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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23. Chapter Twenty-Three:

"So you've been haunted by ghosts since you were three?" Lucinda asked in disbelief as her and Brad walked down the road. Brad nodded running a cool hand between his dark brown hair, "Yeah, my mom thought I was crazy or attention seeking until she heard me talking in my room and she came to see who I was talking to and I told her the story of how my great grandfather had died." Brad explained. A shiver ran through Lucinda's body as she said, "That's creepy. I mean cute but also creepy." 

"So I'm cute now?" He winked at her causing a slight blush to appear on her cheeks. Lucinda nudged him with her shoulder but didn't reply in fear she'd embarrass herself more.

Brad had explained to Lucinda his life of speaking to ghosts and communicating with the dead. He'd told her how he'd been haunted by spirits with unfinished business and how it was his job to help them move on. 

"It wasn't until my dad told my mom that it was meant to be." Brad said.

"Huh?" Lucinda questioned.

"My dad had known all along it was going to happen but he never told my mom. He figured he'd tell her when couldn't avoid it anymore." Brad explained.

At first Lucinda was sceptical but she wanted to believe he was telling her the truth. To her it seemed like he was lifting a weight off his shoulders telling her and she wanted to respect him by believing it. Plus he'd said some things about her that he shouldn't know, things he'd apparently been told by her grandparents. 

Brad smiled and said, "So do you believe me now when I say I'm not a killer?" He smirked. Lucinda's heart sank still feeling awful for accusing him of killing Alanna, Kyle and Gemma. "God don't remind me. I'm such an idiot." She replied. Brad laughed and nudged her with his shoulder. "Nah you're not. Impulsive, rash, intelligent and sometimes rude yeah but you're not an idiot." He smiled at her. Lucinda blushed embarrassed at the thought that she'd believed this guy was a genuine murderer. 

"I am sorry though. I still can't believe I thought it was you." She said sheepishly. "It's ok. I forgive you." He laughed seeming to enjoy her embarrassment and discomfort. 

"How many ghosts do you reckon you've met?" Lucinda asked curiously. "God knows, too many to remember. Apparently there have been a lot of people in my family who can communicate with spirits." Brad told her. Lucinda didn't really understand how he was a ghost whisperer and it saddened her to think the spirits of her classmates were wandering around Bishop's Green but it comforted her knowing that Brad was trying to help them move on.

"So speaking to ghosts is something your whole family can do and not just your own personal craziness?" Lucinda winked.

Brad laughed out loud and said, "no I don't get my own special talent."

"What do they talk about? Alanna, Kyle and Gemma I mean." Lucinda asked her tone turning solemn again. "Their regrets. Their wishes. Their dreams. They all had so much life ahead of them. It's sad." Brad said. "There is one thing Alanna always talks to me about." He smiled. "What is it?" Lucinda asked curious. "Your brother." Brad told her and Lucinda's heart lit up. She grinned widely happy that though her brother was sad Alanna still cared about him. 

"Alanna's also the reason I knew your name before I'd met you and how I knew where you lived." Brad explained.

"But I thought Bobby Prince told you?" Lucinda queried. Brad shook his head and said, "I thought you'd believe that more than a ghost told me." He laughed.

"They really loved each other didn't they?" Brad enquired. "Yeah, Noah is in pieces." Lucinda told him. "He has you though." Brad smiled. Lucinda weakly smiled back unsure if that was the truth, "I guess. I mean we're much closer now whereas before we hated each other. I know it sounds bad but it's true." She admitted.

"Siblings always fight. I used to fight with my brother all the time." Brad said. Lucinda hadn't gotten much out of him about his brother only that he'd died in a fire four years ago. As soon as Lucinda had mentioned siblings he clammed up about it and Lucinda wasn't rude enough to push it. 

"It sounds horrible but I think Alanna's death brought us closer together and though I'd do anything to bring her back it's made me realise how much I do care for Noah." Lucinda said. She hadn't wanted to admit that she was glad her and Noah were closer and had grown closer through his girlfriends death but it was true.

The sky above them began to grow darker and Brad said, "I should probably get you home. It's too dark for us to be out here now." Lucinda knew he was talking about The Ivy Witch. Though she wasn't one hundred percent a believer she could feel herself falling that way. After all Brad gave a pretty convincing story.

"Yeah let's go. It's getting cold anyway," Lucinda said. In truth she'd been cold since she'd left her house but had been too stubborn to turn back.

The pair turned around and walked back the way they'd come. They walked in silence neither one wanting to break the peaceful atmosphere. Lucinda felt comfortable merely walking with him beside her knowing that though things were bad maybe they could get better. 

The clouds were darkening above them and growing closer together as a few stars began to shine through the evening sky. Lucinda loved looking at the stars during the night time. The small balls of gas that people wished upon. 

Lucinda's arms swung by her side as she looked up and just as she was connecting the stars to make shapes she lost her balance and walked into Brad. She laughed and said, "Oh sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going." Brad laughed holding onto her until he was sure she'd got her balance back. "It's ok. I wondered when it was going to happen." He said. 

Lucinda looked over at him confused, "well you were looking up instead of in front of you so you were bound to trip at some point." He smiled. Lucinda blushed and returned her gaze to the path in front of her. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and kept her hands still by her sides as she walked on.

They reached Lucinda's house but instead of walking up the pathway Lucinda turned to look at Brad. Someone she'd got so completely wrong when she'd first met him and now she really liked who he was. "Thanks for the walk. I had fun." She admitted smiling at him. "Me too. It's nice to actually talk to someone without having to make up some stories about who I really am." He told her. 

The pair didn't say anything nor did they make any attempts to go their separate ways they merely stared at each other smiling enjoying the moment. Lucinda was sure she was blushing as she couldn't tear herself away from him. It wasn't that his beauty had made her spellbound or that she was still scared of him it was that he was the only other person besides Poppy that she could be herself around.

"Lucinda!" A shrill voice broke out behind them and Lucinda whipped her head around to see her mother running out of the house towards her. "Where have you been?" Her mom scolded her. "You didn't pick up your phone, you didn't leave a note. We've been worried sick we were about to phone the police." Lucinda quickly pulled out her phone from her pocket and saw eighteen missed calls all from her mom, her dad, Noah and Poppy. She was in trouble. She'd completely lost track of time. 

"I'm so sorry Mrs Marcs it's my fault. I asked Lucinda if she wanted to go for a walk to talk about our English essay." Brad but in before Lucinda could defend herself. Lucinda saw a flash of confusion cross her moms face before the fear returned. Her mom stared at Brad before saying, "Lucinda you should come inside now." Her mom turned around and walked back into the house confident her daughter would be obedient and follow suit.

"Sorry for getting you in trouble. I'll see you around." Brad smiled before turning around and walking away. "Bye." Lucinda called after him before she ran inside the house ready for the fight that was inevitably about to go down.

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