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Erogenous Enigma

Crystalmoore Estate

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MASSIVE HUNT FAILS TO FIND TRACE OF CHILDREN

The three Somerton children who disappeared in Emerald Vale Wednesday were still missing late last night despite a massive search.

Police have established that probably the last time the children were seen and recognized by a member of the public was when a courier, known to them and their family, met them on Hillcrest Rd just outside of Emerald Vale, on Wednesday afternoon. He saw them “holding hands and laughing.â€

Their father, Mr. Beaumont, 40, said yesterday: “Somebody must be holding them against their will. They would otherwise have come home by now.â€

 

The clipping was at least three years old. The young girl placed it back in the single drawer of the cherry wood end table she’d woken up next to. She was fully dressed as if she’d just passed out on the bed to take a nap. The room was that of a child’s, the bed doned in pastel pink, with a frilly bed skirt, the mountain of pillows ranging from cute characters to lace and more frills; one entire wall was lined with shelves where dolls and stuffed animals sat; along another was a large window, curtained by sheer pink drapes; along with the end table there was also a writing desk and chair, a dresser, and an armoire all of them done in the same cherry wood. She rose and moved over to the armoire just to the side of it was a tall full length mirror, it was several feet taller than her but this ensured it showed her entire form. The person in the mirror was both familiar and alien to her, she tilted her head from side to side, examining her violet eyes as they seemed to glow in the dim candle light, her short curly blonde hair bounced easily from side to side with the slightest of movements, on the top of her head was a large pink bow holding back the more rebellious of her curls. Her dress cut off just below her knees, poofing out in a wide bell around her legs with layers of petticoats to keep it’s shape. The dress was mostly white, layered in more pink to match her bow, decorated with frills, lace, and pearls. With her white stockings and pristine white boots she looked like one of the porcelain dolls that belong on the self on the other wall.

 

A rumble of thunder alarmed her to the weather outside and she was quickly drawn from her reflection bouncing over to the window. She reached for the ledge but her fingers touched a smooth, flat surface. Confused she took her attention from outside to the rim of the window, it was completely flat, she couldn’t even make out any seams for where the window would have been placed into the wall, it was almost as if it was painted on and yet she could see the rain pelting the glass, the trees several stories below billowing with the wind the storm brought. The window was obviously there, she just couldn’t see how it was done.

 

Another rumble and a flash of lightning made her stare out longingly at the scene below, she knew this place, though she couldn’t remember her own name, or parents, or how she got here. This was Crystalmoore Estate, out the window she could see several other structures done in dark gray with white molding, the trimming was extravagant with swooping arches and twisted filigree, as was the norm for a Victorian mansion. Beyond the Estate was nothing but forests for as far as she could see, that, she glanced back at the end table, that was Emerald Vale.

 

As she headed towards the door she reached up to her neck where a small chain hung, she worried the pendant between her thumb and forefinger. Just as she reached the door she realized her habitual habit and looked at the pendant in her fingers, it was in the shape of an ‘A,’ for her name… Abby… Abigale.

 

After a moment of remembrance at her own name she returned to her destination, reaching for the handle and pulling the door open only to be met with a pitch black hallway. A wave of discomfort made her rethink her plan, closing the door and pressing her back to it only for her eyes to fall on the candle still glowing in the dim room, it barely looked like it’d been lit an hour ago. She moved over to the writing desk and picked up the tray it sat on and resuming her original plan. Even with her candle she hesitated at the opened door, biting her lip, it was still quite dark. With a trembling sigh she pushed herself out the door, from the hall the room suddenly seemed to be the creepier of the two options as it was now lit only by the flickering light from outside, another rumble of thunder startled her and she slammed the door by accident.

 

The hall was barely illuminated a few feet beyond her candle as if the darkness was more than just a lack of light but a solid shadow that fought with her flickering flame. She huddled her candle close to her chest and started walking, her boots making the slightest clack on the wooden floor. Each piece of decoration was another torment in the dark, the pictures of elegant ladies and gentlemen looked like monsters until the candle illuminated them, the soft flapping of tapestries against the walls sounded like the padding footsteps of a stranger coming upon her. The light was playing with her eyes, the drafty halls tormenting her mind. She chewed on her lip, debating each step, but she kept on, there was someone else here she wanted to find, she just couldn’t remember who for some reason.

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Bright green eyes scanned the darkness she watched from the bay window. Her legs were curled up beside her, the dusty old book laid wide open on her lap. Delicate fingers traced the words beneath her. Katrina. The name sounded odd to her ears in her bell like voice but her lips move naturally as though she had mentioned the name on multiple occasions. Glancing back out the window, she was greeted with a flash of lightning followed by the near transparent reflection of her face.  Her near flawless complexion shone a ghostly pale in the glass, the only thing that gave her a slight humanistic look was the light spattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Her brown hair was curled almost perfectly around her face; just a few pieces were tousled from when she awoke on the bay window. She couldn't recall when she had fallen asleep by the window, then again nor could she remember much else other than her name. Well sitting here was not going to bring her memories back. 

 

Standing up from the bench, she brushed the wrinkles out from her floor length gown. It was a robin's egg blue which complemented the silkiness of her skin; the bodice hugged her tightly forming the appearance of full breasts which she was far from. Never would one expect that a young lady at the tender age of sixteen years still maintained the figure of a child. On the thought process of child Katrina surveyed the quaint room she was currently standing in. The walls were bare save for the bookshelves that towered to the ceiling, each shelf lined with books that were beyond decrepit; they were falling apart with a simple breath. It was as if just by touching them they would disintegrate into a pile of dust.

 

The young lady was pulled from her dream like trance as a creak of a door could be hear d from far away. Her head whipped to the bedroom door as she witnessed its slow movement but the sound was not coming from it. Tilting her head petite ears picked up the sound of footsteps amidst the howling of the wind. But that couldn't be possible; there was not another person in the house, there couldn’t be. 

 

Returning back the bay window seat, she flipped the book she had left there open to the last page she viewed. There was only her name in a neat scrawl on the page. The rest of the book was empty. Shutting the book again her fingers traced the letters on the spine. Crystalmoore Estates. If that was where she was, in the middle of some abandoned but grandiose estate than the book had some truth to it about there not being another person. Feeling the book hum beneath her fingertips, Katrina subconsciously opened to a different page feeling the parchment carefully. Why was she searching, what was she searching for? A faint depression in the page stopped her mindless hunt. Lowering her gaze onto the page she noticed another name written in a different hand. It had a childlike quality to it, a hand that had not practiced the art of writing for very long. She whispered the name to herself. It sounded so strange but there was something else to it. Confusion clouded her mind; why couldn't she remember? 

 

Pulling the book to her chest Katrina formulated her plan she was going to get answers, she just had to find them. A flicker of light caught her attention from the corner of her eye. A slender candle stood lonely on one of the shelves just waiting. How long had that been there? It didn't matter, it was there now and it was just what she needed. Grabbing the candle and pressing the befuddling book to her she ventured out into the dark in search for her answers and the young Abigail who was apparently in the building as well.

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Though she knew there was someone else here and she knew she knew them personally she couldn't remember who or even where to find them. There were plenty of doors along the dark corridor but she just felt they weren't what she was looking for, still after wandering past a dozen or more quickly starting to feel like she was in an endless hall she wasn't so sure any more. Five minutes past into ten, and then into fifteen, finally frustration rulled over, having encoutered no turns, stairs, or even different looking doors, she was even beginning to doubt the decor, the thought made her hesitate, she stopped and looked at a vase sitting on a small table, it was filled with a bouquet of roses that looked almost black in the dim light her candle offered. She snatched one of the roses from the vase and immediately regreted her decision as the thorns jabbed into her soft palm, the rose falling to the dark wood floors as she abruptly released it. She stared, her violet eyes wide in horror at the gaping wound on her palm, a simple thorn shouldn't have cause such damage, had it somehow ripped the wound when she dropped it? Blood welled in her hand and quickly began flooding from her porcelain skin and dripping to the ground. 

 

Turning to the closest door she needed to find something to bind this with she threw open the door only to be faced with the bedroom she'd woken up in. "What..." She muttered aloud into the darkness. When she glanced back at her hand there was nothing there, her skin smooth. She spun around looking down each hall and seeing no vase, no rose, but there was an obvious bend down the hall she thought she'd been walking down that she didn't recall, the halls even seemed a bit more illuminated or perhaps her eyes had just adjusted to the dark.

 

With significantly more hesitation she let the bedroom door slip closed and headed down the hall towards the bend.  This time as she walked she peaked in the occasional room but it mostly seemed to be bedrooms, but at least they weren't all the same bedroom. The flicker of another light in the distance drew her eye and she was filled with a mix of emotions, eagerness at the possibility that there was another person, and possibly the one she saught, but also the aching fear that the light could be something less desirable, she couldn't help the fear in this dark hall, thunder rolling outside, various creaks and whistles passing through the old building. 

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Turning a corner Katrina stared down yet another empty corridor, lined with no doors no lights, not even a single window. She had been wandering empty halls for what seemed to be hours. Surveying the amount the candle burned down though said otherwise. It stood tall and straight, not a single drop of wax rolled to the base, there was no melted wax to drip. Growing exasperated Katrina stomped a heeled boot. "This is ridiculous, I am going to go back and start over." Turning on her heel, she moved forward and ran straight into a wall. The bump forced her to take a few startled steps backwards. Had she not come from that way? Surely there couldn't be a wall. She was just standing in the middle of a hallway.  Was she not? 

 

A loud clatter sounded from behind her, forcing her to jump around. A picture frame was lying on the floor, clearly apparent that it was hanging from the wall not a second sooner. Thunder rumbled outside, the corridor vibrating with the energy from the storm. Lightning cracked a moment later illuminating the hallway from the window that sat pristine beside her. Blinking her eyes several times, Katrina pressed the book to her chest in hopes to calm her wild heartbeat. She was being such a child, jumping at shadows. She gently placed the book and candle on a small table the stood up underneath the window and reached down to lift the picture. The flame gave enough light that finding the hook to hang the portrait again was simple. Backing away Katrina surveyed the whole image. There sat a young girl, blonde curled hair framed her face, bright violet eyes seemed to smile out at her, the large bow the sat on her head was almost as large as her face. She seemed like a sweet kid full of fun, like a darling doll. Lightning flashed behind Katrina and the image changed momentarily. The little girls eyes gleamed red and her grin was no longer innocent but had a more threatening appearance to it. The flashing outside continued and the picture changed again. She saw herself sitting in the frame, but not truly her. Her green eyes were replaced with devious gold ones, her  brown hair hung loose in her face. Alas that was not the part that disturbed her the most, it was the wide Cheshire cat grin she had. It was the most wicked smile she had ever seen. The lightning finally ceased and the image returned to that of the young girl.

 

Stumbling backwards in fear her rear knocked into the small table she had set everything. The candle fell to the ground, the book following in the tumble downwards. Katrina tried to grasp  the items before they hit the floor, which resulted in her wrapping her hand around the wick's end and knocking the book open. She felt the slight burn of the flame but her eyes fell on the page that the book had opened to. In bold lettering she stared in shock of what it read. Afraid of the dark? Then she felt the lurch beneath her and the floor gave in. Blackness enveloped her as she began her downward spiral. Her screams grew thick in her throat but a sound did not escape from her parted lips. When she opened her eyes again she was kneeling by the window, the book and the candle sitting on the hall table completely undisturbed. Attempting to calm her breathing Katrina leaned her head back against the wall only to snap back at the sound of the storm waging war outside. Casting her gaze on the picture before her Katrina stared into the eyes of the young child. "Who are you?"

 

Suddenly she remembered the child's handwriting in the book and why she had ventured out of the room in the first place. Standing slowly Katrina took a deep breath and reached for the candle and noticed the hint of a bruise on the inside of her forearm up to her elbow. When had she received that? Images of her hurtling down flooded her mind. Had it not been just a thought, had that really happened? Brushing the thought out of her mind she noticed the candle had almost melted down. Not wanting to dwell on it Katrina grabbed the candle of that book she had brought with her. Dread crawled up her spine as her free hand hovered over the thick leather cover. Nonsense. She chuckled to herself and wrapped her fingers around the binding. A soft smile tugged at the corners of her lips and she turned down the hall resuming her search, so preoccupied with her search she didn't notice the reflection in the window revealed an odd golden glow in her green eyes. She needed to locate this Miss. Abigail.

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The halls continued to rumble with the power of the storm brewing outside, Abigale flinched at a particularlly violent roar of thunder, and though she stumbled she managed to keep her footing and continue towards the light ahead. She felt her hands shaking as she contemplated who it could be, her mind inevitably filling her with fear at the possibilities of it being someone other than whom she sought, or worse, something. 

 

"Hello?" Abigale whispered into the darkness, as she drew near she realized the light was peaking out from around a corridor. 

 

The house rumbled once more, she pressed her palm to the wall and waited it out, another crash. A nearby window illuminated the entire hall, her heart dropped into her stomach at the array of shadows that reached out at her, but in the next instant they were gone and she was left bewildered at what tricks her eyes had played on her. The mansion creaked and moaned with the force of the wind and rain.

 

"Is anyone there?" Abigale called louder trying to speak out over the storm but still timid at what could be. Just as she passed the window a torrent of wind and rain pelted her back, she spun around, the light forgotten as she stared in disbelief at the wide open window that just a moment prior had been closed. The rain was quickly drenching her curls and clothes, worse it had estinguished her candle. She dropped the candle and threw herself at the window having to jump to reach the ledge and pull it down, it was a struggle but once she pulled that first inch it seemed to snap closed. 

 

With a sigh, followed closely by a shiver, she turned to retrieve her candle only to be face with a woman just at the bend in the hall, garbed in an elegant turquoise gown, but it were eyes that startled her, for the briefest moment she swore they flickered gold, they had to have, she couldn't make out the color without the candle, had they not just been glowing? Abigale frowned for whatever reason this woman did not instill fear in her as everything else in the house seemed to do, though she didn't realized how bizarre her calm was after the strange events. She should have been afraid especially since she couldn't place this individual, not at first, it took her a solid minute of simply staring to realize this was whom she sought.

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