When the going gets tough, the tough get going, resolving to the saying Cindy determined to solve this case anyhow. She called her Dad at ranch to tell she’s coming to meet them. Her parents had no inkling about the disappearances or her investigations in Ravencliff. She met them and narrated entire case of the town and stories going around. Also about the hostile treatment she was given at her own birthplace.
The change in their body language suggested something amiss and Cindy probed what are they hiding from her. It’s when her mother told they left Ravencliff for reasons beyond one’s belief; Cindy was not convinced!
‘Why you didn’t tell this earlier mother? I always believed we left that town for our future; my future, Dad’s business.’
‘How could we darling; you were a baby then. And it’s for our good that we left that cursed town forever.’
‘Now please I do not believe in curse and all, please we are not talking about all this folk fare talks here Mom.’
‘What about my friend Tim, how come even he never told me that when we were in Ravencliff!’ She exasperated.
‘Tim! who is Tim, Cindy? We don’t know any Tim from your friends or even at school.’ said her father.
‘Come on Dad, you all know him. He was the only one I played with in childhood; in fact, we even wanted to get married then. Yeah that’s funny but true! He even sent me many letters after we shifted here from Ravencliff.’
‘Letters! We never got any letters for you Cindy, except from schools or universities.’ Said her mother.’
‘Oh MOM! What is wrong with both of you today? Let me get those – they are piled up in the basement – many of them and yes all from Tim.’ Cindy’s losing her patience now.
She went to the basement and her Dad followed her pursuit to fetch those old letters, at the back of a huge trunk she found her old study desk. ‘There they are, see Dad didn’t I tell you I have a lot of these, she opened one to show it her Father when suddenly something stuck her – the handwriting!
She rushed upstairs to grab her backpack and pulled a piece of paper; the same warning notes she received – ‘Oh My God! Dad…. Mom. just look at these – both handwritings are same. This is TIM he is the one behind all this mess. I will not leave him now, what does he think of himself. Just because I did not respond to all that idiot childish love – he will mess with me. I will expose him now; and put him behind bars. I caught you Mr. Timothy Miles.’
‘WAIT A MINUTE! Who? WHOSE name did you just take??’
‘Timothy Miles, Geoffry! The same Timothy Miles who is been burned alive with his father, stepmother and little step-sister. That was the very unfortunate incident which cursed Ravencliff decades ago.’ Said Mr. Smith, caretaker of the town; walking towards Cindy with a nod to her mother. Smith and Cindy’s father are dear friends and this was the sole purpose of her to ask father’s help today evening. But now things have taken a different shape altogether.
Timothy’s family was one of the wealthiest and most generous families of 60’s when Ravencliff was just a little habitat of Royals, uniformed officers and few civilians with their slaves. Sir. Escott Miles was a landlord with huge property under his name when James was born, they had a happy small family. James was a smart kid and only heir of Miles, but he fell in love with a slave girl – Eva.
Eva and James got married against the will of Sir. Escott which resulted in his wife’s illness and sudden death. Eva, James wife was hence called witch & a curse to the family. But James and Eva’s were madly in love with each other then. It was only after Timothy was born to them, that James got interested in another lady called Emily. She was daughter of Rt. Army Colonel, beautiful and most poise James left his wife and just born son for her.
Eva worked on farms as daily wage labor but town treated her poorly. She was subjected to rape by fellow slum dwellers and local villagers socially boycotted her. She started living outside town, near the old shelter tree. People say she performed black magic or devilish things there. However, Timothy was a cheerful boy and his father asked Eva to let him have Tim. But she did not agree, she wanted revenge. James & Emily married and a little girl was born to them whom they named Cynthia.
Timothy loved his step sister so much that he requested his mother to forgive his father. But Eva had lost her sanity by then, old folk of Ravencliff say she bargained with demon and evil spirits for her soul and cursed Escott Estate. One day, when Tim went to meet his father and little sister Cynthia; Eva sent her demonic spirits to kill Emily. Something went wrong and everybody died that fateful night including Timothy Miles.
Eva could not accept her defeat and the murder of Tim, she killed herself by hanging on the same old shelter tree.
Cindy your childhood friend is none other than same Timothy Miles who was killed by his own mother’s vengeance. That was the sole reason why Geoffrey decided to sell that cursed property and settle here. To keep you away from his presence, but when you came back all this has started again.
Now, he will not stop! He wants you; and only you can help him.
But how Mr. Smith? How can I help him? I am still unable to understand all this – why me?
Escott Estate is the same house Timothy and his family were killed in Cindy, and that’s the same place you were born. Your grandfather was a very successful merchant and bought that property to settle post his retirement. His death was unnatural so is your granny’s, infact you were a little girl when we lost your 2 days baby sister without any logical reasons. When Mr. Smith told me the history of that house years later, we decided to leave it for good, said her father.
She was unable to understand all this, is this for real? In today’s scenario and when science and technology is all we talk and understand. When a click on your phone can bring entire universe to your door step. Are we living in superficial world or this is just a folktale? Her mind is not accepting what Mr. Smith and her parents just told her.
“Somethings are beyond our comprehension child – let the secret remain buried deep inside vaults otherwise things will go out of control.” She remembered these words of Clergy from town’s church.
However, she is dead sure of one thing – It’s Tim who is behind all these cases of disappearances and also sending notes to her. But how? It’s been years since she has met him or seen him. She picked up letters from the table and started reading one by one. All letters had just one line written in them –
‘You Broke Your Promise; I am coming for you C.’
Author is contemplating to give more chapters to this fictional tale or leave it for reader’s wild imaginations. Feel free to drop in your advise or ideas on what next with The Secret Affairs.
You can read earlier parts here:
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© Dipika Singh