The Secrets of Dunharrow House

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  • Published: 14 May 2017
  • Updated: 20 Jun 2017
  • Status: Complete
When three siblings are called back by their eldest brother to their childhood home, a major family secret is revealed, and everyone is in danger.

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4. Apparently No One Can Hear You Scream in Secret Passages, Either

I'm sixteen, and Katy is fourteen. She's my favorite sister out of the two. She's sweet and caring. She's everything I'm not. I'm envious, but also glad, because we balance out each other's qualities. She's my best friend, and she wants to explore one more time before she enters high school. 

Though it really doesn't matter, because we can explore the passages any time, she wants to do it once more as a kid in middle school. It's kind of like a graduation ceremony, but instead of caps and gowns, we're in trenchcoats and stocking hats, as to not get spiderwebs on out clothes. Mostly hers. Her final middle school dance is tonight, and she had confidently asked her crush out. Of course he said yes.

Though Katy is such a sweet person, when she wants something, she's ambitious and will get it.

We hold the bobeches and Katy leads us through. We talk quietly about old adventures we've had in these passages.

We first found them when I was eight and she six. It was an accident, but a good one. I had been playing with Andrew's baseball inside, threw it, and it hit a candelabra. I looked upon it in horror, askew on the wall... until, behind me, a bookshelf slid open. 

Katy had come in the room and was so fascinated by it, I pretty much forgot what I had done. We donned coats and candles and went in.

For many years we looked for more passages, and found them. We found passages to the attic, bedrooms, the kitchen, even to the outside. None to bathrooms, thankfully.

But now, we're teenagers, and it's hard fitting into the one and a half foot spaces. We both haven't gone through most of puberty, so we're okay.

Katy was talking about how cute her date was. A boy named Jason. He had pretty blue-green eyes the color of the ocean and hair like sand. Katy loved ocean analogies. 

We were walking along, just like we always do. We didn't know the old house was getting that old, and....

Suddenly, there was an awful creaking, a snapping like the sound of bones being broken.

"Bea... what's going-?"

Then she crashed through the floor, screaming. I look down at her, tears streaming down my face.

"Katy! Katy! Oh, God, Katy. Are you okay?!" I yell down. But I can see her. The candle is lit enough that it illuminates her body, and mostly her face.

Her limbs are broken, contorted into different angles. I can see the bones in her legs trying to break through her skin. Her beautiful red hair, done for tonight's dance, disappears in the murky water. 

But her face is the worst. Her blue eyes. My blue eyes, stare back at me. Her face, her mouth agape in surprise and pain, is a reflection of my own.

It's then I know she's dead.

"KATY!" I yell desperately. 

She had fallen fifteen or twenty feet onto stone. I don't know why she died and it looked so gruesome, but she did. She should have survived that. She should have. 

"KATY, PLEASE! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE-" A sob is caught in my throat. "Please... just wake up...."

I don't recognize the passage, so I don't go down. We didn't know there were any below the first floor, in the basement.

Katy always wanted to explore down there, but we never got to it, not in eight years.

I just stare into her lifeless blue eyes like I'm in a trance. The tears have dried up, and my whole body has gone numb. I don't speak or move. I can't do anything but look into her eyes.

I shouldn't have let you come with me, that day when we were littleI think morosely. I shouldn't have let you. Because this is what happened. I shouldn't have let you. I shouldn't have let you....

That's when I hear the yells of our family members.

"Bea! Katy!" yells Mom. She's back from the store. I should tell her what happened. That it's my fault. I brought Katy into the passages. I knew something wasn't right. I should tell Mom.

"Bea, I'm home. Where are you girls?!" yells Mom.

I want to yell back to her to come see Katy because Katy is hurt and it's my fault. It's all my fault. If I hadn't brought Katy down here, she wouldn't be hurt. No, she'd be okay.

But instead, I just stay there, looking over the edge of the decayed boards, staring at my sister's blue eyes. 

She never wakes up, and I wonder if she even will. Katy never sleeps this long. Katy loves sunrises over the ocean. Katy's date has ocean blue eyes. She can't be late for the dance. She's going to be late if she's sleeping.

"Bea! Bea!" yells Mom. But I don't answer. I can't until Katy is awake. "Katy! Girls, please answer!" Her voice has become more panicked. I know I'm causing her grief, but I can't get up. I can't leave Katy. Katy is sleeping. She needs someone to watch her. I'm her big sister, so I have to protect her.

But I didn't do that, no, not so good this time. Now Katy is asleep and she's not waking up.

"BEA! KATY!" yells Mom. I can hear fear in her voice. It sounds like she might be crying, too. I cried earlier, I think. I can't really remember. All I can remember are the blue of Katy's eyes. Like mine. Like Andrew's. Like Mom's.

Mom is yelling again.

"GIRLS, PLEASE! THIS ISN'T FUNNY!" She sobs. "YOU'RE SCARING ME!"

I'm scared, too, Mommy. Katy isn't waking up from her nap. She fell, I fell, and she isn't waking up. Why won't Katy wake up? Is it like when Grandma went to sleep last year? You cried a lot then. We all did, but especially you. Is Katy like Grandma now? Is Katy with Grandma? You tried to explain to me that Grandma is gone. Is Katy gone? I don't want Katy to be gone. She just had her seventh birthday. 

I eventually get up, after hours, maybe days of just staring at Katy. She had started to smell of dead fish and sea brine. My lips don't quiver, and my eyes are dry. I can't think at all. There are no thoughts in my head, just Katy's blue eyes that I know I'll see every day for the rest of my life when I look in the mirror.

I walk back through the passages into the study, where the bookshelf slides open to reveal no one. It slides shut behind me and I walk into the living room where a full length mirror is set up. It hasn't been taken down. It was only so Katy could see herself before the party. 

I sit down in front of it, and stare into the blue eyes that stare back. I know it should be my own reflection, but it's not. It's Katy.

Her face is bloated, her hair a rat's nest, dripping water. Her beautiful pink dress is ripped and soaking. Her body contorts awkwardly as she sits. But, I can still tell that's it Katy, because her blue eyes bore into mine.

That's when, out of my peripheral vision in the mirror, I see another pair of blue eyes. 

Mom.

"B... Bea," she whispers. She takes a few hesitant steps to me, but I don't react. I just stare at Katy.

"BEA!" she yells. She sprints over to me, hugging me from behind. I just stare at Katy. Katy looks sad.

There are rapid footsteps coming down the stairs, and from the kitchen.

"Bea?" yells James.

"Katy?!" yells Andrew.They stop in the doorway. "Where's Katy?" he asks. I want to tell them that she's right in front of me, but I can't. My mouth won't work. 

Katy's face contorts into pity.

Katy's right there. I can see her, can't you?

My father and Michaela burst in, talking about missing person's fliers, when they see me.

"Oh, God. Bea!" he yells, tackling me into a hug. He pulls back, but I crane my neck to see into the mirror to look at Katy. "Where's Katy, Bea?" Dad asks softly.

I don't respond, just staring at the mirror.

Katy's right here, Daddy.

Katy's right here.

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