It was day break when Elizabeth finally woke. She laid in bed thinking about what transpired between her and Nicholas last evening. A blush came to her cheeks as she thought about their embrace and the kiss that followed. Did she really have feelings for this man? Was this love that everyone speaks about? She had never felt this way before so she didn’t exactly know how to deal with it, or how to understand her own feelings. How could she face him this morning without feeling embarrassed about her own response to him last night?
Well, I better get myself going this morning or I’ll make Nicholas angry at me again, she thought to herself. She climbed out of bed and quickly changed her clothes and proceeded downstairs to meet up with Nicholas for breakfast.
“Good morning,” he replied, as he saw her enter the Inn’s dining room. “I hope you slept well, my dear.”
“Yes … yes I did,” she replied back to him quickly and took a seat across from him at the table. They ordered their breakfast from the serving wrench and sat sipping their tea that had already been placed on the table.
“Have you given any thought to how we are to proceed today?” He asked, quietly after a few minutes had passed.
“Well … yes I have thought about it a lot as a matter- of-fact. I need to go back to the third floor. I must try and contact your grandmother and find out what happened on Christmas Day and why she quit writing in her diary.”
“You can’t go back up there again, Elizabeth!” He said, with a frown on his face. “It’s far too dangerous to go back there. That … thing is up there!”
“I know, Nicholas. But … it’s the only way we’ll find out more information as to what happened to your grandmother. Maybe that will give us the clue to why this evil spirit remains up there. And hopefully, how I can help it crossover.”
He stared at her quietly while the serving wrench brought their breakfast and placed it down in front of them.“That thing isn’t going to give you the time you’ll need to contact my grandmother, you know that. So wouldn’t you be placing yourself in danger, for nothing?”
“I have already thought about that Nicholas and I have come up with a plan.”
“What kind of plan?” He asked, not sure he was going to like it or not.
She took a few bites of her toast and jam as she continued. “We know I won’t be able to communicate with your grandmother with that evil spirit guarding her. So … we need to divide and conquer.”
“What the hell does that mean?” He said, a bit louder than he intended.
“If you stay on the first floor, the evil spirit will know you’re there and … come after you. Like think of it as ‘you’re the bait’. Then when it leaves the third floor I can sneak up there and try to contact your grandmother.”
“Okay … but … how the hell am I supposed to protect myself from that evil spirit while you’re upstairs looking for the information you need?”
“Calm down, Nicholas. I’ve already thought of that too.” She reached underneath of her dress and pulled out the amulet. She then pulled it over her head and held it in her hand. “I want you to wear this, it will give you some protection against the evil spirit. At least it will give me time to contact your grandmother and get back downstairs before it can do you too much harm.” She leaned over the table and placed the amulet around Nicholas’s neck.
“If I wear this then you won’t have any protection at all. That’s just not right in my book!”
“Nicholas, think about it logically for a moment. If I can have enough time upstairs with your grandmother and then come back downstairs before it realizes what we’re doing then I’m willing to take that chance. Remember … it wants to kill you, not me.”
“You know, you make everything sound so … easy.”
“Nicholas, it’s not going to be easy. But I think this will work. With what information I get then I believe we will hopefully have the answers needed to rid this house of this evil presence, once and for all!”
He shook his head in agreement and then they finished their breakfast in silence. Each lost in their own thoughts on how this day was going to unfold.
After returning to the Manor House, Nicholas and Elizabeth went about setting their plan in motion. They briefly went upstairs to put their over-night belongings away and check on Sarah. With that done they returned to the first floor. “Which room down here would be the best for me to wait for … that evil spirit?” He asked, as they walked through the entire first floor. They came to his study and saw that all of the damaged and broken furniture had been removed. Also, the door had been replaced and a new dead bolt put on it. “Not like that’s going to keep it out,” he said, with a nervous laugh.
“This is the safest place for you. It’s the only room on this floor that has a lock on the door. All the others rooms are open and the evil spirit could get to you, immediately. At least here it would take it a little more time to reach you.”
“Well, that’s not very comforting, you know. It’s still going to get to me.” He looked at her now that their plan was in deed in motion. “Are you sure you really want to do this, Elizabeth? I’m so afraid I’ll lose you, too. And that I couldn’t live with.”He gathered her up in his arms and pressed her tightly against him. He didn’t want to let her go. It wouldn’t be fair for him to have finally found the woman that he truly loved, and then have her ripped from him in such a horrible manner.
“Nicholas, you know we don’t have any other choice. We’ve already discussed all our options and this one is the best. Please try not to worry, it will be over soon … I hope.”
With hearing that, he kissed her deeply, praying that this would not be the last kiss they would ever have. He slowly released her, now ready to meet their fate.
With one final look, she turned and left the study. Heading upstairs to stay with Sarah until the evil spirit left the third floor. Then she entered Sarah’s room she walked over to the bed and sat down next to her. She explained what their plan was and for her not to get upset. Looking down at Sarah, she so wanted to wrap her arms around her to comfort her but she knew she couldn’t.
“Oh … Elizabeth … I’m so afraid for you and father. That spirit has such … power.”
“I know, honey. This evil spirit has been angry for so long that it’s time for it to crossover. And leave your family in peace.”
“I know you’re right but … do you really believe that this plan of yours will really work?” Sarah asked, in a small voice.
“I hope so,” was all Elizabeth could say. She hoped the evil spirit would come down soon. She really didn’t want to wait until darkness fell.
From downstairs, she could her Nicholas taunting the spirit. Daring it to come downstairs and face him. “I’m not afraid of the likes of you,” Nicholas yelled, at the top of his voice. “I dare you to come down here, right now!”
Elizabeth heard footsteps in the hallway as the beast first stopped at Sarah’s door and then continued on downstairs.Oh Nicholas, my love. Please be safe, she thought as she slipped out of Sarah’s bedroom and went upstairs to try and make contact with his grandmother.
Once on the third floor she made her way quickly to where his grandmother’s remains were and pushed back the netting that surrounded the bed. She placed both her hands down on Mary. Closing her eyes, she called to her, wanting desperately to make contact with her. Finally she heard a voice in her mind.
“Who are you?” Mary asked. “Why have you come here?”
Elizabeth let out her breath, glad that Mary’s spirit was now here, communicating with her. “I’m Elizabeth, I’ve come to help you and your family,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone could help me. I’m trapped here for all eternity.”
Elizabeth felt a deep sorrow coming from this spirit.“No, you have been trapped here, but … I’ve come to help you, crossover.”
“Really … you can do that?”
“Yes, but first you must tell me everything that happened on Christmas Day so many years ago. And then everything up till April second, the day you supposedly were buried. I know you’re grave is empty because your body is still here.” Elizabeth said, hoping the spirit would give her the information she so desperately needed.
“You must have found my diary, haven’t you? Otherwise you wouldn’t know about Christmas Day.”
“Yes, I have read it. Please tell me what happened that caused you to stop writing in your diary.”
“I will tell you, but I can’t see how that’s going to help you.”
“Trust me, Mary. I truly believe that whatever happened to you up here is the key to ridding this house of that evil presence.”
“Well you know that I had retreated totally to third floor after my son went away to school. This was my safe haven from my husband. He had come up to see me on Christmas Day and he was very drunk. I made the mistake of telling him that I could see and speak to Wesley’s ghost. That infuriated him. He stomped back downstairs to his study and drank even more brandy. Then he returned up here, almost breaking the door down.” Mary stopped for a moment before she continued, reliving that terrible day.
“Now I know … you’re insane, woman.” Her husband bellowed and then continued. “If you’re truly seeing ghosts then ….”
“Not ghosts, Edward. One ghost.” She yelled back at him.
“And whom may I ask is this one ghost?” Now only inches from her face.
“My true love … Wesley Hall.” She spat back at him.
He froze the moment he heard that name. “So are you telling me that Wesley’s ghost is visiting you up here?” Not believing he was even saying this.
“Yes, Edward. It’s indeed my Wesley.”
Edward took a step back, trying to comprehend what his wife was saying. He turned around quickly and went back downstairs. But he didn’t stay there long. He returned with a knife and rope.
She looked at him, not quite understanding yet what his intentions were. But it wasn’t long before she found out.
“You wouldn’t even come downstairs to spend Christmas with me, so if that’s your choice, madam so be it. Now you’ll have to deal with my choices now.” He quickly reached down and grabbed her by the wrists. Tied a piece of rope to each one.
“What are you doing, Edward? Leave me alone!” She cried out in fear. But he was too strong for her.
Throwing her on the bed, he tied each rope to the posts on the headboard. Ripped off her clothes before he began raping her. She screamed out but he put a piece of fabric in her mouth to stifle her cries of help. Waves of exhilaration went threw him. It had been so long since he had bedded his wife that he had forgotten how enjoyable she was. Once he was fully satisfied, a sinister grin crossed his face. “Now my dear wife, if you rather be with a ghost then with your husband, then you deserve everything you get.” With that said, Edward went over to her dresser, opened it up and pulled out a night dress. Put it on her and then stared down at her, again. “I think I might enjoy this new relationship we have. I’m quite sure you won’t care much for it, but that doesn’t matter one bit to me. Only you and I will know what transpires between us up here.” He walked over to the door and turned back to look at her terrified face. “Madam, until tomorrow then,” he said, leaving her staring at the closed door.
Elizabeth’s heart went out to the grandmother. What a horrible thing to happen. She never dreamed it was this terrible. How Nicholas’s grandfather could be so … cruel, she didn’t know. But she needed to know what happened over the next few months.
“I know this is really painful for you to re-live … but it’s really important that you continue on with your story. I must figure out who this evil spirit is and how I can help you as well as it, to crossover.”
The grandmother continued. “After that day my husband came up daily for months to pleasure himself with me until that final day. My true love, Wesley was getting angrier and angrier that he could do nothing to help me. His anger became so strong that he finally attacked my husband. Edward had no idea what hit him but he did suspect that it indeed had to be a ghost. Wesley struck him several more times before Edward backed off and headed over to the door. Before he left, he looked at me for the last time.”
“Madam, seeing that your lover is present here with you now, then I will take my leave of you. And madam … from this day forward … no one will ever enter this floor again.” With that he slammed the door shut. Locked it and went downstairs. Locking that door as well.”
“Oh my god, Mary! How could he do such a thing? Did he ever come back upstairs?” Elizabeth asked, with dread in her voice.
“No … he left me tied to this bed until I starved to death. I think some time went by and the servants started getting suspicious because they never saw him return to the third floor. So for his own well-being he finally told them in April I believe, that I suddenly died and he couldn’t deal with my death so he buried me himself, immediately. He didn’t want to hold the usual funeral where family and friends come to pay their last respects. But he did have a small ritual when my headstone was placed on my empty grave.
Elizabeth couldn’t believe that anyone could be that evil.“Oh Mary, I am truly sorry for what you had to endure under the cruel hands of your husband. But I promise you, I will set things right in this house. I swear it!” She realized that she had been gone longer than expected, and knew she now had to help Nicholas. “I need to hurry back downstairs to help your grandson, Nicholas from that evil spirit that lives here.” With that said, Elizabeth raced down both staircases until she reached the first floor. Knowing she had no protection, she could see the study door was now nothing more than splinters of wood, hanging from their hinges. As she entered, she saw Nicholas at the far end of the room, next to the fireplace. He was holding up the amulet with both hands, which was now glowing brightly, up toward the beast. It held it at bay. “Nicholas,” she screamed, running toward him but the beast was between them and wasn’t going to let her pass.
“Elizabeth, stay back. You don’t have any protection.” He came to his feet instantly, charging at the evil spirit that was between them. That caused it to let out an ear-piecing cry before it turned and flew past Elizabeth, knocking her down in its haste to return to the third floor. Nicholas came running over to her, helped her to her feet and then pulled her to his chest, holding her tight. Neither of them spoke. They both were so relieved that the other wasn’t hurt or worse. Words were not necessary. “Well, I hope you found what you were looking for. I sure would hate to have to go through that again.”
She laughed as she pulled slightly away from him. “Yes, indeed. Your grandmother’s spirit came to me! She told me everything that happened to her. Oh Nicholas … it was awful! I can’t believe that all happened to her!” Tears now were running down her face as Nicholas gathered her up in his arms again. She cried for what seemed an eternity before she pulled away again. Now looking for a handkerchief.
“I see you’ve been busy also,” she said, finally with a slight laugh to her voice. Now noticing for the first time the destruction of the room.
“I think it would be very prudent of us to pack our over-night bags again and get the hell out of this house!” He said. “Once we’re back in the safety of the Inn, you can then tell me all the information you found out.”
“I think you’re absolutely right, Nicholas. You hit the nail right on the head.”