THE HAUNTING OF HILLCREST MANOR book 1

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Chapter 5

Sitting at her table in her room, Elizabeth decided to ask Nicholas tomorrow if they had any neighbor children living nearby, because this was the second time she had seen this little girl. Louise had brought her up a dinner tray and had left it for her, she only picked at the food though, not really feeling very hungry at the moment. She knew darkness had come and she needed to prepare herself for whatever would happen tonight. She really wanted to go check on Sarah but since it was dark already, it would be breaking the rules to leave her room and she didn’t want to lose the privilege of having her door left unlocked.

She started to change into her night dress but decided against it, there was no way she was going to get any sleep tonight that was for sure. Each night was worse than the night before with the moaning, pounding and that awful thing with the bright red eyes. What would they have to endure tonight, she didn’t know. But she knew it was going to be bad. Really bad.

She laid down on her bed, more for something to do than sleep, while she waited for the inevitable to happen. She closed her eyes for a few minutes while she waited. She felt the temperature in the room starting to drop, now knowing it has started. She just hoped she could live through this night.

A bright light appeared in the middle of her room and then moved closer. It came all the way to the edge of the bed. It definitely was the same child-like spirit as before but this time it was different. It spoke to her in a small voice.

“Help us … please Elizabeth … help us.”

“Sarah, is that you I see?” She asked incredibly, shocked at being able to recognize now who the spirit was. How is this possible? I just saw you a few hours ago in your room.” Elizabeth was very confused. She had to think this through, how could Sarah be an invalid when she was standing right here in her room?

“Teleporting?” That has to be it. There is no other explanation for it. She had heard of this but had never experienced it before, or so she thought. To be able to leave your body and your spirit can go anywhere it wanted, materializing wherever it wanted. But they couldn’t stay out of their body for long before it would start to deterate.“You came to me in my bedroom in London, didn’t you?”

Sarah looked at her before she answered. “Yes, but it was very difficult because you were so far away. I couldn’t completely materialize or communicate with you. But … now that you’re here, I’m finding it so much easier and it is wonderful to actually be able to talk with someone again. Elizabeth, you must help us!”

“What can I do?” She asked, before she heard something moving down the hallway. “And now it begins,” she said under her breath. “Sarah, do you know anything about this evil spirit, who it was, or why it’s here?”

“No … I don’t … it scares me so much. I don’t know what to do. Nobody until now understood anything when I spoke … except you. I had searched a very long time to find you and now you’re here.”

The noise in the hallway was coming closer. Elizabeth now could hear growling sounds just outside her bedroom. It began to scratch the wooden door, making her jump every time it broke a splinter off.

“I have to go now … I can’t stay here any longer.” Sarah said, before she disappeared into thin air.

Elizabeth sat waiting, not sure of what her next move should be. Suddenly she could hear the entity start to move farther down the hall where Sarah’s room was and stop outside her door. She could hear Sarah screaming for help!

“You can’t go down there, she yelled! She’s just a little girl. Leave her alone!” She jumped out of bed and ran toward the shadow figure but it disappeared into Sarah’s room. Quickly she ran after it, not sure of what she was going to do when she got there but it was something. She had to save Sarah.

The entity saw her enter and whirled around to face her, now extremely angry for being interrupted. Its eyes were glowing red so bright that she could hardly see, she could feel the evilness coming from it so strong, she backed out of the room but went right instead of left and realized her mistake, but it was too late. For there was no staircase at this end of the hallway. She now found herself with her back to a locked door, trapped with no exit in sight. The entity was going to kill her. She knew that. “Oh what can I do?” She cried, until she remembered the old gypsies’ words. She grabbed the amulet that was around her neck with both hands, closed her eyes and began calling the gypsy with her mind.

Suddenly, the amulet began to glow, producing a bright, blinding light causing the dark entity to halt in its tracks. A loud ear piercing growl escaped from it just before it vanished. Leaving nothing behind except burnt footprints in the floor where it had been standing.

Thanking the gypsy for her help, Elizabeth finally released her hold on the necklace and breathed a big sigh of relief. She could feel the temperature starting to go back to normal so she knew it was over. She needed to check on Sarah. Quickly she raced back down the hall to her room. Sarah was hiding under her covers, terrified of the horrible beast that had entered her room.

“Is it over yet … Elizabeth?” She asked, hearing her enter the room.

“Yes, I think it’s over. You can come out from under the covers now, Sarah.” She moved over to sit next to her on the bed, so wanting to give her a hug but she knew better. Sarah was never to be touched.

“That … thing … scares me so … much. I’m so glad … you came here, Elizabeth. I knew you would come. I knew you would help us.”

“Sarah, you keep saying ‘help us’ who do you mean, exactly?” But Sarah was already asleep by the time she had finished her sentence. Quietly she got up and left the room, and hopefully she could get some rest this evening before dawn comes.

***

Morning came way too quickly for Elizabeth, it seemed like she just went to sleep when Louise came in with her breakfast tray, set it down on the table and left quickly. Climbing out of bed she sat down on one of the chairs, ate a few bites and decided to change her clothes. She had worn this dress yesterday and it wouldn’t be proper to wear it two days in a row. She really didn’t want anyone to know she slept in it. Once changed she went downstairs to find Nicholas. She wanted to ask him about the little girl she saw go into the woods yesterday. Finally she spotted him out on the terrace sipping tea, when he bade her to join him. “Good morning, Nicholas, how are you feeling today, better I hope.”

“Yes, much better. I had the servants move another bed into my room since the one I had was a bit broken,” he said, with a smile on his face.

At least he has a good sense of humor, she thought, smiling back at him.

“I would think I can travel in a day or two.” He missed the frown on Elizabeth’s face when she heard him say that. She didn’t want him to leave. She wasn’t exactly sure why, but she enjoyed his company and she would surly miss him when he was gone.

“Can’t you stay just a little longer, Nicholas?” She pleaded.

“You know as well as I do that ‘this house’ doesn’t want me here. It will be safer for you and Sarah if I was gone as soon as possible. I can’t stop what goes on in this house, and I can’t take Sarah with me, I’ve already tried that. No. It’s best if I leave. Things will be much quieter around here when I’m gone. You’ll see.”

She nodded her head in agreement, but wasn’t happy about it. They sat sipping their tea for quite some time, each lost in their own thoughts. Finally, Elizabeth spoke up.

“Nicholas, are there any neighbor children living around here?

“No, why do you ask?” He said, not understanding why she would ask him such a stupid question. She had rode in the carriage with him when they came so she should have seen that they had absolutely no close neighbors at all. That they were quite alone out here.

“Well, I’ve seen this little girl twice now going into the forest, alone. I was afraid for her so I followed her the second time I saw her into the woods but lost her out by the small stream. There were multiple paths from there she could have taken but it was getting dark so I came straight back to the Manor House. Just in time, mind you because the fog was moving in and it was hard to follow the path out of the woods.”

“You shouldn’t have done that, Elizabeth! I told you never go into the woods, alone. But you disobeyed me!” He shouted at her.

“No, I wasn’t alone. I was following the little girl.”

“I don’t know what you saw or who you saw, but I can assure you there are no children around here. The closest village is miles away. There is no way in hell a child could come this far.”

Now Elizabeth was very upset. “If there are no children living nearby, then who did I follow?”

“I have no idea. Are you sure you weren’t having some kind of vision or something? You did tell me that you see … things. Or spirits or something like that.”

“It seemed so real. I’m sure I saw a little girl, I’m sure of it.”

“Well, what can I say? Just don’t do it again. Those woods are very dangerous. And if you get caught out there when darkness falls, you’ll probably never be seen again.”

Her eyes opened wide with fear. She never thought about her own safety. She just wanted to help the little girl and make sure she wasn’t lost.

“I know you meant well,” he said, a little friendlier. “But from now on, don’t go into those woods, okay?”

“If you say so. I would like to take a nap this afternoon, I really need the sleep. I doubt very much that I’ll get any tonight.”

“That would be an excellent idea.” He didn’t want to talk with her anymore about the events that happen here. The less she knows, the better.

“Now that I’m finished with my tea I think I’ll go check on Sarah and then lay down for a few hours, unless you need me for something.”

“No, no, go right ahead. I may go lay down myself for a while,” he said, jokingly.

“That’s not funny, you know. It would do you good to rest. So now if you would excuse me, I’ll take my leave of you.”

He rose long enough for her to leave and sat back down. He hoped that he was correct in thinking that all would be well if he left. He was the last male of his family and with having only an invalid daughter to follow him, his line would end. Someone else would follow, but it would most likely be either a distant relative or the crown would appoint someone. But his family name would be forever gone from these lands.

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