Hey guys, happy Halloween! Well, remember that old cryptic post I did earlier this month? Well…this is it! This is what I’ve been talking about! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Rather be in Your Mind!
If you know me, you’ll probably understand what this is. 😉
According to legend, there was once a glorious house that stood in the wood.
It was a strange house they say, but it was home to 15 well-behaved children. Their caretaker was Mrs. Edith, a gentle elderly woman who made this once-abandoned house a home for the parent-less. It was once a happy place- with children playing outside during the summer, and during the winters, it was cozy and warm inside. It had an atmosphere of jovial fun, until Mrs. Edith died. Then Mr. Trenton was supposed to come… but he didn’t really, so that left the oldest child to be in charge.
Suddenly, children started disappearing for no known reason, and they transformed into horrid ghouls, antagonizing the oldest girl. The house was burned down, with the girl inside. However, she and the jack in the box survived the inferno… and she left without looking back.
My name is Calm Heather Walker, and I was the survivor. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me upon my worst enemy. But what did happen after I escaped?
Well, I’ll answer that for you.
The innkeepers in Hemlock were nice enough to give me a room to stay in. I mean, I know that their inn is “fake” haunted, and the screams from the tourists can be annoying. At least I have a home, though.
The inn didn’t protect me though. Every 13th day of the month, there were the nightmares. Reenactments of what happened at the house- without the happy endings, though. I’d be burned alive and still feel like I’m burning when I wake up. Every time I see my old housemates’ horrid faves, I wanted to cry. I swear I’d hear someone calling my name, and it wasn’t the innkeepers.
There was one night I woke up screaming. The innkeepers say that I was trying to jump out of the second story window, shouting “LEAVE ME ALONE!”
“Heather! Calm down dear-”
“GO AWAY! I DONT WANT TO SEE YOU EVER AGAIN!”
It was that moment when I fainted onto the floor.
“Heather? Heather dear, wake up!”
I slowly awoke to the sound of Mrs. Romson’s voice. She was standing on the end of the bed, showing deep concern for me. My heart was beating out of my chest, and I started crying.
“You’re alright, Heather, it’s only a bad dream. It’s not real…”
If I’d told her how real the dreams were, she would not have believed me.
“My nightmares were of the Kindergarten House Orphanage…” I finally sighed.
Mrs. Romson stared at me. “The Kindergarten House?”
“You’ve heard of it? It was my home. Then it burned down to the ground…” I started crying again. Mrs. Romson hugged me again.
“Don’t worry, Heather, don’t worry… your housemates are reunited with their parents now…”
I cried even more, because I knew that was not true. And she wouldn’t believe me if I did.
The next day, there was a knocking at my inn door. I got up out of my chair and opened the door. In the door stood a barely familiar face. A man in his 30s with tan skin and brown hair stood in front of me.
“Heather, do you remember me?”
I blinked and looked at the man, “Mr. Trenton?”
Mr. Trenton smiled at me. “Happy to see you remembered me.”
“What are you doing here?” I grumbled.
Mr. Trenton sighed, “I want to find out why what happened happened at the house.”
“Not just that. I know about Anya.”
I looked up immediately.
Mr. Trenton continued, “The day I inherited the house, Anya showed up. She looked at me with the most horrifying glare you’ll have ever seen. She said to me, ‘Don’t come to the Kindergarten House if you want the children to live, Samuel. Only come on inspection day. If you come to protect them, the children and everyone you have ever known will die. And you will live to suffer alone- without a family, without a happy life.’ I looked terrified at her and muttered, ‘Y-yes, spirit, I will.’ Anya smirked at me and said, ‘Goodbye, brother. I’ll be back.’ ”
“Wait… brother?!” I replied.
“Yes, Anya and I were siblings, many years ago. Her real name is Paige Trenton, and she died at a young age…”
“She’s a ghost?” I asked.
“More than that. The days before she died, the family noticed her acting strangely. She was talking in her sleep, she wandered out at night. Dancing, she was. Singing songs I’ve never heard…”
“And she died, just like that?”
“Not before cursing us, though. As she laid in her death bed, she screamed at us. ‘Curse you all!’ she said, ‘Curse you all for not understanding! Curse this house!’ And then she took a steak knife with a telekinetic force and she stabbed herself.”
“There has to have been a reason why this happened! Was there something weird that happened before this?”
Mr. Trenton paused. “The Hemlock Halloween Festival. It was a secret event held outside of town in the woods. Everyone was dressed up, and there were tents set up by the community. The celebration went on for an hour before Magistrate Flatbottom shut it down for so called ‘disrespecting the dead’. It was after that day when Paige started to act odd.”
Okay… that was weird. Did Mr. Trenton seriously just say that? Was he lying or telling the truth? Was this just some crazy vision from Anya? I didn’t know anymore.
Mr. Trenton reached into his coat pocket and took out a picture. “Here’s proof if you need it.”
I looked down at an old picture that seemed to be taken during the 1970’s. In it, there was a grinning, happy brunette family. The father had some stubble on his face and his hair was in a mullet, as if he was going through a mid-life crisis. The mother had a gentile, caring face with her brunette hair tied back into a bun with a polkadot dress on. There were three children in the picture- two boys and a girl. The eldest son looked to be about my age in the picture- Mr. Trenton said his name was Clark- and he had diagnol bangs as part of his shaggy hair. Mr. Trenton himself was the middle son-seeming to be 10 at the time- he had spikier hair than his older brother. And there was Paige, also known as Anya, with her brunette hair tied into braids and wearing a pink dress- very similar to the one I saw Anya in.
“Wow…” I muttered, staring at the photo. Mr. Trenton took the photo away from me and tucked it away.
“I want to know why this happened. I mean, after Mom died and I inherited the house, I couldn’t come there. I’m so sorry you thought I didn’t care for you… I was just trying to protect you. I failed…” he looked down, disappointed in himself, then he looked at me, “You’re the last hope I have, Heather. You’re the survivor. Ever since I heard of the fire and that you survived it, I’ve been trying to find you.”
I let that sink in for a bit.
“It’s not your fault, Mr. Trenton. I don’t know who’s fault it is… but I want to find out. Can you come with me? I want to find out what else happened.” I asked, getting up.
Mr. Trenton widened his eyes. “Sure…” he muttered, “A good place to look is the Hemlock Herald building. They have old newspapers in here… I wonder if there is anything on the Halloween Festival of 1973?”
“That’s a good idea, Mr. Trenton!” I grinned, “Let’s go!”
With that, Mr. Trenton and I approached the Hemlock Herald building. We entered and saw the printer working tirelessly to get today’s edition out.
“Good afternoon, Olivia!” Mr. Trenton said.
Olivia looked up, “Good afternoon, Samuel! What story do you have for me? Any paranormal witnessing? Grave encounters? Stories from the other side? Tell me- I need a front page that would catch someone’s eye!”
“I don’t have a story, Olivia,” Mr. Trenton sighed, “… can I use your microfilm? This young girl needs it for a… project.”
“Oh I know you,” Olivia stated, “You were the girl that survived the fire of one of the odd houses on this island, October 13, 2012! That made the front page by the way. I’m sorry for your housemates, though.” I looked down again.
“So… the archives?” Mr. Trenton reminded.
“Oh, yes,” Olivia snapped out of it- then she walked over and unlocked the door to the archives, “Good luck on your project, Heather.”
As I was about to open my mouth to ask her how she knew my name, I reminded myself that she was the town’s newspaper printer, and she knew who everyone in Hemlock Harbor was.
We headed downstairs and found ourselves in the Archives room. Mr. Trenton looked at me and sighed, “Let’s find 1973…”
We spent a few hours looking through the microfilms… until we finally found the snapshot of 1973’s fall festival.
“There it is! Oh, Heather, there’s the news report! I remember seeing my family in the background… there they are! But… Paige wasn’t there…” He skimmed through the photo, and found Paige by a tent. She looked like she was talking to someone… but only an empty chair was there.
“She’s talking to no one!” I shouted.
“Maybe we don’t see her, but she could…” Mr. Trenton observed.
“But that would mean-”
All of a sudden, the lights blacked out. All we saw in front of us was total darkness.
“Who turned off the lights…?” I asked nervously.
There was no response.
The lights came on and I found myself alone. Mr. Trenton was gone. I panted and looked around for any signs of him. There was nothing. However, when I looked down to the ground, I saw the message:
GO TO THE ASHES OF THE HOUSE
I knew that Anya/Paige did this. I immediately ran upstairs and past Olivia, who never questioned me coming out alone, and outside. I looked at the woods and ran into it blindly.
I didn’t want to come back there. Not at all. But I had to. I had to find out what happened to Mr. Trenton.
I finally saw the open spot in the dark and cold woods. The smell of death was in the air, which did not excite me. Not at all… I was unaware that I ended up standing on the ashes of my old home.
“Heather!” I heard Mr. Trenton call.
“Mr. Trenton?” I replied, looking around the empty area.
There was no more reply.
“Where are you, Anya?” I shouted.
Again, there was no reply but a cold chill was in the wind. Shivering, I took a step back.
Then, I heard it.
In the tone of a music box, a very familiar song echoed through the woods. I realized that it was the very song Anya sung with the other children to me…
“Six hours sixty six minutes into sleep
The girl comes and takes your soul to reap
Let the nightmares come sit back and unwind
For when you’d wake you’d rather be in your mind
Although her appearance may seem as meek as a mouse-”
All of a sudden, I felt a cold hand over my mouth and blacked out.
I woke up to the sound of the jack in the box- which was strange since it was supposed to be in my room back at the inn. I was tied to a chair with the familiar feeling of a jump rope.
“Heather!” I heard someone shout behind me.
“Where are we?!”
“I-I don’t know! But it looks familiar…”
We were tied up in a small blue room… The playroom? But that’s impossible- it burned to the ground..
“I’m sure you have a lot of questions, Heather…”
There was Anya, just like I last saw her. The air was ice cold and I felt a dark aura coming from her.
“Why are you doing this to us?” Mr. Trenton asked lowly.
Anya frowned. “I thought you’ll have known considering all the research you’ve done, Sammie.”
“Don’t lay a finger on Heather, witch…”
Anya raised an eyebrow, “Funny you said that…”
I gasped, “A witch’s ghost?!”
Anya looked at me with a deep glare. “You are a smart girl…”
“That was how you did all those things! The time potion! Starting the fire! Turning the children into ghouls and brainwashing them!” I cried out.
Anya held out an orb of energy in front of me, “The powers the woman at the fair gave me at the festival was the best thing that happened to me!”
“What woman? You know our mother taught us not to talk to strangers!” Mr. Trenton shouted.
“She talked to me and blessed me with magic…” Anya said.
“But you let the dark arts overpower your mind and you ended up dead! And you killed Mother when you disguised yourself as an orphan!” he sighed.
“Wait… you were Mrs. Edith’s children?!”
I heard a loud scream from Mr. Trenton along with the sound of ropes moving… Anya had this evil smirk on her. All of a sudden, he abruptly stopped screaming. I looked over and saw Mr Trenton, motionless, in his chair with the ropes tangled around his neck.
“Mr. Trenton…?” I cried. There was no reply.
Anya frowned. “Talking to a corpse is not going to give you an answer.”
I tried not to show any weakness to her, but inside, I was crying. Mr. Trenton was dead-not dying-dead. And I’m probably going to be next.
“Now, Heather, it was pointless for you to come back…” Anya sneered.
“I know who you are now, Paige Trenton.”
Anya blinked for a minute. Her eyes were hollow save for a red dot in each eye. I felt that the jump ropes were restless… I knew this because they were slithering up my arm.
“Now it’s your turn, Heather. The last child of my cursed house will die now. Goodbye.”
The rough jump ropes blinded my sight and covered my mouth. Unheard screams echoed the room I was trapped in. Those unheard screams were mine. Then the rope started to wrap me around the neck. Little by little, I had a harder time breathing. It had gotten to the point I had to close my eyes.
However, all of a sudden, I could see a white glow under my eyelids and I could breathe again. When I opened my eyes, I was looking at Anya, who was tied up to a post.
“Mother!” she shouted, “Why are you doing this to your own daughter?!”
“You’re not my daughter anymore- you went too far a year ago.”
I gasped, “Mrs….Edith?”
Mrs. Edith turned to me for a second, her friendly elderly face giving me a beacon of Hope.
I found myself able to get up. As I got up, I heard something drop to the floor. A small pack of matches.
“We need to burn the witch out of her…” Mrs. Edith noted.
I bent down and grabbed the matchbook, plucked off a match and ultimately lit it. I looked at Anya, who was tied by the very jump rope that killed Mr. Trenton.
“You will not harm anyone anymore!” I shouted. Then, I lit a fire onto the wooden beam.
Anya screamed, she actually couldn’t escape because the jump rope was enchanted. The flames drew nearer… and nearer… until any sight or sound of her was obliterated by the fire.
Mrs. Edith grabbed my wrist. “You need to get out of here. Heather, wake up! Anya’s gone now! Wake up!”
I found myself standing in the ashes of the house again.
“Calm Heather Walker?” I heard someone call for me.
I turned around and found myself facing the magistrate.
“What are you doing out here in the ashes of your old home, Heather?” he asked.
“Magistrate Flatbottom, I’m sorry. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
He raised an eyebrow, then sighed, “Let’s get you back to the inn… and never speak of the events in that house again!”
“Yes sir,” I obeyed. I followed the magistrate back to Hemlock Harbor’s streets, then he let me go back to the inn.’
“Good night, Heather…” he sighed.
After the last time I saw Anya, Clark Trenton, Samuel’s older brother, came to the inn and adopted me as his own- I think Mrs. Edith told him to get me.
I just hope to finally move on from these past two years… and the Kindergarten House would remain empty from now on.