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The Haunting of a Girl

Penelope felt a shiver course up her spine as someone, or something, slowly pulled a wisp of her hair…

Diary
“Diary” by Julien Lasbleiz Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / People / Portraits©2015-2017 Deviant Art http://pre03.deviantart.net/e3cf/th/pre/f/2015/007/9/e/9e96c635070aa6b605c5e2f900623420-d8d0fme.jpg Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lasbleiz-Artwork-171842246213406/

Penelope admired the elegant Japanese design on her new diary. Tiny figures dressed in kimonos knelt beside a lake while sparrows flew over their heads. She ran her finger along the gilt flowers embossed on the border of the cover, then flipped open the magnetic clasp and turned to the first page. She put her pen to the paper and paused, wondering what to write about.

She glanced out her bedroom window and looked across the lawn to the edge of the woods that surrounded her house. On her window ledge lay a silver money clip she’d found earlier that week during one of her walks in the woods. It was laying partially covered in a dry stream bed. The sun glinted on it, catching her eye. As soon as she picked it up, she felt something inside her shift, a whisper said “It’s mine,” and she knew it was hers to keep.

She picked it up again and turned it over in her hand, inspecting it. After she’d cleaned it up, two initials appeared on the crest, AD. It was a handsome piece of work, tarnished from age, but still held a beauty of its own. She imagined its owner, perhaps he was dark haired with piercing eyes and a sensuous mouth. A small smile curved her lips as she began writing about her fantasy man.

As she was writing, deep in thought, she heard her bedroom door click behind her. She turned to see that one of the twins was standing in her doorway watching her. She knew he was Destin, the older brother by 10 minutes, because he always had an impish smile on his face. Plus his bangs flipped slightly more than Aiden’s.

“Destin, where’s Miss Wendy?” she asked him. She got up from her desk and took him by the hand, leading him back to the playroom where their nanny should be with her other brother.

“Miss Wennie is playing wif Aiden,” he said. A small pout puckered his mouth. “She din’t wanna play wif me.”

To be continued…

 

Update from The Aether

Hello Dear Readers,

This is just a quick note to let you know that the characters in “The Haunting of a Girl” are developing in unexpected ways and insisting on new plot twists and double-backs. I’ve been doing research to make sure all the details of Allen and Penelope’s worlds are as authentic as possible. As their story unfolds, Allen and Penelope must learn to trust each other if they are to survive the evil spirits determined to dominate them both.

The Haunting of a Girl – 3

“Walter? What the hell is going on? Where are you?” he said, calling into the mist that was enveloping him like a shroud.

Diary
“Diary” by Julien Lasbleiz Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / People / Portraits©2015-2017 Deviant Art http://pre03.deviantart.net/e3cf/th/pre/f/2015/007/9/e/9e96c635070aa6b605c5e2f900623420-d8d0fme.jpg Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lasbleiz-Artwork-171842246213406/

“Destin,” Penelope said as she turned to look at him. Her lips parted on a gasp when she saw that no one was at the door, but the door swung slowly open as if pushed. She went over to the door and looked down the dark hallway towards the main stairs that divided the grand house. On the other side was her brothers’ suite that they shared with the nanny. She turned around and searched her room knowing that Destin had somehow snuck in and was hiding from her. She opened the closet doors and walked in as she flipped the light on. Her closet was her oasis where she’d cached away secret things she kept from her parents. Things they’d frown upon if they knew she had them. Behind her folded clothes on a shelf, she kept a teakwood box that contained her treasures.

“Destin, where are you? I know you’re in here,” she said in a teasing, sing-song voice. “Come out, come out wherever you are.”

She felt a presence near her. With cat like speed, she thrust aside a rack of clothes expecting Destin to be behind them. She froze, finding only empty space. A shiver coursed up her spine as someone, or something, slowly pulled a wisp of her hair. She clutched her hair and spun around, looking for the culprit. She was utterly alone. She thought she heard soft laughter, but it was so low she couldn’t tell if it was her imagination or something else.

“What the hell…?” Penelope ran out of her closet and through her room to the hallway. She stopped outside her door, heart pounding in her throat. She peered back into her room. It looked normal, quiet and still.

“Penny!” She jumped when Aiden called her name. She turned and saw him on the other side of the staircase. He was standing outside his bedroom in his pajamas. The light from inside his room gilded his dark hair like a halo.

“Are you ready to tuck us in?” he asked.

She took a deep breath to calm herself and decided that she must have caught her hair on something in the closet. She smiled brightly and said, “Yes, sweetie. Let’s get you guys tucked in.”

***

Allen’s vision cleared slowly and he looked around to get his bearings. He was in a bedroom; he’d never been there before. The sudden appearance of the girl startled him. He saw her as a shadow when he was waking up and reached out to get her attention. His fingers felt numb, and when he tried to touch her, his hand slid through her hair. He sensed her emotions when he touched her. She was confused and then frightened when she turned to face him. He heard the other men laugh. He watched helplessly as she ran out of the bedroom. The sound of Walter’s voice reached him, but he couldn’t see him.

“Walter? What the hell is going on? Where are you?” he said, calling into the mist that was enveloping him like a shroud. Through the veil he could see the room he was standing in and yet he could still see into the mist.

Walter appeared as a dark shape and then materialized in front of him, laughing. “Shit boy. Don’t you know where we are?” he paused, then said, “We’re in Purgatory.” His black eyes flashed as he looked at Allen.

“What?” Allen said, realization sinking in. He was doomed.

Walter sneered. “What d’ya expect, Doughboy? Murderin’ and robbin’ people is an unholy sin.”

To be continued…

 

The Haunting of a Girl – 2

As she turned to leave the room, Aiden asked, “Penny, how come you moved to the other room? Can’t you just stay in your old room?” An unshed tear trembled on his lashes.

Diary
“Diary” by Julien Lasbleiz Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / People / Portraits©2015-2017 Deviant Art http://pre03.deviantart.net/e3cf/th/pre/f/2015/007/9/e/9e96c635070aa6b605c5e2f900623420-d8d0fme.jpg Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lasbleiz-Artwork-171842246213406/

“That’s nonsense,” Penelope said with a laugh. Miss Wendy, as she was called, was quickly becoming Penelope’s closest friend. She knew that Destin was just sneaking away to spy on her. His endless curiosity always led him into other parts of the house that weren’t baby proofed. Destin and Aiden had a wing with the nanny where they spent most of their time when their parents weren’t home, which was often because they both worked night and day at their popular restaurant, Cristo’s.

Penelope took Destin back to the playroom where Wendy was reading a story to Aiden. She looked up from the picture book, surprised that Penelope was standing there. She thought Destin had gone to the bathroom. The four year-old insisted on being a big boy and going alone.

“Oh my goodness, Destin!” she cried. “Did you go to your sister’s room again? Please don’t go anywhere without me. I’m here to take care of you and I need to know that I can trust you to stay here, silly goose.”

Destin smiled at Wendy and said, “I just wan’d to say ‘hi’ to Penny. I miss her.” He looked up at his big sister and blinked both eyes in an effort to wink.

Penelope grinned back at him and ruffled his hair. “You can say ‘hi’ anytime you want to, but you always have to ask Ms. Wendy first. Ok?”

“K” he said, and nodded.

Penelope leaned down and kissed both her brothers on the top of their heads. “I’m in my room if you need me. It’s almost bedtime, so I’ll be back to say goodnight.” She looked at Wendy, who nodded her head in agreement.

As she turned to leave the room, Aiden asked, “Penny, how come you moved to the other room? Can’t you just stay in your old room?” An unshed tear trembled on his lashes.

Penelope’s heart ached to see her little brother so sad. “Aiden, you know I had to move into the other room so you and Destin can have more space. Besides, I’m a boring big sister. All I want to do is listen to music and write in my journal.” She winked at him.

“Yeah, but now I can’t sleep in your bed anymore,” he said. “’Sides, you’re not boring. You’re fun!”

Aiden had been climbing into her bed at night since he’d learned to walk. Her old bedroom was across the hall from the twins’ until she’d turned sixteen last year. She’d delayed moving into her own suite since she was fourteen because she didn’t want to leave her baby brother who often woke in the middle of the night and went to her for comfort.

“You’re a big boy now. You don’t need to sleep in my bed anymore, buddy. You’ll be five soon,” she said.

“Aw,” Aiden said, looking down, a fringe of bangs shielding his eyes. “I know.”

Penelope gave him a hug, and then said, “Now that settles it for good this time. You finish the story with Miss Wendy. I’ll come back later and tuck you in.”

Both the twins sat back down with the nanny on the loveseat and began chattering and giggling while she tried to read to them about a curious monkey named George.

Penelope closed her bedroom door behind her and went over to her desk where her diary lay open. The money clip sat beside it where she’d left it. She picked it up and turned it over in her hand, admiring the beautiful workmanship.

She’d never seen anything like it before and decided to search images of money clips online to see if she could find a match. She opened the browser on her laptop and typed “antique money clips” into the task bar. Instantly, the results scrolled down the screen as she moused over the blue list of hyperlinks. She clicked on the “images” tab across the top of the window and searched the matrix of jpegs that popped up. A picture of a group of clips similar in design to the one she found caught her eye. She double clicked on the image and read the brief description:

Antique 1920’s Lunt Sterling Silver Pierced money clips.

Behind her, the bedroom door whispered a soft click as it opened.

To be continued…