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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17. Chapter Seventeen:

It had taken all of five minutes for the news to spread around the school and for sheer panic to break loose. Everyone was freaking out. Rose and Hannah had disappeared to find Sophie leaving Poppy and Lucinda to stand around and watch as people ran through the school halls telling everyone that Gemma was dead. 

"We should go." Poppy said breaking Lucinda out of her day dreams. Lucinda nodded and followed her friend to the front exit. The school had put out an announcement that lessons for the rest of the day were cancelled and they would be notified about school resuming tomorrow. Lucinda hoped school would be closed tomorrow. 

It was like deja vu watching everyone leaving the school in a mass panic and people crying and holding onto each other for comfort. Lucinda wondered if anything would ever be normal again in Bishop's Green. "I think I'm just going to go home and lock myself away." Lucinda told Poppy as they left the school grounds. She wanted to hide herself away in her bedroom and never come out. Whatever was happening in Bishop's Green it was probably a good idea to stay inside.

"Me too. My mom's already on her way home." Poppy said. Lucinda was glad her friend wouldn't be home alone although she wasn't sure anyone would be at her house to keep her company. She hadn't really spoken to Noah since they'd found Kyle's body in the woods.

Three's a pattern, Poppy's voice repeated in Lucinda's mind.

It was true. Three was enough to cause sheer panic and to make everyone believe there was a serial killer on the loose. People were already coming up with theories. Lucinda had her own ideas of course most of them involving a suspicious new kid in town. Though she'd tried to rationalise everything she couldn't help herself from coming to that conclusion. He was just too shady. 

The girls walked down the road in silence neither one of them knowing what to say to break the tension. Lucinda had so much on her mind but knew it wasn't a good idea to voice any of it. She knew Poppy didn't share her worries about Brad. Poppy was excited about the new guy like everyone else was but Lucinda was scared of him. Scared of what his presence in town meant.

Suddenly Poppy stopped walking and it only took a few seconds for Lucinda to realise they'd reach Paddock Lane where the girls would be going their separate ways. It was a short two blocks to Lucinda's house from here but she couldn't stop herself from panicking that she would get hurt from here to there. Poppy could see the fear and worry all over her best friends face and quickly embraced her in a tight hug. "It's going to be ok." Poppy whispered. 

Lucinda nodded and closed her arms around Poppy's small body. She hadn't realised she'd needed a hug until Poppy had forced her into one. "Thanks." Lucinda said as they separated. Lucinda wasn't sure if Poppy was right and if they were to be ok but she hoped they would.

Lucinda watched as Poppy walked off down the lane towards her house and when Poppy became merely a blur in the distance she turned around and walked down Paddock Lane towards her house. 

She checked her watch, 12:57pm. She wondered if Noah would've made it home yet or if he was even coming home. She wished she could find the right words to say to him but every time she tried she came up with nothing. It didn't help that both her and Noah were completely devoid of emotion. They were hard as stone and cold as ice when it came to feelings and showing emotions. Something they both got from their parents. And whilst Lucinda couldn't remember the last time she properly cried right now it seemed that was all she wanted to do.

She plucked her keys out of her bag and walked up the short pathway towards her front door. She could hear loud music coming from inside and realised Noah was already home. She just hoped he was alone. 

Forcing the key into the lock she turned it and walked inside. The door slammed loudly behind her and she whipped her head round to see nothing. She'd half expected someone to be there grinning evilly at her. Brad, she thought. She needed to stop this. Lucinda took a deep breath and made her way up the stairs. She couldn't hear anything other than the loud, obnoxious music and decided against disturbing her brother and walked off to her own room. 

Shutting her bedroom door softly behind her she leant against it breathing deeply in and out. She hoped if she could focus on something other than the death of her school mates she'd be able to feel normal. But how could she think about anything else. 

She threw her bag down onto the floor and shuffled over to her bed that stood proudly in the middle of her room. She slumped down onto the soft cotton bed covers and lay her arm over her head. What was she going to do? It seemed the town was crumbling around her and nobody knew why. She was desperate for the truth but knew even if she had it she wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

She felt helpless and useless. 

A soft knock on the door made Lucinda jump and a shiver ran through her entire body. It seemed the slightest of things made her edgy now. "Yeah!" She shouted knowing it was Noah though she hadn't expected to see him like this. He shuffled through her door shutting it behind him and stood in front of Lucinda. He looked grey, tired and his eyes were red raw from crying. Lucinda realised she hadn't even seen him in school today, he clearly hadn't left the house. 

He looked a mess and she knew why. Lucinda jumped off her bed and ran to her brother. She pulled him in for a tight hug and he didn't protest. Though he was a good 6 inches taller than her petite 5.2' frame and he had the strength to pull away, he didn't. He merely crumbled into her arms more tears releasing from his eyes and wrapped himself around his younger sister. He really was a mess, Lucinda thought.

"I just don't understand." He whimpered. Lucinda didn't have any answers for him and she hated that the most. "I know." She answered him. She felt her arm rubbing up and down her brothers back trying to comfort him as much as she could. Where was this coming from, she wondered. She was never good at comforting people and people rarely cried in front of her knowing she wouldn't be much help. 

"Gemma..." Noah meekly whispered out. He'd heard. Considering Lucinda thought Noah had been at school she'd expected him to hear about Gemma but she wished he hadn't. He'd had enough after Alanna and seeing Kyle. They all just needed this to disappear. 

Lucinda never thought of any particular moment in her life when she'd had to be exceptionally brave but now she felt like she had to be. She had to get herself ready for anything. 

"What's going on Luce?" Noah asked through his tears. Lucinda sighed heavily knowing she had no idea what was really going on. "I don't know." She answered honestly. Though she wished she did.

"Noah promise me you'll stay safe?" Lucinda said her tone growing serious. She knew Noah didn't want to think about it but she had to ensure that he would be sensible. He was vulnerable, no matter how strong or tall her was, he was just as vulnerable as everyone else.

"I promise. You too." He replied. Lucinda nodded into his shoulder as she continued to rub her brothers back comfortingly. 

This had to stop, but how?

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