| “Good morning Angela,
My name is Charles. Welcome to Hustonville, my hometown. Today’s your first day in Hustonville right? I hope you will enjoy it here. It really is a lovely place. If you need any help, just leave a note on this table.
It’s nice to be of acquaintance with you. Have a pleasant day at school.
I read the note left on my desk. I had just moved to Hustonville a day earlier and had just woken up when I saw this note. The handwriting was exquisite, as though it were written by someone from the Victorian days. I smiled; the people here in Hustonville seemed very kind. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought – moving from the city to this rural place.
I glanced around my new room. My boxes of clothing were left unpacked, stuffed unsuccessfully into the small closet across the bed. The toilet door beside it was left ajar with the lights on. Even though I was already 16 years old, being in total darkness still scared me.
“Angie dear, wake up its morning! You don’t want to be late on your first day of school!” my mother’s voice echoed shrilly throughout the house.
Urgh, my first day of school. I’d very much rather spend my first day in Hustonville, exploring and knowing my way around first.
With much reluctance, I stumbled to the toilet to wash up and after putting on my favorite jeans and T-shirt, scrambled to my desk and wrote below Charles’s note,
“Good morning Charles!
It’s nice to meet you. I hope I’ll enjoy it here too! I’ll tell you later what I think of Hustonville if I (with any luck) have time to look around after school. By the way, how do you know my name? Are you, by any chance, attending the same school as me? How did you manage to leave a note on my desk?
See you later!
I was rather proud of my handwriting, and since this was the first time I had seen someone with better writing than me, I just couldn’t resist showing off a bit. I looked up from the paper for a glance at the clock, and I realized I was going to be late! I dashed out of my room and down the stairs.
The old stairs creaked as I rushed down the stairs. I half-expected the stairs to collapse under me, considering that it was one of the oldest houses in the area. My mother had to move to Hustonville for her work research and could only afford to buy this house, which was selling at an insanely low price. I was kind of dreading staying in some ‘cheapskate’ house. However, we were pleasantly shocked when we arrived. We even double-checked the address to ensure that it was the right house. It was huge! You could even call it a mansion. Granted it was very old, but it was grand, fashioned in the Victorian styled architecture. My older sister, Jasmine and I quarreled over who was to get which room. I won, of course, with my current room as my prize.
I greeted my mother and my sister who were seated at the dining table as I plopped myself down and started munching on my fresh toast.
“Don’t tell me you are actually going to school in that outfit of yours? It looks horribly plain! How am I going to explain that you are actually my sister? I mean, who goes to their first day of school, looking like that?!” my sister said, with obvious irritation in her voice.
My eighteen year old sister, Jasmine was absolutely gorgeous, with her long curly blonde hair, clear blue eyes and smooth white skin. Add on, her stunning outfits and she could pass off as a movie star. I, on the other hand, had plain straight brown hair, green eyes and tanned skin. My sister had her looks from mother while I got mine from my father. He went missing about 5 years ago, till now we have no idea even if he is alive or dead.
Jasmine practically dragged me to her room and sat me down on her bed as she fumbled through her closet. At this rate, I was definitely going to be late. Finally, she held up a green dress for me to see.
“No. No. No. It is green! It is way too striking to wear out, yet even on the first day of school! It is absolutely out of the question!” I shrieked as I saw the stunning green knee-length dress.
However, Jasmine acted as though she had not heard me and pushed me into the toilet, chucked the green dress into my hands and closed the door.
I unwillingly slid into the dress. As I adjusted the dress to fit my body, I looked up into the mirror and I was stunned. The girl wearing the green dress was not me. The girl in the mirror was just too beautiful to be me. The girl’s green eyes shone brightly as the green dress accentuated the beauty of her eyes. The design of the dress flowed and followed the body shape of the girl, making her look totally gorgeous. I practically stood there for a whole minute admiring myself. Wow, my sister really should be a makeover artist!
My mother drove my sister and I to school. She wished us a nice day at school and I stepped out of the car nervously with my sister following after. As expected, almost everyone’s head turned to look in our direction. My sister wore her favorite reflective black halter dress while I was dressed in the elegant green knee-length dress. We literally dazzled everyone.
Almost immediately tons of good-looking males approached us to ask if we needed help around the school. At least I did not have to worry about getting lost. The day proceeded much the same until homeroom class.
The teacher instantly recognized me as the new student from the big city and asked me to give the class a short introduction about myself.
“Hi. My name is Angela Quesbelle but you can call me Angie. I moved here from London because of my mother’s research work. I’m currently living with my mother and elder sister at 1 Huston drive.”
As soon as I mentioned my current address, exclamations and gasps were heard throughout the class.
“You actually live there? Oh my god. Are you serious?” a girl voiced, “That place is haunted! It’s been there since the 18th century. I’ve been there on a dare once, it was horrible! The Huston family used to live there but Mr. Huston and Mrs. Huston were murdered. Their son, Constantine killed the murderer and commit suicide afterwards. Since then, no one has dared to stay there for fear of the Constantine ghost and those who tried to demolish the mansion have been labeled as crazy for their spouts of ghostly dreams. ”
I was bewildered. That explained why the house was sold at so low a price. I was going to have to talk to my mother about this.
As I walked out of class, I was approached by one of my classmates – Robert Christoph Wentz. He had raven black hair, black eyes, pale clear skin; he could even be called beautiful.
“Hi. My name is Robert Wentz. Pardon me for the sudden question but, do you happen to know someone called Charles?”
Charles. That name sounded familiar. Then, I recalled, he was the boy who left me the note this morning. I told Robert about the note and watched as his expression changed to that of a sorrowful look which kind of puzzled me.
“He actually left you a note, a welcome note even. I am…envious. He used to be my best friend but after his parents’ death, we haven’t been able to contact each other. I practically died for him. Angela, could I trouble you to do something for me?” Robert asked, “Could you deliver a letter to him for me? And…could you promise me not to read it?”
I was confused but nodded my head. He immediately took out a pen and paper and started furiously scribbling away. When he was done, he folded it up, slotted it nicely into an envelope, wrote ‘To Charles’ and passed it to me. With a thank you and smile, he left the classroom.
I met Jasmine at the school gate and walked home with her. We told each other about our day’s events. When I mentioned Robert but for some reason decided not to mention about the note and letter, my sister screamed in excitement.
“Oh. My. God. Robert actually talked to you! And it’s probably all thanks to me and my dress!” she almost shouted, “Angie! Do you even know? Robert Wentz is THE most gorgeous guy in the whole school! And he talked to you! Ah! You absolutely must introduce me to him!”
I guess it should have been obvious. He was…beautiful.
When I returned to my room, I realized that there was a reply to my note.
“Welcome back Angela.
I trust that you had a nice day at school, considering you wore such a beautiful dress. Regarding your questions, if I were to tell you the truth, I am afraid you would either not believe me or think that I am some psychopath. Nonetheless, how do you find Hustonville so far? Do you need any assistance getting around?
I immediately took out my pen and wrote,
This house is rumored to be haunted by the Constantine ghost; people who have tried to stay here so far have been chased out by this ghost. Do you have any idea if this is true? For I yet to encounter this Constantine ghost. I have so many questions. Today’s day in school has left me utterly bewildered. Could you answer my questions? I fear I may go mad if I do not have the answers soon. By the way, one of my classmates, Robert Wentz has asked me to pass you a letter. It’s beside this note.
Hope to hear from you soon.
With a heavy sigh, I pushed myself up and went to take a shower. When I came out the shower, I was taken aback! There, on my table, lay a reply to my latest note. That meant that Charles had been here while I was in the toilet! I grabbed the note and started reading.
Thank you for Wentz’s letter. I understand your confusion at all the rumors. Let me tell you a quick story.
In the late 18th century, this house used to be occupied by the Huston family. The head of the family was the mayor of Hustonville. The Huston head, wife and son were snobbish and cruel, using their authority as they pleased. As a result, they were hated very much. One day, the mayor having grown dislike for the Wentz family decided to banish them. The Wentz were furious, and hired an assassin to kill the Huston family. However, the Wentz’s son, Roberto, was best friends with the Huston’s son, Constantine. Roberto bribed the assassin to spare Constantine’s life. That night, the mayor and his wife were slaughtered. Their son, Constantine, lived. Constantine was enraged and decided to get revenge at the Wentz. He assumed that he was alive because of his friendship with Roberto. He killed the whole of Wentz family in their sleep, leaving Roberto alive. After doing so, he was so overcome by guilt that he killed himself without saying goodbye to Roberto. What Constantine did not know was that, anyone who committed suicide would turn into a ghost as punishment for not obeying the natural law of life and death. He has lived in this house ever since. And so as to prevent people from taking away his home, he created the rumor of the Constantine ghost. He tried to contact his best friend, Roberto Wentz but for some reason he has not been able to until now.
Please read Roberto’s letter to further understand my story. Yes, please do not be afraid, this is indeed my story, I am Charles Constantine Huston. And if you are not willing to talk to me again, I beg of you to please do me a last favor, please deliver my letter to Wentz. You may read it if you like, but please, pass it to him.
Charles Constantine Huston”
My mind swirled as I read line after line. It was all so unbelievable yet it all made sense. I quickly unfolded Robert’s letter and read.
“My dear best friend Charles
It has been so long. I know that you are now a ghost.
After my parents’ death, I devoted my time to researching about the afterlife and realized that you, my dear friend, who has killed yourself, is doomed to be a ghost forever. I wanted to talk to you so much. But the text said that ghosts could not see humans that had to deal with their suicide.
So no matter, how matter how many letters I left you, how often I visited your manor, all you would be able to see was blank pieces of paper, and not even be able to see me. I was devasted. I had no one left. My parents were dead and you were a ghost.
I tried so hard to find ways to talk to you. I could not commit suicide for you still would not be able to see me, someone who played a part in your suicide. I had to find another way. I hope you will forgive me, but I had no option left. I decided to go with ‘black magic’. I became what people call ‘the living dead’. I can never age and will also live for eternity, like that of a ghost.
After transforming, I immediately rushed to find you but I discovered that there was a catch to it. Becoming the living dead had a price; I had to give up my dearest wish – my wish for us to be best friends once again. As a result, I was back to square one, you still wouldn’t be able to see me. There was a solution; however, I had given up all hope on it till now. If there was a mutual friend of you and me, we could contact each other through this person. Unfortunately, if you remember, it was only always the two of us, so there was no way I could use this method of communicating. I decided to attend school, in hope of finding someone who would know you, as a ghost. I finally found her – Angela Quesbelle.
What puzzles me though is why did you choose to contact Angela when there were so many others before her, living in your manor? I miss you and wish we could be best friends again.
Chills went up my spine as I read the letter from Robert to Charles. I knew that in the past, people were ‘showy’ with their feelings, but they totally sounded gay in modern context. But that wasn’t the main reason for the chills, the fact that there existed such…’people’ and that such things happened was…terrifying.
“Charles? Are you here? Can you speak to me? Can I see you?” I asked with a trembling voice.
“Angela.” The voice startled me. “I’m not sure what to say. How do you greet each other in the 21st century? Oh yes, Hi Angela.”
From his voice, I could tell that he was young, probably around the same age as Robert.
“Hi. Can I see you?” I asked once more.
“Okay, I’m not sure how I look like as a ghost, I may look frightening so pardon me please. Okay, I’m appearing now.” He whispered.
As soon as he finished saying that, he appeared right in front of my eyes. It was so sudden that I screamed. Hearing my scream, he instantly disappeared again. My mother opened my door almost immediately to find out the reason of my scream.
“What’s wrong Angie? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” my mother questioned.
“Nothing’s wrong mother. I just thought I saw a rat, my imagination. Sorry.” I managed a soft answer.
After my mother shut the door, I heard him say,
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. Do I look that scary? Forgive me, I had no idea.”