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Subject: DOCTOR WHO, JESSE AND JEREMY 73 DOCTOR WHO, JESSE AND JEREMY and David Collins and Robin the Boy Wonder and… Jeremy: Enough! CHAPTER 73 Rain pelts Collinwood in a major storm. Lightning and thunder, old friends to the mansion on the hill accompany the deluge. Voice of Grayson Hall: “A stirring in bed for one Jesse McCartney is not the kind of stirring he is used to in such a place. For this last night of June, early morning of the first of July, the boy is made frightfully aware that there are more things in heaven and earth…than were dreamt of in his dreams of the Doctor, who remains lost to him and his friend Jeremy Sumpter. The Doctor may also have his memory lost…” In Collinwood, Jesse stirred in the bed. “Doctor, no. Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, not the other way around…Borusa said so…” Jesse stirred. He felt something. He felt something in the room. He put his face beneath the sheets again. He hoped, like some of the other phantoms of Collinwood, it would just dissipate without any trouble. Something heavy seemed to be at his feet, his ankles. From under the sheet, he could see a huge shadow, a smaller one moving behind it. The thing sat down. Jesse gulped and peered out the sheet top. He put his back down on the bed and stared. Suddenly as the lightning filled the room via the three or more stained glass windows, he saw the image. Staring back at him was a large dark colored, German Shepard canine. It sat at the foot of the bed, seemingly rising up, headfirst to leap on it. The image he was before, the large one was the dog, the smaller was its tail waving back and forth. The dog stared and watched. Jesse’s eyes widened. The sheet was wrapped under his arms and he laid there staring…the dog inadvertently opened its mouth and he could see large canine fangs and other teeth…Lightning behind illuminated the silhouette of the dog… the large patches of hair were black and brown at different parts of its body. It would be beautiful, if Jesse didn’t feel chills all over his spine and spreading out to the rest of his body… Grayson Hall Voice, “And not far from the main house, across the bat filled woods, in the Old House populated by one Barnabus Collins, Jesse’s lover Jeremy is in a semi-trance like state, painfully unaware he is grave and mortal danger, a danger which will be made painfully clear to him when his neck is bitten by one vampire, the one and the same Barnabus Collins…” Jeremy took a bath after all. When finished, he warmed himself by the fire Willie had started in the fireplace. He rubbed his hands together. He heard a strange howling in the woods. Jeremy went to the window, a large squared off one. He could not see any animal and he wondered what type of animal would make a noise like that. It had three howls and then stopped…he thought he saw a large bat outside his window…he moved back, somewhat unaffected by either wolf or bat… Willie struggled to get out of the basement cellar door. “Barnabus, let me out! You can’t do this!” Jeremy laid down in the bed, put the sheets over himself, and quickly fell asleep. A thick fog of smoke came from under the door to his room. If anyone had seen it, they’d have thought the house were on fire. That alone would be a horrid enough thing, however what it really was…was even worse than any fire. When the fog finished rolling in from under the door, it rose up and formed a figure…in the dark over the bed, in front of the light from the fireplace and the head of Barnabus Collins illuminated by bursts of lightning. The body followed, assisted by brief bouts of thunder… Barnabus stared the prone boy, who rested his head sideways on the fluffy pillow. Jeremy looked angelic. His medium length hair curled in the rain and fell to his ears…his breath…his steady rhythm of life, in and out, in and out… such life, Barnabus thought. Such grace. Such virility. He could feel the blood pumping in the youth’s veins. He could no longer control himself. He raised his hands and Jeremy turned so that his neck was an open target… Barnabus opened his mouth wide and his main fangs bared, descended to the boy’s throat…the tip of each main fang already started to draw blood on the handsome, smooth and clear neck… In Collinwood, Jesse stared at the dog and thought in the eyes, he could see the vampire starting to bite the neck of Jeremy…he knew he had to escape this dog ghost but what move should he make? He was almost stunned into making none at all. “Fuck it!” he shouted and then decided on a quieter approach, “You’re a good dog, aren’t you?” Impassively, the dog looked at him, no movement at all. Jesse began to whistle and wondered what it was he was whistling. He thought. He started to sing the Lassie theme song. Carefully, he removed his naked body from the sheets and made an effort to get out on the right side of the bed. The dog tilted its head. It looked at him. He stood up. Jesse put his hands out for the dog to stay. He moved toward the door…he rounded the bed and the dog’s gaze followed him. He saw a large note pinned to the bathroom door. Jeremy’s note. He read took it and read it. As he did, the dog moved its body to watch him. “The foolish kid…” He crumbled the note up and moved to the door, twisting his body to watch the giant German Shepard. “Bet you’re a purebred, huh, boy?” He moved to the door and opened it. The dog stood up and jumped off the bed and he flinched and turned to face the hallway beyond the open door. Could he get into the hallway and close the door before the dog could follow him…too late, it was by his side. He looked down as it waited. “You’re not mean at all, are you? I bet you’re just watching over me. You kinda look…familiar…” He took a step into the hallway. The dog followed…and there was not enough room for it to follow side by side so it moved through the wall next to the door! Jesse stared. He moved faster and it followed…he came to the small landing above the open vestibule leading to the exit of Collinwood…and standing there was something that stopped him short… A man. A ghost. A ghost of a man. Short, about 5’4 or almost 5’5. Brown hair and eyes. Pale. Jesse knew at once the man was a ghost, although any visible signs of how he died were hidden. The man spoke with a ghostly ethereal voice, “Hold it!” Jesse stopped short and took a defensive stance! In the rain, the water hitting the cliffs beneath Widow’s Hill took no notice of ghost man, dog, vampire or two lovely time lost boys… DARK SHADOWS THEME SONG…. Barnabus felt Jeremy’s young flesh against his fangs. He was about to sink his teeth in deeper when a pre-pubescent voice wracked his whole body. “Barnabus, you must not do that!” Barnabus heard it and knew, at once, who it was. He moved his teeth away from the small cuts he had made on Jeremy’s neck. He stood up fully and whirled around as the chandelier in the room shook violently and with loud sounds of jewels hitting jewels, for that is what hung from it. Barnabus looked up at it as lightning from the window illuminated his craggy face. It was followed by a burst of thunder and at the same time the fire in the fireplace died as if it never were. Suddenly, the lightning and thunder that seemed so prevalent, ended abruptly, and the power came back on, the lights came back on, and Barnabus could see the small trickle of blood on Jeremy’s bare, boyish neck. “My sweet, Sarah!” His whole body was shaken and he felt his feet bolted to the floor by the instant distress and guilt. “Sarah! My sweet, sweet, sister!” The little girl in the night clothing moved over to him from the other side of the bed, “You mustn’t, Barnabus…” Kneeling down, Barnabus opened his arms wide and Sarah went into them. “Sarah, you’ve come back to me. After all this time…all this time…” He cuddled her to his chest. Then, releasing her, he turned away. “Why have you come back? To save him?” “Barnabus,” Sarah put a small hand on his shoulder and then bursa escort bayan moved around to him, “It’s not your fault this time…I know you are good now…” “But this…” he stood up again and saw Jeremy’s neck, unburdened by clothing. Jeremy stirred a bit. “I must!” “No, Barnabus, you must not!” Sarah put her pointing finger up at him. “You are just a little girl, you don’t know what this feels like!” “I’m not just a little girl, Barnabus! I’m not!” “I want you to go! Go now!” He felt the bloodlust stir up in him again and he didn’t want Sarah around to see this, ghost or not. “Go!” “I shall not!” “Barnabus, we’re both here for you…” from the other side of the bed, Barnabus could see the ghostly outline form. It was a bride in full bridal dress. One he recognized well. “You as well!” Barnabus gasped as the ghost moved the veil up. He was half expecting to see the broken face, the mangled eye hanging, the rock damaged face of his true love, Josette. “Josette!” “Barnabus,” she smiled and moved through the bed and Jeremy to him. She put her hands on his. “I know I told you we might not see each other again. And that you were free, as am I. But this time, this time it’s different. We are here to help you.” “Who is doing this to me? Could it be Angelique?” “Angelique might be involved somehow but we do not believe she is behind this new revival of your curse, nor the stealing of Quentin’s portrait.” “You know about that as well? How can you say it is not she?” “Barnabus, you made peace with her back in 1840 when she not only lifted your curse, she also died saving you…” “Since then she has been responsible for the death of Roger Collins…” “I believe that was not intentional, however, she has repented…” Barnabus spat and turned from Josette, “Repented!” “Barnabus, there comes a time, in this world and in the next when you have to forgive and let it go…” “You know what she’s done. She was not only responsible for my curse, my mother’s death, little Sarah’s here, and your own, she know what she’s capable of…” “We know,” Sarah said, “It is not her this time…” Josette took him in her arms again, “Plus, she…she loves you, Barnabus, she always has…” “Then why hasn’t she shown herself to me, here and now, as you both have?” “That we cannot now answer…she seems to be struggling with something else…someone else…” Josette said. “As must we. We must help her…” “Help her!?!” Josette waved a hand and below, the cellar door latch, opened and Willie came pouring out, raced upstairs. “We must go, my love. More importantly than forgiving her. You must forgive yourself…” Josette kissed his cheek, he closed his eyes, and as she kissed him, her visage slowly. He remained with his eyes shut. “Forgive yourself,” Sarah said as she came to hug him and only reached as far as his waist. He opened his eyes, kneeled down and she hugged him and kissed his forehead. “Sarah!” Barnabus gasped as she vanished, repeating, “Forgive yourself…” He rose as Willie burst into the room, “Barnabus don’t!” Barnabus repeated, “Forgive myself,” a few times. He laughed at the notion. “I suppose anything is possible…” Downstairs, they could hear Julia opening the front door. She gasped. Willie figured she had seen the open cellar door, gestured in her dramatic way with her arms flung up in the air in front of her face and came racing up the steps. “Barnnnnnabusssss!” “It’s alright now,” Barnabus gasped as Julia raced into the room…her room. She always felt a twinge of jealousy whenever Josette was concerned. “Julia, I’m alright. See to him…” “This is David’s friend?” Julia looked over at Jeremy’s neck, “Barnabus, no!” “How is he?” Willie asked. “I …I don’t see the bite went deep…it’s not really a bite at all. I think your…I think you,” she looked at Barnabus, “Just barely broke the skin…” “Is he…affected?” Barnabus asked. “Hardly likely,” Julia said, “I’ll clean it and let him sleep. I mean you’ve actually bitten some people who never turned into…” “I’ve heard enough,” Barnabus turned away, “Lock me in again and don’t leave Willie alone with me…” Julia looked up, “I will. Willie, there….” “I’m sorry…” Willie said, “He used his…his powers on me again…” “There, there, Willie,” Julia stood up, “It’s alright…there’s the blood in the van and my medical kit. Would you please go and get them for me…” she held his arms, “Like a good friend that you are?” “Yes, Julia, sure, I can do that, I can.” Willie fled. Julia looked at Barnabus. She just stared. He averted his eyes. “I know this is not your fault…” “It all is,” Barnabus said, “Even now the desire to bite him, to bite you, even poor Willie…I…I want you to lock me in right now.” Julia nodded, “I will, come on.” As she lead him down the steps, she wondered, “I wonder who’s causing this, though…” “Sarah and Josette appeared to me…” “Here? Now?” “Yes, here and now. Both of them seem to think it is not Angelique…” “Yes, I have had that feeling since all this started as well…of course, she’s always the prime suspect when the curse comes back to you…” She helped him out of the room and down the long flight of steps. Jesse looked at the ghost, “Get out of my way!” “I must talk to someone…to you…” “Look bub, any other time I’d be glad to. Hell, in this house, I’m the most ghost friendly guest there is but right now my friend needs me…” Jesse started to move at the man but he grabbed both Jesse’s wrists and pushed him back, then let go. “I don’t want to hurt you…” “Solid enough,” Jesse felt each wrist with his opposite hand, “Hey, this dog here, he…he’s with me…so if you don’t want to…” Jesse looked and the dog was gone. “Great.” “I won’t hurt you.” “You already have,” Jesse rubbed his right wrist. “I must help my friend, he’s in great danger…I have to get to the Old House…if it isn’t already too late…and from what I saw…” A little girl’s hand reached up and touched Jesse’s wrist and the pain went away. Jesse jumped and turned at the same time. “Another one!? Who…who are you?” “I do not have much time. Do not worry. Your friend is all right. He’s been taken care of…” Jesse’s eyebrows went up. Sarah added, “In a good way. Please don’t worry…this one needs you more than Jeremy…” Something about the girl made Jesse believe her instantly. “You…you helped him?” “He’s safe and fine…” “But those fangs, they cut him…” “He is not infected if that is what you fear. He will not become a vampire.” Jesse studied the girl ghost. He looked into her eyes. Something about them and about her tone, the way she said what she did, made him trust her…implicitly. “Thanks, little girl. Thank you…” Jesse turned to the man and then when he looked back, Sarah was gone. “Wow. Uhm. You. What’s wrong with you?” “I need someone to talk to.” Jesse sat down, putting his feet through the bars of the handrails on the landing, letting them hang over the balcony. He patted the side of the floor next to him and the man ghost sat down on the rug… “What’s wrong?” Jesse swung his legs in a carefree manner. “I killed myself.” “Oh.” “Is that all you have to say is “oh?” “Well, what do you want me to say?” “Do you know what a loser is?” When Jesse didn’t answer, the ghost said, “Me. I’m a loser. Always was. I mean what would you know about it. Look at you. You look like a foxy guy, hot, desirable to everyone, even after they’re dead. I’m average looking, short, I was 44 when I did it…” “How?” “What?” The ghost said, clearly annoyed. “How did you do it?” “For God’s sake, that’s all anyone wants to know. How did you do it? Did you shoot yourself? Hang yourself? Stab yourself? Set yourself on…I took all the pills in my house, that’s how I did it.” “What for? What was wrong? I mean you said you were a loser…you seem pretty together to me, other than, you know, the killing yourself part…” “What was wrong? I’m gay!” “Oh, that’s all! ? You did it because nilüfer escort of that?” Jesse looked at him and stopped swinging his legs. “No,” the man said, “That was the main reason. I did because I’m lonely. I lived with my parents, had two cats, and only two friends…” “I don’t understand. Did you have a job?” “Yes. I was a teacher at a boy’s school.” “Did you molest them?” “What? NO!” The man said. “I would never do that. “You had a good job then. Then…well, I don’t get it!” “Of course you don’t. You have everything you ever wanted. You probably get guys to come to you like a magnet. I mean look at you. They…gay guys want blond, young, well built, tall, blue eyes…you’re everything I always wanted to be but couldn’t be…” Jesse became uncomfortable. “You…” he looked sideways at the man, “You’re not thinking of …of possessing me, are you?” “What? No! I just…I just want…wanted what you have. Even just a little. I mean, really look at you. Look at your life. I bet you’ve never been alone one day in your whole entire life. And the worst thing about you was that you had to come out. But of course, you came out and had sex before that, after that, during that…am I right?” “You’re a ghost,” Jesse frowned and put his hands on the bars. “You must have knowledge.” “I’m guessing at all of it. But I guess I’m right or you would have said so…” “Yes,” it was Jesse’s turn to get annoyed. “But you could have if you wanted to…” “Oh really. Would you hit this?” The man looked himself over. He wasn’t fat, wasn’t tall, wasn’t great looking but wasn’t ugly either. “No, you wouldn’t. It’s average…” “So…” “So why not find some other average guy? Listen, I’m also a virgin…” “I’m sorry.” “So am I. I wish…I dunno. I never really related well to people. I mean they …most of them, they liked me enough. Some of them even loved me. But I never really got them, you know. I never really enjoyed them. I always found them to be a lot of work. And as for my friends…well, they liked me more when I was doing things they wanted to do. But when it came time for them to do stuff I wanted to do…” “What was it you wanted to do?” The ghost had put his legs through the bars and let them hang over too but Jesse didn’t see him do that. In response to Jesse’s question, the Ghost said, “I don’t know. I never did. I mean I liked solo things. TV, movies, that kind of thing. I can’t say that some people didn’t try. I just…I just always wanted to be someone else. I wanted someone else. On top of that…I sort of dabbled in things. I bowled, I went to miniature golf, I ran track in junior high and high school for five years…people liked me but they didn’t like like me. I mean enough to really be close to me. Unless they needed something from me. I always found fantasy more exciting than them. On top of that, I was gay and had crushes all through junior and high school. I wanted two of these guys so bad. Turned out they were both dealers and one was a drug addict on top of being a dealer. I used to follow them around the hallways…isn’t that strange?” “Not really. You were gay and didn’t know how to express it. I can relate to that…” The man spat with a ghostly breath. “NO, YOU CAN’T! WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT A LIFE LIKE THAT?” “I…I’m sorry. I guess I can’t…” “I didn’t even know I was gay. I thought it was just that I wanted to be like them, you know. Outgoing, personable. People others went to for fun and friendship. Everyone and I mean everyone flocked around these guys. I was shy for the most part, not really outgoing. Everyone or just about everyone said hello to me and was sort of fond of me but no one really…no one really wanted to be closer. And sometimes, some friends just left me high and dry for others and sometimes it was my fault. I mean I made fun of one of my friends a lot. SO much that he never wanted to be my friend again and didn’t even tell me why. He just left. I figured it out and apologized but…another friend did drugs…oh, just smoking pot at first, and he thought I wouldn’t want to be friends with him. By the time he and I figured it all out, he was then doing hard drugs. He didn’t want any part of me. Another guy got way into sports and that took up a lot of his time…I just never found myself…and on top of all of that, I had fetishes…” “Man, you did have a lot of issues,” Jesse said, “I wish I could have done something…you know,” he put his hand on the man’s leg, “…to help you.” “My family loved me and when I came out to them…” “Shit. You came out to them?!!!” “Yeah when I was like 42…I had to do that three times, come out to them three times. I told them all. Oddly enough they all took it in stride…” “What year was this, that you did all this in?” “Oh, I didn’t mention that…?” “No.” “I killed myself in August of 2007. I know what you’re thinking. There should have been a lot of help for me. I tell you there was some but mostly it was slow going and my own worst enemy was myself.” “I just…suicide. To me…you had people who loved you?” “Yeah, mom, dad, sister and her daughters, an aunt and uncle, their four children and their families…” “But it wasn’t enough, was it? You wanted a relationship, didn’t you?” “Yes,” the ghost said, “I did. And, you know, all my life before that, gay was just something not understood. Growing up in the 60s and 70s it was just taboo to my family and even my community. A small place on Long Island.” “I’m sorry. I know how some of those places can be…even in the present…I just…to do that to them. To kill yourself…it’s kinda selfish.” “I know. I knew it was when I did it but I just didn’t want to feel so hopeless any more. I just wanted the pain to go away. The thoughts came so much…to know there were gay guys out there doing stuff I just could not…and I even tried. I entered the gay world and community out there. I found a lot of mean people who seemed nice when they first met me. But many were into drugs, cheap sex…and not into me…although some guys were into me…” “There you go,” Jesse tried to cheer up. “SO why didn’t you…” “Listen. I’m sorry. I’m shallow. I really am. Would you fuck an overweight, bearded 55 year old or 60 year old who acted fem or whatever?” Jesse thought about it. He shrugged. “I guess I never had to think about stuff like that…” “Exactly my point…” the ghost smiled. “I didn’t want to either. On top of that, I was also too moral or too fearful to do anything and to keep going to those pointless bars…they were never me to begin with, bars. I hated that scene. Yet I wished I were someone who didn’t give a shit. I knew a guy out there who…came out same as I did. Only he was blond, tall, blue eyed, outgoing and very ,very good looking. He got more sex…and he never reciprocated…he never sucked a guy’s dick, never let a guy fuck his ass, nothing…he was the most self centered guy I ever knew and…” “And he was happy.” “Yes, now you’ve got it.” “And you wanted to be like him?” Jesse’s voice raised a bit on the last word. “Yes,” the ghost said and thought about it, “I supposed I did. Maybe just a little…still other guys promised stuff. There was this out group on Long Island. I went to it, and I had a hard time at first continuing to go. I just didn’t want to face this gay stuff. But when I finally went…it shut down and a guy took over who wanted to met at a bar, gay club really. I met some guys there. And they all made these promises, like we’ll get together and do stuff beyond the bar…one of them hung himself. I think maybe he and I might have been friends but I was too closeted even then…I guess. I wasn’t into him either. And I wish I was. But I would have tried to do stuff with them, I mean like social stuff. They weren’t too receptive. One of them invited me to meet some of his friends who were active in the gay community…helping the young gays…I mean boy, if you were a young gay guy coming out, you had plenty türbanlı escort of help available to you. But be like 30 to 45 and there was little to none. Then the group met again and I met some of the guys there, some new guys. They also made promises. Even got me to dance once or twice on the dance floor. Then I don’t know what happened, they just got…sorta funny…” “Could be…you were…” “Oh, I Know. I’m really negative. I think that sent people the other way. They don’t want to hear my shit. And I don’t blame them…much. I know I’m not an easy person on friends, I know that. I just wish someone would have kept trying, that’s all.” Jesse listened. “I wish…I know this might seem trite to say now, but I wish…I wish it were me.” “Thanks.” The ghost smiled. “That helps. It’s funny how all the things they tell you in school, you know like–you can be anything you want to be, or, I dunno, there’s someone out there for everyone…are all wrong. They don’t know what they are talking about.” “Did…” Jesse hesitated to ask the next question, “Did you ever get counseling…” “Over 16 years of it. And while they helped a small bit…made me a bit more functional instead of a crying depressed mess…they really didn’t know what to do to help me either. I mean really cure me or make me like myself or make me totally un-depressed. Medication helped for a time but that doesn’t make you make the steps or at least it didn’t me. Added to that, the counselors often didn’t return phone calls, didn’t hasten to make appointments for me, and didn’t really seem to care beyond my check for services…well, that’s not fair, one of them was pretty caring but still, they almost all abandoned me, too…” “What about the internet, tch?” The ghost laughed, “I set up a date once on there. It was supposed to be at a diner. The guy never showed up and I didn’t have a cell phone or portable lap top or whatever to find out until I returned home. He said he had to drive his sister someplace. I told him okay and he could set something up next time. He never did.” Jesse could feel his emotions taking over. His eyes began to well up. He felt deep compassion. “That happens. I guess people have to try again and again and again and…” “I wasn’t willing to do that. I never was. I mean I guess I felt why should I go all through all this stuff that I hated…I did join a sci fi club…met some nice guys there. But I felt beyond that, why go through this stuff when all it got me was a not very fun time and didn’t get me the results I wanted.” “I guess I never…” “No, because most things came easy to you.” “Yes, I guess so. I mean I had to work to get my career going and…even there, I had some help but…I guess I don’t think about people who aren’t like me. Aren’t as good looking. No offense.” “None taken.” “I’m sorry.” Jesse had tears in his eyes and one dripped down to his left cheek. He put his arm up to hold the back of the ghostly man but it went through him. “I…I never thought about things like that. I’m too busy I guess. Too busy being a jerk sometimes. Making fun of things, of some people…not like you. Like those jerky guards in the future that tried to cut my dick off once…and just making jokes to ease the tension I sometimes feel…traveling through time with the Doctor…well, it’s fun but it can be really, really dangerous too so I just …I don’t know, act like a smart ass sometimes…and hey, how come…I can’t feel you anymore…” “I..I don’t know,” the ghost said, “I just guess I have to concentrate more on it. Why?” “Well, I know, like you’re dead and all,” Jesse submitted, “But, I was I like was, gonna let you do me if you wanted…” The ghost man laughed, “Jesse, that’s very thoughtful of you and considerate but you…would you really?” “Yes,” Jesse put his hands up toward the man again. They went through the man’s chest. “I…I guess we…it’s pretty hard trying to do it this way. I mean it would be pretty hard…” Jesse shut his eyes. “It would just be a pity fuck, wouldn’t it?” “I…” Jesse rubbed tears from his eyes. “No. I…I really like you, mister…” The ghost seemed to be crying, also. But then he vanished from the sitting position and was standing up. “I think…I think it’s time to go. I think I’m okay now. Just chatting with you…” Jesse joined him and faced him. “What do you mean?” “It’s time I go off to the universe…you know, to Him.” “God?” “Yeah.” “Gosh.” “Yeah.” The ghost smiled and hugged Jesse, feeling him. Jesse felt the ghost as solid again. “I think it’ll be a grand adventure…” “Yeah,” Jesse said, “Leave the rest of this behind you…I think you’ll find what you want in the universe, in God…and there’s always another way…” “For me, this is it,” the ghost said, “Goodbye sweet one….I will visit you sometimes…if…if you want…” he had begun to float upwards… “Yes, of course,” Jesse smiled, “Just….” He thought about it, and wanted to finish before the ghost vanished through the ceiling and finally up and out the roof. “Just let me know when you coming…” He rubbed his elbow across his eyes to wipe away the residual tears. “Goodbye.” The ghost man rose up to the ceiling and out and was gone. “Man.” Jesse looked around, then had the urge to run down the steps. He realized, half way down, that he was still naked. He turned to retreat back to his room, to dress, to go after Jeremy. As he turned, he realized someone was standing before him. Someone in a long frilly night gown. “Oh no, not another ghost…” The redheaded Mrs. Jennifer Hart stood there, holding Freeway in her arms, her scruffy and cute little dog, “I’ve never been mistaken for a ghost. Although, I did dress up as a vampire one Halloween when I was younger…” She looked Jesse up and down. “You do realize that…” “Yeah, yeah, I’m naked,” Jesse said, almost matter of fact, “So…Uh, I’ll be going now…” “Okay,” Jennifer shook her head as the thunder seemed to subside. “Oh, uh, has Freeway been in his room with you the whole night?” “Why, yes, of course,” Jennifer looked down. “Oh my…” “I thought maybe he was in my room…” Jesse smiled. “No, no,” Jennifer looked down some more. “He’s afraid of the thunder… he was with me the whole time. I’ve just come out to see if I can get him something to eat…” “Watch yourself, though, Mrs. Hart, this house can be dangerous…things that go bump in the night…” “So I see,” Jennifer whispered. Jesse turned red. While he was far from the embarrassed type, and he was very confident of himself around males, around females, especially those a bit older then himself, he was not very prideful. “Okay, I’d better go…” “Yeah,” Jennifer whispered and nodded. She watched him turn around and walk back to his room…Jesse practically ran but didn’t want to show her he was somewhat shameful of being naked in front of her. Jennifer put her head to Freeway’s neck and snuggled the dog and laughed. “Oh, Freeway…” Jesse dressed quickly and wondered what the time was. He looked at the old clock on the dresser. It was 3:15 AM. “Holy Amityville Horror, it’s been a few hours…Jeremy…” Jesse put on David’s shorts and sneakers, no socks. He put on a T shirt that looked like it came straight from Woodstock, it being purple with a big peace sign of white on it and all sorts of designs and characters plastered around the circle that surrounded the peace sign. He didn’t care, he just fled the house as fast as he could, having grabbed a flashlight from one of the drawers. Outside, he looked up and saw the rain slowing to a small sprinkle. He didn’t care about that either. He had to get to the house to help Jeremy. He ran, sprinted across the lawn, and stopped. He shone the flashlight through the forest and once he was sure of the path he had to take, he continued his race across the woods, past the cliffs, and all the strange sounds he heard along the way. Nothing would stand in his way from getting to the Old House. Earlier, David had told he and Jeremy the way. Jesse ran, breathless to the front doorway of the Old House. Before he could even try the doorknob, the doors opened and Jeremy stood there. He looked white and ghost like…he seemed to be in a trance. “Hello, Jesse, won’t you come in…” TBC

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