A young woman with a secret supernatural ability and connection with the dead
Cathy and Kate
Episode One - Tinsbury Manor
.Cathy stifled a yawn as she squinting her eyes, looking ahead. A car passed on the opposite side; its headlights almost blinding her, “Dip your headlights, you asshole.” She pipped her horn, feeling tired and irritable from the long drive; taking a deep breath, she calmed herself. A sign read, one and three-quarter miles to Tinsbury. She hated driving at night; it hurt her eyes and gave her a headache. What she needed right now was a comfortable bed and a good night’s rest, Not far now.” Another car came into view this time the driver dipped his headlights before passing. A few houses began to appear on either side of the road and street lighting. ‘This must be it,’ she slowed down, leaning over the steering wheel while looking for any sign that this was the place. A sign partially hidden by bushes read - Tinsbury. “We’re here, now to find the hotel.” More houses appeared on either side of the road then a gap. A building stood on its own came into view on her right. She made out the sign above the door- Tinsbury Hotel.
“Here we are, parking space at the rear - right,” she stopped indicating right and waited for another car to pass before turning and driving to the rear of the hotel. After parking, she got her suitcase from the boot and walked round to the entrance. The hotel lobby was small compared with some hotels she stayed in previously but bright and homey looking. A tall elderly white-haired man sat reading a newspaper behind the reception desk on the left. He looked up, putting his paper down as Cathy walked towards the desk.
“I reserved a room, the name is Cathy Farnworth.”
The man picked up a ledger opening and running a finger through the dates and names listed until he found hers. “Miss Farnworth, right room seven first floor,” he paused, getting the room key from the board hanging on the wall behind him. “You can take the lift over to the right. Turn left when you get off the lift its three doors down. Do you need any help with your suitcase?”
“No, I can manage thanks.”
“Breakfast is eight till nine-thirty.”
“Cathy nodded, “Thanks.” She left going to the lift.
The en-suite room was clean, and the bed looked comfy. Cathy unpacked her clothes, hanging them in the heavy oak wardrobe. She considered taking a shower but felt too tired, deciding she would shower in the morning. She collapsed on the bed, stretching out, after a few minutes she rose undressed turning off the light she got into bed
Cathy rose at seven, showered and dressed in clean clothes by the time she was ready to go down for breakfast, it was eight-fifteen. A couple sat together, having breakfast. Two men who looked, to be businessmen, sat by themselves there were no other guests in the dining room. After breakfast, she went back to her room to get ready to go out.
A young blonde-haired woman was at the reception desk when she returned to the lobby. “Do you know where Tinsbury manor is?” Cathy asked.
The woman looked at her curiously, “Don’t tell me you are a one of those that goes around looking for haunted houses, to investigate right?”
Cathy gave a pleasant smile, “Something like that,”
“I knew it you look the type we get a few visitors here occasionally hoping to experience a night at the manor.”
Cathy kept her smile while thinking the receptionist seemed very chatty, “So how do I find the manor?”
The receptionist pointed to the right of the exit. “Oh, it’s on the other side of the village. Cross the road and turn right keep going until you come to a turning on your left. It’s the lane that leads to the manor,” she paused. If you walk it will take about fifteen minutes by car, you’ll be there in no time.”
Cathy nodded, “Thanks, I think I’ll walk. I need the exercise, and it looks nice out.”
The receptionist smiled and nodded, “There is a cold wind, though, wrap up warm.”
Cathy turned to leave, giving a wave. “See you later.”
“Okay, have a nice day,” the receptionist called after Cathy.
Cathy shivered and fastened her wool coat, pulling up the collar to protect her face the biting wind; brushing loose strands of dark hair from her face. Crossing the road, Cathy followed the directions the receptionist gave her. It wasn’t long before she passed the last house in the village and in the open countryside. It took more than the fifteen minutes the receptionist mentioned before she reached the turning.
The lane was overgrown with bushes on either side and appeared to be once a sweeping driveway. Halfway up, a path branched off to the right towards the manor. Cathy took her first look at the house overgrown bushes obscured one of the lower windows and ivy grew up the walls and around the upper windows. Cathy sensed a foreboding about the manor as she finally stood before the heavy door. She walked to the side looking through a window pursing her lips she wiped the grime from the window pane with a mittened hand and tried to peer inside but couldn't see anything.
Cathy returned to the door turning the ornate doorknob with a squeak; the door was locked. Cathy took a step back sighing closing her eyes she reached for the doorknob again. Rather than grab the handle to try and force the door open her hand hovered close to the doorknob. The knocker turned on its own accord, and the door creaked open on rusty hinges. She stepped into the entrance hall her footsteps echoing on the tiled floor. There was a pile of junk mail on the floor which had been there for some time. A thick layer of dust and dirt in the corners inside the door, which had blown underneath and gathered over time. The hall was dusty, No one had been here for some time; despite what the hotel receptionist told her.
A short distance ahead were two doors on either side facing one another. The door on the right appeared to be a large drawing room, utterly empty thick with dust and cobwebs. The room on the left was a dining room with a large dining table in the centre but no chairs, Cathy coughed, and cleared her throat the disturbed dust getting to her.
“Anything?” She asked out loud.
“Nothing yet,” came a disembodied reply.
A bit further on was a small study with a desk and chair as Cathy stepped inside, she noticed footprints in the dust on the floor. “Curious footprints in the dust?”
“There is a distinct supernatural energy here,” said the disembodied voice.
Cathy nodded in agreement, “Yes, I feel it also let’s leave for now and return near midnight. I’m feeling a bit peckish and want to explore the village more.”
“I envy you, Cathrine, being able to feel, touch and taste. My world is so intangible filled with emptiness and shadows, most of the time; it is a lonely place.”
That’s not entirely true Kate, at least you have me to talk to and keep you company,” Cathy replied sympathetically.
Cathy exited the room and gazed down the hall, almost opposite were stairs to the second floor. Cathy stood at the bottom of the stairs gazing up listening. She heard noises coming from upstairs. She could hear the creaking of timbers—the wind rustling through the eaves. Other than the usual sounds, she sensed an undercurrent of the unearthly barely audible, screeching and snarling filled with menace; the manor itself seemed to be a living thing.
“Until later then,” she said sighing as she turned to leave.
“Shall I wait here?”
“No, I don’t want you to be alone, Kate, especially not in this place.”
Although Cathy couldn’t see it, Kate smiled. After wondering, alone for so long feeling lost with no purpose. Kate felt happy when she met Cathrine, someone she could finally communicate with and be a companion too.
Cathy left the manor now she had a rough idea of the layout and what she might expect later. The wind felt even colder, and clouds gathered as she made her back to the village. Cathy found a cosy little coffee shop. She ordered a latte and a sandwich and sat chatting with the shop owner.
“Do you know the history of the manor,? Cathy asked after some small talk.”
“Well I have not lived here that long, but some of the older villagers say the lady of the manor was murdered there many years ago. They say she haunts the place every night seeking revenge if you can believe that.” The cafe owner said her tone gave Cathy the impression the woman thought it to be just a tale.
After leaving the coffee shop, Cathy spent a couple of hours strolling around the town. She heard a similar story about the manor from an old villager; she stopped to chat before heading back to the hotel. Cathy went to the lounge and ordered a glass of wine sitting for a while before dinner. Afterwards, she went to her room, retrieving a large leather bag from her suitcase. Going back to the reception, she obtained a late-night key from the receptionist. She left the hotel, carrying the leather bag. Cathy decided to go in the car this time. It took a couple of minutes in the car before she arrived at the manor. The time by her watch read ten fifty-five.; she would need to wait a while.
“Kate, are you there?” She asked, checking the contents of the leather bag.
“Yes, I am ready, Cathrine,” came the disembodied reply.
The bag contained a torch, a thin sword-like implement light in construction with markings along its length blunt at the point and with a wooden hilt, and a bottle of colourless liquid. Cathy rechecked her watch it was time. As she got out of the car, the wind gusted, a flash of lightning briefly lighting the darkness. It began to rain heavy carrying her bag, Cathy rushed to get out of the rain and enter the manor. Like before she reached for the doorknob, her hand barely touching it. The door creaked open. She shut the door as another flash of lightning lit the gloom within followed by a rumble of thunder. Cathy got the torch from the bag. Turning it on the torch’s light illuminated the darkness casting eerie shadows as she checked each room carefully until she came to the study. As she reached for the doorknob--- it suddenly banged shut with a click as the door locked from within. “Can you open it for me, Kate?”
“Just a moment.” Kate passed through the door into the study a moment later, the door opened, and Cathy entered.
“A boy was locked in here without food or water for hours at a time,” Kate said with a little sadness in her voice.
“To study, I think the boy wasn’t too bright, so it was a punishment to make him learn.”
Cathy heard a child crying, suddenly a boy appeared in front of her weeping uncontrollably; he looked at Cathy with a tear-stained face. His expression so filled with such misery and sadness that Cathy felt almost overwhelmed with pity for the boy.
“The boy is not the real problem here...”
“I know, the one that locked him in here is,”
The boy vanished then reappeared still piteously weeping as he walked around the room. Vanished again and reappeared in the corner of the room.
“That cupboard in the corner!”
Cathy went to the cupboard opening it she shone the torch inside---empty.
“Underneath, look underneath,” Kate explained. The boy vanished again, the temperature in the room fell. Thunder rattled overhead muffled within the manor walls. Putting the leather bag on the floor, Cathy pulled the cupboard out from the corner. Shining the torch where the closet had been---she spotted loose floorboards. Cathy retrieved the spirit-blade from her bag kneeling she prised the floorboards up with the blade and shone the torch into the hole--- underneath was a small skeleton!
“ No... You can’t have him he is mine!” Came a sinister rasping voice that echoed throughout the manor.
Cathy stood, “No, he is not yours let him go,” Cathy called out in a firm voice.
“Never, leave this place while you can,” the voice said menacingly.
Picking the up the bag, Cathy hefting it over her shoulders with one hand. She held the torch and blade in her free hand. “We will see about that,” Cathy paused, turning to leave the study. “We can’t help the boy until we find the thing behind all this.”
“I fear this spirit is more powerful than anything we have faced so far.”
Cathy came to a door at the end of the hallway, opening it she entered from what she could make out was a kitchen. A loud rumble of thunder sounded overhead, lightning briefly lit the darkness through the kitchen window. Silhouetted in the dim light, a woman appeared with carving knife in one hand terror etched on her face as a tall, dark man approached menacingly. The woman lashed out with the knife but only caught the man a glancing blow. As Cathy watched the scene unfold, the man struck the woman sending sprawling on the floor, but he didn’t stop there. Furiously the man kept hitting and kicking the woman until she was covered in blood. Still not content he reached for the knife and stabbed her several times. The woman died her face a mask of terror as the man gloated over the body. The scene vanished--- another flash briefly illuminating the gloom--- blood pooled on the floor then nothing the kitchen dark and empty no sign of what had transpired here. Cathy heard maniacal laughter coming from above.
“He is goading us, be careful, Cathrine,” Kate said nervously.
Cathy nodded her expression resolute. She knew for sure Kate was right; this was the most potent evil spirit they have encountered to date. She started up the stairs as thunder rumbled again, this time sounding further away. “I know this is worse for you, Kate if you want to leave now I’ll understand.”
Cathy nodded her expression resolute. She knew for sure Kate was right; this was the most potent evil spirit they have encountered to date. She started up the stairs as thunder rumbled again, sounding further away. “I know this is worse for you, Kate if you want to leave now I’ll understand.”
“How can I leave you to face this evil by yourself. You are my only friend without you; I would be all alone again.”
Cathy sighed, “I must admit, I’m always grateful to have you by my side, especially so this time. Lets put an end to this evil spirit.” Cathy said as she reached the top of the stairs. There one door to the right and three doors along the upstairs hallway. The one on the right was a small bathroom. She slowly began walking along the carpeted hallway, floorboards creaking with every step. Cathy opened the first door and shone the torch in---nothing she waited a moment---a picture on the wall suddenly fell to the floor, and a chair moved. The chair flew towards her, Cathy quickly stepped out, shutting the door again the chair slammed into the door. She took a breath composing herself.
“I hate this game he’s playing with us what do you think it’s the room at the end?”
“I think so, Cathrine.”
Cathy headed straight for the room at the end, the door was locked. “Can you open it, Kate, my hands are full.”
“Give me a moment,” Kate passed through the door quickly returning as the door opened, “He is in there waiting for us.”
Cathy took a deep breath and entered what appeared to be the master bedroom. The door slammed shut behind her. A brief flash of lightning lit the room and rain lashed against the windowpane. This was the only room she found so far to be fully furnished. A four-poster bed stood against the back wall in the far corner near the bed a dark shadow moved. The sound of maniacal laughter filled the room. As the figure of a tall man emerged from the shadows dressed in black. His garb appeared Victorian in style; his face as white as death with dark circles around eyes that burned with hatred. His mouth curled up at one side in a snarl showing yellow teeth; his hair a grey messy mat. His long fingers with blackened nails reached out to her. Cathy put her bag down, retrieving the bottle from it.
“I warned you to leave this place,” the ghost said snarling.
Cathy resisted the feeling to bolt and run she opened the bottle and threw some of the contents at the ghoul. He hissed and stepped back momentary then laughed and advanced again. Cathy held the spirit-blade up chanting. The ghoul hesitated snarling then stopped his features twisted into an evil grin.
“Ah, see you are not alone; I will take the one beside you to be my servant for eternity.” The ghost laughed.
Kate felt herself being pulled towards the ghoul. “Cathrine, I can’t move. I don’t want to become like him. You must stop him no matter the cost.” Her voice was strained and tearful as she spoke.
Cathy turned the spirit-blade in the direction of Kate’s voice; she sprinkled more the water. For the first time since they had been together, Cathy could see Kate! I can see you Kate take my hand we must join to defeat the spirit.”
“No, I cant you know what that will mean,” Kate said alarmed even more as she felt herself being pulled ever closer to the ghost.
“It’s the only way to save you as well I don’t mind,” Cathy said firmly still holding the spirit-blade aloft she reached out took Kate’s hand pulling back to her. The two became one as Kate possessed Cathy.
“We can do this,” the two said in unison as the spirit-blade once more turned towards the ghoul. A simultaneous chant resounded through the whole manor, and the spirit-blade glowed with an eerie light. Cathy felt oddly detached as she stepped close to the ghoul, striking it with the blade. The ghoul recoiled shrinking back like a wounded animal. Still, it resisted enraged objects in the room started shaking and moving on their own and tossed about. Cathy held her ground and struck out again, and again finally, the ghost gave a piercing scream vanishing . The manor fell silent save for the pitter-pattering of rain against the windows as Cathy came to herself she could still see Kate beside her and gave a weak smile. They returned to the study where the boy waited no longer crying he bowed his head and smiled. Cathy held the blade out touching the, and he vanished.
“I no longer sense any supernatural forces at work here Cathrine,”
“Yes it seems so, but what happened to the woman I wonder?”
“Maybe she is buried elsewhere we may never know for sure.”
Cathy left the manor feeling exhausted; she drove back to the hotel. After breakfast the next morning, she headed back to London. Not long after returning home, her phone rang.
“Hello James, What another haunting where?” she said answering the phone.
The End For Now