Author notes: Written when I was twelve; Megan was the name of a girl I highly disliked in school. I used her real last name in the original story but changed it for the purpose of this. This is obviously a story with many plot holes and a lack of logic but consider my age when I wrote it, I think it showed good imagination.
One typical Saturday morning, my little cousin Faith was bouncing around, scribbling on the walls, hacking at the staircase with a butcher knife, you know, her usual morning routine. Faith is five and a real brat. I actually believe she's possessed sometimes. Eventually my mom, Sara, got sick and tired of hiding all the knives, crayons, and toilet paper rolls (Faith loves to unravel them all over the house) and told me to take her outside. Which thrilled me to no end, of course.
If my aunt Suzy hadn't been such a lousy mother, I wouldn't have dumb Faith in my house .But Aunt Suzy went to New York for a whole week and didn't tell anyone. She left Faith all alone. I honestly don't blame her. But a neighbor found her six days later, practically starving. Five-year-olds, especially ones that act like they're two, except more dastardly, can't take care of themselves. Well, Faith was going to a foster home, but my brilliant mother got the bright idea to take her in. Now Faith shares a room with me and wets the bed nightly.
Now Faith is sawing the staircase, laughing. This is the girl my mom tried to tell me is SWEET.
"Darcy, take Faith outside and get her to be good before I lose my mind," Mom groaned, prying her away from the staircase. Faith yelled and bit her. Mom almost dropped her.
"Mom, Aunt Suzy tried to get her to be good for five years before she gave up. You think five minutes will make a difference?" I asked, honestly wondering.
Mom about pulled my hair out. Why is it when you honestly want to know something, parents think you're sassing? So I took the little brat outside with her howling and screeching the whole way.
"Listen, Faith, I'll take you anywhere within five blocks if you shut up," I finally said.
"Okay," said the brat who started it all. "Take me to the old Addison mansion."
To understand this story, you must first understand exactly what it is. It's an old abandoned house on Chesterly Street. It is huge, dark, and gloomy. The Addison family used to live there, but sixty years ago, they were all murdered by Megan Addison, their 12-year-old daughter and sister. Everyone tried to have Megan arrested, but she had disappeared. A few weeks ago, an old lady moved in. It still says Addison on the mailbox. Nobody knows anything about the woman except she's crazy. It's rumored that she's Megan Addison, back from wherever she was, ready to settle down in her childhood home.
So you can imagine why I wasn't excited at Faith's suggestion. I was scared of the place.
"Faith, I don't think that's a good idea. The old lady there is crazy, plus that's trespassing," I tried to explain.
"I WANNA GO TO THE ADDISON HOUSE!" hollered Faith, ready to pitch a fit. When she pitches fits, she bites and kicks, hard. Which is why we went to the Addison house.
When we got there, there were two girls about my age, 12, playing a weird game. One girl was laying down stiff, and the other was leaning over her, saying something. it gave me the creeps. Faith, of course, the nosy little idiot, went right up to them.
"Whatcha doing? You look dumb," she said.
I was ready to kick her. Who did she think she was, talking to those weird girls who didn't have enough sense to know that they were at the Addison house?
The stiff girl opened her eyes, and I saw her face was identical to the talking girl's. But she had brown hair and the other girl had blonde hair.
"I'm Tenley," she said. "And this is my twin sister, Caley. Fraternal twins," she added.
"I'm Darcy, and this is my cousin Faith."
"Whatcha doing?" Faith repeated.
"Making Tenley light enough to rise into the air," Caley said matter of factly, as if she did this every morning. Maybe she did.
That was creepy to me, but Faith acted as if she had done this before. Maybe she had.
"Come on, Faith, let's go," I said, turning to leave.
"No, really," Tenley said. "Grandma Addison taught us how. It's very relaxing."
I think I stopped breathing. "Grandma Addison?" I asked, desperately trying to assure myself that Addison was a very common name, that there were probably millions of Grandma Addisons.
Caley nodded. "We went to live with her."
"Why?" I asked.
They both said, "Our parents died."
"How?" I asked.
They frowned. "None of your affair," Tenley said, and then they turned around and went inside the house.
I watched as they walked into the house, moving like mirror images. They looked like ones too, except for their hair.
Something about them was weird…were they witches?
And the thing about their grandma. Now that was just too strange to be a coincidence.
"Grandma Addison," Tenley had called her. MEGAN Addison?
If I'd had my way, I would have had nothing to do with Tenley and Caley and their Grandma Addison. But I have Faith as a cousin, so I never get my way.
"I wanna go play with them, Darcy," she said, tugging on my arm. "I want Caley to make me rise into the air."
I pulled away from her. "No way, Faith. I'm not going into that house," I said, starting to walk away. Faith ran up to me and punched me in the back.
"I WANNA PLAY WITH TENLEY AND CALEY!" she yelled.
"Well that's too bad. We're going home," I told her, grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the sidewalk.
Faith bit me. I screamed and let her go, and the little brat turned around and ran into that creepy house.
I was horrified. Not that I really cared about Faith and her safety when she had just bit me like that…I was worried about what my mom would do if she knew I let her go in there. She would kill me and ground my corpse for a week!
So that's why I chased the dumb kid. Well she had a headstart, and my hand was still in agony, so she got to the door, opened it, and went in before I could catch her.
I stopped in my tracks. I did NOT want to go in there. People had died there, and now a creepy old lady and two weird girls lived there. Also I wasn't allowed to go in. Mom had never actually told me not to, but she had told me not to go on the property.
But I opened the door and went in.
Author note: For some reason, though I have no idea why, mid story I did an abrupt switch to third person limited point of view (shrugs)
Darcy stepped inside the house and stared in shock. The inside of the house was beautiful in a sad, majestic way. There was old Victorian furniture with red velvet cushions. There was a huge fireplace that Darcy, Tenley, Caley, Faith, plus many others could all have fit in. There were strange carvings on the ceiling that Darcy thought at first were cherubs, but then thought looked more like demons.
Darcy realized the more she looked around, the more Faith was in the house. The girls and grandma Addison might do something to her. Or if they left her alone, Faith might wreck something. Darcy didn't' want her mom to have to pay for one of the expensive old things.
She began to walk around the room. "Faith? Faith? Faith, Faith! GET OVER HERE NOW!"
No Faith. Darcy stood with her hands on her hips. The little idiot didn't even know when to listen for her own good.
She was just about to turn around and leave Faith there when a voice from the doorway spoke.
"She's in here," said Caley. Darcy spun around. She and Tenley were standing in the doorway.
"Where? Has she broken anything? If she did, I'll kill her, we'll pay for it. Is she bothering you? I'll just get her and leave," Darcy babbled, and Tenley and Caley stared at her.
"That won't be necessary. Come on," Tenley said. As Darcy didn't move, she fixed her eyes on her unblinkingly and said, more firmly, "Come."
Before Darcy realized it, her feet were taking her to the doorway. She followed Tenley and Caley up the stairs into a candlelit room. An old lady was seated at the table. Faith was lying on it on her back, her eyes wide open and glassy. Darcy didn't seem to notice her.
"Sit down, girl." Darcy sat mechanically. Grandma Addison fixed her stern eyes on her.
"What is your name?"
"Darcy Stevenson," she answered immediately.
"What is the name of the child on the table?"
"How do you feel about Faith, Darcy?"
"She is a stupid, irritating, spoiled, evil little brat."
Tenley spoke up. "Grandma, can I try?"
"No, Tenley. You are not quite experienced enough to brainwash someone."
"Can't I just try?"
"After I am finished. But it has to be minor." Grandma Addison turned back to Darcy. "You don't like Faith."
This wasn't a question, so Darcy remained silent, not required to answer.
"Do you hate Faith, Darcy?"
"Yes." Even hypnotized, Darcy's voice had a bitter edge.
"Do you wish you had never heard of Faith, Darcy?"
"Darcy, you have never heard of Faith. No one has ever heard of Faith."
Darcy remained silent, waiting for more instructions. Tenley and Caley watched closely, taking notes mentally.
"Darcy, how do you feel about your cousin Faith?"
Grandma Addison caught the girls' eyes and smiled. Tenley spoke up.
"You are friends and Tenley and Caley Addison. Best friends. You are also friends with their grandmother, Megan Addison. You would defend them to their dying breath."
Caley nodded approvingly. Megan Addison smiled.
"Nice work, Tenley. Darcy, you may go home."
Darcy got up slowly and left, leaving Faith behind on the table at the Addison mansion. Grandma Addison turned to Faith.
"Faith, you do not live with Darcy. Darcy is not your cousin. She is Caley and Tenley's friend."
"Caley and Tenley's friend," Faith repeated.
"You are my granddaughter. You are Caley and Tenley's sister, Holly."
"Tell me who you are," Caley commanded.
"I am Holly Addison," Faith said.
"Call me sissy."
"You will always do what we tell you." Faith nodded. "You may wake up."
Faith opened her eyes, looked around, jumped off the table, and went to join her sister, Tenley and Caley, for a day of being Holly.
Darcy went home without Faith. Her mother didn't notice, given she had never heard of Faith. Darcy told her mother about her new friends, Tenley and Caley, but neglected to mention they lived in the Addison house.
The next day when Darcy was walking to the bus stop, Tenley and Caley started to follow her. Caley caught her hand, whispering, "Darcy, it's me."
Darcy turned around and smiled widely. "Hey!" she hugged them. "Walk with me the rest of the way!"
"We're not having school today," Tenley told her. "Come to our house."
Darcy obeyed without question. When they arrived at their house, Darcy looked around their room, amazed. "Neat! Where do you get this stuff?" she asked.
The stuff she was referring to was a closet full of Gothic clothes, monster masks taped to the walls, a collection of weapons, a pickled alien.
Caley shrugged. "Around. Stores."
"Well I've sure never seen stuff this cool in stores!" Darcy bounced on their bed.
A few hours later Tenley was thirsty, so she stuck her head out the door and yelled, "Holly!"
A little girl walked timidly into the room. It was Faith, but you would never know from the way she was acting.
"Holly, get me something to drink," Tenley ordered.
"Okay," Faith murmured, going away again.
"That's our sister Holly," Tenley explained. Darcy stared after her thoughtfully.
"She reminds me of someone," she said.
Caley stared at her hard and hatefully. "Who? Who does our sister remind you of?" she asked. Darcy shrugged dreamily.
"I can't remember."
Darcy continued to go to the Addison mansion daily, befriending Tenley, Caley, and their grandmother Megan. She never came very near Faith, or Holly, as she knew her. Holly only appeared when she was called. Holly always seemed to come out of a room from the right west wing. Darcy was curious but had a feeling she shouldn't go into the room.
One day after coming home from a sleepover at the Addison house, Darcy had a few photos of herself with Tenley and Caley. Darcy couldn't remember taking the pictures but had accepted them without questioning. She went to her living room and pulled out a photo album to put them in. But a picture caught her eye. It was a picture of her and Holly in front of her house. Holly looked mad. Darcy stared at it, bemused. Holly had never been to her house before.
She took the picture out and looked at the back. It said in her mom's handwriting, "Darcy and Faith, Faith's first day staying with us. July 2001."
Darcy stared, shocked. She turned it over to make sure it was Holly. It was. She read the words written again…she hadn't read them wrong.
Holly her cousin? She wasn't her cousin. She was Tenley and Caley's sister. Holly, staying at her house? Holly had never even SEEN her house!
But the thing that struck her most was seeing the name Faith in print. Just reading it brought up a flood of emotions, not entirely good.
She read it over and over, trying to make sense of what she had read. And suddenly she remembered.
"Okay, take me to the Addison house."
"I WANNA PLAY WITH TENLEY AND CALEY!"
Voices loomed in her mind, louder and louder. Darcy covered her ears and shut her eyes, trying to block them out, but she couldn't.
"Who are you?"
"You've never heard of her…never heard of her…never heard of her…"
"This is our sister Holly."
"She reminds me of someone."
"I don't remember, don't' remember…"
Darcy's head jerked up. This wasn't a voice in her head, it was real. Sara, her mother, was standing over her, looking down at her in concern.
"Darcy, you look pale. What's wrong?"
Darcy shook her head, trying to clear away the voices. She looked up at her mother and smiled weakly.
Sara stared at her curiously, then smiled. "I know. You were thinking about boys, weren't you? You were thinking of that cute little blonde boy- Blake, is it?"
Darcy wrinkled her nose." Gross, Mom!"
"That was it." Her mother started to walk away, but Darcy called out.
Sara turned. "Yes?"
"Uh, Mom, who's this? The little girl in the picture with me." Darcy held it out to her and watched as Sara frowned, reading the back.
"Darcy, I don't know who that is. I've never heard of anyone named Faith. The name sounds familiar though…maybe you do have a cousin named Faith, who stayed here a long time ago…certainly not in July this year though, and she would have had to have been a very distant relative for me not to remember…but the picture looks recent," she puzzled. "It's a mystery."
Darcy kissed her cheek, showing uncharacteristic affection.
"Mom, is it okay if I go to Caley and Tenley's house?"
"Sure, but didn't you just get back from there?"
"Yeah, but I forgot something." Like my cousin, Darcy thought.
"Well, okay. But come home soon."
Darcy decided to call first, just to see if they were home. The phone rang and no one answered, so she decided it was a good time to go get Faith.
She walked the few blocks to their house and was at the door when she stopped. The house was big and intimidating, and Faith was such a brat. Was it worth it to get her? Wouldn't it be better to leave her?
No! Don't be a coward, she's only five and she's your cousin and you'll go to hell if you don't get her.
Darcy opened the door and stepped inside. Despite her belief that no one was home, she whispered. "Faith? Faith, where are you?"
She walked upstairs uncertainly, looking round. "Faith? Faith? It's your cousin Darcy. We're going home now!"
Darcy heard a buzzing noise, coming from the west wing. She remembered Faith always seemed to come from a room there and walked to it, whispering for her. She walked into a room, and there was Faith, lying in the middle of an iron table, shaking uncontrollably as electric shocks were put in her brain!
Darcy ran into the room and frantically tried to unhook it. She scrabbled with the wires, ripping them off Faith's head and breaking them in half. Finally Faith stopped shaking and lay still. Darcy shook her, scared. She knew how badly they needed to leave. They had been brainwashing Faith!
"Faith! Get up!"
Faith opened her eyes. "Darcy? Where's Tenley and Caley?"
"Away, now come on, we have to go home! Come on!"
"I am home."
"No, no Faith you aren't, this is the Addison house, you don't want to stay here, believe me!"
"Caley and Tenley are my sisters. Megan is my grandma. I must serve them."
Chills went down Darcy's spine. It was Megan Addison the murderer, she was here and Darcy had seen her and became friends with her granddaughters and they could be back any minute and kill her and Faith. She yanked Faith off the table and pulled her to the door. Faith pulled back and twisted around, resisting. Darcy tightened her grip and tugged her to the door.
"No! no! I'm Holly Addison, Holly! I gotta stay with Caley and Tenley, I gotta!" Faith was yelling. Darcy tried a different tactic.
"Holly, Caley and Tenley are at my house. They've got a surprise for you. They said you had to come."
Faith stopped struggling. "They did?"
"Okay." Faith stopped struggling. Darcy had just opened the front door when she saw all three of the Addisons.
"Hello, Darcy," Megan smiled. "Leaving so soon?"
"We're getting out of here and we're telling everyone what you did and you're going to jail!" Darcy said defiantly, trying to keep Faith from running to them.
Megan stepped inside the house. "I don't think so," she said, and suddenly the house burst into flames!
Darcy yelled and ran around frantically. Faith struggled to get away. Finally Darcy pushed past Caley and Tenley and ran outside, dragging Faith with her. She ran into her house, slammed the door, and locked it. Sara looked up, startled.
"Darcy, what's wrong?" she asked.
"They set the house on fire! I went in to get Faith and-"
"Who set what on fire? And who's Faith?" Sara interrupted.
"This is Faith," Darcy said, jerking her thumb at her. "I know you don't remember her Mom, but that's because they brainwashed you. You'll remember later. She's your niece and she's Aunt Suzy's daughter and she's five."
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't worry Mom, you'll remember later. I went to their house to get Faith because I remembered everything. They brainwashed us that day you made me take Faith outside. Faith wanted to go inside but I tried to stop her but she did it anyway. And they made it so they forgot about Faith. They made Faith think she was their sister Holly. And I thought they were my friends but they were evil. And now the house is burning and what if Megan escaped? She'll kill me and Faith!"
Her mother glared at her. "This isn't funny, Darcy."
"No! Ask Faith, she'll tell you?"
"She's standing right there!" Darcy exclaimed.
Sara looked around, as if she couldn't plainly see Faith standing in front of her. She looked back at Darcy, frowning.
"Stop fooling around. There's no one in this room but you and me."
Darcy looked to see if maybe Faith snuck from the room, but she was still standing right beside her. "Mom, she's right here! Can't you see her?"
"Stop, Darcy!" Sara snapped. "You don't have a cousin named Faith, and there's nobody here but you and me."
Darcy looked at her in disbelief. Was she going blind?
"Listen, I'll show you the burning house!"
She grabbed her mother's hand and lead her to the door.
"There better be a burning house filled with torture items or you're in big trouble, Darcy!" Sara warned.
"There is. It's the Addison house."
"The Addison house!"
"Yes!" Darcy led her mother down the street and to the Addison house. When Sara saw it, the building was unharmed. It looked like it had never been lived in.
Sara stared as her daughter crazily pulled her inside the building, insisting they had burned it to the ground, that Megan and Caley and Tenley were inside it. Her daughter pulled her inside and made her look in the room where she claimed her imaginary cousin Faith had received brain shocks. Every room was empty. It should have been, because no one had lived in the house for sixty years.
Sara tried to reason with Darcy, but Darcy insisted her story was true. Sara knew it wasn't, because she didn't even have a sister named Suzy. There was no one in the house except for her and Darcy, yet Darcy insisted that two evil girls and an evil woman were burning down the house, holding her cousin prisoner.
Sara tried to believe Darcy was joking, but she knew she wasn't. Darcy believed her own story. She believed she was surrounded by invisible people in a burning house with a cousin who had never existed.