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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3. Whoever Said Scars Fade Was A Liar

We go down the steps, and unfortunately, I go down a bit quicker than the rest.

"WAH!" I yell, falling through rotted floorboards. I land in a puddle of muck, trembling in anger. I'm gonna deck Andrew again, sometime soon.

Very soon.

James is the first to reach me.

"Bea, are you okay?" he asks, worried. 

"I'm fine, James. Wet, but fine." He helps me stand up and leads me back to the others.

I'm now shaking from the cold, but the bit of anger left in me gives me warmth.

"So, I think we should start over there," says Andrew, pointing to the corner of the small basement. We all nod and go there.

After working for several hours, finding nothing memorable or of use, I throw down some weird dried grass basket into the water. "Andrew, there is nothing here. Can I go?"

"Nope," he says, shuffling through boxes.

We've moved to the right, more than halfway done with the wall, when James pulls out a few photos from when we were little.

"Aw! Look at you and Michaela!" he coos, pointing to the two of us sulking in lacy Easter dresses and Mary Jane shoes, my blonde hair in ringlets and her red hair in two buns on top of her head.

"That was the Easter Andrew found the golden egg with twenty dollars in it," I remind him. He nods his head.

"But I found the most eggs," adds Michaela a little too quickly.

"But James found the most candy. Not just that year, but every year," I remind her, trying to put her in her place. She takes it as a challenge and fires back.

"It was the same every Easter or so. Either Andrew or I would find the golden egg, James would find the most candy, you, well, you never got anything, and-"

"It doesn't matter anymore, does it?" asks Andrew, shifting through a box, sending up a cloud of dust. We all stare at him. "It doesn't matter anymore. That was twenty years ago. Does it matter who got the bills of money or the big chocolate bunny?"

Michaela looks a bit embarrassed, as she should be, and goes back to rifling through boxes.

"I'm going to keep these," James says, putting the old Easter pictures in his back pocket. I shrug, and continue looking for whatever Andrew wants us to find, because I know he's not just doing this for a trip down memory lane.

After most of a day of sorting through junk, without any food, we're all snippy, especially me and Michaela.

We're on the last little area, with the most water damaged boxes.

"Well, Bea was the one who put these boxes here," accuses Michaela, as we move a waterlogged box. It weighs nearly ten pounds, sticking to the floor.

"I was a teenager," I protest.

"And you still haven't matured," says Michaela. She smiles meanly. "Mentally, or physically."

"At least my chest isn't so flat that it looks like I got run over by a truck," I retort. Micheala gasps.

"You take that back!"

"You take what you said about me back!" I screech.

"All right, calm down," says James loudly, putting his hands between us. He gives us an irritated look, strikingly of father. We calm down, sheepish, though neither of us apologize.

"Hey, guys," grunts Andrew. He's trying to pull something out from between two beams that hold up the stairs.

Adrenaline floods my system, but I try not to let it show.

"Help me with this?" asks Andrew, his foot braced against the stone wall. James grabs him by the torso and pulls. I grab James' torso and pull him, and Michaela grabs my shoulders.

"AH!" yells Andrew, and we're all flung backwards, into the muck.

"Come on!" I yell.

"Ewww," says Michaela, sitting in the brine.

James pulls her up and Andrew sets the paper and cloth covered rectangle down.

"What is it?" asks James, coming over with Michaela. 

Guilt and anxiety flood my system. I don't tell them what it is.

"I don't know," states Andrew. He pulls the cloth away, then tears the paper.

The silence that settles over us four is dreadful, because the girl in the painting has wavy red hair and intelligent blue eyes, forever immortalized at the age of fourteen.

Our fifth sibling, Katy Dunharrow.

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