The Graves Heir - Part 2

29 Februari 2016 Pojok Cerita   |    Vania Cheryl Antono


Amelia could catch a few words as her brain lingered in and out between the line of reality and her thoughts...

"Unconscious...knocked out...after lunch...the door...ran out...pale..."

Those were some of the words that she managed to register into her mind before everything went frustratingly black again.

She was in a mist.

Everything was grey and white and as she reached her hand out through the mist, it seemed to disappear from her line of sight.

Then, slowly, like a cloud being blown away by a silent wind, the mist began to fade away, disappearing just like that. She squinted her eyes, starting to see black shapes forming around her.

Those shapes were small...poking above from the ground...

She narrowed her eyes.

With a round, smooth top...

She concentrated and willed her gaze to stay sharper.

Stones? Boulders?

With a start, she realized with eerie comprehension that those were gravestones. Her blood, pumped throughout her body through every single vein, artery and capillary, iced all over.

Her first instinct was to back away.

She did just that.

One step back...and another...and one more-

The back of her legs knocked against something.

Her lungs drew in a sharp breath and her cold toes curled anxiously.

Slowly, but surely, she started to turn around.

Her eyes landed on a gravestone, sides worn by the constant howling wind...but despite its unkempt state, she could clearly see in big, bold letters:

Here Lies

Beloved Daughter, Granddaughter and Friend,

Miss Amelia Graves

(1994-2015)


She started to shake involuntarily as the words sunk in.

It was a dull echo in her mind, like a gong that mercilessly continued to resonate inside her head.

Amelia Graves...Amelia Graves...Amelia Graves...

Understanding wormed its way into her heart and it was like a bucket of ice water to her face as she recognized her name.

She let out a shaky breath and finally took a good look around her.

All around her were gravestones littering the ground and daunting trees with gnarled branches in such twisted angles that made it look like long, deformed fingers.

Her hands tightened around the soft fabric of her dress-

Wait! Dress? Why was she wearing a dress!?

She looked down at her clothes for the first time.

It was a black fabric, smooth to touch, as she traced a finger over her silky, long sleeves and intricately-woven neckline.

A sudden image flashed into her mind.

A veiled lady with a black dress and a crow perched onto her shoulder...

She suddenly realized that the veiled lady’s dress was the dress she was wearing on right now. Her spine turned rigid and the blood drained from her face.

She didn’t want to finish this line of thought but the only thing that seemed to be missing was the-

Caw! Caw! Caw!

She heard the steady rhythm of wings flapping in the air, disturbing the frightening silent that had been suffocating her for quite some time. Her shoulders hunched as she stood motionless, feet paralyzed from fear and sheer terror.

The next thing she knew, she felt claws dig into her left shoulder.

Her head whipped to the side and soulless, small, beady black orbs stared back into her frightened eyes.

Without warning, the crow impaled its beak onto her temples-just an inch away from her eyes-and dragged it down into a curve till it reached her cheeks. She let out a raw scream as she felt something constantly dripping down the side of her face and the pain that she was now exposed to.

From the corner of her eye, taking in a shuddery, panicked breath, she could only see red flowing down the side of her face.

The crow drew back and cawed loudly once more before taking off to the skies.

She placed a hand on her cheek and red liquid stained her fingers.

Her hands felt too heavy all of a sudden and her legs buckled, threatening to collapse.

Somehow, somewhere inside the deep recesses of her mind, she felt an odd sense of déjà vu, as if she had experienced this action before.

She covered her cheek with a hand and turned away to start running whilst her limbs were still functioning and her energy wasn’t completely drained yet. She didn’t know where she was running to, but all she wanted to do at the moment was get away from this horrid place of nightmares.

Wrong move.

Her foot tripped on a small hole on the ground and she fell head first into a dug up patch of soil that she had failed to see before. Her back slammed into the hard, unforgiving ground and pain shot up her spine.

She grunted and out of the corner of her eyes, she felt something peering down at her from above. Her eyes rolled upwards and she saw a shadow with a shovel...

The gravedigger!

She opened her mouth to scream for help but instead, she found her mouth shoved with dirt dug from the gravedigger’s shovel above. She chocked and flailed her hands around, as if that mere action could help ease her breathing.

As more dirt fell onto her from above, her heart started to pound even faster than before. What was the gravedigger doing!?

She was about to be buried alive!

That thought was enough to get her thrashing but her efforts proved to be futile.

The last thing she heard before everything went black was a whisper, "Run, run and never return..."

Amelia Graves jolted awake.

She found herself in the soft, warm bed of the master bedroom, otherwise known as her Grandmother’s old sleeping chamber. She certainly still remembered this room from the last time she saw her Grandmother, lying in bed, frail and tired.

Despite being a fierce, independent, remarkable woman, age had still weighed down on Amelia’s Grandmother and caused her to be bedridden in the last few years of her life.

Amelia’s thoughts wandered back to her nightmare and her heart raced at the memory.

Relax...it was just a dream. A little, simple, harmless dream. Amelia whispered to herself inside her head, trying to console herself.

Once her heart calmed, Amelia took a look around the Master Bedroom. It hadn’t changed one bit whilst she was away.

The wooden wardrobe stood at the left corner of the room, a few meters from the bed and a glass window directly at Amelia’s right overlooked the lake.

Amelia repeated her thoughts inside her head.

The window that overlooked the lake...overlooked the lake...overlooked the lake!

Amelia vaguely recalled seeing the veiled lady near the window when she first arrived here and got a look at the mansion from outside. She anxiously looked around for any sign of the veiled lady.

To Amelia’s relief, it seemed as if she was alone in the room.

She quickly walked over to the door to get out and find the butler or the cook. She needed to know what had happened. The last thing she remembered was eating lunch. Anything else that happened in between was a blur to her. She didn’t know which one was from her imagination and which others were reality.

Her fingers closed around the door handle and she tugged once.

It didn’t open.

She tugged again, harder this time.

It still didn’t budge.

She was locked inside the room and she was pretty sure that none of the household staff would do such a thing.

Something strange is about to happen again...Amelia thought to herself as goose bumps started to rise from both her hands.

She nervously glanced around and muttered to herself, Hmm...nothing seemed out of place-

Desperately dismissing her suggestions as mere paranoia, a side effect after a nightmare quite scary as the one she had just dreamed about, Amelia struggled to act normally and pretend that everything was alright.

Amelia took in a deep breath and wandered over to the bedside table, the one with drawers. If she recalled, one of the drawers there had a family album. Perhaps seeing pictures of her Grandmother’s life would distract her from the odd things happening.

Yes, that’s exactly what I would do...Amelia assured herself and started to check the drawers. True to her sharp memories, she found the family album seconds later.

Aha! Amelia exclaimed victoriously to herself.

She walked over to the bed and made herself comfortable before opening the family album. The first photograph was black and white. It was of her Grandmother when she was young and had captured her first fish during a fishing trip with her friends.

Amelia couldn’t help but smile at the photograph, seeing her Grandmother’s wide grin, and soon enough, she was distracted. However, she was too distracted to notice something shift inside the wardrobe.

The double doors of the wardrobe shook.

Amelia still hadn’t noticed.

One of the wardrobe doors creaked open slightly.

At this, Amelia’s snapped to the wardrobe’s direction and she was puzzled to see that the door had opened by itself.

There’s something wrong with this...Amelia felt her hands twitch nervously, dropping the album page that she was just about to flip over.

Amelia gulped and pushed the album off her lap, getting off the bed slowly.

This is ridiculous! Amelia scolded herself, it’s probably just the wind. You’re not making sense! Calm down.

Amelia made her way cautiously to the wardrobe, her shoulders hunched up as if she was reading herself for a sudden attack, and her hand quickly pushed the door.

It closed without a fuss.

Amelia blinked in surprise. She clearly had not expected that to happen.

See...I told you so! A small, reasonable voice in Amelia’s mind goaded smugly.

Amelia turned around to make her way back to the bed.

The wardrobe door creaked open, much wider this time.

Amelia stopped before her left foot took another step.

She looked over her shoulder and peered into the darkness of the wardrobe.

There was almost nothing there...or at least, nothing that she could see.

Amelia shook her head to dismiss her irrational, tedious thoughts and told herself to stop this madness.

She braved herself and walked back to the wardrobe.

However, this time, she heard a familiar cawing from the window.

Amelia turned her head in that direction and just like her dream, her eyes met soulless, beady orbs.

A dreadful feeling settled over the pit of her stomach.

Something just didn’t felt right.

The crow cawed again, a shrill shriek that shocked Amelia.

Amelia stumbled back and fell...

Not to the floor, but straight into the dark wardrobe!

She gave a yelp as she crashed into the surprisingly spacious wardrobe.

Just as she struggled to stand up and get out, the wardrobe door right in front of her-the one that was her only way out-slammed close without so much as a noise, leaving her in the dark. Quite literally.

Amelia yelled and pounded the door with her fist.

"Hey! Anyone?" Amelia screamed as loud as she could, "I’m in here! I-"

Her voice dried when she felt a grip on her ankle.

Something akin to a gnarled hand of an old lady.

Amelia turned rigid.

Her shoulders hunched stiffly.

Her eyes darted left and right, though she couldn’t see anything.

"I’m okay...I’m fine...I’m completely fine. People get stuck in their own spacious wardrobe everyday..." Amelia mumbled to herself encouragingly, though her voice sounded flat even to her own ears. She ignored the grip on her ankle, which seemed to be tightening its hold as every second ticked by.

Then, she felt hands grip her wrists, restraining her from any sudden movements. Amelia trashed around, tugging herself.

More hands gripped her-on her shoulders, on her foot and even yanking her hair.

Tears started to stream down Amelia’s eyes.

She was panicked, but most of all, she saw scared that no one would be there to help her.

She was alone.

The hands’ grip started to tighten, causing Amelia’s muscle to ache very painfully. Amelia yelled again for help.

No answer.

When she felt nails dig into her neck, Amelia finally let out a raw scream for so loud and long that her throat hurt.

Her voice died down when hands encircled her neck and cut down her breathing supply.

Black spots started to cloud her vision.

The last thing she thought of before she gave in to whatever lies in store for her was, Fainting is so overrated...
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