The Coldness A novel

Jessica Christian, a new homebuyer in Savannah, Georgia, takes over the mysterious Jackson Orphanage for Girls, in the Deep South. When she arrives there, she encounters several people who want the place closed.

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1. The Orphanage

Jessica Christian arrived at Jackson Orphanage of Girls, in Savannah, Georgia, at nine o'clock AM on the dot. She wiped the sweat off her twenty-six year old face with her small hands; she was eager to meet Mister Ron Jackson, the fifty year old son of the original owners, Phillip and Tracey Jackson, who both died in the summer of 1962, when they fell out of the Children's Bedrooms that was situated on the Second Floor. They were both seventy-two years old. She walked towards the front door. "It's nice...if a bit foreboding looking", she told him. Ron Jackson nodded. "It's just the bad history of the Orphanage; it's the...how do you say...the ​atmosphere that casts a dark shadow over the harsh grounds back in the nineteen forties, to the mid nineteen fifties". Jessica, who wore a black dress, glided towards the Welcome​ mat which was in under the door, her red boots hit the ashy pavement. Two medieval knights stood guard, if they were warding off evil. Jessica's blood was frozen. She hadn't considered them when she enquired about the Orphanage; she gripped on a key. She opened the door. Ron Jackson followed her behind her; her face was etched in wonder. A cold breeze wafted through the dark hallway. She flicked on the bright light. Seconds later, Jessica saw the illuminated halls. Five rooms that housed the children, (boys and girls who were aged between five to twelve), were left in mint condition-save for the spidery webs that covered the arched walls; the other five rooms were down the halls where they were educated by the teachers during class time. Jessica shivered, as she saw a unused bed in the middle of the old room. "Why is there a single bed?", she asked Ron. He shrugged. "My parents taught English to the children from 1952 to 1960. This room was used by orphans who were...how can I say this...troublesome". Jessica glanced at him. "Troublesome. I don't think...". Ron Jackson smiled. "​You don't know anything Jessica; you don't want to know...Now let me see the windows​". He wiped the spider's webs away with his right hand. Then he heard the eerie sound of whistling. He turned around; he shook his head. "Who is that?", he asked. Jessica shook her head. "It's a boy's sound", she answered him. Seconds later, she shivered...as they left the room...and looked at the second room to the far left in the creepy hallway.

***

The second door was scorched. Jessica grabbed a blue towel and opened it. She let it drop near the kitchen that was to her right; she walked inside. Ron followed her. "This is Sean Martinson's room. He had behavioural difficulties". Jessica nodded. "Was he strapped down and administered punishments to curb his behaviour?", she asked him. "No​", Ron answered her. She nodded. The grey straps were on the hard ground. She picked it up with her left hand. "Horrible", she uttered. Ron shook his head. "Look, we're not God; we're not Satan. There was standards that needed to be adhered to; a lot of standards". Jessica nodded. Suddenly she saw an old chair. Written on the right of it were the words: PROPERTY OF D. E. MASTERS, PSYCHIATRIST-SAVANNAH, GEORGIA-1961​. "Do you know him?", Jessica asked Ron. He sighed. "Yes, he was the Head Psychiatrist for the Orphanage for Children. He retired in the spring of 1964 when he was sixty-two from stress. Well, that was the story he told his wife Edna Masters. She was a Maths Teacher there from 1952 to 1964". Jessica nodded. She then headed out of the room, and walked down the grim looking hallway towards the third room.

***

The third room was broken. Jessica stared at Ron. He sighed. "It'll cost five hundred dollars to fix", he said. She nodded. "Surely you can do that", she said. He sighed. "I'll do it soon after your inspection of the rooms". She saw a doll lying on the old bed near the window. Its sad, black, eyes seemed to be unwanted. Jessica picked it up. "Who owned the doll?", she asked Ron. "Margaret Russell. She was nine. Her parents, Mark and Lisa Russell, were thirty-seven in 1961. They died in a car accident off Forbes Road, three miles away. Margaret was a strange girl. She never fitted in with the other girls in the Orphanage". Jessica headed to the fourth room. As she did so, she heard the sound of giggling. She backed away from the door. Before she could do anything, the door opened by itself. She stared at Ron...as they went inside.

***

The fourth room was dark. There were three beds near the windows. Iron shackles were on the grimy walls. They connected to the edges of the beds. "Why are they so cruel?", she asked him. "From 1951 to 1961 D. E. Masters ordered the move. It was what was done back in those days. Everything has changed. There's less abuse of girls; there's less deaths". Ron shivered. Jessica sensed the coldness in the dark room. She closed the door. Then they headed to the fifth and last room down the hall. Jessica opened the door. Suddenly she heard more giggling. She turned around. And, as she did so, she screamed as ghostly hands grabbed at her hair...and pushed her onto the ground.

 

 

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