Monday, January 15, 2018

Series 8/Chapter 11: BODY, MIND, SOUL


At the old house on the Collinwood land, the walls seemed to ache with their ancient pain from all of the suffering and darkness they stood witness to for over 300 years. Down in the basement, more secrets were being revealed as Curtis Winters exposed himself to being the fully grown child of Kat and Caleb: Canan Collins.

Kat, was had been tied up for trying to free Siobhan from the coffin Kim had locked her in, was still in a confused daze. She felt that maybe she had heard the man standing above her wrong.

"What are you talking about? My son is a 1 year old child!" Kat said, jumping to her feet and quickly releasing Curtis' grip on her arm.

"That's what you've been led to believe, yes. But the baby you brought home with you from 1920 is not your child. He was switched with me before you even traveled back from the past. You had no idea who you were bringing home." Curtis quickly explained.

"That's insane! Who are you? What are you doing here anyway?" Kat questioned as she looked around the basement for answers to what was happening.

"Mom, listen..." Curtis began before being cut off by Kat again.

"Stop that! Don't call me that. I've seen and experienced some insane things since I've become a member of this family but this takes the cake. There is no way you are my child. We're practically the same age!" Kat complained.

"I can imagine that this is shocking, confusing, horrifying even. But the fact of the matter is, bending time to time travel causes break in the normal flow of how time passes. When Victoria took me from Collinsport and into the time vortex to 1920, she bent that time fragment--it was bent again when you followed, then one more time when you all came back. When you arrived in Collinsport in 1920, it wasn't right after Victoria  had arrived, months had actually past. She had already hidden me away without telling anyone and switched me with another woman's child. She knew Barnabas would come after her. And she was right." Curtis explained.

"No, you have to be lying. This cannot be true!" Kat said, her eyes filling with tears as what Curtis was saying seemed plausible. "Who was the other baby? Who did I bring home?" Kat questioned.

"Claudia Bochard's child. Before She left Collinsport in this time period, she had a relationship." Curtis said.

"Yes, with Christopher Reed." Kat confirmed.

"From that relationship she became pregnant. When she arrived in 1920, Victoria had already planned out the switch.  Claudia gave birth to the baby boy, Victoria arrived, switched us and when you came you took her baby back home and I was left in 1920." Curtis explained.

"And Claudia never knew before she died." Kat said sadly.

"Claudia is not dead. She's alive, she survived the gunshot and secretly returned back to this time period. You know her as Sasha Beaufort." Curtis said adding to Kat's shock

"No....  no....this cannot be real. This cannot be real!" Kat said, her mind racing with the developments pouring into her head.

"Vickie knew all along what she was doing. When she returned to Collinsport from 1920 she told everyone she was going back to New York with her father Joseph. She was there for a while, but then went back and raised me herself. Away from all of you." Curtis explained.

"She kidnapped you to make sure you were raised away from the Collins family, and by switching you, and raising you herself, she succeeded." Kat said, the dots finally connecting.

"That's right. Vickie finally came clean to me and told me she wasn't my mother. She explained to me where I really came from and everything started to click for me. I never felt like I belonged where I lived. And I was right. I came back to this time period about a month ago, readjusted to this period and then started to reconnect with everyone in my family." Curtis explained.

Kat was still in shock over what Curtis had just told her. Her whole heart felt like it was burning inside of her chest. She loved the little boy at her home so much, like he really was her own, how could she not notice that that baby wasn't really her child and that in fact he was now standing in front of her a full grown man, the same age as her!

She slowly walked over to Curtis, his eyes sparkling blue like Caleb's. His smile bright and welcoming like her own. She looked into his face and saw the baby's face that she remembered before everything had happened. She touched him on the cheek and looked deep into his eyes. She could see it, this could very well be her child.

"How did you know I was down here? How did you find me?" Kat asked, tears running down her face.

"I just knew. I felt it, I guess. This whole place feels like home." Curtis answered.

"I don't know what to do now?" Kat said, looking off to the staircase that lead her to this very moment in the basement.

"Well, first we should find the person that tied you up here." Curtis said with a giggle.

"Kimberly! Oh my god you're right. She's taken Siobhan somewhere. I have to find them." Kat said grabbing all of her belongings that had fallen off of her in the scuffle with Kim.

"Where do you think they've gone? I can help you find them." Curtis said, as Kat turned around and looked again at her grown son.

"I don't know if that's a very good idea." Kat answered showing her discomfort. "I mean..." She began again as Curtis looked over at her with a hurt face.

"I just want to help you find Siobhan. Let's just let what I said go for now and find your friend. We don't have to tell anyone yet." Curtis replied.

Kat agreed and they both rushed up the basements steps, Kat trying to get Loomis on the phone with with no success, Curtis on his phone trying to get a hold of Caleb equally unsuccessful.

The rush of energy burning through them both, it looked like it would be up to them to find and save Siobhan's life, and even more secrets would be revealed.


*****

The evening shade began to creep over the town of Collinsport like a thick blanket, the purple twilight sky soon filled with the twinkles of tiny stars that dotted the heavens from millions of miles away. It was a cold and blistery early winter night, the town was covered in a fresh cold northern snow.

Inside the Collinwood mansion, David frantically tried to think of his next step now that Siobhan had left him. He stood in his bedroom staring down at the engagement ring he had bought for her that now lay in the palm of  his hand. He paced back and forth and. his leather shoes marking a clear line of path of where he was pacing. The unbearable thought of not being able to contact and hear Siobhan's voice explaining what had happened was eating him alive.

He rushed over to his jacket that was hanging on the back of a plush chaise and dug through the pockets for his cell phone to call Siobhan one last time. He dialed her number, suddenly a second phone in the room began to vibrate.

David looked around the room confused, then looked at his own phone screen thinking perhaps he had dialed the wrong phone number, but as the phone ran on his line, the other vibrating phone rang too.

David went through drawers, opened the closet, slid his hand down the corner sofa and chaise in the bedroom searching for the vibration sound. He then remembered that Siobhan would leave her cell phone on a charging cord that was strung around her bedside table over night. He rushed over to her side of their bed and there it was, her phone still attached to it's charger, the way she left it, on silent mode. David's suspicions lit up. There was no way Siobhan would have left her cell phone at home if she was going to leave Collinsport forever.

David quickly detached the phone and went downstairs to find Kimberly. If anyone knew what was going on, it was his ex-wife who was the bearer of bad news when she announced that Siohban had left David. As David opened his bedroom door, his son Caleb was standing on the other side with a serious look on his own face.

"Caleb?" David asked noting Caleb's emotion.  "What is it?"

"It's Kat, Loomis just called me, Kat didn't show up for work. She left hours ago." Caleb answered.

"Did you call her?" David questioned.

"I'm only getting her voice mail." Caleb responded.

David couldn't believe the thought that came into his head, but the similarities were starting to line up and become very obvious. Both Siobhan and Kat had disappeared without much of any notice and both were not answering their phones. It was a bizarre connection for both women who's jobs depended on the fact that they could be reached at any time via their cell phones. It was odd that Kat would have her's turned off, and the Siobhan would have left hers at home.

David was convinced Kim was behind Kat's disappearance as well, the reason still a mystery but it was all too clear. David opened his hand and showed Caleb Siobhan's phone.

"Who's is that?" Caleb asked, still standing with his father David at the bedroom door.

"It's Siobhan's. Your mother said she left town late last night while you and I were at the Blue Whale. Why would she have left her phone here? Why would she leave town without it? Why is Kat not answering her phone when she should be at work." David said attempting to connect the dots for Caleb.

"You think mom has something to do with Kat being missing?" Caleb said, his mind in disbelief.

"Are you going to tell me you don't think any of this seems odd? Why would they both go missing around the same time, why would they both leave their phones? And by the way, where is your mother?" David answered ready to accuse his ex-wife of something nefarious.

"There's got to be some kind of explanation for all of this." Caleb said, to a frustrated David who passed him by as the both began their way down to the main level of the house to find Kimberly.

The two men were in a rush to get to the bottom of everything. When yet another surprise hit them like a ton of bricks. When they got to the top of the stairs, Jonathon and Carolyn were in the foyer hanging their coats up. Jonathon was all smiles, while Carolyn looked like she hadn't had a good night's sleep in months.

"Carolyn?" David said, as he rushed down the staircase with Caleb right behind.

"Oh, Mr. Collins, so glad you're home." Jonathon answered for Carolyn.

"What are you two doing here? I thought you said Carolyn needed time to rest and that you'd be helping her at Windcliff. You said she was in such a state that she shouldn't be at Collinwood." David questioned in shock at their arrival.

"Yes, yes, you're right I did say that. But Carolyn and I have worked on a medical treatment to make sure that she starts to feel better and.....well, we actually have some other news as well." Jonathon replied.

"What news?" Caleb asked, the sour look of distrust on  his face in Jonathon's direction.

Jonathon smiled and lifted up Carolyn's hand. Her face still pale, her expression foggy but still connecting to the conversation.

"What the hell is this?" Caleb said, pulling Carolyn's hand closer to his face to see the ring.

"We're married." Carolyn said in a slow, monotone voice.

"MARRIED? What the hell are you talking about? You married your psychiatrist?" David yelled, his emotions boiling over from the entire day.

"We're in love." Carolyn answered, again in a monotone voice, one that wasn't very convincing.

"This is out of the question. Carolyn has been under your car for medical reasons, Dr. Silva, and you've taken that and twisted it for your own benefit. This is absolutely ridiculous." Caleb shot back.

"It's not at all, Mr. Collins, you see, Carolyn and I have had shared a lot with each other over the last few weeks and we've come the conclusion that we are best suited for each other in a romantic sense. But she's still not well, as you can see. Earlier today we had these papers drawn up as well for your family and the company's usage." Jonathon said pulling out the notarized files that now made him the soul controller of Collins Enterprises.

"Company?" David said pulling the forms over and quickly glancing at them, the horror flashing across his face.

Caleb then grabbed them from his father, an equal amount of horror showing to the idea that they were now demoted and that Jonathon was now the CEO with Carolyn signing off and the change.

It was a plan straight out of the deranged mind of Jason McGuire. All those years of attempting to manipulate and coerce his way into the family was finally paying off. It made being murdered by Barnabas and then risen from the dead by Ezrabette 50 years apart all worth while.

"This is what Carolyn wants, and I am happy to make my new bride happy, now if you'll excuse us, I'm going to take her upstairs." Jonathon said, to a fuming David and Caleb.

"This is insane. He can't do this. Carolyn is not well." Caleb told his father.

"I know, we'll have to deal with them later. There's no way our lawyers will allow this. In the mean time we have to find your mother. Something tells me she's behind Siobhan and Kat going missing. Come on." David said as he grabbed his coat and keys with his son following in pursuit. 


*****

On the other side of town, in a small secluded cottage, two witches began to take back control of the evils that had plagued the last two months in Collinsport. Ezrabette and Claudia had bound themselves in a coven and were ready to take on Jason McGuire, the monster who was full on his way to destroy the Collins family, and the only way Claudia saw that they could thwart him was if her father Barnabas put an end to him one more time.

But bringing back Barnabas wasn't going to be easy, so Claudia did the best thing she knew how to do. By using some of the most power witch craft Ezrabette had ever seen, Claudia created a man that looked exactly like the vampire himself. His mind was empty,  his soul gone, his eyes blank and vacant.

"I'm ready." Claudia said as she sat across the table from the impostor Barnabas. 

Maggie, who had walked in on everything the witches were doing, stood silently paralyzed with fear. She knew the dark forces that Barnabas could bring to people, but she had no idea he could do it without even being in the room. The plan, to Maggie's understanding, was that Claudia would subsequently transfer herself into the body of the impostor Barnabas, and as him would go to Collinwood and vanquish the evil Jason, as Jonathon, back to the world beyond the living.  

"Claudia breath in and closer your eyes." Ezrabette aid grabbing Claudia's hands in her's.  "Listen to my voice and let me guide you into the body, the vessel that you will need to end the madness of Jason McGuire, the plague that I so ignorantly set forth on this earth again." Ezrabette added.

Claudia closed her eyes and began to breath slowly, Maggie stepped backwards into the corner of the living room, the flicking candles shape shifting in silhouette along the form of her body.

"In this form you take a new, inside you'll see the world askew, body, mind, soul into....." Ezrabette said with her own eyes closed.

Soon the room began to shake. The candles began to react as if a large gust of wind had been swirling and turning and twisting right there inside of the living room. Maggie clutched on to the wall with every ounce of strength she could. Her nails scratching the paint, peeling it off like old skin from bones.

The two witches were now surrounded in an energy field that sparked above their heads like thunder, lifting their hair and other objects in the room in mid air breaking laws of gravity. Ezrabette continued to chant over and over again, the spell to push Claudia's soul into that of the impostor Barnabas. The light flickered. The room still shook.

Then in a sudden blast of energy it all stopped and there was silence.

Ezrabette opened her eyes, and she was still holding Claudia's hands.

"It didn't work." Ezrabette said confused.

Claudia opened her eyes, and saw impostor Barnabas stand up on his very own.

"Oh my god." Claudia said as Barnabas walked over.

"I'd rethink that if I were you Ms. Baptiste." Barnabas said, his trademark voice sweeping through his mouth like a poem from beyond the grave.

Maggie, still trembling in the corner gave one look at Barnabas, the man that was supposed to be just Claudia inhabiting a void body,  fell to the floor fainting at the sound of the man's voice that brought her so much torment over the years.


The real Barnabas Collins had returned, against all odds. The spell had broken through the veil of the living and the dead, the damned and the blessed. He had come back once more to stake his claim on Collinwood and save his family from disaster.

But would it be too late?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Series 8/Chapter 10: BEHIND THE VEIL OF SHADOWS

In a small secluded cottage on the outskirts of Collinsport, just as the first snow of the winter began to fall, two witches had just conjured the creature of the night back to life to help them save the lives of the Collins family. It was a last ditch effort to insure that the pain and suffering of the family ended once and for all.

The man they knew as Barnabas Collins stood in the door way. His face blank, expressionless. His gaze seemed to lock on some far off distant item in the room. He stood there, like an empty shell without words, without movement. It was as if everything around him was invisible, just his breath pouring out in puffs of white smoke from his nose.

Ezrabette reached out to his body, her hand shaking in the cold icy air that pushed it's way into the room from the open door Barnabas was standing in.

"What's the matter with him, he doesn't speak?" Ezrabette said, the candle light flickering an orange light on her mocha skin.

Claudia came over to her coven sister and the man that looked like her father standing in the doorway, she pulled Ezrabette's arm down from Barnabas' shoulder and helped the man into the house and sat him down.

"This isn't really my father. He's only been created so that we could use his body. The only way Jason will let this family be is if he sees Barnabas again. There's no way to know where my father really is, the shroud that connects the world of the living and the dead is sometimes too thick to pass through.  At least we can use his body's image as a start." Claudia explained.

"It's believable enough." Ezrabette said with a shudder. "But it wont work if he doesn't speak." Ezrabette added, her voice frustrated with lack of real Barnabas.

"Don't worry. I have a plan for that. When the time comes, I'll infuse myself into this body and act as Barnabas. It's the only way to end Jason's hold on the family. From what I  know of him, and what you've said to me, his plan could have disastrous ramifications for years to come." Claudia explained.

"I'm afraid we might be too late. Acting as Jonathon, Jason has had a lot of influence over this family. He could have killed them all by now and we wouldn't know until it's too late." Ezrabette confessed.

As the two witches spoke in the living room with the mute and empty vessel that was Barnabas Collins, a car began to drive up to Ezrabette's cottage unnoticed by the people inside.

It was Maggie Evans coming to visit her old friend as she often did.

Maggie made her way out of the car and walked up to the front door. She noticed the door was slightly open, just a small one inch gap. Maggie swayed her head to see between the gap and noticed that inside was dark with only the flickering of a few candles. The voices inside were murmuring inaudibly. Maggie worried something nefarious was happening and quickly pushed the door open surprising the witches inside who jumped in fright at the sight of Maggie.

"Bette!?!" Maggie said calling out to her friend.

Ezrabette, who had grasped at her chest in the surprise entrance turned around towards the door that her friend lunged through and as she turned to greet Maggie, she stepped to the side revealing the man sitting on the sofa.

Maggie screamed and backed away at the sight of the man who was responsible for so many terrors and horrors in her life.

In seconds Maggie's life flashed before her eyes. Her kidnapping, her time locked in Barnabas' secret room at the old house, the vampire's teeth, paintings of Josette, little Sarah Collins ...a voice in from her memory began to sing London Bridge is Falling Down over and over.

Ezrabette and Claudia quickly went over to Maggie who was still on the floor of Ezrabette's cottage screaming in terror. They tried to calm her, but the face she saw, the man sitting in that very room no matter how real or imagined he was, no matter if he was made of flesh and bones or created through magic was like a dagger in her heart. The damage to her younger years could only come out in this dramatic screaming fit.

"Maggie, honey, shhhh! It's ok! It's ok!!!" Ezrabette said trying to calm her friend.

"What are you doing with  him? Why is he here! Why is he here!!!" Maggie screamed.

"He's not real! Maggie! Listen to me, he is not real! He is not real!"

"Carolyn was right! She's been dreaming of him! He's been in her head while she slept, she warned us! Why is he here!" Maggie continued.

"No! No, no, no! He isn't, Maggie, listen to me, that is not really Barnabas, Stop! Please!" Ezrabette said grabbing Maggie's face with two hands.

"She's telling you the truth Maggie." Claudia said.

As Claudia spoke, Maggie looked at her, now even more confused. It was the first time she noticed she was there, but seeing her as Sasha, Canan's governess.

"Sasha." Maggie said in a whisper.

"Listen to me, listen to me....We're going to need your help. Jonathon Silva is not who he says he is, Maggie. He's someone very evil and very cruel and we need to stop him. Carolyn, David, Canan...everyone at Collinwood is in danger with him around. We have to stop him!" Ezrabette explained.

"What do you mean? I don't understand." Maggie said, sitting up on the floor with Ezrabette's hands still tightly placed around her face.

"Jonathon Silva is really Jason McGuire. Jason McGuire is alive and pretending to be this Jonathon person to harm the family." Claudia explained.

"But you said you knew him?" Maggie said looking at Ezrabette.

"I lied Maggie. I had to, I've been blackmailed for weeks, I had to do what he told me to make sure you and Kat and baby Canan weren't hurt, but I realize that was wrong of me, he was going to hurt everyone no matter what." Ezrabette said helping Maggie up from the floor even though she was still terrified of the Barnabas sitting blankly on the sofa.

"Why is Barnabas here...how is he here?" Maggie questioned stepping back towards the front door again.

"He's not really Barnabas, and my name isn't really Sasha. Maggie I'm afraid there's a lot we need to catch you up on. Trust me, I'm here to help." Claudia said revealing herself to Maggie.

Maggie's eyes watered. She began to feel the coldness of terror reach into her heart and grab hold. She had no idea the story Ezrabette and Claudia were about to share was going to change everything forever.

What Maggie saw with her own eyes, has never, ever been as it seemed.

*****

Locked away in the white room at Windcliff, Carolyn began to fall asleep. She had no idea what time it was, she had no idea if it was night time or daytime. Her windowless room smelled fresh linen and bleach. Her eyes could not stay closed because of the brightness of the room. She began to feel herself break. Her mind slowly cracking under the pressure of everything.

As she lay there, her face buried in the soft padded floor, her arms tangled in a pure white straight jacket that squeezed her body like a canvas boa-constrictor she heard tapping at the small square window in the padded room's door. 

She looked up at the door, her blond hair tossed in her face obscuring her vision. Then the door unlocked and in walked an orderly, smiling at her with his crooked teeth.

"You hungry?" The orderly asked pushing a tray of some sort of porridge and bread out in front of Carolyn.

Carolyn quickly sat up and steadied herself up against the white padded wall, her tired body losing it's breath.

"Listen, listen to me. What's your name?" Carolyn questioned.

The orderly looked at her strangely but answered "Rick."

"Ok, Rick, do you know who I am? Have you heard of me before?" Carolyn continued. 

"You're Carolyn Stoddard." Rick, the orderly replied.

"Yes, that's right. Carolyn Stoddard-Thorne. Carolyn Collins Stoddard-Thorne." She said again, emphasizing on her middle name, the most powerful of them all. "My family is very, very wealthy. I can get you anything you want if you just get me out of here. Please. I'm begging you. I'm here under false pretenses, and I need help!" 

"Do you know how many times a day people say they shouldn't be in here? All day. And you're getting help, that's why you're in here. Now what you would like to start with? A bite of bread of a spoon full of this porridge." Rick said brushing off Carolyn's offer.

"No, no! Listen, I'm telling you the truth, I really am not supposed to be here. There's been a very big mistake and someone very bad has my family confused, or tricked, or under some spell, I don't know but I'm not supposed to be here and I have to get out --now! They need to know what this person has done!" Carolyn explained without mentioning any names.

"Mrs. Thorne, you're having delusions. Don't you see? You're in the right place, we're here to take care of you. Dr. Silva is the perfect person to help you." The orderly answered.

"He's not a doctor!!! Don't you see??? He is not who he says he is. Look, if you just help me get out of here I promise you won't lose your job, everything will make sense if you just get me out of this jacket and out of this room and out of this hospital. Rick, please, I can pay you. My family has lots of money and can pay you." Carolyn said, her voice sounding more and more desperate for freedom.

"That's enough Rick. Thank you. I'll take it from here." A voice from the open door said.

Carolyn looked up and past Rick, and standing at the door, smiling with his evil grin, was Jason McGuire still as his alter ego Dr. Jonathon Silva.

Rick looked at Carolyn with a small bit of compassion, but grabbed the tray of food and left anyway.

"I'll bring in her sleeping meds shortly." Rick said to Jonathon just before leaving the room.

Jonathon's face soured. He quickly closed the door and came over to Carolyn who was trying to move as far away him as possible. She scooted towards the back of the room and cornered herself between two walls.

"Leave me alone." she hissed at Jonathon.

"You're a clever little snake, aren't you? You thought he'd believe you? Carolyn you're a patient in a mental institution that's been having waking dreams of a man you say is a vampire. He was never going to believe you." Jonathon said slightly smiling at Carolyn's misery.

"You know what I saw! You've been purposefully triggering those memories while I slept all this time, haven't you? It's been you all this time!" Carolyn said connecting the dots.

"I promised you a way out of all this, Carolyn. There's always been a way for you to get yourself where you want to be: home with you family." Jonathon reminded her by pulling out the paperwork for their marriage certificate.

"I won't marry you, you monster!" Carolyn responded.

'Tsk tsk tsk....I was hoping you'd reconsider. What if I told you I could make sure that everyone you loved suffered a terrible and nightmarish death if you didn't do this? Because you know, my dear, I have nothing left to lose. When Barnabas took my life all those years ago, my soul went into the red hot flames of hell and I've never looked back." Jonathon said crudely.

Carolyn spat at Jonathon who was now kneeling next to her face. His eyes squinted in anger as he pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his cheek.

"You know, nothing would stop be from going over to London and making sure Alexandra never saw the light of an English day again either. Do you understand what I'm saying?" Jason said referencing Carolyn's daughter Alex who was still in London living with her boyfriend Christopher.

"Don't you touch her, I swear to you Jason if you hurt her I will ...." Carolyn said using Jonathon's real name.

"You'll what? Kill me? I'm already dead!" Jonathon laughed. "And I've told you before, love, call me Jonathon. Now here. Sign it and I'll leave little Alexandra alone." He added pushing the marriage forms over to Carolyn.

Carolyn was caught between a rock and a hard place. Jason was brought back to life under the spell of Ezrabette to fulfill a revenge plot created by the ghost of Marie Clotilde. If she married him, he would gain access to the entire company by way of his dubious prenuptial agreement. If Carolyn didn't sign it, there was no way she could be sure he wouldn't harm her beloved Alexandra. If she did sign it, there was no way to trust that he would keep his word.

Carolyn sat up, her white clothes light as a feather, clean and crisp in the blazing florescent light of the padded room.  She scooted over to Jonathon still kneeling down and pulled off the cap of a pen.

"Untie me." Carolyn said.

Jonathon looked at Carolyn, her face had relaxed, her voice had calmed. There was something about her that seamed defeated. He unlatched one side of her straight jacket. She quickly turned around but Jonathon grabbed her by the throat.

"Don't you try anything funny." He said with a grown.

Carolyn's eyes began to water as he squeezed her throat. She reached down and grabbed the pen, for a split second she thought if she just jammed it into his neck she could incapacitate  him just long enough to escape, but she knew that Jonathon would catch her. She only had one arm free, and she needed to keep Alex safe.

With tears in her eyes, and her throat tightening, Carolyn signed the paper work officially making her Jonathon's wife and Jonathon officially becoming the soul owner and executive officer of Collins Enterprises.

He suddenly released his grasp around her neck and grabbed her arm and placed it back into the straight jacket. She struggled with  him but he was too strong. He then pulled out a syringe from his jacket pocket and stabbed it into her arm.

"What are you doing??? You said you'd release me!!!" Carolyn screamed but soon began to feel the sedative rushing through her veins.

"And I will! But not until this is notarized. If it isn't legal then how can we move on? Don't worry love, you'll be out by sundown. Just sit tight." Jonathon said as he bent down and kissed his new, disgusted wife, on the lips leaving her in the room again to dwell on what she had just done. 

*****

Deep in the forest grounds around Collinwood, Kimberly was digging a whole through dirt and snow fit for a coffin that she had dragged all the way from the Old House. Her arms were putty and numb from the frosty chill, her muscles ached, and her face and body were covered in the dirt and soil of the ancient land of Collinsport.

She could smell the years and centuries of earth and roots as she dug through the frozen ground. The minerals in the ground gave off the smell of hard mettle. With each shovel that pierced the ground Kim got closer and closer to feeling the freedom of having David back in her life, alone, without anyone to take her place.

Her simmering madness was now a full on boil, she was about to bury alive the one person that could have probably saved her from the voices in her head that made her do the evil things she did.

The coffin sat on the open ground with Siobhan laying inside; Kim kept digging and as she dug, Siobhan began to hear the sound of the dirt falling to the ground from Kim's digging.

"That's a shovel. She's taken me outside. She's shoveling." Siobhan said in the pitch black coffin. "Oh my god, she's not really .....she's going to bury me." She added as her foggy mind began to connect the dots.

Kim was exhausted. The amount of Adrenalin and fear of getting caught had slowly dissipated. Her body was screaming for rest. But the grave was still four feet too shallow. She had to make it deep enough that no one would ever find her buried secret.

"Kimberly, please! Please! Just open this casket and let me out. Whatever you're going through I can help you. Kim? Kimberly!! Please!!!" Siobhan screamed with all the strength she had.

Kim heard every word. She wiped her sweaty forehead and jumped out of the grave. Her clothes were clogged and bogged down with dirt and mud. Her finger nails caked in the brown clay from deep under the surface of the forest. She walked over and sat on top of Barnabas' old coffin and lit a cigarette.

"There's no turning back now. I've come this far, and I can't go backwards. Everything is riding on the fact that David thinks you've left him. Forever. I'm going to make sure that's a reality." Kim said puffing from her lit cigarette.

"By burring me alive? You'd leave that on your conscious? David will find out what you've done and he'll never, ever forgive you for it. I promise you, he will make sure you never see your sons or grandson again if he finds out, but he doesn't have to Kim, if you let me out....I'll..... I'll leave town. I'll go back to Singapore and never turn back, I swear! Just let me out...PLEASE!" Siobhan begged her eyes still searching for some kind of light from the outside, but she was in pitch black. The air getting thinner and thinner.

"You'd leave Collinsport on your own without fighting for David or telling him what I did?" Kim questioned, her cigarette smoke swirling around her like it came from a chimney.

"Yes! Kim please, you and I can work on this, and I won't tell anyone." Siobhan promised.

Kim grinned and stood up from the coffin and threw her cigarette on the floor. She stepped on it forcing into the dirt making sure that it's tiny spark was out. She dusted her hands on her pants and knelt down close to the coffin so that Siobhan could hear her clearly.

"You're clever, but not more than I am. The very second I freed you from here you'd be back at Collinwood so fast telling David what I did that I wouldn't know what hit me. No, you're not getting out of this coffin Siobhan, not now, not ever. Say good night." Kim said to Siobhan's panicked screams.

Kim went over to the coffin and grabbed on to the handles around the area closest to the feet. She grabbed and began to drag the coffin with Siobhan tossing around inside screaming bloody murder. The forest ached and twitched with the screams coming from the coffin, but it was too late for Siobhan, Kim's Adrenalin returned and she dragged the heavy coffin in to the grave she dug and plopped it down into the hole.

Siobhan's body was jolted and bounced inside causing her to bash her head on a small wooden corner of the inside of the coffin causing a gash and blood to rush down her face.

Siobhan screamed but no one but Kim could hear. Kim took a second and looked down at what she was doing. She began to think of how horrible it might be for Siobhan to be laying in a coffin awaiting her own death. But her mind was made up. It had to happen.

Kim picked up the shovel and began to pour the dirt over the casket. Siobhan heard shovel by shovel full of earth falling above her. Her screams were soon muffled by the amount of soil covering her up. She was now under a layer of mud that concealed her completely.

*****

Back at the old house Kat was laying on the floor. Kimberly had placed her unconscious and tied her up in the basement after Kat had caught her tormenting Siobhan. 

Kat began to moan as she felt two hands slowly unraveling the ropes around her wrists. She slowly came to and wriggled out of the ropes. Her eyes opened to a foggy figure standing above her. Her fear was that it was Kim back to finish the job she had started with Siobhan, but as Kat's eyes began to adjust to the dim light in the basement she saw that it was a man, a handsome man smiling back at her.

"Are you ok?" The man said looking down at her, his eyes crystal blue, his hair dark and clean cut. His skin a mocha color, tan and handsome. It was Curtis Winters. 

"Who are you?" Kat said, sitting up on the floor, rubbing the pain away from her wrists. 

"You don't recognize me? Of course you don't. I've aged." Curtis responded with a chuckle. 

"What?" Kat said confused, her breath freezing in mid air as she spoke in the damn and cold basement. 


"It's me mom. It's Canan. I'm your son." Curtis said to a shocked and confused Kat. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Series 8/Chapter 9: VIEWS TO DIE FOR

 In recent years the family had again renovated the house when Barnabas Collins had made his umpteenth return to the land of his birth and even though Barnabas was once again gone, this time perhaps forever, the family had decided to continue with its upkeep; no matter how vacant it's occupancy was.

In the glow of this late morning sun, the first mansion built on Widow's Hill the family affectionately called The Old House, could look sad and forlorn. There was a ghostly ooze to it that could warn off wayward burglars and thieves. To those who knew the house well, knew of it's infamy and deep lying secrets. Kat Banning, knew them too. But what she saw just moments ago sparked her interest.

Kat had seen Kimberly Collins rushing across the sprawling laws and brush between the two mansions, a strange sight considering Kat knew there was no one living in the old mansion. What she didn't know was Kim's desperate attempt at getting her ex-husband David back was to lock away her rival Siobhan deep in the mansions guts, nailed shut in one of Barnabas' old coffins.

Kat slowly made her way up the old front steps of the mansion and turned to see if anyone was watching her. When she felt the coast was clear, she slowly turned the unlocked door knob and stepped into the dimly lit foyer of the home Barnabas Collins so loved.

The room's walls were still painted in pastel pink, albeit when Jacqueleen moved in before her own untimely death, she redecorated with newer more modern furniture. Kat slowly walked into the main sitting room off to her left, a small fire had been lit in the fireplace that was still crowned with the painting Kat's own grandfather Sam Evans had painted of Barnabas over 50 years ago.

"Where is she?" Kat wondered of Kim to herself.

Kat turned back around and slowly made her way to the main staircase. As she placed her foot on the firs step towards the bedrooms a loud sound came from down the hall on the first floor. Kat quickly reached around her to her back and placed her hand in the read position to grab her gun if she needed it.

Kat wasn't sure what Kim was doing, but the fact that she was keeping something secret made Kat nervous. She could feel the tension in her neck, her heart was racing, her police woman's instincts were telling her to keep going down that hall, that something was definitely amiss with the situation, but another side of her wanted her to run away from whatever suspicious danger was making that noise.

Kat went with her police instincts and kept going down the hall, slowly, at a methodical pace as to not arouse Kim's ears. Slowly, slowly more, then to a large white door at the end of the hall that lead to the basement. The door was left open, just by a crack.

"Kim...what are you up to?" Kat thought to herself again, her suspicions now gaining more and more tread.

Kat slowly opened the door to the basement. She grabbed the gun from behind her back and cupped it in her hands pointing it out in front of her. She slowly, step by step, foot by foot made her way down the stone staircase into the dark basement. The noise from whomever was down there continued. It was like a loud metal hammering.

Kat finally made it to the bottom, and there, standing at the foot of a great oak coffin fastening metal locks to two ends of the coffin was Kimberly Collins. Alone, and mumbling something to herself about Siobhan.

"Kim...." Kat said softly  not to scare Kim. "What the hell are you doing?" The gun pointed at Kim's back.

Kim spun around to see her son's wife standing at the end of the staircase from above, a light from shinning down on her Kat's hair from the open door form the main floor, Kim hammer in hand.

"I should ask you the same thing. Why are you pointing that gun at me?" Kim said, her words slowly pouring out of her mouth.

Kat realized she was pointing a gun at Caleb's mother and lowered her weapon.

"I saw you come in here from outside. What's going on? What are you doing down here with that coffin?" Kat asked walking closer.

"Stay right there honey." Kim said with a grin. "I don't want you near this coffin." She added.

"Kim, I asked you a question. What are you doing?" Kat replied, her frustration building with Kim's deflecting.

"You don't  need to know anything, just go on your way and forget what you say here, do you understand me?" Kim questioned.

From inside the coffin, Siobhan was coming to for the 4th time that day. She had been in and out of consciousness due to lack of sleep, no water or food and very little air. She could hear the voices outside but couldn't make out who they were. The coffin was hot, it smelled of old moldy sheets and she could only see tiny glimmers of light breaking in from the coffin's lid.

"Someone else is here. Someone is here to save me." The weak Siobhan said moving her hands around, feeling for the top of the lid.

"If something is going on, I think you should tell me. It would be better for you in the long run. Whatever it is, whatever is going on I can help you. Caleb and I are here for you Kim." Kat said sensing something was very wrong with Kim's mental state.

"Kat I just need you to leave this house and not tell anyone what you've seen, do you understand? This is very important and really is my business and my business alone." Kim replied putting her hands over the coffin protective.

"Kat's here...." Siobhan whispered to herself when hearing Kim say Kat's name.

"What's in the coffin Kimberly." Kat asked, her voice now authoritative as she noticed Kim's nervous body language towards the coffin.

Kat stepped forward two steps.

"STAY BACK!" Kim said raising the nail gun in the air at Kat.

As Kim's words filtered into the overheating coffin, Siobhan knew that Kat was close, perhaps close enough to hear her. She reached up and began to hit the lid of the coffin with her hands, and with all the energy she could muster she kicked the bottom of the lid with her feet.

"My god, Kim what are you hiding!? Who's in there" Kat asked now lunging towards the coffin.

Without thinking, and without even a second to realize the impending ramifications Kim shot the nail gun right into Kat's arm.

Kat screamed in agony and fell to her knees.

"Oh god, Kat, I'm sorry, I really am. But you can't be here do you understand? You can't be here." Kim said, her guilt slowly building at what she had just done to her own son's wife.

"Kimberly you need to get me to a hospital." Kat said clutching her bleeding arm burning with pain from the nail that was shot into it.

"I can't do that honey. You know too much." Kim said as she reached into a doctor's bag she had brought with her. In the bag were several vials and syringes that she was planning to hide in the basement and later use on Siobhan when it was time to move Siobhan from the basement to a different and more final location. Kim grabbed a syringe and filled it with the liquid sedative from her bag then stabbed the needle into Kat's arm.

Kat's eyes filled with tears as she looked up at Kim in shock, then she fainted on the floor of the basement.

"You'll only be out for a little while love...." Kim said to the sleeping Kat.

Now a deeper dilemma. Kat had now discovered Kim was hiding someone in the basement locked in the casket, she had to think fast, she had to think clearly. What was she going to do. No one else could know of this.

"She has to be moved. I can't keep her here." Kim said, as she paced back and forth stepping over Kat's sleeping body.

"Kimberly, please.....don't do this. Please let me out!" Siobhan screamed in tears from inside the coffin.

"Let you out? So that all of this would be for  nothing? I can't do that. I can't let you out. Not now. Not ever. Siobhan, everything is riding on the fact that you've left town, and I'm going to see to it that you do leave town. Forever." Kim said cryptically.

"Kat knows I'm here. She's going to get me out of here." Siobhan screamed out again.

"Oh, honey, I'll take care of Kat. I'll need her help to make sure you never know see the light of day again." Kim said as she readied another syringe with the sedative she created using the plant from Brazil that would put people in a short type coma.

Kim upped the dosage and squeezed the needle's plunger secreting a fine test line of the sedative into the air. She quickly unlocked the top of the coffin and opened it raveling a malnourished, sweaty, terrified Siobhan.

Kim forcibly grabbed Siobhan's left arm and stabbed it with the needle filled with the powerful sedative that had almost an instant reaction to Siobhan's motor skills and mind rendering her in a complete coma.

Siobhan was, on the outside asleep,  but on the inside, she could hear and feel everything. It was as if she was trapped in two coffins, Barnabas' and her own body locking her away without a way to move or speak.

Kim smiled cruelly and slowly lowered the casket's lid again and locked it. Then she looked down at Kat sleeping on the floor.

"Once you're up my dear, we'll need to have a little heart to heart. We have some burring do to." Kim said kneeling down by Kat's body. 

*****

Carolyn lay unconscious on the floor of a white padded room. It was brightly lit from the inside by harsh florescent lights. When she came to, she opened her eyes to see that not only was the room entirely padded from floor to wall, but she was also dressed in all white wrapped in a tightly bound straitjacket that pinched the inside of her arms.

The night before she had been dragged kicking and screaming from Collinwood by Jason McGuire's alter-ego Dr. Jonathon Silva who had been taunting her and terrorizing by hypnosis to fall into her own darkest nightmares, manipulating her mental state and bringing her to the depths of insanity.

Carolyn lifted herself up by dragging her body up against the white padded wall. She sat there, bare foot in the cold white room. She screamed out a bloodcurdling scream hoping anyone would hear her. Someone had to hear her. She kept remembering, over and over again, what she saw when the orderlies locked her in the back of the van; that face grinning evilly at her through the van window!

The face of Jason McGuire that had morphed from the flesh and bone of Jonathon Silva.

"There's no use screaming, lovie, no one will come for her. They've already signed you away to me." A voice said from behind the padded door.

Carolyn struggled to pull herself up off the ground, her twisted and turned and finally got to her feet. She walked over across the fluffy padded floor and peered into the tiny doubled glassed window in the door and saw Jonathon standing on the other side.

"What do you want from me? Why are you doing this?" Carolyn questioned.

Jonathon turned to Carolyn in the window, the enchanted charm Ezrabette placed around his neck to disguise his true identity changed color, a light blazed from inside Jonathon's chest that flowed through his entire body and quickly flashing the face of Jason McGuire once more time to Carolyn's horror.

"Jason. It WAS you I saw!" Carolyn said stepping back just a few inches from the window.

"You miss me lass? It's been a long, long time! By the way I'd prefer you call me Dr. Silva now, but Jonathon will be fine too. We're old friends after all." Jonathon said as his face returned back to the one given to him by the Ezrabette's charm. "I've been waiting to come back for a long time." He added, a growl in his voice as he stepped closer to the window and looked in.

"How can this be? How can you be both Jason and Jonathon?" Carolyn said, the confusion burning her lips.

"Would you rather me be someone else? Like Barnabas Collins perhaps? I know you've been thinking of Barnabas quite often lately." Jonathon teased.

"Shut up." Carolyn said again stepping back from the door. "Get me out of here, you have to get me out of here." She added.

"No. You're not leaving this room Miss Carolyn, not until I get what I want." Jonathon hissed.

"There's no way this is happening, there just no way. Jason can't be still alive and living inside of Jonathon. That's INSANE! SOMEONE! HELP ME!!! THERE'S BEEN A MISTAKE!!!" Carolyn screamed again, realizing that her vision of Jason's face could have just been one of her delusions.

"Would you STOP screaming! No one is going to come save you. David has signed you over to me and this fasility and no one is coming for you. But, I can get you out of here Carolyn. I can save you from whatever horrors await you here at Windcliff." Jonathon explained.

"Windcliff. Siobhan. Siobhan runs Windcliff, she can get me out of here." Carolyn said to herself bypassing Jonathon's entire explanation.

"Wrong again, lassy. There is no more Siobhan. It seems she and David have had a falling out. She's left town, and well, the only available person qualified was me. Dr. Jonathon Silva." Jonathon said with an evil grin and Scottish brogue.

"This isn't happening. This isn't happening." Carolyn said over and over again.

"But it IS happening. Carolyn, I know you're going through something right now but it would be lovely if you could pay attention right now, listen to me and listen to me good....you can get out of this room and return to your life as long as I get what I want--no--what I've deserved for over 50 years as I rotted in that cement grave." Jonathon explained again with the added information of his demise.

Carolyn stopped for a second to think and began mumbling to herself incoherently. The stress and pressure of the situation was starting to ware on her, she had no idea what she was going to do, she had no idea what to believe. Nothing was making sense to her. What was real? What was her imagination? Carolyn's mind was starting to break. She fell to her knees in the white padded room and began to sob.

"That's enough!! Stop your blubbering! Give me what I want Carolyn and you'll be free to go. Free forever." Jonathon said.

Carolyn, who was on the floor of the padded room sobbing, turned over, her hair was stuck to her face attached to her skin by sticky tears. She rolled over and looked back at the small window in the puffy padded door of her cell.

"What do you want." She said in a horse timid voice, finally giving in to whatever, or whomever she was talking to: Dr. Jonathon or the ghost of Jason McGuire, Carolyn could no longer tell reality from farce.

"Marry me. Marry me and pass along your shares to Collins Enterprises and you'll be free to go. It's not very diffucult, really I've already had the paper work drawn up. All you need do it sign it. That's all I ask." Jonathon said with a cruel grin.

Carolyn sat  up, her face still stained with tears. Jonathon's argument sounded familiar. Indeed it was. Before Jason's murder by Barnabas, he was to have married Carolyn's late mother Elizabeth via a blackmailing scheme that went wrong. The truth later came out and Jason was banished from Collinwood. Jason's greedy desperation got him int he cross hairs of Barnabas Collins where he met his death by strangulation.

His revenge would be marrying Elizabeth's daughter in the same fashion. Carolyn was Elizabeth's soul hair, everything that belonged to the Collins name was Carolyn's to divvy up. In fact David and Caleb worked for Carolyn.

By marrying Carolyn, Jason--as Jonathon-- would gain access to everything that belonged to his new wife and eventually take over the Collins empire once and for all. Everything the Collins family touched would be his, including their entire estate and the billions of dollars they were worth.

All Carolyn had to do was say yes, yes she would marry Jonathon Silva...the living deranged manifestation of The evil Jason McGuire.

"What do you say?" Jonathon asked with an eye brow raised.

Carolyn scowled her face and spit back at Jonathon's hitting him square on the cheek.

He pulled out a soft white handkerchief and wiped his face. He grinned and walked back over to the door.

"I'll let you think about it......in the dark." Jonathon said closing the door behind him leaving Carolyn in the white padded room. Then he switched off all the lights, and the windowless room was left pitch black with only Carolyn's screams echoing in the chamber.


*****

At the offices of Collins Enterprises, David made his way down the main corridor to the executive offices for the first time in over 20 years. Employees in their cubicles stood up and noticed, they looked at each other and whispered his name as if they had seen a ghost. David wasn't there just visiting his son at the office, he was there to make sure that Caleb wasn't making a giant mistake by hiring Victoria Winters' son Curtis. After everything Vicki had done to the family last year, his suspicions were on high alert.

David, dressed in sharp blue suit, white shirt and matching blue and polka-dot tie, marched his way into Caleb's office, the same office David once occupied when  he worked there full time.

"Dad! What are you doing here?" Caleb said looking up from the paperwork he and one of the executives were reading during a meeting.

"We need to talk." David said looking the executive sitting in the chair across from Caleb.

"I can come back." The executive said as she stood up from her chair and grabbed her things. "Mr. Collins." She said greeting David on her way out.

"What's going on? You ok?" Caleb questioned knowing that his father was going through a tough time at home with his ex-wife back and his fiance leaving him.

"We need to discuss Curtis Winters employment here. I still don't think it's a good idea, what Vicki did to us last year was ---" David said before being interrupted by Caleb.

"Dad, listen, I understand you worry. You explained last night at the Blue Whale. I get it, I really do, but I think we're good on this whole situation. I thought about it last night and I we don't have anything to worry about when it comes to Curtis." Caleb explained.

"His mother kidnapped your son last year, Caleb. She kidnapped him and brainwashed you when we thought you had died in a plane crash. How can you just let that go? On top of that we didn't even know she had a son, then all of a sudden he shows up and wants to work here as soon as she finds out that may have a stake in the company? That doesn't alarm you?" David asked frustrated with his son.

"I know. I know. Under different circumstances, anyone else would stand to be a little ....well, for lack of a better word, freaked out, but we all agreed that Vicki wasn't in her right mind at the time. She's better, I think we should give Curtis a chance." Caleb said kindly.

"Well then I have no choice." David said looking around the office that was once his.

"What do you mean?" Caleb questioned.

"I'm demoting you. You're no longer CEO of this company." David said to Caleb's shock.

"What? You can't do that? Why would you do that?" Caleb shot back.

"Because you're making choices for this company that I believe go against our best interest. This is our family's business but I am the head of this family. I'm going to take my place back at this head of this company and ...." David said before someone entered the office.

"Curtis." Caleb said as Vicki's secret son walked in on the arguing father and son.

"Mr. Winters this is a private meeting, I'm going to have to ask you to leave." David said after turning around to see Curtis standing at the office door.

"Mr. Collins I hate to interrupt, but I could hear everything as I came to my office. I don't want you to think that whatever happened in the past will discredit how hard I'll work for you and this company. It would mean a lot to me if you gave me a chance. I promise, you'll be very happy with my work." Curtis said earnestly.

David turned to Caleb who was now standing at his desk with his arms crossed across his chest. The beautiful ocean view form the office windows crashing on the rocks behind him. David looked past his son and into the sea, it was calm and serene, the feeling of calm sea seemed to relax him and his emotions over the whole situation. David turned back around and looked at Curtis, his eyes were so blue, his hair was dark like a raven's feathers, so much of Curtis reminded him of Curtis' mother Vicki.

David took a few steps over in Curtis' direction and gave him a once over.

"Alright Mr. Winters, I'll give you a shot, but I'm not as easy going as my son Caleb here. You'll get once chance. If I'm not happy with the results your ships are bringing in by your management, I'll let you go. You'll get once month." David explained.

"Thank you, thank you both." Curtis said leaving the father and son in the executive office.

Curtis made his way over to his own office and closed the door and locked it. He rushed over to his desk and picked up the phone. Then he had a second thought and put the office phone down and pulled out the sell phone from his jacket pocked.

As the call went though he smiled.

"Hi........it's me." he said to the other person. "It was touch and go there for second, but I think I have them finally on my side. I have one month and that's it, so we have to do this fast."

Curtis turned his desk chair to face the window so that he could see the sprawling ocean views of Collinsport harbor. In the reflection in the glass his body began to dim then brighten again, then dim like a light bulb flickering just before it went out, it was as if Curtis was there in real life, then wasn't, then there again. The flickering went on and one but only in the reflection of the glass.

"Yes, you're right. I'll have to find a way to come clean before it's too late. I'll keep you posted." Curtis said as he hung up the phone.


*****

In the early evening, as the sun went down, a fire crackled and twitched in Ezrabette's fire place. She was standing over her a boiling pot of soup that she was making for two at lunch. The soup bubbled and fumed in a black cauldron like a witch's secret brew. She threw in onions and potatoes and watch them stew inside with the broth. 

From just over her shoulder in the background of Ezrabette's room was the witch Claudia Bouchard in her Sasha Beaufort disguise encircling the entire room with a ring of salt to protect them from any ghostly intrusions, specifically that of Ezrabette's manipulative and evil ancestor Marie Clotilde. 

"Its hard to believe the story you've told me. Last night after our encouter I came back to Collinwood and Caleb told me that Carolyn had been taken to Windcliff with David's authority. It seems your great grandmother's plot to use Jonathon is working." Claudia said dusting the salt from her hands.

"Oh no. Do we still have time?" Ezrabette said, her powers dwarfed by those of Claudia. 

"Make the soup sister." Claudia said as she walked over to Ezrabette and held her hand.

The two witches crouched down together around their witches brew still holding hands. The soup was more than just a hearty winter's feast. It was a symbol of their coven coming together, joining forces to combat en ever more malevolent force. 

"Cross the bones of foes that break
Let the earth below us shake
A window into the soul and mind
Our two souls, weird sisters combined"

The two witches said as they both took a spoon full of the broth that frothed in a boiling heat.

"Where do we begin?" Ezrabetta asked.

"We have to find a way to make sure Jonathon....or Jason...doesn't get any closer to the family as he already has. We also have to find a way to get Carolyn out of Windcliff." Claudia said.

"We could ask Siobhan to get her out." Ezrabette proposed.

"She's gone." Claudia answered.

"What do you mean gone?" Ezrabette questioned.

"She decided that no longer wanted to be with David and left, in the middle of the night, just like that." Claudia reported. "It was surprise to every one." she added.

"We have to find a way Claudia, if we don't Jonathon can take control of the family in ways we can only imagine, he's already started with Carolyn." Ezrabette answered. 

"There's only one person I can think of that could stop him. He stopped Jason before, he could stop him again." Claudia said.

"Who?" Ezrabette answered.

"My father. Barnabas Collins." Claudia replied. 

Ezrabette's eyes widened. She knew of the legend of Barnabas like any other Collinsport resident. His myth was as legendary as any of Mount Olympus, but Claudia knew that the myths and stories were all true and that her father was one of the un-dead. Jason and Barnabas had a run over 5 decades ago that left Jason dead, and with this help, the Collins family could possibly be saved again.

"But I saw him die Claudia, I saw him get pulled into the vortex of the phoenix and vaporize. He couldn't have survived that." Ezrabette replied.

"You cannot kill the undead, you should know that, my father may bot be in this realm, but I promise you he is somewhere. Waiting for that door to this side to open once again." Claudia shot back.

"Can we bring him  back like I did Jason?" Ezrabette questioned, to a now saddened Claudia.

"There's no magic in this world that can find the real Barnabas. But I do have an idea...what if we conjured something up to make Jason believe Barnabas is back?" Claudia added.

"An impostor?" Ezrabette said unconvinced.

"It could work, if one of us transfers ourselves into the impostor body as a proxy." Claudia said, the idea now sounding plausible. "Ive done it before." Claudia mentioning the time she possessed the body of Alexandra Thorne. 

Ezrabette stayed silent for a moment then turned to Claudia slightly more in tune with the idea:

"Is there a way Jason would know it wasn't really Barnabas?" Ezrabette asked. "Jason is one of the undead too...he could sense something off, couldn't he?" She added.

"We'll make sure that there's no different between the real Barnabas and the one we recreate. It'll be seamless. I know him like I've never known anyone else." Claudia replied.

"I don't know, this could all blow up in our faces. The minute Jason discovers he's been tricked he could lose it, and I can't afford for that to happen. People's live are at stake." Ezrabette explained.

"What do you mean?" Claudia questioned as she moved from the fire to the sofa with Ezrabette's cat Marigold.

"There's something I didn't tell you. Marie Clotilde and Jason have threatened the lives of Maggie, Kat, Caleb and Canan. They said that if I didn't complete what they wanted they would kill them." Ezrabette explained.

"Why them? Why would they choose them?" Claudia asked.

"Maggie and I are close friends and those are the people she loves the most. Whatever we do next Claudia, there's no way we can let Jason figure out the truth. It has to go as planned---no wrinkles." Ezrabette warned.

"I love Canan. I love him with all my heart and I'll protect him no matter what. Come....let us conjure." Claudia said as she grabbed Ezrabette's hands.

The two witches stood in Ezrabette's living room that was dimmed with candle light and encircled with the protection of salt. They closed their eyes and began to join their powers of the supernatural to create a man that would take the place, from death to life, of Barnabas Collins.

"Death to life and back again." Claudia said.

"Morte ad vitam, vita mors est." Ezrabette whispered back in Latin.

"From the bones of another, from the sins of another. We ask you back in spirit to skin." Claudia said again. 

"Morte ad vitam, vita mors est." Ezrabette whispered again.

"Let the man known as Barnabas Collins come to life in this world that is ours, let him come, let him see, let him into the gates of the free." Claudia responded.

"Morte ad vitam, vita mores est." Ezrabette whispered one more time.

The two witches stood in the room, the fire still burning in the fireplace. They took deep breathes and began to chant the Latin phrase over and over again. Then a wind suddenly began to swirl in the room. It swirled the two women like a whirlpool of cold air that shook the little cottage to it's frame. There was a loud gory moan from the wind that frightened Ezrabette's cat. It let out of scream and ran off into one of the back rooms of the cottage. 

The wind then blew out all the candles and swept into the fireplace and extinguished it immediately.  
Then without even a warning Ezrabette's door blew open and standing in silhouette was the man himself, a magical manifestation of the real thing.

He took a step forward but stopped short of stepping over the ring of salt. 

Ezrabette quickly lit a candle a candle and went to the door. 

The glow from the candle confirmed. 

Barnabas Collins had returned. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Series 8/Chapter 8: THE TWO FACES OF EVIL


The moon sang over a bed of clouds that floated above the town of Collinsport, Maine like a small ship in the sea sitting in a moody blue placid lake. Alone in solace shining it's light down below, the towns people, scurrying off in the misty air to their desired pubs and drinking holes.

Down by the docks at the legendary Blue Whale, the Collins' family newest governess had sipped her favorite spirits with the towns newest citizen, Curtis Winters. They made small talk, Curtis often commenting on how familiar Sasha was to him, not to the chagrin of Curtis' new employers, David and Caleb Collins. Especially for David who felt Curtis being the son of Victoria Winters, the late Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard's estranged daughter, might be a bit of a problem for the business and being that close to Sasha only added another tentacle into the Collins family inner circle.

In fact, both Sasha and Curtis were employed by the richest most powerful family in down, and having their employers so close in proximity made Sasha feel a bit uncomfortable. She looked at her watch then looked over at the table with the glaring eyes of the Collins men staring.

"I think I should go." She said as she reached for her coat on the back of her chair.

"So soon? It's only 10:30!" Curtis said grabbing her arm. "I'd like to talk to you some more. Maybe we have friends in common somewhere and that's how I recognize you."

"I doubt that, and I have to be up early tomorrow to get the baby ready for the day." Sasha explained. "His dad is right there....so..." She mentioned to an understanding Curtis.

"Can we meet up again?" He asked; she smiled and nodded.

Sasha placed her coat around her shoulders as she stepped out of the Blue Whale and noticed a taxi cab dropping off a young happy couple in front of the pub. As they paid their fair Sasha held the back door open and peeked in.

"Are you still on duty?" She asked the awaiting driver.

"Yes miss." The elderly taxi driver responded. "Where to?" He added refreshing the meter.

Sasha jumped in the back seat and closed the door behind her then smiled at the driver, but her destination wasn't something he'd be prepared to hear at such a late hour of the night from such a fresh faced young woman, in fact the moment she said where she needed to be taken a chill ran up his spine and settled in the back of his eyes like eating too much ice cream too fast.

He turned to her and asked her if she was sure she wanted to go to the place she had said, he even questioned her to make sure he had heard correctly. She simply smiled and repeated the same destination. He took a gulp of air and put his car into DRIVE and headed off to the gloomiest place in town.

Eagle Hill Cemetery.
*****

In the mist of the late night fog, Ezrabette walked along the woods in search of some kind of sign from her ancestors to help her through this dark period of her life. The spirit of her great-grandmother Marie Clotilde had been visiting her for over a month and had manipulated her into a vicious revenge plot against the Collins family and had convinced her to raise Jason McGuire from the dead to help in the deed. It was something Ezrabette had wished she had never done, but the fear of Marie Clotilde going after Ezrabette's best friend Maggie Evans and causing her more suffering forced Ezrabette to give in and become a cohort. 

The town's mystic was caught between loyalty to a family member that had been murdered and sought revenge and the threat of something happening to living people she loved. As she walked along the wooden area she realized that she was in the woods that connected to the old side of Eagle Hill Cemetery. She could see the old iron gate with the welded sign to the entrance just in the distance between spaces of passing fog. 

"There's only one person that can help me, and if I've raised Jason, maybe, I can find a way to get some help from him too..." Ezrabette said to herself referencing a mysterious second dead man she was willing to raise from the ground to help her end. 

She quickly made her way through the outer layer of the forest and into the cemetery that swelled with old stone angels and crosses marked with names of the dead that were centuries old. She passed those names in a quick motion and made her way to the Collins mausoleum. As she got closer she see a little spark of a contained fire just out side the gate of the mausoleum and she could see activity around that fire. 

"What in the..?" Ezrabette said to herself not knowing what she was about to come across at 11 o'clock at night at the cemetery. Closer and closer she got to the fire outside the Collins mausoleum.

She could smell the burning coals, she could hear the crackling flames, and she could see a person dancing in the black smoke. As Ezrabette came closer she could see that it was a woman chanting and dancing in the light of the flames. 

"Breath in the flame. Breath in the flames. Call me the one of many names. Breath in the flames. Breath in the flames. Call me the one of many names." The woman chanted as the glow of fire shined all around her.

Ezrabette watched from a hidden thicket of bushes just feet away from the spectacle of the woman and the flames. Then the woman reached into a bag and pulled out a live rabbit. The creature was small and fit into the palm of the woman's left hand. With her right hand the woman grabbed it's neck and twisted it, killing the animal right there in seconds.

"This creature has been sacrificed for the cause of the return of my powers. She of many names has returned thanks to thee, mother nature. His little life goes back into the flames and returns to the earth. Circle of life. Twists and turns. Breath the flames. Woman of many names." She began to chant again.

Ezrabette saw that this woman was one of her mysitcal sisters. A woman that had powers beyond anything she had ever seen before. Ezrabette slowly came out from the thicket of bushes and walked up to the flames and saw the woman chanting there. It was the mysterious Sasha Beaufort, governess of the Collins family. 

"Sister." Ezrabette said to the woman calling for a sisterly coven.

Sasha looked up at Ezrabette and stood tall. Instantly she saw the twinkle of power in Ezrabette's aura. 

"Sister." Sasha said.

This was the first time Ezrabette had seen Sasha, this was the first time they had ever met, they were strangers but connected through their powers through nature and magic. 

"I have come here for assistance, and perhaps our mother nature has shown me you. What are you called?" Ezrabette questioned.

Being that the women were connected through their powers of magic and in a coven birth by nature, Sasha revealed the biggest secret of her existance. 

"Claudia. Claudia Bochard." Sasha said, revealing her true name.

Sasha was indeed the reincarnation, the rebirth of the daughter of Angelique and Barnabas. Claudia, had not died in 1920 as everyone assumed; she was alive. She was in Collinsport and she was now Ezrabette's hopeful ally in the fight to rid Marie Clotidle and Jason McGuire's alter ego Jonathon Silva before it was too late. 

****

It was morning now. The fresh air from the ocean sprayed across the lawn of the great mansion. It was a serine setting that played tricks on the mind, for inside the mansion, things were not so peaceful.

David rushed down the staircase in a panic. He searched all the rooms on the first floor hoping Siobhan had gotten up earlier and was down stairs having breakfast. David had fallen asleep before her after his night out with Caleb at the Blue Whale and had fallen asleep before her. When he awoke, she was not there.

In the kitchen, the cook and Kat were chatting over coffee when David burst in looking for Siobhan.

"Has Siobhan been down yet?" David asked.

"No, I haven't seen her." Kat replied as the cook went back to her duties.

"She wasn't in bed when I got home last night and she wasn't there when I woke up. Her side of the bed wasn't touched at all." David explained.

"There has to be some explanation. Maybe she took off to Windcliff earlier than expected. She's done that before." Kat answered.

"She usually tells me if she's going early. I'm worried." David said starting to feel a tightness in his stomach.

"Ok, just relax, don't panic, I'll call Loomis at the station, he's usually there before me. We'll see if we can get someone sort of A.P.B on her to double check and make sure that everything is ok." Kat replied as she reached for her cell phone.

"That won't be necessary." A voice said from the kitchen entrance.

It was Kimberly. She had come down from her room and heard the commotion in the kitchen. She walked over to David  with a concerned look on her face.

"David, I don't know how to tell you this...." Kimberly began before being interrupted.

"Tell me what?" David asked.

"Yesterday while you were dealing with Carolyn and her breakdown, Siobhan and I were talking. She had a lot of concerns about what was going on here." Kim said.

"Oh? What kind of concerns?" David asked skeptically.

"Well that maybe you needed time to devote to your family and not to a relationship. She was worried that having her here was a distraction and that you needed time to process everything with Carolyn and now that I'm here...well it was just too much for her." Kim said.

"You're lying." David said point blank. "She was fine with you here. She told you herself."

"She wasn't  being sincere David. She was more concerned with you and how you were going to be able to balance everything going on. I think it was very courageous for her to do that and let you focus on your family: your son, your beloved cousin, your grandchild..." Kim said before being interrupted again by David.

"And you? Did she want me to devote time to you?" David said sharply.

"Maybe I should let you two talk things out. David, if you need me for anything, give me a call at the station, ok?" Kat said before she left the room feeling like fly on the wall.

David thanked Kat and shook his head at Kim. He could tell something wasn't right but couldn't put his finger on it. The way Kimberly was talking about Siobhan made her out to be someone who was self-conscious, insecure with her relationship and her position within the family, but that was not the Siobhan David knew and fell in love with, she was a strong willed woman who never let her doubts get in the way of her happiness. The Siobhan Kim was talking about, at least in David's opinion, didn't exist.

"So what else did you and Siobhan talk about?" David said crossing his arms.

"A lot of things, especially how much she loves you, but at this point she chose to let you go and help the family in their time of need. She's quite the catch." Kim said.

"I don't believe you. There's no way that Siobhan would ever just pick up and leave just like that. What about her job? What about her life? This is her home too." David said.

Kimberly shook her head and took a deep breath in. She knew that David would react this way, after all they were married at one time for many years. She knew him like the back of her hand and knew that if she wanted to pull this off she would need some sort of proof to make him believe.

"She asked me to give you this." Kim said extending her arm. She opened her fist to show what she was holding. It was Siobhan's engagement ring.

"Where did you get this?" David said grabbing the ring from his ex wife.

"I told you David, we talked about this all night last night after dinner and when you were off at the Blue Whale with Caleb. She grabbed a few things and took off, but before that she asked me to give this to you in the morning." Kim explained, her plot thickening.

David's eyes watered. He looked at his ex wife with disbelief but it was in fact Siobhan's ring. He took the ring, and without saying a word, left the kitchen with Kim hot on his tracks.

"Where are you going?" Kim asked.

"I want to see if she took her things. I want to see if she really, really left." David said rushing up to the room he shared with Siobhan to see if he had neglected to notice her things gone.

Kim followed.

David burst back into  his bedroom and opened his closet. It was true, some of her clothes were gone. He rushed across to the other side of the room and opened up a dresser and again, some of her things were gone. But not everything.

"See...." Kim said as she slowly sat on his bed.

"Why? Why would she do this?" David said picking up one of Siobhan's shirts she had left behind.

"David, don't worry. Whatever you need, whatever you want, I'll be here. All you have to do is trust me." Kimberly said with an evil grin.

"Get out. GET OUT of here! I don't want to see you! I don't want to talk to you. Get the hell out of my room!!" David screamed at his ex.

Kimberly slowly got up from the bed and went to the door. She turned around and saw David's tears falling into his open hand where Siobhan's engagement ring was still glittering in the sun light.

"I'll be downstairs." Kim said softly.

Her plan was in full swing. After Kim had locked Siobhan in Barnabas' coffin in the old house she came back to see a quiet house. Carolyn and the baby were asleep Kat was still at the police station and David, Caleb and eventually Sasha were at the Blue Whale. She used that opportunity to grab a few of Siobhan's belongings and a suitcase to make her story seem more truthful.



All the while, Siobhan lay in the complete darkness in Barnabas's coffin locked away by Kim's evil trick. She was cold. She was hungry and she was in and out of consciousness. The air in the coffin was starting to thin.

"I have to get out of here. Please......please, someone......don't fall asleep. Don't fall asleep." The weak Siobhan said to herself. "Don't....fall........................aslee........"



Kat fiddled with her keys to get into her car,  her sun glasses slightly slipping to the tip of her nose. She jumped in and turned on her car and started down the great drive way turning slowly down the large circle curve. As she went down the drive she looked in her review mirror and saw a figure dashing past through the lightly yellowed lawn still wet from the morning dew.

The woman was Kim, quickly making her way out of a side exit of the main mansion veering towards the direction of the old house where she was keeping Siobhan prisoner Barnabas Collins' coffin. Kat quickly stopped her car to watch with curiosity.

"The old house? What in the world?" Kat said, confused about her mother in law's sudden interest in the empty mansion on the grounds that made up the Collinwood estate.


****

Later on in that morning, David continued to reel over Siobhan's sudden disappearance. He sat in the foyer tossing back brandy after brandy when Caleb walked in ready to head in for a meeting at work with Curtis Winters.

"Starting a little early aren't you?" Caleb said with a snide joke.

"Don't start." David said in a hoarse voice.

"What's the matter?" Caleb questioned.

"Siobhan left. She's gone, I don't know why so don't ask me." David said angrily.

"What do you mean 'gone'? We just saw her last night at dinner." Caleb responded placing his briefcase on the sofa next to his father.

"While you and I were at the Blue Whale, she and your mother had some kind of talk and she took off before I got home. That's all I know. She didn't leave any other info. Just her ring." David explained.

"Did you try calling her?" Caleb asked.

"Straight to voice mail." David said tossing back another brandy. "Maybe she'll call your mom, all of a sudden they're confiding in each other." David added sarcastically.

"Dad, look, you don't really think mom had anything to do with her leaving do you?" Caleb glancing at his watch.

"Well I---" David said before being interrupted by the door bell.

Caleb and David looked at each other. David jumped to his feet and started to stammer over to the front door. He pulled the large wooden doors open and standing there was Jason McGuire, or as he was known under his mysterious guise, Carolyn's new doctor Dr. Jonathon Silva.

"Mr. Collins good morning." Jonathon said with Cheshire cat grin.

"Hello." David replied. "Does Carolyn have an appointment with you?" he added.

 "Mr. Collins, may I come in? We really need to talk about Carolyn.

David stepped aside and Jonathon stepped into the foyer, he removed his overcoat and as David turned to close the door he saw two men dressed in all white were standing next to a white van. A van that David knew all too well. It was a van from Windcliff sanitarium.

"What's going on?" David questioned.

"There is really no easy way to say this to you." Jonathon said as Caleb entered the foyer. "But Carolyn's mental state has gone into a very dark place. I'm afraid there are safety concerns." Jonathon said.

"Safety concerns?" Caleb questioned.

"Yes, I'm afraid for the safety of this household--especially the baby--and of course for Carolyn's. Her mind takes her into some very violent places and one day I'm afraid she may snap and we don't know who will be around her when it happens, because the question is not a why it will happen, but a when. Carolyn needs to be in a safe place when that moment comes." Jonathon explained.

"She just having bad dreams." Caleb said unconvinced.

"They're more than bad dreams, son. She's actually seeing things now. She's getting out of bed. The first night we caught her almost falling off of Window's Hill." David explained to stunned Caleb.

"Precisely my point. You wouldn't want little Canan to be around her when she finally does snap, would you?" Jonathon added.

"Well what do you want us to do Doctor? We want to help Carolyn." David said, his mind still fuzzy from the many brandies in the drawing room.

Jonathon gave them both a second Cheshire cat smile and pulled out a stack of papers that were folded in  his in the pocket of his suit jacket.

David grabbed the paperwork and unfolded it. He read it over and took a deep breath as he flicked through the pages. It was clear what they were.

"What is that? What is this?" Caleb said grabbing the forms from David. "No. Dad, no. You can't be serious." Caleb said reading over the paper work.

"Its for the best Caleb." Jonathon said.

"Dad, you can't sign this. What will Alex think? You remember what it was like in that place, you can't..." Caleb said as Jonathon interrupted.

"If you don't sign her over to Windcliff I will have the state notified that a mentally unstable person lives here and I can assure you, Caleb, they will remove your son from the home. This is the best for everyone." Jonathon said to a shocked Caleb.

Caleb and David looked at each other. Caleb flabbergasted that it had come to this. It was too unbelievable for him to even fathom.

"Give me back the forms, Caleb." David said extending his hand for the forms.

"Dad!!" Caleb responded.

"Carolyn needs to be in a safe place and Jonathon has been good to her. This is for the best." David said reaching over for Jonathon's pen and signing over Carolyn to the man that was really the monster Jason McGuire come back to life.

The men dressed in all white walked into the mansion and went up the stairs with Jonathon to Carolyn's room. She was still sleeping when they walked in. As Jonathon got close to Carolyn she could feel the presence of someone over her and woke up.

The light had been slightly obscured by the thick drapes drawn across the big windows in Carolyn's room. She squinted as her eyes adjusted to the darkness.

"Who's there?" Carolyn said looking up at the grinning face of Jonathon Silva that quickly changed to the monstrous rotting face of Jason McGuire.

"Your worst nightmare." Jason said in his Scottish brogue.

Carolyn quickly recognized the face and began to hyperventilate and try to get out of her bed. But the two men in white grabbed hold of her as Jason's face quickly change back to Jonathon's.

Jonathon pulled out a syringe from his bag and quickly stuck it into Carolyn's arm to sedate her.

Carolyn was now in Jonathon's possession and the plan to destroy the Collins family was quickly on it's way to finally becoming reality one family member at a time.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Series 8/Chapter 7: ANOTHER NAIL IN THE COFFIN

It was early evening in Collinsport. The docks were beginning to see just the first signs of a misty fog creeping up from the sea. The sound of distant seagulls crying in the distance mixed with the dinging buoys in the ocean were the calling card of this fishing village's mystique and acted as an alarm call to all docked fisherman to head into their favorite local pubs for the night.

As the sun was in it's last moments now, slowly dipping below the far off hills, Carolyn decided to skip yet another session with her new therapist Dr. Jonathon Silva, the alias of Jason McGuire brought back to life by Collinsport's resident witch Ezrabette Baptiste, and head off to bed. Jonathon was brought back as the one major key in a  revenge plot set off by the ghost of Ezrabette's great-grandmother Marie Clotilde, who was burned to death by a jealous Judith Collins-Trask. Carolyn was a large piece of Jonathon's plan to ruin the Collins family for himself and for Marie Clotilde, and as long as he could infiltrate her mind his plot was on track.

As Maggie's car slowly turned into the drive way at Collinwood, her passenger Jonathon began to feel a telepathic pull in his mind and then felt a hand grabbing at his throat and tightening. His breathing got shallower and he violently grabbed the arm to his car-seat in a gasp for air while Maggie continued to make small talk as she parked the car without noticing anything.

Then deep in his mind, the voice of the dead Marie Clotilde burned. She had a message for him, a message that needed to be heard quickly.

"You're late! You're late!" Marie Clotide's voice raged.

"Let--me--go!" Jonathon thought in his mind in a gasping induced voice to Marie Clotilde.

"Carolyn is falling asleep. You must get into her room and begin the next faze of this plan before she falls into a deep sleep. You won't  be able to reach her mind once the sleep has taken over her subconscious. Hurry! Get to Carolyn!" Marie Clotilde ordered as his throat was suddenly released.

Jonathon let out a gasp of air startling Maggie who was finally putting her car in park.

"Are you ok?" She said turning to her passenger concerned with this deep exhale.

"Sorry. Yes! I was holding my breath." Jonathon replied.

"Why?" Maggie darted back with a confused look on her face.

Jonathon stammered for a response but could only muster a half baked "Hiccups!" excuse that seemed to satisfy Maggie, even though she began to feel he was a bit odd.

"Why don't we go inside, I'm sure Carolyn really would like to get her sessions started." Maggie said with a strange look on her face at Jonathon. She quickly got out of her car and rushed inside letting Jonathon to tag along behind her.

As they entered the mansion Maggie and Jonathon went their separate ways. Maggie to the drawing room where she was hoping to run into Kat but found it empty, and Jonathon ran up the stairs and down the dimly lit hallways to Carolyn's bedroom where he was hoping to catch her before she fell into deep REM sleep.

David was closing Carolyn's door queitly just as Jonathon got there.

"Oh, doctor you're here." David said sounding surprised. "Carolyn just got into bed."

"I'm sorry I'm late, how is she?" Jonathon questioned.

"She seems fine. She's getting better but I don't know if tonight would be a good night for a sessions. I think she needs rest." David replied.

"I would actually like to monitor her sleep patters. I can sometimes get more information on what happens while she sleeps then when she's awake. We're more open minded when we're unconscious believe it or not." Jonathon said to a confused David.

"Well whatever you think is best, doctor, I'll be down stairs if you need me." David answered releasing his hand from Carolyn's bedroom door knob.

As David left his cousin alone with Jonathon, somewhat reluctantly, Jonathon placed his hand on the door knob being sure to wait for David to make it all the way down the hall and away from view before he entered.

When the coast was clear, he entered a bedroom that was quiet, serene and feminine. Carolyn's sheer curtains swayed in a cool breeze that blew up from the shore just below Widow's Hill as she lay in her bed in a sweet sleep that would soon turn to horror.

"Carolyn. Carolyn." Jonathon whispered as he stood over her sleeping body.

She moaned a response, her eyes twitched slightly, a message to Jonathon that she had not yet entered deep sleep and that exterior stimulation was still possible.

He sat down in a plush chair  and pulled it closer to her bedside, crossed his legs and began to use his words to enter her mind.

"Carolyn, I want you to hear my voice. I want you to hear what I have to say. Go into that place that is all dark, filled with shadows. Listen to the ticking clock in your room and let it take you where to that place where you fear the most." Jonathon instructed.

Carolyn winced, her unconscious state fighting the voice from the outside forcing her to into a place she feared.

"Carolyn, listen to me, follow the darkness. Follow the ticking sound from the clock and let take you to that place, Carolyn, let yourself go there....." Jonathon's voice said as it trailed off in Carolyn's mind echoing further and further away from reality leaving Carolyn alone in her dark place.


In a place where there was no sound, a place where there was no light Carolyn stood alone and cold and afraid. She looked around for any sign of life or light but again found nothing.

"Why am I here?" Carolyn said out-loud in her dark place, her voice echoing into nothing. "Where am I?" She added.

She began to walk slowly, she shivered in her pajamas, the same close she was wearing in real life. She walked and walked but felt as if she had been walking in place. Nothing had changed. But then the sound of fabric rustling behind her. Carolyn quickly turned to see what it was, but there was nothing.

She heard the sound again from behind and quickly turned to see where it was coming from, but again nothing.

"Who are you!??!? What do you want from me!?" Carolyn screamed, her voice again echoing into the voice of the darkness.

As she began to feel the panic bubble up in her body, a warm breath began to wash on the side of her neck. Carolyn was frozen in fear, she could not move. She could not stop shaking. The breath was hot on her neck now, like a stream of warm water falling from above he head. Carolyn's body was now shaking, her hands cold as ice, her face in a panic gaze.

"What do you want." She managed to say just before being violently turned around to face the being that was breathing on her neck. It was a large figured cloaked in a black silhouette. She could make out that the being was taller than her and seemed to be a man. The man grabbed her by around her upper arms but his face was still black, no eyes, no face, just a black mass, but she could tell it was staring at her.

"WHAT ARE YOU?!" She screamed as the grip of this man's hands tightened on her shoulders.

Without saying a word the man pulled Carolyn by her upper arms in a forceful motion towards him. Carolyn held her breath and tried to lift her hands between herself and the person pulling her but then Carolyn got the shock of her life, as she got closer to the man pulling her in, she saw his face, a face that was void of emotion, void of warmth and so vile she almost did not recognize it.

It was the face of Barnabas Collins with his mouth wide open grinning a wide open vampire grin pulling her in for a bloody bite.

Carolyn screamed so loud it woke her up in the safety of her bed and the welcome gaze of Dr. Jonathon Silva who was hoping for this very result.

"Carolyn.....tell me....what did you see?" Jonathon questioned.

"I don't.....I don't....." Carolyn said before Maggie and David ran into the room.

"What the hell is going on?!" David yelled.

"Honey are you alright?" Maggie said rushing to Carolyn's bedside.

"I'm fine. I'm fine." Carolyn reassured.

"Doctor, what happened? I thought you were just going to observe her?" David questioned using the doctor's own words.

"Mr. Collins, please--please, we can talk about this later, right now I want to make sure my patient is ok." Jonathon said brushing off David's inquiry.

"No, right now I think you should leave. I think Carolyn needs to rest." David said to a visible frustrated Jonathon. "I can have Powell drive you back to your hotel room." David added.

Maggie looked over at Jonathon with a scowl still hugging Carolyn in her bed.

"Please, everyone calm down, I just had a bad dream. There's no need for any of this." Carolyn said.

"Honey you've been having these dream for a while now. What are you dreaming about?" Maggie questioned.

"You won't believe me if I told you." Carolyn answered.

"You're forgetting who you're talking to We've all been there at one point of our lives or another There's noting you can't tell us. Go on you can trust us." Maggie asked.

"Well............" Carolyn began before starting the feeling of embarrassment started to swell in her throat.  "it's silly really." She said.

"Carolyn you need to vocalize whats happening to you so that you can break free of what is holding you back. It's really the only way you can exercise what's hurting you." Jonathon said with an eyebrow raised.

Carolyn looked around, and she had no reason not to trust anyone in the room, no one would surly feel she was strange or silly for the words that were going to come out of her mouth.

"I've been....." Carolyn began before pausing.

"What is it?" David asked.

"I've been dreaming about Barnabas. Barnabas has been coming to me in my dreams." Carolyn said once and for all. "He's come to me in very strange ways. Violent. I feel like he's trying to tell me something. I feel like it's some sort of message." She added.

"Carolyn, Barnabas is gone. He's been gone for a very long time, you were there and I was there....we were all there. There's no way he's coming back this time. You have to let this go." David said.

"David's right hun." Maggie replied.

"Mr. Collins, Ms. Evans, let's leave Carolyn to rest alone while we step outside. Shall we?" Jonathon said as they all left Carolyn in her room drinking a glass of water Maggie had gotten her.

As Jonathon, David and Maggie filed out Carolyn's room and into an adjoining study that smelled of old books, leather couches and candle wax. Jonathon finally felt comfortable to lay down the next step in his plan to ruin the Collins family starting with their matriarch Carolyn.

"What is it?" David asked crossing his arms.

"It seems to me that Carolyn is suffering from a very powerful case of post traumatic stress. It's affecting her in obvious negative ways where she can't even sleep peacefully..." Jonathon said before being interrupted by David,

"Well I know that tone of voice, but tell me, what are you getting at Jonathon?" David questioned forcefully.

Jonathon looked around, the dim room's gloomy light illuminated Jonathon from below casting shadows on his face in a wicked way. His eye brow lifted once more.

"I think it's time we commit Carolyn for her own safety. Commit Carolyn and make sure that we nip these terrors in the bud before they get any worse and before someone gets worse. I can set it up as soon as you sign off on it David. I think it's for the best." Jonathon instructed placing the next part of his plan into motion.

David and Maggie looked at each other, their concerned eyes locked. They both knew the horrible things that could happen to someone who was locked away at Windcliff, both of them being patients there themselves for over two decades.

"We'll need to think about this with the family, I'll have to call Alexandra too." David said softly. "Maggie will take you downstairs Dr. Silva, Powell will drive you home." He added in the soft tone.

Jonathon agreed and smiled and left the room. Maggie lagged behind and looked at David straight in the face.

"Don't you dare make any decisions about this before I get back." Maggie demanded.

 If Jonathon's wishes to have Carolyn committed were granted by David, his next step in totally destroying the family would be set on course. What David and Maggie didn't know is that Jonathon had no intention of really putting Carolyn at Windcliff, no, Carolyn would suffer a much more dire fate, but a fate that would only be revealed once David signed papers.


 *****

The awkward Collins family dinner had ended hours ago and Kimberly eagerly awaited the effects of the medication she placed in Siobhan's wine. The potent pain medication was created using a particular Brazilian plant that the University of Maine had commissioned Kimberly and her medical expertise to test to later use as alternative pain medication for cancer patients. Kimberly's plan, however, was to use enough was to use the plant extract in a sinister way. She placed enough of it in Siobhan's wine at dinner to knock her cold...all Kim had to do now was wait, and the distraction with Carolyn was a welcomed one. 

For her part, Siobhan kept to herself while the other's dealt with Carolyn. She went up to her room after the dinner to look over her own work, now that she was head of Windcliff Sanitarium. Kimberly scurried behind her rival close enough to monitor her but far enough away that she went un-noticed. 

Siobhan sorted through the paperwork at her desk in her bedroom by a dim light. She read through the papers but suddenly began to feel light-headed. She shook her head thinking that the reason was the reading by poor light but as she got up to turn on a brighter lamp she stumbled to the floor. 

On all fours in her bedroom now, she began to feel a strange weakness. Her arms were barely holding her up. She began to feel as if she was losing the ability to speak. She was on the floor of her bedroom staring at the door, her mouth open to scream for David but only drool came out, spilling to the floor in a puddle of clear liquid.

Her eyes began to water. She had no idea what was happening to her. She was fine just minutes ago. She was literally paralyzed in the all-fours position on the floor. Siobhan's eyes were moving but nothing else. Finally, her arms gave way and she fell face and chest first to the floor. Her breathing a slow and timid. 

As she lay there not knowing what in the world was happening to her she heard the door to her bedroom open, she struggled to look but all she could see were a pair of white high-heeled shoes coming across to the carpet. The person knelt down and rolled Siobhan over on her back, the ceiling light blinded her for a second but then, Kimberly's face appeared over her, looking down like a surgeon on a patient.

"I never meant for any of this to happen, but......this is my family we're talking about." Kimberly said as Siobhan looked up at her fiance's ex-wife confused.

Siobhan tried to speak but only spit and mumbles came out.

"Shh... don't talk. It's useless. First of all, no one will hear you and second of all, I put enough of that plant extract in your wine that you'll be out cold in just a few minutes. Oh--don't look at me like that Siobhan! What was I supposed to do? Everything I had hoped for vanished the moment you walked in to the room the other day, you can't really expect me to just let it all go, can you? David and I belong together--we have two beautiful sons, and now a grandson. You just don't fit in that picture." Kimberly said to Siobhan who was beginning to feel like the lights were all going out. 

Kimberly waited for a few more moments until Siobhan was finally fully asleep. Kim grabbed her rival by the wrists and began to drag her out of the room going backwards into the hallway but turning slightly to the right where there was a small servants corridor that lead to a back passage outside of the mansion away from all the commotion on the other side of the main hall where David, Maggie and Jonathon had been dealing with Carolyn. 

Kimberly dragged Siobhan, step by step, down this servants corridor until they were both finally outside in the chilly Collinsport air where she saw Powell putting Jonathon Silva in the back of the Collins family car. 

Kimberly quickly dragged the sleeping Siobhan behind some bushes until Powell and Jonathon drove off, and when the coast was finally clear she continued to drag Siobhan across the wet lawn all the way until they finally arrived at the Old House. 

Kimberly pushed the doors open and dragged the tatted Siobhan into the Old House that had no been in use since last Spring when Barnabas and Jacqueleen were living in it. Kimberly quickly searched the house for a hiding spot for Siobhan while she lay out cold on the living room floor. Upstairs, downstairs, all over the Old House. 

Finally she came across a door that lead to a staircase. The staircase went down into a dark and musty belly of the Old House. Slowly going down the staircase, Kimberly made sure to keep her hands on the sides of the walls. She could only see by the light from the doorway from which she came.

The steps got steeper, the smell became more musty and the temperature became much more cold. In the basement now, Kimberly could see old furniture, several boxes of nick-knacks and what seemed to be a large trunk sitting in the center of the room. As Kimberly walked over to, the closer and closer she got she began to realize the large trunk was actually a coffin.



Hours later Siobhan awoke. She opened her eyes but still only saw darkness. Was she blind? What had happened to her? What was happening now? She lifted her hands but they hit something above her. She felt around more and she could feel there was clearly something above her. She moved her feet around and they were tightly wedged into something. Siobhan pushed up with her hands but she was locked. She was inside of something. She was inside of something dark and cold.

"There's no use Siobhan." A voice came from outside of wherever she was laying in. "No one will hear you, not now, not ever." 

It was Kimberly's voice. Kimberly had locked Siobhan inside of Barnabas Collins coffin. 

****

 After a stressful ordeal with Carolyn, Caleb decided to take his father out for a night cap at the Blue Whale. There they'd find the company of town's folk chatting away the day into a night of blurry happy drunkenness that would allow them to make it through their work week. 

David and Caleb at at their regular table over-looking the foggy docks. A seagull curiously paced back and forth along the windowsill hoping for a snack of beer peanuts that would never get to him.

"Why didn't Siobhan want to come?" Caleb said popping a peanut into his mouth.

"I think she turned in early for the night, and with everything going on with your mother coming back and Carolyn's situation I don't really blame her. It's exhausting." David explained.

"You'd think being Barnabas' adopted daughter she'd be used to so much going on." Caleb joked.

"She grew up in Singapore with him, and in those days he wasn't the same Barnabas we know here in town--and you know what, let's not mention his name around anyone at Collinwood right now, especially Carolyn." David requested.

"Why do you think she keeps seeing him everywhere?" Caleb asked.

"I don't know son, but what I can tell is that it's not good. She's losing it, I mean really losing it! I've never seen her this way before. You're too young to remember but, Carolyn has been through a lot in her life. Both of us have, and we survived. That's what makes us so close, we've survived some of the most traumatic situations you can imagine." David answered.

"Are you saying you don't think Carolyn's gonna make it out of this one?" Caleb asked concerned for the woman that practically raised him as a child when his mother Kimberly ran off with another man. 

"I don't know what's going to happen;" David replied sipping from his beer while a loud group of young men laughed when placing quarters in the old-school jukebox. "she's a tough lady, so I'm not counting her out just yet. It's just going to be a lot of work." he continued.

"Plus she has that Doctor Silva on her side too. I'm sure he's really helping out." Caleb said.

"Right." David answered careful not to reveal to his son that Jonathon Silva wanted to put Carolyn away at a mental hospital. 

As the father and son duo chatted away about the goings-on at Collinwood, the Collins Enterprises newest employee Curtis Winters, quietly made his weary way into The Blue Whale. His dark hair and bright blue eyes causing all the ladies to do a double take on his handsome chiseled face. Curtis carefully hung his coat on the coat wrack and walked over to the bar. 

"That's him! That's Curtis!" Caleb said to his father. "Hey!! Curtis come on over!" Caleb called to a shy Curtis.

"Mr. Collins, good evening." Curtis said to his new bosses.

"Please! We're not at work, sit down. This is my father David, Dad this is Curtis Winters." Caleb introduced as the two shook hands.

"Mr. Winters very good to meet you. So my son says that you've just joined our company. Welcome aboard!" David said with a grin and sip of his beer.

"Thank you, I'm really eager to get going with the Northern fleet. I met them earlier today down at the docks, they seem like a great bunch of guys." Curtis answered. 

"You're going to do great. They're a smaller group so I thought it would better for you to start off small and manage them first before we move you on to a larger fleet. The central Atlantic fleet is our largest group, about 5 fishing ships to manage. Their orders are a lot larger too and ship to mostly southern states." Caleb explained to a nodding and still nervous Curtis.

"This might be me just calling out the elephant in the room here Curtis, but your last name. Any relation to a Victoria Winters of New York City?" David questioned to a surprised Caleb.

"Actually yes." Caleb answered to a surprised David.

"What do you mean yes? You are related to Vickie?" David said looking at his son, then looking at Curtis.

Curtis was unsure of how to answer based on David's reaction to Caleb. He looked at them both and saw two very different attitudes so he chose his words carefully. 

"We are related ... yes." Curtis said hoping he didn't just ruin his entire career.

"Caleb...." David said before being interrupted by his son.

"Dad, listen, I know you still have your hang ups about Vickie especially after everything she did to us last year but we've all gotten past that and I think you should too." Caleb said.

"It's not just this past year, she was responsible for everything that happened to us for over 20 years and we only found out about last year." David said angrily.

"We all agreed to move on. This is the first step." Caleb said in a sort of hushed tone while a very uncomfortable Curtis looked on.

As the two Collins men discussed this new information another patron to the bar walked in, this time the lovely Sasha Beaufort, Canan's new governess and the first friend Curtis met in Founder's Park. Curtis, who had a drawn intensely to Sasha in their first meeting instantly lit up. His bright blue eyes sparkled at her as she walked in.

"Excuse me." Curtis said getting up from the table with the Collins men. 


Curtis walked over to Sasha and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned back around and their eyes met. She smiled politely but at the same time felt awkward.

"Well, well, well, fancy meeting you here." Sasha said.

"I'm actually really happy you're here." Curtis said.

"And why's that?" Sasha asked annoyed.

"I don't know, after our first meeting in the park...there's just something very familiar about you. I feel like we've met before. Does that sound strange?" Curtis replied as the music in the jukebox began to play an old Elvis song.

"People say it's my face. I have a very familiar face." Sasha replied moving over to a table."

"I thought about going up to Collinwood but..."

"No. Don't ever go up to Collinwood." 

"Why not?" Curtis questioned. He noticed how quickly she answered. Something about the idea of setting foot on the Collinwood land didn't sit right with him just yet, but it seemed like Sasha felt the same way. 

She had her reasons, after all she knew of just how cursed the mansion was, from experience, and she also could tell that there was something very peculiar about Curtis that she couldn't out her finger on. Collinwood, in Sasha's mind, was a place that when given the opportunity would drain even the most experienced of beings no matter who they were, and even as hard as people tried, they still left there with a coldness that could not be warmed. 

"Um...it's not just a house, or a place I live in, it's where I work." Sasha said covering for her real reason.

"You're right, I would never want to interrupt your normal day-to-day life. I just feel like we could be fast friends." Curtis replied. 

Sasha smiled at Curtis, there it was right in front of her seemed to be a kind sweet gentle being that when he smiled it was as if she had seen that smile before. It was warm and kind, and made her feel calm and normal, a feeling she had missed much of her life away in the shadows and secrets.



Back at David and Caleb's table things were a little more tense. David was insisting to know about about Curtis Winters.

"Dad, you don't have to worry, I knew Curtis was coming for a job interview and I knew everything about him before hand. It's going to be fine, trust me." Caleb reassured his father who still wasn't convinced.

"Carolyn allowed you to take over her spot as CEO because I was still locked up at Windcliff, and so far I've let you keep your position so right now without interfering, but I think it's time that I come back and take up my rightful spot along side you. Decisions need to be made by both of us, especially something like this." David said to an annoyed Caleb.

"Dad I've hired hundreds of people over the last decade, you never made any decisions before or even cared to question me since you've been back from Windcliff, what's the big difference now?" Caleb wondered as he popped another peanut into his mouth.

"Vicki Winters, that's what. Caleb, she's Elizabeth's daughter, we all know that now. That means she has stake in Collins Enterprises. So far she's been out of our hair but all of a sudden Curtis shows up and wants a job? That doesn't feel strange to you?" David said clearly explaining his concern about the Winters connection. "Just how is he related to her anyway?" he added.

Finally understanding his father's point, Caleb started to feel a bit nervous himself and looked over at Curtis chatting away with Sasha. Then words that came out of his mouth made David even more concerned.

"He's her son."