The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 18

“I already told you I’m sorry!” Lisa expressed to Delron as they trudged up the downtown boulevard in a light dusting of snow. Delron didn’t respond to her, so she made another bid for his forgiveness, “I know I acted recklessly, and I promised I wouldn’t do it again! What more do you want from me?”

“I’m not really mad,” Delron finally spoked up. “I’m simply afraid of what you might do if you get more information! Are you gonna act impulsively and behave in a way that might get you killed? You already almost died in the graveyard, and you got lucky at Derrick Tyburn’s Field! You can only cheat death so many times…”

Lisa took offense to that. “Are you saying I wanted all those things to happen to me?”

Delron probed, “Did you? You’re going through a rough patch, and it’s not uncommon for people in that situation to put themselves in harm’s path…”

“I’m not suicidal!” Lisa refuted that statement. “I messed up, but I only did it ‘cause I was trying to help! I’m trying to save innocent lives, not harm myself!”

“It worries me to involve you in any more of these efforts,” Delron spelled out to her. “Every new fact we learn seems to get you into trouble!”

Lisa got shocked by the audacity of his assertion. “So, you’re saying you don’t trust me? This whole rescue mission was my idea!”

Delron contended, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just don’t wanna lose you! Yes, we’ve only known each other for a few days, but I feel like I’ve made a new friend! I don’t have a lot of allies in this town, and it’d crush me to see you meet your demise like that!”

“If you really value our friendship, you have to have a little more faith in me than that!” Lisa argued. “You have to give me a chance to prove I’m trustworthy! Besides, Rebecca has a strong vendetta against me after what my ancestor did to her! I doubt she’d leave me alone if I stopped pursuing her! I’d fare better against her by being armed with more information…”

“You’re right!” Delron conceded as he halted his gait. “I guess I got a little overprotective! If I tell you what I learned, will you swear not to act on it alone?”

Lisa assured him, “Of course! What did you find out?”

Delron glanced around at his surroundings, and when he felt confident about their privacy, he inquired, “Do you know how we’re doing a book pick up at Bayside Estates?”

“Yeah,” Lisa replied.

“Well, I was doing some research on other places that may have held significance for the witchcraft trial victims, and…” Delron trailed off.

With her interest piqued, Lisa pressed him, “That building may have meant something to that menacing ghost?”

Delron explained, “Well, before it was luxury condos, it was actually an insane asylum, and before that, it was a jail notorious for its harsh conditions and mistreatment of prisoners…”

“So, Rebecca may have been held here prior to her hanging?” Lisa surmised.

“Precisely!” Delron confirmed. “And a lot of her madness probably stemmed from the abuse she went through there!”

As they resumed their travel, Lisa wondered, “Why would they create such fancy homes on a site with such an ugly history?”

Delron commented, “It happened more than you can imagine! Entrepreneurs buy the land for dirt cheap, and then after they turn it into something nice, they make a huge profit.”

“But wouldn’t this spot be haunted as hell?” Lisa queried.

“Most likely.” Delron shrugged.

Delron pushed a button by the front entrance’s intercom, and a snooty voice addressed them, “Yes?”

Lisa informed him, “We’re from Brigfell. We’re here at the request of Patrick Wheat.”

The man requested, “One moment.” After a considerable pause, the man returned, “You’ve been verified. Come in.”

Lisa beheld the ultra posh lobby, and other than the sour face that receptionist was making as he avoided eye contact, nothing regarding this space suggested that it once held anything sinister! As she followed Delron across they foyer, she glanced around at her surroundings to visually unearth some sort of memento honoring the background of this site, but it became very apparent that the designers of this edifice strove to bury that secret! She watched an arrogant bunch board an elevator, and she had to resist the urge to question them on whether or not their opulent pad ever got visited by the spirits of tortured prisoners!

“We’re taking the service lift,” Delron assured the condescending crew as they eyeballed the pair warily. They seemed really relieved to receive this tidbit, and Lisa shook her head as their doors closed. “Don’t take it personally,” Delron advised her. “They treat everyone like that!”

“I’m not particularly concerned about that,” Lisa remarked as she studied the residential hallway they trekked through. “I lived in a penthouse up until recently, and I had neighbors like that! It’s a shame that they isolate themselves from so many people! Then again, they’re hardly the first occupants of this establishment to live in total seclusion…”

Delron put a finger to his lips to signify the need to keep that morsel under wraps, and while Lisa didn’t see the problem of anyone here knowing the truth, she acquiesced to his wishes- she hardly wanted to get into another tiff with him! When they reached the barred entryway of this shaft, Lisa probed, “Is this the servants’ corridor?”

After pushing the summoning button, Delron expounded, “It’s designed for those with large loads to utilize for a more convenient experience, but I have rarely seen it get used by anybody who actually lived here! So… yeah!” Lisa shook her head at the ridiculousness of the residents.

Once they were in the solitude of the conveyer, Lisa observed, “I didn’t find any hint of anything that once belonged to the old jail!”

“It was kind of a long shot,” Delron responded. “We don’t even know what cell Rebecca was held in! But hey, it’s still worth it to keep an eye out for something!”

“Are you the book peeps?” a young woman with her gaze fixed firmly on her cellphone greeted them at the door of her condominium. 

Lisa authenticated this with a less than sincere thumbs up, but the girl didn’t catch a drift of her disdain. “Book peeps… yeah, that’s us.”

The youthful lady instructed them, “Daddy is in the study. Wait here, I’ll get them for you.”

She shut the door, and then Lisa whispered, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if Rebecca was once locked up in this apartment?”

Delron chuckled, and then Patrick’s daughter shoved a sack of publications into their arms. “Have a nice day!” She flashed them a disingenuous grin prior to shutting the door once more. “At least this one made eye contact with us!” Delron kidded. Lisa tittered, but she soon grew crestfallen, which prompted Delron to ask, “Is something wrong?”

“You mean aside from the usual?” Lisa answered with the slightest sign of jest in her melancholy. “Well, I was hoping to gather an important clue during our stay in this joint, but all we got was treated badly!”

“It could’ve been worse,” Delron consoled her. “At least we didn’t run into anything too scary!” In that instant, a door swung open, and Abby stood before them! “I stand corrected!”

Abby folded her arms and spoke directly to Lisa, “What business do you have with Adam?”

Lisa hesitated. Obviously, she couldn’t divulge the small part Adam played in their quest to rid Melas of an evil apparition, and she definitely didn’t want to confess to any romantic sentiments that surfaced within her! Still, she had to offer her some kind of rationale for their increasingly frequent activities together… Delron jumped in, “He comes to Brigfell to get literature and music for the Halloween Hoedown; as someone who helps pay the bills for that event, I would’ve expected you to feel pleased about stuff he can rent for free!”

“Don’t give me that crap!” Abby snarled. “You don’t keep a man’s attention that long for mere logistics!”

“Well, since you’re not gonna listen to our story, why don’t you tell us what Adam wants from the library?” Lisa challenged her.

Abby spat, “You! But I highly doubt that’s from his own free will!”

Lisaa put her hands on her hips and catechized, “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Don’t play games with me!” Abby hissed. “You know exactly what I’m talking about! You bewitched him to get him to fall for you! That’s the only reason a guy like him would go for you when he could have someone like me! I have the entire package- looks, personality, money, and you have none of that!”

“You’re forgetting something else that you have that I don’t- an unsound brain!” Lisa retorted. Abby’s jaw dropped upon hearing this insult, but preceding her ability to argue any further, Lisa directed Delron, “Let’s go!”

Delron tailed Lisa, who had taken brisk strides towards the elevator, and Abby struggled to keep up with them. “Wait! I’m not done with you yet!” Lisa closed the elevator door in her face and smirked as they descended back down below.

Lisa and Delron had nearly gotten to the exit when they lift behind them dinged, something they would have ignored if it didn’t come with Abby in it, who yelled, “Don’t you dare try and escape me!”

“Miss Parris, please remember that there’s no shouting in the lobby!” the receptionist gently reminded her.

“I want these two banned from the premises!” Abby demanded as if she hadn’t apprehended his guidance. “They’ve damaged my property!”

Lisa disputed that, “That’s a lie! She’s making up wild claims ‘cause she got the impression I’m stealing a boyfriend that she doesn’t have!”

Abby accused, “Ever since she got here, my home has been acting funny! My belongings keep getting moved, it gets cold out of nowhere, weird shadows dance across my floor… Do you really think this is a simple coincidence?”

“Uh…” the receptionist demurred. It pleased Lisa to watch his skepticism rise because she recognized although he probably didn’t want to side with Abby’s opponent, her assertion was too bonkers for him to entertain! “Ma’am, forgive me for asking, but what precisely are you accusing her of?”

“Dark magic!” Abby bellowed. Several passersby stopped to witness this scene, but Abby didn’t seem to care about their presence. “You can’t deny that something is very wrong here! Haven’t you noticed any unusual sightings?” 

The receptionist slowly articulated, “Miss Parris, this complex got built on very old grounds…”

Lisa’s ears perked up at this! She eagerly awaited him to provide more detail about its past, but her hopes of gleaning anything that might assist them in their mystery got dashed when a couple of audience members concurred with Abby! Abby picked up on this, and she avidly interrogated the crowd, “You’ve seen it too, haven’t you? The weird lights, the creepy sky…”

“Listen, if you want us out that bad, we’ll leave! Our boss can deliver your orders from now on!” Lisa turned to Delron, who nodded in agreement. They attempted to march out, but then…

“Hold on! No one is going anywhere!” the receptionist decreed as he stared out the window in fright…


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