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?


26. Chapter Twenty-Six:

Though Lucinda and Brad wanted to sort this out as soon as they could they knew it was better to do it during daylight. So they'd agreed to meet up early the next morning to do what they could to save the town. Lucinda had spent most of the night reading through Annie's journal hoping she would be as amazing as her great-great-great grandmother was. 

"So is the gender thing the same with your family?" Lucinda asked as her and Brad walked down the street that morning. She'd had to practically beg her parents to let her out of the house telling them if she didn't go someone else could die. In any normal situation it would seem a tad dramatic but it could be the truth. 

Brad and Lucinda were headed over to the town church where they intended to try and release her 'powers'. She hoped it worked. There was still that slight itch of doubt inside of her and she knew if this worked all her doubt would vanish. She would finally fully believe in everything.

"What do you mean?" Brad asked. "Well in my family it's only the woman who have this power. So I was just wondering if it was only the men in yours?" Lucinda questioned. Brad smiled never having thought about it that way before. He had known that it was the women of the Marcs family who harboured this great power but hadn't thought about the rules of his own families abilities. 

"It's not specific to gender but we do have one rule. It's always the second born of each generation who have the abilities." Brad told her. Lucinda mulled over that thought and wondered if Brad felt the heavy weight she did at being the 'chosen' one.

As Lucinda walked side by side with Brad down the street she really let herself think about how serious this situation was. It was a matter of life and death if her body harboured this power she needed to use it to defeat the evil possessing her town. But what if she wasn't strong enough? This spirit had been around for almost three hundred years and Lucinda was merely a teenager.

"Do you really believe I can do this?" Lucinda asked.

Brad stopped walking and turned to Lucinda whose feet faltered as she turned to him. "Of course I do. You read Annie's journal didn't you?" He questioned. Lucinda nodded her head, her dark hair swishing across her face. "I read the Bishop's too and therefore I know we can do this." He told her. A flutter ignited in her chest as she heard Brad say we. She hadn't thought of it like that but she guessed it was true. She wasn't alone in this. She had him.

Brad was still so nervous about not being able to release Lucinda's power and then he could only blame himself for the fate of the town.

The pair continued walking down the street only three blocks away from the church. "There's something else I need to tell you." Brad began. He'd wanted to tell her as late as possible but knew he couldn't leave it much longer. She needed to be prepared. "What is it?" Lucinda asked. 

"Once we do this, if it works. She'll know." He told her. Lucinda heart jumped in her chest. She hadn't thought about the possibility of the witch knowing she had an enemy. Someone who could defeat her. "If it works I'm guessing we have to do it as soon as possible? Or at least try." Lucinda said. She knew there was so many outcomes to what she needed to do. She could lose and that was the most prominent thought in her mind.

"Where would we even find her?" Lucinda questioned. They were growing closer and closer to the church making her more nervous. She could see it down the lane, a mere few metres and she'd be there. "I think you already know the answer to that." Brad told her.

Lucinda scoured her brain for the possibility of an answer. "The woods." She confirmed. He was right she knew all along. Where else would it be, she told herself. Brad nodded and smiled over at her. He felt bad that Lucinda had no idea what to expect and that she'd only just found out who she really was. Since Brad had taken on the ghost whispering ability his parents had told him from a young age about his families history and who he could grow up to be. Which in turn had surprised him to learn his family had moved out of Bishop's Green the very town they promised to protect. He was glad when his parents had announced they would be returning to heir families home town; he had a destiny and he needed to do what was right.

The pair stopped just outside the gates to the church. Brad had told Lucinda they couldn't be seen in the church and that what they needed to do needed secrecy and privacy. During the day the church held birthday parties, book clubs, private functions and choir practise which meant the chances of it being empty were zero. 

"We'll need to go into the crypt." Brad said as he looked at the ancient church in front of him. The word crypt sent a shiver down Lucinda's spine as she tried to imagine it. A room hidden beneath the church where graves potentially lay. "Great." Lucinda whimpered. She couldn't even remember the last time she'd actually gone inside this church. Her parents weren't exactly religious and apart from the few Sunday school sessions she'd had as a child she'd never really been in the church.

"You ready?" Brad asked looking at her. Lucinda nodded and pushed the gate open it squeaking under her touch. Brad followed behind her as she walked towards the big oak doors and hesitated in front of them. He stepped in front of her and pushed on the doors. The church was a place of sanctuary and as they stepped inside quietly they could see the local Bishop up the front giving a sermon.

Brad whisked Lucinda off to the left hand side behind the pews and towards the door that lead into the kitchen. Lucinda held onto his hand tightly as she tried to keep up with his long strides. Brad pulled them through the kitchen into the empty store room and out the other side which brought them to the room behind the alter. Brad pointed to the door on the other side of the room and they quietly walked towards it.

Brad softly opened the door to see a set of stone steps leading down into the crypt. The smell of dust was overwhelming as Lucinda descended the stairs behind Brad. Her body shivered and she wondered if it was because the room was cold or because it held the dead. 

As they stepped into the cold, dark room Lucinda wrapped her arms around herself trying to shield herself from the icy feeling. Brad pulled his rucksack off his back and grabbed the few candles he'd brought with him. He lit them quickly and set them down in the middle of the room allowing a little light for them to see better.

"I need you to lie down on the floor for me." Brad told her as he pulled a white cotton sheet from his rucksack and laid it down carefully on the floor and gestured for Lucinda to lie down on it. She hesitated slightly before she crouched down onto the sheet and took her position. Though she was lying on the sheet the floor felt like ice beneath her and she couldn't stop her body from shaking against it. She kept her gaze on the arched stone ceiling above her as Brad rummaged around in his rucksack.

Lucinda hoped being in a place of worship she had someone holy on her side, hopeful that whoever it was looking down on them would be there to help if they needed it. 

Brad knelt beside her smiling down at her as he placed a small bowl of what looked like ordinary water beside him. "Holy water," He told Lucinda as she looked at the bowl. He pulled Lucinda's arms from her sides to cross over on top of her stomach. He had Bishop Thomas's journal next to him for reference as he knew he would be needing it throughout this.

He looked down at her making a silent prayer that she would get through this ok. He didn't know Lucinda that well but he wanted to. He felt an urgent need to protect her and help her through this. He took deep breaths in and out trying to focus his mind on the task at hand. He could do this, he told himself.

"It's ok." Lucinda whispered noticing his fear and concern. She believed in him even if he didn't. Brad smiled down at her his face lit up from the light of the candles. As he saw belief in her face he promised himself he could do this.

He picked up the journal by his right hand side and looked over the words on the tattered pages. He could do this, he repeated. He had to. He took a deep breath and made another silent prayer in hopes someone was watching over them. Now was his chance.

Holding the book in one hand he dipped his fingers into the holy water and drew a cross on top of Lucinda's forehead. "Close your eyes."  He told her and she complied willingly. The holy water dripped down her forehead onto her nose but she couldn't move her hands to wipe it off so she tried to think of something else to ignore it. 

Whilst Lucinda's mind played her favourite song in her head Brad drew crosses with holy water over Lucinda's bare arms and her palms. Then he held the book in both hands and began to read the words aloud. 

"La vie est belle. Save us please. My Lord I give you this promise in return for salvation from evil. The plague we face and the curse we received please hand us the power to command the earth, the air, the fire and the water and rid this evil from the world.  Please embrace us with the miracle you so kindly bestowed upon us so we can purify this being and create peace amongst our friends." Brad 's voice echoed against the crypt's walls as Lucinda listened to them intently. She'd stopped singing to herself and focused on his words. She truly believed he could do this.

Brad gently placed the book back beside him still open and picked up the knife he'd brought with him from the floor. He held his left hand out, palm up, above Lucinda body. He smiled at the thought she wouldn't be happy about getting blood on her white t-shirt. He quickly ran the sharp blade across his palm and squeezed his fist tightly. He turned his first and let the drops of blood fall onto Lucinda's t-shirt. Lucinda felt the warm liquid droplets on her top and a few on her crossed hands.

"Save us from evil. Save us from evil. Save us from evil." Brad began chanting as he lifted one of Lucinda's hands. He had told her what he needed to do in order to hopefully release her powers but he didn't like the thought of hurting her.

He gentle slid the knife across her palm and watched as the blood leaked out of the wound. He was grateful when Lucinda didn't make any attempt to move, she was stronger than he'd thought. Maybe she would get through this. He replaced her hand over the other one on her stomach and put the knife down. Picking the book back up he read his final words.

"Ik geef u dit offer in ruil voor de macht om de duistere kwaad te verslaan" Brad hoped he was pronouncing it right after all he wasn't fluent in anything other than English. He'd found out the words were Dutch and had tried to practise saying them many times. Brad closed the book and lay it by his side and closed his eyes praying for it to work.

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