The Stone House Mystery Part II

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For the first few days after shifting, everything seemed to be normal. Julie was having the time of her life. Life in the big city was much more exciting than what it was back in Perryridge. College was great, she even made some friends in her class. She had understood the whole ferry and the big subway system by heart. The house seemed to have taken her in. She felt homely and at ease. It was everything she had dreamt of, it was just perfect.

 

Ten – Fifteen days after she had moved in, she started to notice certain things..strange things that seemed odd to her. She would hear strange noises at night while she was in bed, she started feeling some cold spots too. One  morning while brushing her teeth, she smelled something funny. And when she reached the kitchen, she found rotten eggs lying broken on the floor. She could have sweared that they weren’t there last night. This freaked her out. She was disturbed when she went to college, unable to pay attention to what was being taught in her Economics Lecture. Her mind was still revolving around and about those rotten eggs. Her friend, Rebecca noticed her friend’s funny mood and asked jokingly,”Hey Jules! Where’s your mind at? Still thinking of the ways to get around Prof Samuels, huh? Yeah, I mean he’s hot but Jules, he’s still our teacher.” Julia did’nt find it funny at all but let Rebecca’s comment pass by. She was preoccupied today. The day passed by without any eventful thing. When James asked her if she wanted to go out with the gang for a drink, she refused straight away and headed back home. Everything was peaceful and normal when she got back. She took a sigh of relief. She was tired and went to bed directly without taking a shower or even changing her clothes.

 

When she woke up the next day, she was glad that it was the weekend. She called Rebbeca and the gang to invite her for a housewarming party. She thought it might make up for her wierd behaviour the day before. She was looking forward for having her friends over her place and was excited by the prospect of a fun night. “God knows I could do with a party right now”, she thought. She took her 1967 Chevy Impala to the nearby supermarket to get essential for the big party. It was when she returned that she notices that the flowers, the trees in her garden were dying and it wasn’t even autumn yet. It seemed funny to her since when she had moved in, they were in perfect condition and she even used to water them regularly. When she asked her neighbour, Ms Fitzpatrick what was happening to the flower. She replied,”Oh dear, these days, they bring in the hybrids from you don’t know where. It might be the reason, you know.” But this didn’t seem like a rational explanation to Jules. At that moment , she reminded herself that she had so much preparation to do for the party and she coudld worry about the trees and flowers the next day.

 

The gang arrived at Seven in the evening and they all seemed to be in high spirits. Well, who doesn’t like a night full of drinks and debauchery. Ronny, the “Boozehead” as he was affectionately called even brought his Karaoke System. “This is going to be one epic night, folks. Now Jules, you just need to appoint me as the chief bartender.” To this Vic replied,”Why should you be the bartender? We’re gonna run out of alcohol if you are appointed. Forget it, Boozo.” Vic was called “The Buff” because of his jock personality and big stature. Ronny thought it would be inviting trouble to challenge Vic’s verdict and sighed. Everyone laughed at seeing disappointment on his face. “The party was a great idea. Why didn’t I think of it before?” Julie thought, everyone seemed to have an awesome time. Vic and Eva particularly seemed to have a great time. Everyone in the group knew about their attraction towards each other. Julie took Rebecca aside and apologised to her. Rebecca, as carefree and happy-go-lucky she was forgave Julie in a second. When Rebecca asked again,”What was disturbing you yesterday, Jules?” Now, Julie couldn’t have kept it from her and as crazy as it seemed to her, Julie told Rebecca about the cold spots, noises at night and the egg-incident that happened the day before. When Rebecca heard about it, she couldn’t make any sense of the whole thing and just assured her friend that they might be coincidences. This seemed to relax Julie and  her mood was set right and she started dancing with Rebecca and Amanda on “I want you to want me” by Cheap Trick being sung horribly by Adam. But Rebecca’s assurances and also a fair amount of gin had done their trick. Julie had set herself free. In the amidst of all the fun and enjoyment, a loud shriek shook everyone up. It came from the Bathroom on the first floor. It looked like Eva had locked herself in and was having trouble getting out. Everyone was sure that someone had played a prank on  Eva and would have locked the door from outside. Amanda went upstairs to see if this was the case. When she saw that the door was perfectly unlocked from the outside, she shouted to her friends below,”Hey Guys, hurry up. Its not a prank. She’s locked. Vic, hurry up.” Suddenly, there was a commotion and everyone rushed upstairs. Eva was shouting in her shrill voice continuously. Julie told Eva to calm down and shouted back,”Eve, just put some pressure. Its just an rusty old knob. You’ll get out nice and easy.” “Jules, I have tried everything. I didn’t even lock this friggin’ thing. I just came to wash my face, I didn’t even close the door. It just did it by itself and got bolted. I am so scared, Jules. Please get me out.”, Eva begged. It was just preposterous. How could the door have locked itself in, she has had way to many drinks.”, Jules thought. But the problem of the moment was to get her out. She asked Vic to take down the door and he did as said. Vic put his athletic body to use and broke the white painted wooden door by just one right shoulder’s push. Eva came out and flunged her arms around Vic and started sobbing. He carried her downstairs to the living room. Julie went to kitchen to get her water and she had just entered when she saw her. She was standing just right beside the refrigerator. She looked like a beautiful, innocent ten year old wearing clothes that might have been in fashion in the mid 19th century but when she Julie properly saw her, she noticed that the girl had a bullet wound around her belly. It looked fresh and the blood was still red. That’s when it struck Julie, that little girl was not real. It was a spirit.

The Stone House Mystery – Part I

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Italo Calvino said: “The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.”

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Julie Ann moved into the big stone house with a lot of anticipations and excitement. The house, according to her, was her big life changing moment..something that would help her grow up and mature. Little did she know that the house was haunted and was supposed to be cursed. The stone house was built in the late 1940s by the rich landlord, Daniel Campbell who owned most of the estate in New Jersey, New York. Mr. Campbell’s family was found dead under mysterious circumstances. She had heard about the history of the house from the local residents but didn’t pay any heed to it. It seemed all Harry Potter-ish to Julie. It was a part of her nature. According to her childhood mates and family, Julie had been a free soul since the beginning, she was someone who had a broad vision and wanted to leave her mark in this world.

In the beginning, when started the house search, nothing seemed to go her way. Every home and apartment she saw, she had a problem with it. Some were too crappy, some out of her budget. She had almost given it up when she saw the rustic grey stoned house. It seemed perfect to her. In her mind, she thought that the house spoke to her. Jason Skylar, her Real Estate Agent was happy that after weeks of house searching, at least she liked one. Glad that he would finally make a commission out of this deal, he purposely didn’t tell her about the dark history of the house. She thought grilling him about the history was a waste of time.

But before the deal could finally be sealed, they stuck on the price. She thought 40 grands were too much for this old two rooms up and one room down house. She argued that she would have to get it in order before finally start living. She had a fair point but Jason as exasperated he was by all her coy and picky nature, he wouldn’t budge even a little. When she thought her arguing wouldn’t work a bit on that seedy guy, she thought to charm herself out of this situation and finally got of hold of that miser who took 7 grands of the quoted sum. She often had that effect on boys who seemed to get floored when they looked at her. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that she was the most desirable girl in her high school. Still, $33,000 was a hefty sum but Julie’s rich parents, who passed away when she was just nine, had set up a trust fund for her which helped her complete her education and maybe set up a small business as well. She was never a brat. In fact, Julie was much more mature than the girls of her age. She excelled at her school and was the Valedictorian of her batch. She got into NYU with a full ride and she never let the traumas of her past take over her emotions. Strong, Beautiful and Silent are the most appropriate words that would probably describe young and ambitious Julie Ann.

New Jersey seemed like a whole new world to Julie. Being from the slow and small town of Perryridge, the best city in the world was a challenge but the idea of new experiences, new adventures, exploring the world, meeting new people excited her. Moving to New York was the first big step she had taken in years . She knew that it was gonna be difficult but it seemed right to her at that time. She was excited to finally live alone and make progress. But would this prove to be a mistake for Julie?

Part II in the next Blog. Thanks for reading!