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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11. The Levee Broke and I Was Not Prepared for Hurricane Katy

"Bea!" yells a voice. 

Not Katy's. Because she's sleeping. No, she's dead, and it's my fault.

"Yeah?" I ask, fazed.

"What happened?" asks the voice. I turn my head to meet blue eyes. Blue eyes that stare at me, dead as the Dead Sea, the brine just as salty.

My intake is sharp, and hurts my chest.

"Nothing!" I shriek. I stare at the dried patch of brine that the blue eyes in the body are standing in. There should be something there. Not nothing. It's impossible. 

"No, it's not 'Nothing,' Bea," says Andrew, his voice demanding. "Your anxiety has a source. What is it?"

My siblings stare at me expectantly.

Could I really divulge my greatest secret, my greatest fear, seven years later? I can admit what happened, but after? I have no idea... Katy should be here. 

I just shake my head, my heart and mind warring inside me. Dunharrows aren't supposed to be this pathetic. We're supposed to be tough-as-nails, take-no-shit people.

But when it came to family, we were always compassionate and caring. Underneath me wanting to punch Andrew and my annoyance at James' peacemaking abilities, I really loved them.

That's what my heart said, at least. As for my brain, it just sounded like a raging Klaxon alarm at full volume. I guess heart of mind, though, because I begin telling them every horrific detail. 

From how Katy and I had found the first ever passage to when she fell. How I couldn't tear myself away from her, how I just left her there. How I keep seeing her eyes everywhere, parts of her in my siblings from her red hair like Michaela's to her eyes like mine, Andrew's, and Mom's. How I've never told anyone. And, finally, that she died right where we're standing.

"But where's her body?" asks Michaela, rubbing her arms. The goosebumps don't go away.

I just shrug. "I don't know. Her bones. Something should be here. I'm positive there are no animals in the caves. Or rats. I would've heard them."

Above us, the storm rages on.

"But she was dead, right?" asks James, doubt filling his eyes.

"I'm positive," I say, my certainty faltering. "I was here for over a day. She never moved."

"But what if you were just hallucinating her body?" asks Andrew.

"Why would I do that?"

Andrew shrugs. "I don't know. Your broken psyche."

"So where does that passage up there lead to?" questions Michaela. 

"If you follow it back, it leads to the study."

"How much do you know about the passages?" asks James. "I never found them." Andrew and Michaela agree with him, never having found the passages. 

"Not really the time, but found them when I was eight. And explored them for eight years. I just never explored the basement level ones, because, well, I didn't know there were any, until that day."

"But if we were able to get to a higher level passage, you could lead us out?" asks Andrew. I nod. I look up at the hole, and for a second I see Katy, real Katy, not Andrew's eyes Katy, peering down at me, with her broken bones and wet hair. She cocks her head and disappears.

"Try boosting me up."

"It won't work. We're too weak," starts Michaela. 

"Boost me!" I yell desperately. I need to get to Katy. 

The boys just shrug and take my feet, then....

"One... two... three!"

They throw my feet up, and I grab hold to the boards above, clawing to stay there. 

They creak, but hold I claw my way up and look to the passage.

There's a door, and it's fallen in. 

It's the door to the study.

"Hey, Bea, what's going on?!" yells Andrew.

"I don't know! I'm going to look for a ladder!"

"There's one in the back of my truck!"

I shove the door aside, and blink to blinding sunlight, hazy behind storm clouds.

I stop, shocked. The storm... a hurricane... had blown the entire house down.

An out of season hurricane.

The entire house is in ruins, reduced to the smell of the ocean and soggy boards. 

I shake my head and run to Andrew's truck, grabbing the ladder. Andrew works for a home painting company, so it's not a big surprise he just so happens to have a ladder in the bed of his truck.

The ladder is heavy, but I race to rescue my siblings before the water rushes into the basements, then through the passages.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a silhouette in a billowing dress in the ocean. Her red hair tossed by the wind.

I ignore Katy and race to help my siblings.

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