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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21. Twenty-One:

"Wait, what's me?" Lucinda asked Brad. Brad had jumped off his stool and began pacing the kitchen his palm rested on his chin. He was thinking deeply. He hadn't expected her not to know who she was and now he had to explain it to her. And that wasn't going to be easy.

"I don't exactly know how to explain it. I thought you'd already know." He told her. Lucinda wasn't really sure what he was going on about but he'd accepted her dream as if it was all real. "I've just told you I've been having weird nightmares about my dead classmates and you haven't said I'm crazy yet." She told him. Brad stopped pacing and faced her a soft smile on his face. "That's because you're not crazy." He told her his elbows leaning against the marble work top. "You're dreams. They're technically real." He said. "Apart from the part when I come in, I'm still trying to work that bit out." He admitted.

Lucinda looked at him with absolute uncertainty and confusion. What was he on about? Her dreams were merely stories her subconscious was making up to scare her. "What do you mean technically?" She asked frustrated. "You're dreams are real. They're like visions." He said. Lucinda's eyes widened and she said, "So it is you?" Brad knew exactly what she was thinking and what she'd been thinking for a couple of days now. 

"No, it's not me. To be honest I'm not even sure why I'm in your dreams." He stated and Lucinda wryly laughed. "Of course you don't know why you're in my dreams because they're just that dreams. Not scary visions." She said firmly but Brad shook his head. "Fine if you won't tell me the truth then you should leave because for all I know you killed my friends." Lucinda wasn't too sure where the confidence or attitude had come from but it didn't seem to bother Brad. He merely stayed where he was and smirked at her. "If you really believed I killed your classmates you never would have let me into your house." He had a point there, Lucinda thought. Although she'd never allowed herself to believe his innocence she wouldn't be standing here right now with him if she thought he was a murderer.

"And I didn't kill them but I know who did." He said. Lucinda's eyes widened and her throat felt tight. He knew and he hadn't told anybody yet. Lucinda knew there had to be more to it than simply knowing otherwise surely he would've gone to the cops. "What the hell is going on?" Lucinda cried and rubbed her hands over her face. She wanted to ask him how he knew who was killing her classmates but she didn't like the way he made it sound like it was something to do with her.

"What were you doing by the woods when we found Kyle?" Lucinda asked remembering his suspicious lurking and how that had been the start of her worries about him. "That's for another time, I'm more interested in your dreams being haunted by a witch." Brad said. 

"And then you show up. Wait witch?" Lucinda said confused. She had never thought of the woman as a witch. Though from the things she did in her dreams it wasn't impossible.

"I still don't understand why I show up? I mean they're your visions." Brad sighed.

"In my dreams you told me you show up to help." Lucinda added as if that would help them figure it out. 

"To help?" brad questioned. Lucinda nodded and replied, "To help me do what though? To help me fight her? To save me?" She questioned. Brad smirked at the idea of him saving Lucinda knowing full well she had that power all on her own. She just didn't know it yet. "To fight her I guess." He offered still unsure.

Lucinda nodded beginning to feel slightly crazy. Or maybe it was Brad who was crazy. "So if I'm having these 'visions' what does that make me psychic?" She asked dubiously. Brad smiled shaking his head, "No. You're not psychic." 

"But you said I was something. What am I supposed to be then?" She asked not sure she was liking where this was going. Lucinda never really believed in magic and she especially didn't believe in psychics or visions. "It's probably easier to show you." He said. "Can we go up to your room?" He asked. Lucinda frowned and said, "Why?" She had never had a guy in her bedroom other than Noah and although it wasn't that kind of situation she was still apprehensive.

"There's something I need to show you." He said and walked out of the kitchen. Lucinda couldn't be bothered to argue with him so she merely followed him out of the kitchen and up the stairs. She wasn't sure if she should be worried that he knew exactly which room was hers as he turned left at the top of the stairs and walked towards her bedroom door. He stopped in front of the white door and said, "now it's my turn to show you my crazy." He said. 

Lucinda opened the door expecting there to be something behind it but her bedroom looked as normal as ever. She walked inside with Brad following and he shut the door behind them. "Ok, I'm ready." Lucinda said standing by her vanity desk. Brad rolled his eyes and walked over to her bedside table. He picked up the brown leather book that Lucinda had found earlier that morning and brought it back over to her. 

"Open it."  He told her as he handed it to her.

"Wait is this yours?" She asked and he nodded back at her. "Then why is it in my bedroom?" Brad had hoped she wouldn't ask that but of course Lucinda being Lucinda she had to question everything. "I brought it in here while you were asleep last night." He admitted looking sheepish.

"Wait you were in my room? While I was sleeping?" She cried out. 

"When you say it like that it sounds awful." He replied.

"That's because it is." She scolded him.

"Well you weren't going to talk to me so I had to find another way to give you the answers." He told her.

"What answers?" She questioned. "These are just stories."

"They can be answers if you believe in them." He told her.

"You're insane." She said unsure of what else there was to say. 

"No I'm trying to help." He firmly replied. He had thought this would go much easier than this. He really had his work cut out for him this time. 

"Well maybe I don't need your help." She said hands on her hips.

"So you're happy to let more of your friends die?" He argued.

"Are you threatening me?" She questioned angrily.

"No, I'm trying to warn you. I'm trying to help you for God's sake." He sighed.

"Who are you? Tell me the truth." She asked confused.

"I'm just Brad." 

"No you're not. Who are you really?" She knew there was something he wasn't telling her and she wanted to know badly. If she was going to help him and he was going to help her they needed to be honest with one another. "I can't tell you that yet. Not until you believe me when I show you who you are." He told her. 

Lucinda wanted to argue more but before she could say anything Brad pulled the book back from her and began flicking through the pages. He was careful not to pull the pages too hard in case they ripped as he looked for the specific pages he needed. Lucinda watched as paragraphs of ink and words flicked through her vision with a few pictures on the pages. Until he finally turned the book back around for her to take from him.

Lucinda grabbed the book back and looked down at the page. In big bold writing at the top of the left side page it read 'The Ivy Witch'. The writing underneath told the story of the so called ivy witch and where it had originated from. "Bishop's Green..." Lucinda whispered as she scanned through some of the writing. Brad tapped his finger on the page on the right hand side and Lucinda forced herself to look over it. Though the picture was in faded black and white it was clear who it was. She gasped loudly almost dropping the book. She closed it quickly and handed it back to Brad not wanting to look at it. She didn't want to see it, it was too weird. It was impossible.

"W..What is that?" She stuttered out. Brad sighed heavily unsure of how to sugar coat it for her. It was clear she was shaken up after seeing the photo but maybe now she'd believe him. "It's you." He told her. 

"I can see that. But it's not me is it?" She blurted out. So many thoughts were running through her mind. The picture of a woman maybe a few years older than her but clearly strikingly similar, if not exactly the same as Lucinda. "But that's the thing Lucinda. It is you?" Brad said. She shook her head vigorously. "But it can't be, this book must be what a hundred years old?" She replied.

"The book is 217 years old actually but the stories closer to 300 years old." He corrected. It just didn't make sense, Lucinda thought to herself. How could that be her if it was that old? "Then it definitely can't be me." She told him. Brad opened the book to the same page and looked over the image. He then flicked to the next page and began reading from the story, "The Ivy Witch was a dark plague forced upon the townsfolk of the quiet Bishop's Green. When she was merely seventeen years of age the young woman, whose real name is unknown, became involved with a high society married man. Desperately in love with him she forced him to make a choice between her and his wife and children. Loyal to his family and knowing his parents would never let him run off with a maid he chose to stay with his family and shunned The Ivy Witch away from him. Begging her never to see or speak to him again."

"I don't see what that's got to do with me." Lucinda interrupted when Brad took a breath. 

Ignoring her question Brad continued to read on, "The witch felt angry and betrayed and decided to take her own life for she couldn't live without the love of that man. She walked out into the middle of the woods and called upon the Demons of the underworld to claim her soul and take her to Hell where she felt she belonged. As she did this a curse was put upon the small town of Bishop's Green that the woman's soul would not rest and would lie in the earth in the woods ready for an innocent soul to resurrect her."

"Do you believe all this?" Lucinda asked sceptically. 

Brad put his finger to his lips gesturing for Lucinda to let him finish before asking questions. "The town Bishop had found out what the young woman had done and decided to protect the town himself. He called upon God and asked for a miracle. Something that could protect the town if and when The Ivy Witch were to  arise again. Two weeks after he'd pleaded and prayed to the Gods a wealthy family moved into the town of Bishop's Green. The Marcs family." Brad finished but left the book opened. 

"That doesn't mean anything." Lucinda protested. It was just a story, she told herself. "Do you really believe that?" Brad asked her. He could see a glint of confusion in her eyes which meant there was something inside of her that maybe believed. 

"So you're telling me there's a witch plaguing Bishop's Green killing people and that my family are the only ones who can get rid of her?" Lucinda asked. 

Brad handed her the book and said, "just read the rest of the story. Please." Lucinda took the book, marked the page then closed it. "Ok, fine." Though she wasn't sure what good that was going to do. Brad put his hands into his pockets and said, "I should probably go now. Let me know when you've finished the story and we can talk." 

He left Lucinda standing in her room confused as he walked out. Lucinda heard him running down the stairs and then heard the door shut softly behind him as he left. 

Was she really going to read the story? Was she going to let herself believe his fantasy and everything that he'd told her. It seemed crazy, insane even, but what if it was true. She had to at least try.

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