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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Horror/Scary · #2239973
A secret supernatural ability and connection with the dead this woman is not easily scared
Cathy and Kate

Episode One - Tinsbury Manor

Cathy stifled a yawn as she squinted, looking ahead. A car passed on the opposite side, its headlights almost blinding her, “Dip your headlights, you asshole.” She pipped the 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 indication 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 that 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 - okay,” she stopped indicating right waited for another car to pass before turning and driving to the rear of the hotel. After parking, she fetched her suitcase from the boot and walked round to the entrance. The hotel lobby was small compared to some hotels she previously stayed in 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 it; he ran 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; it is three doors down. Do you need any help with your suitcase?”

“No, I can manage.”

“Breakfast is eight till nine-thirty.”

“Cathy nodded, “Thanks,” she headed 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 a shower but felt too tired, deciding to shower in the morning. Cathy collapsed on the bed, stretching out; a few minutes later, she rose undressed, turning off the light, she got into bed.

She rose at seven, showered, 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 gave her a curious look, “Don’t tell me you are 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 as she fastened her wool coat and pulled up the collar to protect her face from the biting wind. She brushed 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 have been 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 with a mittened hand and tried to peer inside but could see nothing,

Returning to the door, Cathy turned the ornate doorknob; the door was locked. She 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 through 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, disturbed motes of drifting 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, Catherine, 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 Catherine, someone she could finally communicate with and be a companion to.

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 way back to the village. She found a cosy little coffee shop. Ordering 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 with 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, Catherine,” 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 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 inside. 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 bit of 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 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 kept locking 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!

“Nooo... 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 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 a kitchen from what she could make out. 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 a 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 her 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 there. Cathy heard maniacal laughter coming from above.

“He is goading us, be careful, Catherine,” 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, 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. Let’s put an end to this evil spirit.” Cathy said, reaching the top of the stairs. There was one door to the right, and three doors to the left 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 is it the room at the end?”

“I think so, Catherine.”

Cathy headed straight for the room; 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 white as death. Dark circles around his eyes burned with hatred, his mouth curled up at one side in a snarl showing yellow teeth. His messy grey hair plastered to his head and 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 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. “Catherine, 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 springled more 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 can’t; 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, I don’t mind, really,” 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 began shaking and moving on their own, some were tossed about like a whirlwind. 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 to touch the boy, and he vanished.

“I no longer sense any supernatural forces at work here, Catherine,”

“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 following day, she headed back to London; her phone rang shortly after returning home.

“Hello James, What, another haunting where?” She said, answering the phone.

Episode Two - Cliff Side Inn

“So when are we going ... Devon, is it?”

Cathy sat, eating breakfast, staring across the table at Kate; she still wasn’t used to actually seeing her. “The Devon Coast, although I have my normal work this week to attend to. So we will go on the weekend again.” She pursed her lips, studying Kate, wondering what her life had been like. Kate was dressed in a plain ankle-length white dress with long sleeves and frills. Her small oval-shaped face, deep blue eyes, and pale red lips framed her shoulder-length straw-coloured hair. The dress’s style seemed to be around the sixteenth or seventeenth century. Cathy thought Kate’s age to be no more than twenty at a guess.

“I don’t think I have ever been to Devon; it sounds nice,” Kate said, smiling brightly.

Cathy frowned,” I have to meet James before then to get more information on the location.”

Kate moved around the room to Cathy; it was more like floating. At times Kate appeared solid, and real other times, she seemed more like a wisp of smoke. “Can I come with you when you visit James Catherine? He is quite handsome. I’m surprised you don’t have an assignation for him!”

Cathy looked at Kate with an indifferent expression, “He is not bad looking, but I’ve never considered him handsome.” Cathy took the dishes into the kitchen, placing them in the dishwasher. “I have to get to work now. I will see you later, Kate.”

When Cathy returned home in the evening, Kate surprised her by wearing a new dress similar to one of her own. “How!”

“I have found if I see something to wear and focus on it, I can wear the same. It took a bit of practice, and it doesn’t work all the time. What do you think?” Kate started twirling around, smiling brightly.

Cathy felt happy for Kate, although it made her nervous too. Since the encounter at the manor, being able to see Kate and now this. She wondered what more surprises were in store. “There is one thing troubling me about all this.”

“What’s wrong, Catherine, don’t you like my dress?” Kate asked teasingly.

Cathy shook her head and pointed at Kate, “Your dress is lovely, Kate, but I wonder if anybody else besides me can see you!”

Kate stopped her smile gone, head down; she sighed with a sad expression, “No one else can see me but you, Catherine.”

“Are you sure no one but me can see you? I mean, Oh, I’m sorry, Kate, for being so tactless. I was just worried about if other people see you how they would react.”

Kate vanished, Cathy sighed, thinking she had discouraged Kate and hurt her feelings. Kate reappeared next to Cathy, smiling again. “It’s okay, Catherine. I know what you meant; I just got carried away for a moment.”

“You can come with me to see James tomorrow evening seeing as you like him so much, and you never know he might be able to see you as well,” Cathy said teasingly. The thought of James being able to see Kate made them both giggle.

The following evening Cathy drove the ten miles to James’s house. James was an old friend who knew about Cathy’s strange powers and acted as an agent finding her work dealing with the supernatural. Although he always felt on edge and nervous when Cathy mentioned Kate was with her.

When they met James the following evening, as expected, he couldn’t see Kate. James was tall, fair-haired in his early forties, making him a few years older than Cathy. Always smartly dressed and soft-spoken, he never seemed to be rushed.

“So whereabouts on the coast is this Inn?” Cathy asked as she sat on the settee facing James.

“Do you want a drink, tea? Seeing as you are driving.” James asked.

Cathy nodded, “Thanks,” as James went make to put the kettle on,

“It’s called the Cliff Side Inn; it’s in a pretty remote area along the coast. They recently renovated it and opened up a room which was unused for a long time. That’s when strange things began to happen.”

“Strange things?” Cathy asked quizzically.

James handed Cathy a cup of tea, “Yes, erm...by the way, is Katelyn here,” he asked, looking around nervously.

Cathy smiled, “Yes, newsflash... I can see her now, and she thinks you are handsome, by the way.”

James’s eyes widened. What! Oh, well, tell her I’m flattered. You can see her now; how did that come about?”

Cathy laughed; listening to what Kate said, she shrugged her shoulders. “It happened at the manor dealing with the evil spirit. I’m still getting used to it.”

“No one else can see her, though?” he paused as Cathy nodded and drained the dregs of her cup. I see; anyway, I’ll send the location of the Inn to your phone.”

Cathy rose to leave, “Thanks for the tea,” she paused, checking her phone. “Got it; thanks again. Work tomorrow, so better get going.”

James saw Cathy to the door, waving goodbye, “Bye, let me know how it goes.”

The rest of the week passed quickly. Early on a cloudy and cold Saturday morning, Cathy set off for the Devon Coast. On arrival at a nearby town, it took a while driving around to find the Inn. James was right about it being remote. A steep, narrow winding road which was challenging to negotiate by car led to the Inn. Mrs and Mrs Pilsan, the proprietors of the hotel, which Cathy believed to be in their mid-forties, greeted her on arrival at the hotel

“This is your room,” began Mrs Pilsan showing Cathy to her room. “When you’ve settled in, come see my husband. He will show you the room we believe is haunted.”

“Thanks, I will see you later then,” Cathy gave a nod of the head. She waited until Mrs Pilsan left then closed the door. “Can you sense anything, Kate?” She went to the window; the third-floor room’s view was beautiful as she looked out over the cliffs to the blue sea below. Cathy could see the picturesque views, and the privacy of the location made the hotel a good vacation spot.

“I can’t sense anything at all here, Catherine,” Kate said.

Cath frowned, “Me neither. Do you think there might be a rational explanation other than the supernatural for whatever is happening here?”

Now she was able to change her look. Kate wore a blue velvet dress this time; Cathy still was getting used to Kate wearing different clothes and even changing how she looked. “Could be, or it could be a wandering spirit.”

Cathy pursed her lips, moving from the window to sit on the bed. “Similar to you... If so, it may be days or weeks between appearances. I may have to stay longer than the weekend if that’s the case.”

After unpacking, Cathy took a nap on the bed before showering and changing into more comfortable clothes. She took the lift to the ground floor finding the Pilsan’s in the lounge with a teenage girl.

Mrs Pilsan smiled, “Hello, dear, would you like to take a look at the haunted room first? Dinner won’t be ready until seven, so have you some time?” She paused, noticing Cathy stare at the teenager, “Oh, This is our daughter Charlotte.”

Cathy smiled at the girl,” Hello, Charlotte.”

“Hello,” Charlotte said in a quiet voice, hardly looking up, giving Cathy the impression that the girl was reserved.

“Seeing as I have some time, I would like to take a look at the room where this ghost is supposed to appear first, if you don’t mind,” Cathy said, frowning. Something seemed off, but she couldn’t put her finger on precisely what, as Mr Pilsan led the way up to the fifth floor. They walked along a narrow carpeted corridor divided by a fire door. Cathy noticed renovations were still ongoing in some of the rooms. The smell of fresh paint was apparent. Turning right at the end of the corridor, they came to an alcove with a door; the number was sixty-nine.

“This is it,” Mr Pilsan said.

Cathy nodded, “Hmm, did things only start happening after you opened this room up or before?”

Mr Pilsan frowned in thought a moment, “I think it was after; at least that’s when we began to notice for sure.”

Cathy chewed her bottom lip, “And what sort of things did you notice?”

Again he considered a moment, “At first it was just strange noises and what sounded like a whispering, then furniture being moved around in the room,” he paused. “Come to think of it, I’ve noticed things going missing in some of the other rooms on this floor also.”

“But it’s just this floor nowhere else?”

Mr Pilsan nodded, “As far as I know, yes.”

Cathy frowned, “Okay, thanks. I’ll take a look inside now; see you later for dinner.”

As Mr Pilsan left, Cathy entered the room, looking around carefully. The room was oblong-shaped, dominated by the large window opposite the door. The room was recently cleaned and only partially furnished. Cathy didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. “I can’t sense anything here.”

“Nor I, Catherine, but did you feel something not quite right earlier?”

Cathy frowned, then shook her head in denial, “Yes, I thought I felt something as we left the lounge. It is so remote here and quiet. The sound of the wind and the waves breaking on the rocks below is likely to trick your senses, which may account for the strange noises or whispering.”

“Maybe for you but not me!”

“True enough,” Cathy said, having second thoughts. She checked the other accessible rooms but could detect nothing. After dinner, Cathy explored the rest of the hotel. Eventually, she returned to her room. She fetched her spirit blade and blessed water from her bag and headed to room sixty-nine and waited. Several hours passed with no sign of supernatural activity; finally, she went back to her room. The next day after breakfast, Cathy went down to the beach. A stiff breeze blew a salty spray off the sea, stinging her cheeks as she walked along the sandy beach.

Cathy took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “What do you think, Kate? Do you like the sea?”

“It’s hard to tell as I can’t feel anything but the sea, and the view is pleasing to me, Catherine.”

Cathy looked closely at Kate; today, Kate was barefooted, wearing a creamy-white dress. The sea breeze did not blow her hair, nor did she feel the cold. Cathy envied Kate not being able to feel anything at the same time she felt sorry for her. Yet, Kate seemed so happy now; her pale features formed a whimsical smile as she glanced out to sea.

Cathy stopped at a restaurant for lunch before returning to the hotel. The rest of the day went quickly once again. Cathy spent several hours in room sixty-nine without anything happening. Monday morning, she rang work requesting time off. Cathy decided to give it one try more before she would need to return. Following the same routine as the previous nights, Cathy waited well past midnight when she heard footsteps outside. Cathy opened the door peering down the hallway; she glimpsed a figure disappear into one of the rooms. She waited for whoever it was to reappear. The Pilsan’s daughter emerged from the room barefooted and dressed in her pyjamas. The girl walked slowly along the corridor towards Cathy. Again she disappeared into another room. Cathy closed the door stepping to one side as the girl finally entered the room with her. Charlotte went to the window, looking out with a mournful expression.

Cathy sprinkled holy water on the floor around the girl then touched her head with the spirit blade. “I command you to come forth.” Immediately the girl fell unconscious to the floor. The spirit of a woman stood before her; Cathy pointed the spirit-blade at the ghost.

“Wait, she wants our help,” Kate pleaded.

Cathy’s expression was bleak, “Whatever she wants, possessing an innocent girl like this is wrong.” Cathy sighed, relenting, lowering the blade. “What does she want?”

“She has lost something precious and can’t be at peace until she finds it.” A Scene unfolded between the woman and a man. His uniform was that of a sailor in his hand; he held an elaborate broach giving it to the woman as he spoke; the scene abruptly changed. Cathy felt she was at sea... A ship floundering on the rocks... She struggled to breathe and stay afloat as the waves took her under... Finally, Cathy came back to herself, gasping for breath.

“She was locked away in here mourning her lost love until the room was re-opened recently. All she had to remember him by was the broach he gave to her before going to sea,” Kate explained.

“Cathy nodded sympathetically, “All we need to do then is find the broach for her to be at peace,” she paused, thinking. “Okay, we can start by asking the Pilsan’s tomorrow if they have ever found a broach. Meanwhile, I should get some sleep, and the girl must be returned to her bed.”

After breakfast the following morning, Cathy asked the Pilsan’s about the broach; however, they never came across such a broach as Cathy described in the vision.

“Maybe the girl found the broach! Remember when we had that strange feeling yesterday?”

Cathy frowned in thought as she headed back to her room, “Hmm, what has that got to do with the broach?”

“I sense there may be another involved here.”

Cathy’s expression darkened, “Another ghost, how? We didn’t sense anything more.”

“It may be shadowing the one from room sixty-nine,” Kate explained.

Cathy nodded, thinking it through, “It’s possible; we sensed but one ghost. The other might have latched onto the same spiritual signature as the woman to mask being detected. If that’s the case, it’s a very clever trick for a ghost.”

This time, Kate floated beside Cathy, wearing a blue skirt and beige top similar to what the Pilsan’s daughter wore. “The hidden ghost must have been someone close to the woman in life. Otherwise, it would not be possible.”

“Let us go and ask the woman,” After collecting her bag, Cathy headed for room sixty-nine. Entering, she examined the room again before getting the holy water and pouring half of it on the floor in a circle. Spirit blade in hand and Kate by her side, she called the ghost out. The blade glowed for a moment then the woman appeared before her.

Cathy took a deep breath turning to Kate, “ask her what we need to know.”

A brief silence followed as Kate spoke with the ghost. “Her name is Silvia, Wistonbury, and she has a sister named Jasmine, but she can’t believe her sister would do such a terrible thing.”

Cathy pursed her lips, concentrating, “We will see soon enough.” She sighed, taking another breath. “I command you by all that is holy show yourself, Jasmine Wistonbury.” The blade once more began to glow but brighter than before until the whole room was filled with light.

A shape behind Silvia began to appear almost like a shadow. The two writhed as the second ghost struggled to stay attached to Silvia. Cathy watched the two fade in out of visibility as they were torn apart. Jasmine’s mouth opened wide in a silent scream, unwilling to be separated. While Silvia was tall with fair curly hair, pale skin and a narrow mouth, Jasmine was shorter with long straight black hair and a wide mouth; with wide blood-red lips, her face chalk-white.

“How could you do this to me? We were sisters.” Siliva said, facing her sister and nemesis.

Jasmine stared back, “How could I? How could I? you had everything in life, even the one I loved” As Jasmine spoke, the temperature in the room fell. Frost then ice formed on the window. Cathy’s breath steamed in the frigid air. “He was mine, not yours,” Jasmine spat venomously. Her features began to change; her hair turned white and shrank back to her head, bald patches appeared on her scalp, her eyes set back in her skull. Black veins arched across her chalky face. Her once manicured nails grew into long jagged hooks

Silvia stared in sorrow at her former sister. “I’m sorry, Jasmine, Richard never loved you. It was always me he loved you were like a sister to him. He knew about how you felt but couldn’t bring himself to tell you.”

“Lies, it was me he loved. Me, that’s why I kept the broach from you to make you suffer for eternity,” Jasmine screeched, advancing towards Silvia.

Cathy stepped between them; the spirit blade sang as she stabbed it at Jasmine. The letch gave an unearthly scream and vanished.

Silvia stood head bowed, still in sorrow. “I had no idea I only wanted to the broach so I could rest in peace.”

The broach should be in Charlotte’s room, if my guess is correct.

Just before dawn, Cathy stood at the windswept grave of a sailor drowned at sea. She knelt, placing the broach on the grave. Beside her, the ghost of Silvia stood mourning for her lost love yet locked in grief and regret at what her sister had become. The broach sank into the grave. The ghost of the drowned sailor suddenly appeared. At last, Silvia and Richard were re-united hands in hand; they embraced. Silvia turned to Cathy and gave a smile in thanks before the two lovers drifted upwards like wisps of smoke.

“Who says love is not eternal,” Kate said wistfully, gazing skyward.

Cathy smiled sadly, “For Jasmine, it shows what love can become when twisted by envy and jealously.”

Episode Three - A Journey Far Away Part 1

Cathy sat on a beige coloured padded armchair in the sitting room, sipping a glass of wine. Dressed in a deep pink outfit. James sat on the settee facing Cathy, drink in hand. She stared the out window a moment, watching the wind blow the leaves off the tree with a faraway look before turning back to James. This time of year always made her feel nostalgic. turning to James. “So what made you come to see me? Instead of me going to visit you. It must be something important.”

James nodded his head slowly. “I have a friend who recently purchased some property only to find it’s haunted by quite a few ghosts!”

Cathy raised an eyebrow, “quite a few? It must be a large property, then.”

Again James nodded his head, “Y...es.”

Cathy frowned cocking her head to one side, “I sense there is a catch or something. What is it, tell me?”

James hesitated, staring at Cathy. He closed his eyes for a moment. “The property is in America,” he said upon opening his eyes again.

Cathy’s eyes widened slightly. “The U.S. whereabouts exactly?”

“A suburb on the outskirts of Philadelphia. It’s a picturesque place by all accounts.” James took a sip of his wine and stared at his glass for a moment, waiting for Cathy to speak.

Cathy put her glass down and folded her hands together on her lap. “ I’m not sure if I can do it. You know I don’t mind flying. It’s Kate, and if there are several ghosts to deal with, I don’t think I can do it without Kate’s help.”

James sucked in a breath, letting it slowly before speaking. “He will pay for your flight’s, board, food ex-cetra and any other expenses you might incur as well as the usual fee.”

“It’s a tempting offer, I have to admit. But you know how Kate is. She comes from an age where there was no cars or planes. Although she has got used to seeing them and travelling in a car. Air travel is pushing it a bit far.” Cathy paused, mulling it over. Let me think about it af or while. "Maybe I can persuade Kate,” She said in conclusion.

James frowned, “Kate is already dead; why does it matter. What does she have to fear by flying?”

Cathy pursed her lips a moment before speaking. “She has seen spirits that pass on vanish as they go skyward. She fears she will just disappear if she goes in a plane.”

James nodded, “That seems a very human emotion for someone like Kate.” He paused. “Anyway, I’ll wait for you to contact me with your decision. You’re his last hope. He has tried everything else. Priests, Sharmans, you name it, all kinds of exorcisms, nothing has worked so far. I really hope you will take this job as I know you will succeed where everyone else has failed.” James rose to leave, and Cathy saw him to the door. Cathy wondered what James saw in her to have so much faith in her ability when she often doubted herself.

The following evening Cathy broached the subject of flying with Kate. “No, No, I can’t, I won’t. I’ll disappear if I go in one of those metal things.” Kate said, shaking her head agitatedly; she vanished.

“Please, Kate, I really need your help on this,” Cathy spoke into the thin air

“No, I don’t want to. I’m afraid I’ll have to leave, and I’m not ready to leave.” A disembodied voice replied.

Cathy was silent for a minute mulling over an idea to persuade Kate. “What if I let you possess me while we are flying. Won’t that keep you grounded and stop you from passing over?”

There was a brief silence before Kate answered. “Well, it might, I suppose. Oh, I don’t know. What about you, though? Aren’t you afraid if I possess you for so long, I might get to like it too much and not want to leave your body?”

“I trust you completely Kate even if you got to like it. I believe you weren’t that kind of person when you were alive, nor are you that kind of spirit now.” Cathy answered.

Kate appeared close to Cathy, shedding translucent tears... She stretched a spectral hand out. Cathy felt a light touch to her hair like a warm summer breeze. “I trust you also, Cathrine. I will do it for our kinship.”

Kate felt afraid as she boarded the long metal cylinder the living called an aeroplane. It felt so confining. How did it stay up in the air with all these people on it? The thought of nothing but air under her feet made her feel more scared. If not for Cathrine in the background reassuring and soothing her fear, she would have never gotten this far. Neither was she used to controlling Cathrine’s body. Her movements were a bit stiff and clumsy. Gradually with Cathrine’s constant encouragement, she began to relax a little. To be able to see, touch, feel and experience sensations again, both old and new, was a wonder to Kate. By the time they finally arrived in Philadelphia, Kate was thoroughly accustomed to having a body again. It was tempting for her to want to stay in possession of Cathy’s, body but she stepped away with a heavy sigh.

“Now, all we need is to find this Max Daro,” Cathy said, in a low voice, scanning the people milling around at the arrivals. She spotted a tall man holding a placard with her name and headed towards him. “Max Daro?”

“Miss Farnworth, Yes, I’m Max pleased to meet you. Let me take your luggage .” Max took Cathy’s suitcase and led the way out. “How was your flight?”

“Fine, thanks, and call me Cathy,” Cathy replied, looking around at all the snow as they left the airport terminal.

“Right Cathy, my car is just over here. Get in. I’ll just put your suitcase in the trunk.”

“How far is it to this building you own?” Cathy asked as they drove through Philadelphia.

“It’s a two-hour drive but we will stop on the way. I’m sure you must be getting hungry by now.” Max replied, keeping his eyes fixed on the road ahead.

With a short stopover for a toilet break and bite to eat, it was getting dark when they finally arrived at their destination. Cathy stood looking up at the building. Nothing about it seemed out of the ordinary. It was a twelve-floor apartment block, the design of which was old and ornate. Cathy couldn’t detect any paranormal activity, at least not at first sight.

Max got her suitcase and led the way inside. “It used to be a hotel once I’m thinking of changing it back, but I need a loan from the bank to start work. In the meantime, I have a few regulars living on the ground floor. I’m living there myself, and you will have one of the best ground floor rooms.”

“So is it 's only above the ground floor where ghosts have been seen,” Cathy asked curiously

Max nodded as he showed Cathy to her room, “Yes, up to now, and I hope it at least stays that way. Or the few remaining people living here might move out. Here we are hope you like it.”

Max put her case down at the bottom of the bed. “I will let you settle in. There is a comunual dining area down the hallway to your left if you dont want to eat alone anytime. I will call by after breakfast to show you around the place. That’s it for now, goodnight Cathy.”

“Goodnight and thanks, Max,” Cathy said as Max left, closing the door behind him.

A Journey Far Away - Part 2

Cathy breakfasted alone in her room in the morning. She was just tidying up after when she heard a knock on the door. Opening the door, Max stood waiting with an easy smile. Cathy looked over Max in the light of day. He was slightly taller than her, dressed casually in a blue shirt, thick white V-neck woollen jumper, grey slacks, and brown shoes. His hair was fair and well-groomed, with blue eyes a lightly tanned and a clean-shaven face. All in all, he was very handsome, Cathy thought.

“I see you have had breakfast already. So are you ready to look the place over?” Max asked, still smiling.

Cathy returned the smile and nodded. “I’m ready. Let’s go.”

Max took Cathy first to the communal dining area and introduced her to some of the residents. He then showed her the lifts and emergency exits before they took the elevator to the floors said to be haunted. Cathy looked around carefully, listening for any tell-tale sign but couldn’t detect anything out of the ordinary. “How often do these hauntings occur?” Cathy asked.

Max combed a hand through his hair. “Mmm, well, it’s pretty random. All can be quiet for several days, then suddenly, several occurrences happen simultaneously. The only thing I noticed is that they always happen after dark.

Cathy pursed her lips as she regarded Max, “That is when paranormal activity is strongest.”

Max frowned as they turned to leave, “I always thought it was midnight when ghosts were supposed to appear.”

Cathy shook her head, “That’s just what is told in stories. Spirits can even appear in broad daylight depending on the circumsstances of their death and if their spiritual energy is strong enough.”

Max frowned as they headed back to the elevator. Cathy suddenly felt a chill. She breifly turned around, sensing something moving in the shadows. “Are you okay?” Max asked

“Ah, yes, I’m fine. I thought I felt something, but it’s gone now.”

Watching Max leave, Cathy turned the master key between her fingers, her expression becoming quite concerned., “Did you feel it also?”

“Yes, there is an evil presence in this building. I think it has been watching us,” Kate answered

“Time to go for a walk and get some fresh air,” Cathy said, heading back to her room.

Kate suddenly appeared wearing a fur coat and hat and leather boots.” It’s freezing out; wrap up warm.”

Cathy stopped staring questioningly at Kate. “Why are you bothering? You cant feel the cold.”

Kate did a twirl and smiled.”It’s just so you don’t feel uncomfortable. besides, I want to show off a little.”

Cathy grinned, shaking her head, “But I’m the only one that can see you.”

Kate’s smile widened. “Yes, but it’s good that you at least can see me. It is more than enough.”

Cathy nodded, “And that makes you happy.”

A while later, Cathy walked around the outside of the building, wrapped up against the cold. Kate had obviously mimicked what she was wearing as they were dressed identical, except Kate forgot the woollen mittens. Snow lay deep everywhere. The sky was steel grey, with a biting cold wind. Cathy didn’t go far before deciding to return to the warm. Back in her room, Cathy collected her spirit rod and several vials of holy water

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