By R. E. Bradshaw

Are you able to commence your existence over at 40? Lizbeth Jackson used to be approximately to determine. She chanced on her first grey hair at the morning of her journey to Ocracoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. Lizbeth was once starting a three-month sabbatical, at the scenic coastal island, so as to end her Master's thesis in Linguistic Anthropology. She plans to check the Carolina Brogue spoken there. What she finally ends up learning is her lesbian neighbor around the road and the uncontrollable pull Lizbeth feels towards her. Lizbeth Jackson is ready to determine what existence has to provide, after waking up grey.

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When she started talking, she left a couple of syllables out of my name and it stuck. ” Fanny wasn’t finished with the genealogy lesson. She interrupted the introductions with, “You ought to know who you kin to on this island. ” Gray responded, “I ‘magine,” another bit of island slang, meaning to agree with a statement. ” Gray looked at Lizbeth with a grin that should have belonged to a mischievous boy. ” The shock must have shown on Lizbeth’s face. Gray laughed at her expression. ” Lizbeth let out a weak laugh to cover her embarrassment.

Gray asked, a look of concern on her face. Lizbeth stuttered out, “No… no, I just felt an itch, that’s all. ” Lizbeth couldn’t look at Gray. Eye contact might send her over the edge. “You should come by the house and I’ll cut you some fresh aloe. It will help,” Gray offered. “Thank you, that would be great,” Lizbeth said. A kind of wa-wa echo bounced between her ears, accompanying her words. She was no more thinking about the sunburn than the man on the moon. All of her thoughts were focused on this seemingly uncontrollable crush she was developing for Gray.

Lizbeth intended to spend the next three and a half months studying the Carolina Brogue, unique to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She needed to collect evidence to support her theory that the almost Cockney accent and word usage were a product of many years of isolation on the barrier islands. This isolation protected some parts of the original speech, brought to this country by the islanders’ English and Irish ancestors. It was a dream project for Lizbeth. She had been coming to Ocracoke all of her life.

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