|The Darkwater Chronicles
Author: TyranicFish PM
Alex Walker, a sarcastic and imaginative teenage girl, moves to the town of Darkwater after her uncle unexpectedly commits suicide and leaves all his earthly possessions to Alex's mother. The manor they now live in and the town both hold dark secrets. Secrets better left unknown, as Alex will soon discover as she delves deeper into the town's history.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 18 - Words: 38,297 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 02-04-13 - Published: 12-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3080291
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 1: Welcome to Darkwater
It's Sunday. Sunday morning. I've been sitting in a car for hours and hours and hours while my mother drives us towards a new chapter in our life. We're moving. I didn't particularly like the idea, nor was I exactly quiet about it. I had friends, and a guy-friend, and our house was really nice. Apparently this new house would be nicer, though.
I don't think mother stopped the car for us to rest. I didn't notice, I've been asleep in the passenger's seat for God knows how long. The weather seems to be getting worse as we keep driving. Three days ago it was all sunshine and rainbows. Two days ago, it was just cloudy. Yesterday it was cloudy with rain. Today it's just dark. It's...what, 10 AM? It should be sunny! Where the hell is all the sun? There's no storm, there's no rain, there's nothing but this huge dark cloud hanging over the entire world.
Mom tells me we're close when she notices I'm awake. I turn on the radio. Static. Wherever we're moving, it'd better have T.V. And internet. Otherwise I'd probably lose my mind. There's civilization up ahead. We pass a building or two and then the real town begins.
I stare out the window, examining the town for any abnormalities as any new resident might. It looked abysmal. I'll admit, that probably had something to do with the fact that the sky was a deep purple-black and they still needed some of the street lights on this late in the morning, but the buildings just looked sad.
We pass by my future school. "Darkwater High School" it says. Cheery. The building also looks sad. Happier than most, but sad. The more I think about these buildings the more I wonder how in hell can a building look sad. I don't know, maybe I'm just tired. Or going crazy, because we haven't left this damned car in so long. I look at my mom. She doesn't look too concerned about the sad buildings. Maybe I am crazy. Buildings aren't sad.
We pull up to our new home. The moving van has been driving behind us the entire time with dad at the helm. I'm sure he was having just about as much fun as I was. Which meant half his head might be through the windshield right now. I look behind us just to make sure. Nope, windshield still intact.
Our new house is down a long-ass drive way. The yard is, for lack of a better term, ominous as fuck. There are bushes shaped into...I don't know what the hell they were. Monsters. Monsters to sit outside every night, peering at people who walk by, waiting for a beefy kid, maybe, to pounce on and devour in a gory mess of blood and leaves.
One of them, a snake with horns, is staring at me. It's eyes bulge in the same leafiness that all the other eyes were bulging with, but this one hated me. This one wanted to swallow me whole and then jump off a cliff into a bed of broken glass jutting upwards. It was a bush, it wouldn't care. I'm human, so that kind of thing was sort of off the table for me.
The house is no better. The place where we have to park the car is in one of those fancy circular driveway things. There's a creepy ass statue in the centre, it looks like the devil, which we now have to deal with every day when we are leaving and entering. Then there's the gauntlet of monsters down the driveway. There's this huge fence leading into the inner yard. Yes, the inner yard.
There was a fence for the outer yard, too. The barracks. This fence was taller and far more pointy. To ward off unruly bush soldiers or invaders, I wonder? Mom turns off the engine and looks at me like she's about to start a heart-to-heart.
"Okay, here we are," she says it like she's just received a gift from a family member. Not the kind of gift you want, either. The kind you'll act like you like until they leave and then you stuff it in the basement until they return, when you'll try to remember exactly where you put it.
That's exactly what this house was. My Uncle Barney left it to her when he died. Maybe she didn't think of it as an ugly gift, but I sure as hell did. From what I can tell, the house is tall, wide, and spiky. Like if giant pigeons landed on it, they would be skewered instantly. The windows were tall and creepy, the walls were a greyish brown colour that just screamed "haunted," and there were towers. Towers. Who lives in a house with towers?
I know why mom wanted to move out here, though. She's always been looking for an excuse to leave our old town. She hated everyone and everything that lived there that didn't have the last name Walker. Sadly for everyone else, we were the only Walkers in town.
She treated what friends I had with as much politeness as possible, of course. For my sake. But she hated it. She only moved there for dad, and I think he eventually started hating it too.
"It's nice," I lie. What else am I supposed to do? I can't tell her it's a medieval eyesore, that I half expected the entire garden to come to life and murder us on our approach.
She unbuckles her seat belt and gets out of the car to stretch. I follow her lead, get out, and just about stumble to the ground. The ground. Even it looks depressed to be here. I stretch and stretch until I can finally feel my limbs again, then the moving van parks up behind us. Dad hops out.
He's excited. Or at least now he is, being out of the car and all. He checks his phone on his way to us. Then he smacks it.
"The service is terrible out here," he tells us. Fuck. I pull out my phone to confirm what he just said. I forgot to charge it when I took my nap. I'd been playing that brick breaking game for most of the drive yesterday.
"So are we ready?" mom asks. I'm not sure if she's feigning this excitement because she hates the house and it was all her idea in the first place or if she was genuinely excited.
They don't seem to wait for me to weigh in, not that I was going to exactly say no. Where else would we sleep tonight? They open the large, pointy gates and this is when I notice the fountain. It's out of place. Everything else is creepy as hell in a haunted house sort of way, but Cupid urinating into the fountain's pool? We all stopped when we saw it.
"Can we take that out?" I ask hopefully.
"Yeah," mom breathes. "Yeah, we can." Thank God.
We walk forward, mom jingling the keys in her hands nervously and dad with one arm around her and the other hand half in his pocket. I liked that I had happy parents. They were fairly young, too. Uncle Barney was young. Too young to die. They never really told me how he died, but from the conversations mom had on the phone with Grandma, it sounded like he hanged himself.
They treated the subject with kid gloves when they told me. I'm in grade 11, I'm not a child. It probably was because Uncle Barney was always my favourite. He always had an interesting story to tell. None of them were true, though. I was long past believing in magic and stuff, but even during his last visit I played along. He was so good at telling stories.
He was younger than my mother. The youngest on her side of the family. Why would he kill himself? It didn't make any sense, and now I feel tears coming on. I'd better stop and focus on whatever other creepy things made this house. We pass what looks like a werewolf shaped bush. No wonder he killed himself.
The front door is huge. It's a double door, like one for a gigantic mansion. Mom put the key in the keyhole and when it unlocked, I swear it sighed. She pushed the doors open and what we saw was something straight out of Haunted Mansion. I half expected my dad to suddenly morph into Eddie Murphy.
The ceiling was really high up, there was a stairwell on either side of the entry hall that rose to a balcony that sort of just stood over people as they entered. It was huge. Too huge for us. Definitely too huge for one person to live in. There was an overly extravagant chandelier hanging over head. I bet that's where he hung himself from.
The entire place reeks of dust and old wood. I had to live here. For the next two years at least. But looking at last year's grades it may be a lot longer. Dad found a light switch and the chandelier barely lit up. The room was risen from a creepy dark to a gloomy bright that reminded me of so many fancy houses I've seen in movies. Mostly it reminded me of Haunted Mansion.
"Okay, so Alex," mother begins, "why don't you go and pick out your room? Your father and I will go and start unloading the truck." One of the advantages of being a small teenage girl; you don't have to do a lot of heavy lifting. Or at least I didn't. I'm sure there were those out there who had to, but I didn't care about them really.
"Okay," I answer. Time to begin exploring. I walk up the stairs. They don't creak. Okay, the house gets one point. That brings it up to -63. It loses one point for every creepy bush sculpture outside and three for ripping off one of my favourite movies. For no creaking stairs I can almost deal with the werewolf.
There's a long hallway behind the balcony thing. A long, creepy hallway. There are about ten or so doors on both sides. Each of them are black. Same with the walls. There are portraits hanging on the walls of people. People who used to live here, I guess. My mom's family was important in this town, apparently. Darkwater was theirs. Technically. It didn't belong to us, though. It didn't belong to Walkers.
One of the portraits is of my great uncle Archie. He was tall. They really liked keeping the regal style in their paintings, didn't they? I wonder if mom would have one done up. Did Uncle Barney? I didn't see his portrait anywhere.
I reach the end of the hall to find myself looking down on what I assume is the biggest fucking dining room I've ever seen. The table is bigger than a limo, there are plates set up on it. They look silver. Fancy candles, fancy everything. Then, there it was. At the far end of the room, the biggest portrait I've ever seen. It was of a white haired man with a face too young for that pigmentation. He wore what looked like a suit but...well it was older. I had no idea who he was, but from the looks of it I'd say he's the dude who built this house.
Darkwater Manor. That had a nice, if not deathly chilling ring to it. Though my mother's maiden name was Haldon. Haldon Manor didn't have the same ring to it. Maybe the family name was originally Darkwater, who knows?
There's another room behind this one. I walk down the stairs, past the big table and stuff and through a door in the centre of the far wall, just beneath the big guy. This next room had to be my favourite. It had the biggest window I've ever seen. What little light came in from the dark sky outside lit up this room like a lantern. It was so cool.
There were bookshelves everywhere. Filled with books. Go figure. At least I'd have something to read for the next two hundred years. I run my fingers along the books. They feel old. Then I notice the desk at the end of the room, looking out on the window. It was huge, too. The big guy out there must have been compensating majorly for something when he built this place.
I pull the chair out and sit in it. It's comfy, for an old chair. On the desk there's a bunch of papers, scribbled notes, and open books. A letter sits on top of it all with the words "Dear Barnabas Haldon" written on the top. Do I read it? Do I want to?
I skim through it quickly. A couple of words stand out. "Resounding success" and "making history" in particular. It was dated three days before his death. Weird. I put that aside for now and lean back in the chair, and that's when I see it.
Right outside the window, a mass of grey stones with rounded tops sticking from the ground. Some were tall, some were short, some were crosses, some were not. And at the centre of it all was this one small building. A crypt. We're living on a graveyard. Great. -20 points for ripping off one of my favourite movies even more.