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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8. Dark Days Are Never Far Behind

We walk the passages, me leading the way.

As we walk the seemingly endless passages, my mounting fear at what we'll find down here grows.

It builds in my chest first, slow, then faster, until it grips my heart and feels like a stabbing pain. Then it becomes physical, immobilizing my legs until I'm just standing in the middle of the corridor, staring ahead and clutching my hands to my chest. Then I crumble to the ground, too afraid to face her. 

I begin to hyperventilate, losing all sense of reality, feeling like I'm floating away from my body but simultaneously trapped inside it. My brothers, though injured, crouch down and talk to me. The sounds are too loud so I cover my ears, but the screaming voices are muffled, sounding like they're speaking through cotton. 

There is no equilibrium. Everything is at the extremes at the same time and I just can't take it!

I claw at my head and gasp for breath.

They leave me alone with my anxiety attack. 

After it, I take a few deep breaths, slowly, like one of my old doctors taught me. I feel my skin and clothes, taste the air and look at the specific colors of my brothers' clothes.

I ground myself with reality, as to not float away.

After her death and the mental hospital, I saw a therapist a few times a week because of the trauma and anxiety. Though I told no one, not even the therapist, he could see my anxiety was overwhelming, and helped me through it. 

"Are you okay?" whispers James. 

"I'm fine," I say, shaky.

"Can I touch your arm?" asks James.

"What does it matter?" asks Andrew.

"It could trigger another attack," says Michaela clinically, who had just been standing by.

I nod to James for permission. He hauls me up gently and I lean on his arm.

"It's just like back then," comments James. The others look at him.

"What do you mean?" asks Andrew.

"Her anxiety is getting just as bad as when Katy died... disappeared. It's been happening since we pulled the painting out."

"It really puts the pain in painting," I murmur. They ignore me.

"I thought it was just now," says Andrew, his voice laced with guilt.

"No offense, Andy, but you're not very perceptive," says James. Andrew rolls his eyes. We stand there for a few more seconds.

"I guess I'll take the lead," grunts Andrew. And, just like that, we're off on our adventure again.

And the pressure begins to build once more.

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