Bryce left the house around 10:30am to meet his parents at his grandma’s house to start to go through her belongings in preparation for the services. I had called my mom right after my talk with Bryce to tell her about Tessa calling me. She agreed to come over and be with me when Tessa came…at least she seemed to grasp the severity of the situation! I think I paced the entire house between 11:45 until a few minutes after 12pm, when I saw Tessa’s blue SUV pull into our driveway.
I saw her get out of the car and take a long pause as she gazed in the direction of Kent’s house. Then she turned her gaze back toward our house, closed her eyes, mouthed something I couldn’t make out, and headed to our doorstep. I took a deep breath as I opened the door to let her in.
She nodded and gave me a half-smile through pursed lips as she stepped inside. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I could tell she had a lot to say. Before she said anything, I spoke up and said, “I should have called you sooner. Everything you said has been completely right.”
“I had a feeling.” she replied in a hushed but serious tone. “I’ve been having visions” she continued. “I saw on the news about your neighbor and the missing children. Although the mystery is solved and appears to be over, I still sense danger surrounding this street…particularly this house.”
I nodded. I had seen and felt it first-hand.
“Have you also been having visions, Quinn?” she asked me. She seemed to be studying my reactions.
“I…I guess. I’ve been having nightmares. Seeing things that I don’t understand that seem to have to do with what happened across the street. I don’t quite know what to make of it, though.” I looked to my mom for reassurance. She was on the couch, flipping through the magazine with photos from Kent’s house. She shot me a puzzled look. I hadn’t told her about the nightmares.
“Those were warnings. I think you understand more than you think you do. And I think your spiritual guides have been showing you just what you’re dealing with here…” she trailed off as she wandered around the living room and eventually towards the hallway.
“Have you been experiencing strange occurrences with any electrical devices here as well?”
“The monitor!” I exclaimed. “Several times it has turned on and off by itself. I really thought either it had some sort of malfunction or that I was starting to go crazy!” I hurried to the bedroom to retrieve it from its docking station and brought it out to hand it to her. She hesitated before taking it from me.
“There is so much mixed energy here. This monitor has been a channel through which good and bad energy has been trying to reach you.”
“ME?!” I shrieked. “Why ME?!” I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest, it was beating so hard.
“Because the spirits know you are perceptive.” she responded as she studied the monitor screen. The image of the twins in their cribs came into view on the tiny screen. “Hmm...” I heard her mutter as she stared intently at the monitor and headed toward the nursery.
I followed close behind her. She paused in the doorway for a moment, looking toward the floor then turning to me. “I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. I do not enjoy being right about situations where losing a loved one is involved.”
“Thank you. I should’ve listened to you and thought of Claudia right away. None of us knew she was even sick. She was here with us for Thanksgiving and then gone the very next day.” I could feel the tears start to well up in my eyes.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say she’s gone…” she said in an evasive tone. “In fact, I don’t think her spirit has left this room since she passed. Have you felt like she was trying to connect with you?”
I thought for a second then gasped. “That was HER I heard on the monitor! I heard a woman’s voice saying to stay away from the babies!” I was practically hyperventilating by this point!
“I can feel a thickness in the air. Like something dark is surrounding this whole room. Do you feel it, Quinn?”
I did. And I also had just noticed my mother standing in the doorway behind us. I could tell from the look on her face that she could sense it too. “It’s been noticeably colder in here for a while now too.” I told her.
She nodded in acknowledgment as she continued to scan the room, as if looking for something. I peered over the cribs at the twins. They were stirring, but not fussing yet. I smiled at how sweet they looked and how glad I was that they didn’t understand what was happening in the big, scary world around them. And I was determined to keep it that way.
Tessa startled me when she spoke again. “Do you mind if I try to make contact with the negative energy?” She looked from me to my mom for signs of approval. We shared a glance then both nodded to her. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath before speaking again.
“Kent…are you here?” I shuddered at the mention of his name. “Kent…” she repeated. “We know you are here and we are telling you that you need to leave. You will NOT hurt these children like you did the others!” She was getting louder and more demanding as she spoke. “LEAVE THIS HOUSE!” she bellowed in a forceful voice that I didn’t even know she was capable of producing!
As if in reply, there was a loud knocking sound just outside the nursery. We rushed into the hallway and just as Tessa stepped through the doorway, the door slammed shut and locked behind us!
“NOOO!” I shouted as I pushed on the door and twisted the doorknob with all my might with no luck. I started banging on the door, sobbing “Dammit, Kent! You get the hell out of here and leave my family alone!” I looked to my mom for help, but Tessa pulled me away from the door and further down the hall.
“What are you doing?! My babies are in there! He’s going to hurt them! We have to do something!” I choked out. My mother was so frozen with fright that she couldn’t seem to force herself to move. She just stood outside the nursery, pale and looking as horrified as I felt!
“Stop, Quinn…look!” Tessa held out the monitor, which was still in her hand. At first, I was so angry I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at. The screen was dark at first and was making the static “white noise” sound again. But when it cleared, I could plainly see what looked to be a dark silhouette standing in front of the window. It was shifting back and forth so quickly, so unnaturally. I grabbed the monitor out of her hand and held it up closer so I could see better. I had forgotten about the “record” function until just now, but I hastily held down the button until the red light came on. I knew that Bryce would never believe this unless I had proof.
“Bastard!” I muttered under my breath. I could hear the babies screaming and I couldn’t do anything but watch helplessly. I lifted the monitor up to my mouth to scream through the intercom, when Tessa stopped me and said, “Look again, Quinn…what else do you see in the room?”
This was no time for guessing games! My kids lives were at stake! I begrudgingly glanced down at the monitor and this time, I did notice something else. Besides the dark, ominous silhouette, there were also two white figures; one in front of each crib.
“I…I don’t know what I’m looking at.” I stammered. She reached out and touched my arm gently. “You need to know that your grandfather and your husband’s grandmother are here. They are guarding and protecting your children…watch.”
I stared at the screen in disbelief at her words. But I watched intently, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, as the black figure shifted quickly in the direction of the cribs. Just as it did, the light from the two white silhouettes grew in size to where it almost overtook the whole room. I couldn’t believe what I heard next. It was hard to make out, but I faintly heard the words “PROTECTED BY LOVE” followed by “DARKNESS BE GONE!” I recognized the first voice right away this time as Claudia and the second as my Papaw Everett. I immediately got chills and started to tears started streaming down my face. But I stopped dead at the next sound. There was a low growl as the dark figure appeared to shrink and retreat back to the window. I covered my mouth to stifle my gasp. This was definitely the same growl I had heard in my dream of Kent’s house!
This continued for several moments as the three of us stood and stared. Could this seriously be happening? I didn’t think things like this happened in real life! But there it was, right in front of us. Our beloved grandparents were protecting our babies from evil forces in the spirit world.
Tessa was the first one to speak after a long silence. “May I?” she asked, reaching toward the monitor. I handed it to her, trying to wrap my mind around this whole thing. I sank down on the couch next to my (still stunned) mother and listened as Tessa clicked the intercom button.
“Kent…this is your last warning!” she bellowed. “As you can see, the darkness has no power here! Your soul is free! But you must cross to the light to be forgiven!”
And with those words, there was one last long growl as the shadow moved across the room towards the cribs and was once again enveloped by the light. But this time, it did not retreat. In fact, the light grew. And grew. And grew until I could see nothing left on the screen but pure white light.
“What’s happening?!” I yelled to Tessa, just as the light faded and the nursery came into view again. The door also flung open. The three of us went running down the hallway. I burst into the room first and scooped up Hadley. My mom came in right behind me and picked up Hayden. The room was no longer cold. The air was no longer thick or heavy. For the first time in a long time, there did not seem to be a dark cloud looming over the nursery. While still completely shocked by what had just happened, I was no longer scared.
I plopped into the rocking chair; still in shock, as my mom handed Hayden to me and I began to sob as I cuddled them both to my chest. After I had a few minutes to calm down, I said,“I need to call Bryce...He is never going to believe this.”