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The Masquerade Ball
Author's note: I origanlly came up with the idea when I was watching my favorite ghost investigating show Ghost Adventures. Althought I got the main idea I hadn't thought of how the story was going to go. Then I realized one of my favorite songs, The Masquerade Ball, fits so well in my story and I started developing ideas as I heard it. As I began writing down my ideas I decided to name my book after the song, The Masquerade Ball.
Midland-February 23rd, 1769 Midnight
It was a calm, moonlit night. The weather was calm and cool and the air felt fresh. There were a few clouds in the sky covering part of the full moon. The people of Midland pulled up their stage coaches in front of the Cumins Mansion. Tonight was a special night; it was the first masquerade ball the richest family has put up. The host and hostess were Jeremiah Cumins and his lovely wife Rosalie Cumins. They've been married for six years and they recently had their first baby son named Bentley. Jeremiah was a great landlord, merchant, and a good citizen. He comes from a family with not a lot of money but has a reputation for being the most beloved people in the city. He was a blonde, blue-eyed English white man who came to America when he was two years old. Rosalie, however, came from first class and lived in Midland most of her life. She was the city's most beautiful and beloved woman whom everyone loved. She is very wealthy but she wasn't spoiled like her family. She has long, curly black hair and dark brown eyes.
The married couple lived happily in their mansion with their young child, however a tragedy occurred that changed their lives forever. Jeremiah returned from the local hotel after picking up his parents. He got out of the stage coach and helped his parents get out. He walked with them to the mansion and led them to the ballroom. There were hundreds of guests who attended the masquerade ball; woman in their elegant ball gowns and men in their suits. Most of them wore masks on their faces. They talked and danced as the music played. They walked to the table where Rosalie's parents were at. They greeted each other and sat down on the chairs. Jeremiah smiled at his in-laws. He took Bentley from them and hold his son. Bentley had just woke up from his sleep. Jeremiah's mother smiled.
"I am happy for you and Rosalie," said his mother, "I never thought you two will ever have a baby so beautiful."
"I love my son," said Jeremiah, "Rosalie and I are happy to have a special son like him." He paused for a moment, "Where is Rosalie?"
"She went upstairs after you left," said Rosalie's mother, "I think she's in your master bedroom."
"Then excuse me." He handed Bentley to his mother and got up. He walked out of the ballroom and walked upstairs. He walked in the right side of the hallway and walked another flight of stairs. He walked down the short hallway and opened the second door on his right.
"Rosalie are you in here?" he asked.
He opened the door all the way and was shocked to see his wife on the floor unconscious.
He quickly walked to Rosalie and hold her back. He tried to wake her up but she did not move. He looked to his right and saw a small glass bottle on the floor. He picked it up and realized she poisoned herself. He cried her name a couple times but she did not woke up. He began to cry over his wife's death.
242 years later...
January 23rd, 30 days before the anniversary of Rosalie's death
Two black and silver vehicles pulled up in front of the mansion. The Cumins Mansion hadn't change much. There was a lot of leaves and branches at the porch and on the roof. The windows were a very dusty and had a few broken cracks. The real estate realtor, Ms. Copper, got out of the black car as the Brewer family got out of the silver car.
"Oh my, I never thought this place would be so...terrible," said Julie Brewer as she looked around.
"Honey, it's winter," said Trevor Brewer, "Besides this house is old and overtime the building will start to look destroyed."
"I know, but I was hoping it'll stay beautiful like in the pictures they showed us," she said.
"Those pictures were taken in 1935 and 1982," said Ms. Copper, "It was before the snow stopped falling in Midland."
Six-year-old Annabel Brewer got out of the car and ran around the place, "Man this place is so cool. I would definitely love to run around out here."
"Annabel stop running," said Julie. Annabel stopped.
"Well let's go in, shall we?" asked Ms. Copper. They walked to the porch when they heard a noise.
"What was that?" asked Julie. They were silent for a moment.
"I'm sure it was a squirrel," said Ms. Copper. She unlocked the door and they went inside. The family were surprised to see a huge room with a large stairway, marble floor and columns, a beautiful glass chandelier on the ceiling, and the golden borders on the walls.
"Dang, I would love to play around in here," said Annabel, "This place is huge and so elegant."
"It's also very classy," said Julie.
"Well it is the oldest house in Midland," said Ms. Copper, "It was build in 1760 by the wealthiest landowners at that time. It was later given to their daughter as a wedding present so she and her new husband can start their new lives in this house. The couple completed the house in 1763."
"Who was the couple?" she asked.
"Jeremiah and Rosalie Cumins," answered Ms. Copper.
"So that's how it got its name," said Trevor, "The Cumins Mansion."
They walked to the living room. All the furniture were covered with white sheets of blanket.
"Ugh, this place is filthy," said Julie, "There's cobwebs everywhere."
"If you hate cobwebs so much don't go to the attic," she said, "It's so much worse up there."
They walked around the place then went to the kitchen. The place was very dusty, especially the windows. They looked around for a minute then walked out of the kitchen and went upstairs to the second floor. Annabel was in a room that appears to be a nursery.
"Annabel what are you doing here?" asked Julie.
"I wanted to find a room that's going to be my bedroom when I found this nursery," she said, "I wonder who's room it belongs to."
Trevor and Julie walked in the room and found a brown crib and a dark brown shelf against the wall, a chest near the shelf, and a few toys left on the floor. The curtains were white and see-through.
"Um, I don't know hon," said Trevor, "I guess the previous owners had a baby. Let's ask the realtor."
He called Ms. Copper. She walked to the room.
"Yes Mr. Brewer?"
"I have a question, who were the last owners of this place?"
"Oh, well the last owners of this house were during the early 1900s," said Ms. Copper, "There were only two other families who purchased the house."
"But who were they?"
"I'm sorry that's classified information," she said, "Apparently no realtor must pass down information from the history of this house."
"Yeah that, now let's look at the master bedroom."
She walked out of the room. They followed her. They walked to the third floor and went to the second door on their right. Ms. Copper opened the door. Trevor and Julie were surprised to see a beautiful bedroom.
"This room used to belong to Jeremiah and Rosalie," said Ms. Copper, "This is where they both-you know, made their first baby."
"Really, you had to tell us that?" asked Trevor making an uncomfortable look on his face.
"Oh come on, you know how to," said Ms. Copper, "I mean you made your six-year-old daughter."
"I mean you didn't have to tell us that they had you-know-what in this room," said Trevor.
"Yeah I know," she said, "But what else can I say other than this is their room."
They looked around the room. Julie opened the drawers and found a few old clothes.
"Why are their clothes in the drawers?"
"Oh, I thought all the clothes were removed from this house," said Ms. Copper.
"Why didn't the previous owners took their clothes with them?" asked Trevor.
"Like I said earlier that's classified information," she said.
They continued looking around. Trevor walked to the window and saw a few tombstones not too far from the mansion. The trees were blocking most of the tombstones.
"Ms. Copper? Is there a cemetery nearby?" he asked.
"What do you mean hon?" asked Julie. They walked to the window and saw the tombstones.
"Oh yes," she answered, "It's the only cemetery in this city. I think I should've mention that in the first place. I hope that wouldn't be a problem for you."
"Oh not at all," Trevor said, "I wouldn't mind if there's a graveyard nearby."
"What about you Mrs. Brewer?" asked Ms. Copper.
"I guess it's okay," she said, "I'm used to these kind of stuff anyways."
They walked out of the room and went downstairs.
"Ms. Copper, I've been meaning to ask you," said Trevor, "What are all of these rooms for?"
"Oh those are the bedrooms for the servants and maids," said Ms. Copper, "The Cumins had a lot of servants and maids."
They continued looking around the mansion. They went to two den rooms, the dining room, two libraries, two offices with glass walls installed inside, a laundry room now installed with washing machines, another living room, and the ballroom. Julie was amazed to see a beautiful room.
"Oh my, this place would be perfect to put up parties."
"The Cumins family only put up very few parties in this ballroom," said Ms. Copper.
"Wedding receptions, baby shower, birthdays, and only one masquerade ball."
"I love masquerade balls," said Julie, "I remember in my high school there was a masquerade ball."
They looked around the room. Trevor took off his jacket.
"Oh god, it's so stuffy in here," said Trevor, "Are the windows locked?"
"Oh, I'm afraid there aren't any locks on the windows," said Ms. Copper, "It's just how it is. However I turned on the thermostat when you were looking around the mansion."
"Well can you at least turn it down a little bit?" he asked, "It's so stuffy in here."
"We're gonna leave in a little bit Trevor," said Julie, "No worries."
He sighed. They looked around the room for a minute, then left the ballroom.
"So what do you think of the house?" Ms. Copper asked.
"It's not bad," said Trevor.
"Well I love it," said Julie, "This house is perfect to live in."
"Well Mr. Brewer, do you agree to purchase this house?" she asked him.
"Sure," he replied.
"Great, I'll go get the papers from my car."
She walked out of the house. Julie turned to Trevor, "I can't wait to move in. Imagine how our lives would be when people learn we live in a beautiful mansion."
"I don't think we will be treated differently hon," he said.
Two weeks later they moved into the house. They had already repaired the house and remove all the unnecessary things and moved it to the attic. They brought in their furniture and things to the house with the help with some other guys. They began organizing their house. Trevor and Julie took Jeremiah's and Rosalie's bedroom to sleep in. Julie replaced the bedspreads with a burgundy and golden sheet. Trevor placed their clothes in the closet and in the drawers. When he was replacing the curtains Julie screamed. He turned around.
"What? What is it?" he asked her.
"I-I just saw someone sitting on the bed," she said. She pointed at the bed. Trevor looked at the bed and saw no pressure whatsoever.
"Um, I think it was your imagination," he said. Julie was still shaken. He walked over to her and hugged her, "It's alright."
She took a deep breath and relaxed, "You're right. I'm just seeing things."
She returned to what she was doing. Trevor looked at the bed once more to see if there was any pressure. Nothing was there. He sighed and returned to work. He was hoping to see the pressure on the bed. Six years ago when Annabel was an infant Trevor was a paranormal investigator. He would often travel around the world and across the country to investigate paranormal places and sites. He loved his job so much that he would sometimes hoped his family were visited by one. His family were visited by ghosts many times in the past when he was younger, giving him an interest in the paranormal. But about a year ago Julie forced him to quit his job after she got a job she believed was more important. Ever since then Trevor had missed his job and the ghosts he'd encountered.
At 5:30 they were finished. They walked downstairs and went to Annabel's bedroom. It was decorated mostly in pink. Her walls were painted pink, her bedspreads were pink, her rug was pink, and her curtains were pink. Most of the other stuff were white. Her shelves and drawers were white, her desk was white, her coffee table and chair were white, her television was white, her toy chest was white, the borders on the wall were white, and even her easel was white. On her desk was a lamp, a few of her drawings, a cup with pencils, pens and markers, and on her wall was her own bulletin board with a few sticky notes on it.
"Wow Annabel, it looks nice," said Trevor.
"Thank you Daddy," she said, "It took me a while but I think I did pretty good."
"Come on let's go eat," said Julie.
They decided to go out and eat. They went to a family restaurant at the other side of town. However many people looked at the family as if they were outsiders. Well only at Trevor and Annabel. Nobody seemed to mind about Julie. They ate their dinner for about an hour and a half, then they returned to the mansion. They watched a comedy movie for a while until it was getting late. They prepared themselves for bed. Trevor was with Annabel telling her a story. She smiled as he told her the story about a group of fairies who saved their land and ruler from an evil witch.
"The fairies were so powerful altogether that the witch was no match for their power," he said, "She surrender to them and let them keep the land and have their queen returned."
She smiled, "You tell the best bedtime stories Daddy."
"Oh, thank you hon," he said, "That's very kind of you."
She sighed, "Daddy I have to tell you something."
"What is it Annabel?"
"Um, when I was organizing my room I heard a voice," she said, "It sounded like a woman."
"A woman? How weird, your mother told me she saw a woman sitting on the bed upstairs. Are you sure you didn't mistake yourself for your mother's scream?"
Trevor thought for a moment, "That is strange."
Annabel laid back on her bed.
"Night hon." He kissed her forehead.
"Night Daddy," she replied.
He got up and turned off the light. He walked upstairs to his bedroom. Julie was already in bed reading a book.
"Hey Trev," she said as she closed her book, "Everything okay?"
"Yeah," he said as he took off his shirt, "Annabel is going to sleep. You know she told me something really strange."
"She told me she heard a voice," he said, "She said it was female and she heard it when she was organizing her stuff."
"Oh dear, do you think it was the same person I saw?" she asked.
"Was it female?" he asked.
"Then maybe there's something in this house," he said.
"Oh I hope not," said Julie, "I don't want anything paranormal in this house, and I especially don't want you to go back to ghost hunting."
"Yeah I know," he said.
"Come on let's just go to bed," she said. She put her book on the drawer and went inside the covers. They turned off the lights and went to sleep.
Trevor woke up from a very strange dream. He dream about himself in the mansion but everything was dark; he was all alone in the house. Then he heard a woman cry out "help me" somewhere in the mansion. He walked around the house looking for her when he saw a young woman in a dark green ball gown standing in the hallway. He walked towards her but when he walked closer to her everything turned to a blur. The woman said "help me" over and over again.
He got up and went to the bathroom next door. He washed his face and dried himself with a towel. Suddenly he heard a soft whisper next to him. He turned his head and saw no one near him. He shook his head and walked out of the bathroom and went to his room. He changed into his clothes. He walked downstairs to the kitchen. Julie was serving breakfast to Annabel.
"Morning Daddy," she said.
"Morning' hon," he said. He sat down on the stool. Julie served him eggs, bacon and sausage.
"You look tired," she said.
"I just woke up from a strange dream," he said.
"What was it about?"
"Um, well I-"
Soon Julie's phone rang, "Hold on Trev."
She answered it.
"Hello? Yes. Yes. Right now? Okay."
After she hung up she turned to her husband, "I have to go. That was the office. I have to report to work immediately. It's an emergency. Come on Annabel, I'll take you to school."
She got up and grabbed her backpack. Julie grabbed her handbag and put her phone in. She kissed Trevor good-bye and left. He sighed and continued eating. Soon he heard a loud bang from upstairs. He looked up at the ceiling.
"Um, hon is that you?" he called. He was hoping they were playing a joke on him. He heard the car drive away. He sighed and relaxed when his stool got pulled back. He stood up, turned around and saw no one. The room began to feel cold. He walked out of the kitchen. He heard someone call his name.
"Hello? Anyone here?" he asked.
He looked at the second floor and found no one. He walked upstairs and heard some soft whispers. He looked at the hallway and walked to Annabel's room. There was no one there but the room felt freezing. He walked to her window and looked at the woods and the road. No car passed by.
He sighed and believed it was his imagination. He turned around and walked out of the room when something fell out of the shelf. He turned around again and found one of Annabel's dolls on the floor. He walked to it and picked it up. He sighed when he heard a vase break from the hallway. He put the doll back on the shelf and walked out of the room. He saw his wife's favorite vase on the floor. The pieces were scattered all over the floor. He looked around the hallway searching for the person who was doing all of this. Nothing made a sound after that. He sighed and walked downstairs to get a garbage bag. He cleaned up the vase and took it downstairs. He was starting to believe there was something paranormal in his house.
Trevor waited for his friend to come over to the mansion. Within thirty minutes of waiting there was a knock on the door. He let his friend in. Jeremy Newton, a longtime citizen in Midland, was also a paranormal investigator who used to be Trevor's partner before he quit his job. They've been friends ever since their sophomore year in college. He was an average, blonde guy who happens to live in Midland most of his life. When he's not investigating he works part-time in city hall and assists the city council.
"Hey Trevor, it's been a while," said Jeremy.
"I know," said Trevor. Jeremy followed Trevor in the living room.
"I can't believe you live in Midland now," said Jeremy, "You're going to love it here. It's the most calmest city in the county and there aren't very many serious crimes here, unlike the city you've lived in before."
"Yeah I know," said Trevor, "A lot of violence, drug dealers, prostitutes, and rape. Let's just hope nothing bad happens to my family while we're living here."
They sat down on the coach.
"So what do you want Trevor?" asked Jeremy.
"I've been hearing some noises upstairs and one of Annabel's dolls fell on the floor," said Trevor, "Not only that Julie's favorite vase got destroyed."
"Was there anyone home besides you?" asked Jeremy.
"No," said Trevor, "If there was I could've heard the alarm."
Jeremy thought for a moment, "Do you think it's paranormal?"
"I believe so," said Trevor, "You know what makes it even stranger? I had a similar dream to what happen to me earlier."
"What was it about?"
"I was in the mansion but everything was dark and in ruins. I heard someone call for help and I saw a woman in this ballgown. She looks like she wanted my help."
"Do you know who it is?" asked Jeremy.
"No," he said, "The weird part is my wife and daughter heard and saw a woman in this house yesterday."
"That is weird."
"I had to call you because I needed to tell someone about this," said Trevor, "My wife doesn't want to hear about and I don't want to scare Annabel."
"How about you tell them later on?" suggested Jeremy, "We don't want them to freak out and besides we don't even know if it is a ghost or not. All you heard were a few things fall off, big deal. Many stuff fall down on their own."
"Yeah but this one was different," said Trevor, "The doll and vase were placed far away from the edge."
"Yes I know," he said, "All I'm saying is let's not jump into conclusions until we are positive it's a ghost, or a demon."
"Don't say demon," said Trevor, "You know how much I hate demons."
"Yeah I know but it could be it," said Jeremy, "Demons and ghosts can stay in a beautiful or old building like this."
He sighed. He didn't want to imagine a demon in his new home. Later Trevor offered Jeremy a drink of coffee. After he came back with the cup of coffee Jeremy asked Trevor to come back investigating.
"What? Jeremy I can't," said Trevor, "Julie wouldn't like it."
"Please Trevor?" pleaded Jeremy, "I miss having you as my partner for our investigations. Just because she says you can't go back investigating doesn't mean that's your final decision. You love to investigate the paranormal. Back then you were always excited whenever we go to historical sites or national parks because you convince yourself that there may be ghosts in that area. I remember you would talk about ghosts all the time. But ever since Julie forced you to quit your job you hadn't been the same. Actually ever since you've been with her she's been controlling your life. When you two were dating she convinced you to stop playing track and field, a sport you were really good at, and then by the time she was pregnant she made you purchase things that weren't for your daughter."
"Well I didn't want to see her get mood swings," he said.
"She got them anyways," said Jeremy.
Trevor thought for a moment, "Look Jeremy, I'm not going back investigating. I want to but I just can't."
"You have to go back," said Jeremy, "You're going to miss out all the great experiences and places."
"Jeremy if I go back Julie will be furious at me," said Trevor, "Besides she has a great job. It will pay her a lot of money. I'm fine with the special life I have now."
"You're living at home like a housewife," said Jeremy, "How is that even special? I mean you're doing more work around the house more than your wife. It's not as great as you think. Trust me my wife would complain about it over dinner."
"Whatever Jeremy," said Trevor, "Let me do what I want to do."
Jeremy sighed, "Fine, have it your way."
He drank his coffee.
"Well how about this? I lend you my equipment so it can help you with this paranormal activity thing if anything happens," said Jeremy, "I don't use it much but now that you told me about the activity I think it can help you."
"Come on Trevor," said Jeremy, "I mean think about it. If anything paranormal happens you can just get the equipment and search for that spirit. You can become an investigator again but Julie wouldn't know about it. You can hide the equipment from her when she's home."
Trevor thought for a moment, "Fine. I'll do it."
"Great let's go get the stuff," said Jeremy.
"You have the equipment in your car?" asked Trevor.
"Yeah I've had it in my car in case I forget my other equipment back in my office and at home," he said, "Plus I assumed you were going to need it at some point like right now."
"Oh." Trevor though for a moment, "Wait a minute, did you manipulated me?"
Jeremy quickly left the house. Trevor sighed and followed him. They walked to the car and got the equipment out of the trunk. As they brought it in Trevor asked Jeremy how was his life.
"Oh, the usual," he said, "I'm going to Los Angeles in eight weeks."
"Oh cool," he said, "How's your wife?"
"She's fine," he said, "She went to her six-month ultrasound already. We went to check on the baby yesterday."
"How is it?"
"Alright," said Jeremy, "I hope it's a boy."
They went into the house and put the stuff on the table.
"Most of the equipment aren't charged so you're gonna have to charge them," said Jeremy, "If there's a problem call me."
"Alright," said Trevor.
An hour later Jeremy had to go back home after receiving a call from his wife. Trevor spent most of the afternoon with the equipment and remembering how to use it. At 2:30 he went to pick up Annabel from school. He drove to downtown Midland where there were more trees and large fields. Midland was a small city with no big skyscrapers but small businesses and large buildings. It was located in the woods near the mountains with a few fields. Once he arrived at her school he saw her sitting on the bench.
"Hey Annabel," he called.
She looked up and ran to the car and went in, "Hi Daddy."
He left the parking lot and drove back up the hill, "So how was your day?"
"Fine," she said, "My teacher is nice, the school is okay..."
"Did you made any friends?" he asked.
"Um, no," she said, "All the girls thought of me as an outsider."
"I don't know," she said, "Maybe it's because I'm the only person in my class who has dark brown hair and a lot of girls have blonde and light brown hair. The same with the guys."
"Then the whole class looked at me when my teacher asked me if I lived at the Cumins Mansion," she said, "After I responded everyone started to get away from me and think I'm weird. My teacher said her great-great-great grandmother used to know Rosalie Cumins and Jeremiah Cumins."
"Oh that's cool," said Trevor, "But why did everyone move away from you?"
"I don't know," she said, "Some of the girls said they will never hang out with me and the guys started to tease me."
"Like I said I don't know," said Annabel, "Daddy I'm scared."
"It's okay hon," he said, "It's just your first day. By tomorrow they will start wanting to hang out with you and appreciate you."
"I hope so."
They were silent the whole way he drove back to the mansion. By the time he pulled up to his driveway the wind began to pick up. They got out of the car and walked to the door. He opened the door for her and she ran inside. He closed the door behind him and walked to the kitchen. He saw her pouring herself orange juice.
"Um hon, how about I do that," he said.
"It's okay Dad," she said. She drank her juice. She smiled at her father.
"Do you have any homework?" he asked.
"Just for you to sign some papers," she said. She walked to the living room and was surprised to see the equipment on the table, "Whoa, Daddy are you going back investigating?"
"Um, no honey," he lied, "My friend Jeremy brought it over this morning for me to watch over it for a while."
"Oh." She looked over at the equipment, "I was hoping you were."
She touched some of the devices, "Oh I remember this, it's that thing that lets ghosts have enough energy to speak, show, and pick up things."
"The EM pump?" he asked.
He walked over to it and picked it up, "I can't believe you still remember that. I told you about it three years ago."
He looked at it and put it on the table. He turned to Annabel, "Honey, I don't want you to say anything about this to your mother. She'll start to think that I'm gonna go back investigating, which I'm not saying that I am. I need you to keep this a secret so she won't force me to get rid of this."
"I won't say a thing," she said.
He turned back to the devices. Annabel went back to the kitchen, then went upstairs. Trevor looked at the equipment and sighed. He was worried that Julie was going to find the equipment. At evening he put the things back in the case he heard a car pull up. He realized it was Julie. He started to panic. He looked around when he heard the door unlock. He turned his head and saw a plant nearby. He put it behind it. Trevor quickly ran to say hi to her.
"Hey Trevor," she said, "What are you doing?"
"Oh just walking around," he said, "I wanted to get to know this house more. You know, to find any rooms we didn't look at."
"Right," she said, "How's Annabel?"
"She's fine," she said, "She's upstairs in her room."
She walked upstairs to Annabel's room. She was drawing on her desk.
"Annabel are you done with your homework?" she asked.
"I don't have any," she said.
"Then I want you to start reading," she said.
"Now Annabel," said Julie strictly.
She groaned and grabbed a book from the shelf. Julie smiled and walked in the hallway. Trevor followed. She stopped when she saw her favorite vase missing.
"Where's the vase?" she asked him.
"Uh, I accidentally hit the table and the vase fell and broke," he lied.
"You what?!" she cried, "Trevor that was my favorite vase. My grandmother gave it to me on our wedding day."
"Look I'm sorry," he said, "I'll replace it with a new one."
"You better," she said, "I loved the vase."
She walked away. Trevor sighed. He hated to lie to his family.
At two in the morning Trevor woke up from another strange dream. This time he was at his bedroom and he saw a dead body on his bed covered with a sheet of white blanket. There were people around the bed, mourning over the death of the person. There was a man he did not recognize. He was crying more than the women in the room. The man leaned onto the body and uncovered the face. Trevor wanted to look but the people were blocking him. The man leaned back and covered the face again. Trevor realized it was some kind of funeral. Soon he heard a voice calling him. He turned around and saw the woman he dream the night before. She was standing in the doorway with a sad look on her face. He walked towards her but his body began to feel weak. He got down to his knees and fell onto the floor. He couldn't hear her very well to what she said. He quickly woke up from his dream. He looked at the clock. He sighed and went back to sleep when his room suddenly started to feel very cold. He covered himself but the air got colder and colder as it got closer to him. Soon he felt someone touching his shoulder. He quickly sat up and looked around. He turned to Julie who was facing the other direction. He began to grow frighten. He laid back down looking up. His heart pounded as he thought about it. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Suddenly he heard a soft moan. He opened his eyes and sat up. He looked at the door. He saw it slowly open a little bit. He got out of bed and walked to the door. He felt scared as he walked closer to the door. He closed it. He took a deep breath and began walking away when the door suddenly opened all the way. It hit the wall very hard. Trevor's heart to pound even faster. He turned around to see if his wife woke up from the loud noise. She just gave a soft moan. He relaxed and turned to the door. He walked to the doorway and looked at the hallway. He wanted to make sure no one was in the mansion. He walked downstairs to check on his daughter. Annabel was sleeping soundly in her bed, unaware about the loud slam. Trevor tucked her in and smiled at her. He walked downstairs to the first floor and looked around. Everything was dark for him to see clearly. He walked to the window in the living room and looked outside. No one was outside in his driveway or on the road. He sighed and walked back to his bedroom. He yawned as he walked to his room. Soon cold air surrounded him. He quickly walked to his room and went to his bed. He laid down and tried to ignore the cold air around him.
After Julie and Annabel left Trevor decided to make a quick investigation on his own. He took out a full spectrum camera and a digital recorder from the case. He walked around the house with the recorder on one hand and the camera on the other.
"Um, hello? My name's Trevor Brewer," said Trevor, "I'm the new owner of this house, as you can see. I-I'm not sure who I'm talking to but I'm assuming you're the woman from my dream."
Nothing responded. He walked around the house for about an hour searching for anything paranormal. He continued to ask questions but there was no response. He spent all morning and afternoon searching for the ghost. There was no one but him in the house. However when he walked to Annabel's room it suddenly felt very cold. He looked at the camera to see if there was anyone there. To his amazement he found a figure sitting on the chair near the coffee table. He looked up at the chair.
"Who are you?" he asked her.
She didn't reply. He looked at the camera once again. She disappeared. He looked up around the room searching for her but he spotted a letter painted on a sheet of paper. A large "A" was written in red paint. He wanted to know what it meant. After he picked up his daughter from school he called Jeremy on the phone. He told him about the figure he saw in his daughter's room and the message she left him. Jeremy tells him she might be telling him something but she wanted him to find out on his own. After a long conversation with each other on the phone Jeremy suggests to research the history of the Cumins. He thought they might of had some dark history and experienced paranormal activity like Trevor. He took his advice and began researching on the Internet. However as he read every article in each website he went on none of them talked out the Cumins personally. There was no information on Jeremiah's or Rosalie's life at all; there was no birth or death date, no family information, no information of their marriage, and there was no information about them individually, about their childhood and their adolescent years. All websites and articles were about their success and what they did in Midland. What made it stranger is there were no pictures of the couple at all; every website had a fancy letter "C" instead of the pictures. He sat back on his chair and sighed. He thought for a moment and called Jeremy again. He asked him if he learned about the Cumins when he was in elementary, middle, or high school. Jeremy replied his teachers would often discuss about the Cumins for a while then quickly move on to the next chapter. Trevor put his hand on his face and thought for a moment. He wanted to know why the information of the Cumins are kept a secret.
Soon he heard the front door open. He turned off the computer and walked out of his office. His wife put her bag on the table.
"Hi Julie," he said, "How was your day?"
"Okay," she replied, "Nothing new much."
She walked upstairs and took a shower. Trevor began setting the table for dinner. He walked to the kitchen and took the bowls to the dining room. His daughter walked into the room. She helped her father bring in the food. Thirty minutes later Julie walked in the room ready for dinner. They began serving themselves their food. They ate silently for a few minutes when Julie broke the silence.
"Trevor? Why did you get out of bed last night?" she asked him.
"How did you know?" he asked.
"I woke up after you left," she said.
"Oh, well I woke from a strange dream I had," he explained, "I began to feel cold and I felt someone touch me. Then the door slammed opened and I was beginning to get scared. I went to check-"
"Enough nonsense," she said, "Tell me the truth Trevor."
"I am telling the truth," he said.
"No you're not."
"Yes I-oh never mind."
They continued eating. Annabel put down her fork, "Anyways, I made a new friend today."
"Oh who is it Annabel?" Trevor asked.
"It's a guy," she said, "His name is-"
"Boy? Annabel you shouldn't hang out with guys at this age," said Julie, "You must only hang out with girls."
"But Mommy I want to hang out with him," she said, "I like him a lot. We have a lot of things in common with each other."
"Well I'm not going to allow it," she said, "You're a girl. He's a boy."
"Enough Annabel," said Julie, "As a matter of fact I'm gonna call your teacher and tell her to keep an eye on you so you won't hang out with him."
"But you don't even know him," said Annabel, "Besides I hadn't made a friend since yesterday and he seemed to actually like me for who I am, not as an outsider everyone's been treating me lately."
"No Annabel!" she said in an angry tone, "I don't want to hear another word about it."
Annabel felt like crying. She looked down and continued eating. She turned to Trevor, "Daddy?"
"Um, your mother has a point," he said, "I don't think you should be friends with a boy."
"Yes I can," she said.
"No you can't," he said.
"But there's no rule against me that I shouldn't," she said.
"Well now it is," said Julie, "You are forbidden to be friends with that boy or any other boy at that school."
Annabel quickly got up and ran out of the dining room. Trevor turned to Julie, "You didn't have to be so mean Julie."
"You agreed to what I said," she said as she drank some water.
"Yes I know but-"
"Look I just want the best from her," said Julie, "I think Annabel is better off with girls her age."
"But she told me she can't make friends with the girls at her school," he said, "Many of them are refusing to be with her because she lives here."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"For some reason all her classmates are against her," he said.
"Well I'm sure they will accept her later on in the year," said Julie. They heard crying upstairs.
"I'm gonna go check on her," he said. He got up and went upstairs. Annabel was in her bed crying through her pillow. Trevor walked into her room.
"Leave me alone," she said through the pillow. Trevor sat next to her.
"Look Annabel I know this is going to be hard," said Trevor, "But you have to understand that your mother and I care about you and we think it's best if you only hang out with girls for now."
"But it's not fair," said Annabel, "I want to hang out with him. I mean there's no rule that says girls must be friends with only girls at this young age. I usually see girls hang out with guys too."
She continued to cry more. Trevor sighed.
"Annabel I know you want to be with him but I agree with-"
"You always agree with her," she said, "No matter what she says you will go along with it. When I was three I wanted a clown for my birthday and I was very excited for it, but Mommy said no entertainment and you agreed to it. When I was five I wanted a dog but Mommy said I should get a fish instead. You listen to her more than anyone else."
He sighed, "That's what Jeremy said to me. But I don't see anything wrong with it."
Annabel laid back down and continued to cry more, "You know what just go Daddy. You will never understand."
Trevor didn't want to leave but his daughter didn't want him in her bedroom so he left. He felt terrible but what else can he do.
The next morning, after his wife and daughter left the house, Trevor invited Jeremy over to talk about the research. Within thirty minutes Jeremy came to the mansion. He let his friend in and they walked to the living room.
"So what's up?" asked Jeremy.
"I took your advice and I searched every bit of information of the Cumins family," said Trevor, "But there's something wrong. When I researched it on the Internet all it talked about was what Jeremiah and Rosalie did for this city and it never talked about them personally, about their lives. What makes it even stranger is there were no pictures of them at all."
"Well, like you said, the information is kept a secret," said Jeremy.
"Yes I know," he said, "But it makes it so strange that it doesn't want anyone to know about the family. They're one of the most important citizens in Midland."
"That is strange," said Jeremy, "I mean not only are the founders of Midland important but so are the Cumins. They invested most of their money on land and build half of the city."
"When you were young Jeremy," said Trevor, "How long have you study the Cumins?"
"For about a week," responded Jeremy, "No one in Midland actually likes talking about them."
Trevor sighed, "Now how am I going to investigate this house if we have no clue what happen to the Cumins." He thought for a moment, "Jeremy can you find more research about the family? You have permission to get records from the city council so it should be no problem."
"The problem is the council doesn't always give me the records and information I want," said Jeremy, "Some of them are held private."
"Just ask," said Trevor.
They were silent for a moment. Jeremy looked at Trevor who looked unhappy.
"Is something wrong?"
"It's just that, Annabel was upset with Julie and I last night because we wouldn't let her be friends with a boy," said Trevor.
"Let me guess," said Jeremy, "Julie said no and you agreed to it which made Annabel more upset."
"How'd you know?" he asked.
"It's common sense," said Jeremy, "You listen and agree with your wife all the time."
"Whatever," said Trevor, "But it does bother me that my daughter is really mad at me because of it."
"Then let her be friends with the boy," he said, "She'll probably like you again."
"I can't, Julie will be mad at me if I do," he said.
"See what I mean?" asked Jeremy.
"Okay, fine," said Trevor, "I'll do it. I'll call her teacher and tell her to let Annabel be with whoever she wants to be with."
He walked to the phone and called Annabel's teacher.
"Hi I'm Trevor Brewer," said Trevor, "I'm Annabel's father."
"Oh Mr. Brewer," said Ms. Brown.
"I was just about to call you," she said, "Annabel was in a fight and was hit pretty hard on the hand."
"What? I-I'll be right there." He hung up the phone.
"What happen?" asked Jeremy.
"I gotta go," said Trevor, "Annabel got into a fight and her hand is badly hurt."
"I'll come with you," said Jeremy.
They quickly walked out of the house, went to the car, and drove to Annabel's school. By the time they got there they went to the nurse's office and saw Annabel in tears. The nurse had to put her in a cast. He walked over to his daughter.
"How is she?" asked Trevor to the nurse.
"She's hurt pretty badly," replied the nurse, "One of the girls began beating her up for some reason. Her teacher had to pull her away from Annabel before she got hit in the face."
Annabel wiped her tears. Trevor turned to his daughter, "Honey are you okay?"
She shook her head, "No."
He turned to them, "Can I have a few minutes alone with Annabel?"
"Sure." They walked to the hallway. Trevor turned to his daughter, "What happen Annabel?"
"It was free time and I was reading a book," she explained, "Then this girl walked up to me and started calling me names. I was about to leave when all of a sudden she ran up to me and began beating me up. She hit me really hard on my hand. After Ms. Brown pulled her off of me she called a devil spirit. Daddy nobody likes me, they all hate me. I wanna move back home."
"Honey we can't go back," said Trevor, "Your mother got a great job here and she can't just give it up because the school hates you."
"But why can't we just move to another house?" she asked.
"Hon, we already purchased the house and right now we can't afford to go and buy another. We spend half of our account for the house," he said.
Annabel looked disappointed. Trevor sighed, "You're just gonna have to deal with it."
She sighed also, "Fine."
She walked up and walked with Trevor to the hallway. Jeremy was waiting outside alone with the house, "I'm gonna take her home with me if that's okay."
"Sure go ahead," said the nurse. Annabel got her backpack and walked with her father. As Trevor drove Annabel turned to him, "Daddy, please don't tell Mommy I got beat up at school. If she finds out she will be so mad at me."
"Why?" he asked.
"Cause she hates it when she learns that I got beat up at school," she said, "The last time she was mad at me for that is when I got my ankle sprain from this guy last year."
"Oh yeah I remember," he said, "Well your mother had always been rich and popular when she was younger and she never got into a fight. I guess she wants you to have the life she had, and because you were beat up she got very upset. It's almost as if you were letting her down."
"But I don't want her life," she said, "I love my life the way it is."
"I know you do hon, said Trevor, "But I can't do anything about it. It's between you and your mother."
Annabel sighed. They were silent for a few minutes. She looked back then turned to Trevor, "Um why did Jeremy drove in his car instead of hitching a ride with you?"
"He didn't want his new car to go to waste," he said. Soon he pulled up to his driveway. They got out and walked in the mansion. As the guys made themselves a snack in the kitchen they heard Annabel scream. They quickly ran up the stairs and were shocked to see her walls covered with Annabel's watercolor paint. She walked slowly to her desk and saw some of her paint all over her desk. She sat down and began to cry. Trevor walked over to her,
She didn't respond. She continued to cry. Trevor decided to leave his daughter alone. When he walked a few steps to the doorway she spoke, "Who would do something like this?"
"Don't worry hon," he said, "When I report this to the police they'll-"
"Um Trevor?" said Jeremy as he looked behind the door, "Take a look at this."
Trevor walked over to him, "What is it?"
They pushed the door and saw a huge "T" painted on the back of the door. Trevor recognized the handwriting; it was the same handwriting from the previous letter he received from the ghost. He couldn't report it to the police at all. When Annabel saw it she began to feel scared. A few minutes later he brought the cleaning supplies upstairs and helped her clean up. Jeremy helped also but he left at three after receiving a call from his wife. By five they were finished cleaning the tables, the walls, and some of the furniture splattered with paint. Then they heard a car pull up outside. They realized Julie came home. Trevor took the supplies downstairs and put it in the closet. Julie walked into the house.
"Hey honey," he said, "You're here."
"Um yeah," she said, "My shift's over. Whatcha been up to?"
"Oh, just talking to Jeremy," he said, "So nothing much."
"Oh." She thought for a moment, "How's Annabel?"
"Uh she's upstairs in her bedroom," he replied.
"Well tell her to come downstairs," she said, "I brought Chinese food."
She walked away. Trevor call his daughter from downstairs. Annabel walked downstairs wearing her favorite blue jacket and a black mitten.
"Um, Annabel what are you wearing?" he asked.
"Look this is how I'm going to hide my cast so Mommy won't know I got into a fight and broke my wrist," she said.
"Honey you can't hide your cast from your mother," said Trevor, "She's going to find out eventually."
"I don't care," said Annabel, "Besides she's gone most of the day so I'll be okay."
"But what about now?" he asked.
"Daddy just let me do what I wanna do," she said. She walked to the dining room. Trevor was a bit worried about the situation that was going to happen between Annabel and Julie. The family got the food out of the bag and began eating. Trevor looked at Julie and Annabel, waiting for the situation to happen. It didn't took long.
"Annabel? Why are you wearing only one mitten?" she asked her daughter.
"Uh, I felt a bit cold on my left hand," she replied.
"Well take it off you look strange like that," said Julie.
"I rather not," she muttered.
"Excuse me but what did you say?" asked Julie.
"Uh nothing," said Annabel quickly.
"Take it off right now Annabel," said Julie sternly.
"No," said Annabel.
Julie grabbed Annabel's wrist and took off her glove. She was mad when she saw the cast.
"Mommy I can explain," said Annabel.
"Did you got into a fight young lady?" asked Julie angrily.
"That's it Annabel!" She got up and took her daughter upstairs.
"Daddy do something!" Annabel cried.
"I'm sorry honey," said Trevor, "This is between you and your mother."
He grew upset when he heard Julie hitting her daughter and Annabel cry. He wanted to help Annabel but he didn't want to interfere with his wife. Within minutes Julie came downstairs. She sat down and continued eating.
"Julie you didn't had to be a so harsh on Annabel," said Trevor.
"Hey that's what she gets for getting into a fight," she said.
"But she didn't start the fight," he said, "A girl beat her up at school today and then called her a devil spirit."
"A devil what?"
"A devil spirit," he said.
"What is that suppose to mean?" she asked.
"I don't know," he said, "But I guess it's because she lives in this mansion."
"Ugh what is it with her class?" she asked, "I don't see anything wrong with this house."
"Um yeah," he said, "Me neither."
They continued eating their food. After they were done Trevor took Annabel's plate and walked upstairs. He knocked on her door.
"Annabel it's me," he said, "Open the door. I have your food honey."
Annabel opened the door, "Go away."
She shut the door. Trevor sighed and knocked on her door again, "Please hon. Look I'm sorry I didn't defend you but I can't interfere between you and your mother."
"You will never help me Daddy," said Annabel, "You'll always listen to your wife no matter what."
He sighed and put her plate down on the floor, "Well I'm just gonna leave it here, if you're still hungry."
He walked downstairs and helped Julie with the dishes. Annabel opened the door and picked up her plate. She closed the door behind her and finished her dinner.
A week later...
Trevor hadn't gotten anything from the ghost in the past week. There were no more noises and the rooms didn't felt cold anymore. However he continued to have those dreams. A few nights ago he had the most disturbing dream he ever had. He was in a small locked room with a blanket on the floor but nothing else. Then he felt someone push him down to the floor and tried to rape him. He was able to move away but the door was still locked. He tried to jump through the window but the glass was too thick. Then he saw the same woman standing in the middle of the room. She looked at him. He believed she was the one who was trying to rape him. He got up but his eyesight became blurry. He woke up after that.
Other than the dreams he had also received two more letters from the ghost. When he was visiting his in-laws he found two stationary letters on his car seat. The letter's were "T" and "I."
He was beginning to get really scared. He had never felt as scared with ghosts before as he is now. After he picked up Annabel from school he wanted to make things up with his daughter. He turned to her.
"Annabel are you still mad at me?" he asked her.
"What do you think?" she asked.
He took a deep breath, "Look hon, I don't want you to continue being mad at me. It really hurts my feelings when you're upset with me."
Annabel didn't look at him.
"So, what would you say if I let you be friends with that boy you were talking about."
She turned to him, "Really?"
"Sure," he said, "I called your teacher and she is going to allow you to be with him."
"Oh thank you Daddy," she said, "You're the best."
"So does that mean you'll forgive me?" he asked.
Trevor smiled, "I'm really happy to hear that."
As soon as they returned home Annabel called her friend on the phone. They talked for hours until nightfall. Trevor smiled and was happy for his daughter's happiness, but he was worried about his wife. He did not want to imagine the consequence she will give to both of them. Soon he got a call from Jeremy. He told him he got permission from the council into lending him all the files, articles, pictures, and old records. Trevor told him to bring it over tomorrow. After he hung up he started cooking dinner. Ever since he quit his job he's been doing most of the cooking and cleaning around the house. His wife would often criticize him about his cleaning and the food he made. But most of the time she doesn't say anything. As he cooked his daughter asked him if she can have a sandwich. He made her a cheese sandwich and she took it upstairs to her bedroom. He could hear her television on. He smiled and returned to work. Soon the front door opened. His wife walked in the room with a few shopping bags.
"Trevor I could use a hand here!" she called.
He walked out of the kitchen and helped his wife with the things.
"What's all of this?" he asked.
"Oh I'm throwing a party in a few weeks to celebrate our new house," she said, "We're having a specific party."
"What is it?" he asked.
"Can't say, it's a secret," she replied, "Now if you will excuse me I have to get ready for tonight."
"Tonight? Tonight for what?" he asked her.
"Didn't you get the message? Jeremy and his wife are coming over for dinner."
After she left he called Jeremy on the phone.
"Jeremy it's me," said Trevor, "How come you never told me that you were coming over for dinner?"
"I didn't know until my wife told me when I came home," he said, "It was last minute and I didn't have time to call you."
Trevor sighed, "It's okay. I'll see you soon."
He hung up. He walked upstairs to Annabel's room and told her to wear a dress. Then he walked upstairs and changed into his church clothes. At six thirty the two guests arrived. Trevor and Julie had already set the table. They walked to the dining room and sat down. They served themselves the food already prepared. Jeremy's wife, Vanessa, was a beautiful woman with wavy black hair and dark brown eyes. She wore a red dress made for pregnant woman.
"So Vanessa," said Julie, "How's the pregnancy going?"
"It's fine," she replied, "I went to check on my baby last week and everything seemed okay."
"That's good to know," said Julie. They ate the turkey and mashed potatoes. Vanessa put down her turkey leg.
"It's a beautiful house you live in," she said, "Most people who lived in Midland most of their lives like Jeremy will treat others poorly if they purchase in the Cumins Mansion. It seems like that hasn't happen to you guys."
"Well for Julie and I it hasn't," said Trevor, "Annabel had a few problems at school because of it."
"Oh yeah, Jeremy told me about it," said Vanessa, "I'm so sorry for you Annabel, that you have to go through all of that."
"It's okay," said Annabel, "I already made a friend who is not like the other children."
"Oh who is it?"
"Uh, it's a very good classmate of hers," said Trevor.
"Well I hope it's a girl," said Julie. They continued eating in silence.
"So Trevor," said Vanessa, "Have you thought of returning to paranormal investigating?"
"Oh, I don't think he will be returning," said Julie, "Someone needs to watch over Annabel."
"You know I could always leave her over at their house so she can watch over her," he said to Julie, "I mean, someone can take care of her for a while when I'm not around the house. I can't always be isolated."
"Well I think they have better stuff to do than watch over our daughter," she said.
"You know what I-"
"Okay," said Vanessa stopping them from arguing, "How about we enjoy our dinner?"
They sighed and continued eating silently. Soon they heard a thud upstairs. They looked up at the ceiling.
"What was that?" asked Vanessa.
"Uh, I think something fell," said Trevor, although he knew it was a footstep.
"I don't think so," she said, "It sounded more like a footstep or something like that."
"How about me and Jeremy go check it out?" suggested Trevor.
"Yeah I agree," said Jeremy. They got up and walked up the stairs.
"Damn that was loud wasn't it Trevor?" he asked him.
"Yeah it was," agreed Trevor. They looked around and saw a ball of light going up the second flight of stairs. They followed it. The light led them to the only door on their left. They walked in it. They found another nursery but it was different from the one Annabel found a few weeks ago. In the middle of the room was a white crib with light blue blankets and a small pillow. There was two drawers near the wall, a rocking chair near a plant, and a changing table near the door. On the floor was a hand-made baby blue and light yellow rug. There were white see-through curtains on the windows. They looked around and saw a small rectangular knitted quilt with the name "Bentley" knitted on it. It was framed in a beautiful craved wooden frame.
"I wonder who's Bentley?" said Jeremy.
"I guess that's the name of the Cumins' baby," said Trevor.
They walked to the frame to take a look at it when they looked at the drawer and saw the letter "C" craved in.
"C? What does that stand for?" asked Trevor.
"I don't know," said Jeremy, "But I guess she's trying to tell you something about those letters."
They walked out of the nursery and went downstairs to the dining room. The girls were waiting.
"What was it?" Julie asked.
"Oh your book fell down on the floor," lied Trevor.
They sat down and continued eating. At nine the couple went home. The Brewers prepared themselves for bed. Trevor took a shower before he went to bed. He thought about the letters he received. He wanted to tell someone other than Jeremy about the letters but he was scared. He knew if he told his wife about the letters, including the painted "T" on Annabel's door, she will start to get scared and probably take away his daughter's only talent, believing she's the one who painted the letter T to trick her father into believing the ghost might have done it. He didn't want to mess up his relationship with his daughter. He loved her and wants to keep a stable relationship with her.
He turned off the faucet and put on his towel. He walked out of the bathroom and went to his bedroom next door. The room felt warm. He began putting on his pants silently. He could hear his wife talking to Annabel. When he got into bed he suddenly felt cold. He took a deep breath and sighed. He turned around trying to ignore the cold air around him. The air felt colder as it got near him. He moved to the right side of the bed where his wife sleeps at night. He began to feel scared but he tried to be brave. Suddenly he felt sad and uncomfortable in his bed, as if someone was filled with sadness on his bed. He turned around and saw the pressure on the bed. He grew frighten but the feeling grew more which made him feel more solemn than scared. He felt a lump on his throat as if he was ready to cry. He had a tear running down his face. He wiped his face with the bedspread but the feeling never left. More tears ran down his face. He got up and walked to the bathroom. He got some toilet paper and wiped his tears. He had never felt more miserable like now. He felt very uncomfortable to do any sex in his bed with his wife. He took a few deep breaths and walked back to his bedroom. The room didn't felt cold anymore and the feeling had stopped. He walked to his bed. The pressure was gone. He got into bed silently. He laid down and closed his eyes. He tried to forget about his sudden experience.
The next day he got a call from Jeremy. He said he won't be able to come over later and the next two days. Trevor was disappointed but told him to come over on Monday. After he hung up he went downstairs to get coffee when he heard something fall. He stopped and walked to his daughter's room. Annabel was getting up from the floor.
"Annabel are you alright?" he asked her.
She nodded, "Yeah I'm fine. I just tripped that's all."
She turned the chair over.
"Come on let's go eat," he said. She walked out of her room. Trevor looked at her room for a second then followed her. They went to the kitchen where Julie was drinking coffee.
"Hey honey," said Trevor. He kissed her and made himself coffee.
"Morning Trevor," said Julie, "I hope you had a good night sleep."
"Uh, yeah," he said, "I actually did."
For the first time in the past week and a half he hadn't dreamt anything about the mansion or the woman in the dark green ball gown.
"Well I'll be starting the car," she said, "Hurry and finish your breakfast Annabel."
"Fine," said Annabel as Julie walked out of the kitchen.
Trevor smiled at her, "Excited for today?"
"Yeah," she said, "I really can't wait to hang out with him."
"So, uh, what's his name?" he asked.
"Anthony," she said, " I have to admit I kinda have a crush on him."
She nodded, "Yeah."
"What do you like about him?"
"Well, he has shiny light brown hair," she said, "He has cute dimples when he smiles, and he's an artist just like me."
"Oh that's cool," he said.
"The thing is if Mommy finds out that I'm actually crushing on him she'll start to get really mad at me," she said.
"Because she hates it when I lie to her," said Annabel, "Besides she doesn't like it when I'm crushing on guys at this age."
"Well you are only six," he said, "But I don't see how crushing on a guy is something for your mother to be mad about."
"Promise me you won't tell her?" she asked him.
"Don't worry I won't," he said, "If I tell her then she will be mad at me too."
"True," she said. She finished her pancakes and got her backpack. She kissed her father on the cheek and left.
"Bye Annabel!" called Trevor.
"Bye Daddy!" she called back. He smiled and drank his coffee.
Later he watched TV in the second living room across to his office. He wanted to take his mind off of last night and all of his encounters with the ghost. He flipped through the channels trying to find a good show to watch. He suddenly felt tired, as if he's been walking around for a whole day. He felt sleepy but he tried to stay awake but couldn't. He quickly fell asleep. In his dream he was outside in the cemetery where he saw a group of people standing around a tombstone, mourning as the coffin went down the hole. Trevor recognized them. They were the same people who were crying over the dead body at his bedroom. He saw the same man from his previous dream. He carried his baby over to the tombstone and cried. He heard him say something to God as he kneeled down and looked at the sky.
"Curse you God for taking my wife away from me!"
Trevor realized the guy was so upset and devastated over his wife's death that he blamed God for it. He wondered who the deceased woman was. After a few minutes of mourning everyone started to leave. Some of the diggers stayed behind and began filling the hole. Trevor walked over to the tombstone to see the name of the woman. However the letters were so blurry to him. He suddenly couldn't keep his balance at all. He heard someone cry from behind the tombstone. He looked behind it but saw no one there. He looked around the cemetery but realized it came from the coffin now buried underneath his feet.
He woke up and found himself in his bedroom. He was laying on his bed and it was the same spot the body was placed like in his dream. He got up and went downstairs. He wondered how he got to his bedroom. He walked to his living room and saw his television on static. He turned it off and went to his kitchen. He drank a glass of water and sat down on the stool. He thought about his dream and wondered what did his dreams mean about and who was the dead body he's been seeing.
The next day
Julie stayed home for today with Trevor and Annabel. She was cleaning out the attic to find old antiques and boxes from the past. She and Annabel took down some boxes and old chests to the living room. Trevor thought it'll be nice to look over the boxes and find old things left behind from the previous owners. They looked at each box and chest separately and took out anything they find interesting. Annabel found some old-fashioned dolls, two sketch pads and charcoal, an old-fashioned watch, and a light pink music box with leaves and lilac flowers printed on it. Julie found old photo albums from the two previous families, a handheld mirror, a beautiful hair brush, a small box with jewelry, and a make up set. Trevor hadn't found anything interesting from any of the boxes he looked at. Most of them had old candles and frames with no pictures. Julie took out an old dress from a red chest.
"Oh, look how beautiful this is," she said, "This will look gorgeous on me."
"Hon I don't think that dress will fit you," said Trevor.
"Of course it will," she said, "I bet it's a size 4."
She put the dress next to her and took out another white nightgown. She decided to keep it instead of putting it back in the chest. Many of the dresses she found looked like it was designed back in the 1900s and 1800s. Most were actually from the 1700s. There was only one dress she didn't like and didn't really need since she was no longer pregnant. Trevor sighed and looked at another box when he found a small light pink thick diary. He opened it and realized it was written many, many years ago. He looked at the dates. All of the them were written from 1761-1769. He decided to keep it from his wife and daughter. He put it aside where Julie and Annabel wouldn't see it. He looked through the other stuff in the box and found a small portrait of the same guy from his dreams. He put it aside and look back at the box. There was another portrait of a baby; it looked very young like it's recently been born. He looked back at the box and saw many adorable baby clothes. He took out another box and found a box of gold coins, a few documents, and an old stuffed bear. He put all of the things back in the box and put it aside.
He found many other interesting things from the other boxes and chests. He found a file with piano music sheets, a masquerade mask, a jewelry box with beautiful pearl earrings and rings, and a lot of old clothes from the 1700s. He thought the real estate said all the clothes were removed from the house. By three they put the boxes back in the attic except the one with the things Trevor found. He took the box to his office and began taking out the portraits, the documents, and the diary. He looked at the documents first. Three of them were birth certificates, a marriage license of Jeremiah and Rosalie Cumins, and a few others. He looked at the two portraits and turned it around. The names Jeremiah Cumins and Bentley Cumins were written behind it in ink. He put the portraits in the drawers. He opened the diary and looked over it. One of the entries talked about when the person who wrote the diary met a handsome English man at a society party. He looked down the page and read another entry. This one talked about how much she really loves him and wishes to marry him soon. He read the diary for about two hours when he comes across an entry that wasn't like the other entries. This one was written like the person was scared of something bothering her. It read:
February 3, 1769 5:31 p.m.
There is something in this house that I cannot explain. I had felt someone touch me in the arm this morning and I thought it was my husband, but he was in the nursery with Bentley. Then at noon I was outside drinking tea with Ms. Winston when I heard one of the maids scream in fear. I went to check it out and I saw, in horror, of my portrait of me and Jeremiah on our wedding day, destroyed. It was halfway burned but it was only Jeremiah who was burned completely. And just recently I was changing into my dress when I felt someone wrap its arms around me and I could feel it's breath on my neck. I quickly left my room and I heard it call my name. I don't know what to do and I'm scared.
He turned the page and read the next entry.
February 4, 1769 7:30 p.m.
There is a ghost in this house that is in love with me. This morning I woke up from a strange dream. I was in my room but I was in the same dress I wore on my first date with Jeremiah. I was sitting on my bed and there were candles around me. Dinner was placed on the bed. Then the door opened and a blonde white man walked in the room. I did not recognized him at all. He locked the door and told me I was to never leave the room and I was to never leave his side. I was so scared I woke myself up but I shouldn't have done that. A few minutes ago I felt someone touch my breasts when I got out of the bath tub. Then when I was going to the door it pulled my bath robe and I almost expose myself to it. This ghost wants to have sex with me.
He read a few other entries about the ghost when he read the last entry to the diary.
February 23, 1769 3:41 a.m.
I'm worried. My husband is coming home today from his trip and I'm excited, but I had another dream from the ghost and he told me when Jeremiah comes home it will be the last time I will ever see him come home. I'm so scared now. What if he's going to kill him? I cannot let that happen. I didn't know what to do so I decided to hire someone who can drive an evil spirit away from my home. I wish myself luck and I hope it'll work. I don't want it to interfere during the masquerade ball tonight.
He closed the diary and sighed. He knew the person who wrote this was Rosalie and he believes there may be more than one ghost in his house.
On Monday morning Jeremy went over to the mansion. He had the documents and files on his hand.
"Hey Trev," said Jeremy when Trevor opened the door, "How you been? Anything new?"
"Fine," said Trevor, "And yes actually, I found a few interesting things from the attic."
"Like what?" he asked.
"Two portraits of Jeremiah and Bentley Cumins, a file of certificates and licenses, and Rosalie's diary," he said.
"What did it say?"
"Well in the first 400 pages it talked about her life with her husband and her son," explained Trevor, "Then in the last twenty entries she described how she's being haunted by a ghost."
"Her too?" he asked, "Wow, you two must have some kind of connection with ghosts."
Trevor nodded. They walked to his office and sat down. Jeremy put the documents on Trevor's desk.
"So where were you over the weekend?" Trevor asked.
"I had to visit my in-laws in Atlanta," said Jeremy, "They're very excited for the baby to be born."
He opened the file and looked over the papers, "You know when I was over at the Council they almost refused to let me have the files, but when I told them about you and how you're experiencing paranormal activity they decided to give me the files and documents."
"I guess they know about the ghost in this house," he said.
"That's what I thought," said Jeremy as he read the file, "Then the-"
"Um, you're not going to believe this but it sure makes sense," he said.
"What is it?" asked Trevor.
"According to this file it says here that Rosalie Cumins committed suicide in 1769. Her body was found in her bedroom on the floor after her husband discovered her death. She left him a suicide letter explaining why she did it but it didn't explain much. Four days after her funeral Jeremiah was so devastated and hurt about his wife's death that he poisoned his son and then committed suicide also."
Trevor backed up, "You mean to tell me that there's three ghosts who died in this house?"
He nodded, "I think it's only her who's haunting this house. I mean, those dreams that you have every night about a woman, she's obviously trying to communicate with you."
"But why me?"
He shrugged, "I don't know. But listen to this. 50 years after the deaths of the Cumins family the Wincasters purchased the house in the 18oos and they put up a masquerade ball. On that night all the guests, including the Wincasters, had died for unknown reasons. In the early 1900s the Downers had purchased the house but on their masquerade ball they and the guests died altogether. There were so many reports about these sudden deaths that it's still one of the biggest cases for the police department in Midland." He showed him an old newspaper, "The file had this also. I read the article and check this out. All of these deaths, Rosalie Cumins, the Wincasters, and the Downers, had one thing in common. They all died on the same day during a masquerade ball."
Trevor put his hands on his face and sighed. He uncovered his face, "Then who was haunting Rosalie?"
"I don't know," said Jeremy, "It doesn't say anything about that."
Trevor couldn't believe. He now understood why the realtor didn't want his family to know about the house's history, "That would explain why most of the things from the previous families are still in the house," he said.
Jeremy nodded. They looked over the file and read a few articles. They learned quite a few things about the past, especially from the Cumins family. Before they met each other Rosalie came from a high class family who owned more land than anybody else. Jeremiah, however, is from a middle class family and became a landlord at eighteen years old and a merchant at twenty-one years old. This reminded Trevor when he met Julie back in college. She was very rich and he was neither rich nor poor. He can already imagine how Rosalie and Jeremiah met. After two hours of reading the articles Trevor remembered something.
"Hey, do you think Rosalie was trying to tell me something about this house?"
"What do you mean?" Jeremy asked.
"Well those dreams I have every night are always about my house or a dead person," he said, "Last week I had a dream about a dead body in my bed and everyone was around the bed crying."
"That has to be Rosalie," said Jeremy.
Trevor nodded, "Then a few days ago I suddenly fell asleep. I had a dream of a funeral in the cemetery nearby. The same group of people were there and when I walked to the tombstone the stone was so blurry to me I couldn't read the letters."
"How weird," he said, "But maybe she's trying to tell you something about her funeral. Besides there could be a connection between this house and the cemetery. I mean, many haunted places have a connection with some other location, and since Rosalie is probably buried there she has a connection with this house because this is where she died."
"But what about the other dreams?" Trevor asked.
"The dreams are some way for her to communicate with you," he said, "They're probably related to what happen after or before she died."
Trevor thought for a moment, "I guess you're right. I mean it could be-"
He stopped for a moment.
"What?" Jeremy asked.
Trevor turned to him, "What if she's trying to tell me something about her grave?"
Jeremy looked at him strangely, "Why would she tell you that?"
Trevor shrugged, "I don't know but we're gonna find out."
He got up and began walking out of his office. Jeremy sighed and followed Trevor. They left the mansion and walked to the cemetery. The city's cemetery was the only cemetery in Midland separated from the city. It wasn't too far from the mansion. Not many people visit the cemetery due to its creepy surroundings. The guys walked in the dirt path and found the main office of the cemetery. There were only three cars parked in the parking lot. They walked in the cemetery looking for Rosalie's tombstone. There were hundreds of tombstones in the cemetery. Trevor found the same hill from his dream. They walked up the hill but as they were getting closer to the top they found three tombstones instead of one. Trevor looked at the first tombstone then at the other two. They read:
Rosalie Cumins August 21, 1745-February 23, 1769
Jeremiah Cumins June 3, 1743-February 28, 1769
Bentley Cumins October 26, 1768-February 28, 1769
Trevor read Rosalie's description, "'Rosalie Cumins Caliber, born August 21, 1745 died in February 23, 1769. She was the daughter of William Caliber and Taylor Lillian. She was a beloved wife to Jeremiah Cumins and a great mother to her son Bentley Cumins. We will always remember her as the most beautiful and beloved citizen in Midland. Let her rest in peace.'"
"So she died at a young age," said Jeremy, "Twenty-four years old, right?"
"I guess so," said Trevor. He calculated it, "Yep 24 years old."
They were silent for a moment. Trevor looked at her tombstone feeling solemn. He can imagine the sadness her husband felt when he had to see his wife being buried. He looked around the cemetery and saw a few people looking at the tombstones of their loved ones. One woman cried over some one's tombstone and her husband comforting her. Trevor sighed and turned back to Rosalie's tombstone. He thought about his dream and how miserable Jeremiah felt for his wife's death. He felt such pity for the Cumins family. Finally Jeremy broke the silence.
"Hey do you remember what were the letters Rosalie left for you?" he asked.
"Um, I think so," he answered, "I think the letters were A, T, T, I, and C." He finally realized what they spelled, "Attic!"
He quickly ran down the hill and went to his house. Jeremy followed. As soon as they returned they went upstairs and pulled down the stairs to the attic. They walked up the stairs and found a lot of old chests, lamps, mirrors, portraits, and boxes.
"What the hell are we suppose to do in here?" he asked him.
"Well that's what the letters Rosalie gave me," said Trevor, "I think there's something in here that she wants us to find."
They walked around the attic when Jeremy found something covered over a blanket.
"Hey Trevor, I think this is what Rosalie wants you to find," he said. Trevor walked towards him and picked it up, "I think it's a portrait."
They put it on top of the drawer and pulled the cover down. It was a portrait of Rosalie holding her baby and her husband standing next to her.
"Is that Rosalie?" asked Jeremy.
"It appears so," said Trevor, "I guess that's her son and her husband."
"Man, I never thought she will be so beautiful," he said, "She has very beautiful hair, gorgeous dark brown eyes, pretty lips, prefect brea-"
"Jeremy," said Trevor, "She's married."
"Oh come on, give me a break," said Jeremy, "She has a perfect body making her look look like a babe."
He looked at him, "Really?"
He turned his head back to the portrait, "What does the portrait have to do with anything?"
"Hey Trevor," said Jeremy, "Take a look at this."
He turned it over and on the back there was a letter on the corner of the frame. Trevor took it out and looked over it.
"It looks like the suicide letter," he said, "It says here that she did this so she can save her son's life and she wants her husband Jeremiah to never remarry, raise their son properly and to always love her."
"Does it say anything else?" Jeremy asked.
"No," he said, "That's where it ends."
He put down the paper, "I think she wanted to tell us something from this letter that got the authorities mistaken about her death."
"Let me see that," said Jeremy. He yanked it out of Trevor's hands and read it, "But it also says she has other reasons why she committed suicide."
"I guess she only said that so she can hide the real secret about her death," he said.
"But that doesn't make sense," said Jeremy, "Why would she do that if she wants you to tell the world about the real reason why she did this?"
"I'm sure she has a pretty good reason,"said Trevor. They were silent for a few minutes and looked at the portrait. Looking at Rosalie made them feel sad. Her expression on the portrait made her look happy to have a husband and a child of her own, but for them it was hard to believe that she killed herself and give up all that kept her happy in her life. They decided to take the portrait downstairs. They carefully took it down the stairs and walked to Trevor's office. Trevor walked to the wall and removed one of the portraits from the wall. He put the portrait of the Cumins family on the wall and smiled. Trevor walked to his desk and looked at the suicide letter. He decided to have an investigation with Jeremy tomorrow night.
At six during dinner Julie told Trevor she was staying over at a friend's house for the next two nights to discuss about their job. He was okay with it since he wanted to learn more about the Cumins family without his wife interfering. After Julie left he went to his office and read the file. He found a few print-out pictures of the couple with a few workers outside in the land. He recognized the background. It was where Annabel's school was located. He read the caption and was surprised to learn that both Jeremiah and Rosalie built the school and was originally called The School of Public Education for Children. Because of it it made the young couple want to have children of their own. He read an article about what other buildings they built that remain standing in Midland today. Some of them he didn't recognized but he found a building he did recognized. It was the same building Jeremy worked at during the weekdays. As he read he was impressed with all the things Jeremiah and Rosalie did for the town that made the town great. Soon Annabel knocked on the door. She was in her pajamas.
"Daddy I can't sleep."
"Oh, do you want me to make you something to help you go to sleep?" he asked.
She nodded. He walked with her to the kitchen and made her a grilled cheese sandwich. He served her some milk. She ate her snack.
"You know this is the first time you actually stayed up really late," he said.
"I know," she said, "Why are you?"
"I'm just reading over some articles that's all," he said. Trevor watched his daughter eat and smiled. He let out a sigh, "Honey there's something I have to tell you."
She turned to him, "What?"
"Um, I don't want you to freak out or anything, but there's no easy way of telling you this," he said, "This house has a ghost."
Annabel looked at him with a frightening look on her face, "What?"
"I figured it out when there was so many strange things happening," he said, "The reason I'm keeping the equipment is because I'm going to investigate this house."
"You're going back investigating?" she asked happily.
"Well not technically but yes, yes I am," he said.
She smiled and went to hug him, "Oh I'm so happy for you Daddy!"
"Uh thank you hon," he said, "Now don't tell your mother about this okay?"
"Don't worry I won't," she said.
"Good, now finish your snack," he said. Annabel walked to her seat and sat down. Within ten minutes she was finished her snack. He walked with her upstairs and tucked her into bed. She smiled at him and she went to sleep. He walked out of her room and went to his bedroom. He decided to go to bed too. As he changed he decided to put an infrared video camera in his room just in case he was visited by Rosalie. He went downstairs and looked over the equipment in the case. He took out a camera and tripod. He installed it near his door pointing at his bed. He turned off the lights and went to bed.
At morning he woke up with a small headache. He walked to the camera and reviewed any evidence he may caught. He pushed play. In the first three hours nothing paranormal happen, but at three twenty-five he saw something that shocked him. As he slept in his bed there was a shadow on his wall that seemed to get closer to him. A full body apparition looked at him and placed her hand on his shoulder. She sat next to him on his bed and stroke his arm. Then she suddenly disappeared. He put the camera on the drawer and sighed. He wanted to know what does she want with him.
After he dropped off his daughter to school he called Jeremy. He asked him if he wanted to do an investigation tonight. He replied yes. After he picked up Annabel from school he prepared himself for his investigation. He looked over the equipment and made sure everything was working. Then he served dinner to his daughter earlier and told her to not interfere with the investigation he's having. She was upset but she promised to stay out of it until it was over. At seven Jeremy came over. Trevor opened the door.
"Hey Jeremy, are you ready for tonight?"
"Yeah," he replied, "I brought my camera and my digital recorder. I even brought this old board I found in Vanessa's old chest in the attic. I thought it could be of use."
Trevor looked at it, "An Ouija board?"
"Maybe we should try it out," he said. He let his friend in. Jeremy closed the door behind him. Trevor turned to him, "Look we don't have a lot of time so we might as well start now. I don't want to keep my daughter up as we investigate this house."
"Good point," said Jeremy, "I also need to get back to my wife as soon as possible."
They walked to his living room and put the board on the table. Then they put the digital recorder on the table. Trevor placed his hand on the planchette on the center on the board.
"Alright, Jeremy would you turn on the recorder?"
He turned it on.
"Um, hi it's me, again," said Trevor, "This is my friend Jeremy. I know what happened to you in this house and I feel terrible. If you want to tell us something please say something."
At first there was no sound, but Trevor could feel her presence. He slowly moved the planchette to each letter. He moved it from H to E to L to P.
"Um Trevor? Are you moving the planchette?" Jeremy asked.
"No I'm not," he replied, "I think she spelled out the word 'help.' Um, can you tell me why you need my help Rosalie?"
"Don't be scared," said Jeremy, "We just wanna know why do you want his help?"
Then his digital recorder picked up something. Jeremy played it over to see if she responded. At first they heard nothing until she said, "I know..."
"I know what?" Trevor asked. Now his recorder picked up something.
This frighten him a little. He doesn't like it when anyone says he's the one except when Julie told him he was the love of her life.
"I'm-I'm the one for what?"
Nothing responded. They were silent for a moment. Suddenly the planchette began to move by itself. This scared them a lot. Trevor got an EMF detector. It was at a 4.1. Jeremy wrote down the letters but was missing two. Trevor asked him what did she say. Jeremy replied "cape" but they analyzed it as "escape" since she meant help.
"Escape? Are you trapped or a prisoner?" asked Trevor.
His recorder got "prisoner" as a response to his question. He asked her a few more questions but she didn't respond. He thought she left. They decided to start investigating the whole house. They left the board and Trevor's recorder on the table. As soon as they left his recorder picked up something from Rosalie.
Trevor and Jeremy spend two hours investigating the house. They went to every room in the house except Annabel's. All they got were a few EVPs from Rosalie but none of them were much of a help. At nine Jeremy went home and Trevor prepared himself for bed. He was a bit tired after all that investigation. He went inside the bed covers and layed back. He closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Trevor dreamt himself outside in a beautiful garden. There was a clean river running down the countryside. The sun was bright and the sky was clear with birds migrating to the south. There was a table with tea and sandwiches cut into triangles. He saw two chairs. He sat down on the chair. He looked around and saw the same woman from his previous dreams. He can see her very clearly. She wore a pink 1700s dress and her hair was pulled back.
"How do you do?"
"Um, just fine," he said, "Rosalie?"
She nodded, "Yes it's me, Rosalie Cumins."
"Oh man, you look more beautiful than in the portrait," he said.
She smile, "Why thank you Trevor."
She sat down on the chair. She poured herself tea, then poured it in Trevor's cup, "I'm sorry I didn't gave you as much information earlier but I didn't have as much energy to tell you every detail."
"It's okay," he said, "It takes a lot of energy for ghosts to speak and I'm guessing it's difficult."
She took a sip from her tea and placed it on the table, "I know. Anyways, I have to apologize for what I've done lately."
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"You know, for destroying your wife's vase, painting the door in your daughter's room."
"Oh, well that's okay," he said, "You were trying to get my attention though."
She smiled, "Anyways I guess you read the documents and the newspaper about me."
"Yeah," he said, "I even went to your tombstone the other day."
"So tell me a little bit about yourself," he said, "Things that I don't know about your life."
She sighed, "Well I'm originally from Yorktown but I came to Midland whe I was five months old. My parents raised me to be an independent and kind-hearted woman. I married Jeremiah when I was eighteen years old and I had my first baby when I was twenty-four years old."
"Aren't you 24?" he asked.
"Well yes but-oh never mind. So what about you? Tell me about yourself," she said.
"I'm a former paranormal investigator. I married my wife during my senior year in college," he said, "I had my daughter when I turned twenty-two. Now I stay home like a housewife."
They ate their sandwich. Trevor liked it, "Mmm, this is so good."
"Really good," she said.
He wiped his mouth, "I don't know why you killed yourself Rosalie. You look so beautiful and so young. In the pictures you look happy with the life you had."
She sighed, "Um actually I was."
He looked at her, "Excuse me?"
"When I was alive I was happy to have a husband and a son," she said.
"Then what's the problem?" he asked.
She took a deep breath, "Four months after I gave birth to my son Bentley I became a target to the first mayor of Midland, Jake Raymond. He was an evil ghost who did many abusive and sexual harrassments to me."
He looked at her, "I'm listening."
"When I first knew I was being visited by Jake I was sleeping," she said, "I felt someone touching me. He touched my legs, my stomach, and my breasts. I even felt him kissing my neck. At first I thought it was Jeremiah, but when I woke up I turned around and my husband was facing the other direction. I got up and checked to see if my son was alright. He was awake so I tried to put him to sleep. Then I saw him. He was standing right next to me and he told me I had a beautiful son."
"Were you scared?" he asked.
"Of course I was," she said, "He was a ghost and I don't often get visited by one."
"So, why didn't you put that in your diary?" he asked, "I read all of your entries and none of them said how you met Jake."
"Because I didn't want to," she said, "I thought it didn't matter so I didn't wrote it down."
"Anyways, a lot of things happened between me and Jake and I was beginning to get really scared so I hired someone who can drive him away," she said, "But it only made it worse."
"What do you mean by worse?" he asked.
"The truth is, I didn't kill myself because I was depressed..."
"All the documents and records and newspaper assumed it was because I was miserable," she said, "But none of it is true." She took a deep breath, "I was forced to commit suicide."
He looked at her surprised, "What?"
"Jake forced me to kill myself," she said, "I didn't have any other choice."
"But I don't understand," he said, "If you were forced to commit suicide, then why did you wrote down in your letter you had other reasons why you committed suicide?"
"Because I didn't want my husband to think that I only killed myself for no reason," said Rosalie, "Besides I couldn't tell Jeremiah that a ghost forced me to commit suicide. He'll think I'm crazy or something. Well he would've believed me if I had told him I was being harassed by an evil ghost but..."
"When you were alive Rosalie," said Trevor, "What did Jake do to you?"
She didn't say anything for a moment, then said in a miserable tone, "He...he said horrible things to me, about my face, my body..." She had tears running down her face.
"What kind of things?" asked Trevor.
"Most of them were sexual comments," she said, "Some of them were like how nice my legs were, or like how perfect my breasts were, and whenever I'm taking a bath he would usually go in there and start watching me."
"How would you know he was watching you?" he asked.
"I would feel cold air around me," she said, "Sometimes he would say things about my naked body, things I do not want to hear from another man other than my husband."
She got a napkin and wiped her eyes.
"Jake seemed to have ruined your life pretty badly," he said.
"What do you think?" she said, "I would never forget what he did to me on my last day."
Soon Rosalie began to cry.
"What's wrong?" Trevor asked, "What happened?"
"He...he raped me on the night I died," she sobbed.
Rosalie smiled as the guests walked in. The guests smiled back. Jeremiah walked up to her and handed Bentley to her. She hold her infant son.
"I'm gonna go pick up my parents at the Wilson Hotel," said Jeremiah, "I'll be back in 25 minutes."
"Okay, bye Jeremiah," she said. She kissed him and he left. She looked down at Bentley. He was sleeping soundly. Soon she heard a noise from upstairs. She walked to her parents and handed her son to them. She walked out of the room and walked upstairs. She looked at each side of the hallway and walked to the left. She heard a whisper coming from the secret tower that led to her bedroom. It was built as an escape patch. She moved the bookshelf and unlocked the door. She walked up the narrow stone stairway. She pushed the bookshelf and saw that there were rose petals on her bed & candles has been lit up. She began to feel scared. Suddenly the shelf shut tight. She turned around and grew frighten. She felt someone stroking her hair.
"Hello my love."
She screamed when Jake spoke to her. She could see him standing right in front of her. She ran towards the door but it was locked. She struggled to escape from him.
"You cannot leave Rosalie," he said.
She ran towards the bookshelf but it was shut tight also. She turned around and ran to the window. She tried to open the window but it wouldn't open. She went to her drawer near her bed. She searched for something but there was nothing but clothes. Soon a strong force pushed her onto the bed. She tried to get up but couldn't. Jake was holding her down. He made her turn around. She tried to crawl away but he kept holding her. She cried as he began seducing her.
She cried even more, "I tried to escape but couldn't. He lifted my dress up and I could feel him-you know. Then he let go of me. I thought that was my chance to leave but he grabbed my shoulders and pulled me down to the floor. I tried to get up but he pushed me down and began pulling my dress down. I didn't wore anything underneath which made me feel scared because it can cause him to be more sexually active. However he started to lose energy so I was able to pull my dress up and get up. I ran to the door and tried to open it but he grabbed me and pushed me onto the floor again. This time he began to untie my dress and I was entirely naked. He took off his clothes and pulled me onto the bed. We began having sex together and I was miserable as we did it."
"Then what happen?" he asked.
"After that I was laying in the bed crying," said Rosalie, "Jake put on his clothes again. He told me that was the best sex he ever had since he was with his 5th ex-wife. I got up and put on my dress again but I was so miserable that I felt like I cheated on my husband."
Rosalie finally calmed down from her tears. Jake stood by her bed 3 feet from where she's at. She was on the floor holding on the leg of the chair. She was facing the wall.
"All I want from you is becoming my wife," he said, "You can become queen forever and rule my beloved underworld empire. Our subjects will worship you and bring you gifts and fortunes. They will all obey your commands and make your wishes come true. You can have all that, but you must kill yourself and leave all this behind."
She stood up and faced him, "I'm happy with what I have now. A good home, a great husband, and a son. Why would I leave my good fortunes behind and live a life I would not love?"
"Because if you do not kill yourself I will kill your baby son," he said, "I may not be able to kill you myself but it is easy to take the life from a child."
She gasped. She did not want her son to die. The only way she can save Bentley is to do as he says. She walked to her drawer and took out a small bottle. It had blue liquid inside. She also took out a stationary and a feather and ink. She wrote Jeremiah a letter stating her death. It reads:
My beloved Jeremiah,
I am sorry but I must leave this world to save the life of my son. He is not ill or anything. Do not blame anyone for my death. I have my other reasons why I committed suicide. All I want from you is to never remarry, raise Bentley to be a strong, great citizen, and stay happy even after my death. I love you.
She put down her feather and sighed. She redid her hair and makeup, and opened the bottle. She stood up and looked at her living body one last time. She did not want to do this but she had no other choice. If Jake was alive then she would've had no problem. She had a tear running down her face. She took a deep breath and drank the poison. She began to feel weak and collapsed on the floor. She took her last breath and slowly closed her eyes.
"After I killed myself Jake grabbed my arm and dragged me down to the basement," said Rosalie, "He made me get on his horse and he took me to his empire. There I had to sleep beside him in his bed wearing a nightgown that showed more of my breasts and legs. I was so miserable the entire night. Then I married him the next night. I wore this strapless wedding gown that was too tight for me. We married in his ballroom and when he put the wedding ring on my finger I felt terrible. I felt like I was marrying someone other than my real husband. He took me to our bedroom upstairs. I sat in his bed feeling miserable and he put his arms around me and kissed my cheek and my neck. He slowly moved his hand down to my breasts then to my stomach. I didn't say anything. He pulled my dress down and I began having sex with him. I was so miserable as we did it."
They drank their tea.
"Rosalie, why didn't Jake kill you himself instead of forcing you to commit suicide?" Trevor asked.
"Because he thought if I do it myself then he won't be responsible for my death," she said, "Besides he wanted me to look beautiful and perfect after I died."
"But he is responsible for your death," he said, "I mean, he forced you to commit suicide."
"Yes I know," she said.
They drank their tea.
"Can you tell me more about Jake?" he asked her.
She sighed, "Well his family did found Midland in 1663 and was the first youngest mayor of this city and he was very wealthy, but he was a terrible man. When he was fifteen he forced this girl to marry him and she gave birth to two girls. He killed his wife and gave away his daughters to his in laws. The same thing happened with his other 3 wives and daughters. When he married his fifth wife she gave birth to two sons. But he died from sexual disease. After he escaped from hell 70 years later he created his own empire. When he visited earth again he fell in love with me and-well pretty much you know what happen."
"Seems to me like Jake is not only an evil man but a murderer and a rapist," said Trevor, "He must have a criminal file for all those murders."
"Well no one in Midland knows about their deaths," she said.
"How would you know that?" he asked.
"Jake has a magic mirror in his bedroom," she answered, "I can look at the living world to see whatever I want to see."
"Oh." He thought for a moment, "What else has he raped you for?"
"Well, he has raped for lying to him, talking back at him, refusing to do things with him, and being caught having sex with Jeremiah," she said, "When Jake was out traveling in his empire for a few weeks I wanted to spend time with my husband. I wore lingerie but I covered myself with a robe. Jeremiah was glad to see me. We talked for a while then I showed him my body. He was happy to see it so we end up doing it. The good thing is that Bentley was asleep. But then Jake walked in and saw us naked. He was furious. He grabbed my wrist and hit Jeremiah many times, right in front of me. He yelled at him and he took me up to our bedroom. He yelled at me and said I was his only wife and he was my only husband, then he began having sex with me. I was upset though but I was glad I did it with Jeremiah first."
"When was this?"
"I guess in 1845," she said.
"Oh." He paused, "Wait how come he's in the same place you're living in."
She didn't answer. She was looking at the river.
"Tell me how did your husband died?" asked Trevor, "Did he hanged himself or stab himself?"
She looked at him, "What are you talking about? He didn't kill himself, Jake killed him and my son with poison."
"I was so miserable without my family that I cried and didn't talk or ate for four days," she said, "Jake hated to see me like this so he went over to my house and let out poison gas all over my home. Jeremiah was at his office and Bentley at his nursery. My husband and my son were the only ones at the mansion so when they both died from breathing the gas everyone assumed Jeremiah killed Bentley and then killed himself. I was so happy to see them when Jake brought them in but I felt horrible on the inside that he killed my family and wouldn't let me spend time or see them very often. It made me feel worse."
"Not only is he responsible for the murder of his ex-wives but for my husband, my son, the Wincasters, and the Downers," she said, "Plus the 400 guests from the two previous masquerade balls."
He stared at her confused.
"Yes he is also responsible for those deaths too," she said.
"That's a lot of deaths," he said.
"When I went to the dungeon I hugged my husband but he was upset with me because I married Jake," she said, "That's when I told him the truth. He was mad at me because I never told him about Jake but he was more upset that Jake was able to have sex with me 2 times in a row. But he forgave me though; he understood that I was sexually abused by Jake and was forced to commit suicide, so I couldn't do anything about it."
"Oh." He thought for a moment, "Then why did you need my help?"
"Because I know you're the one who's going to help me break free from Jake," she said, "That's why I need you to come with me to Dark Empire where my family, Jake, and I live."
He sighed, "Oh, Rosalie I don't think-"
"Please?" she asked, "I've been waiting for 200 years to find someone to help me. I'm desperate."
He looked into her eyes and smiled, "Alright I'll-"
Suddenly he felt someone shaking him, "Daddy! Daddy!"
He woke up and faced his daughter, "Annabel what are you doing here?"
"It's time for school," she said, "It's 7:30."
"Oh god," he said getting out of bed, "Don't worry Annabel I'll get ready."
He got up and went to the bathroom. He thought about his dream and Rosalie's proposal as he got ready.
After Trevor dropped off Annabel to school he drove to Jeremy's house. He knocked on the door. Vanessa opened it, "Hello Trevor."
"Hi Vanessa," said Trevor, "Is Jeremy home."
"Um yeah," she said, "He's upstairs in his bedroom. Why don't you come in."
"Thanks." He walked into the house. He waited in the living room. Jeremy walked down the stairs.
"Trevor? What are you doing here?" he asked.
"I have to talk to you," he said.
Jeremy turned to Vanessa, "Hon can you leave me alone with Trevor for a few minutes."
"Sure." She walked to the kitchen. Jeremy turned to him, "What is it?"
"I had a dream about Rosalie again," said Trevor, "But it wasn't like that other dreams. I was actually talking to Rosalie."
"Oh, well what did you two talk about?" Jeremy asked.
"She told me the real truth about her death and her husband and son," he said, "Then she told me about all of her terrible encounters with this ghost Jake Raymond. Apparently he forced her to commit suicide."
"Jake Raymond?" asked Jeremy, "You mean the first mayor of Midland?"
He nodded, "Yeah. Did you know he was a bad man?"
"Of course," he said, "A lot of people look up to him as a hero but I don't. He's a disgrace to this city."
"Were you teased because of it?" Trevor asked.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"Anyways, now she wants me to go to this empire called the Dark Empire," said Trevor, "That's where her family and Jake live."
"The Dark Empire?" asked Jeremy, "I never heard of it."
"Well that's because it's in the Underworld," said Trevor, "But I was hoping someone would like to come with me so...I thought of you."
"Okay sure, but what about Annabel? And your wife?" he asked, "They don't know about the ghost in the house and Julie is not going to let you go on an journey to Hell. Plus I don't think I should leave Vanessa alone for a few days. Remember she's six months pregnant."
"She'll be fine," he said, "I mean when Julie was six months pregnant nothing very serious happen to her. Look we'll just tell our wives that we're going on a fishing trip tomorrow and it was last minute."
"Alright," said Jeremy.
Trevor decided to go home so he can get ready for tomorrow. After he picked up his daughter from school he prepared dinner for his family. He had felt Rosalie's presence in the kitchen and he decided to tell her if it's okay if he can bring his friend along. She didn't mind at all. At five Julie came home from work and she decided to help Trevor with the cooking. She cut the carrots as Trevor stirred the soup. The room felt warm and cozy, as if they were in the sauna but in a good way. Trevor sighed and turned to Julie.
"Hon I have to tell you something," he said.
"What is it?"
"Um, I'm leaving tomorrow with Jeremy to go on a fishing trip," he said, "I was hoping if you would let me, you know, go with him."
"Sure Trevor," she said, "I guess you could spend some time with your best friend."
"Thank you hon," he said.
"How long are you going to be gone?" she asked.
"About a few days," he said, "I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon."
Later they ate dinner together. She asked him many questions about the trip and why was it last minute. He had to lie to her so she wouldn't find out it was a lie. Then they prepared themselves for bed. Trevor was upstairs with Annabel getting her ready for bed.
"I'm sorry I have to leave you Annabel," he said, "But it's only going to be for a few days."
"I know," she said, "It's just that I'm gonna miss you Daddy. I like having you around more than Mommy, except when you don't have my back."
"I'm gonna miss you too Annabel," he said.
"So where is this place going to take place?" she asked.
"Uh, out of this state actually," he said.
"Which state?" she asked.
"Uh, honestly we don't know yet," he said, "We're going to find whatever lake we can find."
He tucked her in and kissed her forehead, "Good-night Annabel."
"'Night Daddy," she said. He got up and turned off the lights. He walked to his bedroom and prepared himself for bed.
After Trevor picked up Annabel from school he drove to Jeremy's house to pick him up. He drove them back to the mansion silently. As soon as they went inside he turned to Annabel.
"Honey I'm gonna leave in a few minutes so I want you to stay in your room no matter what," he said, "Don't open the door to anyone and don't answer the phone unless it's your mother okay?"
"Okay Daddy," she said.
"Good, now behave when I'm gone," said Trevor, "I love you."
"Love you too," she said. She ran up the stairs and went to her room. Trevor sighed and turned to Jeremy, "Come on let's go before Annabel finds out."
Jeremy nodded. They walked to the basement. There were more boxes, chests, old lamps, and portraits in the basement.
"Okay, so why are we in the basement?" Jeremy asked.
"Rosalie told me after she killed herself Jake dragged her in here," said Trevor, "But I don't know where."
"She's a ghost," said Jeremy, "They can go through walls."
Trevor walked to the solid wall. He felt the wall when his hand suddenly went through.
"Hey Jerm, check this out," said Trevor. Jeremy walked to the wall and put his hand on the same spot Trevor's hand was. It went through.
"It must be some kind of-"
Soon someone pulled them in. They looked up and saw Rosalie standing in front of them. She wore a maroon golden dress and let her curly black hair loose.
"Rosalie?" Trevor asked.
"I guess you found the portal on your own," she said.
The guys stood up and faced her, "Is this Dark Empire?"
"Sadly yes," she answered, "The city is at the other side of this dimension. We might as well get going."
The guys followed Rosalie down the hill.
"Hey Rosalie, why don't you look like a ghost?" asked Jeremy.
"Oh, that's because in this dimension all ghosts are permitted to turn into immortals," she replied, "That's why I have flesh instead of electric magnetic field. If I go back to the mansion I'm a ghost again."
"So that means you can feel pain like all of us?" asked Trevor, "And when Jake rapes you you can become pregnant by him?"
She nodded sadly, "Yes, but that hasn't happen yet."
They walked down in the hill when they heard something. They turned around, a bit frighten.
The noise began to move. It was moving rapidly. They kept turning to see where the noise was coming from. They let out a cry when Annabel walked out from behind the trees.
"Oh god, Annabel you scared us," said Trevor, "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to come along," she said.
"Annabel it's too dangerous," he said, "Go home right now."
"But I want to go," she said, "I want to visit Dark Empire."
"How did you know about Dark Empire?"
"Rosalie told me." She ran towards Rosalie and hugged her. She hugged her back.
"Were you with my daughter?" Trevor asked her.
"Well yeah," said Rosalie, "I grew very fond of her so I wanted to communicate with her."
"Weren't you scared Annabel?" he asked her.
She shook her head, "No. I like her. She likes to spend time with me."
He walked up Rosalie, "I am not going to allow my daughter hang out with a ghost. You have your son and she can spend more time with her mother."
"But I like Rosalie," said Annabel, "She's the only person who understands me more than Mommy."
"Look Trevor I can't allow you to separate us," said Rosalie, "I love your daughter. I can't be with my son very much because he's with his father in the dungeon, locked up. Annabel is the only child I can be around with."
He sighed, "Alright, you may come with us. But I want you to be careful. Hide when there's danger and don't touch anything."
She nodded. They walked down the path and began walking in the desert. Annabel hold Rosalie's hand.
"So where is this place?" she asked.
"Pretty far," replied Rosalie, "First we have to walk in Black Desert, which where we are now, walk in the Midnight Forest, get across the Soul River, and there we are."
"That's a long way to go," she said. They walked in the large barren desert with no water. They were all tired and thirsty. As they walked they ask her a lot of questions about her life with Jake. She said she did not like it at all. Most of the time she was locked in the castle. She would sometimes go to the the dungeon to talk to Jeremiah and see her baby son Bentley, but it's only when Jake wasn't around. She told them how often Jake touches her, makes her wear dresses that shows her breasts a little too much, and how sometimes Jake takes her son away and threatens to kill him unless she agrees to wear lingerie and have sex with him for a whole week. When she was forced to do it like that it made her feel twice as miserable. They've been walking for two hours in the desert. Trevor had to carry his daughter most of the time, which made him feel really tired. Soon he broke the silence.
"Rosalie, did you gave me those dreams in the past week and a half?" he asked her.
"Yes," she replied, "I gave you those dreams because I wanted you to know and feel what happen to me when Jake abused me."
"But two of them were about your funeral," said Trevor, "Is that really what happen?"
"I don't know," she said, "I imagined that's how it went."
They stopped walking and looked at the black trees and dark green leaves and bushes ahead of them.
"Is that Midnight Forest?" Jeremy asked.
She nodded, "Now I'll be careful if I were you. There are a few birds that sometimes fly over the forest in search for any fugitive. I was caught by one once and it brought me back to the city. Jake was furious at me that he violently hit me many times, then he began raping me again."
They walked in the forest silently for a few hours. Then nightfall hit. They rested in a clear open space in the middle of the forest. The guys got branches from the ground as the girls got stones and formed a circle. Trevor looked at Annabel the whole time and he got a bit jealous as she talked with Rosalie. She smiled as she put the stones on the dirt. Then they start a fire. They sat around it but they were still cold and really hungry.
"Ohh, I'm hungry," said Annabel holding her stomach.
"We all are," said Trevor. He hugged his daughter.
"Do you know how far is the city now?" asked Jeremy.
"Um, I guess twenty-five more miles," she said, "Remember we have to get across Soul River, and it's a little hard to go through."
They were silent for a few minutes.
"Rosalie? How old was Jake when he died?" Trevor asked.
"Twenty-nine," she replied, "He looks twenty-five though."
"Wait how did he die?" Jeremy asked.
"He had a sexual transmitted disease," said Trevor, "He married five times and had six daughters and two sons."
"But you can't have some kind of disease if you married five times, right?" he asked.
"Well his third wife had the disease," said Rosalie, "She pass it on to Jake when they-you know."
"When I'm locked in our bedroom sometimes I go through his stuff. I find a few pictures of the women he married," said Rosalie, "They were so beautiful but it was hard to imagine how they were assassinated."
"Did you find any pictures of his children?" asked Trevor.
"Just a few," she said, "They look so helpless and innocent, I just don't understand why would he give them up."
"Well, he only wants sons instead of daughters," he said.
"I know," she said, "Whenever Jake and I have sex with each other sometimes I worry if he will get me pregnant. I don't even want to imagine what will happen to me or the baby if I give birth to a girl instead of a boy."
"Oh yeah," he said, "That would've been horrible."
"He will probably keep me around until I give birth to a son," she said, "He loves me and he wouldn't leave me because of it."
"Rosalie, what are your worst consequences Jake has given you?" asked Jeremy.
"Um, I remember back in 1798 I escaped from the city for the first time," she said, "One of his guards found me and took me back to Jake. He was furious at me. He whipped me with a whip that stung so much. It was the only time Jake didn't rape me. Then in 1805 Jake found me in the forest when I was sleeping. He hit me so hard I was bleeding. Then he raped me in the forest for escaping again. In 1887 I was out in Black Desert but Jake found me and raped me there. I think the worst one was a few months ago. I was out in Midnight Forest, again, when Jake found me hiding in the trees. He yelled at me angrily and he violently raped me there. It was so bad that I felt like dying again."
"So it felt more like he was raping you to death?" asked Trevor.
She nodded, "Well I can't die again. I mean, I'm already dead."
They were silent for a moment.
"Rosalie, when you were alive how was your life with Jeremiah?" asked Annabel.
"You know about her husband too?" asked Trevor.
"Um, when I turned eighteen, after my parents' approval, I married Jeremiah," she said, "We became landlords as our career. We built half the city with the help of some of my parents' workers. We were awarded the key to the city and we were known as the city's hard-working citizens for five years. But other than that I loved being married to my husband. We lived in our mansion in peace for six years. Then we wanted to have our baby. We never did it before so we were nervous. The next few days I found out I was pregnant."
"So you had a good life?" asked Trevor.
She nodded, "That is until Jake came along."
Soon the wind began to pick up.
"Oh god it's getting cold," said Jeremy. Trevor hugged his daughter more.
"Well we might as well get some sleep," said Rosalie, "We have a long way to go."
She laid down on the dirt. The only person who followed her was Jeremy. Trevor and Annabel looked at the fire some more.
"Daddy? Are we in Hell?" she asked.
"Yes and no," he replied, "We are in Hell but we're far away from Hell."
"I know it's confusing," he said. He thought for a moment, "Honey, how long have you known Rosalie?"
"For a while," she responded, "I have to confess when I first met her I was a bit scared, but she told me there was nothing to be afraid of. I didn't want you to know until you figured it out on your own. When you told me about her I pretended to be scared so it wouldn't look obvious that I already knew we had a ghost."
"I can't believe it," he said, "My own daughter knew about the ghost and never told me about her. Why would you do that?"
"I call it revenge," said Annabel, "For not having my back after all those times Mommy turned me down."
"Look Annabel I already told you," said Trevor, "I don't want to get on your mother's bad side."
"You never do," she said, "That's what gets me mad the most. A father who won't help his own daughter."
"Hon, I don't like it when-"
"Yeah, yeah I know, when I say that," she said, "But it's true. That's why I like Rosalie more. She actually cares about me."
Trevor was hurt on the inside. He turned his head to the fire. Within minutes Annabel fell asleep. He continued to stay awake, thinking about what his daughter said. He had a tear running down his face. He took a deep breath and tried to get some sleep too.
By morning they continued their journey in the forest. It was a long way to go. Within two hours they got out of Midnight Forest. They could see a large black stone castle with a few towers. There were small stone houses with a few torches on the walls.
"That's where I live," said Rosalie, "If we want to get across we must get on that single boat without being noticed by the guards."
She pointed at the small wooden boat tied on the pole with a rope.
"But won't it be difficult?" asked Trevor, "The guards are watching the boat. How are we going to get by them without being noticed?"
"I...I don't know," she said.
They waited in the forest until the guards walked away. As soon as they left they walked down the hill and quickly got on the wooden boat. It was small so they had to sit close to each other. Rosalie untied the rope and moved the oar in the water. The souls looked at them miserably. Most of them recognized Rosalie. They said her name over and over. She told them to be quiet.
"Um Rosalie? Do you know these ghosts?" Trevor asked.
"Yeah," she replied, "Most of them are the ghosts who live here but they were punished by Jake and were forced to turn into ghosts instead of immortals. Some of them are from Hell."
"So this river is connected to the Styx River?" he asked.
She continued to row the boat when suddenly the ghosts began to get up and trying to topple the boat. She hit them with the oar.
"Back off," she said to the souls but they wouldn't stop. The guys helped her but the ghosts were trying to pull them down.
"They're trying to pull us to the river," said Jeremy.
"This is not good," said Trevor. Soon they heard a scream. They turned around and saw Annabel being pulled into the water. She fell out of the boat.
"Annabel!" they cried.
"Daddy!" she cried. The spirits were pulling her down. Trevor jumped off of the boat and swam to his daughter but a few souls grabbed him. He struggled to escape from them.
"I gotta go save him," said Jeremy.
"No," said Rosalie stopping him, "If you go they'll grab you too."
They watched as Trevor and Annabel tried to escape. Trevor finally broke free and he quickly swam to Annabel. He grabbed his daughter's arm and pulled her to the boat. But more ghosts grabbed her legs and pulled her down. She tried to get some air. Trevor pulled her but more ghosts grabbed his shoulders. He hold onto Annabel's hand but they were slipping. Trevor tried to hold on but the ghosts were pulling them apart. He used all his strength and fought back. He leaned forward and pulled Annabel with his other hand. Annabel finally got air. He pulled her away from the ghosts and swam back to the boat. The souls followed but he swam faster. Jeremy and Rosalie pulled them out of the water before the ghosts could grab them again. As soon as they were on the boat Rosalie quickly rowed faster to avoid being grabbed by the ghosts. Soon they arrived on shore. Trevor grabbed his daughter and tried to get her conscious once again. No luck so far. He tried CPR but Annabel did not breath. He tried again but nothing. Rosalie tried CPR on Annabel and surprisingly she woke up and coughed. Trevor couldn't believe it.
"Are you okay?" she asked her.
She nodded, "Yeah I'm fine. Thanks for saving me Rosalie."
"Well it was your father who got you out of the water," said Rosalie.
"Yeah but you brought me back to life," said Annabel. Trevor was torn. She hugged Rosalie to thank her. Trevor didn't want to look. He turned around feeling terrible and upset. She let go and got up.
"Alright now we have to get pass the streets without being recognized," said Rosalie.
"Okay let's go," said Trevor. They walked up the hill and tried to avoid thinking all the negative things that could happen to them once they enter the gates of the city.
Before they walked in the city Rosalie told them to wear black veils over their faces. She said in Dark Empire it symbolizes that they're going to be severely punished by Jake. Although she has to get pass the guards without a veil. They walked to the gates when one of the guards stopped her.
"Hold on, you know you're not suppose to be out here Rosalie," he said.
"I didn't leave," she said, "I was just looking at the merchandise."
"Oh really? Then why were you missing for nearly a whole month?" asked another.
"Wait until I inform this to Jake." He walked in the streets to the castle.
"You may go in," said the other, "Along with the other three souls."
She nodded and walked in. The others followed. It was sad to see the other captives trapped in Dark Empire. They looked miserable to live in a place with guards constantly watching them all the time. There were children running around the place as their mothers watched them along with the guards. There were men either playing a game or talking to each other. As they walked a few people looked at them sadly.
"It's so sad to see these people in this place," said Annabel, "They look miserable."
"They should be," said Rosalie, "This is like a prison, but worse."
They walked up the streets looking at the captives. Trevor found a family who looked like from the 1800s. Next door was a family who dressed from the early 1900s. Rosalie told him they were the Wincasters and the Downers. Unfortunately they were sent to Dark Empire and were forced to live in it for eternity. He felt sorry for them. Soon they were inside the garden. Rosalie told them they can take off their veils. They took it off and silently walked inside.They followed her to the dungeon hoping the guards wouldn't find them. She opened the door and let them go in. They walked down the stairs when they heard a voice calling Rosalie's name. She turned around and saw Jake walking towards her.
"Oh no, it's Jake," she said, "You guys stay quiet while I get rid of him."
She closed the door leaving them in the dark. She turned to her second husband holding the handle. He had blonde hair, blue eyes, and light skin. He looked a bit slim too.
"One of my guards told me you came back to Dark Empire on your own," he said, "I was surprised so I decided to come and find you."
He walked closer to her and hold her very close to him, "I never thought you were willing to come back to me."
He stroke her hair.
"Um, well I had to see my family again," she said. She hold onto the handle.
He looked intro her eyes and backed up, "Well since you came back on your own without having me to drag you here I decided to let it slide this one time and let you spend time with your...family. You have one hour."
She nodded, "Thanks Jake."
"I'll see you at dinner," he said. He walked to the other end of the hallway. Rosalie sighed and opened the door. She walked down the stairs and led them down the dark tunnel. There were torches on the wall giving them light. They found a door on their right. Rosalie opened the door and let them in. A blonde white English man was sleeping against the wall and holding his baby son in his arms. Rosalie walked to her husband and woke him up. Jeremiah woke up and was startled by them.
"Jeremiah this is Trevor, Annabel, and Jeremy," she said, "Trevor and Annabel are the new owners of our mansion."
"Oh no, that's not good," he said.
"What do you mean by that?" Trevor asked.
"I'll get to that later," said Rosalie, "Anyways this is my real husband Jeremiah. And this..." She took her son from Jeremiah, "Is my son Bentley."
"Oh can I hold him?" Annabel asked.
"Sure Annabel," said Rosalie. She handed her son to Annabel. She smiled and looked at the baby. Bentley smiled at Annabel.
"How old was he when he died?" Trevor asked.
"Four months old," she said.
"That young? That's really sad," he said.
They looked at the baby for a moment then turned to the couple.
"You don't often see your family do you?" asked Trevor to Rosalie.
She shook her head, "Not really. Jake never lets me see my family at all. Sometimes I do but it's very rare."
"Do you still come down here to-you know..."
"I try to, but after what I did Jake locks the dungeon every night," she said.
"You don't know how much I want to do it," said Jeremiah. He kissed her on the cheek.
"So, what do you usually do down here?" Jeremy asked.
"Oh, I take care of my son," said Jeremiah, "I put him to sleep, watch over him, feed him the only food I receive, and make sure he doesn't get infected by some of the rats in here."
"You really care about your son do you?" Trevor asked.
"Of course I do," he said, "I'm a father. A parent should always care about their child."
"You could say that again," said Annabel eying at her father.
Trevor frowned, "How about we talk about why you brought us here."
Rosalie nodded, "Well it's been years since we've been living here in Dark Empire. Everyone wants to get out of here and go to heaven, but it's difficult if Jake's guards are guarding the gates all day and night."
"Has anyone left Dark Empire besides you?" asked Jeremy.
"No, no one really," she said, "Everyone knows their punishment. If someone tries to leave and gets caught Jake turns them back into souls and traps them in the Soul River until their punishment is over. For me it's different. When I get caught Jake starts to rape me in our bedroom for leaving this dreadful place."
"Would you rather be punished like the other souls?" Jeremy asked.
"It's a whole lot better then being forced to have sex with someone terrible," she said, ""I had tried to escape from Jake many times in the last two hundred years," said Rosalie, "But every time I'm in Midnight Forest Jake finds me and starts to get really angry. He would usually rape me there. Then he takes me back to this dreadful castle and locks me up in that tower." She pointed to the tall stone tower.
"How many times has he raped you?" Trevor asked.
"1200 times by my count," she said.
"It hurts me to see my wife get raped by an evil ruler," said Jeremiah, "Sometimes he throws her in here and I see her dress all torn up."
"Daddy what's rape?" Annabel asked.
"Uh, it's uh, like forcing someone to do something they don't want to do," said Trevor, "It's something I'll tell you when you get a little older."
"My heart breaks when I'm forced to do it," said Rosalie, "But I need to get out of here."
"You've been in Trevor's house for a few weeks now," said Jeremy, "Why didn't you escape when you had the chance?"
"Because the only way I can leave that house and set everyone free at the same time is on the anniversary of my death," said Rosalie, "The same day the three masquerade balls were hosted. It's also the same day your wife is hosting the next masquerade ball."
"It's true," said Annabel, "Mommy already invited 200 guests to her party."
"Oh no," said Trevor, "If I don't stop her from putting up the next masquerade ball Jake is going to poison everyone."
"And will force everyone to go to Dark Empire," said Rosalie.
They were silent for a minute.
"Then why did you brought me here?" he asked.
"I want you, Jeremy, and Annabel to take Jeremiah and Bentley to the mansion while I think of a lie that will make Jake think my family and I are still at the castle."
"But when he finds out you're gonna be sent back here and he will rape you again," he said.
"Let him rape me," she said, "All I want for now is my family getting back to the mansion safely. I cannot allow them to continue living in this terrible room."
"Won't he know?"
"He rarely goes to the dungeon so it won't really matter," she said, "Besides his servants only come down here once a week to bring his food."
"And they came here two days ago," said Jeremiah.
He sighed, "Alright. It will be risky but we'll do it for you."
They spend an entire evening talking to each other. They got along with Jeremiah very well as they got to know him better. Rosalie told them she had to leave. As soon as she closed the door she saw Jake walking towards her.
"Jake what are you doing here?" she asked nervously. She turned to them and silently told them to hide. Trevor grabbed Annabel's wrist and ran to the corner. Jeremy went inside some pile of hay.
"I came down here to get you," he said, "Your time was up two hours ago, and to give more food for your other husband."
He handed her a picnic basket. She looked at it and took it from him. She looked at Jake, "Why are you being so nice to my family all of a sudden?"
"I decided to give them more hospitality," he responded, "It's another reward for coming back on your own."
"Oh, thank you Jake, again," she said.
He smiled, "Dinner is almost ready. I want you to wear that sexy new dress I got you."
"I don't think I wanna-"
"Do you want me to have sex with you again?" he asked fiercely.
She shook her head, "No thanks. I-I'll wear it if you want."
He backed up, "You better."
He walked away. Rosalie sighed and opened the door. She handed them the basket and left. They sat down on the stone floor and took the food out of the basket. There was enough food for everyone. Trevor and Jeremy ate their roast chicken as Jeremiah fed Bentley his baby food.
"Don't you want your chicken?" asked Trevor to Jeremiah.
He shook his head, "I'm not hungry. My son needs the food more than I do."
"So do you," said Jeremy, "You don't often get this amount of food."
Jeremiah put down the spoon and put his son on another basket with hay. He turned to his food and ate.
"So Jeremiah," said Trevor, "What happen to you after you died?"
"Well when I woke up I noticed that my head still laid on the desk after I looked up," he said, "I realized that I died from the gas. Then I heard someone yell my name. Jake walked in and grabbed my arm. He pulled me out of my office and told me to get my son. I went to the nursery and I grabbed my son. I realized that he had died also. Then Jake told me to follow him or else. We went down to the basement and went through the portal. He forced me to get inside a wooden cage but I refused until two of his guards grabbed both of my arms and pushed me in. They took me to Dark Empire after that. When I got there I was surprised to see Rosalie in this horrible place. I called to her but the guards forced me to be quiet. I saw Rosalie running after me but some of the guards stopped her. Later they took me down to the dungeon. Jake told me Rosalie married him a few days back and they already had sex with each other. I didn't want to believe him so he let Rosalie tell me herself. We were alone and I was happy she was here, until she told me she really is married to him and she was sexually touched, harassed, and abused by Jake when she was alive. I was so mad at her because she never told me about Jake. She told me that she thought I was going to think she was going insane and I wouldn't believe her. She also said she was scared that if she told me about him Jake is going to hurt me or her baby in any way. Then she told me the real truth about why she committed suicide. It took me a while to forgive her for all of this. I realized none of it was her fault and she couldn't do anything about it. She was helpless. We hugged after that and talked for a while until Jake walked in and took Rosalie away. Now we rarely see each other."
"I feel sorry for you two," said Jeremy, "Especially for Bentley. He rarely gets to see his own mother."
Jeremiah nodded sadly. They continued to eat their food. Trevor looked at Jeremy and Jeremiah.
"You know you two look almost alike," he said.
Jeremy and Jeremiah looked at each other. Trevor was right. They both had blonde hair, blue eyes, and same skin color.
"Where are you from?" Jeremiah asked.
"Midland," said Jeremy, "I was born and raised there."
"What's your last name?" he asked.
"Newton," said Jeremy, "My great-great-great grandparents changed their last name after my great-great-great uncle died."
"What were their names?"
"Christan and Gloria."
"Oh my god, your grandfather must be my cousin," said Jeremiah, "His wife's name was also Gloria too."
"Well from what I remember when I was kid my mother told me their last name before they changed it to Newton was a spice," said Jeremy, "It began with the letter C."
"My last name is a spice," said Jeremiah, "Cumins is a food spice. Before it was changed they were known as Christan and Gloria Cumins."
"So that means-"
"You're my nephew," said Jeremiah.
"And you're my late uncle," said Jeremy. He got up and hugged his uncle.
"No wonder you two look so much alike," said Trevor.
Then let go, "I'm just so glad I got to meet my late uncle."
"I'm glad I got to meet another person in my family tree," said Jeremiah.
They were silent for a moment then Jeremy sat back. Meanwhile Rosalie was upstairs in the dining room having dinner with Jake. She wore the dress Jake requested but she didn't like it. It pushed her breasts up too much and it squeezed her stomach a little. She drank her wine as Jake spoke.
"You know you look very beautiful tonight," he said.
"Because you forced me to wear this," she said. She cut her meat and ate a piece. Jake kept looking at her breasts. Rosalie put down her fork and tried to think of something fast to get Jake to stop looking at her breasts.
"Were you looking for me after I left?" she asked.
"Of course I was," he replied, "I was about to go to the mansion this morning to look for you but it looks like you came back on your own without me." He paused, "Why did you come back on your own?"
"Well I didn't want to get raped again," she said, "It's bad enough that I suffered that punishment over and over again so I decided to return to Dark Empire so I wouldn't have sex with you."
He smiled, "Well I'm glad you made the right choice, however that doesn't mean I won't rape you today. There is one assignment I want us to do that involves us having sex."
She choked a little and put down her cup, "Excuse me?"
He sighed, "I've been thinking, we've been together for 200 years and we don't have any children of our own."
She looked at him and knew where he was going with this, "Oh no Jake. I don't want to have kids with you. I already have my own and that's final."
"I don't care," he said, "I want to have a baby, but from you. You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen and your baby turned out to look adorable. We can have a baby together but it'll look more adorable if it had my genes instead."
"So, what do you say Rosalie?"
Rosalie shook her head, "No Jake. I don't want to have children with you."
Jake pounded the table furiously, "You what?!"
He got up and walked to her angrily, "You refuse to have a family with me!?"
"Jake I know you," she said, "You married five times and four of your ex-wives gave birth to girls and you killed all of your wives. After that you gave away your daughters to someone else. I don't know if I'll be able to give birth to another son. It's unpredictable. Bentley will always be my only child."
"Alright then," he said, "If you won't have sex with me because you have a son already, I might as well get rid of him."
"What?!" cried Rosalie, "Jake you can't do that! He's my only son!"
"I don't care!" he cried, "If you don't have a son then you are bound to make another but with me instead!"
"No Jake please! Don't kill him!" she begged.
"It's too late," he said, "That baby will be gone forever! I will literally trap him in the Soul River will all the other punished souls for eternity!"
He left the room and walked to the dungeon. Rosalie quickly ran after him and stopped him, "Wait Jake. If I agree to have a family with you, will you let my son live?"
"Of course not," he said, "I don't care about your baby so I might as will get rid of him."
He opened the door and walked downstairs.
She followed him in the hallway trying to stop him. The group heard Rosalie's pleading. They quickly got up and hid behind the hay. Jeremiah put the food in the basket and put it aside. Jake opened the door and pointed at Bentley.
"Give that child," he demanded.
Jeremiah grabbed his son from the basket and hold him close to him.
"Give me that baby now!" cried Jake angrily.
"No!" cried Jeremiah.
"Give me-" He grabbed Bentley but Jeremiah pulled his son back. The baby cried as they pulled.
"Jake stop!" cried Rosalie. She pulled Jake away from her son. He grabbed her arm and pushed her against the wall.
"I don't care if child is yours," he said, "That baby will be exiled from this land whether you like it or not."
"Look Jake," she said, "If you get rid of my son I will never be happy again. I'll be much more miserable than the time I didn't have my family with me. Bentley is very important to me. Jeremiah and I didn't have any kids for six years after we married. We finally had one and we care about him more than anything. If you get rid of him I rather be exiled too and be with my son in Soul River for eternity."
Jake looked at her, "You really love your son don't you?"
She nodded. He sighed, "Alright I won't get rid of him, under one condition. You sleep in my bed naked."
She sighed and agreed. Then Jake left the dungeon. Jeremiah walked up to her, "What was all that about?"
She turned to him, "We have to get out of here as soon as possible."
They came up with a plan, but they had to be really quiet in order for it to work. At two in the morning Rosalie quietly got up from her bed and changed to a more comfortable dress. She left her bedroom and walked downstairs to the dungeon and let her family and friends out. They walked out of the dungeon and went to the kitchen. Rosalie asked the servants to prepare her enough food for her family and friends. At first they refused so she explained to them about her plan so they gave her more food than she requested. One of the maids gave her a blanket in case she was ever cold in her journey. They silently walked out of the castle, climb up the stone wall, walked in the silent streets, and went to the boat. They decided to do it by turns. First Rosalie rowed Jeremiah and Bentley across the river with the food. Then she rowed back and rowed Trevor, Jeremy, and Annabel too. They started walking in the dark forest. The illusion moon illuminated the night sky so they were able to see in the dark more clearly. Most of the time they were silent and tired. Rosalie carried Bentley in her arms as Trevor carried Annabel in his arms. By five o'clock in the morning they stopped and sat down in an open space. Rosalie took out the food from the basket. Each person received one plate of more chicken wrapped in plastic. They ate their food in silence, then Jeremiah broke the silence.
"Honey I have to tell you something very important?"
"What is it?" Rosalie asked.
"It turns out Jeremy is our nephew," he said, "He's Christan's grandson."
"It's true," said Jeremy.
"Oh, I can't believe your my nephew," she said smiling at Jeremy, "I never thought you were going to be part of my family. I feel so happy."
"Yeah I know," he said, "That means Bentley is my late cousin."
She nodded. They continued eating in silence.
"So do you think Jake will figure out that you left?" asked Trevor.
"I don't think so," she said, "I left him a note stating that I'll be meditating in the garden all day and I don't want any interruptions from him or anyone. Sometimes I meditate during my free time and I usually tell him I want to be alone. It's the perfect lie so he'll think I'm still in the castle."
"It's just like my lie," muttered Trevor as he drank water from his water bottle.
"Trevor? I've been meaning to ask you," said Rosalie, "What's it like to be married to your wife?"
"It's okay," said Trevor, "My life with Julie is better than ever."
Both Jeremy and Annabel rolled their eyes.
"How does she look like?" Jeremiah asked.
"Oh she's beautiful," he said, "I even have a picture of her in my wallet."
He took out his wallet and showed them the picture of Julie. Jeremiah looked at it but he looked surprised.
"What's wrong hon?" Rosalie asked.
"She looks familiar," he replied, "Like I've seen her before, or she looks like someone I know."
"Let me see," she said. She took the wallet from him and looked at the picture, "You're right she does."
"Her eyes, her skin tone, and nose makes her look like someone I know,” said Jeremiah, “Someone very familiar.”
Trevor took the wallet from Rosalie’s hands. He looked at it, “My wife doesn’t look like someone you know. She looks beautiful as ever.”
He put his wallet away. Soon Bentley began to cry. Rosalie went over to him and tried to calm him down.
“I wish I had a little brother,” said Annabel.
“You really like Bentley don’t you?” asked Jeremiah.
She nodded, “Yeah, he’s so cute and he’s like a baby brother to me. I want a little brother.”
“I think it’s best if you don’t,” said Trevor, “Your mother thinks having one child is just perfect. I agree with her.”
Annabel frowned. She turned to Jeremiah, “What happen on the day Bentley was born?”
“Well Bentley was born at night,” said Jeremiah, “Rosalie and I were having a romantic dinner together.”
Rosalie and Jeremiah ate their food outside in their patio. The servants placed a basket of sweet bread on the table. Rosalie wore a red maternity dress with gold thread and had her hair pulled back. Jeremiah wore a blue and golden coat, white pants, and black boots. They looked at each other and smiled.
“I’m really excited until our baby is born,” he said.
“Me too,” she said. She rubbed her stomach with her unborn baby inside.
“My parents are wanting to put up a party for the baby,” he said.
“My parents said the same thing,” she said, “They want it to be big and everyone to attend it, but I said I rather have the party in the ballroom with my family.”
They ate their food in silence when Rosalie felt something kick her on the inside. She put her hand on her stomach.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I felt something kick me,” she said, “I think I need to get up and walk for a while.”
She got up from her chair when a sharp pain from her stomach caused her to yell in agony. Jeremiah got up and went over to her.
“Rosalie are you okay?”
She shook her head,”No.”
She yelled some more. Jeremiah called the servants and told them to take her upstairs to their bedroom. He told one of the other servants to call the local doctor. He waited for twenty minutes impatiently when the local doctor knocked on the door. He went over to the door and opened it.
“What is it Jeremiah?” he asked.
“My wife, there’s something wrong with her,” he explained worriedly.
“I’ll go check.” He walked upstairs and went to the master bedroom. Jeremiah waited downstairs feeling worried. He heard his wife scream and scream in pain. The doctor kept telling her to push. Jeremiah walked back and forth in his living room feeling more nervous, then he sat down on the couch. One of the maids brought him a glass of water to calm him down. Within two hours of waiting the yelling had stopped. Another maid walked downstairs with a smile on her face.
“Master Cumins, a miracle has happen upstairs.”
“What?” asked Jeremiah. He quickly ran upstairs to his bedroom. Everyone standing in the doorway smiled at him as he walked to his bedroom door. The doctor came out with a smile on his face.
“You have a son my friend.”
Jeremiah walked inside his bedroom and saw a baby in Rosalie’s arms. She looked up at him and smiled. He closed the door behind him and walked to Rosalie. He kneel down and looked at his newborn son. The baby had his eyes closed and breathed softly.
“I…I have a son?” he asked.
She nodded, “Yes we do.”
He took his baby from her arms. He smiled as he hold his son, “Oh, he’s beautiful. He looks just like me. Same color, same eye color, same nose.”
He turned to her, “What should we name him?”
She looked at her son, “Bentley…Bentley Cumins.”
He smiled and turned back to his son, “So it’s official. He’s name will be Bentley.”
“We were happy to have a special son like him,” said Jeremiah, “We loved him the minute we first laid eyes on him.”
“Why did you name him Bentley?” Trevor asked.
“l liked that name a lot so I wanted to name him Bentley,” said Rosalie. She kissed Bentley on the head.
“I can’t wait until my wife gives birth to my child,” said Jeremy.
“How long has she been pregnant?” asked Jeremiah.
“6 months,” he replied, “Well almost 7 months actually.”
"Is it a boy or a girl?" Rosalie asked.
"I don't know it," he said, "We want it to be a surprise."
Annabel smiled, "You guys are really good parents. My daddy said when I was born Mommy refused to look at me cause I looked so much like Daddy and my hair was dark brown instead of blonde."
"Um, honey I don't think you should tell them that," said Trevor.
"Shut it Daddy, I'm talking," she said, "Anyways, unlike my parents you guys are so nice, interesting, fun, and cool to hang out with. You guys are like my dream parents."
Trevor was hurt. He got up angrily and walked away.
"I'm going to check on him," said Rosalie. She got up and followed him. Trevor had an angry look on his face.
"Trevor are you okay?"
"No," he replied angrily, "I can't believe you're taking my daughter away."
"I'm not taking your daughter away," she said, "We're just being nice to her by telling her stories about our lives."
"So what?" he said, "Annabel seems to like you and your husband more than me. She never told me to shut up and then carry on by telling someone they're like her dream parents. That hurts, a lot. My daughter's been telling me things like how much she doesn't like me but this one is the most hurtful one yet."
He sat down on a log. Rosalie looked at him. She knew where he was going with this, "Trevor, the reason Annabel gets along with me and Jeremiah a little bit more is because we actually treat her well. You and Julie are so strict with her all the time."
"What? we are not strict with her," said Trevor, "We're parents that want the best for our daughter but we still try to keep her happy."
"No you're not, you guys treat her terribly," said Rosalie, "All you guys do is feed her, take her to school, buy her clothes, but keep her from socializing with children she wants to be with."
"We do not do that," he said.
"Yes you do," she said, "For nearly a few weeks I've seen you treat Annabel poorly. She would usually cry in her room at night. When I watch over her whenever she's alone I knew I had to keep her company, so I used as much energy I can have to talk to her."
"Annabel is fine," said Trevor, "If she had any problems she can just come up and tell us."
"She would if her parents actually treat her well," she said, "Besides her mother is not very good with her at all."
"I know what she's going through," she said, "My parents were like that when I was little. My father was very wealthy and my mother owned a lot of land. They were usually too drunk and cared about the money more than their daughter and my safety. I had to watch them be busy and drunk my entire life. Then when I finally got married to Jeremiah I rarely saw my parents. When Annabel grows up with you guys continuing to do that then she's gonna do the same thing I did with my parents."
He sighed, "I have to admit I do have a problem that gets my daughter really angry at me and even I get mad at myself too."
She nodded, "If you want your daughter to love you again you have to change for her."
"Alright, I will," he said.
Meanwhile Jake was outside in his balcony looking at his empire. He thought about Rosalie and realized he went a little too far yesterday for almost getting rid of her son. He likes having Rosalie happy and he especially likes having Rosalie by his side. He is still willing to have a family with her. Soon a guard walked up to him.
"My lord, I have some bad news to tell you."
"What is it?" he asked.
"Rosalie is no longer in the city," he said, "She wasn't in the garden this morning. We sent every guard in the city to look for her and the reports were the same."
"What!?" cried Jake angrily, "Are you saying she escaped again?"
The guard nodded. Jake was furious, "Get my horse ready. Don't send any troops out, I'm gonna bring her back myself."
He walked out of his room leaving Jake alone in his balcony. Jake turned around and looked at the forest. He knew why Rosalie left and he was not going to allow her to leave the mansion within nine days.
Don't get your hopes up Rosalie Cumins, he thought, I'll bring you back before February 23rd if it's the last thing I do. After a short conversation with Rosalie Trevor walked back to the group. Jeremiah asked him if he was alright.
"Yeah I'm fine," he said.
"He was upset that his daughter told us we were like the parents she always wanted," said Rosalie, "I had to explain to him why she thinks that and tell him about my parents."
She walked over to Annabel and sat next to her, "Annabel I appreciate it that you think of me and Jeremiah as your parents, but I don't think it's appropriate for you to ignore and say terrible things to your father. He loves you very much and it breaks his heart when you say things that will hurt his feelings."
"But it's true," said Annabel, "He never has my back."
"Honey look, I know he has a problem but-"
She sighed, "Between your father and your mother who actually shows how much they love you?"
Annabel asked and realized she was right, "You're right."
She walked to Trevor, "Daddy I'm sorry I've been saying things that hurt your feelings a lot. I was just so angry on the inside that I forgot you were the only person that showed how much you love me. Everyone else including Mommy never appreciated me. You did."
Trevor smiled, "I do love you hon. You're my only daughter and I wouldn't let anyone hurt my daughter in any way."
She smiled and hugged him. He hugged her back. Later they decided to continue their journey. It was still cloudy and the air felt cold. They were halfway through Midnight Forest. As they walked Trevor asked Rosalie what happen last night.
"Oh, Jake wanted to raise a family with me but I refused," explained Rosalie, "He got so mad at me that he decided to get rid of Bentley so I wouldn't have any kids. I begged him not to but he still went with the idea so the only way I could stop him is telling him how important he is to me."
"Jake can be so demanding," said Trevor, "I mean he forced you to commit suicide, he forces you to sleep with him every time you disobey him or just for his entertainment. You're like his sex slave."
"What's that?" Annabel asked.
He stopped, "Uh, it's the same thing as rape, forcing someone to do something they don't want to do."
"What is that?" she asked.
"How about we change the subject?" Rosalie suggested. They all agreed.
"Rosalie you're a really cool person," said Annabel, "You brought my daddy and I back together, you-"
"Shh," said Rosalie. They were all silent. The wind was picking up causing the leaves and trees to move. She has a scared look on her face.
"What is it?" Trevor asked.
"Jake found out I'm not in the castle," she said, "He's already headed to the forest."
"How'd you know?" Trevor asked.
"Whenever the wind picks up like that it means Jake is coming after me," she explained.
"What do we do?" asked Jeremy.
"Your guys are going to continue your journey without me," she said, "I have to make Jake think I'm the only person who left."
"But what if you don't make it back by February 23rd?" Trevor asked, "He's definitely going to watch you so you won't make it to your mansion."
"I'll make it out," she said, "I just have to be extra careful."
"Rosalie I don't want you to go back," said Jeremiah, "He's going to rape you for escaping again. I don't want him to hurt you. It's bad enough he has raped you many, many times in the past but it's going to be worse when finds you let me and Bentley escape Dark Empire and you brought three outsiders to his empire."
She put her hands on his cheeks, "Jeremiah I have to do this. If Jake finds us at Black Desert he's going to bring all of us back to his castle and imprison us again. I can't let that happen."
He put his hands on her shoulders, "Rosalie I don't want you to get hurt."
"And I don't want you and my son to continue being locked in the dungeon," she said, "This is your only chance to get out of this dreadful place."
He looked into her eyes and knew she was right, "Alright Rosalie. Please be careful and try to get out of here as soon as possible. I love you my love."
"I love you too," she said. She leaned forward and kissed Jeremiah. He kissed her back. Trevor and Jeremy smiled but Annabel thought it was gross. They leaned back and smiled at each other.
Rosalie walked in the trail path as the guys and Annabel walked in the forest. They were all tired from walking hundreds of miles in the forest. Rosalie was very nervous. She didn't want Jake to appear and start taking her back to the castle. Jeremiah kept looking back to see if Jake was coming. Jeremy looked at Jeremiah.
“You have to calm down Jeremiah,” he said, “You keep bumping into me whenever you look back.”
“I’m sorry,” said Jeremiah, “I’m really nervous. Jake could come any second now.”
“Don’t worry,” said Trevor, “Rosalie is capable of escaping again. She made it out once and I’m sure she’ll make it out again.”
Annabel groaned, “Here Jeremiah. I can’t hold Bentley any longer.”
She handed Bentley to Jeremiah. He hold his infant son. Bentley was sleeping soundly the whole way. Soon Rosalie call to them.
“You guys we’re almost to Black Desert,” she said. They sighed of relief and were happy they were almost out of the forest. They continued walking when they heard rapid footsteps behind them. They turned around and saw a black figure running towards Rosalie. She looked closely and realized it was Jake on his horse.
“Oh no, it’s Jake,” she said, “You guys have to stay quiet while I’ll handle this.”
“Be careful Rosalie,” said Jeremiah. She smiled at him then turned to her second husband. Jake did not look happy. He got off of his horse and walked towards his wife angrily.
“You b****!” cried Jake, “I can’t believe you escaped from the castle again! After what I did to you…”
“You lied to me, you escaped from me, you even stole food from me,” he said angrily, “You know how much I hate that!”
“Well I needed to escape from here!” she cried, “I cannot continue living with a bastard like you!”
Jake slap Rosalie on the face. She put her hand on her cheek. He walked towards her and pushed her to the floor. He had his face and body close to hers.
"Listen to me very carefully," he said, "You can never escape from me. I have the power to keep you by my side and make sure you will never make it out of here by February 23rd, the anniversary of your death."
"I will escape from you Jake," she said, "I will make it out of here."
He hold her even closer, "Then you left me no choice."
He kissed her on the lips then on the neck passionately.
"No stop," she said. She tried to get him off of him but he kept kissing her. She turned to them and silently told them to keep going. They continued walking in the forest. Trevor turned to Jeremiah who had a sad look on his face. He hold Bentley close to his chest but the infant began to cry loudly. Jake stopped and turned his head. Jeremiah tried to calm his son.
"Do you hear that?" he asked.
"Uh no," she said, "I'm sure it was your imagination."
He turned to her, "You're lying! Who else is here?"
"No one I swear," she said. They were all silent for a moment.
"Humph, I thought I heard something," he said, "I'm taking you back to the castle and pick up where we left off."
He pulled her to the horse and made her get on. He got on the horse and left. Rosalie didn't care if she was going to get raped again. All she cares about is her family getting to the mansion safely. The fugitives watched as the horse ran down at the other side of the forest. Trevor turned to Jeremiah.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
He shook his head, “No.”
He had tears running down his face. He looked down at his son and hugged him.
“Don’t worry about Rosalie,” he said, “She will escape from him. You’ll see.”
Jeremiah wiped his tears, “I hope so.”
They continued walking in the forest until they finally got out of Midnight Forest and were in Black Desert again. It took them longer than before. The wind was picking up, the air was hot and thick, and the sand was starting to get into their eyes. They drank most of their water from their water bottles leaving the bottles empty. Within three hours of walking in the hot desert they found a tree in the middle of nowhere. They sat down and ate the remaining food in the basket. Now with Rosalie gone they realized they couldn’t find their way back to the mansion. The desert was a huge landscape with nothing but the flat ground. The only living thing in the desert was the the tree they were sitting underneath. As they ate Trevor tried to remember the same path they took. He looked around the desert and saw nothing but the emptiness. After they ate they continued their journey in the desert. It took all day to finally find their path. The sky was getting dark giving them a hard time to see where they were going. Trevor took out a lantern to see his way. They walked up a hill he recognized before. He put the lantern in front of him and saw a large stone rock ahead. They finally made it. They walked through the portal one by one. The basement was dark and felt really cold. Both Jeremiah and Bentley turned into ghosts. However Trevor and Annabel are the only ones who can see and hear them. Jeremy had hard time looking for them.
"We're here," he said, "We're back in the mansion."
Jeremiah looked around the basement, "It's been a long time since I've been in my mansion again."
Trevor put the basket and lantern on the box. All five walked upstairs. Everything was turned off in the house. Trevor turned on all the lights from the inside and outside. They walked to the living room and relaxed for a while.
"Do you think Jake already raped Rosalie?" asked Jeremy, staring at the couch where Jeremiah sat.
"I believe so," said Jeremiah, "He will rape her whether they're back in the castle or not."
After ten minutes of sitting down Trevor decided to show Jeremiah his guestroom. Jeremy decided to go home to his wife. After he left the guys walked upstairs to the old guestrooms near Annabel's room. Jeremiah decided to have Bentley with him. He felt having his son would be safer than having him at his nursery. Twenty minutes later Trevor walked downstairs to the kitchen where Annabel was at. She was drinking a glass of milk.
"Hey Annabel," he said, "Are you hungry?"
"No," she said, "I'm still full since lunch." She put down her glass on the table, "Is Jeremiah and Bentley settling in well?"
"Well we're having some difficult time with Bentley's new bed. No matter how many blankets we put on the drawer he keeps crying."
"I can loan you my baby toy crib," she said, "It's so comfortable and I'm sure Bentley will be able to fit in it and not cry about it."
"Oh thanks hon," he said. He drank his juice. She sighed and turned to him, "Daddy I want to know the truth, what is rape?"
He put down the glass and looked at her, "Honey I can't tell you until you're ready."
"Ready for what?" she asked.
"Annabel I can't tell you yet," he said.
"Daddy, I want to know more about the definition of rape," she said, "I know there's more to it than just forcing someone to do something."
Trevor looked at her and knew she wasn't going to give up, "Alright hon. Please sit down."
She sat down on the stool. He took a deep breath, "Now before I tell you promise me you won't tell your mother anything related to what I'm about to tell you."
He took another deep breath, "Rape is when someone forces another person to have sexual intercourse."
She looked at him confused, "What?"
He sighed, "Jake forces Rosalie to have sex with him so she can learn her lesson, and since Jake wants to start a family with her the only way she can make a baby is..."
It took a while for Annabel to understand what her father had just said, then made a disgusted look on her face, "Ewww..."
"I knew you were too young to understand," he said.
She took a deep breath and relaxed, "So rape and sex mean the same thing?"
"Well sex is more like a man and a woman wanting to make love," he explained, "Rape is forcing the person to have sex with that person whether they like it or not."
"Oh." She thought for a moment, "So that's how babies are born? A man and a woman having sex? I can't believe Jake is forcing her to do that. That's cruelty."
He agreed, "Now don't use the words rape, sex, making love, and seduce in front of your mother or anyone else. If you do I'm gonna get into trouble with it."
"I won't say anything," she said.
"Good, now can you loan me that crib?" he asked.
She nodded and walked upstairs to her bedroom. Trevor walked to Jeremiah's bedroom waiting for Annabel. She walked in the room with the crib. She put it near the king-sized bed. Jeremiah put Bentley in the crib and the baby did not cry at all. The minute he was in there he fell asleep. They walked downstairs when the front door open. Trevor's wife walked in.
"Julie what are you doing here?" Trevor asked.
"I live here," she said, "So how was the trip?"
"Okay," he said, "I met a few interesting people along the way."
"Oh." She thought for a moment, "Have you seen Annabel? I hadn't heard or seen her in the last couple days."
"Oh she went with me on the trip," he replied.
"Wait what?" she asked, "You took our daughter to the fishing trip?"
"Actually she stole away with me and Jeremy," he said, "I let her come along with us."
"Why would you do that? She has-" She paused, "Why does it feel so cold in here? It feels like I'm in the freezer."
Trevor turned to Jeremiah and told him to leave. Jeremiah walked upstairs leaving Trevor alone with Julie.
"Oh now it feels warm all of a sudden," she said, "Oh well. Did you just came back cause I don't smell anything cooking."
"Yeah I came back a few minutes ago," he said, "How about we order something like pizza."
"Alright I'll order." She got her phone and began calling. Trevor walked upstairs and went to the guest bedroom. Jeremiah was holding his son.
"Okay here's the deal, you cannot get near my wife in any way," he said, "She knows the signs of paranormal presence and if she finds out that you're here she's going to freak out."
"Don't worry I won't get near her," he replied, "There's something about her that makes me not trust her."
"Look just stay up here when my wife's at home," he said. Soon Bentley yawn and woke up. He looked up at his father. Jeremiah smiled.
"I can't believe Bentley died at a very young age," said Trevor, "He looks so helpless."
"He is helpless," said Jeremiah, "He's a baby."
He sat down on the bed and rocked his baby back to sleep. This reminded Trevor back when he was a paranormal investigator and Julie was about to give birth to Annabel. He was with Jeremy that day when he got a call from Julie. She told him she wasn't feeling well so he quickly rushed over there to take her to the ER. He was with her as she gave birth to their daughter. Six hours of no luck he decided to leave the room when he heard a child cry. He turned around and saw his baby girl cry loudly. He remembers Julie got so mad that their daughter had dark brown hair like he does instead of blonde. Trevor didn't care. He often looked at his daughter and see her taken care of by the nurses. They took her home to their apartment they used to live in. For six years he raised Annabel to be a good, talented, and independent individual. Annabel developed her artistic talent when she was three years old and Trevor though she was an amazing artist. Her first picture was a field with flowers on a partially cloudy day. He appreciated it but Julie thought it was a waste of time.
He loved his daughter so much and he liked keeping her happy. Although he does get upset whenever Julie didn't appreciated Annabel. Every time Julie yells and punishes Annabel he feels terrible on the inside. He wanted to stand up to his wife many times in the past but he didn't want to face the consequences. He remembers a few years back when he did stand up for his daughter. It was Christmas Eve and Annabel wanted a special doll for Christmas. They went to the mall and looked at every toy store there is. She finally found an expensive but beautiful doll on sale. She asked her mother if they can buy one but she said no. Annabel plead and plead but Julie kept refusing. She got so annoyed that she slapped her daughter in public. Trevor stepped in and began arguing at his wife.They argued for a few minutes until Julie agreed to buy the doll. Annabel got her Christmas present and Trevor was proud of himself for standing up to his stubborn wife. But after that he didn't help his daughter anymore. He hated getting into arguments with Julie so much that he let Julie get in the way.
Thirty minutes later the pizza came. Trevor walked downstairs to the dining room where his wife and daughter were. They ate their food but didn't talk much. Julie talked about her job and how her co-workers admire her, however Trevor and Annabel weren't listening to her very much. Trevor thought about Jeremiah, Bentley, Jake, and especially Rosalie. He wanted to know what happen to her and what Jake did to her. He didn't want to imagine the worst case scenario.
After dinner Trevor put Annabel to sleep. He walked to the guest room to check on Jeremiah and Bentley. They were both asleep. However Bentley woke up from the creak Trevor made with the door. He began to cry. He walked over to him and tried to pick him up but his hands went right through. Jeremiah woke up from Bentley's cry.
"Trevor what are you doing here?"
"I came to check on you guys but Bentley began to cry," he said, "I tried to pick him up but I can't."
"He's a ghost what do you expect?" asked Jeremiah. He walked over to Bentley and picked him up.
"I guess he woke up from the creak I just made," said Trevor.
"It's okay," said Jeremiah, "I can get him to sleep."
He rocked his baby to sleep. To their surprise they heard something come out of Bentley's mouth for the first time.
"Oh my god, did you just hear that?" Trevor asked surprised.
"My son said his first word," said Jeremiah, "But he's only a four-month-old baby. How's that even possible?"
"Well for 200 years I guess he learned how to speak," said Trevor, "He died as a four-month-old baby but he's not four months old anymore. He's two hundred years old."
"242 actually," corrected Jeremiah. He looked at his son, "He must really miss Rosalie. He never said 'mommy' or 'mother' before when we were locked in the dungeon."
Bentley looked up, "Miss...Mommy."
Jeremiah sighed. He hugged his son, "I know you miss her son. So do I but this is the only way Jake will still think we're in his dungeon. He doesn't visit us very often but his servants do and if they tell Jake we're not there we'll all be in danger. That's why your mother is going to cover for us and make sure no else knows about our disappearance."
Bentley calmed down and looked at his father. He formed a smile at his father. Jeremiah smiled back and tried to put him to sleep. Trevor smiled and was proud of Jeremiah for taking care of his son and actually cared about him. Bentley kept saying his first words like "Mommy," "miss," "hug," "kiss," "Rosie," and "milk." They realized Bentley is miserable without Rosalie. They understood how rarely he saw his own mother because of Jake, but he knows she's trap in Dark Empire and she may not be able to come back. Trevor decided to go to bed. He said good-night to Jeremiah and left. As soon as he went to his bedroom he saw Julie sitting on the bed with a video tape in her hand. He realized it was the same video tape he took when Rosalie visited him about a week ago.
"Honey, what is this?" she asked holding it.
"It's just a home video hon," said Trevor, "I was watching it when you were away. I wanted to remember the good times we took together as a family."
"Oh really? Cause I was watching it a few minutes ago and I saw a woman in your bedroom stroking your arm," she said in an angry tone.
"Oh that? Julie I-"
"Are you cheating on me Trevor?" she asked.
"Of course not Julie," he said, "I would never cheat on you with another woman."
"Then why is there a woman in a ball gown sitting on your bed?" she asked him.
"Honey I-" He stopped. He couldn't tell Julie he was secretly investigating Rosalie behind her back. He knew how angry she's going to be when she finds out, "I-I can't tell you."
"I'm not going to tell you about the tape," he said.
She had a mad look on her face, "Fine. Then you can sleep somewhere else."
She handed him his shirt and pants, "I'm sure that won't be a problem."
He took his clothes and sighed, "No it won't."
He walked out of the room and went to one of the other guestrooms downstairs.
The next day Julie went to work early. She left Trevor a note telling him he will have to drive Annabel to school. He wasn't happy about it because he couldn't leave Jeremiah and Bentley alone in the mansion, but he had to drop her off to school. After she ate breakfast he told Jeremiah to be careful just in case if anything bad happens. Jeremiah said he will be careful. Later he drove Annabel to school. It rained heavily today giving him a hard time to see the road. As soon as he pulled up in front of the school he turned to Annabel.
"Honey if your teacher asks you why you were absent for a few days just tell her you went on a fishing trip with me and Jeremy."
She nodded, "Okay Daddy."
She kissed him on the cheek and got out. He watched her walk into her building when she was stopped by a couple of girls. Trevor watched them telling her something when Annabel began to back up. The girls walked towards her and began hitting her. Trevor quickly got out of the car and ran towards Annabel. He pulled his daughter away from the girls. Annabel had tears running down her face.
"What are you girls doing?" he asked the girls.
"She's not welcome," said one of the girls.
"She is working for the Devil," said another.
Annabel looked at them angrily,"I am not evil!"
She walked towards them but Trevor hold her back, "Stop it Annabel."
The principal, Mr. Donor, walked towards them, "Is something wrong here?"
"These girls were hitting my daughter," said Trevor. The principal looked at the girls then at Trevor, "I want you and your daughter to come to my office now. You girls go to class."
The girls left and Trevor and Annabel followed Mr. Donor. They walked into his office and sat down on the wooden chairs. They wandered why he wanted them in his office. Mr. Donor sat down on his chair and looked at them.
"I've been getting a lot of complaints from your classmates Annabel," he said, "Most of them are about you being an evil spirit, working for the Devil, and some other comments about spirituality. I cannot allow spirit worshipers in my school."
“I’m not a spirit worshiper,” said Annabel, “Those girls are just being mean to me because I live in the Cumins Mansion.”
“The Cumins Mansion?” asked Mr.Donor, “Why are you guys living in the Cumins Mansions?”
“Well my wife wanted to buy it,” said Trevor.
“I see.” He thought for a moment, “Then that would explain why all those kids are saying and doing mean things to you. But it can also be because you have dark brown hair.”
Annabel touched her hair, “My hair? What about my hair?”
“Dark hair is not common in Midland,” said Mr.Donor, “Many citizens have light hair. Those who have blonde, light brown hair, or dirty blonde will make fun of anyone with dark hair.”
“But why?” she asked.
He shrugged, “I don’t know.”
He stood up from his chair, “Well since you’re not some kind of spirit worshiper like what everyone else is saying, then you may go back to class. I'm sorry I wasted your time.”
Annabel sighed and got up. She walked back to class. Trevor stayed behind. He knew the principal was hiding something.
“I know you’re lying Mr. Donor,” he said, “You’re obviously trying to hide something.”
Mr. Donor turned around, “I don’t know such a thing.”
“Oh really?” asked Trevor, “I have dark brown hair, my daughter has dark brown hair, but you have light brown hair so that means you know why everyone is treating dark-haired people bad.”
“How would you even know that?” he asked.
“Well either you or your family do the same thing like everyone else,” said Trevor, "But-"
“How dare you bring my family into this?” he asked angrily, “My family is not like that at all.”
“Are you sure?”
“So you admit it,” he said.
Mr. Donor sighed, “Alright you caught me. I do tease and insult dark-haired people. Everyone but one person does the same thing.”
“You mean Jeremy Newton?” asked Trevor.
“Yeah him,” he said, “I heard he married a black-haired woman.”
“You mean his wife Vanessa?”
“Yeah her,” he said, “Anyways, the truth is after the deaths of the Cumins family back in 1769 everyone assumed it was all Rosalie’s fault because we thought she led her husband to do the same thing to himself and to their son. So the council came to a decision, the city will be against anyone who were friends with the Cumins, and most of them have dark hair. But over the years everyone got so immune to it that everyone is treating those who were either born with dark hair or new to Midland terribly. We all have a reason, and that reason is because dark hair reminds us of Rosalie.”
Trevor couldn’t believe it, “So this whole town is against Rosalie? But she helped this city become a better place. She and her husband even built this school so all the children can have an education. How could you do that to someone who is an important citizen to this city? She’s part of your history.”
“She is not important!” the principal yelled, “The only important citizen in Midland is our first mayor Jake Raymond. His family found Midland in the 1660s and he will be respected like a hero.”
“Jake is a huge disgrace to Midland!” cried Trevor, "Look I don't care if his family found this city but I know he is a terrible man. He killed all four of his ex-wives and gave away his six daughters to somebody else. The reason Rosalie committed suicide is because Jake forced her to. He sexually abused and harassed her when she was alive and he raped her on the night she died and many other times after he forced her to marry him. He is also responsible for the deaths of Jeremiah Cumins, Bentley Cumins, the two previous families who used to live in the mansion after the Cumins died, and the four hundred guests from the two previous masquerade balls."
"How would you even know that?" asked Mr. Donor.
"Because Rosalie explained it to me," said Trevor, "She escaped from Dark Empire about a few weeks ago and she needed my help to bring her family back but she-"
He realized Mr. Donor wasn't buying this.
"Do you expect me to believe this story?" he asked him, "You're making this up. Rosalie is not able to tell you all of this because the living cannot hear ghosts without special equipment or a psychic."
"She communicated with me by giving me dreams, messages, and during my own personal investigation," said Trevor, "I'm a former paranormal investigator and my best friend Jeremy lend me his equipment."
The principal looked embarrassed, "Oh."
He sat down on the chair.
"Look your history is all wrong," said Trevor, "I know the truth to the deaths of the Cumins family. So does Jeremy and my daughter. I visited Dark Empire and I've seen how Jake is demanding, impulsive, and terrible. This was all Jake's fault."
Mr. Donor didn't want to believe it, "I can't believe this. I've looked up to Jake my whole life, ever since I was a kid. So does this school." He took a deep breath and stood up, "I can't allow it in my school. Jake must be a horrible man and no child should honor him. From now on he will be removed from this school. And I want you to tell the council the truth."
"Don't worry," said Trevor, "I will."
Trevor drove back to the mansion. As soon as he went inside the mansion he saw Jeremiah in living room with Bentley. He was putting him to sleep.
"Hey Jeremiah," said Trevor, "Sorry I'm late."
"Where were you?" he asked. He stood up from the couch.
"I was in the principal's office," said Trevor, "Annabel got in a fight so her principal told us to go to his office."
"Did everything go well?"
"Not really," he said, "He got mad at me when I was against Jake."
"Well he's a terrible man," said Jeremiah, "He raped my wife and killed hundreds of people."
Trevor nodded, "I also learned why every citizen is against those with dark hair. They're against Rosalie."
"Wait what?" asked Jeremiah surprised, "How come?"
"Everyone thinks she led you to commit suicide and kill Bentley," explained Trevor, "I argued with him until I got him to see what a terrible man Jake is."
"After we leave and go to heaven," said Jeremiah, "You have to tell the council the whole truth. I cannot allow citizens to believe my wife is responsible for my and my son's death."
"I'm gonna tell them anyways," said Trevor, "It bothers me also."
They walked upstairs to Jeremiah's guestroom and put Bentley in Annabel's toy crib. Then they walked up to the third floor upstairs to Trevor's bedroom.
"Here's my bedroom," said Trevor, "Nothing in here changed since 1769. Well except the curtains and the TV."
Jeremiah looked around his old bedroom. He walked over to his bed and sat on the left side of the bed where he slept every night when he was alive.
"Where do you sleep?" he asked.
"Um the same spot where Rosalie slept," said Trevor, "That's where my wife sleeps."
He got up and let out a sigh, "I miss sleeping beside Rosalie. Every night we would usually read a book together or talk to each other. Only one time we-"
"Okay you don't have a tell me that," said Trevor.
Jeremiah thought for a moment, "I want to see my son's nursery."
They walked across the hallway and went to Bentley's nursery. Jeremiah smiled as he looked around his son's old nursery. Trevor walked towards the first window and let some light in from the outside. He did the same thing with the other window. Jeremiah walked towards Bentley's crib and smiled. He remembers when he was alive he would usually come to his son's bedroom and take care of him. He loved it whenever he would make him smile. He walked towards Bentley's drawers and used as much energy as he can to open one. There were only a few baby clothes still left there. Trevor waited for Jeremiah to say something but he was quiet the whole time he looked through the stuff. Jeremiah walked to the rocking chair and sat down. He remembers when he would usually find Rosalie rocking their son back and forth, breast-feeding or putting him to sleep. He rocked back and forth. He was worried that his son will never see his mother again.
Trevor went to pick up Annabel from school. When he pulled up in front of the school he saw her sitting on the bench with her guy friend.
"Hey Annabel," he said, "Is this Anthony?"
"Yes sir," said Anthony, "Name's Anthony Winston."
"Hop in," he said. They got up from the bench and went inside the car. Anthony was a white young boy with light brown hair and blue eyes. He and Annabel were talking to each other the whole way back to the mansion. Trevor smiled as he watched his daughter being happy with her friend. As soon as he pulled up in front of his house they got out of the car and ran to the front door. Trevor opened the door for them and let them in. They ran inside and began racing upstairs. Trevor went upstairs to Jeremiah's room and told him to stay in his room until Annabel's friend left. Jeremiah agreed and Trevor went downstairs to the kitchen and prepared the kids some snacks. He could hear them laughing upstairs and having fun. He walked upstairs carrying a tray with two cups of juice and a bowl of nachos with cheese. He walked into the room and saw them drawing some pictures. Annabel was wearing her apron she would usually wear to paint her pictures. Anthony was wearing Trevor's polyester shirt as he paint his picture on Annabel's easel.
"Hey guys," said Trevor, "I thought you guys would like some nachos as you guys paint."
"Thanks Daddy," she said, "You can place it on the table."
He walked over to them and put the tray on the table where they were painting. They each got a chip and ate it.
"So what are you guys drawing?" Trevor asked.
"I'm drawing a river in a valley," said Annabel. She showed him her painting.
"Oh that's really good," said Trevor, "What about you Anthony?"
"I'm painting a picture of my great-great-great grandmother," he said, "My mother told me she used to be friends with the Cumins family, especially Rosalie."
"You don't believe Rosalie is responsible for her husband's and son's death, right?" he asked.
He shook his head, "Not at all. I'm sure there was another explanation for their sudden deaths."
He drank his juice. Annabel smiled and felt happy that she got to spend quality time with her friend. Trevor looked over Anthony's painting and was amazed how talented he was. His picture looked as if it was painted by a professional artist. Soon he heard someone calling him. He turned around and saw Jeremiah standing near the doorway. He was hiding from Anthony.
"I'll be right back," said Trevor. He got up and walked towards Jeremiah.
"What is it?" asked Trevor.
"I think he may be Ms. Winston's great-great-great grandson," he said.
"Ms. Gladys Winston was a good friend of ours back when Rosalie and I were alive," explained Jeremiah, "She often kept Rosalie company when I was out of town. She would sometimes take care of Bentley for us."
"So Anthony may be her grandson?" asked Trevor, "Maybe that's why he doesn't believe in anything what people are saying."
"I have to get a closer look at him," said Jeremiah. Trevor stopped him from entering the room.
"No you can't go in," he said, "He must not know that a ghost is here."
"I doubt he even knows the signs of the presence of a ghost," said Jeremiah. He walked through Trevor's body and went inside her bedroom. He stood next to Anthony and smiled at the child. Annabel looked at Anthony and was surprised to see Jeremiah next to her friend. She began to feel nervous, hoping Anthony wouldn't find out about her ghost friend. Anthony looked at her and smiled at Annabel.
"Oh nothing," she said smiling back, "I just like looking at you."
He smiled more and returned to his work. Annabel silently told Jeremiah to leave but he refused to do so. He moved closer to him and gently stroke his hair. Anthony put his hand on his hair. He looked around the room. He turned to Annabel.
"Did you stroke my hair Annabel?" he asked her.
"Uh, no," she replied quickly, "I think it was your imagination."
"But it felt like someone was stroking my hair," he said, "Oh never mind."
Annabel turned to Jeremiah and silently told him to leave. He shook his head and remained where he's at. She got up and told Anthony she was going downstairs. She quickly left the room and ran downstairs. She went to the kitchen where her father was at. Trevor was cutting the carrots as the pot boiled.
"Daddy why is Jeremiah in my room with Anthony?" she asked him.
"Well apparently Anthony is one of Jeremiah's good friend's great-great-great grandson," he said, "He wanted to be with him so that's why he's in your room."
"But what if he starts to notice that we have a ghost in this house?" she asked, "He would want to go home."
"Honey I don't think-"
Suddenly they heard Anthony scream. They quickly ran up the stairs and went to her bedroom. Anthony was standing in the room with fear in his eyes.
"What is it Anthony?" asked Trevor nervously.
He slowly pointed at nothing but air, "I-I heard someone say my name next to me."
Jeremiah turned to them.
"Uh, I'm sure you only imagined it," said Annabel. She walked towards him and sat down next to him. Trevor forced Jeremiah to get out of the room. Jeremiah sighed and walked back to his bedroom. Trevor sighed and walked downstairs to the kitchen. An hour later Anthony decided to go home. Trevor drove him to his house just a few blocks away. As soon as he pulled up to his driveway Anthony's mother came out of the house. He got out of the car and ran to his mother. She thank him for driving him home. Trevor smiled and drove back to the mansion. However when he stopped at a red light he turned his head to the public park and saw a few people removing the statue of the Cumins and replacing it with a silver statue of Jake. He sighed and continued driving down the road when it turned green. He felt sorry for the citizens who had honored Jake for a really long time. They will never know how much Jake is a disgrace to the city of Midland.
A few days later they've been waiting for Rosalie to come back to the mansion. The masquerade ball was tomorrow and if she doesn't return before midnight it'll be too late. Trevor has been helping Julie with the party plans but he wasn't sure if she should put it up on the 23rd of February. He knew what was going to happen tomorrow and he had to prevent his family's possible fate. Jeremiah has been getting worried each day. He would usually stay in his room with Bentley or in his old office three doors down the hallway from the basement, waiting to hear a noise down there. Trevor suggested Jeremiah to move around but he refused. Trevor sighed and walked to his office. He came back with a velvet bag. Jeremiah turned around and faced him. Trevor took out Rosalie's diary and handed it to him.
"This is Rosalie's diary," he said.
"I want you to read April 15, 1763," said Trevor.
Jeremiah opened it and read the entry.
April 15, 1763 10:32 a.m.
I told my parents about Jeremiah and how much I truly love him, but they gave me an angry look on their face and began yelling at me. They forbid me to continue seeing him again and I should focus on my high class suitors. To make sure I wouldn't see my true love they locked me in my room. I want to see him but my parents wouldn't approve of it so I decided to escape from my home so I'm able to see him again.
He looked at him, "Yeah what about it?"
"Did Rosalie ever escape from her home and went over to see you?" Trevor asked.
He thought for a moment, "Yeah."
"The reason I made you read that entry is to show you Rosalie is a very smart woman," he said, "She's clever enough to find a way to escape from Jake. If she did it before with him and her parents then she's able to do it again."
"You have to calm down," he said, "You need to have faith in her. She will come."
Jeremiah sighed, "I know, it's just that I really want her back by tomorrow. I feel like she will never come back."
"I know she will," said Trevor, "I have faith in her."
Jeremiah sighed and knew he was right. He remembers when he and Rosalie were just in a relationship. There was a lot of drama between them and their parents. Here's what happen.
Back in 1763 the city had a society party for every citizen in Midland. Jeremiah wanted to go so he can get to meet the women in his community. Rosalie was forced to go to the party because her family were hosting it. A few nights later hundreds of stage coaches swept throughout Midland, picking up those who are attending. Jeremiah and his cousin Christen got in the stage coach and it took them to the other side of town. They arrived at a large, fancy building with a beautiful front lawn. There was a gorgeous stone fountain with an angel stone on top. The hedges were neatly cut along with the wet green grass. They got out of the stage coach and followed the hundreds of guests who attended the party. They went to the ballroom where the party was hosted. There were many young women who attended the society party more than the men. Most of the guests were in high class than middle class, making Jeremiah and his cousin feel they don't belong there.
When they were escorted to their table the host and hostess introduce themselves and gave a small introduction to their guests. Within a few minutes the waiters came in the room with the food. Everyone were served the same thing, a beef wellington, roast potatoes, and a Caesar salad on the side. After their dinner the music played and people got up and started dancing. Christen danced with a girl leaving Jeremiah alone in the table. He watched the men dancing with the pretty women. He decided to look for a girl to dance with him so he wouldn't feel left out. However there was no need. All men will have to dance with one girl for about a minute, then will switch to another. He danced with a lot of beautiful women, but he soon got Rosalie. Their eyes connected for a second, then they began to dance beautifully. They both realized they had fallen in love with each other. Their hearts warmed as they danced.
Unfortunately they had to switch. They couldn't take their eyes off of each other at all. As they danced with someone else they stared at each other the whole time.
When they took a break Jeremiah walked towards Rosalie but her parents took her away. He was disappointed but he never stopped thinking about her. After they party was over Rosalie went over to Jeremiah and asked him if he and his cousin wanted a ride back home. He quickly responded yes. They rode on her private stage coach. They felt nervous though since they were both in love with each other, but they were able to talk to each other. This made them love each other even more.
For two weeks they went on lots of dates together and became a couple. However her parents found out Jeremiah wasn't in high class so they told their security to keep him out of the house. A few days later Jeremiah's parents found out she was the daughter of the selfish and spoiled rich landowners and they believed she was going to turn their son spoiled too. One day Jeremiah proposed to Rosalie and asked her if she wanted to be his wife. Rosalie responded yes. But their parents forbid them to see each other again. Her parents forced Rosalie to not marry Jeremiah. This caused them to fight and argue with their parents for hours but it got them nowhere. Their fights were so emotional and a little aggressive. Jeremiah was allowed to be outside; however Rosalie had to escape from home and continued to see her lover.
This went on for about a month and when their parents found out they were so angry at their children for disobeying behind their backs. Jeremiah and Rosalie knew they had to convince them to accept their love for each other. Jeremiah's parents wasn't very hard to convince their son is deeply in love with Rosalie, but Rosalie's parents were very stubborn. They wouldn't approve of it at all. It took them hours to finally get them to accept Jeremiah. This brought happiness to the happy couple. Five months later, two weeks after Rosalie turned eighteen, they got married in a huge church downtown. They received at least twenty-five thousand dollars so they can start their new lives together. As a wedding present Rosalie's parents gave them a new mansion that was originally for them but decided to give it to the couple. It wasn't complete yet but they were able to finish it.
Jeremiah looked at his small portrait of Rosalie on his desk and smiled. He loved his wife so much and knew she can escape from Jake. All he needed was a little faith in her.
At night Trevor, Annabel, and Julie returned from the family restaurant downtown. They were preparing themselves for bed. Everyone but Julie were not excited for the masquerade ball tomorrow. They were praying Rosalie will come back to the mansion before midnight. As they slept Jeremiah had a dream about Rosalie. He saw her running in the desert trying to get to her mansion, but Jake was riding in his horse going towards her and her was able to catch up to her. He quickly whipped her with a long whip causing her to fall. Rosalie tried to crawl away but he grabbed her arm and pushed her to the same tree in the middle of nowhere. Jake turned to Jeremiah and told him they will never escape from him, and he will always have Rosalie by his side. Then he forced him to watch him rape Rosalie. Jeremiah tried to get him away from her but a large invisible field surrounded Jake and Rosalie. He saw her cry miserably and told Jeremiah to help him.
He quickly woke up and sat in his bed. It was two thirty in the morning. He looked around the room. He realized it was just a dream. He turned to Bentley and saw him moving around in his crib. He got up and tried to put him back to sleep. He tried to relax but he felt as if his dream was telling him that Rosalie may not be coming back at all.
At six in the morning Julie woke up early and made Trevor get up also. He slowly got out of bed and walked to the bathroom next door. He washed his face and wiped his face with the towel. He was still tired and a bit unfocused, but he remembers what today was. After he changed he walked downstairs and prepared himself breakfast. A few minutes later Annabel walked to the kitchen already in her clothes. She looked tired and worried at the same time. He handed her a plate with pancakes.
"What's wrong honey?" he asked.
"I'm worried about today," she replied, "It's the 23rd and Jake might kill us all."
She ate a piece of her pancakes.
"Well if Rosalie does return then there won't be a problem," he said.
"But what if she doesn't?" she asked, "Then we will have a problem."
They ate their food in silence when Julie walked in the room. She kissed her husband on the lips.
"Morning hon," said Trevor, "Are you going to work today?"
"No," she replied, "I have to set up the ball for tonight."
She served herself juice. She looked at them.
"Why do you guys look worried?"
"Oh we're just nervous for tonight," replied Trevor.
"Um, we think something terrible might happen tonight," said Annabel.
"Nonsense," Julie said, "Everything will go as planned."
Trevor sighed, "Honey? Why did you pick this day for the masquerade ball? It's the middle of the week and most people put it during the weekends."
"Well because the three previous masquerade balls were hosted on the same day," she said, "I want it to be the fourth."
She put down her cup, "Well I gotta start decorating the ballroom."
She kissed her husband again and left.
"I'm gonna go check on Jeremiah," he said, "Hurry up so I can take you to school."
He left the room and walked upstairs. He walked to Jeremiah's room and found him sitting on the bed with a worried look on his face, similar to Annabel's expression.
"Is something wrong?"
"I had a dream," he said softly.
"Rosalie," he said, "She was running in Dark Desert getting away from Jake but he was able to catch up to her and he began to rape her, right in front of me."
"Oh." He sat next to him, "Do you think your dream was trying to tell you something?"
"My wife may be trap in that terrible place," he said.
Trevor sighed, "Remember what I told you. Rosalie will make it back. You've been worried all week. You have to calm down."
"I know," said Jeremiah, "We only have until midnight if we want to escape."
They were silent for a minute.
"So did Bentley slept well?" asked Trevor.
Jeremiah nodded, "Yeah."
He thought for a moment, "Trevor if we want to prevent anymore deaths you have to cancel the masquerade ball and take your family away from the mansion as soon as possible."
"Jeremiah I can't," he said, "My wife is not going to accept it. Besides I can't just leave my home. Where are we going to stay for the next few days?"
"Stay at a friend's house, go to a motel, anywhere but here."
"But my wife-"
"You have to convince her," said Jeremiah, "If she refuses then try to convince her more. Yes she's going to yell and be angry, but you have to stay strong and stand up for yourself. You are a grown man. You have the right to make your own decisions, not her. It'll be best for yourself and those around you."
Trevor knew he was right. He got up and walked downstairs to the kitchen where Julie was at. She was drinking water when Trevor walked in, feeling nervous but confident.
"Julie I have to tell you something," he said.
She put her glass down and looked at him,"What?"
He took a deep breath, "We have to cancel the masquerade ball."
She looked at him, "Excuse me?"
"We have to cancel the ball," said Trevor, "We are not cancelling the ball. I already set up the decorations," she said.
"Well get rid of it," he said, "Julie I don't think this party is such a good idea."
"Well I believe-"
"Forget it Trevor," said Julie, "The ball is still going on."
"No Julie!" he cried so angrily he got himself scared and surprised for yelling at his wife, "I will not allow the masquerade ball."
"You don't tell me what to do!" she cried, "That is my job and I'm in charge around here."
"You have no right to control my life and my daughter's life!" he cried, "You've been controlling my life ever since we became a couple! You've been forcing me to do things I don't even want to do for you and I had to give up everything."
Julie grew angry, "You don't know who you're messing with Trevor! You're the one who got me pregnant before I graduated!"
"That was because you made me have sex with you during that party!" he yelled, "I didn't have a choice so I had to marry you!"
"That was the point!" she cried back, "I tricked you into getting me pregnant so you and I can be together permanently!"
Trevor was stunned, "You scammed me? You had it all planned just so I can marry you? I can't believe you did that. Maybe if you wouldn't have done that then I would've proposed to you instead. Scamming me like that is the worst thing you could've done!"
"Oh come on, I didn't want you to propose to me," she said, "I knew how you were going to propose to me so I had to do something to prevent it from happening."
He felt torn, "I can't believe you. I will never forgive you for this Julie."
"Well I won't forgive you for giving me a dark-haired daughter," she said, "My baby should've been blonde."
"Julie you have dark brown hair too," he said, "You just dyed your hair blonde."
"I don't care," she said, "If my daughter was blonde then she would've been popular like I was. She's worthless if she has dark brown hair and has a stupid talent."
"How can you say that to your own daughter?" he asked, "Annabel is beautiful, smart, and artistic. Just because she's different doesn't mean she's unpopular. She's already friends with the boy you refused to let her be friends with. I gave her permission."
She got an angry look on her face, "You what!?"
"I don't care what you think Julie," said Trevor, "But I want my daughter to be happy. It's time for you stop interfering with our lives and let my daughter and I make our own decisions."
She didn't say anything for a moment then she slapped him on the face, "You don't tell me what to do! I control both of your lives whether you like it or not. You're weak like everyone else."
"You're not the boss of me Julie," said Trevor, "You're going to respect me and my daughter."
"Never!" she yelled, "I will take over your lives and make sure you'll be loyal to me. Remember my family's rich."
"So what? I can get a job," he said, "I don't need your family's money."
"Fine, if you don't want me then you can get out of here," she said, "You can go to a friend's house but I am still having the masquerade ball."
With that she left. Trevor felt angry on the inside. He now saw how terrible his wife is. He couldn't believe he just realized it now. He took a deep breath and knew he had to do something. How can he prevent the fate that may happen to the guests during the masquerade ball and stop Jake from letting in the gas in the house?
Rosalie looked at the moon laying in her bed naked. After Jake took her away from her family and friends Rosalie has been escaping and hiding from him many times for the last few days. She escaped from him on the first night together but he eventually found her the next morning. Then she hit him when they were riding the horse but he was able to catch up to her. That night she left him in the forest and he didn't found her for four days. She tried to find her way out of the forest but she was lost the whole way. Jake found her in the trees and took her back to the city. When they returned to the castle he pulled her to their bedroom and began raping her again. She did not like it one bit but she didn't care. She hoped Jeremiah and Bentley made it out okay. Jake turned to her. He was also naked.
"You're not crying tonight," he said.
"I guess I'm used to it," she said.
He didn't believe her.
"Something's in your mind," he said, "I bet you're upset because you didn't made it to your home like before."
She didn't say anything.
He got closer to her, "Now if you were back at your home, why did you come back, besides that you didn't want me to rape you?"
"Uh, I missed my family so much so I had to come back and see them," she said.
"Then why did you leave them again?" he asked.
She froze, "Uh, cause I'm the only person who can leave the mansion and I want to set everyone else free at the same time. Plus I couldn't take my family with me because it's a very difficult journey to escape from here."
"Of course it is," he said, "You will always be my beautiful wife, forever and ever." He hugged her, "There's no other man but me that you will always love."
"I will never love you Jake," she said turning to him, "You are a terrible man for any girl to love you. I will always be in love with my real husband Jeremiah and we will be together for eternity."
He grabbed her by the arm violently, "You will fall in love me whether you like it or not," he said sharply, "That son of a b**** is not even worth to be your husband at all. You might as well give him up before I do something about it."
She looked into his eyes and grew scared. She pulled her arm away from him and turned around again and faced the moon. Jake may be a demanding by threatening her all the time, but she knew she will never love him no matter what he does or says.
Trevor was walking out of the kitchen after he took a few deep breaths from dealing with his stubborn wife. He heard the basement door open and someone walking downstairs. He walked to the basement and found the door halfway open. He slowly walked downstairs in the darkness and saw nothing but more boxes and furniture. He walked around for a few minutes in silence when one of the boxes fell onto the floor. He walked towards it and saw Jeremiah standing near the portal to Dark Empire.
"Jeremiah what are you doing here?" he asked.
"I have to go back to Dark Empire," said Jeremiah to Trevor, "It's February 23rd and my wife hasn't returned still. I think Jake locked her up so she won't make it by then."
"Jeremiah it's too dangerous," said Trevor, "If you go back there all by yourself Jake is gonna find you and take you back to his empire and he's gonna do something terrible to Rosalie because she's the one that helped you escape. It can also put me in danger because I took you here most of the way."
"You and your family are already in danger," he said, "Your wife refuses to cancel the masquerade ball and hundreds of guests and your family will die from the poison gas."
"Then we have to prevent from the gas coming in," said Trevor, "Where does it come from?"
"I believe through that small hole over there," he said pointing to a small hole, covered in cement, that led to the ballroom, "I'm not sure of it but it's the only way the gas can get through. The ballroom is designed to keep away gas and disease. That's why the windows have no locks and it gets hot in there. No fresh air can come in. Unfortunately there was a small hole that we didn't see. I guess someone covered it with cement now so I don't think the gas can go in anymore."
"But what about the air vent?" Trevor asked.
"Then close them so no gas can come in," he said, "But I don't care about the gas right now. Rosalie has to be here and safe in my arms."
"But Jake is going to be here and attack my family," said Trevor, "I don't think it's safe for us to bring Rosalie back right now."
"But she's my wife," said Jeremiah, "I love her and I want her back."
Trevor sighed, "I'm not going to let you go alone so I'm coming with you."
"Thanks Trevor," he said. They walked through the wall and were once again in Black Desert, but this time the clouds were darker than before. There was barely any light for them to see the desert very well. They walked down the hill and began walking in the flat landscape. Realizing it will take forever to get to Dark Empire if they took the same path they decided to find a short cut. Instead of going to Midnight Forest they decided to go through the mountains. They didn't know where it led to but Jeremiah said Rosalie had told him she took a path but never told him where it led to. They walked towards the mountains in hope it led to the city. As they walked in the mountains they felt nervous and scared. Although there wasn't anything in the mountains but the sand and rock, they felt as if something bad is living in the caves. They walked on the narrow pathway hoping they wouldn't fall off.
They've been walking for nearly six hours in the mountains. They did not spoke to each other at all as they walked. However Trevor had to ask Jeremiah something.
"Jeremiah, why didn't you brought Bentley along?"
"I had to leave him behind until we bring Rosalie back to the mansion," he said, "It's not safe for him to come along,"
"Well what if Jake catches us?" Trevor asked.
"Don't say that," he said, "I don't want that to happen."
He shrugged, "I'm just saying."
They slowly walked against the wall.
"Trevor, do you think your wife and daughter are looking for you?" he asked.
"I doubt it," he replied, "Julie doesn't even care if I'm in the mansion or not. She's still mad at me for arguing with her."
"But what about Annabel?" Jeremiah asked.
"Annabel will probably know where I'm at," said Trevor, "If you're gone leaving Bentley behind then she'll know I went with you."
Meanwhile Annabel came back from her after school program. Julie told her to take a shower and get ready. She sighed and walked upstairs. When she passed Jeremiah's bedroom she heard crying. She walked inside his bedroom and found Bentley moving around his crib. He cried for his missing father. Annabel walked to the crib and picked up the baby. She tried to calm him down. She wondered where Jeremiah was, but she mostly wondered where her father was. She thought something bad has happen to them while she was at school. Bentley was calming down from his tears. She sighed and decided to take him to her room. She walked out of the room and went to her bedroom. She placed him on her bed gently. She stared at him for a second, wondering how can she hide him from her mother. She heard her mother call her parents on the phone. She sighed of relief. She knew how long time her mother talks to them, giving her an opportunity to prevent her from walking to her room. She took off her clothes and put on her bathrobe. She tried to put him to sleep so he wouldn't make a sound while she's taking a shower. After he slept she walked to her bathroom, hoping everything will go well as she took a shower.
Back in Dark Empire the sky was getting darker. Trevor and Jeremiah knew they were running out of time. They were starting to get lost. Trevor looked at his watch. It was 5:35. He sighed and turned to Jeremiah.
"We're running out of time," he said to him, "We have to move quickly so we can find her and return to the mansion before midnight."
"How can we if this path is leading us to nowhere," said Jeremiah, "It's dark, we have no equipment, and we're starting to lose energy. We have at least-how many hours?"
"Seven hours," Trevor replied, "We only have seven hours left."
"Damn it, that is not good," said Jeremiah.
They walked in silence for a few minutes when they heard some noises. It sounded like people yelling and screaming at others to move around so they can have enough room for the future ghosts. They ran to the noise and saw light ahead of them. They finally made it to Dark Empire. They looked at the dreadful city, watching people running around as guards hit and yelled at them to get to one place to another. They walked down the dirt hill and hid behind a large stone. Some of them were standing at the other side of the stream. They realized it was going to be difficult to avoid the guards if they want to enter the city.
They quickly ran to each stone and hid there. They looked up to see if the guards left or were still talking. They walked to another stone that was near the boat. They looked up and saw a few guards standing in the same spot where they're suppose to get off. They groaned softly and knew there was no way they can get to Rosalie back on time. Soon they heard people yell. They looked closely and saw Jake in his balcony. He was telling them about the 242nd anniversary of his wife Rosalie's death and now he will be bringing more captive ghosts to his empire. Trevor and Jeremiah knew they had to hurry. If they want to stop him and his army from entering the mansion they have to get there before they do.
After his short speech to his citizens he walked back inside his room. Rosalie was sitting on her bed wearing her silk red robe. She was covering her naked body from Jake. He sat next to her.
"A few more hours until I'm off to the mansion," he said.
"I don't want to talk about it," she said.
"You're upset aren't you?" he asked.
She nodded, "Of course I am. Now I'll never escape from here and be free from you."
He sighed, "I will never let that happen. Especially because tomorrow..." He stroke her hair and put his arm around her, "Is our wedding anniversary. And what I'm looking forward to tomorrow is-"
"Yes I know," she said, "We do that in every anniversary, not to mention every time I turn against you."
He frowned, "If you keep up that attitude then we might as well do it sooner."
He got up and walked out of the room. Rosalie sighed and put on her dress. When she looked at herself she suddenly felt sick. She put her hand on her stomach. She ran to the bathroom and began throwing up. She looked up and went to the sink and washed her face. She wiped her face with a towel and walked upstairs to the doctor's office. She wanted to know if everything was alright with her.They did a few tests to see if there was anything wrong with her. After a few minutes of waiting the doctor gave her an envelope with the result. He told her he is not going to say anything to Jake because he knew what is going to happen to her when he finds out what she has. This scared Rosalie a lot. She walked downstairs with the envelope in her hand. As soon as she walked into her room she took a deep breath and opened the envelope. She was shocked to learn about her unexpected result. She was pregnant by Jake.
"Oh no this can't be happening!" she cried. She put her hand on her stomach. She couldn't believe it. She never thought the one man who raped her so many times will finally get her pregnant. She doesn't even want the child. She thought for a moment and realized she had to escape from Jake as soon as possible. She knew if Jake found out she was pregnant by him he was going to lock her up for good and keep her away from her family. She walked to her bed and sat down. She put the letter in the drawer and locked it. She put the key in her hair. She didn't want him to find out they were expecting a baby. She walked to the balcony and looked at the moon. She knew she had to leave before midnight so she can set her family and everyone else free, but it takes a long time to get to the mansion. She thought about Jeremiah, her one and only true love. She remembers her first kiss from him. On the day they officially became a couple Jeremiah wanted to kiss her but she was nervous. She had never kissed anyone on the lips before so Jeremiah slowly leaned forward and kissed her. Rosalie touched her lips. She could already felt him kissing her on the lips. She smiled. Soon she heard some things being knocked over and fall onto the floor. She turned around in fear when her second husband yelled her name angrily.
Rosalie walked down the stairs to the second dungeon where Jake was at. When she peeked at the doorway she saw him sitting on a chair with his head down. He looked up and turned to the door. Rosalie quickly turned around hoping he didn't saw her. Jake got up and walked to the doorway. He pulled her into the room and closed the door. He had an angry look on his face. He grabbed her by the arm and pushed her against the wall.
"Where is your husband and son Rosalie?" he asked angrily.
"Wh-What are you talking about?" she asked nervously.
"I know you let your family escape from here," he said.
"I did not let them escape," she said, "They were always in the dungeon."
"That's not what my servants are saying," he said, "When they went down to the dungeon like they always do there was no one in the cell. A few of them said they escaped from here along with you and three outsiders. Who are they?"
"I-I will never tell you," she said.
"Tell me!" he yelled. He gripped her shoulders too hard. She felt lots of pain.
"Who were the outsiders!?" he demanded.
"I...will never...tell you," she said.
Jake slapped her on the face. She fell down onto the floor with her hand on her left cheek.
"Did you brought the owners to Dark Empire?" he asked.
She shook her head, "No."
He slapped her again, "Liar!"
He pulled her up and opened the door. They walked to the cell tower where he would lock Rosalie after he rapes her for escaping again. Rosalie quickly reacted and knew what was going to happen.
"No Jake, please!" She tried to pull herself free but he held onto her tightly.
"Jake no, don't do this to me!" she cried.
They walked up the curving stairway to the cell upstairs. He opened the door and pushed her in. She fell down onto the floor. He closed the door and locked it. He walked towards her and grabbed her and pushed her onto the hay. He got on her and he kissed her on the lips. She tried to get away from him but he kept kissing her. He pulled her zipper down from behind her dress. She tried to push him off of her but he held onto her. He pulled her dress down exposing her body. She hit him and ran to the door. He grabbed her and pushed her onto the hay. He took off his coat and shirt. Rosalie got up but he grabbed her by the stomach. He pushed her back on the floor. She cried as he began to rape her again.
Trevor and Jeremiah waited for the guards to move away. Within minutes the guards walked away. They quickly walked to the small boat and got in. They rowed across the stream with no problem. They got out of the boat and walked up the hill. They hid behind a few trees as a few guards walked by. They turned to the castle and heard yelling in despair. They realized it was Rosalie. Jeremiah tried to stay strong as he heard his wife's crying. They walked to the gates to go inside when it slowly opened and three troops walked out with the same cage Jeremiah was taken to the city. They quickly walked in without being noticed by the guards. They hid in the shadows as the two guards closed the gates. They sighed and walked up the hill. Everyone was in their new homes locked up until Jake returns.
Trevor and Jeremiah ran freely in the empty streets as the citizens looked at them. A few minutes later they reached to the castle gates. They decided to climb up the stone wall instead of going to the gates. They walked to the vines and grabbed each one. They began climbing up the wall. The green vines were strong enough for them to hold onto. They finally reached the top of the wall and jumped down. The place was quiet and clear. They silently walked in the garden and hid behind a gargoyle black statue. They heard two guards telling another guard to bring Jake. As soon as he went to go get him the guys followed the guard to the cell tower. They walked to the second dungeon downstairs.
Jake was putting his boots on as Rosalie laid in the hay crying. Her dress was torn and ripped when Jake was raping her. The guard knocked on the door. He walked to the door and opened it.
"It's time," he said.
Jake nodded and turned to Rosalie, "Don't do anything funny while I'm gone."
She nodded as he walked out of the room. She wiped her tears and sat up. She put her hand over her stomach and felt terrible. Although she didn't want to have the child she doesn't want it to get hurt. As Jake walked out of the tower Trevor and Jeremiah quickly went inside. The other guys closed the door without noticing them. They quietly walked up the narrow, twisting stairs. They reached up to the top of the tower. Jeremiah ran towards the door and was happy to see Rosalie but was sadden to see her dress ripped up.
"Rosalie!" he cried.
She turned her head and smiled, "Jeremiah!"
She ran towards the door. She felt so happy to see her husband, "What are you doing here? It's too dangerous for you to climb up here alone."
"He's not alone," said Trevor, "I went with him to rescue you."
"Rescue? You guys that's not a good idea," she said, "Jake is out there with his guards and it'll be impossible for us to leave his empire without being notice."
"I doubt it," said Trevor, "If we take another path instead of the same way we came here earlier in the week then Jake won't be able to find us."
"But we don't have a lot of time to get to the mansion," she said, "We only have 6 hours."
"We found a shortcut to get there," he said, "We'll take a horse so we can get there faster."
"Alright," she said. She backed away from the door as the guys kicked the door as hard as they can. Surprisingly it got knocked down. Rosalie ran to her husband and hugged him.
"Come on we have to get out of here," said Jeremiah.
She nodded. They quickly ran down the stairs when they find two guards walking down the hallway. They silently ran down the other end and left the castle. They were back in the same hill outside the city.
"Come on we don't have a lot of time," said Jeremiah, "If we want to make it before midnight we have to-"
"Jeremiah I have to tell you something important, and you're not going to like it," said Rosalie.
"What is it?" he asked.
She took a deep breath and sighed, "I'm...I'm pregnant."
Jeremiah didn't say anything. He was too stunned by the news.
"Jeremiah, are you okay?" asked Trevor.
He grew angry, "You're what?!"
"Shhh, not so loud," said Rosalie. He took a deep breath and relaxed.
"You can't be pregnant Rosalie," he said, "When Jake finds out you're pregnant by him he's going to lock you up for good."
"Yes I know," she said, "That's why we have to leave as soon as possible. Jake must never know I'm expecting a child of his."
"But how?" he asked, "Jake can tell whether you're hiding something. You know that."
"Yes I know," she said, "But he won't find out if we get out of his empire before him."
He sighed, "Well we still need a horse if we want to get to the mansion early."
They looked around and saw Jake coming out of the city. He got on his horse and looked at his troops. He sighed and led his troops through the Soul River and to Midnight Forest. They turned to their left and saw two extra horses. A few minutes later they were on the horses. Jeremiah on one horse and Trevor and Rosalie on another. The horses jumped over the river and began running in the same path the guys took when they came here. The sky was getting dark and the moon was partially covered, giving them very little light. Trevor had to use his cell phone numerous times to see their path. They've been in the mountains for three hours without saying a word. Finally Rosalie spoke.
"Do you think we'll get to the mansion before Jake?"
"I don't know," said Jeremiah, "He's probably ahead of us, unless we are."
"If we are ahead then we have to think of a way to stop Jake's troops from entering the mansion," said Trevor, "But it has to be here. If I block the portal with other stuff in my basement they'll go right through."
"But we don't know where they are," said Jeremiah, "They could be way ahead or too far behind us. Plus we don't have a lot of time."
"Then why don't we go check?" he asked.
Jeremiah stopped and turned to Trevor, "If we check he's going to spot us."
"I don't think so," he said, "Not if we hide."
He thought for a moment, "And when we do what's our plan going to be?"
"I don't know," said Trevor, "We have to know where they are first."
Jeremiah sighed, "Alright, but which way do we go?"
"I'll say that way," he said pointing to the mountains on their right. The horses walked over the stream of water and walked to the mountains. It was darker where the path led them. It was between the two mountains and the trail was a bit narrow. There was no light at all and the light from Trevor's cell phone was no use. They were having hard time looking where they were going. After thirty minutes in the dark they were in Midnight Forest, only they were somewhere in the forest they did not recognized. There was no path but a large empty space surrounded with dark-ebony trees. They walked through the forest and found a path curved to the right. They followed the path and found two trees on each side of the forest. They were large, thick willow trees with dark green vines. They got off the horses and walked to the tree. It looked old and creepy.
"How old do you think this tree is?" asked Trevor.
"Maybe a hundred, two hundred," said Rosalie, "Why?"
"I'm just saying," he said. He got a vine and began to climb up.
"Hey where are you going?" Jeremiah asked.
"I wanna see how big Midnight Forest is," he replied.
"Now? At a time like this?"
Trevor climbed each branch with no problem. Jeremiah turned to Rosalie. She looked at him sadly. He sighed and walked towards her. He gave her a warm hug. She was surprised a little but hugged him back.
"I'm happy for you Rosalie," he said.
"Wh-why are you happy for me?" she asked.
He backed up and looked at her, "I am not happy that Jake is going to be the father of your unborn baby. I hate the fact that my wife is pregnant by another man instead of her husband. But I'm happy that you're going to have another child. You were never lucky, you know that. You had to grow up with spoiled parents who didn't care about your happiness, you rarely get to be in a relationship with the men you are interested in, we had to convince your parents so we can be together, you were forced to commit suicide by a terrible man, you were forced to have sex with him thousands of times, and you rarely get to be with your own son. But having more than one child is what you've been wishing for ever since you were a little girl. I don't want you to get rid of this child because I'm not the father of it. You never wanted to make love with Jake so he forced you to without knowing he got you pregnant. I know in your heart you don't love Jake at all." He stroke her hair, "As long as I know that you love me that's all that matters."
She smiled and put her hand on his cheek, "I do love you Jeremiah. I will always love you no matter what."
She leaned forward and kissed him. He put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her back. They were kissing each other passionately. Trevor looked down at the couple and made a disgusted look on his face.
"Really you guys?" he called to them. They stopped and looked up at him.
"So how big is this place?" asked Jeremiah.
"It's huge," he called, "You could see most of the land from up here."
He looked around and saw black figures walking in the same path they were in. He looked closely and realized it was Jake with his guards.
"Oh no, Jake's coming," he called to the couple.
"What?" asked Rosalie in a panic voice, "I can't let him see me."
"He must not know we're here," said Trevor climbing down, "But I can't let him continue his journey. I have a plan. These two trees are old right? When they are getting close we'll pull the other tree down with the vines as hard as we can so it will fall down and block the path. These trees are so huge and too thick they won't be able to get through."
"But what if they go through the forest?" Jeremiah asked.
"It's too huge and it will take days to find their way out," said Trevor, "If their path is blocked we'll be able to get to the mansion and you will be set free."
"Do you think that will work?" Rosalie asked.
"I'm pretty sure," he said, "When I was climbing up there the branches felt pretty loose."
"If it's the only way then let's do it," she said. They walked to the other tree and grabbed one vine each. They walked back to the other tree and began climbing up. They went all the way to the top where Jake and his guards wouldn't see the long vines. Trevor kept a look out to see if they were getting close. Rosalie was very nervous and Jeremiah was worried. They hope the plan would work like Trevor said. After a few minutes of waiting Jake and his guards were getting closer. Trevor said pull and all three pulled the tree as hard as they can as it fell to the ground. Every guard, including Jake, were startled when the tree collapsed. The guards began to talk at once. Jake looked at the tree, angry that they couldn't continue their journey, but when he turned his head to the left he saw Trevor, Jeremiah, and Rosalie getting down from the tree and getting on the horses. They went back to the mountains. Jake was filled with rage and followed them.
They quickly ran through the forest trying to get away from Jake and his troops. The horses ran the whole way in the mountains and in the desert. None of them realized Jake was behind them. Trevor looked at his phone. Eight o five. He realized they were going to make it. Within thirty minutes they were back in the same place where they arrived. However as they walked up to the wall there was no portal at all. It was just solid rock.
"Oh no, the portal. It's gone!" cried Trevor.
"How are we suppose to get to the mansion now?" asked Jeremiah.
"Hey guys, come over here!" called Rosalie from the trees. They walked in the darkness wondering where Rosalie was at. It was pitch black so they couldn't see each other and Rosalie. But they could hear her call them over and over. Within a minute they found her.
"What is it Rosalie?"
"I found another portal that is still open," she said, "Whenever the main portal is closed I would go to this one instead. Bad thing is Jake knows about the secret portal."
"Well we don't have any other choice so let's go," said Trevor. They went through the portal all at one time and were at a long, dark tunnel with puddles of water. The room felt cold and only light provided was the torches on the wall. Trevor grabbed one of the torches and they walked in the tunnel silently. Rosalie hold Jeremiah's hand, feeling scared that something bad might happen.
Meanwhile Julie was finished decorating. She sighed and walked to the thermostat and turned on the air vent.
Annabel was upstairs in her bedroom playing with Bentley. He smiled as she made funny faces and noises. Soon the phone rang. She answered it.
"Hey Annabel," called her best friend Anthony, "My mom wants to know where the masquerade ball was at. She lost the invitation and she doesn't remember the address. I don't either."
"Oh, the address is 14365 Cumins Ave," she said, "Remember it's located in the oldest road in the woods?"
"Oh yeah," he said, "Well thank you Annabel."
"You're welcome," she said. She hung up. Then the phone rang again. She answered it.
"Hi Annabel," called Jeremy, "Is your father home?"
"No," she replied.
"Do you know where he is?"
"Not really," she said, "He's been gone all day."
"All day? Is he with Jeremiah?"
"I guess so," she said, "I mean, the only people in this house besides me is my mom and Bentley."
"Oh." He thought for a moment, "Well I just wanted to make sure. I may not go to the masquerade ball tonight. I told my wife about your possible fate and she is afraid that the gas is going to be released and it can kill her and the baby. Do you know where the gas can come in?"
"Um I guess-" She stopped. She turned around and looked at the air vent. She knew where the gas may go in, "Uh I gotta go."
She hung up. Soon she heard footsteps coming from the hallway. She walked out of her room and stopped her mother from entering her room.
"Hey Mommy," she said quickly.
"Oh Annabel, I was just about to get you," said Julie.
"Well I'm here," she said, "What do you want?"
"I have to do your hair hon," she said.
"Um can we do it somewhere else?" she asked.
"Like where?" Julie asked.
"In your bedroom," said Annabel.
Julie crossed her arms, "Are you hiding something Annabel?"
"No, no. I just want to do it somewhere other than my room," she said.
Julie sighed, "Alright."
She walked away. Annabel followed. They walked to the master bedroom and she did Annabel's hair. She sprayed water and combed her long hair. As Julie did that Annabel thought about her father and her friends. She was getting worried about her dad, Jeremiah and Rosalie. She hoped Jake didn't do something terrible to them, especially Rosalie. She likes Rosalie and didn't want Bentley's mother to get badly hurt. Julie brushed Annabel's hair and tied it with a light green ribbon. She sprayed hairspray so her hair wouldn't mess up. Annabel coughed as she sprayed her hair.
"Now when the guests come I want you to say hi and serve them the cocktails," she said, "Don't eat any of the food from the snack table either."
"But what if I'm hungry?" she asked.
"Then go eat the leftover hot wings in the kitchen," she said, "But eat it there. I don't want the guests to see a 6-year-old eating spicy food at an elegant party."
"No Annabel," said Julie, "Now go."
"Fine." She began walking to the door when she heard Bentley crying.
"What was that?" Julie asked.
"Um, nothing," said Annabel.
The infant cried more.
"It sounds like a baby crying coming from your room," she said, "Why do you have a baby in your room Annabel?"
"I don't have a baby I swear!" she cried.
"Don't lie to me Annabel!"
She walked out of the room and went to Annabel's room. At first she didn't found anything until she turned her head to Annabel's bed and was able to see a ghost baby on her bed.
"What is that!?" she screamed.
"His name is Bentley Cumins," said Annabel calmly. She picked him up, "He's Rosalie's son."
"Rosalie Cumins," she said, "She was the owner of this house."
"What are you talking about?" she asked, "We're the owners of this-wait, you mean the late Rosalie? The woman who is a disgrace and everyone hates?"
"She's not a disgrace," she said, "She's a wonderful woman. She was forced to commit suicide by Jake Raymond."
"Jake Raymond? You mean my great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather?" Julie asked.
"Gr-grandfather?" Annabel asked.
"Jake is known to be the best member in my family," explained Julie, "That's why everyone treats me like I was popular again, unlike you."
"But he is also known to be a terrible man," she said, "I know that because Rosalie told me. He raped her when she was alive!"
"How did you know that word young lady?" Julie asked angrily.
"Daddy told me!" she cried.
Julie slapped her daughter, "That is not true! Your grandfather was a great man!"
"He forced her to marry him and he raped her so many times!" she cried, "He would threaten her all the time so she would do as he says, and most of it is having sex with him!"
"Shut up you little brat!" yelled her mother, "So what that your grandfather was a bad person? He made my family very wealthy in the 1670s. He brought great order to Midland and made sure everything went his way! If he had sex with Rosalie then she is a slut."
"Don't call her that!" Annabel yelled angrily, "My grandfather is a rapist and a murderer! He killed nearly hundreds of people in the past 2 centuries. He is willing to kill us and all of the other guests tonight with poison! Mommy we have to cancel the masquerade ball before it's too late!"
"No Annabel!" yelled Julie, "We are not canceling the ball, no matter what happens."
With that she left the room. Annabel looked at Bentley. He was whimpering in fear. She turned to the door feeling mad at her mother. She knew what she had to do but it'll be risky for a young child like her. She picked him up and tried to put him to sleep. As she did that she tried to think of a plan to prevent the gas from coming in the vent. As time went by more guests arrived to the mansion. Annabel did most of the errands. She served them the cocktails, carried the coats to the living room, and she let the people in. It was nearly midnight and her father and friends hadn't returned yet. She looked around the room searching for her father. She ran to her room upstairs to check on Bentley. He was crying in misery for his parents. She tried to calm him down but he wouldn't stop crying.
"Calm down Bentley," she said looking down at him, "Your parents will come back you'll see."
She looked at the clock. Eleven twenty-three. Oh Daddy where are you? she thought to herself.
Meanwhile they were still walking in the tunnel. They were walking in the dark passageway still finding their way out.
"I never liked this place," said Rosalie, "It gives me the creeps."
"Yeah me too," said Jeremiah.
"After you guys leave I am gonna close up this place," said Trevor, "This passage only leads from hell to my mansion."
Soon they heard footsteps coming from behind them. They turned around and saw nothing. Rosalie moaned,
"Ohhh, I think it's best if we leave right away."
"I agree," said Jeremiah.
The guys turned around when they heard Rosalie scream. She was pulled back into the darkness and pushed against the wall. Jake began hitting her very hard all over her body, especially on the stomach and chest. She cried in pain. Jeremiah ran towards Jake and pulled him away from his wife. Trevor went to go help him. Rosalie was glad Jake wasn't hitting her anymore.
"Get off of me you imbecile!" cried Jake. He hit him on the stomach with his elbow. Jeremiah let go of him and fell back. He turned to Rosalie with an angry look on his face.
"I don't know how you got out of the castle," said Jake to Rosalie, "But you are no longer my wife and will be severely punished!"
"You can no longer have sex with me Jake!" said Rosalie.
"I never said that was going to be your punishment," he said.
Rosalie grew frighten. Jake got out a shiny, sharp knife and ran towards her. She quickly moved out of the way. Jeremiah stood up and grabbed Jake's hands. Jake struggled to break free. Trevor grabbed Rosalie's hand, "Come on we have to get out of here."
"But what about Jeremiah?" she asked.
"Don't worry," he said, "I'll be okay."
"You sure?" she asked.
They ran down the tunnel leaving Jeremiah alone with Jake. Rosalie and Trevor ran in the darkness looking for an exit. As they ran Rosalie felt scared for her husband. She didn't want Jeremiah to get hurt by Jake. She knew how violent Jake is, especially if he's fighting Jeremiah. Trevor looked around the tunnel to find the exit.
"I should've told Jake I was pregnant when I had the chance," said Rosalie, "If I've told him he wouldn't had attacked me and he wouldn't be attacking my husband right now."
"Calm down Rosalie," said Trevor, "I'm sure Jeremiah will be okay."
She shook her head, "No that's not going to happen. He is going to get hurt. I'm pretty sure Jake is going to stab Jeremiah with the knife many times and it's going to be all my fault."
"It's not your fault," he said, "Don't try to think about the negative."
They walked down the tunnel in silence when they found stairs. They walked up the stairs and Trevor pushed the door open. They were in a hallway he did not recognize. Rosalie turned back into a ghost, however Trevor couldn't see her anymore. He searched for Rosalie.
"Rosalie where are you?" he asked.
"I'm right here," she said standing next to him.
"I can't see you," he said, "I can hear you but I can't see you. Where are you?"
She hold his hand. He turned to his hand and felt her presence. He looked at her and sighed. They looked at each end and found a wooden door on their right. They walked to the door and opened it. They found the hundred guests who already arrived to the mansion. He turned to Rosalie , "I'm gonna go look for my wife. Meanwhile I think it's best if you leave the mansion right now before time runs out."
She shook her head, "No. I want my family to be with me first before I leave the mansion."
"But we don't have a lot of time left," he said.
"I don't care," she said, "I'm not leaving until my husband and son are safe with me."
He sighed, "Okay, but we only have less than thirty minutes before midnight."
He turned around and walked a few steps forward when his daughter suddenly appeared.
"Hi Daddy," she said holding Bentley in her arms, "Where were you? Jeremy called a few hours ago to know if you were here."
"Sorry I was at Dark Empire with Jeremiah so we could bring Rosalie back to the mansion," he said.
"Did you guys get caught?" Annabel asked.
"Well we did, so now Jeremiah is fighting with Jake," he replied.
"Wait what?" she asked surprised, "He's going to get hurt."
"Exactly what I said," said Rosalie.
"Look now that you're here where's your-how are you able to hold Bentley?" asked Trevor.
"I don't know," she said, "I was able to pick him up this afternoon."
"Whatever," he said, "Where's your mother?"
"In the ballroom," Annabel replied as she shook Bentley up and down.
"Thanks." He walked to the ballroom without saying a word. Annabel turned to Rosalie and handed Bentley to her.
"Here I took care of him while you guys were away."
"Oh thank you Annabel," said Rosalie. She looked at her son and he smiled at her. Rosalie knew he was happy to see his mother. Then she form a sad look on her face.
"What's wrong Rosalie?" Annabel asked.
She sighed, "I have to tell you something. When Jake raped me this afternoon I became pregnant by him, so I'm expecting another child."
Annabel was shocked, "You're pregnant?"
Rosalie nodded sadly. Annabel couldn't believe it, "How did Jeremiah reacted?"
"He was angry at first but when we were at the forest to block Jake's path he told me he was happy for me. The thing is I was never lucky when I was alive and now I was given another opportunity to become pregnant again."
"But if you leave the mansion then you won't give birth to that baby," said Annabel.
"I know, that's why I-"
Soon Anthony walked to Annabel, "Who are you talking to Annabel?"
"Um, my-um, imaginary friend," she said quickly, "I like creating imaginary people."
"Then why does it feel so cold over here?" he asked.
"The air vent is on remember?" She looked around to find an air vent. He looked at her strangely.
"Okay well see you later," he said. He waved at her and left. Annabel sighed and turned to Rosalie.
"Rosalie, if you don't make it out of here and nine months later you give birth to that baby, it's going to be part of my family."
"What do you mean?" Rosalie asked.
"Jake...is my grandfather," she said.
Rosalie didn't say anything. She couldn't believe it.
She shook her head, "So does that make me your step-grandmother?"
"Well I guess so," she said, "I mean you're married to Jake."
"Actually he broke up with me," said Rosalie, "He got mad at me for escaping again and he told me I was no longer his wife."
"That's good right?" asked Annabel.
"No that's bad," said Rosalie, "Well yes that's good I'm not his wife anymore, but when he finds out I'm pregnant by him he's going to be mad at me. I mean he broke up with me before he knew I was pregnant."
"Yeah I can see your point," she said, "but if you leave right now-"
"I'm not leaving until my husband is with me."
"But we don't have a lot of time," said Annabel.
"Yes I know," she said, "That's what your father told me."
Annabel shrugged, "Okay if that's what you want."
She turned around for a second then turned to Rosalie. She looked at her dress, "Why is your dress ripped?"
"Oh, Jake ripped my dress when he was raping me again," said Rosalie.
Soon Bentley began to cry. Rosalie tried to calm him down.
She turned around and saw Jeremiah crawling in pain.
She walked over to him and helped him stand up. She formed a sad look on her face, "I was right, you were going to get stab many times."
He looked at her, "You have to get out now. Jake's letting out the gas in five minutes."
Trevor walked through the crowd looking for his wife. Julie was over at the snack table. She wore a red, satin spaghetti strap dress, wore long white gloves, wore a black strapped heels and had a colorful mask on her face. She had her hair pulled back into a bun.
She turned around, "Trevor I thought you weren't coming."
"I decided to come anyways," he said, "I might as well be with my daughter."
"So what is it?"
"I know you're gonna get mad-"
"I'm not going to end the masquerade ball early," she said. She walked away from him.
"I don't mean that," he said, "I was thinking that you should close the air vents. It's going to be for a while."
"Oh no Trevor," she said, "I'm not going to allow my guests get hot in this ballroom. They would want to leave the party early."
"No Trevor," she said. She walked away from him. Trevor grew angry at Julie and knew he had to do something. He walked out of the ballroom when he heard some groans from one of the rooms. He walked to one of them and found Jeremiah sitting on the bed.
"Jeremiah you're back," said Trevor, "But where's Rosalie?"
"She's right here," he said putting his hand next to him on the bed.
"I still can't see her," said Trevor, "How is it that I can see you and Bentley but not Rosalie?"
"You mean you can't see her at all?" asked Jeremiah.
Trevor shook his head, "No. I can hear and feel her but I can't see her."
He thought for a moment, "Maybe this might help."
He hold Rosalie's hand. Her spirit appeared.
"That's more like it," he said. Trevor sat next to her.
"I can see you had a pretty gruesome fight
with Jake." He thought for a moment, "Where is Jake?"
"I don't know," he said, "After Jake stabbed me he pushed me onto the ground and he kicked me on the stomach. Then the last thing he told me is in five minutes he was going to release the gas if we don't bring him Rosalie."
"What?" asked Trevor in shock, "That's not good. He's going to kill all of us for sure."
"Not if Rosalie leaves the mansion," said Jeremiah.
"That's right," said Trevor, "Rosalie you can leave now. You have your family with you so you can leave the mansion."
"Only if my husband is able to stand up," she said, "I decided I want to leave the mansion with my family together."
"I thought you said you're the only one who can leave the mansion?" Trevor asked.
"Well yes but they can leave if they're with me," she said.
She tied the cloth around her husband's wrist. He groaned in pain.
"Rosalie, do you know what will happen to Jake after you leave?" Trevor asked.
"Well he will lose his empire and he will have to go back to Hell," she said, "I know that, Jake knows that. That's another reason why he's keeping me in the castle on my anniversary."
She stood up from the bed and helped her husband get up. He groaned in pain.
"Oh dear you can't even stand up," she said.
He shook his head, "No I can't."
He sat back down. She sat next to him. Trevor looked around the room, "Rosalie where's my daughter?"
"I don't know," replied Rosalie, "When I took Jeremiah to this room she handed me Bentley and then she left."
"Oh god, I have to keep her safe," he said, "Jake can be anywhere in this house and if he finds her something terrible is going to happen."
"I know," she said, "When he finds out that she's his granddaughter-"
"Granddaughter?" asked Trevor, "What do you mean his granddaughter?"
"Um, it turns out her mother is Jake's descendant so that makes Annabel his long great-granddaughter," she said.
Trevor was silent.
"That would explain why your wife looks so much like Jake," said Jeremiah.
Trevor sat down on the chair, "I can't believe it. I never thought my wife was related to Jake."
"Well what was her maiden name?" asked Rosalie.
"Raymond but I didn't know it was the same name as Jake Raymond," he said, "I thought it was a regular last name, not an important one."
"Well now you know," she said, "Besides not only does your wife have the same last name but she has the same personality as he does. Think about it, Julie and Jake like controlling peoples' lives, they would usually do something terrible in order to get what they want, they yell at us whenever we refuse to do the things they want us to do, and they are so strict with their own children."
"I see how Julie is strict with Annabel but how is Jake strict with his?" asked Trevor.
"You know, if his children are not males he will get rid of them," she said, "Plus when his two sons were growing up he would force them to act like ruthless people, but his sons were only three and four. They were so young and if they don't behave like how their father visioned it he would hit them very hard."
"That's terrible," said Trevor.
She nodded sadly, "But what I've heard is that his sons grew up to be wonderful people. All of Jake's daughters wanted to live up to their father's name so they never said anything about their mothers' murders. No one knew about the four murders Jake committed to his ex-wives so it's consider a mystery to Midland. But I know the truth, as well as you."
"And me," said Jeremiah.
They were silent for a moment.
"I wonder how Jake is going to react when he learns he has a granddaughter instead of a grandson," said Jeremiah.
Meanwhile Annabel was in the basement alone. She wanted to block Jake's only entrance to let out the gas to the ballroom. She looked around the basement and found a cardboard big enough to block the air vent. She grabbed it and got her screwdriver. She unscrewed the nails on the air vent and opened it. She got the cardboard and began crawling inside. It was dusty and it felt uncomfortable for Annabel. She crawled deeper into the air vent until she found the way to the ballroom. She looked down at the ballroom and saw all the guests walking or standing around the room. She crawled a few steps back and placed the cardboard three inches away from the exit. The cardboard was able to stick. She took out the tape from her mouth and taped every side of the board so it wouldn't fall off.
She put the tape back on her mouth and crawled back to the basement. This time she had hard time crawling back because she couldn't breath very well. She looked both ways and wasn't sure which way led to the basement. She crawled to the left then made a right turn. This part of the vent had so much dust in it she started to sneeze. Suddenly she heard the fan turn on. She looked back and realized she was trap. The wind was so strong from the fan she couldn't go back the same way she came in. She squinted her eyes and found another way out. She crawled in the vent, covered with so much dust and a few cobwebs, and crawled to the right. Her knees and hands were starting to hurt her. She went to the left then to the right. There were three other ways in front of her. She crawled to the left and found the exit of the air vent. She turned around and slowly got out. She stood on her feet and screwed the nails back on the vent. She put it down and fixed her hair and dress. She dusted off the dust from her dress and shoes. She suddenly felt very cold.
"What are you doing here Annabel?"
She turned around and screamed.
Trevor opened the door and Rosalie helped Jeremiah walk out of the room. He had hard time keeping his balance due to the pain in his stomach and right leg. They decided to attend the masquerade ball for a while. Rosalie refused to leave until her husband was feeling better and was able to walk again. They walked to the ballroom as the guests began asking themselves about the sudden cold air. They sat down on the chairs. Jeremiah groaned some more. Rosalie looked down at her son and sighed.
"You know this is reminding me of the night you died," said Jeremiah.
"How so?" she asked him.
"I came to the ballroom and went over to your parents. We talked about Bentley for minute then I asked them where you were. When I walked to the master bedroom I found you dead."
"Oh." She thought for a moment, "Jeremiah I've been meaning to ask you, how did my parents take it?"
"After a few minutes of crying over your death I carried your body downstairs," Jeremiah explained, "Everyone was shocked to learn that you died. Your parents were shocked the most. Your mother ran over to me and cried in misery to see her daughter no longer living. Your father asked me what happen and I had to tell them that you poisoned yourself upstairs. Both yours and my parents cried miserably over the news. We had to cancel the ball early because of the tragedy that has happened. The doctors examined your body and they were positive that you were dead. They took your body away from the mansion leaving me and Bentley alone in the house. After I put him to sleep I went to my bedroom and when I looked over I found the letter you left me. I cried miserably the entire night and I knew that was the last piece I had from you. The next day we prepared your funeral. The guys brought your body back to the mansion and they took you upstairs. Your mother and my mother changed you into a beautiful dress." He had tears running down his face, "When I looked at you I knew I lost the most beautiful and amazing girl of my life. I kissed you one last time before they put you in the coffin. I made sure Bentley looked at his deceased mother one last time. I knew he was just as miserable as I was. We took you to the cemetery and buried you there. I didn't leave until I was left alone. For the next few days before I died I went to your tombstone bringing you roses every morning and I told you how much I missed you. Bentley would usually make some noises and I knew he was telling you he misses you too. On the 28th of February that was the day my son and I died and were taken to Dark Empire."
Rosalie felt touched and sadden at the same time, "Oh Jeremiah."
She hugged her husband, "You're so sweet. You really are my true soul mate."
He smiled. They let go and smiled at each other.
"I guess I will never have what you guys have," said Trevor feeling disappointed.
"Maybe you will," said Rosalie, "Julie may not be the love of you life, but it doesn't mean you will never find another."
"I know," he said, "It's just that, I want Julie to at least show me she loves me like she did in college. I guess it was never meant to be."
They were silent for a second.
"How long do we have?" she asked Trevor.
He looked at his watch, "Fifteen minutes."
He suddenly began to feel hot, "Oh god is it me or is it getting hot in here?"
"I'm feeling it too," said Jeremiah, "Isn't the air vent on?"
"It should be," said Trevor, "I didn't turn it off and Julie didn't either."
"Maybe Annabel turned it off," she said.
"No, the thermostat is a bit high for her and it's always locked up in a case," he said, "I wonder what happen to the vents."
Soon Julie walked up to Trevor, "Where is she?"
"Where's who?" he asked.
"Annabel," she said, "I hadn't seen her anywhere."
"Maybe she's upstairs in her bedroom," he said, "Her friend is here so they're probably-"
"The kid is over there," said Julie pointing over the snack table when Anthony was at.
"If anything happens to her I'm gonna blame it on you," she said to Trevor.
"Because she's your daughter," she said, "You're the father and you should be protecting her."
"You're her mother," he said, "You should be doing the same thing."
"Well I have errands to run," she said, "You're just sitting around here doing nothing."
With that she walked away. Trevor was mad at his wife.
"You know one of these days I'm gonna slap her."
He turned around and sat down. Rosalie suddenly felt weird. She put her hand over her stomach.
"You alright?" Trevor asked her.
She shook her head, "Oh dear I felt kinda sick for a second."
"I hate to think what will happen to the baby if Jake treats it bad when it's born," he said.
"It's not going to be born," she said, "I'm leaving this house as a pregnant ghost who will never give birth to that child."
"I know," he said, "I'm just saying because if Jake takes you back to his empire with all the other-"
"Speaking of which what ever happen to the gas?" Jeremiah asked, "I thought he was going to release it by now."
"Well I guess he was threatening us so we would give up Rosalie," said Trevor.
They looked around just to make sure.
"I think something may be blocking the gas from entering the ballroom," said Rosalie.
"Isn't that a good thing?" asked Trevor.
"That is true," she said. Soon the clock rang.
"Oh god we only have ten minutes," said Trevor, "Are you feeling better Jeremiah?"
"Yeah I guess so," he said.
"That's good," said Rosalie, "I guess we can leave now."
He stood up and groaned a little bit. Rosalie helped him stand up. He smiled at her. She turned to Trevor, "Trevor I want to thank you for everything. You helped my family escape from Dark Empire and you brought them back to my mansion safely. Not only that you helped me escape from that terrible man I've been married to for hundreds of years. I will finally be free from this place and my family can continue on. We will be in heaven."
She hugged him. He tried to hug her but he went through her. She let go and faced him.
"Rosalie you are the most helpless but strong girl I ever met," said Trevor, "Most of the girls I met in my life are able to protect themselves without my help. But you weren't able to do that. I mean you're dealing with a man that has the power to keep you as his prisoner and forces you to do things you don't want to do with him. He threatens you all the time so you will do as he says. But you are very strong. You are strong enough to escape from an evil man thousands of times, even though you get caught. You risk yourself to go through dangerous situations that can put you or your family in a tough spot, but it's all worth it to protect yourself from violent consequences. But most of all, you know how to support people and help them get out of a situation they're going through, even though you're still trying to get out of yours. Thank you Rosalie."
She smiled, "My pleasure."
Jeremiah walked towards Trevor, "I want to thank you for helping my wife, my son and I get out of that dreadful place. I never thought this day will ever come."
"You're welcome," said Trevor, "Now come on we have to get you out of here."
They walked through the crowd when they heard a few gasps and whispers behind them. A familiar voice stopped them from leaving the room.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Everyone was silent in the ballroom. Trevor hold onto Rosalie's hand and Jeremiah hold his son very close. Jake walked a few steps forward as they walked a few steps back. The villain pointed at Rosalie.
"Give me Rosalie now!"
"No Jake!" Trevor cried, "She's no longer in your clutches."
"She's mine!" he cried angrily, "Whether she's my ex-wife or not I want her back! She must never leave this mansion at all!"
"I will never go back to you Jake!" cried Rosalie, "You're an evil man. You are a murderer, a rapist, and a huge disgrace to all of Midland! Tell the world the real truth about you and what you did to me!"
"You want the truth, fine," said Jake. He faced the guests, "Alright I admit it. I forced Rosalie Cumins to commit suicide and I'm responsible for the deaths of Jeremiah Cumins, their son Bentley, the two families who bought the house, and the hundreds of guests who attended the two previous masquerade balls."
Everyone in the room gasped and murmured to one another. He turned to Rosalie, "You satisfied now?"
She wasn't satisfied yet. She wanted him to get out of her way. She put her hand on her stomach.
"I was going to poison everyone and take them to my empire, but I found something even better," said Jake. Out of nowhere he held onto Annabel on her wrist. She had a scared look on her face, "And that something is Annabel Brewer, my future ghost daughter."
"What?" asked Trevor feeling scared, "Give me my daughter Jake!"
"Never," he said, "If Rosalie doesn't want to have kids with me then I might as well kill your own daughter and keep her forever."
Annabel cried in pain as Jake held her hand tightly, "Daddy help!"
"Shut it," said Jake to her, "Give me Rosalie and I'll give you your child."
Trevor looked at Rosalie, then at Annabel. He didn't know what to do.
"Oh god this is so hard," he said looking at both girls.
"It's not hard of a choice!" said Jake, "I'll give you your daughter back if you give me Rosalie, or I can kill this little brat right now!"
Annabel looked at her father in fear, "Daddy!"
Trevor was frustrated. Soon he heard Julie's voice, "Just let her go Trevor. We could make another child and forget about Annabel."
Trevor turned to Julie then at Annabel. He took a deep breath and turned to Julie, "No Julie. She's my daughter and I want her alive."
"I don't care," she said, "I rather have her dead than alive."
Annabel felt torn. She looked the corner of her eye and saw something shiny in Jake's hand. She realized it was the knife.
She struggled to break free but Jake held her hand tightly.
"No!" cried Trevor. Jake thrust the knife back ready to stab her. Rosalie couldn't take it any longer.
"Jake no," she said, "Don't hurt her. She's only a child."
"I don't care," he said, "Just because she's your friend doesn't mean I'm gonna treat her well. I rather have her as my daughter since you won't have kids with me."
She took a deep breath, "Jake we are going to have a kid."
Jake looked at her, "Excuse me?"
Jeremiah hold Rosalie's shoulder, "Rosalie what are you doing?"
"I have to tell him," she said, "It's the only way we can save Annabel's life."
She walked towards Jake, "I'm...I'm pregnant. I'm going to have a baby."
Jake was silent. He couldn't believe it. He let go of Annabel's hand. She ran to Trevor. Jake was so stunned by the news he didn't say anything. Then he spoke, "I'm...I'm going to be a father?"
She nodded, "Yeah."
He didn't say anything for a second, then he slap her on the face. She touched her cheek.
"Why didn't you tell me you were pregnant?!" he yelled, "If you would've told me I wouldn't have broken up with you!"
"I couldn't tell you because I knew what was going to happen," she said, "You were going to lock me in the castle all day and night and you will surely keep me away from my family. I couldn't let that happen."
He grabbed her by the throat, "If that child is going to be mine then I have to protect you, don't I?"
He let go of her. She gasped for air. He grabbed her arm, "I cannot let my wife get rid of that baby, and I can't let her be with her family any longer."
He pulled her as they walked away.
"Jake, what about us?" Jeremiah asked.
Jake turned to him, "I don't care about you anymore. All I care about is my pregnant wife Rosalie."
He turned around again when Rosalie hit him on the face. He yelled in pain and let go of her. She ran to her husband. Jake looked at her angrily.
He ran after her as she quickly ran away from him. The guys and Annabel ran after them. Rosalie couldn't run straight to the door. She was focusing on escaping from Jake instead of escaping the house.
"Get back her!" he cried.
She ran up the stairs as quickly as she can. Jake followed her. She looked at the hallway and ran to Annabel's room. She hid behind the door so when Jake walks in the room she can go through the door and escape. Jake stopped at the doorway and walked in.
He looked around the room searching for Rosalie.
"Show yourself!" Jake cried. He walked to the other side of the room as Rosalie quietly walked through the door but it creaked a little. Jake turned around and saw Rosalie. She ran a few steps but Jake ran faster and was able to grab her. He pushed her against
the wall and held her by the shoulders.
"If you even try to get out of here, I swear I will take your family with me back to Hell," he said in a dark tone.
"No you won't," she said feeling scared but tried to be brave.
He took out the knife, "Then you left me no choice."
He stabbed her through her stomach a few times. She yelled in pain. He let her go and she fell onto the floor. She put her hand on her stomach, feeling terrible for the baby. She knew she had lost it for good. She slowly crawled away but Jake pushed her down to the floor with his foot. She cried in pain and in sorrow. He grabbed her shoulders and pushed her onto the bed. She felt fatigue and dizzy. She tried to get up but Jake pushed her down on the bed. She knew what was going to happen so she kicked him on the legs causing him to let go of her. However when she walked a few steps he tripped her. She fell onto the floor a little hard. The pain had stung her. She slowly looked back and saw that Jake had disappeared. She was scared, worried Jake might of been hiding from her. She got up and walked to the door. She put her hand on her injury. She tried to walk but the pain was so severe she began to loose her balance. She saw Jeremiah at the other end of the hallway.
He turned to her, "Rosalie!"
He ran to her and hugged her. He looked at the pain on his wife's stomach. Trevor and Annabel walked out of the room they were in. They walked to the Cumins.
"Rosalie are you alright?" he asked her.
"What does it look like?" she asked, "He stabbed me."
"So does that mean you lost that baby?"
"Sadly yes." She looked at all three of them, "Where's Bentley?"
Jeremiah froze, "Oh god I think I left him-"
Soon they heard a baby cry in fear. Jake walked out of the room with the infant in his arms, "Bentley will make a great son of mine, don't you think Rosalie?"
Rosalie was scared, "Give me my son Jake!"
He disappeared into thin air. Rosalie looked at the same spot where Jake had disappeared, "He's gone. He took my son with him."
She had tears running down her face.
"Don't worry Rosalie," said Trevor, "We'll get your son back. In the meantime you can leave the mansion-"
"Daddy we only have five minutes," said Annabel, "We don't have a lot of time to search the whole house. If Rosalie leaves right now Jake will go back to Hell with Bentley."
"I can't let that happen," said Rosalie. Jeremiah hugged her.
"Well we'll sure waste a lot of time standing around here," said Trevor, "Jeremiah, Annabel, and I will search all three floors separately."
"Okay," said Jeremiah, "Rosalie you stay downstairs in the living room. You're badly hurt."
"Okay," said Rosalie, "Please be careful when you find Bentley."
"I will," he said. He kissed her and they went their separate ways. Trevor searched the third floor in his bedroom, bathroom, and Bentley's nursery. Everyone who attended the ball had left the mansion, including Julie. She left Trevor a message telling him she
will be leaving the mansion for the next few nights until he straightens everything out. Trevor didn't care; he hated his wife and he had no problem without her. He searched in the closet and the secret stairway behind the bookshelf. He looked at the bathroom but found no one in there. He walked to the nursery and search the room in silence. He found no one in the room. Jeremiah searched the second floor. He searched in each bedroom, including Annabel's room. He had no luck, however he could hear a
child crying in misery. Annabel searched the first floor but she decided to search the two places Jake would be in. She searched the ballroom but found no one. She walked to the basement feeling scared but was hoping she would find the villain and the
baby. She walked down the stairs and looked around. It was dark but the moonlight streamed through the small window. She turned her head in both directions. She heard a small whimper. One of the boxes fell from the pile. She turned her head to the
pile of boxes near the portal. She slowly walked to it. She felt frighten as she walked closer to the pile. Meanwhile Trevor and Jeremiah walked down the stairs. Rosalie was sitting in the living room feeling miserable.
"We can't find them," said Trevor, "We've searched everywhere and we had no luck."
"Oh he's gone for sure," said Rosalie, "He probably took my son back to Dark Empire and keeping him as bait so I wouldn't leave the mansion. Maybe I should go back."
"No you can't," said Trevor, "If you go back Jake would find you and take you back to his castle."
"Well what am I going to do? I can't just sit around here worrying if he's in Dark Empire or not," she said, "I have to search for them."
"Look all we have to do is wait for Annabel," said Trevor, "She's probably still searching for Jake and Bentley."
Annabel looked behind the pile of boxes and Jake suddenly appeared with the knife in one hand and holding Bentley with the other. He nearly thrust the knife through her heart but Annabel quickly moved away before the knife touched her. Bentley cried in fear. Jake ran towards her but she held his wrist from stabbing her. She looked at Bentley. She stomped Jake on the foot causing him to drop Bentley. The knife cut her on the arm. She caught Bentley before he touched the ground but her arm was bleeding a little bit.
Jake swayed his hand with the knife only to cut the bottom of her long hair. She ran up the stairs as quickly as she can. Jake followed her.
"Rosalie!" cried Annabel.
Rosalie stood up from the couch and was happy to see Annabel with her son, "Bentley!"
She ran to her but stopped when she saw Jake behind her. Jeremiah walked out of the living room and was happy to see his son, unaware Jake ran to them.
He ran to Annabel to get his son.
"Jeremiah wait!" Rosalie cried.
Jeremiah didn't stop. He was able to get Bentley but Jake pushed Annabel to the ground and grabbed Jeremiah. He put the knife on his neck.
"Jeremiah!" cried Rosalie.
Soon the clock rang. Jake turned to the clock then to Rosalie, "If you leave right now Rosalie I will slice your husband's throat."
"No Jake," said Rosalie feeling scared, "Don't hurt him."
"I won't hurt him unless you leave the mansion," said Jake.
"Rosalie..." gasped Jeremiah.
She turned to the door then to Jake.
"Rosalie you only have thirty seconds before it's midnight," said Trevor.
"Leave and he gets hurt," said Jake, "It's your choice Rosalie."
She didn't know what to do.
She was frustrated. She kept looking back.
She turned to Jake, took a deep breath, and ran to the door. She hated to hear her husband's pain. Jeremiah fell to the floor with his hand on his neck.
"No!" cried Jake.
Rosalie ran through the door and was under the moonlight. Her spirit turned blue and she glowed beautifully. She took a deep breath, happy to feel the fresh air she has long waited for. She turned to Jake. He had an angry look on his face.
Soon a strong light glowed from the basement. A dark black spirit guard riding in a black chariot ran out of the basement and was charging towards Jake. He tried to escape but the spirit grabbed him by the waist. He looked at Rosalie angrily.
"I will get you back if it's the last thing I do!" he yelled. The spirit took him down to the basement and disappeared back to Hell. Jeremiah got up and ran to Rosalie. She walked to him and hugged him. He, too, glowed under the moonlight. Trevor and Annabel smiled at the couple. They let go and smiled at each other. Rosalie took Bentley from Jeremiah's arms. She was happy her son is safe. The couple turned Trevor and Annabel.
"Thank you," said Rosalie.
They smiled back. The Cumins suddenly turned into floating blue balls and began floating up the sky. They walked out of the house and looked up. From the cemetery more blue balls began to fly up to the heavens, leaving their graves. They realized they were the other ghosts from Dark Empire. Trevor hugged Annabel and told her she did well. Annabel smiled at her father. They watched the souls as they flew higher and higher up in the sky. The next few weeks was a bit tough for both Trevor and Annabel. When Trevor went to court to get a divorce with Julie he had learn quite a few dark secrets from her he wished he didn't hear. Her family were not only in charge for hiding the murder cases her grandfather committed, but for stealing a great amount of money since the death of Jake. Julie nearly stole fifty thousand dollars from Trevor's bank account before they arrived to court. Fortunately the court found out about her crime. Trevor was hurt so much on the inside but was glad he finally divorced from her. It took him and his daughter a while to get accustom without Julie but within a month everything went back to normal. Trevor went back to paranormal investigating and become Jeremy's partner again. However he didn't travel as much as before. He decided to spend more time
with his daughter so he would continue having a strong and stable relationship with her. Annabel was happy to have her father by her side. They spend most of their time visiting the graves of the Cumins family, bringing them flowers and telling them about their lives so far. They felt happy to talk to their deceased friends; they missed them very much. They had rearranged the house and clean out some of the rooms. Trevor put the portrait of the Cumins family on the wall in the living room to remember about
their friends. They would often look at the portrait in the evenings to remember them. Trevor had purchased a wiener dog for Annabel so she wouldn't feel lonely most of the time. He spend most of his weeks down in the basement and where he and Rosalie left the dark tunnel and put up bricks and cement to block the portals. He removed the door from the entrance to the tunnel and put plaster on the doorway. He even put up a few crosses of Christ to keep away evil spirits from entering the house. Trevor's and
Annabel's lives had gotten better without having Julie around. Annabel had made more good friends at school and no one teased her anymore. Trevor was awarded by the city council for changing their history and for bringing in a wanted criminal. He felt
honored for receiving an award like this. But most importantly, he was glad he and his daughter got closer each day without having serious problems with each other. They would usually spend their time together looking at the portrait. They knew the Cumins were watching them from heaven. Trevor and Annabel lived happily in the mansion for many years to come.