A young lady in Sunset Village is convinced the house she has inherited is haunted. The poor woman is being kept awake every night by doors slamming and strange whispering. In the morning she always goes to the bakery to fetch a nice farmhouse loaf.
Dave is busy putting the nice slightly warm loaf in a bag for her. He cannot help but notice the bags under her eyes are getting worse and this morning she is looking barely awake.
“Might I enquire what is keeping you awake at night?”
The young lady goes on to tell him all about the strange goings on that are happening within her home, just as the bell on the door chimes.
Dave glances over and cheers, “Aunty, just the person we need.”
The lady turns around to see a small woman who stands no more than just over five feet tall has entered. She has long black wavy hair, that is loosely fastened back and is dressed in a gothic looking dark blue dress.
“Ello, ya the new lady who has taken on Brambly House, right?”
The lady is shocked, not just by the way the woman abruptly spoke to her, she notices she appears to have meltable pupils going in a line across her pure white eyes.
The small woman places a hand near her mouth. “Oops, ya have no idea who I am. I am Yiska, ya local Dreamer who lives at Raven. The wearied house on the hill. So, there is somethin’ wrong with ya house?”
Dave tries to encourage the lady, “Go ahead Madeleine, tell him as he might be able to help you.”
The young lady’s eyes blink and she questions, “Him?”
Yiska starts to laugh and points his hands towards his body. “Ah, don’t let this fool ya. I am both gender. I kind of embrace my male side more. I just like wearing dresses.”
The lady’s head bow and she sighs. “Oh silly me, I should have realised the moment you said you were a Dreamer. As you can see I am exhausted… Strange things keep happening in my house… I think it is haunted.”
Yiska frowns and questions, “Brambly House haunted? Ya the first one to say so. Ya grandmother, rest her soul, never told us that there were thing going bump in the night. Hmm… I’ll come back with ya and check it out.”
Madeleine bows to him, she takes the loaf of bread from the counter and watches the baker hand the Dreamer a small loaf.
“Nice one. See ya later, my boy.”
Dave nods. “Later aunty. Madeleine, trust me he will soon be able to tell you what is going on.”
Yiska emits a soft laugh and claims, “Ya have too much confidence in my abilities. I might not be able to do anythin’. That is when I will bring in the big guns.”
“Big guns?” Madeleine asks watching the Dreamer pretend to be shooting a set of pistols.
“Yeah. Sorry ya too new. I mean, my bro Shǒuwéi, along with uncle Hermes and grandpa Hisashi. They are three powerful Soul Drinkers who can talk with people that, shell we say, not entirely in this world.”
“Of course… Wow! I really am hopeless right now,” confesses Madeleine shaking her head.
“That is only ‘cause of the lack of sleep. Come,” says Yiska opening the door for her.
They walk together up the quiet country lane and as the past the florist a young man hands the Dreamer a peach roast.
“Good morning aunty. I trust you are well?”
Yiska takes the flower and answers all happy, “Yeah, fine, my boy. You?”
“Very well. Ah, you must be the young lady who has taken over Brambly House?”
She nods and answers, “Yes, I have.”
“Welcome to the village. I am Svend Copperfield, your local florist and plant expert,” he announces offering her a pink rose.
Madeleine takes it. “Thank you and I might be needing your services later.”
The florist takes a card a pile on the table and hands it to her. “Just give me a call and I or a member of my excellent team will be right over.”
The young lady takes it and answers, “Thank you.”
The man gives them a nod then goes on to serve another customer.
Yiska and Madeleine continue up the street past the local Chinese supermarket and herbalist with lies on the corner to the entrance to a side road. The door opens and the owner, Mr Yèyīng Shin comes trotting out.
“Zǎoshang hǎo āyí, yīgè hóngdòu bāo (Good morning aunty, a red bean bun).”
“Xièxiè,” answers Yiska taking the white paper bag and giving him a hug. “Madeleine, would ya like a red bean bun? They are well nice. Made from an old family recipe.”
The elderly man looks up at her. “Welcome to Rìluò Cūn,” he announces in a happy voice. “Shì, you must try free bun. I will get you one.”
The performs a slight bow and watches the elderly man disappear inside and the next thing she hears are two people having a conversation in Mandarin. Then a young lady comes stepping out.
“I am Táohuā granddaughter of Yèyīng. How are you getting on with Brambly House?”
Madeleine goes on to in form her of what is happening within her home at night and watches the young lady’s eyes widen.
“Haunted you say? Āiyā! Your grandmother, rest her soul, said nothing. Āyí, is the best man for the job. He will soon be able to tell you what is happening.”
Yiska smiles. “Well, I hope to. There is always the big guns.”
“Shì dí dàng rán (Yes, of course). Ah, here comes grandpa.”
The elderly man hands a white bag to the young lady. “Nǐ xǐhuān,” he says giving the back of her hand a soft pat.
“Subtitles, you enjoy,” informs Táohuā with a smile.
Yèyīng goes on to hold up a bundle of white sage. “Rúguǒ nǐ xūyào tā, Āyí (If you need it).”
Yiska takes it and answers whilst giving him another hug, “Jīngcǎi, xièxiè (Wonderful, thanks).”
They all go on to bow to each other then Madeleine and the Dreamer carry on whilst tucking into there warm buns. They soon come the driveway to Brambly House. The three storey building was constructed in the late twelfth century by the family it is named after. They were the local blacksmith and candle makers until the ninetieth century. Then the entire estate became home to the Redwood family. Mandarin is currently the fifth generation to take on the house. It is clear her grandmother was a proud of her home, there is not a single weed to be seen in the bricked driveway or in the beautifully kept gardens that run along side it.
They walk up to the long, slightly curve drive to the front door which Madeleine opens and allows Yiska to go first.
The Dreamer stands in the hallway looking around. “Now, I have been in this house many times over the centuries. I tell ya, I have never felt what I am feelin’ now. So, I have to ask what have ya done to gain two boys and two women, that are not entirely of this world?”
The young lady is shocked by how blunt and direct the Dreamer is. “Nothing,” she quickly replies. “I only arrived a few days ago. I have not touched the anything to cause it unrest.”
“Hmm… this is all a bit strange. Well, I might as well ask them why they are here.”
The young lady follows him through down the left hand corridor to enter the music room.
“Right, I am seeing two boys, they are the Brambly brothers, Alvin and Blake who both lost their lives to smallpox in the sixteenth century,” he informs her waving to them.
Madeleine flinches when the piano stool moves backwards. Then the pan on top of the piano starts to move across the paper.
Yiska, it is good to see you… Why are we suddenly back at our home?
“That is what I am goin’ to find out,” answers Yiska pulling a crystal from the left pocket of his dress. “Hin sa min,” he whispers over it.
An odd amber glow beings to emanate out of the centre of the slightly misty white crystal.
“Well, there our answer,” he announces pointing his other hand at it. “After the Ancient came to take your grandmother to the Other Realm he left the door open a little too long and pop that is why the boys are back. Do either of ya know the two women?”
The pan moves again across the paper, No, we do not recognise them and they do not know us. They are dressed in ten or eleven hundred dress.
“Like always Blake, that was very observant of you. I will go and have a chat with them,” informs the Dreamer turning to leave when he notices a black orb has appeared.
Madeleine give him a pat on the shoulder and questions all nervous, “W-what is that?”
“My guardian, Nightfall is arriving. Do not be afraid, he won’t hurt ya.”
The small plum size orb starts to expand into an upright swirling black mist with a gold edge. A giant white, bony foot decorated with toe rings comes stepping through. This makes the young lady stand closer to Yiska as the rest of the person flows. The giant is dressed in a black, hooded robe, all that can be seen of his face are two bright blueish purple orbs.
“Yiska, I came to put things right,” he informs him whilst crouching down.
Madeleine is terrified, she grips the god’s shoulder and utters, “What are you?”
“Sorry, I am an Ancient. Please do not let my immense hight frighten you, daughter. For I would not harm anyone. I come from a world that shares the same name. I am Keeper and Guardian of the Elders of my species. I have been sent to clean up this little hiccup. My dear brother, had a little trouble with you grandmother, she could not leave without saying goodbye to this lovely house and wanted to leave all the flowers she had been given in the Heart of the House.”
The young lady is all confused and asks, “What is the Heart of the House?”
Yiska slightly raises his left hand and answers, “Every house has a heart. It will appear as a clod draft within one room. It always seems to pick the first room on the, funny enough, first floor. It breaths life in to the house giving it all a warm glow.”
“Oh that sounds wonderful. I can really picture my grandmother doing that. She loved this house… It seems so empty now she has moved on.”
The Dreamer gives her a hug. “Bless you. Just think of it this way, ya will keep the memory of her a life alive and make this house yours. As I know that is what she would like ya to do and not keep it as a shrine to her.”
Madeleine quickly uses a handkerchief to dry her most eyes. “Yes, quite so. I love this place and hope one day to start my own family here.”
“Ya will. So, let get things back to normal.”
Nightfall nods and offers to reunite the children with their family. A sword slices through the air to create a portal for them step through.
Yiska and Madeleine continue upstairs, the Dreamer can see the women are standing on the landing gazing out of the window.
“Morning ladies, are you able to tell me who are?” Yiska enquires offering them the pen and notepad from the music room.
One of them takes them and starts to write, I am Eliza Parker and this is my dear friend Bethany Bennett. We never lived in this house, mainly because this was not here when we were… well… This was just a field with rocks and the very spot where we died. All both of us can remember is something spooked our horse and our carriage went speeding down the dirt lane. When it came to the bend of course it crashed killing us instantly… Why are we back?
Yiska explains what happened as the same portal appears and Nightfall offers to take the ladies back to their families.
Bethany quickly writes, Our deaths was no accident… we were murdered.ns 18.104.22.168da2