Read on to CHAPTER 13.
Friday, April 19, 2013
PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 12
So things got a little crazy today, but here is Chapter 12!
If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: Chapter 11 before proceeding to reading PART 2: Chapter 12.Otherwise, read from the jump :)
The words Nathaniel Fleming Orphanage were etched into the stone sign that stood at the bottom of the hill. Underneath those words were founded in 1842. Dried leaves and twigs engulfed the sign that welcomed whoever dared venture onto the old property. Jimmy turned his car and slowly began to move the vehicle up the hill. The beams from the headlights lit up the driveway as the car inched it’s way up the hill as Jimmy kept a watch out for deer and other animals that had a tendency to sometimes jump out in front of moving cars. They were halfway up the hill at the old security building when Jimmy breaked the car to a halt.
“Let’s pull into here,” Jimmy suggested referring to the small parking area behind the building.
“Why?” Reginald asked.
Jimmy looked at Reginald’s shadowed face through the rearview mirror and said, “So we can walk the rest of the way up. You know, get the full experience.”
The kids all looked at one another before Carl shrugged and said, “Sure. Why not? May as well.”
There was a nervous tension in the car, but no one argued and Jimmy pulled the car into the small parking area behind the building and put it in park. He shut off the car engine leaving them cloaked in darkness.
After a brief moment of silence Carl said, “Well, I say we get moving.”
“Let’s do it,” Jimmy said, “let’s get out and take in what Fleming Orphanage has to offer.”
The six of them all emerged from the car and waited as Jimmy locked the doors. Linda clutched her bag of candles with an excited expression. Reginald and Carl each kept an arm around their respective girl, shielding her from the chilly, autumn air. Jimmy finished locking the car and he and Linda wrapped their arms around eachother. They all stood, taking in their surroundings. While neither of the kids would share this thought with one another, each of them felt as though they had stepped through a vortex and into another world. There was an energy on the property that was different from what was outside of the entrance. The grounds of the Fleming property were quiet and still (perhaps a little too quiet and still). Even the wind had seemed to stop. It was as if all form of life had died on that property along with Cedric, Margaret, and Jared Fleming.
“Well, should we start walking up?” Carl asked.
The rest of the kids looked over at him and Dorothy looked up at her boyfriend. His lively voice seemed very much out of place up there.
“Absolutely,” Jimmy said, smiling to mask how nervous he really was beginning to feel.
The six of them turned to begin their journey up the rest of the way when Jimmy stopped them.
“Hey, wait a second,” he said.
They turned back to him as he keyed open the passenger side of his car, reached into the glove box, and pulled out a small flashlight. “Just in case the moon goes back behind the clouds,” Jimmy said.
Jimmy then took Linda’s hand and they all began their way up the top half of the hill. The moon was bright enough despite the occasional cloud. It cast it light down through the nearly bare branches of the trees that lined the long entranceway, almost forming a tunnel.
A gateway…Dorothy thought before pushing such thoughts from her mind. She shuddered as she huddled closer to Carl.
“You alright, babe?” Carl asked, tightening his arm around her shoulders.
“Yeah,” Dorothy answered, “just chilly.”
“Well, we’re almost there,” Jimmy said.
Dorothy looked over at Reginald and Gail who walked huddled together. In the moonlight, she could see the two of them observing their surroundings. Jimmy and Linda walked in front of them with their hands clasped together and Linda holding her bag of candles with her free hand. The only sounds were the clicking of their shoes on the pavement combined with small crunches as they stepped on the leaves that had fallen from the trees and blanketed the ground. It was easy to understand where the local legends and folklore of the place had come from. There was plenty of room for one’s imagination to run away with itself in that place.
Finally, they reached the top of the hill to find themselves surrounded by the vacant buildings. The relics stood, towering over the kids as though they were waiting for the right moment to pounce and devour them.
“Well gang, here we are,” Carl said.
“Yep,” Jimmy replied.
Just off to the side of the main building was the old playground. Even in the dark one could see the rust that had collected on the swings, sliding board, see saws, and merry-go-round as a result of the natural elements and decades of not being used. Dry, unkempt grass had grown up and around the swings that years ago, many children had gleefully swung on. Dorothy thought she could hear the sound of playful laughter coming from the playground’s direction but chose to ignore it, telling herself that it was the property and it’s history and folklore causing her to hear things.
The six of them stepped up to the large porch that led up to the entrance of the main building. They simultaneously looked up to the windows of the top quarters where Cedric, Margaret, and Jared had met their doom. A faint, blue glow flickered in one of the windows and then was gone.
“Say, did anyone else see that?” Reginald asked, “I swear I saw something flash up there.”
“I saw it too,” Carl said and after him, everyone else confirmed that they had also seen the blue light.
“What do you think it was?” Dorothy asked.
“Maybe the moonlight reflecting off of something? A mirror, perhaps,” Linda offered.
“I’m sure,” Jimmy said, but there was a nervous edge in his voice. Then, he drew in a breath and said, “Well, what do you say we head on in?”
“Sure,” Reginald said.
“Let’s do it,” Carl added.
Jimmy let go of Linda’s hand and climbed up the steps of the porch to try the front door. The door had obviously been broken into before and opened easily.
Jimmy turned around, facing the group with a huge grin on his face. “Looks like we’re open for business.”
“Alright,” Carl said as he bounded up onto the porch. Reginald followed after Carl.
“Wait,” Linda said, “didn’t Maxine live in the other building while she was a class instructor here?”
Carl turned around and grinned. “You’re right,” he said.
They turned and looked toward the second building that housed the dining hall, many of the classrooms, and the rooms in which the school instructors who had lived on the property stayed during the schoolyear. It was decided that they would explore in there first and head up to Maxine’s room before going into the main building. Like the mai building, the second building’s front door had been previously broken into and opened easily. They were immediately met with the old dining hall. Large windows lined the walls, casting light from the outside moon. Two long tables with benches were placed in the middle of the room while smaller tables surrounded by chairs were off to the right hand side. It was figured that the children had sat at the long, center tables while the faculty and instructors would eat at the smaller side tables. To there left was the large kitchen where many meals had been cooked and served. There was a large window where plates and trays had been returned after one had finished up his or her food. The six kids walked over to the tray depositing window and peered in. Stoves and food prep tables and remained in tact and there were even a couple pots and pans that lay on top of the stove. Some of the effects of the property had been taken and auctioned off, but there were more who dared not venture onto the property than there were those who did. There was also the fact that the auctioneer swore that he had seen a large, twelve foot shadow that resembeled a crow the last time he had ventured up for more items. While there were a few more eccentric collectors who had bought the items that were able to be auctioned, most people didn’t want to be involved with the curses that were rumored to be on the property and all that was associated with it. Thus, the property and it’s remaining effects went untouched.
“So where is Maxine’s old room? On the fourth floor?” Carl asked.
“On the fourth floor,” Dorothy confirmed. She had read of that in one of James Livingston’s journal entries. And of course, everyone in town knew the stories of the property.
“Then let’s go,” Linda said.
They exited the dining hall and headed over to the staircase that was across the hall and climbed each flight of stairs until they got to the fourth floor. Jimmy pushed open the door that led to the hallway that was lined with doormrooms for the instructors.
“Which one was Maxine’s?” Linda whispered to Dorothy.
“The one in the center on the right,” Dorothy answered.
They walked over to the door of the room that had been Maxine’s. The door was slightly ajar. Carl barely tapped the door when it creaked open all the way, welcoming the kids into the room.
“Well, I’m sure this room hasn’t seen very many visitors,” Reginald said, attempting light humor.
The room was small and the kids faced the window that looked out onto the grounds. Under the window was the outline of a bed covered by a large, white sheet. Three shelves lined the wall that was about two feet from the foot of the bed and off to the side of the shelves was a sink with a mirror that opened to a medicine cabinent. A closet was a couple feet from the sink and after the closet, was the door that the kids stood at. They stood, taking in the small, deserted room when Linda got an idea.
“Hey! Maybe we can try conjuring up Maxine here,” she said, “do you think we can?”
Dorothy looked around and said, “Maybe. I’ve read several stories where one easily conjured a ghost through a mirror. And this room has a mirror.” She looked at the mirror above the sink and felt a small, nervous flutter in the pit of her stomach.
“Do you think we should?” Gail asked.
“Why not? It’s just a game. For fun,” Linda said and began to take her candles and a box of matches out from her bag. She set them up on the shelf by the sink, lighting them all until the room was blanketed a warm glow. Shadows danced across the faces of the six kids. Then, Linda reached into her bag and pulled out what looked to be an old dagger. Reginald’s jaw dropped at the site of it.
“Where did you find that?” he asked.
“At an antique store when my parents and I were visiting family in Maine this passed summer,” Linda said, “the shopkeeper said that it’s 19th century Romanian.”
“Since when are you interested in that kind of stuff,” Carl said unable to hide his amusement. No one, not even Jimmy, could disagree with Carl. It was very unlike Linda to pick up such a thing.
“Yeah baby. I didn’t even know you had that,” Jimmy said.
“I suppose I just forgot to mention it,” Linda said with a shrug.
“What made you pick it up?” Reginald asked.
“What made go into an antique store? I always figured you to be the high end makeup boutique type,” Gail added.
Linda rolled her eyes. “I don’t know,” she said, “besides I can have other interests, can I?”
“Sure,” Gail said, “I’m just surprised you would even know what 19th Century Romanian is.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Linda challenged.
“You’re a vain, self-centered bitch who has nothing but air between her ears,” Gail said with almost a sneer.
“Gail!” Reginald exclaimed.
Gail looked at Reginald who looked at her with wide, surprised eyes. She looked to Jimmy, Carl, and Dorothy who wore the same expression as Reginald. She then looked at Linda who glared at her with a combination of anger and hurt in her eyes. It wasn’t the first time Gail had taken shots at Linda. But before it had been simply in jest. This time, the tone of Gail’s voice had been cold and condescending. Gail had also never used foul language with her friends before. It was as though Gail had become a different person in that moment.
Gail stood, stunned at what had just come from her mouth. She looked back at Linda and could see tears beginning to form in her friend’s eyes.
“Linda…” Gail said filled with remorse. She slowly stepped forward in an attempt to embrace Linda. But before Gail could finish her apology, Linda ran passed her friends and out into the dark hallway.
“Linda!” Jimmy called, running after his girlfriend, “Baby, wait! I’m sure she didn’t mean it!”
Dorothy, Carl, and Reginald watched as Jimmy disappeared after Linda. The three of them turned their heads back toward Gail, each one’s expression questioning her over what just happened.
“I’m sorry,” Gail choked out as she felt sobs rising up through her throat.
“Gail,” Reginald said gently, “why would you say that?”
Gail shook her head as tears burned her eyes. “I don’t know!” she cried, “I didn’t even know what I was saying until it had already come out! Honest!”
With that, Gail sunk down to the floor, breaking down into sobs. Reginald sat down next to her and took her into his arms. “There, there honey. It’s alright,” he said, “I’m sure Jimmy will talk to her and everything will be fine.”
“I honestly didn’t mean to say that,” Gail carried on, “Linda has her faults but she’s still a dear friend! I don’t even think that about her!”
“I know,” Reginald said.
He looked back up at Carl and Dorothy who both stood staring blankly at them as they tried to comprehend what had just happened. Reginald held on to a shaken Gail as she attempted to calm herself down and clearly think of a way to convince Linda of how sorry she was. Of how much she valued her as a friend and how she would never in a million years think of her as the stupid, selfish bitch she had just described her as. But then another thought crossed Gail’s mind.
Why would you say that in the first place if it wasn’t what you really thought? Even if it’s in the deepest, darkest, crevices of your mind…it had to come from somewhere…
Read on to CHAPTER 13.
Read on to CHAPTER 13.