The people of Harfinsain never knew Edie had a twin sister. We’d had a falling out after our parents died. Edie was dead set on hitting the stage and becoming a big star. I told her she didn’t have an actor’s bone in her little finger let alone in the rest of her body. She didn’t like that. We never spoke again. She went one way, me the other.
I had no idea what Edie’d been up to till someone told me about the Survivor Olds series. Funny, they said, you look just like that Edie woman who died on live TV filiming the promos. Well, did my ears prick up at that news I can tell you! I pretended not to know and then set about with my own bit of detective work. And what I found out had me old heart thumpin’ with joy. It were perfect. I was at a bit of a loose end and needed something to spice me life up a bit.
Problem solved! I’d insert meself into Harfinsain and take over where Edie left off. I know what you’re thinkin’ now! Let me tell you Edie and I come from a family of long livers. I ain’t got no dicky heart. Fit as a bull, me doctor tells me. Could live forever, he says. Even if’n you smoke those horrid, dirty Cuban ceegars. It’s what’s keepin’ me alive I say – that and the rum toddy at the end of the day.
Now even though Edie and I never spoke to each other after that there spat, she was still me older sister. An’ I loved her. Always have. Just couldn’t stand to be around her, that’s all. But now – now I have to accept the fact that it was my bounden duty to take over where she left off. So I packed me suitcase, hopped on the bus and headed for Harfinsain. I was movin’ in!
I jest want ta make it clear that Edie and I ‘ave always had impeccable taste when it comes to fashion. It pleased me no end when I learnt to what heights she’d taken hers to. I’ll continue on in the same vein, ‘ceptin in my own style of course.
Well, you shoulda seen ’em when I walked into that there post office with the statue of Edie at the door. It just so happened that the poor young Vicar were in there a chit-chattin’ with the post mistress about the next HISS committee meeting which now managed the Harfinsain tourist trade. You woulda thought they’d seen a ghost. The postmistress screamed, dropped the parcels she were holdin’, and fainted dead away. As for the Vicar, I never seen anyone turn such a pasty white in such a short time. He stuttered and stammered, tryin’ to catch his breath I think. Or maybe he was tryin’ to say me sister’s name.
I just waltzed on over, held out me hand, and introduced meself. “Good morning,” I said. “We haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. My name is Edna Penhryn. I’m Edie’s twin sister.” The Vicar seemed to be having some difficulty with finding his words, so I continued. “I ‘spose it’s a bit of a shock to find out Edie had a twin. I was devastated to hear of her passing. I’ve been abroad you see. Edie and I had not kept in touch for some years. It makes my heart sore just to think of her dying without me, her own flesh and blood, being here to comfort her. Of course, when I found out my poor, sweet sister had died, I just had to come. I could never live with myself if I didn’t come and say my own farewells to her. And to see the village she so loved and gave her heart and soul to.” As you kin probably tell, I can turn on the charm when I need to. And I needed to have the Vicar eating out of the palm of me hand.
When the postmistress came to and recovered some, we had a long chat, the three of us. After getting over the shock of it all, I could almost hear their minds tickin’over, thinking that the Harfinsain tourist trade would get a good, healthy boost of new interest with my arrival, if only they could convince me to stay. Needless to say, I played the overwrought, grievin’ sister and reluctantly let them convince me to stay a while. That were two year ago.
I’m now livin’ in Edie’s house which was a museum dedicated to her memory. HISS restored it into a home for me to live in. All I have to do is make an appearance whenever the tourists come into the village, tell some stories, take ’em for a tour of the cemetery where my beloved sister lies a-resting. And sit on the porch of the post office smokin’ me ceegars. Life is good. Church on Sundays is really good. I sit in Edie’s pew, sing as lustily as she ever did (although truth be told I can keep a tune better than she ever could), have a nap while the Vicar does his thing. And just to keep up appearances for Edie’s sake, I even help meself to a bit o’ the collection when the plate comes around.
© Raili Tanska
Written in response to Lady Calen’s Sandbox Challenge 67 .
Jane Basil provided the inspiration for my four part story. She kindly gave me permission to continue the tale. Enjoy the full Harfinsain experience by starting with her post –
Then read the full sequence from the beginning by following these links –
First – Edie of Harfinsain
Second – The Vicar of Harfinsain
Third – this post
The story needed a full stop. Part 4 is it.
Fourth – The Harfinsain Twins Grand Finale