It was with great unease that I agreed on that day to assist Gerard in his research. I did set my mind to it though, and made a vow to myself to see this mystery solved, no matter how daunting or fearful it might become! Someone or something had caused our world to change and I was as determined in my own way as Gerard was in his, to find out the cause?
For the immediate time, we had to make some rather quick decisions on how to go forth on this project. The group of us sat down together and tried to develop some sort of plan. John’s greatest concern was ensuring our safety? As we were not quite sure what all we were facing, he thought it wisest to stay in groups, not venture anywhere on our own. He also wanted Gerard to give us some detail on which parts of the Castle were deemed to be the most affected? Was there some way of guaging that? Gerard stated that he had some highly sensitive equipment that would measure the energy fluctuations and such in various parts of the Castle.
During this discussion, Judith and Elizabeth, perhaps suffering from their own nervousness, looked at each other and laughed as they sang some sort of odd little song about ghost busters? At one point we had to stop our quite serious meeting because their song had distracted the men. Soon all of them were laughing and singing this strange song together? I was obviously the only person who was informed on this seemingly hilarious song and it’s apparent meaning to our current situation? Needless to say, I was not amused! I just sat and stared at them in some puzzlement and frustration until they finally stopped what I construed as their untimely and improper humor. Perhaps it was because I have always had a more serious nature, or most probably that I did not understand the song or their humor in it. It certainly was not a good feeling to be the only one to seem not to be a part of this? It brought back memories of always feeling somewhat like an outsider looking in at others, never feeling like I quite belonged anywhere?
My self defense for this feeling was one of putting up my walls of propriety and proper behavior. John stopped laughing and reached out to me, sensing my distress. He kindly explained that the song was from a movie of the current times about a group of people who hunted ghosts. He sighed and stroked my hand when I still expressed some annoyance. “Eleanor, it is probably good to find some humor in the gravest of situations? It tends to cut the fear enough for one to deal with it easier?”
I nodded my head in agreement, but was more upset with myself than them? I silently wondered if I should ever fit in anywhere? It was not a comfortable feeling to have! All of the group seemed to understand and tried to reassure me that in time, I would fit in fine and find my own unique place within this new world. I was not at all sure if I agreed with them. In fact, there were times when I wondered whether I wanted to fit in this world? Those were thoughts and doubts which I must set aside for a later time though. For now, I must stay focused on the perilous matter before us right now!
We all returned our attention to the seriousness that we were facing. Gerard told us that some of the strongest energies and affects were coming from the Great recieiving hall where we had earlier witnessed those glowing medallions? Besides that room, the side yards were full of disturbances, as well as the tower rooms above the chapel, and of course the deeper dungeons? John suggested that for the time being, we should avoid those areas as much as possible. That was easily agreed upon, no one really wanted to venture to those places anyway!
My main concern was as I had suggested much earlier… With so many who had held this place as one of great distress or pain, how could we begin to know who might still be wandering here? I brought up the two small boys that had been seen… this was a difficult task and as I looked around the room, I was aware that the others were thinking the same possibility? Bradley and Richard were sitting close together looking very pained and it appered they were trying to hold each other steady in their thoughts. I knew it had to be approached and I chose my words carefully, “It is my thought that we might probably know who those boys are? I would assume from what Gerard has explained, that they are lost and unsure of what they should do?” Everyone silently nodded as I went on, “They may be lost, but they most likely know something that has mystified all for ages? Perhaps that is why they are still here? Perhaps, as well as being lost, they feel a need to tell us something?”
I saw a very grieving look wash over Gerard and knew that he was thinking of his sister, Marie and her involvement of the past event. Surprising myself, I made attempt to ease his troubled thoughts, “As John so oft reminds me, we should not judge any until we know the facts of what has happened? All we know right now is that Marie was responsible for taking the two of you out of the Castle. That does not mean that she was responsible for any harm that came to the other two boys?” I could see that my attempt seemed to have little affect on Gerard’s pain. There was little else I could do for now, only hope that he did not let it affect him too much?
I had another question that was bothering me, “So, that would explain the boys, and I do not think they are any true cause for such enormous energy affects? My question is, Who is the woman with them? Could she be connected to them, or could she be just another lost soul who has chosen to befriend them and look out for them?” I looked at Gerard for an answer, “Is that sort of thing possible? Would a ghostly spirit feel the same compassion in that in between world that one might feel in our realm? Or would they only be concerned or focused on their own errant thoughts to guide them?”
Gerard was pulled from his pain to think about this and reply, “I am quite sure that it is entirely possible for them to feel that which they might have in their life? And, if they have spent such amounts of time together wandering the Castle, they may have formed some type of bond?” He went on, “From the sound of it, they seem to be together much of the time and have posed no threat, other than startling those who encounter them? It would appear on the surface that they are not intent on harm or threat to anyone but more in search of something or someone?”
Elizabeth stepped in with her own thoughts at this time, “I think that we need to research the histories of those who spent time here, those who died here, and those who may have suffered here? That would give us some idea of who may still be lingering here and maybe their reasons?” We agreed with her theory and she added, “You know, this Castle goes much farther back than the time that you are currently concerned about… I think that some of it’s troubles may go much further and deeper into the past than you all realize?”
Gerard looked at her with concern and asked, “I know it is ancient but, how far back does the trouble lie? I was not aware of any real problems much prior to when the Yorks chose to reside here.”
Elizabeth rubbed her head as though it was starting to ache, “The Yorks chose to reside here because it was a long held and disputed Royal holding. From the ancient texts I have been able to decipher so far, it goes back as far as before Eleanor of Aquitane and Henry II. It has been the site of various disputes from the Danes, the Scots, and the Normans as well as the English?”
She pursed her lips and then frowned, “I think this Castle is haunted by more than just ghosts?” We gave her a puzzled look and she explained, “As I said it has been the site of many disputes, both political and personal? Many of those disputes ended with harsh vows, threats of revenge and curses upon others in vicious life long grudges and hatred? Many of those curses came at a time when, even though people did not appear to have any powers, they had them much closer to the surface than people of now?” She looked around to see if we were comprehending what she was saying. It was dawning on us what she was getting to?
She continued, “Everyone, even the most untrained, and the non-believers, understand the basics of how words can have more power than physical actions? It is a common knowledge to be careful of what you cast out in curses for it will return to haunt you?” Her meanings were becoming quite clear to us, “Those threats and vows were thrown out by those who might have been powerful and not even realized it at the time? Of course, too there were those who knew and kept it to themselves… those who knew just how powerful their words might be? This Castle is full of those words as well as by these spirits!”
As if this was not bad enough to think of, she was not finished… “The other concern is of where this Castle is located? There are references to it being built here for the exact reasons of it being a sacred place of powerful energies?” Elizabeth ran her fingers through her hair, tipped back her head and groaned in a frustrated sigh, “A lot of the text is of course written in the ancient languages of the time and I can’t make out all of it? But, what little I can translate keeps referring to some ancient lost civilizations using this area as a base or port?”
We looked over at Gerard and John, who seemed to be having their own intense private conversation about this? Elizabeth eyed Gerard suspiciously and asked, “What are you not telling us? I can tell you’re trying to avoid something!”
Gerard gave his own groan of frustration, “I am not trying to hide anything! I just was not aware that place had that connection?” He rubbed his forehead in agitation, “It seems you are one step, or many… ahead of me now in this research!” His agitation most likely came from the fact that he did not like to admit that some of Elizabeth’s thinking far surpassed his? “Many researchers and scholars have long held the belief that many areas of the British Isles hold mysterious energy patterns and powers along with much ancient secrets going further back than anyone truly knows how to date? If what you are saying proves true, then this place is being affected by far more than we realize?”
Elizabeth still seemed unsatisfied and suspicious of John and Gerard. As was I by now… their looks at each other were ones of caution and they appeared to be in some sort of agreement of keeping something back? Elizabeth glared at Gerard, “I am pretty sure there is something else you’re hiding…and I am also fairly sure that I am probably not going to like it? Which is why you’re refusing to talk about it right now!”
Gerard and John both groaned in unison along with Bradley and Richard… I glowered at all of them, “All of you know something of importance which you deem unfitting for the rest of us as mere women to know? That could bode badly for you all in the future!”
John finally spoke up in his formal commander’s voice as I termed it, “The part which we know of, we can not speak of right now… it has to do with the High Council. This is a matter that we must approach with them first?”
Elizabeth’s answer was just as firm as she calmly and quite politely responded, “Well, that is fine… Perhaps you could inform the council that we may refuse to be of any further assistance until such a time as we are allowed to know exactly what else is going on?” She motioned for Judith and I to follow her as she went to leave the room. On her way out, she smiled sweetly and added, “When you have reached a decision, you can find us in my apartment?”
We left and chose to walk back through the Great receiving hall, even though we had all decided that it should be avoided. In our haste to leave the men, we had forgotten about that decision? When we entered the hall, we were taken by surprise to find that ghostly woman standing there by herself now in front of the thrones? She appeared to be lost in her own thoughts, her own world and not aware of us… All that I could do was gasp in some awe and terror! I knew who this woman was! I had seen her at the court of Henry VIII! It was all I could do to restrain myself from any noise or action? I did not want to see her and I did not want to see the visions that flashed through my mind either!
Our initial gasps had brought the men following us into the room and they stood there as silently stunned as we women were. Not wanting to startle her, we just stood there for a few moments watching her.
My thoughts were scrambled between fear and some sort of understanding of what she was feeling? I had been at the court of Henry VIII during his worst times of disposing of unwanted wives… it was during that time when Marie had been one of his mistresses, pinning her not rational hopes on bearing him a son? Even she, who had such high ambitions for herself, did not have intent to be a wife of his? As she had put it once, she rather liked her head attached to her body and her alive status… no, for her it would have been more than enough to have born a son where his wives could not? Marie had seen that his previous mistress on bearing him a son, had fared rather well and kept herself alive… that was enough for Marie to reach for! Unfortunately, Marie had produced yet another girl and it was then that she decided to cut her losses and head us back to France as quickly as she could?
As I looked upon this woman now, I thought that Marie had most likely taken the wisest path at the time, knowing what his wife, Anne had given up for her ambitions and those of her family?
Quite as suddenly as she had appeared in an earthly form, she faded into more ghostly image and was joined by the boys and another woman? This woman looked wild, unkept, and in much distress and panic? If I knew her in the past, she was unrecognizable now in this form. I heard harsh gasps however, from Gerard and the other men? I felt fear but could not decipher quite who it came from, the men or the woman blindly reaching out towards them and me? I looked upon her once more though it was painful and saw a faint glimmer of a past person there… I heaved my own wretching gasp of fear at this sight of Marie! It seemed that even the other spirits were in some fear of her and gave her wide berth? The boys acted much agitated and Anne appeared to be attempting to calm them?