I've got to admit, I'm terrified. When I first learnt about Anna Lowley and the curse, I was just simply curious. I didn't think it was real. The few people I told about it didn't believe me, or were just as curious. Now they're dead, and it's all down to me, and that stupid deal I made. The deal...Sod the deal, I'm doing it now for the few lives that need protecting. Even if it means I get killed in the process, I will protect them.
When I came back three days ago, I honestly thought that Anna was going to make an appearance and kill all three of us. Thank god she didn't. Billy and Ryder...If it wasn't for those two, I'd be dead already. I just-wish I hadn't dragged them into this, especially Ryder. I've known him since he moved next door to us sixteen years ago, when I was one and him two. I wished now more than ever I could go back to then, before I knew the curse ever existed, to a much happier time. But these wishes-these wishes ask for too much.
They say curiosity killed the cat. Curiosity hasn't killed this cat just yet, but it will soon, very soon. A loud bang, THUD echoed throughout the mansion. It was coming from upstairs, probably on the other side of the house in the other living room. Upstairs was somewhere where Ryder, Billy and I had promised ourselves not to go any more. Glancing away from the heavy book that was tucked comfortably between my fingers, I checked the time on the old, ticking grandfather clock across the room. Half past ten at night. Another bang, THUD ricocheted, this time directly above where I was reading. It happened twice more. My heart was thumping dangerously quicker. This wasn't good.
"That's strange." I jumped, and swore at Ryder as he sat-rather casually-into the armchair opposite me. "What? Nirvana, are you all right?" Ryder remarked, noting my distress. Shaking my head, I pointed to the ceiling. Again, a bang, THUD decided to ring out, marking my point. His eyebrows furrowed, and called out to Billy. Billy appeared, a second later, just as it happened again.
"Right, that's it, it's annoying me now. I'm going up." Folding the page I was on, I heaved myself up and walked through the door to get to the stairs. Ryder and Billy followed. Taking a step after creaky step, I took a shaky, nervous breath and stepped into the mustiness of the upstairs. I pressed some fingers into the bridge of my nose, closing my eyes, only to re-open them to the face of a screaming girl. My heartbeat jagged, I went to step back, only to walk into a wall. When was there a wall here? Stepping forward, I walked into another wall. Beginning to feel claustrophobic, I nearly threw up.
"Help! Ryder, Billy!" Scared didn't even begin to explain what I was feeling right now. I scrabbled backwards and forwards, the walls closing in on me like hangman's noose. It was suffocating. After several moments, I was finally released, tumbling onto the floor like a deranged drunk. I was alone, and the atmosphere had changed to-mysteriously-a warm, happy one. Before, it had been a freezing, angry atmosphere. I wasn't sure I really liked the sudden atmosphere change. A pretty girl about my age stood a few feet away, staring at me with a blank stare. I had an inkling this was Anna, but instead of the tattered clothing, and the dirt caking every inch of her, this Anna wore a simple blue dress with a red ribbon around her waist. Her black hair was cut into a straight fringe, and some of it was tied into a small ponytail.
Turning, she floated to the stairway. One simple word snapped out of her mouth, much more childish sounding than I expected. "Follow." It looked like I had no choice but to. Following her down the stairs, and into the living room I had been only moments before, I gasped. It was now filled with people, from a much earlier time, laughing, sipping bubbly stuff out of wine glasses, and talking graciously. I looked at the slumped image of Anna beside me, and realised that she was showing me this. This was her choice, not mine. Glancing at me, Anna raised one of her arms and pointed to a sullen looking figure a few metres away, clutching a tiny little rag doll. With a jolt, I recognised it as Anna, talking to no one in particular. She kept stopping every few moments and looking down at the doll in her white knuckled fingers. That Anna was seemingly having a conversation with a doll.
The doll, of course! It made so much sense, the diary, the old newspaper clippings-even the book that contained historical, unknown mysteries, still to this day. It was the goddamn doll that Anna needed. The doll, the doll was the one that was cursed, inadvertently giving the one who owned it a curse to kill even in their death, until they are put to rest.
"Anna! I know how to help you now! Look-I know how..." I faltered, realising that everything in the room was fading away to the old, dreary one of before-after-I don't know. But at least I carried the knowledge of how to help now.