Author's note: This is the beginning of a story that I've been working on. Feedback appreciated, it will be updated as I write more and add more to it.
Chapter 1: Foxworthy Manor.
Kaitlynn was a tall girl, she stood 5’8 without heels on, and today she was wearing 3 inch heels. She seemed to tower over most individuals, her slender build was even more noticeable in the jeans she was wearing, tight and fitted, and they showed off her build even more so. She thought it made her look meek, it didn’t. Instead what it showed was her body’s muscular form, her strong arms, long legs and tight stomach. It seemed to intimidate women especially, but today, she wanted that to happen. Her hazel eyes were sprinkled with intrigue, and the dark ringlets fell over her shoulders in a perfect precision that almost seemed; unnatural.
She had to deal with the real estate agent, a petite woman, with blonde hair and deep coral eyes that seemed to be about to swell up and have tides of their own. Kaitlynn looked her over, watching as the woman chewed in trepidation on her pen. Kaitlynn had attempted at least twice to make eye contact with the woman, but it was to no avail, and finally, when she did manage to make eye contact the woman spoke, “I won’t take you there. If you want to see the house you’ll need to go on your own.”
“That’s fine,” Kaitlynn responded in a measured pace. She already had scouted the house and done the research on it’s past, it was a magnificent mansion, that it was going for so little in San Francisco was a shock to her.
“It’s insane really, but I doubt that any one other then me would sell it to you,” the woman giggled nervously, as if she was honestly hoping that Kaitlynn would change her mind and come to her senses. Kaitlynn wouldn’t. She knew what she wanted and was going to get it. The woman continued, “you do know of its…umm… past?”
Kaitlynn nodded and looked at the woman again, as the woman fumbled with a set of keys, “I am well aware of it. I just want to see it, honestly.”
“I just have to warn you about it, it’s almost, imperative that you know so you’re not taken back.” The woman looked at Kaitlynn and Kaitlynn simply nodded to her. “I mean there was a past, and it does linger there. It’s got that feel to it.”
“It’s haunted, you mean,” Kaitlynn said nonchalantly, and the woman stared at her as if seeing a ghost. Kaitlynn shrugged, “I told you I already knew about it.”
The woman pretended as if she didn’t hear her, “In the summer of 1906 that house stood there, it was the only house that somehow, managed to survive the fire that destroyed that section of the city. People however, were killed in there. There was a summer formal promenade and during that dance, the earthquake transpired causing the second floor to collapse onto the first, killing all the guests and the hosts.” Kaitlynn nodded impatiently, as the woman continued, “Some of the bodies were never found, it is believed that they are under the foundation which now is the first floor, which is where the second floor was, but it was rebuilt originally for the children of the former owners to move into but they never did….” Kaitlynn had read the story, it was a bit more intense then that. Supposedly, they were a cult, she thought, but she remained silent and let the woman relive the past she wanted to.
As soon as the keys were loose they were in Kaitlynn’s hands, and she was all but being pushed out the door. It was obvious that this woman really wanted nothing to do with the house, but Kaitlynn couldn’t put her finger on the reasons behind why. She wanted to know, she had to know.
Slowly Kaitlynn walked to her car, it was parked up the road, which was up hill. “Only in San Francisco,” Kaitlynn thought to herself, “Only here can one be late walking up to the corner store.” She shook her head and pushed her way up the hill, and through the ever increasing crowd, a few of the men stopped and looked at the amazonish woman in tight jeans and a small tee-shirt that said “Kitty’s Got Claws”, and a few even attempted to walk near her until a small feral growl was heard under her breath.
Kaitlynn got into her car and began to think about the conversation with the real estate agent, “She missed a good portion of the story.” Kaitlynn closed her eyes for a bit and let her imagination take over. She could imagine the house, see it in her mind, and she envisioned it as majestically as possible. She could see the past in the house, dancing and swirling, before the fateful error, before the problematic situation. The house was owned by supposedly the Foxworth family, they were rich, beyond belief, most of it, according to the gossip was due in part to the whole issue … Kaitlynn opened her eyes briefly, and started her car, “They weren’t really witches, and they aren’t ghosts now. I’m sure of it.” The car started with a heavy groan as if it knew where it was going.
Kaitlynn drove through the city taking the back roads with ease and letting the car glide through the city. She continued on her way to think about the house, letting it play games with her mind, seeing the faces of the past as they lingered on forever frozen in the books. Kaitlynn’s mind urged her not to go to the house, but she just knew that she had to. Something was drawing her to it. Something…she couldn’t place her finger on.
“It’s not really haunted,” Kaitlynn told herself, trying to convince herself of it more then anything else. Of course, it was haunted, that was precisely why Kaitlynn wanted that house more then anything else. She wanted to be the proud owner of a haunted house, and since they weren’t going to sell the Winchester mansion anytime soon, this would have to do for her. She drove up to the house slowly, examining it, and looking out over it. The graceful arches, the beautiful lawn, the stained glass window at the top of the tower all loomed and made it appear far more majestic then in her mind. All it needed was a mote and it would be a perfect castle.
Kaitlynn stood there, her eyes scanning the building briefly before she opened the door. The real estate agent had told her that it was haunted. The agent had even refused to go to it with her. Her mind wandered, it questioned briefly, why she was even here. She thought to herself, “There is no way this building is haunted.” She opened the door tentatively, listening to the creaking noise that it made as she pushed against it. Her eyes darkened ever so slightly, as they adjusted to the lack of light, before she grasped tighter on her flashlight in preparation to use it. She stared idly into the darkness, letting her eyes see what was there before her.
She watched as she let the light from outside linger past her. With a slow decisiveness, she pushed the button and suddenly light flooded the room. It was spectacular, a high ceiling, with a chandler floating at the top of the first flight of stairs. She hesitantly walked up the stairs that seemed to groan with her every step. She could still hear the music and listened to the whispered voices that seemed to echo from the past that this grand hall once had. She looked towards her right and there was a small room off to the side of the first landing, she opened the door. The room within had been the library, it was spacious and had a long elegance to it, she paused briefly with a slight gasp as she realized the treasures she could find here before continuing to move up the mahogany stairs.
She reached the top of the stairs and looked down over the balcony, her eyes shining and she watched the past as it transpired perhaps before in this room. She pulled out her cell phone, slowly from her jacket pocket and made a call to the local real estate woman. “Hello? Yes, it’s perfect for me. I’ll take it.” And with that it was done. The house would be a perfect spot for her office. She knew it – just the perfect place to hang her sign and it had a history behind it as well that would encourage only the most serious to find her here. With a practiced ease she placed the cell phone back into her jacket and shivered with hope.
Kaitlynn smiled and continued to watch her dancer’s dance; the dresses that swirled around them enticed her and their movements were so fluid. She knew, absolutely that she had found where she belonged, even if no one else would ever understand or see them. They were her dancers, waltzing just for her to the ghostly music only she could hear. She slowly moved down the elegant stairs, and when she reached the grand ball room below she slowly began to dance in rhythm with the dancers she saw there.
They were so elegant, so beautiful, that they pushed her, and then, suddenly, as sudden as they had been there, they were gone. She went to finish exploring the house, and found her office. It was the master bedroom, but it would be perfect for her to make an office out of. She tore open the glass door and stepped out onto the balcony, letting the cool breeze of the bay enter the house for the first time in what must be a century. She looked through the glass door and stood on that balcony, which was now hers, and lingered there thinking of the past.
She thought of her parents, and where they must be now. Were they still stuck here, unable to move on like her dancers, or had they finally moved on, and crossed over so that they were no longer suffering. Her grams had once told her that her parents were always watching over her, and how she loved her grams, but she couldn’t help but wonder if she was a bane to her parents at this point. They never would have approved of her job, and even less her working office. It was too grandiose for them. They were such simple people. She fondly remembered the nights that they would have cookie dough fights in the kitchen and the warmth and love that always seemed to flow through the simple cabin that they had lived in.
It wasn’t enough. It was never enough for grams, and she for a while resented that. She tried to blame her grams for a while, growing up, but soon came to accept that not everyone had the same values. It was simply a fact of life. The only reason her grams tolerated Kaitlynn’s fancies were because of the hope that eventually Kaitlynn would out grow this fanciful lifestyle.
Kaitlynn sat there at the dining room table in her grams’ house. The house had been in the family for at least fifty years, it had to be. Her grams told her stories about the house, and its rich and loving history. Her mother had lived here as a child, sitting at that very table and laughing. Her grams was a lovely woman, with silver tresses that extended past her shoulders, their hair curled the same way, but the way it set off her blue eyes was with an exquisiteness that seemed to be unparallel even to the nobles of old.
Her grams was in the kitchen, Kaitlynn could hear her humming as she was cooking dinner. Just from the tone of the humming Kaitlynn knew what it would be; she had lived with her grams since she was sixteen years old, and knew well her patterns and hobbies. The low tune that she was humming signified that it was a night for pork, and the occasional up beat of the off tune said it would be mashed potatoes and most likely green beans. Not that Kaitlynn minded, she rather enjoyed being able to read her grams as well as she did.
Her grams poked her head out of the kitchen occasionally, asking questions and probing ever so slightly into Kaitlynn’s life. It was, as if she lived vicariously through Kaitlynn hoping someday to give her the family secrets but for now, they remained hidden. “How was the house, Kait?” Her grams asked, probing ever so delicately into the subject.
“It was a house, grams, like any other,” Kaitlynn responded attempting to keep her voice at an even keel not to give away the secrets that she had found there.
“Oh? What was it like?”
“A house, grams, honestly, just like this.”
“Don’t you lie to me young lady, that house is not just a house…it’s a mansion, I remember when the Foxworths’ resided there so many years ago, before that fateful night. It’s been unoccupied ever since…” the old woman paused slightly, “that night. I can almost remember the gowns the women were wearing.”
“Grams I thought you didn’t believe in this supernatural mumbo jumbo of mine…” Kait teased, “You said that it was all make believe and people imagining things.”
“I don’ts got to believe young lady in order to know things.” The old woman said grouchily from the kitchen. Apparently, the pork wasn’t cooking the way that she had hoped it would, Kait thought. “You’d best hope that I don’t stop cookin’ just to hear about yer day.” Kaitlynn knew that was coming, she had been hearing that all through high school, and most of the time her grams meant it, but not tonight, she could tell that it was just a tease.
“Grams, it was alright, the house is huge, and yes, I bought it. It’s perfect for an office, or two. And it means I won’t be getting any more of those little Goth freaks coming by and asking me if I saw any ghosts past my way or seeking out vampires or other weird stuff. I might get serious clientele.”
“There’s no such thing as serious clients in your field of business.” She joked with a smile on her face as she came out of the kitchen wiping her hands on her white apron. “They’re all, what’s the word these days…freaks?”
Kaitlynn laughed, hearing her grams trying to use the modern slang was always humorous and brought a smile to her face.
Later Kaitlynn thought about what her grams had said. Her mind lingered on and thought about the house, about her life, about her parents. The past collided with the present and her world was spinning, this wasn’t the first time this had happened, and she had long since grown use to it. She realized within herself was a force greater then even that which her grams could recognize, that in it, was a power greater then herself at work. She focused on the present trying to bring it into focus, only to find that she was reliving the past more and more. She resented the deaths of her parents and the loss of them. She blamed society, her grams, and even herself for this loss. Letting her emotions get the best of her, she broke down into tears and slowly cried herself to sleep.
She dreamed…and as she dreamed the world slowly stopped spinning out of control. She was back with her parents in their house in Atlantic City, far removed from the strange world of the pacific coast that she resided within now.
She awoke with a start, and looked at the clock, her mind was racing, attempting to recall the dream she had just had. Her thoughts were in a panic as she had relived her parent’s funeral, her own isolation into a world that had become increasingly more complex, and her moving across the world away from what she had known into a new world with her grams. It wasn’t that she didn’t appreciate it all, she just wished it had transpired far differently then what it had. She rose and walked out the hallway, down to the bathroom. A shower and work would do her good right now; it would take her thoughts off these troubling things.
She turned on the shower, her mind, continuing to recall her past and the world she once lived in. She thought about her parents, about her life, and wondered, how exactly did she end up on the path which she was on? She stared at herself in the mirror as the steam started to fill the small room, and she looked at herself. Her face was so much like what she remembered her mother looking like. She was her mother’s child and she tried to picture what she would look like in 20 years. Would she look more like her grams or would she look like she did now. What would her mother have looked like now?
Her mind couldn’t focus any more and it started to play tricks on her. She saw in the mirror not herself looking at her, but her mother’s loving yet critical eyes examining her, she tried to imagine that her mother would be proud of her, but at this point, she really didn’t know. She had done as much as she could, yet these restless spirits of her past refused to be laid to rest. They refused to go forward into the future and still her mind lingered far too much on the past.
She stepped into the shower, allowing the water to cascade over her body, and she felt the warmth and her mind focused on the love that once was held. It focused still on her parents and with a rather troublesome push, she finally managed to clear her mind enough to work towards something else. She had a new shop to set up, her own attempt at a PI firm. And she was insistent that this would be successful. That this, her PI firm, would be her shining contribution to society, and that this would be her thing.
Even if the past only held issues and problems that lingered in dark corners and jumped at her when she was least expecting it. As the water continued to course over her body she entered a dream like state. She saw herself entering the Foxworthy manor and as she opened the doors she watched the dancers again. She walked inside the grand building, prideful and stared, looking at the dancers and in the middle of them she finally saw them, and she saw her parents smiling at her, like they had done so many times before. For her that was enough; she knew that she had done the right thing in procuring the house. It was worth it to see her parents one last time. She knew as she stepped out of the shower that this, was naught but a dream, but she did miss her parents deeply and her dreams of them was all that she really had left.
Chapter 2: The House Warming
Kaitlynn left the house early the next morning. She was starting to move her things from her old office building in the warehouse district to her new one. As she slowly ate breakfast in the car, nothing more than a cup of coffee and a Danish, she went over in her mind how she was going to set up the house. As she drove up to the building she was working out of she noticed a person standing outside. In this district, at this hour there was normally silence, the sun had barely touched the horizon and as such, it was still rather dark outside. Kaitlynn had hoped that she would have peace this morning in order to move out of the building, but as she approached, there was something she noticed about this person, other than the fact that they didn’t belong there.
He was a tall man, almost as tall as Kaitlynn, she sized him up before getting out of her car. The man had blonde hair, cut short and neat, his blue eyes that caught what little light there was sparkled and danced, yet they were so cold that she couldn’t quite figure out what he was thinking. It wasn’t that she wasn’t use to seeing people, she saw people on this street all the time. The problem she was having was that his dress was one of a professional, not a street person. She got out of her car and meandered up to the door of the building, glancing at him again to make certain that he wasn’t one of her ghosts, “no, no – sure enough he’s real…” she thought, and she briefly smiled at him, nothing more than politeness, and with that, he followed her into the building.
“I was hoping that I would catch you – your Kaitlynn Richton, correct?” The man inquired with a tone that told her he already knew who she was and what she was doing. She looked at him, examining him to see if he was some sort of attorney or a detective, attempting to serve her papers or make her appear in court. She just simply nodded to the man once she determined that he was neither.
The man continued, “I’m Michael Foxworthy, and I understand that you just obtained the Foxworthy Manor from my agent?” She stopped, right there and looked at him, the look on his face was one of seriousness, she was at this point perplexed about what to do, what to say – here was the owner of the home she just bought, she wondered what he could possibly want, if it was more money, she wasn’t sure she could afford such. Her business after all didn’t do too well at times and this wasn’t something that she was prepared for.
Michael smiled at her, his eyes remained icy cold, and he waited for an answer from her, yet he noticed that none was forthcoming from her. This was making it awkward for him to have a meaningful conversation with her, yet for some reason, he felt compelled to continue to try. “Ma’am, if you don’t communicate with me, I’ll simply follow you around all day.”
With this Kaitlynn smirked. “Keep following, I’ll just make you carry stuff.” Michael bl