Here is the next section of what I’ve been working on but I’m a little stuck. any suggestions. . .
The Ghost of Brantwood Hall
You know what I need to stop jumping around. I want to make sure I am explaining myself clearly. I guess the best way to go about telling you all my adventures is to go in order. I’ll go in the order of the names I’ve been called. Starting with the Ghost of Brantwood Hall.
This time frame includes the years from when I was left on the doorstep of Brantwood Hall until . . . Well I’ll get to that. You already know that I was brought up for 5 years in Brantwood Hall. I also told you that I was left on the doorstep of Brantwood Hall. Here’s what you don’t know. I was left there when I was almost a year old.
Karrick took care of me. He was just always there, I don’t remember a time without him in my life. It was great, actually. I can remember my bedroom in his apartment. He or someone had painted it pink. It had butterflies on the walls and hummingbirds. I really was like a fairy tale play land. No one can tell me that Karrick didn’t know what little girls liked and needed.
I don’t know why but I guess I was about four or five when the nightmares started. They would boarder on night terrors. The nightmares were always the same. I would be a baby and be in a cradle in a nice warm kitchen. When suddenly the feeling in the kitchen changes and turns dark. I can feel the stress of the people around me and the terror. I see a woman I don’t know comes and picks me up and hides me. I can’t see anything but I can hear this high pitched scream of terror. I seems to go on forever. Just when I start to think the screaming is never going to end it stops. I don’t mean it stops like the person just stops screaming I mean it’s like someone cut the through of the person who is screaming so they can’t scream anymore. Then a man I don’t know comes to get me. There is something wrong feeling about him. Something like he wants to hurt me and I cant put my finger on it. That’s when I wake up screaming.
That’s really the first time I remember Karrick taking me to work. I guess he wanted to know what the doctor thought. It wasn’t like he took me in and had an appointment with me for the doctor or anything. He just asked the doctor to talk to me for a little while he ran and checked on a few things. The doctor mentioned that Karrick had told him about the nightmare. I talked to him and he asked me questions. I answered them, I didn’t have any reason not to. I guess maybe half through the time I was talking to him I noticed her.
Sitting in the window was a woman. She wore a black dress that looked like something out of the eighteen hundreds. Her hair had was pulled up with curls on her head. She was just looking out the window and not paying any attention to anything that was happening in the room. I asked the doctor about her and he said there wasn’t anyone there. Considering my age he put it off to me having imaginary friends.
I remember Karrick coming back to get me and him talking telling me that I had to sit and talk to Joseph. That was when the adventure began. I told him about the woman I had seen and the doctor saying I had a wonderful imagination. I can still remember Joseph laughing at that.
“Even though he works with the gifted he doesn’t hold the gift himself,” Joseph said. “You probably saw the lady of this place, her name was Lady Elaine.”
“Her name was?” I asked, “Don’t you mean is?” If you cant tell I was a normal kid and I asked the questions that only children ask. I didn’t know that I shouldn’t ask.
Joseph of course was not phased by this at all. He simply answered, “Yes was. Lady Elaine passed away almost a one hundred and fifty years ago. I’ve seen her myself a time or two. If you ever find her someplace by herself she’ll tell you all about her life.”
“Oh,” I answered. At the time I didn’t really understand why I should want to know about her life. Joseph knew there was a story there and one that would capture me for the rest of my life. I just didn’t know it.
“Trust me little one, one day you will want to know all about her one day,” He said. “She isn’t you past but she is the past of this place and it is important.”
“What are you telling my little girl?” Karrick interrupted. I had seen that look before he was not happy with something. I didn’t know what he was mad at. Joseph was just telling me stories like he always did. I should tell you that Joseph was Karrick’s friend and had been for some time so I had met him many times before. Joseph was always cool and told me stories about fairies and princesses. I most have hears a thousand of his stories about unicorns and other such things. To me at that time he was my story teller, my friend. It was the first time I wondered about the stories Joseph told me. Was there a reason I wasn’t supposed to hear those stories? Why would Karrick care if I was told stories?
“It’s just a story,” Joseph said with a grin. “I always tell her stories and this one isn’t any different.”
“It is and you know it.” Karrick said with a sigh, “You know this one is different. I don’t care if you want to tell her cute little stories about princesses or sunken ships but ghosts. That I care about. Dammit, she’s already having nightmares and you want to give her more of them.”
“I’m not trying to give her nightmares. I’m just telling her the legend of this place and she’s going to hear it sooner or later. Isn’t it better if she hear’s it from me or you? At least then it will be presented in such a way that it wont scare her.”
“She’s to little to hear those stories. It would be one thing if she was a little older or if she wasn’t having nightmares. But, the bottom line here is she is having nightmares and she isn’t older yet. It’s my job as her guardian to protect her and take care of her.”
“No, it’s your job love her and raise her. I know that you want to protect her but it’s your job to make it so she doesn’t have to have you protect her. You should be teaching her to take care of herself. I know at her age she’s not going to take care of herself tomorrow but she’s going to need to someday.”
“Don’t you think I know that? That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be able to be a little girl as long as she can. Telling her those ghost stories will make her grow up faster then she needs to.”
I sat and listened to the argument for a little longer. It was really more back and forth about ghost stories and if I was growing up to fast. If you ask me it’s pretty boring. I don’t remember how long I sat there an listened before I wandered away. There isn’t any good reason I wandered away besides the fact I was a little girl and kids wander away.
I ended up around the corner and down the hall at a bank of windows. You should know they face the same way as the window in the doctors office. I don’t remember what I was looking at or even how long I stood there. I do remember turning around and there she was. The same woman dressed in black with the curls.
I guess you would say I was precious when I was little, because I asked her, “Are you a ghost?”
She looked at me for a moment and then answered, “I guess I must be. I’ve been here in this place for almost two hundred years and nothing lives that long. Also no one has talked to me or I guess seen me in so long.”
“Are you a scary ghost?”
“I don’t think I am. I’ve never been asked that before and I don’t want to scare anyone. Are you afraid of me?”
“No, if no one talks to you or sees you . . . why do you stay?”
“I can’t leave. I mean I suppose I could but this is my home, I can’t just leave it.”
That’s when Karrick called my name. I said, “That’s me.”
“You had better go.” She said and turned back to the window.
I turned and ran back down the hall to Karrick. Besides being a bit precocious I also tended to be obedient. I know now that Karrick would have eventually came down the hall looking for me if I hadn’t run back to him. At the time I didn’t know that, I just knew that I was supposed to come when called. Later that night while Karrick was tucking me into bed I told him about the conversation I had with the lady in black. I wanted to understand why Joseph wasn’t allowed to talk to me about her, why no one played with her, and why she stayed. I wanted Karrick to explain to it to me and I didn’t know he had no intention of explaining anything to me.
“Baby girl,” he began, “it’s time for bed not talking about stories.”
“It’s not a story,” I wined. I know not attractive but I remember I was four or five.
“Baby girl stop. I know you have an active imagination and I want you to use it but I don’t want to hear any more about this. Do you understand me?”
“Why can’t I talk about it? I wana know why Joseph isn’t allowed to tell me stories.”
“That’s enough.” He yelled.
“Fine,” I must have sounded like a brat. Honestly I understand it now but I didn’t then. I also don’t think I could explain it, even if I wanted to. I’m sure at some point through this you will begin to understand too. I realize that I sound like I’m trying to defend him but I’m really not.
I didn’t go back to the institute for about a week. I was still having nightmares and there still seemed to be no reason. In fact, they were getting worse and Karrick was really getting worried about me and them. He knew that nightmares were common in children but mine were still much more violent and terrifying then most normal nightmares. The worst part was I couldn’t remember them.