Meredith Green is an eighteen year old girl who is, to be honest, pretty lazy. She has no idea which direction her life is going to take, and, quite frankly, doesn't care. She gets the opportunity she needs to turn her life around, however, in the form of a completely unexpected call from a Specialist University, offering her a place among their ranks. With no other options, Meredith is forced to attend, along with her best friend Charlie Samuels, who also received a mysterious phone call. From the moment they enter the huge manor house, Meredith starts developing odd symptoms and strange suspicions about the teachers. Also, the two brothers who own the manor, Jeremiah and Noah, seem to act weird around the pupils in particular. She is determined to find out the truth, despite the mystery illness she seems to be coming down with. However, is the truth safe? Can Meredith handle the shocking facts about everyone around her that she loves and trusts?


3. Haunted Manor

"You're a hundred percent sure that you're actually okay?" came Charlie's worried voice from downstairs. I leaned against the banister at the top of the stairs, loitering in the landing as I waited for Charlie to pour the tea.

"I told you, there's nothing to be worried about. It was just the cold, nothing more." I wasn't so sure, but it was the most plausible explanation for my weird behaviour in the cafe. I loitered hesitantly in the airy landing of my house, staring at the tall, ornately decorated ceiling and the rich red carpets. My house was an old Victorian mansion, built on a secluded area of El Monte, Los Angeles. It was surrounded by acres and acres of private land, most of unsued and uncared for. The house was historical, ancestor after ancestor living and passing the house onto the next generation. The original family name was Faustini, but my mother was an only child, therefore taking the surname of her husband, which was Green. The house dated back to the early thirteenth century, but was updated in the Victorain era to an extremely large Victorian mansion, where it hasn't been touched since. The history of The Faustini Manor, as it is formerly known as, is extremely intuiging, but long and somewhat tedious to read up on. However, I loved my bloodlines, and wouldn't change them for any other family. 


"Hey kiddo. Wakey, wakey!" I jumped, spinning around as I felt a hand on my back. Jenny, my step-mum, was leaning casually against the banister, a few steps down from me. She looked like she had just come back from one of her meetings, as her bright ginger hair was neat and tied up for once. Also, she was wearing a plain grey skirt and an ironed shirt, accompanied by a black jacket. She was wearing light green eyeshadow, which complimented the deep, much darker green of her animated, sensitive eyes. Usually, she'd just wear some paint-spattered jeans and a hoodie, leave her hair loose and not bother with things like makeup, always cooped up in her art studio working on various paintings or annotations. Today, though, she'd attended a meeting discussing the sale of one of her peices of art. Her face was tired and weary, but had a happy mood to it. I knew instantly that her artwork had been sold, as she wouldn't be looking so pleased if it hadn't. However, I was miffed that she'd scared me like that; usually, she'd just leave me alone and go and work on one of her paintings.

"I was doing just fine when I was asleep, thanks." I replied testily, running a hand through my wavy blonde hair. Jenny raised her eyebrows at me, a grin playing about her lips.

"Oh really? Well, I'm sorry, Little Miss Moody!" she chuckled back, passing me on her way to the bathroom. She turned around to face me before she entered the bathrrom. "Just one more thing. Do you have any makeup remover? I can't get this wretched stuff off!" I grinned and shook my head slowly, marvelling at her unladylike ways. I couldn't marvel for long, though, as I heard Charlie calling me from the kitchen, telling me the tea was ready.


"So, spill it. What have you got?" Charlie and I were sat at the long, farm-house style kitchen table, both with steaming mugs of tea in our hands and peering curiously at the webpage loaded on my laptop. The light shone down from the pale white ceiling, sending the screen into shadow. Charlie frowned and got up, walking across the tiled floor to the baby blue wall, switching off the light so as to get a better view of the information. We had searched Stockridge Manor after both finding out that we had been offered a place at the university, curious as to what exactly the university did. It was a Specialist University, which meant that it specialised in something, but we weren't sure what we would have to take. Charlie sat back down again with a sigh, looking eagerly at the page which I was already scanning. It was a Wikipedia page, giving loads of info on the Manor and its surrounding area. Apparently, Stockrigde Manor was a sixteenth century castle, owned by the Alberico Family, who gave permission for it to be used as a university twenty years ago. The current owners of the Manor were two brothers named Jeremiah and Noah Alberico, of Italian heritage. They didn't like to be seen publically, but made occasional appearances to see the students and teachers at the university.


There was only one picture of the brothers, taken in a dim-lit hall where there was obviously some public event going on. The pair were standing on a stage in front of a microphone, making a speech. The older brother, Noah, was standing slightly behind while Jeremiah was talking. I frowned, looking closer at the man. "Hey, Charlie. Look at this. That's Jeremiah, just there." I pointed at the picture, Charlie following my finger to the image of the man. He looked to be about twenty or so, with dark hair and a tall, muscular, perfectly shaped body. The room was dark so everything else about him was impossible to see, but his brother was lit up by a glow from backstage so his face was a bit clearer. He had greyish blue eyes and light brown hair, with a square jaw and high jawbones. His nose was long and cleanly cut, and his lips were full and a dark red. All in all, he was devillishly handsome. Charlie raised her eyebrows, also looking at Noah.

"Forget Jeremiah; Noah is mega cute!" she giggled, waggling her eyebrows at the picture. I laughed, scrolling down to the History section. What I read next made the hair on my neck stand up.



"Charlie, listen to this. According to the locals, the Manor is haunted. There have been sightings of massive beasts a couple of times, ranging from albino to black.They say that they look a bit like massive dogs, but more muscular and with longer fangs. The supersticious folk claim that they're werewolves, but the University argues that they're probably just wild wolves. Most locals believe that, too. Once, there was a dead body found in the lake near the University, drained of most of it's blood with it's upper body torn apart. No animal's attack methods match those used on the person, which was later confirmed to be a member of the University. On full moons, the locals say that they've heard howling, screams and snarls coming from the university." I looked round at Charlie, who had an expression of mocking on her face. She smiled at my fear, just shaking her head.

"Come on, Merry. These are just a bunch of rumours and campfire stories put on here to make you scared. Don't believe any of that crap; it's just garbage. Our new University will be safe, I'm sure of it." Charlie told me confidently, a grin on her face. Suddenly, the light snapped on, making us both cringe and lose our sight for a few seconds. Jenny was standing int the doorway, dressed in her usual jeans and Saltrock hoodie. However, her face was a mixture of shock, anger, confusion and pride.

"What do you mean, new University? Meredith Lunar Green, you never told me you'd applied or been accepted for a University! This is big, you know. tell me all about it, and we'll get ready, okay?" she sighed and sat down, asking me questions about the University. A few times, she exclaimed loudly, or told me off for not letting her know sooner. "Merry! The second of September is only three weeks away! Crap, we need to get your stuff together!" she had said once, However, I hadn't been listening. All I could think aout was that dead body, ripped apart and drained of blood....



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