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The Haunted

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Type of story: Short/Medium Fic: Two or maybe three chapters.

Rating: Can’t remember the ratings category, but there’s no sex, violence or swearing. G/T

Main Characters: Jade, Nick, Robbie, Tasha, Jack, Martha.

Genre: Supernatural/Drama/Angst.

Warnings: Don’t look over your shoulder. Who knows who or what may be watching? :unsure::ph34r::P

Is Story being proof read: Nope.

Summary: Six Summer Bay High students go on a ghost hunt...

Well, I was going to enter this in the Fanfic Challenge because two or three people said I should enter as it’s not actually a competition anymore, but then I realised it had very little to do with the chosen subject of “Holidays”. :P I’ve mixed ages so Martha and Jack have suddenly found themselves the same ages as characters who wandered through Summer Bay a few years earlier. There’ll probably only be one more chapter after this as I don’t want to commit myself to a longer fic. And, as per usual with my stories, I only have a vague idea of where it’s going...


One night...one terrifying night...Something or someone or some creature gripped her hand...

“Haunted! No waaay!” Nick Smith declared, once he’d stopped laughing enough to recover breath.

Robbie Hunter pushed his glasses back up his nose and gave a tight little smile. “I didn’t expect any of you to believe me...”

“I believe you, Rob.” Tasha whispered, gazing wide-eyed at the isolated caravan on the edge of Summer Bay Caravan Park.

Robbie sighed and wished Tasha would believe in him just a little more and turn those beautiful large eyes his way.

Number 27 though! What a bummer!

It should have been No 13. Robbie liked things to be how they should. Thirteen carried weight. People feared thirteens. In the UK, rows of streets with odd-numbered houses merrily skipped from 11 to 11A before settling cosily back down at No 15. In the United States, many tall buildings didn’t have floors numbered thirteen so nobody could step out on to them and trip or find themselves in some parallel universe. (In all the best sci fi shows floor thirteen existed in some parallel universe.) There was even a word in the dictionary for it: triskaidekaphobia: An abnormal fear of the number thirteen. Oh, Robbie, being a natural born geek and computer hogger, had done his homework alright! In Italy, seventeen was considered unlucky; in some Asian countries it was four...but twenty-seven? Twenty-seven had nothing going for it in the fear department. Twenty-seven was a huge disappointment. Except...

The caravan owners had tried to hush up the rumours, but no holidaymaker ever stayed more than one night in Caravan 27. Shivering and afraid, each told similar stories. Things not of this earth. Things we would prefer to banish to the darkest region of our mind till some deep primal fear resurfaces and we are no more than frightened children again seeking comfort in familiar surroundings.

They said unknown eyes watched...

They said shadows flitted past at the edge of their vision...

They said there were strange murmurs and whispers and scratching...

Small wonder Caravan 27 had been ostracised and moved far away from the main site ready to be towed away to a scrap heap the day after tomorrow, where its fate was to be flattened and destroyed forever!

A sudden high-pitched scream made Tasha catch hold of Robbie’s arm in fright. Now this was how things should be, he thought happily, as she snuggled closer, and watched Martha Stewart, source of the scream, with those big beautiful eyes.

Martha Stewart turned the scream into a squeal of half laughter, half annoyance and thumped her boyfriend Jack Holden so smartly that he rubbed his shoulder ruefully.

“Owww! That hurt!”

“It was meant to. Don’t you dare scare me like that again!”

“There was an insect on your neck...”

“Yeh, yeh.”

Jack grinned back at her. “Okay, there wasn’t. All you have to do is lick your finger and, hey presto, ice cold finger on the back of the neck. Gets the girls screaming for you every time.”


Martha slapped him again, but gently, and didn’t object when he drew her to him for a kiss.

“Guys, guys! I need to know. Are we in on or not?” Robbie did his utmost to bring them back to the reason they’d come down to the Summer Bay Caravan Park in the first place.

“I’m not sure...” Jade Sutherland flicked back her long blonde hair, looking nervous. Unlike the others, she had stood a little way away from the old caravan. Even Tasha had been brave enough to peer in through its grimy windows though nothing could be seen.

“Aw, come on, Jade. Remember watching Most Haunted on satellite TV? All you have to do is shout Is anyone there? and then run around screaming like Derek Acorah and his gang do. And I’ll look after you.”

“I know you will.” Jade smiled.

For all his jokes and love of theatricals, she knew Nick Smith cared about her deeply. They had been an item now for six months. Summer Bay High’s most enduring couple. Other couples broke up all the time. Martha and Jack broke up and reunited on an almost weekly basis: Jack had an eye for a pretty girl and Martha had a quick temper. Tasha and Robbie were simply good friends though Robbie would have preferred a more romantic attachment. Even Jade’s twin, Kirsty, had never fallen truly, madly and deeply in love though there’d been a couple of close encounters. But not Nick and Jade.

When it hit, it hit like a bolt from the blue, their eyes meeting accidentally across the crowded classroom, Jade’s in sympathy, Nick’s in resigned amusement when hot-tempered Kirsty had cut all ties and stormed off for the final time over something Nick had said in joke.

It must have been love at first sight, Jade happily told Kirsty much later, when she was hugging her diary to her, having just written about a blond-haired, blue-eyed guy who set her pulse racing. Strange how in the stormy few weeks when Kirsty and Nick had been together, Jade had never thought of him as anything other than someone who passed by only on the fringes of her own life.

“You don’t mind me dating Nick, do you?” She had asked anxiously, the day she’d confessed to Kirsty that Nick, finally accepting it was over, had asked her out.

Kirsty was the bold, confident twin while Jade was the shy, quiet, thoughtful one, liking to think things through whereas Kirsty would act on impulse and think about consequences later. But big-hearted too. Strangely, in many ways, Kirsty was exactly like Nick, but a clash of far too similar personalities had made for a fiery, spark-fuelled relationship.

“Truthfully, I don’t think Nick and me were ever going anywhere,” Kirsty admitted, grinning. It was funny, she said, but when Jade told her she had expected to be jealous, but instead it was as though everything had suddenly fallen into place.

“Like it’s meant to be. Like...I dunno... there’s someone else out there and he’s my soulmate." Kirsty gazed out of their bedroom window at the twinkling stars in the inky black sky and the distant silver-tipped waves. “I’m a dag!” She added, laughing at herself. She wasn’t usually given to flights of fancy. Jade was the romantic.

“No, you’re not. And I’m glad you’re okay about me and Nick.”

The sisters hugged one another warmly.

“I’m happy for you, Jade,” Kirsty said. “Go the dreams!”

Jade laughed. She had told Kirsty all about her dream of the future, about she and Nick talking about choosing an engagement ring. But she had other dreams too. Dreams that weren’t so happy. Nightmares.

Vague images, figures reaching out to her. Shadows calling her name. They whispered to her when night was at its darkest and an eerie icy coldness crept into the air. They fled when sunlight and birdsong woke or when, in fear, she shouted across the room to her twin, breaking into Kirsty’s rhythmic breathing of deep, untroubled sleep. For Kirsty never once saw or heard Jade’s ghosts.

One night...one terrifying night...Something or someone or some creature gripped her hand.

So tightly that when she finally broke the grip and slowly managed to uncurl her fingers, she winced in pain. Lamplight flooded the room and she and Kirsty studied the red marks dug into her hand and wrist.

“You must have grabbed hold of your own hand in your sleep! We all do weird stuff when we’re dreaming. Who knows what goes on in our heads?” Kirsty said gently, sitting on the bed and pushing back Jade’s hair. “No more cheese or choccie just before bed, hey?” Always the logical one. Always so calm and reassuring. Always making everything seem alright again.

While Jade was the dreamer. Always the dreamer.

“Jade! Are you in?” Robbie’s question drew her back to the present.

Golden sun and azure sky. A lazy heat shimmering over the turquoise sea and holidaymakers strolling down to the sun-kissed beach, towels slung over shoulders and sun hats pulled down over eyes. Normality. Time once and for all to kill the demons that haunted by night. To realise only an over-active imagination was responsible. After all, she had laughed along with Nick at the UK show that visited supposedly haunted hot-spots and challenged restless spirits to make themselves known with raps and moving tables.

“Because that isn’t the way it happens,” whispered Jade’s inner voice. She silenced it quickly and swallowed.

“I’m in!” She announced, ignoring the rapid pattering of her heart.

And so on that sultry afternoon beside Caravan 27 six Summer Bay High students made their pact, laughing as they raised arms and locked fingers together. Six Summer Bay High students with nothing better to do in the long summer holiday than while away their time, believing torchlight and cynicism and each other would be enough to protect them when they returned by midnight.

The foolish ones.

To be Continued... :ph34r:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I had to do something to take my mind off a major problem :( (see Have a Moan thread) so here goes, next chapter: :)

***Chapter 2***

Robbie was deep in thought as he took the little-used path where historians believed some of Australia’s earliest agricultural farmers may have been buried. And so he never saw a dark grey, wispy shape rise up from the soft muddy earth and follow him...

“Perfect!” Robbie declared.

Few other Summer Bay residents would have looked out into that haunted night and reached the same conclusion. Rain lashed the windows and streamed down the glass. Jagged forks of lightning streaked furiously across a moody sky and loud claps of thunder shattered dozens of dreams.

But not so Henry’s.

As usual, Henry gave out regular little snorts and mumbling in his sleep. Just as Robbie had crept to the dresser, he had sat straight up in bed and breathed “Robbie! You’ve done it!” making Robbie jump 20,000 feet and rising. The last thing he wanted on this mission was a kid brother tagging along or dobbing him in to the olds!

But to his enormous relief, Henry, his face alabaster pale in the moonlight, his eyes staring eerily, had announced triumphantly, “The meaning of life MUST BE be strawberry cheesecake!” and fallen back down on his pillow with a thump.

Much as Robbie would have dearly loved to pursue that interesting line of enquiry a little further, time was of the essence. He gave a sigh a as he breathed on his glasses and polished them on a large cotton handkerchief plucked from his jeans pocket. The handkerchief was almost a year old now and frayed at the edges from its frequent washes, but Robbie was very attached to it. Before its demotion to spectacles cleaner, it had partnered him in several sneezing experiments and between them they had very nearly isolated what Robbie referred to as the “sneezing germ” and the rest of the family referred to as “Yuk!”

People, especially family, just didn’t appreciate an inventive mind, he reflected, though Henry might be showing a latent promise.

Robbie looked approvingly back at his younger brother just as thunder broke overhead and the rain began gushing down. Through lightning flashes, he struggled into the clothes he had hidden on the dresser under a pile of schoolwork so that he didn’t have to open drawers and wardrobes and risk waking him. Listening to his whistling snores right now though there wasn’t much chance of that!

Maybe one day - or night - he might conduct an experiment with Henry hooked up to the family computer, which Robbie would convert accordingly. He had no doubts about his own ability to invent a sleep/dream conductor, but persuading Henry to let himself be wired up and subjected to mild electric shocks was another matter altogether. He was still chewing over the knotty problem as he crept downstairs, unscrewed the window lock of a small side window and climbed through.

Robbie was deep in thought as he took the little-used path where historians believed some of Australia’s earliest agricultural farmers may have been buried. And so he never saw a dark grey, wispy shape rise up from the soft muddy earth and follow him...


“Careful!” Jack said gallantly, reaching out to help Martha climb over the soaking wet rocks that led to Brooding Hill, where they would meet with Robbie, Tasha and Nick. As her family ran the caravan park for the owners, the Sutherland’s house was much nearer so Jade had arranged to make her own way to Caravan 27.

“Huh! I’m not made of glass!” His pretty girlfriend protested. “Grew up on a farm with three bros, didn’t I?”

But secretly Martha was enjoying being looked after. Even though she could have taken the rough, slippy terrain with ease. She’d done enough tramping round the farm to know her hiking boots, unlike the trainers Jack was wearing, were ideal footwear in weather like this. Still, being close to him meant she could keep an eye out he wasn’t about to slip! Martha had been a star gymnast at her junior school, sure-footed and with an excellent sense of balance. Small wonder she had once been the only one agile enough to reach down into a gully to rescue a stray lamb after all three of her brothers had tried and failed, dismissing their kid sister’s original offer to help by telling her, “Rack off, Mac! Girls would only get in the way!”

With typical brotherly love-hate for their sister, Chris, Tommo and Macca had alternated between over-protecting her and making her do things for herself and as a result she had grown up to be fiercely independent. If ever one of her brothers began a sentence with “Girls can’t...” Martha immediately went out of her way to prove girls can. She could play footie, mend a fuse and throw a punch with the best of them.

“Ah, but I’m stronger. Lean on me,” Jack said.

“Okay, I’ll admit you’re stronger - but remember, Holden, I’ve got all the brains in this relationship,” Martha said firmly, as he drew her up over the rocks, needing to put his arm round his waist to steady her.

Lean on me. Her heart had flipped when Jack said that. He could be so sweet at times. She was no helpless Barbie doll, but no harm in letting him think she couldn’t manage the climb on her own. He wanted to train as a cop when he finished school and no doubt there’d be people who needed to be rescued so he needed the practice. Besides she liked the feeling of his arm round her waist and he looked devilishly handsome with his dark hair drenched with rain that was dripping down his face like he’d just emerged from the shower. Martha grinned and her cheeks tinged pink at the thought.

He loved that wicked look that came into Martha’s eyes sometimes and the way she gave a cute little half smile when she was thinking about something. Obviously something she didn’t want him to know or she wouldn’t be blushing. Martha looked so cute when she blushed. Unable to resist, he planted a kiss on her cherry lips.

“Oy!” Martha said, when they finally came up for air after a long snog. “The middle of a thunderstorm, in the pouring rain, when we’re on our way to a ghost hunt, is not the right time to stop and pash. Though it was a very nice time.”

They smiled, lingering a while longer, oblivious to the storm, because it was so warm and cosy in each other’s arms, looking into each other’s eyes.

Perhaps, we do not know what this haunted night will hold, all things have not yet come together and we cannot know what waits for us out there in the dark, their love would give them the strength they would need.


From the top of the hill, Tasha raised her hand in greeting. Her only concession to the rain was what looked like a long shawl draped across her shoulders and which she clutched to her neck. It was little protection.

Her sodden hair was plastered against her rain-soaked face and every time the breeze gained in strength the shawl would lift, allowing the rain to seep through and drench her clothes. But Tasha’s eyes shone in exhilaration.

She thrived on storms and loved to be out in them. Their wild beauty and untamed spirit appealed to her own. Summer Bay may be her home now, but her heart would always belong to woods and rivers and wide open spaces. Anywhere she could be free. She turned to her foster brother, Nick. Like Tasha, he was being brought up by Irene Roberts and they had made their way together to the meeting place.

“Robbie’s here!” Tasha shouted through the noise of the storm. “He hasn’t see us yet.”

“Where? How do you know? I can’t see anyone.” Nick squinted, his eyes stinging in the heavy rain, only his face visible from the hood of his waterproof jacket.

“I can hear footsteps on the gravel path inbetween the thunder lulls and recognise Robbie’s footfall. At this moment, they are uncertain,” Tasha said, as though it were the most natural thing in the world to detect someone this way. Using her arms to hold the shawl in place, she cupped her hands to her mouth and loudly whooped, “Aye-kiiirreee-eee; aye-eee! Aye-kiiirreee-eee, aye-eee!”

Robbie looked round, startled for a moment that some woodland creature should have chosen to announce its presence in the middle of a thunderstorm, before he realised that the call was human and came from the hill.

“Tash! You’re seriously weird!” Her brother grinned, torn between bafflement, amusement and admiration, as through the heavy sheet of rain Robbie hove into view.

Nick had tried to persuade Tasha to wear a coat but she’d only shrugged and said she didn’t own one and never would, rejecting his suggestion that she borrow Irene’s (even if it would be way too big) with a Tasha pearl of wisdom “Heavy clothing makes for a heavy heart” as she snatched up an old car blanket instead. She had been brought up by survivalists from a very young age and being raised in the bush, living on bush tucker, learning to track and trail and live by her wits, with no conventional schooling or interaction with anyone but her parents, had given her unique view of the world.

“Hey, Tash!” Robbie called, thinking Tasha had never looked more beautiful than she did at that moment when a blinding flash of forked lightning lit up the sky as she hailed him.

But Tasha suddenly stood stock still and stared over his shoulder, frowning.

“You bring another presence with you,” she told Robbie, shivering.

“If you’re trying to spook me, you’re doing a good job,” Robbie said nervously.


Tasha laughed and shook herself. But she was perplexed. Normally nothing fazed her and this was a totally new experience. Somehow she knew there was a presence, but of what she could not tell. It was neither animal nor human. Even how she knew was hard to explain.

It was a sixth sense borne of years living outdoors with only stars and rivers to guide, where nature could both nurture and terrify. She could identify every creature that dwelt in the bush, knew their habits and their seasons, but this creature - if creature it was, for Tasha had no more than a vague feeling of uneasiness - was unknown to her. Perhaps living as she did now in a town, attending school, mixing with friends her own age and doing everyday things like watching TV, shopping or going down to the Diner was having its effect on her and she was becoming more like a townie herself. She had always found it amusing when people jumped at shadows, but suddenly she understood. It was something you couldn’t help. There is nothing there, she tried to tell herself. Yet still that eerie feeling that some evil had attached itself to Robbie persisted...

“Here’s Jack and Martha!” She said, to change the subject, espying their friends arriving from the opposite side of the hill.

“Wonder if Jade’s left for the caravan yet?” Nick remarked.

As if on cue, a bloodcurdling scream broke into the stormy night...

To be Continued... :ph34r:

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  • 1 month later...

Apologies for the long delay in updating. Still staying with relatives and not able to move permanently back into the flat (it’s being re-painted and re-plastered after the builders almost demolished it) but it’s getting there slowly so I’m here for the weekend. :)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I never liked the silly idea that Kirsty and Jade weren’t twins as I always thought the Sutherland sisters were very close. In this story, they remain twins.

***chapter 3***

No noise now, no sound at all save for a strange chanting as a dozen or more robed, faceless figures began making their way towards her...



“For pity’s sake, help me, Jade!”

The voice had been unrelenting and Jade had pressed her hands against her ears and swung away to break into an overwhelming darkness that was threatening to drag her down into a deep, weary sleep as the storm blew fiercely around, whirling leaves, lashing waves and screaming through the trees.

At first the solitary voice had been gentle and pleading, but through the roaring thunder one had become several, menacing and demanding, yelling her name over and over.

“Who are you? What do you want?” At last she had found breath to shout into the night.

“You, Jade!

“You, Jade!”


Mocking laughter echoed all around, rain sheeting down like a silver curtain, stinging her eyes so fiercely that she could barely see, forcing her backwards though she fought desperately against the exhaustion and to continue with her journey.

And then suddenly the storm, the cruel, cruel storm wreaking its terrible havoc on the land, had ceased all sound to play eerily on like a silent movie left to run on alone. No noise now, no sound at all save for a strange chanting as a dozen or more robed, faceless figures began making their way her...

Jade’s bloodcurdling scream tore into the night...


Oh, gentle night! Walls to protect. Darkness to shield. Through the open roof the kiss of the sighing breeze and high above a round full moon and sailing clouds. Now bats drawn by nightfall steal out of hiding places, the night-sweet aroma of lavender and the scent of incense assail the senses, sacring bell rings once, twice, three times, the red glow of candles illuminate the blackness as they are carried slowly up Brooding Hill by the procession chanting the old Latin prayers...


Kirsty heard herself still screaming as she sat up, still half locked in the nightmare, still ice cold with some unnamed, harrowing terror. As always, Jade was her first thought. It had been so ever since they were very small.

Seeking each other out if they were hurt or distressed, tiny hands reaching to console, anxious eyes peering through the wooden slats of their cribs placed side by side, tears of empathy rolling down plump baby cheeks.

With a shiver in her heart, she looked across at Jade’s empty bed.

For the first time ever, the twins had been considered old enough to be trusted on their own. Their parents had gone away for a romantic weekend break and older sister Dani was staying over at her boyfriend’s.

Of course Kirsty had laughed when Jade told her of the plans to visit Caravan 27 with Nick, Robbie, Tasha, Jack and Martha, where they would hold a vigil to try and contact the spirits. She didn’t believe in all that nonsense, she said, when Jade asked if she wanted to join them. And then she saw Jade’s face. Like their parents and Dani, Kirsty had long believed that the nightmares Jade had suffered from ever since they both could remember were just that, but Jade was convinced otherwise.

After all, she pointed out, even Kirsty herself had seen a shadow person once.

The twins were around eighteen months old and the Sutherland family had just arrived at a pretty little whitewashed cottage close to the beach for a month-long summer holiday. It was a bright, sunny day with dust motes dancing in the rays of sunlight that streamed in through the old cottage windows and Kirsty and Jade, already each carrying their favourite teddy bears, eager to re-discover some much-loved toys of theirs and Dani’s that had been away from them for a whole day, ran excitedly to the box their father had just set down on the floor.

But Jade stopped mid-run, laughed and reached upwards. Kirsty followed Jade’s glance and, to her astonishment, saw a woman with dark brown hair scooped back in a neat bun, wearing a white blouse adorned at the neck by a cameo brooch and a long, black skirt that swished on the ground as she walked, looking down at Jade and smiling.

As quickly as she appeared, she was gone. Jade didn’t seem to think this was anything out of the ordinary as she continued with her quest of the toybox, turning round, puzzled, when she realised Kirsty wasn’t by her side, and Kirsty’s thumb went into her mouth as she stared at Jade, and pondered alone on this strange occurrence, for her parents and Dani had obviously not seen anything.

The normal thing to have done, when something disturbed either of them, was to burst into tears but Kirsty, even then, knew she was the braver of the two and Jade seemed not in the least troubled. Kirsty actually bit her thumb, such was her dilemma, although, Kirsty being Kirsty, she refused to cry, and Jade, with careful baby steps and wide-eyed concern, came back to take her hand.

Together they toddled over to the toybox, the moment that had separated them quickly forgotten when Mr Jinx, the talking kangaroo, being accidentally switched on by the tumbling all around him, screeched from the bottom of the box and sent Jade into her own screech of fear, and Kirsty into her more familiar role as she patted Jade’s back and soothed “ahh, baba” while Jade was swept into their mother’s arms to be further comforted.

The Lady, as Jade and Kirsty came to call her when they grew old enough to discuss the sighting, was never seen by Kirsty again. But Jade saw her often after that first encounter.

When their parents and Dani had gone to bed, she would arrive to kiss her goodnight and - so Jade told her - would kiss Kirsty’s forehead too but Kirsty, at seven years old, freaked out on being told and demanded that the nightly ritual stop immediately or she would scream the house down every time it happened (and Kirsty’s screams, it has to be said, were a force to be reckoned with).

The Lady, or Edith as she was apparently called (by now Jade and The Lady were on first name terms although the early nickname stuck) was quite upset, Jade reported, but would “respect Kirsty’s wishes”. She was, Jade added, a distant aunt of the Sutherlands who loved children but who had died of consumption and childless before she was twenty-five, and she had been startled and delighted when her own family took up holiday residence in the cottage she herself had lived in back in the 1890s, especially when she realised Jade had a “psychic bond” and would be able to communicate more freely and for a much longer time as her powers developed fully although, The Lady warned, Jade would have to constantly be on her guard for evil spirits that would try to latch on to her too and so she should...

“Too much information!” Kirsty strongly objected, and from that moment on refused point blank to listen anymore. They were dreams, Kirsty said, dreams and nightmares. Jade flushed and curled a tendril of blonde hair round her finger as tears sparkled in her eyes. Kirsty guiltily scrambled out of bed.

“We make a deal,” she suggested. “I don’t diss what you tell me about the ghosts and you don’t tell me anything about the ghosts!”

“Okay!” Jade agreed, smiling at Kirsty’s typical Kirsty-logic.

And so time went on by and the Sutherland family, especially Kirsty, grew used to Jade’s strange tales. The Lady told Jade she would do her utmost to guard her but the power lay with Jade herself. Jade should always protect herself by...but here Kirsty had interrupted to cry with the laughter that had been building up inside her.

Oh, but she’d give anything to hear one of Jade’s ghost stories now! She’d give anything to have Jade standing here with her, to know she was okay.

“Jade, where are you?” Kirsty whispered through the window at the wild, tempest-ridden night.


“You okay, Mac?” Jack asked, as they came to the bottom of Brooding Hill and thus almost at the derelict, abandoned Caravan 27 awaiting its removal to the scrapyard. “That was one helluva journey!”

“Sure was.” Martha smiled. Jack thought he had helped his girlfriend over the rough terrain but Martha knew better. In his trainers, Jack would have slipped at least twice, probably more, if Martha hadn’t been clinging to his arm and kept him upright She ruffled his dark hair fondly.

“What’d I do?” Jack asked, with his usual boyish charm.

“Oh, you know...” Martha said, pulling tongues.

For they were still light-hearted then, all of the friends. Still unaware of what they had unleashed.

“Jellypicklesandwiches!” Robbie exclaimed suddenly.

Martha swung round, grinning. Only Robbie could have come up with his own highly original euphemism for swearing! And then she saw what had startled Robbie. Tiny orbs of bright light of varying colours were floating slightly above ground, hundreds of them, mingling with the falling rain.

“Omigod! They’re beautiful!” Captivated, Martha ran to try and touch one or two but the orbs of light seemed to move further away each time she reached for them.

“Ball lightning! I never saw it before!” Ever the cop he hoped to be when he was older, Jack frowned in concentration, determined to take in every detail.

“I still don’t buy that scream was just someone from the caravan site fooling around. Where the hell’s Jade got to?” Nick asked, unimpressed by the show. “I’ll get a better view from higher.” He added, scrambling further up Brooding Hill.

“No! Stay together! Fear the unknown! ” Tasha warned uneasily, somehow knowing, without knowing how she knew, that they were being watched. “Guys, they’re trying to separate us! Grab each other’s hands, form a circle...”

“Jack! Jack, where are you?” Martha screamed, suddenly realising the orbs had led her into a thick grey fog.

Jack heard her, but he couldn’t see her as pinpricks of light distorted his vision. And then, to his enormous relief, a flash of lightning lit up the landscape. But his joy was to be short-lived. It was a different landscape. A different time. At the bottom of Brooding Hill lay a dried up stream cluttered with wilted plants; long, black snakes hissed at him as they uncoiled themselves from dead stumps of trees...it was all he saw before the world plunged him back into darkness...

Nick rubbed his eyes. Surely he was imagining the shadows of people making their way up Brooding Hill? No. No, they were still there. One figure broke away from the procession.

“Nick,” she called through the teeming rain in a lullaby voice, beckoning to him. “I know where it’s safe. Come with me, Nick. Come with me.”

“Tasha! Tasha, I can’t see!” His glasses misted over, Robbie reached for her blindly, stumbling over...were they gravestones? They felt like gravestones...“We're in...we seem to be in some kind of cemetery!”

“No, guys, don’t let them fool you! Stay together! Think together!” Tasha stretched towards Robbie, her fingertips nearly touching his when an invisible fist suddenly punched her hard on the back and as she gasped in pain, invisible hands reached up out of the muddy earth, grabbing her ankles, pulling her away...

And now each was alone...

To be Continued... :ph34r:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to stop writing horror stories, I’m rubbish at them. :(

Decided to round this off so that I could concentrate on writing Summer Bay High with Kat. :)

***Chapter 4***

***Final Chapter***

Evil took many forms and they had before nearly been fooled by the black-eyed people. Except when they got closer, the eyes would be the hollow eyes of the undead...

Three years.

Three years gone by in the blink of an eye, with a tear, with a sigh, we come to say goodbye...

Robbie had written a new poem and the words were still running round in his mind. He wrote a new poem every year, on the anniversary. Henry and the rest of the Hunter family said they weren’t very good poems. But they smiled fondly. Henry was yet to be convinced about sleep/dream conductor that he had first thought of inventing that fateful night, but Robbie was nothing if not an optimist and still believed he could change his mind.

Looking down at the grave, he pushed up his glasses and wiped a tear from the corner of his eye. Tasha squeezed his hand. Their love needed no words. It had grown, nurtured and cherished by each touch, each glance, by the freedom of the wild breeze and the gentle warmth of the sun. It would always be.

Brushing back tears with the back of her hand, Martha carefully laid her flowers, a beautiful colourful bouquet of tulips, roses and chrysanthemums, and stepped back into Jack’s arms.

“I love you,” Jack said, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her hair.

“Love you too,” she whispered back, looking sadly down at the grave. They had marked the spot where the young couple perished with a simple headstone.

“It must have been a terrifying death for them,” Tasha quietly reflected.

“It was,” Jade agreed, feeling Nick’s fingers lock tightly in her own. “The flames burnt the flesh from their faces and thick smoke filled their lungs. It was small comfort to know they were already dying. The plague had touched them all now and the heatwave had dried up the streams. There was no food and no more than a mouthful of fresh water left for each.

“Jacinta and Tom didn’t know they were seeing a ghostly monastery that had burnt down hundreds of years before and that the monks’ procession was a ghostly funeral procession. They were running away to be together. Her family considered her far superior to an illiterate stable boy. But who can help who they fall in love with?”

Jade spoke from the heart. Kirsty had fallen in love with Kane Phillips. They were married now, with a small son, Jamie. But nothing could change history. Nothing could change the fact Kane had once attacked their older sister Dani. Kane had long since expressed remorse and Dani had long since forgiven him but history stayed the same. It always would.

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years of history, layer upon layer upon layer, hidden beneath the earth’s crust, long forgotten now, making us who we are.

“Jacinta and Tom had heard the legend of Brooding Hill. Few took that route alone back in the 1800s. Solitary travellers told terrifying tales of how they had been followed by ghostly footsteps, heard ghostly voices or seen ghostly processions. The wise woman, a hermit who lived many years in the cave near the sea, warned those who would listen not to follow the ghostly orbs, for they would lead them to certain death. But the wise woman had been dead herself a century or more before Jacinta and Tom undertook their tragic journey and Brooding Hill was the quickest way to flee.

“Then we saw a light,” Jacinta whispered, the light fragrance of lavender that always accompanied her presence lingering on the air. Jade closed her eyes, seeing too what Jacinta and Tom had seen.

Her friends waited, curious to hear the story, as Jade repeated Jacinta’s words.

“Dozens of lights seeming to want us to follow. We followed. At the top of Brooding Hill we saw sanctuary. A monastery! Its bells pealing and the lights of candles blazing as a procession of monks made their way towards it, chanting Latin prayers..Though we did not know it, we were watching a procession that took place five or six hundred years before...”

1158. The plague had claimed its last victim of the once thriving hamlets . The monks carried the body, that of a beautiful young girl of perhaps nineteen, to be buried with the rest of the villagers beside the monastery. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, had already been buried in mass graves with nothing to mark their burial places, for the monks themselves were weak and soon they too would succumb to the terrible death. Only their isolation had kept them safe thus far, but necessity had forced them down to the village and to contact with the diseased.

The coffin was open. The monks thought this to be a fitting tribute. The girl was dressed in a long, white gown, her hands folded across her chest, her long dark hair framing her serene face. They had reverently placed her before the alter when it was noticed her lips were moving. Quickly, they set down the coffin and raced to fetch precious water but the girl suddenly sat up unaided. Too late they saw she was the embodiment of evil.

“A curse to you all!” She laughed. “I live forever!”

A thunderbolt broke overhead and the lightning struck the monastery. The monks tried to escape in vain. Theirs was to be a slow, painful death as flames engulfed them.

Afterwards she stood among the corpses and inhaled the smoke and their weakened spirits. It would be enough to give her strength, for she had fed on death since the dawn of time. Others, those who had chosen to remain in the realms of the earth, sensed her power and came together. Brooding Hill would become the most haunted place in the world.

But Tom and Jacinta were unaware they were heading into the jaws of hell.

Tom tenderly kissed Jacinta’s forehead. She was weak now. Barely alive. He should never have brought her this far. She had always been delicate. He should take her back to her family and face the consequences. The money they’d taken was but a small amount, enough to buy them food for just a few days, and they intended to pay back every penny as soon as Tom found work, but her father would have him charged with theft and thrown in gaol. Sir Anthony Claridge had power; his daughter’s word would count for nothing.

“I must take you home,” he said.

“No!” Jacinta clung to him, her eyes wide. “I love you, Tom. My life is nothing without you. Look! Something guides us!”

“We saw the strange lights,” Jacinta whispered again, as she stood beside Jade, invisible to all but she. “We believed them to be forces of good. There were none to tell us the lights were not to be trusted. Unaware each was the soul of evil, we followed.”

Martha shivered, glad to feel Jack’s arm round her waist. Tasha and Robbie knelt to arrange the flowers that Tasha had gathered, those that grew wild and free, glistening with raindrops. Robbie placed his poem beside the urn though soon the page would be drenched by the falling rain.

“They separated us.” Jade smiled as she sensed Tom’s presence joining them and adding his words. It was good to know that they were together again after so long and that she had been instrumental in reuniting them. “Like many a traveller before us, we were dragged down into the deep mud beneath the river, our bodies never found but left to rot.”

“You have great powers, Jade. Finally we were freed and could be together.” Jacinta took up the story again. “We were drawn to you at once. All that have passed will be. Whether for good or evil.”

Her voice began to fade.

“They’re gone,” Jade announced.

The sheet of paper scrunched up in the wind and rolled away in the breeze, the words of the poem blurred by the rain. For Brooding Hill would never be silenced.

The sky darkened with thunderclouds and the first flash of lightning struck. A scream tore through the wilderness. A small child began to make her way down from the top of the hill, weeping and holding out her arms. But they resisted. Evil took many forms and they had before nearly been fooled by the black-eyed people. Except when they got closer, the eyes would be the hollow eyes of the undead...

In the circle surrounding the grave, the friends held out their hands to each other and tightly clasped, knowing they must never break their circle of love and friendship. Without Jade’s strong psychic powers to bring them together they would never have escaped Brooding Hill alive. All would be connected through the circle they had created that very first night outside the caravan. All now shared the same psychic bond; ghosts and creatures from other worlds would always seek them out...

To Be Continued...

... Forever...




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