Member No.: 43,303
Joined: 26-December 08
Hello everyone! Welcome to my first fiction! YEY! Hope you like it! And, so you know, this is a MYSTERY. You need to read EVERYTHING to understand it. Otherwise things may not tie up in the end as they should. I'm VERY excited about this book and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do! Also, I wrote this a while back so...any grammer errors...just keep in mind it's like 100 years old:-)
My wonderful family who’s encouraged me from the beginning,
to my best friend Madelyn Trapp—for always being there for me,
to Brie and Rachel for helping
Richard Whittaker played by Jensen Ackles
Joseph Whittaker (main) played by Jared Padalecki
Fergis Harrison (Harry) Whittaker played by Josh Hutcherson (?)
Livian (Liv) Patterson played by Alexis Bledel
Ms. Johnson played by Nicole Kidman
“No!” the little boy screamed. He fought desperately as they took his brother away…
“Let him go!” he pleaded. “Let us go! Please...” he slowly slid down the bars in a sudden wave of hopelessness, sobbing. “Please... don’t!”
He tugged at the bars that caged him in the large, blinding room. He watched in horror as his brother was taken … the controller pointed at his chest…
There was a flash of light…
Then he was gone… his brother dead…
“No!” he screamed again—this time falling to his knees.
Piercing blue eyes suddenly made him freeze. The figure holding the devise pointed it at him.
“Be grateful I gave you mercy, boy…” the voice hissed. The figure came closer. “But don’t think your innocence taunts me. If you want to stay alive… you pray this’ll work the next test…”
The boy wiped away a burning tear, his deep eyes shining with pure loath. Blinking away more tears he looked up at the man … and under his breath—in barely a whisper, he said, “I hate you…”
The old house seemed to stare down at him, it’s door like a mouth, ready to succumb him to the shadows of it’s decrepit timbers. There seemed an unnatural energy, a force breathing from its wake, as if the house were alive. Thoughts of things unheard of began creeping through his mind. And so the twelve-year-old boy stood there, before that old abandoned house, frozen in fear. He wanted to run, get himself as far away as possible—but he couldn’t. He could only stand there and feel the bitter breeze of fear wash over him.
“Jeremiah?...” he croaked weakly in the house, as he heard thunder crash above him. “Richard?”
He waited. No reply. He slowly turned his head around to the sky. A storm was brewing, and it was coming on them fast. His brother Richard had better pick it up... It was one thing to explore a labeled ‘haunted’ house in the day... but it was a whole different experience at night. That’s when the shadows began to come alive.
He was just about to walk off the porch when lightning struck the ground before him not but a few yards away. That threw him off guard. He raced into that house, pushing his fear of the unseen aside. The lightning proved far more dangerous at the moment.
“Richard!” the boy cried, hiding in a corner of what was left of the foyer. “Richard get out of here now!”
Suddenly something made him freeze. He heard creaking and crashing from the second floor. It sounded like a struggle. He thought of his brother. He’s in trouble, was the first thought that came to mind. He could feel it.
Young Joseph Whittaker took a deep gulp of air and walked cautiously forward towards the staircase.
“Richard?” Joe stammered, stumbling up the stairs.
There was no answer. But the creaking and struggling kept him moving forward, cautiously, towards the door the sound was trapped behind. Every step his heart beat faster. He tried to swallow the fire burning in his stomach, but it only got worse. He came to the door and waited, trying to push his fears aside. Then all the sudden, the struggling stopped. Everything was unnaturally quiet all the sudden... except for the thunder which rained down on them outside.
Joe slowly pushed the door open. He instantly jumped back. There before him... was a shady, foggy character, looming up above him. It was a translucent being, a figure...a dead human. It was a ghost.
Joe cried out and ran. But before getting to the stairs he was tripped by an unsecured board, and he landed hard on the rotten timbers. He looked behind him and saw the figure coming nearer.
“Richard!” he screamed and shut his eyes.
He felt a pair of burly hands grab him by his shirt and thrust him to his feet.
“Come ‘er you little bugger!”
Joe opened his eyes and realized it wasn’t a ghost at all. It was just Jeremiah. He couldn’t help but sigh with relief. And yet... that didn’t seem like a good thing either.
Jeremiah began dragging him towards the room.
“Bastard...” Joe growled, struggling to get free from his grasp.
Jeremiah was the bully of their school. He and Joe’s older brother Richard had got into a nasty argument the morning before, and it ended in a dare... a dare Richard should’ve never accepted. They were forced to go inside the old haunted house on Ember Street and find the supposed body of Riley Adams in the third bedroom on the second floor. The only reason Joe was there was because Jeremiah wanted a kid involved—and to make it better Richard’s little brother. Jeremiah made both boys promise not to leave, or either one would pay. All in all, it wasn’t a good situation.
“Where’s Richard?” Joe spat.
“In the room, little boy,” Jeremiah laughed very wickedly, like the vulgar kid he was.
But his laugh was cut short by a familiar voice.
“You get your blood infected hands off my brother, Jeremiah!” Richard ordered.
Richard’s head was a little bruised, and there was a cut on his lip, but nothing too serious. Jeremiah on the other hand looked like he’d just been through a grinder.
“I will Cheese Boy if you give me what I want... and what you owe me.”
“He’s never owed you anything, Bullfrog!” Joe growled, wincing as Jeremiah clenched him tighter.
Jeremiah looked at Richard and shook his head, grinning.
“You’re brother’s got a loose tongue...”
“Just let him go,” Richard snapped. “I’ll give it.”
“Give what?” Jeremiah tested, smiling maliciously. “I wanna hear you say it... out loud.”
Richard rolled his eyes and sighed.
“Dammit Jeremiah! I’ll give you my allowance for the next two months!” He walked forward towards his brother. “Now are ya happy?”
Jeremiah backed away, still clenching Joe. He smiled.
“Not yet...” he gripped Joe harder. “You swear on it Whittaker. You swear on it!” He backed farther away. “Because if you tell your daddy or mommy about any of this...” he thrust Joe out at his brother. Richard caught him in his arms before he went colliding into the nearby wall. Jeremiah smiled and nodded towards Joe. “...I’ll make sure that adorable little brother of yours gets a good taste of who’s alpha here.”
“Don’t you get him in this!” Richard stormed rushing forward. Joe stopped him from going any further.
“Oh... I’ll be sure to,” Jeremiah grinned, getting in his face. “He’s small enough I could flush him down a toilet. And you know very well Richard, that ain’t a good position to be in...don’t you?”
“You know, let me tell you something Bullfrog,” Richard fumed. “I ain’t afraid of you. You may think your somethin’ special...but you’re not.”
Joe grabbed his brother.
“Richard stop...” he whispered. “It isn’t worth it...”
There was a moment’s pause.
“You know Cheese Boy...” Jeremiah paused, a new light in his eyes. Joe could feel the tension between them. He could see Jeremiah’s anger radiating through the room. And then he saw something he didn’t expect. Hidden behind Jeremiah’s dark eyes was hurt. Jeremiah looked away. “...That’s exactly what my dad says about me... and I’m not gonna let him be right...”
He at that turned and simply walked away. Both brothers stood there, standing transfixed in almost a trance, surprised. Jeremiah had never been one to walk away from an argument. But he had made his point. And they could tell it hurt.
“Well Richard...” Joe finally signed. “I think that shows there’s a ‘root to all evil’, as they say.”
He began making his way to the staircase.
“Why are you here Joey?” Richard’s voice rang like thunder behind him. He had that serious tone Joe hated.
“Jeremiah,” Joe said, taking a step down, cringing as he heard the rotten board beneath his foot squeal from the weight. “He made me promise...”
“The bastard...” Richard growled, following him.
“It wasn’t a very hard decision. I agreed... though the ghost didn’t make matters any better...”
“The what?” Richard cried over the thunder that had muffled out his brother’s words.
Joe sighed and shook his head.
“Just promise me you’ll never do some stupid dare like this again. I don’t much care for... um... ‘haunted’ houses.”
“I did what I had to do Joe. But I’m going to make sure not to get you involved again. I promise. And no more haunted houses late at night. You have my word.”
Joe grinned, then paused for a second.
“Thanks... by the way,” he said, turning around just before he landed on the last step.
“For what?” Richard asked confused.
“For saving me,” Joe smiled. “You spent your whole two months worth of allowance on me. I must be pretty special.”
Richard patted his brother on the back and grinned to himself.
“You always will be little bro...”
8 Years Later...
“You’ve got to be kidding me...”
“What?” Richard Whittaker looked over at his younger brother. Joe suddenly looked stressed.
“It just had to be a haunted mansion, didn’t it?” Joseph Whittaker sighed as their cab drove into the driveway of the 1850’s hotel. It loomed above them in the night in an almost unearthly manner as the rain pelted down on it. The glow of lights inside the mansion made the house look eerie...almost alive. The place seemed as cold as the stone that shaped it, Joe thought, feeling suddenly like everything on his inside wanted to be on his outside.
Richard saw Joe wince and grasp his side with a hand.
“You feeling sick?” he inquired.
“Um... uh. No I’m fine,” Joe panted, his eyes squeezed shut. “My body just doesn’t react well to the word ‘haunted’.”
His older brother at that gave him one of those “are you freakin’ kidding?” glances and laughed.
“C'mon, Joey boy, get over it,” he said patting him on the back. “Look...” he said pointing to it. “It’s just a mansion.”
Joe opened his eyes and looked up at the massive walls. Just looking the place sent a billion different mysteries reeling through his head.
“Doesn’t seem like just any old mansion to me, Richard,” Joe muttered, not too thrilled about their vacation spot already.
“Aren’t scared are you, Joe?” their youngest brother Harry taunted playfully.
Joe instantly twisted around and glared at him.
“I’m not scared,” he retorted, crossing his arms defensively.
“Yep, it’s an unusual place,” said the driver, not helping Joe feel any better. “They just recently made it back into a hotel. For a while it just stood there, abandoned and mysterious. But the owner finally decided to fix it up about five years ago, and now it’s a thriving hotel. People been sayin’ they’ve seen stuff in there—like ghosts and all that, but no one ever hears from those guests again. Kinda’ odd if you ask me. But either way it’s a first rate place to stay. And don’t you go believin’ those things about ghosts boys, ‘cause they ain’t true.”
Joe glanced over at his older brother, Richard. He hoped he’d see some hint of worry in his face, but as usual Richard was perfectly calm.
“Thank you sir for your time,” Richard said in his fake gentleman-like manner, getting out of the cab. Joe followed him, and lastly came Harry.
“Dad could’ve warned us ahead of time it was ‘haunted’,” Joe muttered, shoving his hands in the pockets of his coat as they made their way up the steps to the revolving glass doors.
“Warn us?” Harry snorted. “What’re you thinking? Some ghost is gonna strangle you in your sleep? He wouldn’t have any reason to... unless he’s some psycho-murderer back from the dead, which in that case... I would watch your back...”
Harry opened his mouth in surprise, seeing Joe took it perfectly serious.
“Joe I was just messing with you.” Harry smiled. “I don’t understand why you’re so worried about this stuff...”
Joe didn’t reply at first. He had that dead stare... when you knew he was fixed on something important.
“I’m just cautious. That’s all,” Joe admitted.
“Uh-huh,” Richard hummed, unconvinced. “When did you suddenly start freaking out about this kind of stuff, Joey? C’mon. We all know the tough kid you are,” he playfully smacking him in the shoulder with a fist. “Now...what’s the big deal about this whole ghost business?”
Joe just shook his head and walked forward.
“Joe it’s just people trying to get attention... that’s all,” Richard called after him.
But before someone could comment, all three suddenly stopped in awe at the scene before them as they stepped into the foyer. Inside was beautiful. The carpets were crimson red, and the furniture intricately carved cherry oak. There was a huge glimmering chandelier above them, and in front of them down the foyer was the grand staircase.
The front desk was to their right. Richard, followed by the others, walked up to the woman standing behind it.
“Welcome to the Melone Hotel,” she said with a sort of pleasant smile. She was around forty and had blond hair. Joe couldn’t help but study her for a second. She seemed stiff.
She smiled at each boy... and then her eyes fell on him. Joe couldn’t help but shiver. They were cold, penetrating blue eyes that seemed to search his very soul.
“How may I help you boys?”
The three boys assumed a very rigid stance, knowing this lady wouldn’t tolerate any fooling around.
“We’re looking for our father, Reginald Tyson Whittaker?” Richard spoke up. He could easily put on a professional voice. “He sent us here to meet him?”
Her brows furrowed in surprise, and her gaze suddenly shifted to Joe. She studied him for some reason. Then after a moment she shook her head, as if coming out of a trance. She nodded and smiled.
“Awe,” she said, a look of excitement on her face. The boys didn’t know they were so popular. “So you’re the great Detective’s sons?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Richard answered. The others just nodded.
“So what’s it like having a father so renowned?” she asked after paging Mr. Whittaker’s room. “Do you guys get to help solve any of his cases?”
“Not… usually,” Richard said, looking slightly uncomfortable. Most of their fathers business was very confidential; he didn’t talk about it much with other people. And to be honest, their father never really told them anything he was doing either. It seemed natural that they should know more about their father then others outside their home. But they didn’t. Most of the time they were in the dark just as much as the people around them.
Richard stole a glance back at his brothers. Harry was standing quietly as usual. Joe on the other hand had wandered off to a painting on the opposite wall. Richard wanted to strangle him as he saw his younger brother running his fingers down the portrait. Joe could never seem to hold himself back from touching things.
“Joseph!” Richard scolded. “Get over here!”
Joe turned and walked to them, his hazel eyes wide with either excitement or horror—Richard couldn’t tell.
“Is that a picture of the first owner?” Joe quickly asked the woman.
“Indeed,” she said. “Mrs. Scarlett Vona Glen. She was my great, great, great grandmother.”
All three boys stared at her.
“Hold on...you’re a relative?” Joe asked, astounded. “So you’re owner then?”
“The Melone was eventually passed down to my mother—who wanted nothing to do with it, then down to me. I fixed it back up to a hotel as it once was. This place holds more than just memories—”
“Mrs. Scarlett’s ghost?” Joe guessed.
Richard's head snapped around and glared back at him.
“Joe...” he growled, “enough!”
“I’ve told all our guests this,” Ms. Johnson explained seriously, “and I’ll also tell you. No matter what people say, there are no ghosts in this hotel. I assure you, you’re all perfectly safe here.” Then she looked away, and her gaze fell on the portrait. “I don’t believe in the unseen...” she whispered.
Just then Mr. Whittaker walked up. He always looked professional. He was fitted in a formal suit and his normally curly brown hair was flattened to the side. His face beamed with a smile as he saw his sons—admitting his handsome features.
Richard and Harry automatically rushed forward to greet their father. But Joe held back. Mr. Whittaker noticed this.
“You must be proud Mr. Whittaker,” Ms Johnson suddenly admitted. “Your boys seem to be very fine young men.”
Mr. Whittaker looked at her surprised.
“Thank you Ms Johnson. I’m honored you think so. I expect they’ll prove themselves worthy guests.”
“I would hope to think so, Mr. Whittaker,” she smiled turning and walking away.
“So why exactly are we here again?” Joe asked his father, a little irritated. He probably was the only one who would’ve been satisfied with staying home.
“I thought you’d like staying with me a while...get away from things back home,” Mr. Whittaker answered. “I bet everything’s gotten a little rusty since I’ve been gone. So I thought I’d give you a vacation.”
“It sure beats doing nothing but school,” Harry added.
“It’ll be a blast,” Richard said with a touch of sarcasm. Then he looked at Joe’s worried expression. “Except for Joseph here. He’s not too thrilled about the whole ‘haunted’ business.”
Mr. Whittaker walked over to Joe, grinning, and put an arm around him.
“Awe, c'mon now Joe,” he said. “Where’s that adventurous side of you we all know of?” He gave him a small knock in the shoulder with a fist, making Joe feel more uncomfortable. His dad was putting on an act. He was never so ‘jolly good’ like this at home. “If I remember correctly you’re the kid who used to swallow quarters so he could brag to all his friends...and you tell me now you’re afraid of some ghost that doesn't exist?” He glanced at Richard and Harry with a grin. “I’m surprised at you son. You’ve always been the stronger out of the three boys.” He patted him. “Now where’s that enthusiasm I want to see? Hmm? Put back on Joseph Whittaker and stop being a wimp. You’re eighteen, boy, get over it.”
Joe grinned stiffly.
“Sure,” he said, unconvinced.
Nobody could understand the feeling he had...
Next morning Richard and Joe were the first up. They met their father in the foyer downstairs just as they were making their way to the dining hall. Mr. Whittaker seemed in a hurry.
“Listen boys,” he said quickly. “I know I told you we’d go downtown today, but I have a last minute appointment that I have to catch. It’s concerning… an old case. I’ll try to be back in a reasonable hour, but while I’m gone...” he looked at Richard, “watch on the two younger boys will you son?”
“But dad…” Joe protested, stepping forward after him, “you promised...”
“I never promised anything son,” Mr. Whittaker said back. “I paid for your flight tickets and board here. I had hoped we’d have some time together. But as head of my division, it’s my duty to do my job when situations arise. Now you need to accept that.”
Joe just stood there, staring, his irritation growing stronger.
“So we came three-thousand miles…away from mom, away from school, away from friends...for nothing?” he finally spoke up, trying desperately the keep his emotions from erupting.
His father whipped around suddenly and eyed him.
“Son you need to understand that things don’t always happen the way we want them to. I can’t just throw away this case...”
“Yes you can!” Joe suddenly snapped, walking closer, the hurt apparent in his eyes. “Assign one of your men to do the job. That’s what they’re for! If you’d just…” Joe stopped himself and turned away, letting his boiling nerves calm a bit. “You may save the rest of the world dad...but maybe we’re the ones falling off a cliff... and you’re too far away to realize that...” Joe turned and walked toward the stairs.
As Mr. Whittaker left, Richard rushed after his brother. Near the top of the stairs he finally grabbed Joe by the arm and twisted him around.
“What was that?” Richard cried. “Are you trying to make things worse?”
“Oh I’m making things worse?” Joe laughed with heated antagonism. He pointed toward the door. “Dad’s the one abandoning us!” He shoved his brother off. “Again disappointed...again false promises. It’s the same old, same old, Richard. Happens every time.”
Richard rolled his eyes and shifted about, refusing to believe him. The worst thing he could do was let Joe win. This wasn’t the kind of conclusion he wanted his younger brother resolving to.
“Richard...” Joe went on. “What’s he doing? If he really cared... if he really wanted the best for us—wouldn’t he put everything else aside when it came to his own children?”
“He’s helping other people, Joey,” Richard argued. He shoved his hands in his jeans. “If you haven’t noticed, dad’s not your average guy, okay? He doesn’t sit around reading the paper or watching CBS news with Will Tammitha like everyone else. He’s making news, Joe. He’s helping others in desperate, dangerous situations...putting his life on the line for this nation. Somebody’s got to do the nasty stuff, Joey. And you know as well as I, he’s one of the damn best out there. Quitting could cost lives, Joe. Think about it.”
Joe rolled his eyes and shook his head in protest.
“If you can’t handle that...” Richard crossed his arms and eyed him like he always did when he gave his ‘big-brother’ speech, “...you’re just selfish as far as I’m concerned.”
Joe suddenly glared at him.
“And this is coming from the great detective’s son who’s going to law school...” Joe spat, “just like daddy. The ol' man’s favorite... naturally...”
Richard clenched his fists and stepped forward.
“Someone give you a verbal abuse pill or something?” he hissed, irritated. “When did you suddenly get all hot over this? What the hell Joe? It’s my life! Okay? I understand your hurting Joe, but don’t take that anger for dad on me okay? If you have a problem with my decisions, then you'd better suck it up right now Joey!”
Joe stepped closer.
“When are you going to just fess up,” he suddenly snapped, “and tell me that the only reason you’re doing this is because you don’t want to be rejected from dad’s world like I have!”
Richard sighed heavily and look away.
“He hasn’t rejected you Joe...”
“Yes he has Richard!” Joe cried. “It’s right in my face. He doesn’t trust me...and yet he trusts Harry... he trusts you. He’s never tried coming to any of my games, and still he somehow gets to your wrestling matches. He doesn’t help me in school, but when it comes to Harry he’s suddenly more then willing. I can’t remember the last time he played a game of basketball with me Richard...” Richard looked down. That hurt in Joe’s eyes was worse then a punch in the face. “All I’ve ever wanted Richard was for someone to be there to admire and encourage me...and dad has never been one of those people. And the sad truth of it is, he should be. But you know the reason why? It's because he wanted all his sons to admire him, be just like him...but I'm not ever gonna be like him. Not with the way he's proved himself as a father to me.”
Richard felt as if he was being choked.
“I can’t say anything to change your mind Joey...” Richard said slowly and carefully. “You’ve got to make that decision yourself. But I will tell you this: dad is only trying to protect you. He loves you more then you know...it’s just...” he sighed. “He’s already been hurt once...and he doesn’t want be hurt again. He’s afraid Joe.”
Joe stood there, staring at him, completely confused.
“You’re...not making any sense Richard,” he stammered. “What are you saying?”
Richard turned away, and then briefly looked back at him.
“It’s not for me to say Joey...” and then he walked the rest of the steps to the second floor... leaving Joe to ponder his meaning.
So I'm really excited to hear what you guys think!! It gets REALLY exciting as you go... so just hang in there. Also this chapter is so old it makes me cring...
This a little slow at the moment... BUT BELIEVE ME I'm known for my cliffys (cliffhangers).