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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6. Chapter Six:

Lucinda walked barefoot through the forest, leaves crunching under her feet, twigs snapping against her weight. It was a cold, dark night out and yet she couldn't feel the harsh breeze against her bare skin. She had put on a short, navy blue nightdress as if that would be enough to keep her warm from the cold. 

She listened to the creatures in the bushes making noises and the birds in the trees singing to one another. She couldn't remember the last time she'd walked through these woods. She used to play in between these trees with Poppy when she was younger but after the rumours of a 'bad man' hiding in the woods they decided it wasn't a safe place to play anymore.

It was a shame. Lucinda loved the way the dirt felt underneath her feet and in between her toes. The way the trees whistled in the wind and the way the wild rabbits scurried away at the slightest sound. She missed these woods. She missed the freeing feeling they wrapped her in. 

A sharp howl to the left of her made Lucinda turn her head to see emptiness in the woods. Her heart beat increased and the cold air finally penetrated her skin. She realised how cold it really was out and how wearing the nightdress had been a silly idea. She heard the painful howl again but couldn't see anything around her, she figured it was a lonely fox. A fox that clearly wanted to scare the life out of her. She'd never liked foxes or the horrible screeching noises they made.

Another noise caught Lucinda's attention, not a howl more like a scuffle. Like leaves being brushed under feet or maybe paws. Definitely paws, she tried to convince herself. There was no one else in the woods with her. It was pitch black and probably midnight, truth be told she shouldn't have even been in the woods.

The shuffling continued behind her and she span around to see an empty clearing. There was nothing there just like she knew there wouldn't be. What was wrong with her? She was giving herself the creeps. She wrapped her arms around herself as much as she could desperately trying to keep out the cold.

Maybe I should go back home, she thought logically. After all it was way too late for her to be out on her own. In fact she couldn't even remember how she'd got here in the first place. She hadn't meant to go to the woods. Especially not in her nightwear. 

More shuffling. Lucinda took a deep breath and said, "whoever you are this isn't funny." She tried to sound confident but her voice came out weakly. She was scared. The shuffling got louder and louder and Lucinda forced her palms over her ears desperately trying to block it out. She heavily breathed in and out trying to focus on something else. She closed her eyes and listened to her heartbeat racing desperately trying to convince herself she was going to be ok.

Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop - she chanted to herself. Begging herself to be brave and telling herself she'd get through this. She opened her eyes quickly and nothing could have prepared her for what was in front of her. 

Lucinda screamed as loud as she could before she realised she was no longer in the woods. She was lying down in her bed. It was a nightmare. Her heart vibrated in her chest and she could feel sweat running down her back. 

Her bedroom door swung open and her light was quickly turned on. Noah stood in the doorway in his sweatpants, he was clearly out of breath. He had run to Lucinda to see what had made her scream. A small weight on her heart lifted, he did care. Not that that mattered right now she'd just had possibly the worst nightmare of her life.

"What happened?" Noah asked his voice laced with sleep. She'd woken him up. Luckily their parents weren't home or they would've come rushing to her defence as well. "I had a bad dream." She meekly replied. Lucinda didn't have nightmares very often but when she did they frightened her immensely. She pulled the covers off of her and slipped out of the bed. She wasn't feeling tired anymore and the idea of closing her eyes again scared her. She couldn't bear to see whatever that thing was again and she knew if she closed her eyes it could come back.

She walked towards Noah, out of her room and shut her bedroom door behind them. "I'm going to get a drink. Do you want anything?" She asked. Noah shook his head but followed her down the stairs. He wasn't going back to sleep anytime soon either.

They wandered into the kitchen and Lucinda pulled the milk out of the fridge. "Hot chocolate?" Noah asked. Lucinda smiled, he knew her too well. Hot chocolate was her go to for comfort. Anything could be made easier with a bit of hot chocolate. At least that's what she told herself.

"There's no way I'm going back to sleep." She told him. Noah nodded in agreement fearing his own unconsciousness now. Hearing the blood curdling scream from Lucinda had sent the bad kind of shivers all through him. He'd never heard her make a noise like that before.

"What was your dream about?" Noah asked not sure he really wanted to know. He'd been having bad thoughts himself, about Alanna, in his dreams and he hated to think his sister was having them too. Whilst they never really got along he cared for his sister deeply and would hate for anything bad to happen to her. 

"I was in the woods just walking around and I could hear noises but every time I looked there was nothing there. The noises kept getting louder and louder until this woman appeared in front of me." Lucinda told him.

"A woman?" Noah asked wondering what was so scary about that.

"Yeah. She was tall and beautiful. She had long black hair and really pale skin but it was her eyes." Lucinda drifted off into thought remembering the image of the woman. She had never felt so scared. 

"What about her eyes Luce?" Noah asked.

She gulped loudly before saying, "they were empty. They were just pure black holes. It was horrible. And then she opened her mouth and these shadows came out. Thick grey smoke and they entwined themselves around me and then..." Lucinda wasn't sure what had happened after, that was when she had woken up. "Then I woke up." She finished.

A chill ran down Noah's spine as he tried to imagine this woman in his mind. No wonder she had screamed, he thought. 

"Sorry for waking you up." She said. She put the milk in a saucepan and lit the hob. Her whole body felt like ice and she couldn't wait to get the warmth of the comforting chocolatey drink inside of her. She noticed Noah was staring at her and though it unnerved her she didn't have the heart to tell him to stop. He had fear etched all over his face and Lucinda figured it wasn't just her nightmare causing his fear. 

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