ISBN 9789899734869-25

2009 Words
In a matter of seconds, Liam had left them behind, moving at the speed of light towards the noise. When he returned moments later, he said, 'It's just a drunk. He fell over and knocked his glass bottle into a gravestone. He's out cold.' 'Should we do something?' asked Ava. 'Yeah, let's at least move him, so he's undercover and safe,' suggested Penny as they headed towards the man. But when they arrived, he was nowhere to be seen. 'What the...?' said Liam. 'He was right there, out stone cold. There's no way he would have woken up and walked away, not in the state he was in. He reeked of alcohol.' 'Maybe someone else took him away?' said Emma, unsure. 'What, like one of the ghosts?' Rupert said, bending down and picking up the remnants of the bottle. 'What?' he said when the others looked at him. 'This is someone's grave; there's a body buried beneath this headstone. How would you like it if your grave was covered in glass from a bottle of booze? It's disrespectful.' Nisha stepped forward and helped him pick up the pieces of broken glass with a smile before the others all pitched in to help. When the last few bits were casually brushed away, Rupert stepped back. 'That's better. Rest in peace old chap,' he said, touching the headstone momentarily before turning away to look for a bin to drop the glass into. 'You never cease to amaze me,' said Lana as she smiled at the comedian fondly. 'I found a rubbish bin over here,' shouted Imran from a distance. After they'd got rid of the old bits of glass, the group were just about to carry on walking when the soothing sounds of singing drifted to their ears. Ava heard it first. 'Do you hear that?' she asked. 'Nope. What is it?' asked Elliott, straining to hear. 'Someone's singing,' she whispered. 'Yes, but with your special abilities, it could be someone singing over at Hyde Park,' he chuckled. 'No, it's a girl, and she's here, here at Abney Park. Listen, her voice is extraordinary. I've never heard anything like it.' The lingering sounds began to hover over the group, making them all stand perfectly still and captivating them, pulling them in. 'It's this way,' Ava said as they followed her, trying to move silently. Something that proved somewhat tricky considering the number of dead leaves and twigs beneath their feet. 'Look, over there,' she pointed. Sitting alone beneath a statue of a headless angel sat a pretty young girl, about their age, singing quietly to herself, completely lost in her thoughts. Beside her was the drunk man, who lay sleeping by her feet. 'How the hell did she move him?' asked Liam in shock. 'Shhhh,' whispered Emma as they watched the girl with the tumbling red curls sit singing like an angel. The sudden return of Granville the ghost made Rupert jump so much that he yelped out loud. The girl's singing stopped instantly, and within a second, she'd disappeared. And so had the unconscious man with her. 'Hey!' said Elliott loudly, 'Where did she go?' 'Who? What? When?' said Granville as he stood in the centre of the group spinning around. 'Tsk tsk,' tutted Cassie. 'You frightened her off, Rupert. What the hell?' 'Sorry,' he muttered, 'Granville here frightened the living daylights outta me,' he whimpered. 'Oh believe me young chap, you'd know if the living daylights were gone, I can tell you that from experience. Now, who are you talking about? Who was frightened off?' asked the ghost curiously. 'The girl with the red hair,' answered Imran. 'The girl with the red hair?' 'Hm-hm. She was just there singing, with the drunk man sleeping at her feet,' Lana explained. 'Oh, that girl with the red hair. She spends a lot of time here at Abney Park. And I do believe the drunk man is her father.' 'Really?' asked Ava, shocked. 'Yes,' nodded the ghost, 'The name's erm, let me think for a moment. Oh yes, the family name's Madigan, and the young girl is called, erm. Daisy, yes that's it, Daisy,' he said, quite proud of himself for remembering. 'But what is she doing here?' asked Emma with genuine concern in her voice. 'She's probably the same age as us. She shouldn't be here on her own.' 'Well, she's not really on her own, is she? Her father is here with her.' 'Not much of a father, is he?' said Elliott. 'He's a drunk. She's looking after him rather than the other way round.' 'I think we're all forgetting something rather crucial here guys and gals,' said Penny. 'There's something special about that girl... she's the one that moved her father, remember? How can a regular teenage girl move a fully grown unconscious man so fast that we never even saw her? And where did she go? I don't think Liam can move that fast. What's going on?' The group looked at each other in dismay. 'Well, whoever she is, she doesn't want to be bothered. That's clear as day, don't you think?' said Lana. 'As much as I'd love to help her, we're here for Josiah. Granville, do you have any news for us?' CHAPTER 31 'The boy you described has been here, on and off, for the past few days. I've spoken to some of the others over at the crypt, and they've seen him, some have spoken to him, but he hasn't made much sense, I'm afraid. He doesn't seem to be here at the moment, though. Sorry, I'm not able to offer much assistance in the matter,' elaborated Granville. 'That's helpful, though, thank you,' said Nisha. 'Who are the others, Granville? And what is the crypt?' 'There are several crypts here in the park, but we generally meet at one, further down that way,' he said pointing. 'The others are just like me, I suppose. Spirits lost in time. Stuck here,' he said sadly. 'How many are there?' she asked just as a flash of light blinded them for a few seconds. When they could see again, the group found themselves surrounded by about fifty ghosts. 'Holy cr....' said Rupert as Ava placed her hand over his mouth. 'Language, Rupert,' she scolded, smiling. 'Oh, hello,' said Nisha with genuine surprise written all over her face. 'Hello my love,' said an elderly woman with a stoop. 'We don't get many of your kind around here these days, not the friendly kind anyhoo' she said. 'Erm, my kind?' asked Nisha. 'Yes, my love. The kind that can freely see us and communicate with us like this. Granted, many people can see us and hear us but only if we want them to. You can see us regardless; it's nice that you want to see and talk to us. It certainly makes a change, I tell you,' she cackled. 'Been here a long time, and we don't often get to talk to anyone other than this ghostly lot,' she smiled, revealing several missing front teeth. 'I seen that boy you're looking for. He seems very frightened and lonely. Best you find him as soon as you can and lead him down the right path 'fore those others lead him the wrong way,' she said. 'Others?' asked Nisha. 'Yes, my love. The others, those evil ones. They often have their eye on the newcomers. If you don't get him soon, it'll be too late.' 'But who are they?' asked Penny. Before she could get an answer, though, the ghosts had vanished right before their eyes. Even Granville was no longer with them. 'Something's wrong,' said Nisha, looking around. 'I felt it. They got spooked. We need to get out of here.' 'What is it? What's wrong, Nisha?' asked Emma. 'Ava, can you hear anything?' Ava closed her eyes and concentrated hard. 'Someone is coming. It's a group; they're moving quickly. They're coming towards us,' she whispered shakily. 'Rupert? Can you see anything?' she asked as he focussed hard into the distance. 'There's about eight... no, nine. There's nine of them. They look mean, guys. We need to get out of here. Get to the old chapel, as fast as you can, now' he said. 'But we're Watchers. We can take them,' growled Liam with clenched fists. 'No,' said Emma, 'We don't even know who they are. We mustn't get involved. Let's just get out of their way. Please, Liam, come on.' Liam reluctantly nodded at her before they all rushed away and headed toward the old chapel from where Rupert kept a lookout. His exceptional vision skills allowed him to see through the trees, the crypts and anything else that stood in their way. 'What's going on, Rupert?' whispered Imran as they all huddled behind him. 'They're looking for something,' he replied. 'But I can only see, I can't hear. Ava, what are they saying?' Ava closed her eyes and stood silently listening. 'They're after someone. They're laughing. Wait, he's saying, we're gonna get her this time. It's about time we showed her who's boss around here...' 'They've stopped,' added Rupert, 'One of them seems to be... sniffing the air. He's looking in our direction. Shhhh everyone,' he whispered as they all stood as silently as they possibly could. 'They're on the move again. They're coming this way. Oh God,' he said. 'What is it, Rupert?' whispered Lana. 'A couple of them... they're not... human.' Lana gasped as Liam grabbed hold of her hand. 'What do we do?' 'Just stay quiet, hold still,' Ava whispered. 'They're still looking for someone.' 'They've changed course,' said Rupert, 'They're heading away. I think they're goin...' but before he could even finish his sentence, something appeared at the door to the chapel, making them all jump backwards. The four-legged creature snarled as it stood watching them, its black eyes flicking from one side of the nave to the other. Slowly stepping inside, the moonlight shining in from the holes in the roof glistened on its glossy black fur. Lana began to step backwards, catching her foot on a broken stone tile in the floor. She stumbled. Before she hit the ground, Liam caught her just as the beast leapt forward. At the same time, Elliott held out his hands and shook them until flames appeared dancing before his eyes. Flicking his fingers, the hot flames grew larger until the smell of burnt hair filled the air. The creature yelped and dropped back as it continued to snarl at the group, standing in the broken doorway. Elliott concentrated, keeping the flames coming, just in case. 'They're coming,' said Rupert, 'They heard it yelp.' 'Now what? We're trapped in here,' Penny said as they all stood waiting while the beast continued its terrifying snarling. 'Not much we can do now. Let's just see what they want,' Diarmuid said as the figures burst through the chapel's entrance. There were four men and three women, all dressed in black, and another large wolf-like beast. Bending down, a woman with long straw-coloured dreadlocks stroked the creature who had thrown itself at the group. When she realised his fur had been singed, she stood, her eyes glowing yellow in the darkness. Stepping towards them, she let out a deep hiss. One of the men, presumably their leader, held out his arm as a barrier to stop her. 'Wait,' he said, his voice slightly muffled. 'Who are you?' he asked them. Liam stepped forward slightly, 'Nobody. Just kids,' he answered bravely. The man started to laugh, which rippled through to the others in his g**g. 'Just kids? I don't think so. What are you doing here?' 'It was a dare,' lied Lana from behind her boyfriend. 'We dared each other to come to the cemetery at midnight, that's all.' 'That's very brave of you,' he said, stepping forward so that his face was illuminated by the little moonlight from above the broken roof. He would have been very handsome, were it not for the deathly pale, gaunt skin. He was about nineteen or twenty, with black shoulder-length hair and light blue eyes. He pushed his hair away from his face, revealing a deep scar across his cheek towards his ear. 'You never know what's lurking in the shadows of a graveyard, especially one like Abney Park,' he laughed. 'We were just leaving,' squeaked Cassie from the back of the group. 'I'll tell you when you can leave,' he growled, curling his lip. 'But first, you must pay for the damage you've done to Grycan,' he said, glancing down at the slightly singed wolf.
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