The Ghosts of Temple Bruer part 11

Sarah was losing her mind. Without no one to talk to she was lonelier than ever. She drifted from room to room, or languished in the gardens for hours. She thought of nothing, but of  her sister she hadn’t seen for two years. She wrote to her frequently, though, as of lately, she received very little correspondence from her. Her frustration was mounting, and found no way to escape her desolation.

One afternoon, she walked around the estate, and came upon the empty stables. She recalled Haruki’s words that she shouldn’t get close to them, and seemed to abide by them until she heard snorting in one of the stables.

I thought the stables were deserted, Sarah thought. She quietly began to pass them by when she heard it again. Was there something in there? I heard it again.

Driven by curiosity, Sarah carefully approached one of the stables where she heard a light stomping of hooves on the wooden floor. Before Sarah, could cross the stables, a loud banging, pounced on the doors as if something was about to burst through. Sarah was alarmed, and jumped in fright at the same time a hand rested on her shoulder, and pulled her away. Sarah turned to face John.

“You shouldn’t go near those stables,” John crestfallen face warned her.

“I heard something?” Sarah’s heart wouldn’t stop beating rapidly against her chest.

“Something you shouldn’t be near to,” he seemed serious about it. “Those stables are perilous. They can come crashing down any minute.”

“But-but, there was something in there. I heard it,” Sarah pointed at the now silent stable.

“There is nothing in there,” John scowled. “They have been empty for years. Don’t go near them. I’ve meant to demolish them, but Mr. Kent won’t allow it”

“Why not?”

“Sentiment, guilt couldn’t say,” John said.

“Guilt? Why would he keep stables out of guilt?”

“Mr. Kent is a strange man,” John said. “I don’t mean to frighten you, but he has a terrible temper. I’ve seen him on his worst days… He kept many horses at one time. He was too harsh on them. His favorite was a black stallion. A wild one, hadn’t been broken, yet when he brought in. The horse was stubborn, and one day it tested Mr. Kent’s patience. He went into the stable, and hit that horse until it didn’t stir no more… He never went back to the stables, and the other horses were sold off.”

Sarah was distraught to think Philip could do such a thing.

“Just stay away from those stables,” John said. “They’re unsafe. If you don’t mind, I’ve got other things I need to do.”

Sarah, nodded in understanding. She turn to look at the stables one more time and then at John, but he had vanished. Sarah didn’t need to be told twice, and walked away from the stables. She found solace in the gondola where she sat shaded underneath.

“You saw him again didn’t you?”

Sarah recognized the child’s voice, and turned to see Haruki hunched behind a wooden plank on the other side of the gondola.

“Hallo, Haruki,” Sarah greeted him. “Who are you asking about?”

“That man,” Haruki whispered.”The one that walks around here.”

“Oh, you mean–”

“Don’t say his name,” Haruki placed his finger on his lips in a hush.

“Why can’t I say his name?”

“Because, he will hear us,” Haruki said. “He knows who’s in his gardens.”

“Does he really?”

“He doesn’t like many people in his gardens, but he seems to like you.”

“He’s never said anything to me about being in the garden,” Sarah said. “Why would he say anything to me about it?”

“Mr. Kent, doesn’t even go to the gardens,” Haruki said. “He’s afraid of him too.”

Sarah laughed at the thought. Philip afraid of John Hawthorn.

“It’s true,” Haruki said. “I’ve never seen Mr. Kent, go to the gardens.”

“I think it’s him that should be afraid of Mr. Kent, don’t you think?” Sarah said.

“He’s a bad man,” Haruki reiterated.

“What do you mean he’s bad? Have you seen him do bad things?”

“He doesn’t like it when I walk in his garden. He gets angry, and chases me away. I hide from him when I go outside.”

“I see,” Sarah wondered if Haruki was afraid of all adults. “I went near the stables today.”

“Did you hear it?”

“I heard something,” Sarah didn’t want to admit it.

“It’s one of the horses,” Haruki said. “It tries to get out, but it can’t.”

“You mean from the stables?”

“You can’t see it only hear it,” Haruki said.

“There is nothing in the stables.”

“There is. I’ve heard it before,” Haruki said. “Mr. Kent, had many horses… His favorite was a black horse. The horse would kick the doors to the stables every night… One day, I went to see the horses and they were gone. I’ve asked mama about the horses, and she says they were taken away… I was three then.”

“You remember well,” Sarah smiled at him.

“I can remember many things,” Haruki proudly said as he walked around toward the entrance of the gondola.

“Is that so?”

“I can remember when my mama wrapped me in a blanket when I was a baby,” he said. “I can remember our old house. I can remember my mama’s family and…”

He paused with a downcast look upon him.

“What’s wrong?” Sarah sensed something sad.

“I can’t remember my papa,” Haruki said. “I try to remember, but his face is one I never see… I can tell you many other things, but I can never see my papa’s face.”

“Maybe it will come to you.”

“I don’t think he will,” Haruki said, doubting Sarah.


The Ghosts of Temple Bruer part 10

She never found the right moment to ask Philip about visiting her sister. He seemed in a foul mood since he arrival from abroad. Sarah didn’t have the courage to upset him now that she was expecting a child herself. Escaping Temple Buer was a distance chance that Sarah believed would never happen. Philip would never let her go. She was here to stay.

She didn’t see Haruki or even John Hawthorn during the coming weeks. Philip kept a close eye on her, especially when she broke the news of being pregnant. Philip became unduly protective, which she found suffocating. He restricted her from venturing outside among other rules he set upon her. Sarah found them oppressive, finding no relief to her existent life.

As her belly grew, Philip rarely stayed away. He constantly kept an eye on her as any attentive first time father would be, but Sarah found it intrusive. She tried to escape to another part of the castle whenever she could, but she often fail to break free from him.

One night, they were in the den when a knock at the door came to their attention.

“I’ll get it,” Sarah tried to spring up from her chair.

“Aki, will get that,” Philip said without looking up from his newspaper.

Sarah sat back down in disappointment.

The door to the den opened and Officer Crosby greeted them.

“Peter,” Philip stood up to greet the Sheriff.

“Mr. Kent,” the Sheriff shook Philip’s hand. “Don’t mean to disrupt your evening.”

“Not at all,” Philip said. “What can I do for you, Sheriff?”

“To make my visit short,” Sheriff Crosby said, “I just wanted to inform you that the power lines are down. Most of the town don’t have electricity.”

“How did that happen?” Philip asked.

“Someone crashed into a pole, knocking it down,” Sheriff Crosby said. “It should be fixed in a few days.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re here,” Philip said. “I haven’t been able to get into town. I’ve been here taking care of my wife. She’s expecting, you see.”

“Congratulations, Mr. Kent,” Sheriff Crosby smiled.

“You can say that,” Philip beamed.”I was wondering if you can wait for a few minutes to give you that donations I’ve promised.”

“Most certainly, Mr. Kent.”

When Philip disappeared out of the den, Sarah saw her opportunity to make an escape.

“Mrs. Kent,” Sheriff Crosby was surprised to see her.

“Hallo, Sheriff,” Sarah greeted him. She had met the Sheriff a few times before as he visited the castle quite often during the big storm.

“Congratulations on the baby,” Sheriff Crosby said.

“Thank you, Sheriff,” Sarah blushed. “Philip’s been overprotective at times.”

“It’s expected as it is his first child,” Sheriff Crosby said.

“Perhaps,” Sarah said. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m exhausted.”

“Of course, goodnight, Mrs. Kent.”

“Goodnight, Officer,” Sarah hurried upstairs before Philip returned.

Sadly, eight months later, Sarah lost the child. It affected Philip the most. He became violent, and irrational. He locked himself in his studies for days, and wouldn’t come out. She could hear him tearing up furniture, and screaming at someone in the high heavens. Worried for his safety and hers, she called Sheriff Crosby. He was able to speak to Philip, and assured Sarah he was only distraught.

“Grief consumes him,” Sheriff Crosby told Sarah. “He just needs time to heal.”

“And if he doesn’t get better?” Sarah worried.

“He will,” Sheriff Crosby reassured her. “If you ever need me, don’t hesitate to call me.”