The Lady in Red

The Attack

Elena put the locket in her pocket and she and Jeremy got in the car and headed back to their house.

"So, did you guys find anything?" Jenna asked as she opened the front door.

Jeremy nodded. "We found a locket. It has the Lady in Red's initials on it."

Jenna's eyes widened. "Really? Let me see it!"

Elena took it out of her pocket and held it out. "You can't really see them clearly. I think the locket's pure silver. It's gotten really tarnished from being in the ground for so long."

Jenna took it and studied it. Turning it around, she noticed something on the back. "There's a date here," she exclaimed. "1864. Well, the story said that the Lady in Red's soldier fiancé served late in the war."

Elena inhaled sharply. "It's been in the ground for 145 years. Can you believe that?"

"No." Jenna shook her head. "You know, if we got the silver polish and made this shiny again, I bet the mayor would love to have it at the next Founder's Day celebration. The story of the Lady in Red is a big part of the town history and this locket is evidence that it could very well be true."

"Where is the silver polish?" Elena asked.

Jenna thought a moment. "I bet it's under the sink in the guest bathroom."

Elena found it quickly and the two of them commenced fixing up the locket. By the time they were finished, it didn't seem like it had ever been in the ground at all.

"It's beautiful," Elena whispered. "Do you think there's anything in it? Like a picture of the soldier?"

"Maybe," Jenna was looking at it just as intently. "You want to try and get it open?"

Elena found a nail file in her purse and tried for fifteen minutes to pry open the locket, but it wouldn't budge. "Too bad it's stuck," she said finally. "But even if we can't find out what's inside, at least it's still wearable." She put it on. "I'm going to run to the Grill. Bonnie said she needed to talk to me about something."

She took her purse, and headed out to her car. It didn't take her very long to reach the Grill, but the place was packed and the parking lot full, so she parked down the street and walked the rest of the way. As she headed into a nearby alley, she thought she heard a noise behind her. She turned around and saw someone standing in front of her, illuminated by a streetlamp, a girl with chin-length straight black hair and blue-gray eyes. She was wearing dark wash jeans and a purple v-neck blouse under a gray jacket.

"Hi," Elena said uneasily. "Can I help you with something?"

"Yes," the girl's voice was soft and intense. "You can give me that locket."

Elena's hand flew up and grabbed it. "No, I found it. It's mine."

The girl's eyes narrowed. "All right, suit yourself." And with that, she rushed at Elena, grabbing the necklace, scratching and biting her neck, pulling her hair and hitting her face. And Elena was hitting the girl back. Finally, a voice seemed to come out of nowhere:

"Hey, who's there?"

The girl looked up and pulled herself off Elena. "Forget you saw me," she whispered, and then ran off before Elena could reply.

After the girl was gone, all Elena could do was lie there on the ground. Finally, a guy came over and pulled her up. "Are you all right?" he asked. "What happened?"

Elena blinked and shook her head. "I was attacked. A girl tried to steal my locket, but someone called out and she disappeared."

The man smiled. "That was me. Looks like she really did a number on you. Do you want me to take you to a hospital?"

Elena shook her head. "No, thanks. My car's not far away. I'll clean myself up and then get to a hospital, but thanks for offering."

The man smiled. "No problem. Take care of yourself."

Elena thanked him one more time and continued walking to the Grill. After washing all the extra blood off, she went into the main dining room where Bonnie sat waiting at a table. When she saw Elena, Bonnie's eyes widened.

"My God, what happened to you?"

Elena collapsed into a chair. "I don't really know. Well, I do, but I don't understand why. See, Jeremy was reading one of our ancestor's journals and it talked about this old ghost story about the Lady in Red and how crazy old Dr. Stensrund buried both stolen money and her heart on his property. Jeremy and I went looking to see if we could find anything. We found this." She held up the locket. "It has the same initials as in the story, and the correct time frame is engraved on the back. And then, when I was walking here to meet you, some girl in the alley attacks me and tries to get it back."

"But why would she want it?" Bonnie asked.

Elena shrugged. "I don't know, but I think I know someone who might."

After saying goodbye to Bonnie, Elena drove to the boardinghouse. When Stefan answered her knock, his reaction was the same as Bonnie's.

"What happened to you? Are you all right?"

Elena nodded. "I'm fine now. When I was on my way to meet Bonnie at the Grill, a girl attacked me in the alley. She was trying to get this." She unclasped the locket, removed it, and held it out to him.

He took it, looked it over, and said with amazement, "where did you get this?"

"Jeremy and I found it," she said quietly. "He and I took his metal detector and went out to Dr. Stensrund's old house because Jeremy wanted to try and find the treasure that everyone thinks is there."

"But you didn't find anything," Stefan said, "except this?" he held up the locket.

Elena nodded. "Yeah. The story of the Lady in Red says that Dr. Stensrund killed her and buried her heart somewhere on his property. I figure this is what that means." She paused. "Stefan, do you know anything about this? Do you know why the girl in the alley attacked me trying to get it back?"

Stefan nodded. "I do. Wait here for a minute." He disappeared and Elena sat on one of the parlor couches, waiting for him to come back and wondering what he was going to tell her. When he came back, he was holding a picture. He sat next to her, and turned it around so she could see it. "Elena, is this the girl who attacked you?"

Elena breathed in sharply. Although the picture was black and white, and although the girl was wearing different clothes, it was definitely her. "Yeah, that's her. Who was she?"

Stefan sighed. "Her name was Selina Warren. She was Katherine's half-sister and Damon's fiancée. She got a fever, went to Dr. Stensrund's house to be cured, and neither Damon nor I ever heard from her again."

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