life sciences scholarship

archiveofourown.org
Ghosts That We Knew - Chapter 1: Paper
By Organization for Transformative Works

Fandom: Turn: Washington’s Spies
Rating: Teen
Relationships: Edmund Hewlett / Anna Strong
Characters: Anna Strong, Edmund Hewlett, Abraham Woodhull
Summary: With the war at an end, Edmund Hewlett takes possession of Whitehall and does his best to settle into a life of science, scholarship, and solitude. But Anna Strong has returned to Setuaket as well, and the more their paths cross, the more they both realize that it is not such a simple thing to move on.


Chapter 1: Paper

The first thing Edmund notices upon his return to Setauket are the ghosts.

For once in their strange and sordid acquaintanceship, Abraham Woodhull proves as good as his word. There comes a day when Edmund lifts his head at his writing desk in York City and realizes that he has not heard the sound of drums in a week. Nor soldiers marching, nor muskets being fired in drills—all of it has floated out on the ebb tide with the frigates and their guns. Every time a warship vanishes from the harbor, a diminutive fishing sloop takes its place. It is rather, thinks Edmund, like watching the snow melt. Thoughts of snow still make him shudder, in truth; each winter spikes a thread of fear through him and makes his phantom toes twitch. The point is that the metamorphosis from war to peacetime is a transition so slow and subtle that when he finally notices it’s nearly accomplished, the change comes, paradoxically, as a shock.

And at the end of it, young Woodhull—the Woodhull, now—comes to him with hand outstretched, bearing the deed to a house Edmund once dared call home.

“Congratulations, Major,” grins Abraham, managing, nobly, to limit himself to only nominal sarcasm in either word.

The boy must have come straight from the notary’s: the deed is new, the letters as crisp as the paper they are written upon and the ink still half wet. Edmund accepts it with caution—afraid, absurdly, to let the edges graze his skin.

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