3 - The Crofts' Residence

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A black leather bound diary, placed neatly inside the vault was not battered, old or dusty. I checked the walls and the ceiling but only the faded crimson velvet covered the inside. I quickly took it out and traced my finger tips over the engraved year 1859.

I sat crossed legged on the bed and looked at the spine which read O.L.A. I opened up to the first page. I would have imagined that the ink would have been faded away, like time had, but the ink was fresh, like as if the diary was written in yesterday. The diary of Oscar Logan Ashford was written elegantly in Edwardian script across three lines.

I was just about to open the diary to the first entry but I hear a knock at the door. Without thinking I chucked the diary and the key under the pillow.

"Come in." I said.

Ryder swung the door open. "Freya I need your help." He then walked away.

I jumped off the bed and followed Ryder. I got to his bedroom and it looked exactly the same as mine, except that there wasn't piano like Dad had said.

"What do you need?" I asked.

"The shelf seems weak. Can you fix it?"

He pointed at the shelf opposite the bed, but it was rotted around the joints.

"Ryder I'm gonna take that shelf out. It's disgusting." I went towards it and grabbed the sides. I pulled it effortlessly apart. I glanced at my brother and he looked uneasy and pale.

"Are you all right?" I asked.

"Have you noticed anything dodgy in you room?" I didn't respond. "I heard a noise," he said, "and it sounded like something was scraping, like a chair moving." He paused. "Do you think it's a ghost?"

I thought about this and I decided not to freak my brother out.

"Ryder there's no such things as ghost. This is a very, very old house. Even the slightest movement makes a creaking sound."

"Yeah it would be a creaking sound, not a scraping sound and don't you dear say it's a mouse."

I shut up because that was exactly what I was going to say, and whatever sound was in my room may have just been a mouse. That was what I kept telling myself.

"There's nothing spooky in your room. And there is no such thing as ghosts. It's your mind playing tricks on you."

Ryder stared indifferently at me. "Really, that's all you can say?"

"I'm trying to make you feel better." I shook my head. "Look if your scared then you can always share with Dad."

"Ha, ha, very funny." Ryder mocked.

I sighed as I took the rotted shelf with me. I left it outside Ryder's room and headed for mine.

But when I got back to my room I had a hunch that something had changed. The isolated chair was put back in its place and when I went to pull the pillow away, the key and the diary was gone.

Shit, I thought as I frantically searched everywhere; behind and under the bed. I went to the chest of draws, expecting not to find the key. But it was there, right back there, as if I never took it in the first place.

"I'm not going insane." I told myself. "There must be a simple explanation." Yeah like the key and diary just sprouted legs, I thought.

I picked up the key again and marched to the vault. I wasn't going insane and I had done this before. The dismembered cobwebs gave me that sign. I placed the key in the lock, turned it, counting '1, 2, 3' in my head and flung the door open. The diary was there, unmoved, untouched.

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