In that moment, Elijah heard a voice in his head. I didn’t try to kill her. He did. “Did you hear that?” he asked the others.
“Hear what? We’re tired of you hearing things,” Nathan said.
“I swear I heard something. The voice said ‘I didn’t try to kill her. He did.’ I’m sure that’s what I heard.”
“Who is he and who is she? You’re scaring us, Elijah,” Kate said, holding on even tighter to Nathan.
Elijah heard the voice again. He closed his eyes this time and really listened. He poisoned her. Made her blind. They killed me instead. His eyes flung open and he repeated the words to his friends.
“I think I know what the voices are,” Maria, who was mostly silent said.
“You do?” Steve asked, turning to his twin.
“I think so. Remember the story grandma used to tell us about a plantation and the girl that got blind?” she asked Steve and then turned to the other six. “There was a plantation owner sometime around the civil war whose daughter was said to have been poisoned by the maid. The girl, Felicia, however did not die. She got blind instead. The maid was hanged for trying to kill her.”
“When Felicia finally came to, she kept on mumbling that eyes were following her. And that the maid was not in any way responsible for her blindness. People just assumed the poor girl had gone mad because of the poison. Legend has it that their house had been haunted by the ghost of the maid and her child. People avoided the house like a plague. Story has it that Felicia even plucked out the eyes of the dolls she felt followed her. If what I am thinking is right, then I bet this is that house.”
“So what you’re saying is that the ghost of the maid is speaking to me in my head? How is that even possible?” Elijah asked.
“Our grandmother always used to say that two sets of people would hear the voices of the unseen, the one that applies to you is the liquor. She always said drunks were highly susceptible to the unseen,” Maria said.
“When you say unseen, you mean ghosts, demons and shit?” Elijah asked, growing white as a sheet.
“That is exactly what I mean.”
Elijah felt his knees grow weak. “I’m never touching a bottle in my life again,” he said and he crumpled to the floor. Suddenly, something clicked in Elijah’s head. “Felicia? Did you just say Felicia? That was the girl’s name?”
“Yes, that was her name. Why?” Maria asked him.
“It’s just, I think I know someone who knows her, I don’t think so anymore. Different names… Did she die?” At that moment, the picture of Maria on professor Boxton’s desk was flashing in Elijah’s head. But then the professor’s mother’s name was Maria and not Felicia, but he couldn’t help but still be curious.
“No. The story says that she grew up blind and alone in the house neglected and kept away from everyone by her father. After all, they all thought she was mad. When she was grown, she ran away.”
“So what do we do?” Paul asked, joining Elijah on the floor. Elijah was still reeling in shock. He honestly could not believe what a coincidence it had turned out to be. It was all entwined. Before long, the others joined in too, sitting in a circle.
“You do,” Maria corrected. “What you do is to listen. Listen to the voice in your head. For her to be speaking to you, she just wants her story heard. I’m not sure but I think if she does tell her story we’ll be free.”
And listen, Elijah Grey did.