The Haunted

"Oh Lucinda, if you think this has a happy ending, then you haven't been paying attention." She smirked amused by Lucinda's sense of optimism.

Something has come back to Bishops Green. Something that wants to kill. Something unworldly.
Sixteen year old Lucinda Marcs is cute, fun and looking forward to the start of her Junior year of High School. But little does she know that something evil has made it's way into Bishop's Green, her quaint, seemingly normal town where nothing ever happened.
And when Lucinda finds herself caught up in the mess it's up to her to figure out how to get rid of this evil for good.
But what happens when her best friend becomes a target? Will she be able to save her? Or will she fall with her?

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19. Chapter Nineteen:

She was sure the woods hadn't been this dark when she'd walked into them, she could remember the sun shining brightly through the small array of clouds in the sky. She could remember the slight breeze of summer wind that brushed the suns warmth onto her exposed skin. But now the wind felt harsher and colder and the sky above was almost black with only a few twinkling stars dotting the sky.

Why do I always do this to myself, she asked herself.

She had come out into the woods with jeans and a thin t-shirt on, not enough to cover her from the cold that was now seeping into her skin. At least she had shoes on this time. She could hear the leaves crunching under her feet but she couldn't feel them like she had last time. 

As she walked through, swinging her arms by her sides trying to warm herself up, she kept an eye out for any signs of movement. She was determined to face her again, this time she wouldn't run. She wanted answers and she knew the only way to get them was to play by her rules.

She kicked at the leaves under her feet and listened as the creatures in the woods scurried away from her. If only they knew what the real threat here was, Lucinda thought. 

Snap

A twig snapping behind her caught her attention. Was it her? Was it him? She wondered who it was behind her and knew there was only one way to find out. She slowly turned herself around to see her, the woman she'd wanted to find, standing hands on hips in front of her. Her lips stretched into a wicked grin showing her perfect white teeth. She had the same pale complexion and beautiful long black hair and her eyes. They were still an empty dark void.

"You're here." Lucinda said sounding more confident than she actually felt. The woman stared at Lucinda not expecting her to have spoken first. She remembered the weak girl. The girl who cried, the girl who ran. But this girl wasn't her. This girl was standing confidently in front of her as if she'd expected her arrival. 

"And so are you." The woman's icy voice spoke out into the quiet darkness. She looked over Lucinda so many questions running through her mind. "How can I help you?" The woman asked.

Lucinda took a deep breath feeling a little more relaxed. She'd expected the woman to attack her as soon as she'd seen her but she was merely standing there comfortably. "I want to talk to you." Lucinda said moving forward one step in front of the other. The woman didn't make any attempts to move as Lucinda approached her. She merely watched Lucinda walking towards her.

Lucinda stopped when there was only a few feet between them and looked at the woman. "I want to know what you know." The woman's lips curled up into a smirk mocking Lucinda's confidence. "Maybe you could start by telling me your name?" Lucinda asked. She wasn't prepared to be knocked down now. Not when she'd got this far. 

"I have many names." She replied confusing Lucinda. "I have been called many things over the years."

"Like?" Lucinda pressed.

"Why do you want to know my name?" She asked Lucinda.

"I think the more apt question is why are you afraid of telling me?" Lucinda fought back.

The woman scoffed and said, "I am not afraid of anything." 

"I don't believe that." Lucinda argued. 

"You're an inquisitive one aren't you? Though it's not a surprise." She said. 

"What's that got to do with your name?" Lucinda asked her eyebrows furrowing. 

"Nothing." She smirked. "It's more to do with your name and him." Lucinda was about to ask what she meant before she heard scuffling behind the woman. Then he stepped out from behind the dark mistress and showed himself to Lucinda. It was him.

"Marissa why are you taunting our guest." He said to the woman. Marissa, that's her name, Lucinda thought. But she couldn't care what her name was now, all she could do was focus on him.

"Brad?" Lucinda questioned. Marissa looked up to Brad before turning around and walking away leaving Lucinda with him. Alone in the woods. Brad watched as she left and then turned back around to smile at Lucinda.

"What do you want?" She aggressively asked him. His face softened and he almost looked concerned but that didn't stop Lucinda from feeling scared.

"I only want to help you Lucinda." He told her. "I'd have thought you'd have been grateful for that." 

Lucinda scoffed annoyed. Grateful, for what? "Help me how exactly? To my death?" She knew it was a bit far fetched but she couldn't shake the bad feeling she had about him. "I would never hurt you Lucinda. That I can promise you." He firmly told her.

She wasn't sure what to believe. Was he a killer? Was he trying to help? She didn't know. 

"How exactly are you helping me?" She asked him. 

Brad took a deep breath his gaze fixated on the ground. "I want to keep you safe." He mumbled just loud enough for Lucinda to hear. "Safe enough to get through this." He lifted his gaze and stared at Lucinda. There were tears in his eyes. 

"Get through what?" She asked staring at him intently. She hadn't expected him to cry.

"That doesn't matter. But you have to promise me not to come into these woods again. At least not until you know the truth" He said. Lucinda looked over him confused, the truth about what, she thought? She also didn't like being told what to do, "No, why can't you just tell me the truth now?" She asked. Brad smirked and said, "Trust you to argue with me. Of course you wouldn't just accept it." 

"What do you mean trust me? Don't you think I deserve to know the truth?" She fought back.

"Yes you do but it's not exactly easy to tell." He told her. She was growing impatient and desperately wanted him to be honest with her. Though she wasn't sure she was believing any of what he was saying. 

Beep

Beep

Beep

A loud alarm blared through the silence violently pulling Lucinda from her sleep. She sat herself up frightened looking around confused until she realised it was her phone going off. Her alarm for school that she'd forgotten to turn off as school had been shut for another day. 

She grabbed her phone off her bedside table and turned off the harsh sound. Throwing the phone on the bed she laid her head back down onto the pillow and closed her eyes. She knew there was no chance of her getting back to sleep even though she was still tired. Although after her dream she wasn't sure sleep was the best idea right now.

Once again he had penetrated her subconscious and communicated with her through her dreams. And although she knew it was just her crazy mind she couldn't deny how real it had all felt. He was trying to help her. But from what, she thought. He hadn't managed to tell her before her alarm went off. 

Deciding sleep wasn't an option Lucinda pulled back her covers and climbed out of bed. She was about to reach back for her phone when she noticed a book on her bedside table. A book she was sure she hadn't put there and was sure it wasn't there when she'd gone to bed. 

The book didn't have a front cover as such more like a dark brown leather case. It looked old and well loved with dirt splotches covering the pages. One of the corners was worn down almost as if someone had been chewing on it and as she opened it to the first page Lucinda could see smudges in the ink that made some of the words ineligible. 

But where had it come from, she asked herself.

She was sure it wasn't hers, having never seen it before and she couldn't remember the last time Noah had picked up a book. Her parents didn't have time to read and the book shelf in her fathers office was filled with books that had never been touched. This book had been opened, read and closed many times which meant it couldn't have been any of theirs. 

She flicked through a few pages until she found a black and white picture filling one of the grimy sheets of paper. She looked over the image unsure of what it was actually meant to be. She saw an array of people below what looked like a figure, a statue? She wasn't sure. They looked like they were praying or begging to whatever it was.

She closed the book and put it back on the table beside her lamp. She would deal with it later. She didn't have the head space for any more weirdness right now.

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