“Matilda, my darling girl, you would have loved it here,” he mused as he watched the sun set at river’s edge.
The familiar voices of old friends, Crane, Knickerbocker, Van Winkle, whispered to him from the mist. “Ah, Van Winkle,” he chuckled, “I concur. It is time, indeed, for a long nap.”
The old man leaned on his cane as he ambled to the house, uttering his final words, “Well, I must arrange my pillows for another night. When will this end?”
They would lay him to rest at Sleepy Hollow; the man known as Jonathan Oldstyle, Geoffrey Crayon…Washington Irving.
100 Words for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction Challenge, inspired by the photo above by Roger Bultot.
…the rest of the story
Imagine my surprise when I opened the photo and google map popped up on my screen plopping it on the east side of the Hudson River, North of New York City. After zooming in I imagined this could very well have been the view from Washington Irving’s beloved Sunnyside home in Tarrytown on the Hudson. The Matilda referenced in my story is the name of his fiancé who died from tuberculosis at the age of 17. Some believe it was grief, as well as seeking treatment for his own health issues, that launched him across the pond where he would spend decades. He remained a bachelor to his dying day.
Of course, after discovering all of this, I knew I must write about this iconic author, historian and diplomat. If you would like to learn more about Irving, Wikipedia gives a nice summary of his life and works.