Genre: Horror & Supernatural
Main Characters: Saraline Roche (1836), Sárán Roche, Arielle Laur, Saraline Laur (2012)
Secondary Characters: Maimeó (Nana), Sonia, Hayes O’Brigan, and Rorke (the beautiful Irish Setter).
Time Period: Over a period of 179 years
Synopsis: Three timelines each telling a story about one piece of the puzzle. There are three questions you should ask yourself:
- Where did the child come from?
- Who is the dark shadowy figure?
- Where did she bury the bones?
Saraline had paused from her internet searching for a moment while she looked out the window of the train. She had been on the staring at her screen for the past 30 minutes straight, researching and decided to give her eyes a break. She had left Gare Montparnasse with her parents this morning. They were in their car towards the head of the train, but Saraline never enjoyed sitting couped up in those small spaces and preferred to sit out by the windows. She had now been sitting in the same spot on the train already for about two hours, still had another hour to go on the train, and another hour in the car after that to reach her home for the summer.
But, she wasn’t complaining.
The scenery was even more beautiful than she had originally thought it would be. I mean it was pretty obvious that it would be lush and green and open, but she didn’t think she could describe into words the beauty of the rolling hills she’s been seeing for hundreds of miles. There were rows and rows of vineyards that she had been seeing since they got further and further away from Paris. The city had fallen away piece by piece. The buildings had gotten smaller and smaller. It truly was amazing to see almost layers of the city change to homes and then to country and now to vineyards.
Listen to me. As if I’ve never traveled by train before and seen these sights.
Of course she had. She had gone on many a trip with her father and mother, and of course her grandparents. Her grandfather was a politician and traveled a lot to different parts of France to meet with different people across the country. She sometimes enjoyed being able to join them, but sometimes it was way too boring for her. She wasn’t really a fan of politics, but learning first hand about changes or new legislation that is coming out is incredibly interesting to her.
Who knows. Maybe I’ll be a politician someday.
She laughed knowing full well that that wasn’t even in the realm of possibility. She wanted to write. And that’s all she wanted to do. She wanted to uncover the stories of those who had lost their lives to whatever had happened to them and tell their story.
I guess you could say that I want to tell the stories of those who have died and moved beyond those still her on Earth.
Saraline felt that the same stories were told over and again in history but that there were so many different pieces to the puzzle, that millions of tiny stories got lost in the mix and never even get the chance to be told. That’s why she is more than excited to look into this story at her grandmother’s home. It’s a piece of her family’s puzzle that she wants to be able to uncover and to be able to share with her parents and grandparents.
Saraline shifted her gaze back from the window to her laptop once more, continuing to look up history about Bordeaux. It was another beautiful part of France it seemed. Full of vineyards and culture that many travels came from other countries to enjoy. Their soon-to-be home was a couple miles outside of Saint-Emilion, which was about 40 kilometers east of Bordeaux. Researching Saint-Emilion was even more of an experience for Saraline with its quaint and homey location and building that still stood. Never mind that Saint-Emilion is a town that specialized in red wine, which was what her father was looking to grow his own crop for, but Saint-Emilion held a lot of history, and Saraline was excited to learn all about it the longer she lived in Bordeaux, or more precisely, Saint-Emilion.
For the next hour, Saraline looked up the different places that she was looking forward to visiting once she made it to the house and was officially settled in. There was so much to do to just settle in that she hoped it wouldn’t be too long until she would get to explore at least the grounds where she was staying.
Besides, I need to find that ghost.
Her mother can father came to find her about 15 minutes left in the journey to make sure she had eaten and was ready for the drive. Although they both said they had wanted to stop in Bordeaux and eat, they both wanted to get to the house as soon as possible to make sure that everything was in order for construction tomorrow. Saraline had told them it was fine as she had eaten and even had half of a sandwich to bring with her. She made sure she was always prepared for everything.
Less than two hours later Saraline was looking out the window of two giant white buildings. It seems that one was much larger than the other, the one on the left, and that construction workers were already there, unloading materials, equipment and even big giant cranes. Both buildings sat on top of a hill and looked down on a few other hills. All of this was surrounded by thick forest trees. It was like the buildings were hidden in such a way to be able to watch down on the grounds at all times.
Well, it was a reform school to begin with, so that makes perfect sense.
The driver took the family of three past the buildings and to a smaller building that was on one of the smaller hills. It was a bit of a wind down to the home, but it seemed that the location of the home in between the trees offered safety centuries back. It was a two story home with more windows than Saraline could count from where she was sitting. The home was very big, which surprised her. She had been more expecting a more cottage-like home, not a large, spacious mansion with so much life to it.
It was if the house was breathing. It was a strange though for Saraline to have, but it was the truth. It seemed the home had a way of keeping the secrets of it many occupants while serving as a place of solitude and peace. It really was no wonder why this is where her great-great-great-grandmother had chosen to live out her last days.
The car pulled up to the front of the home, and an older woman with white hair walked out the front door as the driver turned off the engine. She would have to be Mabelle Quine. She was the housekeeper or was going to be. She had been in charge of visiting her grandmother’s home every season to get the house ready for any seasonal changes. Saraline’s father knew that Mabelle knowing the house as well as she did would be a great start for someone to take care of it while they were there.
Although she was always excited to meet new people, Saraline wanted nothing more than to walk inside of those walls, take out her recorder and invite the walls to talk and tell their secrets. She was so sure that she would have a ghost story on her hands that she had no doubts.
Honestly, look at this place and tell me it is screaming with a story ready to tell.
“Good afternoon Sir and Madam. I am Mabelle and am please to finally be to able to meet you both.” Once Saraline officially said hello and greeted Mabelle in the second round of introductions between them, Saraline turned her focus back to the house.
The four of them walked into the house—her father saying goodbye to the driver and tipping him before walking into the house—each with bags in their hands for the stay. Saraline’s eyes didn’t know where to look first when walked into the house with so much history to it. The paintings, the photographs, the items on the tables, in cabinets. Everywhere she looked she felt like there were thousands of years worth of stories that needed to be told.
Even as her parents went with Mabelle to the kitchen, talking about the plans for tomorrow, Saraline decided to continue on and enjoy her own tour. She found her way into a living room or two, a cleaning room a half dozen closets, and then she came across a study. THE study, actually. It had to have been her grandmother’s personal study because of the way it looked. It wasn’t a room that had furniture and books and other items placed in perfect order to make sure any visitor would find it spotless. Instead, this study was lived in. It was comfortable. It felt like home. Saraline could almost smell flowers and was sure that scent must have belonged to her grandmother. Everything in the room fit together to shape the perfect room. From the desk and its seat to the rug on the floor, Saraline knew her grandmother had spent most of her time in the room.
As Saraline looked around the room, she noted the different paintings and photographs that lined certain areas of the room, whether on the desk or on a shelf, and that’s when she noticed the large painting of a young man sitting on the wall behind her grandmother’s desk. She hadn’t seen it at first, which she thought was odd. How had she missed something that so clearly dominated the room?
It was a painting of a young man, standing outside in front of what looked like the forest that surrounded the house. He had very intense eyes. Etched into the wood was something gold, shiny and round. Saraline started walking toward the painting and realized that by her third step, the room had actually gotten colder.
That’s strange. Why all of a sudden, in this room? Could it be grandma?
Saraline stopped walking once she got to the middle of the room, just on the other side of her grandmother’s desk. The temperature seemed to settle and not continue to get colder, although it definitely didn’t get warmer. Without moving closer, she looked at the photographs that were positioned around the painting. Two in particular caught her eye. One showed the home they were standing in with the entire right side of the house burned down. It was a black and white photo, but Saraline could see it was the same home because of the large windows on the left side. The other photograph was of the home as it was now. Restored and homey.
Saraline pulled Jed from her pocket and clicked on record, “Research the story of the fire that happened here, burning down the right side of the house. Also, who is this man in the painting?” As she asked the question, she saw a small inscription on the wood. Saraline took a step forward—
What was that?!
Saraline turned her head quickly to her left. She saw a figure standing by one of the cabinet of books. Dark hair. Dark clothes. That’s all she saw.
Saraline smiled to herself, clicking on Jed, “I just saw a dark figure standing in my grandmother’s study, which just happened to have turned cold moments before. I have to say, this is definitely a great way to start my ghost hunt.”