The Ghosts of Temple Bruer part 12

Sarah spent more time with Haruki, like herself, she sensed he was lonely for company. They talked as often as they could until his mother called him for supper. Before he would leave he would ask her the same question every time.

“Will you be here tomorrow?” Haruki asked, as if he was unsure she would stay.

“Of course,” Sarah promised.

He would smile, and said his goodbyes. He was a bright boy, and had an exceptional memory of his infancy. Sarah could barely remember when she was three, but he could tell you everything, even from the day he was born. Sarah loved hearing his stories it made her try to recall her own, but her mind did very little retrospecting. Every time she tried she thought of her sister, and missed her more. By now, she hadn’t received any letters from her, which wasn’t like her to do. Perhaps when Philip came back home she would try to convince him to let her visit her.

As the sun began to set, Sarah begrudgingly dragged her feet back inside. She dreaded being inside the castle’s cold chambers, but when night fell over the state, it gave her a sense of dread. The estate became spooky at night. Haruki, had told her stories about Temple Bruer.

“The cemetery is a place you never want to go,” Haruki forewarned her. “Even during the day it’s not safe. It’s where they bury all the family. I went there once and never will I go again. I still have nightmares about it. I don’t think they want me or mama here.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I can hear them, especially at night,” Haruki said, “They tell me to get out. I know mama can hear them too, but she tells me to ignore them. Sometimes, they come in as shadows, and dance on my walls. I don’t like them… Mr. Kent was married to another woman.”

Sarah had never heard Philip talk about a previous wife, and it came to her surprise when Haruki mentioned it.

“I was only one year old,” Haruki beamed at his recollection. “They probably don’t think I remember, but I do.”

“What was she like?”

“She was pretty,” Haruki said. “She had blond hair, and I think her name was Lunette.”

“What happened to her?”

“She drowned in the pond,” Haruki sadly said. “Nobody knew how. Mr. Kent was sad about it. He left for months, and didn’t return for a while. She’s buried in the cemetery… Then there was Sophie. I don’t know what happened to her, all I know is she left, and never came back. Then there was Hannah.”

“What happened to her?”

“I don’t know,” Haruki tried to recollect. “I asked mama before, but she gets upset if I ask… Hannah didn’t like mam. I know that because mama would cry a lot. Hannah was not a nice to mama. She would scream at mama, and throw things at her. I saw her hit mama too.”

“Did Mr. Kent know about it?”

“I don’t think so,” Haruki said. “He was barely home when he was married to her. He has a painted portrait of her in one of the rooms.”

“Which room?”

“I don’t know,” said Haruki. “He moves it. After Hannah was gone, Mr. Kent, left and didn’t come back until you came. He likes to paint. I saw him painting one of you. Mama got mad at me for snooping.”

“Does Mr. Kent ever speak to you?”

“No,” Haruki said. “He talks to mama. I don’t he likes me.”

“I’m sure he does,” Sarah doubted, “in his own way.”

“I know he likes you,” Haruki said.

“Oh, how do you know?”

“He doesn’t stay away too long,” Haruki said. “He staid away longer when he was married to Sophie and Hannah.”

“What about the first wife?”

“Lunette?” Haruki thought about it for a moment. “I don’t know. I was just a baby. But, Sophie cried a lot. I could hear her from my room.”

Haruki did have a fine memory. Sarah learned about Philip’s unusual insomnia, the rooms in the castle, and sometimes about Aki’s family in Japan. The only person he refused to speak about was John Hawthorn, the groundskeeper. Haruki, himself admitted he didn’t know much about him, but he was bad.