Orphan House

Tien is a Vietnamese girl living with her English adoptive parents. They move to an abandoned orphanage where Tien soon starts seeing things. At first she thinks she's going crazy. But when her baby brother starts talking to thin air she begins to wonder if there is another explanation. When she finds the diary of one of the old social workers her worst fears are realised.

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2. Chapter 2

The next day Tien was given the job of sorting the attic. After carefully climbing up the ladder she pulled herself up with her arm. Fumbling in the dark she found her torch and switched it on. There was dust and cobwebs everywhere, and boxes stacked high. Tien wandered over to one pile and opened the top box. It was full of old baby clothes. No good. She thought. At least not for the baby. She closed the lid and laid the torch on top. Then carefully she lifted it up and carried it to an empty space in the middle of the attic. Then she went to look in the next box. Some boxes she put with the box of baby clothes as a Charity pile. Some boxes she put by the entrance to be taken down stairs. Whilst the rest she just left them where they were to sort out later. After a while she started to come across things she’d never seen before. A china doll, a 1950’s style skirt, a toy car, a wheelchair. She realised they must have been from when it was still an orphanage. She stood there wondering what to do with them. It would be a shame to throw them out. But what use were they up here? She was just about to head downstairs to ask her mum what she thought she should do when she spotted a figure in the corner. Quickly she shined the light on the spot. Standing there was a young girl. She wore a plain white 1920s dress and her dark hair was styled into a bob. She had black empty eyes. No not eyes. Sockets. Blank empty hollow sockets. There was a red mark on her stomach which steadily grew larger.  Tien felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. The girl slowly tore the front of her dress open, revealing her intestines protruding from her stomach. Tien let out a scream and dropped her torch. The battery’s fell out and she was plunged into darkness. Clumsily she stumbled through the darkness to the entrance. In her rush to get out half way down the ladder she slipped and fell landing flat on her back. The pain was terrible but she was too shocked from the fall and too scared from seeing the girl to scream. Luckily her fall had made a loud crash and her mum came as quickly as she could. “Tien. Tien sweetie are you ok? What happened? Did you fall?” Tien nodded slowly. “I-I saw someone. In the attic.” She gasped. She decided not to tell her mum what the girl looked like. She wouldn’t off taken her seriously. Carefully her mum climbed onto the first two steps and reached up to close the attic door. Then she ordered Tien to fetch the keys. When Tien handed them over to her she locked the door. She climbed back down and went to the phone. “Hello police. I want to report a break in. Yes my daughter saw someone in the attic. I’m not sure I’ll ask her.” She turned to Tien. “Tien what did this person look like?”

“She was a young girl. About 11 0r 12. She had a black bob and wore an old fashioned white dress. About 1920’s style.”  Her mum repeated it all to the operator on the other end. “So you’ll come over? Thank you.” She put the phone down. “Oh Tien. All that fuss over a girl. She’s probably just a runaway.”

“Well she frightened me.” The police arrived soon after. There were two of them. An elderly man who looked like he was reaching the age of retirement. And a younger guy with his blonde hair nearly all shaven off. The old policeman asked Tien’s mum to show him where they saw the girl. She led them to the attic and handed them the key. They climbed the ladder, the old policeman in front. They disappeared through the door. Tien wanted to follow them but was too afraid. Was this girl the one who had been calling? No she couldn’t be. The shadow on the wall had had long hair. After what seemed like an age the two policemen came back down. “It seems.” The old policeman announced. “Your daughter was over reacting. It was probably just the trick of the light. Or her imagination.” Tien’s mum let out a sigh of relief. “The old policeman went back downstairs with Tien’s mum but the blonde policeman stayed with Tien. “This girl. She didn’t have blood on the front of her dress. And empty sockets?” He asked. Tien nodded. “Yes she did.”

“You probably saw Mary West.”

“Who?” The policeman sighed. “She was an orphan who died here. Tragedy it was. The thing is the people who were meant to be fixing this place up before it went on the market never finished. They reported seeing Mary West in the attic. As well as hearing a little girl’s voice calling and odd scratching noises. One guy just kept saying ‘Don’t step on the cracks.’”

“What happened to him?”

“No one knows. He won’t say. All I know is I’ve grown up beside him and he was never superstitious.” He looked at Tien as if he was studying her carefully. “You don’t know the story of this place do you?” Tien shook her head. “Probably for the best. As they say ignorance is bliss.” And with that he left.

***

Later that day Tien’s mind was still on what the policeman had said. What had happened in this old place? She knew it had to have history but she never thought it would be a negative one. She mulled over the policeman’s warning. It wasn’t an official warning but it felt like one. But eventually curiosity got the best of her. She went to find her dad in the office. “Hey Tia baby. Come to see daddy?” Tien rolled her eyes but let him pull her into a hug. “So for what reason do I owe the pleasure?”

“Dad do you know what this place used to be called?”

“Actually I do. It was St Jerome’s Orphan House. Why?” Tien smiled. “I just thought of looking into the history of the place.” Her dad laughed. “Good on you girl.” She went back to her room and logged onto her computer. She typed St Jerome Orphan House into the search engine. She found a site that showed newspaper clippings. She looked at the headlines. ‘St Jerome’s Orphan House Opens!’ ‘Disappearances at St Jerome’s!’ ‘Satanic Cult Discovered at St Jerome’s!’ ‘Fire at St Jerome’s. Seven Dead!’ ‘St Jerome’s Shut Down.’ She read each one:

St Jerome’s Orphan House Opens

St Jerome’s Orphan House officially opened today. Locals hope this grand house will provide the children with somewhere safe and are glad to have it so near. “It’s a lovely old house. A nice area to with plenty of places for the children to play.” One of the locals told out reporter. The Orphanage was officially opened by Mr J. R. Cooper.

 

Disappearances at St Jerome’s

Police are on a thorough investigation after an 11th child went missing from St Jerome’s. Alice Harman age 9 is said to have disappeared sometime between 1:00 am and 2:00 am on Thursday 6th June. Police are asking if anyone knows any information on the disappearances, or if they have seen anything unusual to contact the police immediately. The total list of missing persons is now as follows;

Jack Williams (5), Alex Brown (13), Katie Brett (10), Ethan Carter (10), Edward Underwood (7), Tracy Underwood (7), Clive Osland (12), Sally Whitehall (10) , Emma Ferris (11) , Sam Baker (14) & Alice Harman (9).

 

Satanic Cult Discovered At St Jerome’s

5 workers at St Jerome’s have been arrested for the murder of three children, William Birch (7), Adam Taren (5) & Mary West (11). It is believed all three children were sacrificed as part of a satanic ritual. The two boys had been beheaded and Mary had had her eyes and her stomach ripped out. The cult members are suspected to be responsible for the deaths of the eleven other children who went missing (though no bodies were found). The cult members in question are: Greg James (56), Zach Simmons (33), Gemma Sullen (45), Olivia Wench (49) & Casper Idorn (32).  

 

Fire at St Jerome’s! Seven Dead!

A fire broke out at St Jerome’s last night at 12:00pm. The cause is unknown but fowl play is not expected. The fire destroyed an entire room and killed seven. George Black (6), Kelly Samuels (8), Freya Iban (6), Diana Copper (6), Sara Cuter (6), Jasper Thomas (8) & Alex Peters (5).

 

St Jerome’s Closes Down

After years of negative press St Jerome’s Orphan House closed down on the 3rd July 1963. The closure came about after the discovery of the murder of Eliot Jones. Who was killed by his birth father after the home let them go out together despite Mr Jones having a history of violence. The children living in the home will be sent to other Orphanages across the country.

 

Tien stared in horror. She could see why the Policeman had warned her about it. If only she had listened, she didn’t know how she could ever sleep in this old house ever again.

***

Lying awake in the middle of the night Tien rolled over so she was staring at the celling. The news stories racing around her mind. Oh what’s the point of worrying. She thought crossly to herself. It all happened years ago. The ones responsible were caught. There’s nothing to bother you. But just as she’d closed her eyes to try and go to sleep she heard a faint scratching noise coming from down the hall. Slowly she climbed out of bed a crept over to the door.  She pressed her ear to the door. Scratch, scratch, scratch. It was coming closer. Taking a deep breath Tien turned the handle and pulled the door open. At first she couldn’t see anything, but as her eyes grew accustomed to the dark she spotted a figure not far from the door. She stared her heart beating faster. The figure looked straight at her. Its eyes piercing through her. But she wasn’t looking at the eyes; her own eyes were on the legs. Or at least where the legs should be. Just a torso. Tien thought. A torso and arms and a head. How did he get in. He looked about 13 with a mop of black curly hair. The newspaper article came to mind, a picture of one of the missing kids. Alex Brown. Alex stretched out a hand still staring at Tien. Was it an act of desperation, or a threat? Tien didn’t want to find out. She quickly shut the door and ran to bed. “I fell asleep.” She whispered to herself. “It’s a dream. You don’t even know if he’s dead. He went missing sure. But it doesn’t mean he’s dead. They could have found him.” Then again if he wasn’t killed he’d be in his 90s now. With those comforting and disturbing thoughts in her head she closed her eyes.

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