I was about to clean the microwave after a few days of constant unhealthy food, when Ryder grabbed my hand and dragged me upstairs. He wasn't that strong but it was his impatience that quickly catapulted me to his room.
After catching his breath he opened the vault. "I need to tell you something."
"What?" I asked, taking of the washing gloves.
"I know that you know that this – well definitely the vault in your room is magical. No – I mean, it's got something in it."
"Well yeah Ryder, you can put things in vaults. That's its function."
"Look I'm not trying to mess with you, but your friend's in trouble." He yanked the door, taking out a letter.
"How do you even –." I really did not know what to say. My brother knew about the vault. And if he did then who communicated with him?
"Helene sent me this. Her brother's in danger."
If the floorboards have the power to pull apart and suck me in, then that's what it felt like. My hands trembled as I took the letter from him. Nearly four days had passed and I didn't hear from Oscar. "How do you even know about this... whole thing?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Remember when I lost my iPod and you said lost things always find their way back. Then those stupid china dolls and ponies kept on popping up. I thought I was going crazy."
A heavy boulder shifted from my heart. I wouldn't be the crazy one here. "I should have told you."
"Yeah well," he pointed at the letter, "I wouldn't have believed you, until now."
I scanned the words not in his familiar handwriting. Scrawled in untidy swirls it read:
Please help. My son is in danger.
"Is that all?" I flipped over the page to find it blank. "Did this come from your vault?"
"Yeah," he said. "What's wrong with your one?"
Shaking my head, I dashed to my room, Ryder following behind. I smacked the heel of my boot on the edge of the loose floor board. I pulled the other end. The tin box with its letters wrapped in a navy blue ribbon was there. Maybe he had left a clue?
"What's the plan?"
There was no new message. I know because I've read these letters many times, I practically know the words. "I was hoping these letters would tell me."
This wasn't helping at all. Oscar's life was in danger and I had no idea how to help.
The thumping sound of the vault and hiss of the walkie talkie went off. Ryder cupped his ears, screwing his eyes shut. Automatically I open the vault wide and saw a rope hovering ahead. For a moment I had hoped it was Oscar and all of this was a silly joke. I grab the end and pull, Ryder yanking it from behind.
A tiny form of a girl with curly dark hair hung over the vault. Ryder pulled her out and by chance another figure trailed after.
"Mother," the girl said, tugging at the lady's arm.
I can't really express the bizarreness of the whole situation. It was like the first time I met Oscar in the flesh, a man out of time. A woman and her daughter; two terrified beings hugged one another closely, looking at Ryder and I with awe.
Someone needed to clear the air.
"Err hello," Ryder began, unsure if he should wave or bow.
The woman in an azure checked dress, held onto her daughter, backing away, nearly falling over the desk.
YOU ARE READING
Aspiring writer Freya Telford has a lot on her plate: mum left, her house caught fire, Uncle Johnny died: plus she's inherited Ashford Estate in Kent that's apparently haunted like a horror show. With her father Steve and younger brother Ryder, they...