Day 15

Legacy

 

 

††††††††† Iím back home in my nice, normal, noiseless apartment.My vacation is over for another year.Tonight is going to be a bitch because I should sleep and I donít feel all that tired.Iíve got a lot to think about.I know we talked about where to go next year but Iím really questioning my membership of the ghost club.My head is saying Iíve had enough.My heart .. is rather battered and torn.

††††††††† I suppose I had better finish relating what happened .. not that Iím likely to forget any of it in a l-o-n-g while.We stayed in Haystone Manor till around 2, 2:30 this morning but it definitely felt different.Empty.I think we put a stop to what was going on there and, now, because of us, Haystone has lost its place on the Ďmost hauntedí list.There didnít seem to be any point in staying so we quit and went back to the lodge.I crashed, slept surprisingly easily, and was packed up and out by 11:00.I was the last of us to leave.

††††††††† Flo hitched a ride with Carrie.I was supposed to take her but I donít think she can face me.Incest is a terrible thing.I know Iím not Barnaby McFarlane and she isnít my sister Florentine and nothing at all happened between me and Flo but .. it felt like it had.I felt such passion for her.I impregnated her .. or he did.I was with her, telling her to push!We couldnít call the doctor in, it would have meant questions we couldnít answer.Iím still getting a grip on it all.I write ĎIí and Ďweí but I mean Ďheí and Ďtheyí.Thatís how real it was to me.I lived his life in vignettes.I felt his emotions.I knew it was wrong to love my sister but I couldnít stop.I couldnít end it, even though I tried.And when Jack found out she was pregnant and that I was the father, he was incandescent with rage and shame.He tried to kill her and the unborn baby.Instead, he shot me and, after that, he refused to speak with us.He closed the gates and forbade any of us to go outside.When the baby was born ÖIt died after 2 days.We had to dispose of it and we couldnít have it buried in town so Jack said we had to hide the evidence of our disgrace in the house.But even that wasnít enough.We couldnít forget.Jack decided he had to sell up; heíd break the family apart and force us to separate.Florentine was already depressed and sheíd lost a lot of blood during the birth.She insisted we bury our child in the woods and mark the grave.One McFarlane would stay behind.Maybe it was that which pulled us back there once weíd died.I donít know.

††††††††† It all happened to other people but Flo feels it just as much as I do so she got a ride home with Carrie.Andy didnít speak to anyone this morning.He packed up and drove off alone.Haystone was the ghost clubís best success but I really think itís over.

††††††††† I got back to the city around 2:15.Itís 8:30 now.Iíve just sat here all afternoon, havenít moved.Havenít unpacked.Canít bring myself to even look at the photographs.Too many memories, none of which are really mine.I feel so alone.Itís dumb because I havenít done anything except share in a secret.I, me, Drake McGavan, photographer, have not committed incest.I donít even HAVE a sister.I like Flo, sheís a nice, caring person.And, maybe, I feel something more for her but now Iím not sure if itís me or an echo of him.Thatís why my heart is feeling battered and torn.I want to call her but I think sheíd hang up on me.Maybe in a few days.I think we should talk it out at least.Itíll be embarrassing but we need to understand and get it behind us .. even if we then never see each other again.

††††††††† I never got to say goodbye to Derek and the others.We left before them because they had equipment to pack up.I said goodbye to Peri though.She was outside.I thought they were all still sleeping but she has some phenomenal reserves.She was .. okay.Wished me well.She looks good in leather, I have to admit.

††††††††† Life will seem a little pale and dull for a while but Iím a survivor.I have work lined up to keep me occupied.Iíll get thru this.Hold on, phoneís ringing.

††††††††† Well ÖYouíll never guess who that was.Iíve just spoken with Flo.She called me.Lots of awkward silences but weíre meeting tomorrow for dinner.She sounded shy, not her usual self, but then, totally unlike me, I sounded shy too.Then we paused for a second, laughed and called each other crazy.She said that, when I was trying to get close to Peri, she felt envious.I never knew that.I think Flo and I balance each other really well.She said weíre not them, weíre us, and maybe .. just maybe .. we could give them the legitimacy they could never have.Who knows?Hell, Iíll give it a shot.J

††††††††† I think Iíll start unpacking now.More tomorrow.

 

*****

 

††††††††† I never really understood the term anti-climax before.I guess my life hasnít had any climaxes worth reacting to .. till now.I feel down.Iíd say Iím depressed but I donít know if I am or if itís just an echo left over from Florentine.

††††††††† Itís Friday, November 1st.My vacation is over.On Monday, I go back to work.I suppose, strictly speaking, I have 2 more days of vacation left but it seems .. I donít know, empty.Without pleasure, or purpose.I think the ghost club has come to a stuttering halt.All those promises to meet up again at Christmas .. they wonít be kept.Too much happened between us for us to feel comfortable with each other.

††††††††† I keep telling myself Iím Florence Goode.Iím not her.I didnít do those things.I just .. remember doing them.I have to keep a balance here and Iíll start by stating that we stayed in the Manor till around 2:15 this morning.I didnít note the exact time.The house seemed different again.Silent, just like a big, empty house.I wonder if us knowing the truth is enough to give those spirits peace.I hope so.They werenít really bad people, they just made some bad choices and got stuck.

††††††††† We left all the gear and went back to the lodge.It was a silent walk.The more it sunk in, the more the distance grew between us, the sadder I felt.Alex asked if I wanted to talk but I shook my head.I couldnít talk until Iíd gotten it straight in my head.I slept quickly.I felt exhausted.Iím not surprised by that Ė Iíd lived Florentineís life for over 2 hours Ė I had nothing of the joys of childhood and all the highs and lows of an adult.

††††††††† When I woke, Alex was still asleep.I gathered my stuff and left.Carrie was making something to eat.I asked if I could ride home with her.I feel such a coward for doing that but this morning there was no way I could face Drake.We packed my stuff in her car and we were on the road by 10:15.I donít think either of us spoke until we were the other side of Mendocino, then Carrie asked if I was okay.I started to cry.

††††††††† I had so many memories of another life ÖThose sounds weíd heard made sense now.The man talking Ė that was Drake, or Barnaby.He was trying to end our affair but I didnít want him to.The woman laughing Ė that was me when I found out I was pregnant with my brotherís baby.The men arguing Ė that was Andy and Drake when Andy learned the truth about us.We had brought shame on the family, Drake couldnít deny it.The gunshot and the blood ÖAndy was so disgusted with me that he tried to kill me and my baby but Drake pushed me out of the way and got shot instead.Carrie and Alex nursed him because Andy wouldnít get Dr Carver.He said the doctor would ask questions, and then the whole town would know what weíd done.The woman screaming Ė that was me giving birth.Drake was there, telling me to push.Carrie held my hand.I felt the baby inside me ÖOh God, it was deformed, a monster.It should never have been.It lived for 2 days and then it died.But I loved him, my little boy.I called him Chuck, after my father.I was inconsolable.Iíd lost a lot of blood.Andy insisted we hide the body, that no one must ever know, so we buried it beneath the floor in the library.I started wandering at night, trying to escape the black despair.Iíd go as far as the lodge, sometimes even sneak inside so I could get away from them, my brothers and sisters ÖThen Andy decided to sell the estate and we had to dig up the body.I insisted that we bury him in the woods.

††††††††† I felt better once Iíd cried for little Chuck.Carrie was crying too.We got back to the city at just before 2 this afternoon.Now itís evening and I feel empty.Hollow.I know Iíve done nothing wrong but the feelings are hard to shake off.What Drake must be feeling Ö

††††††††† Whatís down to me Ė Florence Ė is going without saying a word to Alex.I should have said something or left a note.I didnít.I feel bad about that.I can only hope she understands and, maybe, Andy will take her a letter .. if he goes back there.He didnít speak to us at all this morning.Thatís why I believe the ghost club is over.

††††††††† Iíve just had a call from Carrie.She wanted to know how I am.We talked a long time.She was thinking the same as me, that we wonít be hunting any more ghosts.And then she said that, if we could talk like this, we still had some kind of future.It was up to us to make it happen.So I called Drake.We're meeting for dinner tomorrow night.I have to confess, journal, that I do have feelings for him, feelings of my own.Have for a long time.Maybe something good will come from Florentine and Barnaby McFarlane.Itís up to us to make it happen.

 

*****

 

††††††††† Iím home.Well, not quite.Iím back on Angel Island.Evan was pleased to see me until I told him Iím still on sabbatical and heís staying to cover for me.And that isnít strictly the whole truth because I am still on standby for the bossís special project whatever the hell it is Ė I just hope it isnít Hell because I have been there and done that, and it was an experience I donít particularly want to repeat in the future, near or otherwise.(Itís okay, journal, I know that isnít going to happen.Itís just nice to make statements like that every once in a while.)Tomorrow, I am going to check on the new house and then I am going to burn this record.But, tonight, Iím going to finish the story of Andyís trip to Haystone which I shamelessly gatecrashed.

††††††††† The Manor felt deserted after the sťance.Aquila checked every room but there was nothing Ė no sound, no energy.I canít say for certain though that itís over.I hope it is.Incest isnít good.Isnít good for the gene pool, for family cooperation, for a lot of things.But .. this wasnít rape.It was love.The two people involved just happened to be brother and sister.Love isnít evil, not true love.One sided, obsessive love .. yeah, that can turn to evil.This was felt on both sides.They knew it was wrong but they couldnít help themselves.Those people, the whole family, got mired ever deeper in a trap but they donít deserve to be stuck in it for eternity.Aquila said sheíd go back in a couple of months to check the latest.If it isnít over, weíll do what we can.

††††††††† We quit at 2:24 a.m. and returned to the lodge.Too early for breakfast (especially after the supper Andy had done the evening before) so we went straight to sleep.I sent Aquila to look in on the others to make sure they were okay.They were asleep but it had been a silent walk back from the house and there had been physical distance between them.Andy was the worst.Derek asked him if he was okay but Andy just turned away from him.Jack McFarlane was a decent, honest man who had no idea what was happening in his family.When he found out, it must have felt like heíd been cursed or something.Andy has taken all that on his own shoulders.He was embarrassed for his spectral family and for himself because weíd seen him Ďlike thatí.He felt absolutely mortified and isolated.Right now, none of us know if heíll come back here.Derek has tried calling but thereís no answer.

††††††††† Of course, it makes no difference to us that the guy acted out those scenes.He was a tool, used by another.It was unfortunate but we did need to know.What we care about now is Andy, that heís okay.We want him to know we understand.Shit happens and sometimes it gets spread around.We all got a little splattered this time.

††††††††† Aquila was outside and watched Florence leave with Carrie.Andy was the next out.Drake went last.She wished him well.When the rest of us rose to face the day, we were on our own in the lodge.Nicky fixed brunch from the supplies Andy had left us then drove the Range Rover up to the Manor to start packing.I took Derek, Rachel and Alex to the woods to show them the grave, then we went back to the Manor for the last time and, for the first time, there was no sense of standing outside the door or being held at armís length while conversations went on which were intensely personal.We were out the gate by 2:00.

††††††††† Alex traveled back with me.She said she needed the quiet.She said sheíd be fine, she just needed to think it thru.I said that, if she wanted to talk, Iíd listen but it was her choice.She took me up on the offer after an hour or so.Incest is something which affects everyone who knows.

††††††††† We got back at almost 6:00.Rachel didnít stay long Ė she wanted to get home to see Kat, make sure the house hadnít burned down.Alex went to her room, something about a long soak in the tub to complete her recovery.Nicky and I unpacked.Derek checked in with Evan.Halloween was quiet, apparently.Must be a 1st for this city.

††††††††† I hope Andy comes back.His place is here, with us.I hope Carrie continues to be human.I hope Drake and Florence do something about the feelings they have for each other but wonít admit to.Itíd be nice to think that Florentine and Barnaby achieved something worthwhile from their forbidden affair.Maybe Florence and Drake can learn a valuable lesson from it.Now thatís what Iíd call a result.

††††††††† Thatís about it.My journal is at a definite end.There is no way Iím doing this ever again.Tomorrow,early, it goes in the fire and I will celebrate.

††††††††† Oh .. there is one last thing I should write in here before I burn it.Nicky asked me a question tonight which more than surprised me.I was shocked.Speechless.He asked me about kids, me and him.I donít think I can.How the hell can I tell him that?

 

*****

 

††††††††† Iím home again, journal.Itís really weird but I have these intense memories of living in a Manor and my apartment feels like I live in a closet.I came home to a service full of messages.I listened to the first 3 and itís all about work and problems from people who seem to me now to be very shallow.I really donít care about them.Iíve experienced a different way of life and Iíve changed because of it.I wanted Haystone to be a success and it was but in ways I never expected or even dreamed of.It was a watershed.Before, I was as shallow as my colleagues.I cared about new clothes, manicures, making rigid lists and keeping to them.I had no friends.I had no life.And, now, Iím part of a family.Or I was .. and I donít mean the McFarlanes.I think Andyís ghost club has been on its last vacation.Haystone brought us together, forged us into a unit, and then shattered the bonds.The sťance, what happened during it, I donít think anyone imagined that would happen, not even Derek.If he had, he would have told us.Warned us.I canít blame anyone.In fact, Iím grateful.

††††††††† It left us shaken.Physically, mentally and emotionally.None of us had considered incest in the family.All the clues were there but we were outside the door, listening in, and we couldnít see for thinking up plausible theories.Physically, I was unsteady.My balance was off.Mentally, I had fog for brain.I couldnít focus on anything.Emotionally, I was angry and sad and in despair Ė all of which came from Charity McFarlane.Carrie Hess felt humbled and grateful and dumbstruck.Plus, I was so tired.We left the Manor around 2:20, I think.It felt dead.I hope theyíre at peace now.

††††††††† We walked in silence back to the lodge.Rachel kept close but I didnít need to talk.I donít think I couldíve said anything, there was too much still rolling around my head.I fell asleep really fast and, when I woke just before 10, I had it straight, more or less.I felt okay.Charity hadnít done anything except love her family, and I understood what that meant because I really, truly care about Andy, Drake and Florence.It had been hovering on the edges for a few days but the sťance brought it home.Opened my eyes to my life as well as hers.My friends mean so much to me.They were there when I needed them and didnít judge.Now itís my turn to be there for them.

††††††††† Florence came down at a little past 9:45 and asked if she could ride home with me.She looked embarrassed but I said sure.Being with Drake all that way wouldíve been tough.We ate, loaded up, and hit the road at 10:15.We didnít speak until south of Mendocino when I asked her if she was all right.She began to cry.Florence had suffered the most of us all.Sheíd been in love, been pregnant, had felt the baby inside her.Sheíd given birth, felt all the pain, only to be delivered of a .. well, it was a monster.So twisted and deformed.It was a miracle it lived for 2 days.I was with her and I saw it.It made me feel sick but she held him and prayed so hard ÖHe died, little Chuck.Florentine was weak and depressed.I helped her bury the body under the library floor.So much anguish and Florence still felt it.She cried so hard, and I cried with her.When it was over, we both felt calmer for it.It was almost like weíd drawn a line under it.We wouldnít forget but weíd been able to remember that it hadnít happened to us.Charity didnít escape unscathed.She lost the Manor and the estate.Jack gave her a sum of money from the sale but not much.It was his way of punishing her for colluding in the family shame.

††††††††† I dropped Florence at her place then came home.Iíve unpacked.Iíve had something to eat.Iíve looked up Rachelís number and Iíll call her tomorrow to apologize for not saying goodbye and to thank her for everything.Maybe Iíll make an appointment.It depends.

††††††††† The one thing which saddens me the most is not seeing Andy.I feel that, if I could only have spoken with him, maybe I couldíve helped him cope.He must be feeling terrible.So much guilt and weight, and it isnít his fault, no more than it was Jackís.If the ghost club dies, itíll be a tragedy on top of Haystoneís heartbreak.Iíve tried calling him but thereís no answer.I hope he got home okay.

††††††††† Well, maybe there is something I can do.Iím the organized one, the one who makes the plans and then makes them happen, and that hasnít changed.The reasons behind it have.Florence and Drake .. seeing them as Florentine and Barnaby was a revelation in more ways than one.They have a future together.They might find it awkward though so .. Iíll just make a call.

††††††††† Iíve spoken with Florence.We talked for a long time, not just about Haystone but about the club as well.She felt the same way as me.I told her that, if we could talk like this, we still have a future and that it was up to us to make it happen.I suggested she make a start by calling Drake.A call would be easier than a one on one meeting.She said she would.

††††††††† I think weíll be fine.

 

*****

 

††††††††† When I woke this morning, Carrie had gone.I wanted to talk with her before she left because she hadnít wanted to talk earlier, and I need to know sheís all right.A lot has happened in her life over the past few days, enough that a normal person would have problems with and she started out with baggage.If Andrew comes back, Iíll get her number or address and either call or visit.Of course, Andrew may not come back.Iím concerned about Carrie but Andrew is a worry and not just for me.I know Derek is also feeling very anxious.

††††††††† None of us could have guessed that possession would take place.Well, if weíd thought about it a little more, we could have guessed, but we didnít know.We wouldíve warned them, given them the chance to back out if theyíd wanted.If you know thereís a chance and youíre expecting it, itís still an unnerving experience.To have it just happen can throw the most stable personality into disarray.Andrew must be having feelings of guilt and responsibility, not just for his friends (he is their Ďleaderí) but for what happened to the McFarlanes as well (he was the head of that family too).I think Derek understands more than any of us what Andrew is going thru, and, in a way, feels the same guilt and responsibility because it was his idea to hold the sťance in the first place.Thatís 2 lots of guilt I have to help dispel.

††††††††† Haystone Manor was silent after the sťance.It felt like an old, empty house.There didnít seem to be much point in sitting there till nearly dawn so we left early.The walk back to the lodge was slow because people were still unsteady and no one spoke.Too much had happened and they had to think it thru, rationalize, come to terms with what theyíd learned and what had physically happened.

††††††††† We were all tired.Sťances are never easy and some of us were exhausted.No one seemed to wake with nightmares though which is a good sign.When we woke, we found ourselves alone. The members of the ghost club had already left.Andrew had packed everything except a few supplies for our brunch.Heíd taken the keys as well Ė all we had to do was shut the door and it would lock; similarly with the gate.Nick fixed brunch Ė nothing throws him off his food Ė and we ate and emptied our stuff from the lodge, then he drove the Range Rover up to the Manor to start the packing there.Peri took Derek, Alex and me into the woods to show us the location of the babyís grave.A sad little spot for a tragically short life which should never have been.Alex lingered there the longest.Then we went to the Manor for the last time and wandered thru all the rooms which had seen so much.They felt empty now.I hope they stay that way.

††††††††† Alex decided to travel home with Peri.I think it was her way of gently telling me she didnít need my help.I trust her enough not to press.She knows Iím here if she does need to talk.As for the rest of us, we had an easy trip, discussing what weíd seen and learned.I didnít stay very long on the island.It was around 6 by the time we got there and I wanted to get home to Kat.

††††††††† I really didnít need to worry about her because she was fine and the house was fine.Sheís preparing for her first debate.James is helping, when he has time from his own studies.I guess Iíll always worry about her, no matter how old she is or what she chooses to do.Worry is natural for a mother.The trick is to still let her go do her own thing.We learn that way.Love is the important thing and Iíll always be here for her.

††††††††† Which brings me rather neatly to what had happened at Haystone.

††††††††† Privileged children, children of wealthy parents, tend to live a rather isolated life.That doesnít mean theyíre kept locked away from the big world outside Ė theyíre not Ė but they donít get the chances less privileged children get to mix with other children.Usually, on a walled and gated estate like Haystone, the sole trip outside those walls is to church on Sundays, always accompanied by their parents.In church, you sit still and donít talk.The McFarlane children probably had a governess or a private tutor rather than go to school.All this leads to a stunted, stifled social development.(Peri is the exception Ė she has no siblings, only herself.)Children like that have their own brothers and sisters as their friends.And friends sometimes become lovers.

††††††††† The reason none of us even suspected incest Ė despite having strong similarities to the Legacy which, as Iíve often thought, is rather incestuous Ė is because the children were all adults when their mother died.I believe the reason Barnaby seduced his own sister is because he loved her more than as a sister and, with Constanceís death, the brakes were off.He knew it was wrong. So did she.But they couldnít see any reason to let that stop them.To them, it was a natural extension to their childhood friendship.

††††††††† They paid the ultimate price Ė the tragic death of their child.I can only hope Florentine has found peace at last.

 

*****

 

††††††††† My whole life is on hold.I donít know what to do.I feel Iím in limbo.I have so much in my head to think about that I canít begin to think about any of it.Maybe writing it down, all that happened, will help me get some of it straight.

††††††††† After the sťance, we took our time getting our balance back.It took a while, actually.The weirdest thing about having a ghost share your body is that your own mind gets shunted aside and, when they leave, itís like you have to find your way round again.Do a reality check.Your voice sounds strange.Your eyeballs donít feel like your own.In short, I felt like a stranger in my own body.That was the physical side.Mentally, I couldnít concentrate.I was okay to write my journal entry but, after that, I went to pieces.I had too many memories.I couldnít tell which were mine.They were all mixed up.Emotionally .. I was shattered.For me Ė Andrew, or Andy Ė I felt horrified and guilty that Iíd agreed to let this happen.Itís down to me, no one else.If my friendsí sanity has been permanently affected, itís my fault.Itíll be me they sue.I felt too that Iíd been invaded, compelled to do things I didnít want to do, and I had no control.I felt powerless.And I also felt each of Jack McFarlaneís emotions Ė the rage and horror, the disgust, shame and the family disgrace.I felt his guilt and his self loathing.Thatís some baggage to be carrying around in my head.

††††††††† We left the Manor early, past 2.I donít know when exactly.The walk back to the lodge was eerily silent as we all struggled to get it straight.DR said something but I turned away.I couldnít talk.I couldnít face him.Drake was in much the same sort of mood so we slept without chatting.I woke surprised Iíd had no nightmares. It was about 9:50, I think.There were voices downstairs.Drake was still sleeping.I waited till I heard them leave the kitchen then I went down, quickly packed up most of the supplies, loaded up the car and left.Carrie and Florence had already gone.I didnít see anyone else.

††††††††† I feel guilty now that I abandoned my friends.They must be feeling the same way as me, in general, and I just left them.I feel guilty that I abandoned my employer without a word or even a note.The truth is Iím embarrassed by what happened to me, by what they all saw me do Ė they filmed me doing it.

††††††††† I took the keys back to my parents.Iím still here.My Mom took one look at me and insisted I stay.My Dad hasnít asked me any questions but he knows something happened last night.He knows I know the secret of Haystone.He wonít ask, not outright, but heíll suggest that, if I should ever want to tell him, heíll be there to listen.My Mom is all chicken soup and sit by the fire, like I have the flu or something.Itís normal.I think I need normal for a day or so, and I wonít find it at Angel Island.

††††††††† I have to decide what Iím going to do next.I donít know if I can go back there, to the island.I may have to quit.Part of me wants to, part of me says Iíd regret it forever.And, then, thereís the ghost club.Personally, I want it to continue.Haystone, looked at objectively, was a brilliant success for us.But I have to face the probability that the others wonít want to continue.The ghost club as we know it is over.Is it any wonder I feel Iím in limbo?Everything which has importance to me is either dead or dying.It sounds very extreme but it is how I feel tonight.

††††††††† As for Haystoneís secret .. well, I think our brilliant success has ended the hauntings there. I really hope it has, anyway.I have come full circle, itís only fair that Jack McFarlane and his brother and sisters come full circle as well.They never did anything really evil.Itís like PB said almost at the start Ė itís open to interpretation.Some saw it as bad and others didnít.

††††††††† What amazes me is that, despite all the clues, we couldnít see it was incest.Thatís a little unfair.We had half conversations, like we were standing outside the door and listening thru the keyhole.We never saw anything except Florentineís face.Jack only wanted to keep the family home for the family.He wanted to do right by them.He wanted to keep it the way heíd always known it.And Barnaby and Florentine betrayed him.They couldnít have hurt him more if theyíd stabbed him in the heart.Charity and Clemency knew but didnít say.The decision to shut the gates was a punishment on them all.The decision to sell was his way of getting back at them, but it hurt him just as much.He wanted nothing more to do with any of them, yet, when he died, a bitter and broken man, he found himself back there with the people he loved and loathed the most.

††††††††† And thatís it.My vacation is over.Now I have to think about the future.RC would probably say it isnít my fault what Jack did, itís his.Weíre not the same man.And sheís right.Weíre not.Iím Andy, heís Jack.Iím lucky.He wasnít.My gain.

 

*****

 

††††††††† I thought I was prepared.I thought Iíd coped.I was wrong.This has affected me more than I realized.I have channeled for spirits before.Iíve been possessed without warning too.But this time it was so different.Iíve been trying to figure out why and the only reason I can come up with is because it was during a proper sťance.The other times werenít.Iíve taken part in sťances before but Iíve led them, Iíve been the controller, the guide, or it was before Gretna.Iíll have to be careful in the future or it could happen again .. and I donít know if I could cope with it a second time.

††††††††† Having Clemency McFarlane in my head has left me with a host of memories which arenít exactly pleasant.She knew almost from the start that her brother and sister were incestuous lovers.She didnít try to stop them.She didnít say anything to Jack.She let it go on and she took some kind of vicarious enjoyment from nursing this secret.It blew up in her face when Florentine became pregnant.That couldnít be hidden indefinitely and, when Jack found out, all hell broke loose.She paid for it though.The house became a prison and then she lost it when Jack sold it.

††††††††† The clues were all there.The signs pointing us in the right direction but we just didnít see them.The sťance was necessary and I believe it served its purpose in that, now we know, those souls are free.The Manor certainly felt empty when we left at 2:25 this morning.

††††††††† Florence was an absolute godsend.She kept me on track when I was flagging.She stepped in when I needed a break to clear my head.I missed her this morning.I think she was embarrassed at facing me or anyone because she didnít say a word to me from after the sťance.I asked if she wanted to talk but she shook her head.And, when we woke, theyíd all gone.Rachel, I know, wants to make sure Carrieís okay.And weíre all worried about Andrew.Derekís tried calling but thereís no answer.

††††††††† As for us, we ate brunch and packed up our stuff from the lodge then went back to the Manor to collect all the equipment from there.Nick began packing while Peri took Derek, Rachel and me out to the woods to show us the location of the babyís grave.Itís such a sad place.A tragic little spot so far from the house.I stood there a long time, remembering how I helped bury the body under the library floor, and then again out here.It was a terrible price to pay but thatís why incest is illegal.Birth deformities.But, as Florentine said at the time, at least 1 McFarlane would remain on the estate.

††††††††† By the time I got back to the Manor, Nick had finished loading up the Range Rover and we just had 1 last task to do.We walked around the Manor for the last time, and it really did feel empty.More than that, it felt like it was at peace.

††††††††† And then it was time to leave.I understood why Florence had left early.If sheíd waited, we wouldíve asked questions that she maybe couldnít yet answer.I was now in the same position.I know Rachel has only our best interests at heart and Iím sure that, soon, Iíll need to talk it over with her.But I couldnít face it on the trip home.I asked Peri if I could ride with her.Since she told me about San Stefano, I donít know, I feel more comfortable.She was totally honest about her motives.Not terrific news for me but she didnít sugarcoat it.I know she trusts me and I havenít always been the easiest of people for her to get along with.I understand now that there is always a reason she does what she does when sheís working.I may not see it at the time but it is there.

††††††††† We followed the Range Rover home.Peri said that, if I wanted to talk, sheíd listen but it was my choice.It was exactly what I needed Ė some quiet time to think undisturbed.Eventually, after an hour or so, I did feel like talking.I told her that Clemency wasnít a nice person, that sheíd known and hadnít tried to stop it.Iím not saying she encouraged it but she did nothing to discourage it.What appalled her more was Jackís decision to sell the estate.She felt betrayed by that.Haystone was her home and he forced her into a world she didnít know.

††††††††† It was almost 6 when we finally pulled up outside our big house.Profelis came out to meet us.He looks a lot more comfortable now.I wonder how heís done with the referral from the Paris house Ė Iíll have to check in the morning.He went with Derek to bring him up to speed on messages and so forth.Nick and Peri began unloading the gear.Rachel didnít stay long.And I was ready for a long soak in a hot bathtub.Roughing it in sleeping bags and with minimum facilities is okay short term but the truly nice thing about coming home is a long soak, followed by a night in your own bed.

††††††††† Iíve done one, now Iím looking forward to the other.Come the morning, Iíll be fine.Back to normal.Ready to face a new day and the challenges it brings.But Iíll never forget Haystone.

 

*****

 

††††††††† I hope we donít have to get another butler.Andrewís right for us and this house, and what we do.The guy is capable of a lot, and a lot more he doesnít yet know about.If he can only reason his way thru what happened, Iím sure heíll come back.It all depends on whether he can reason his way thru it.By the time I woke this morning, on the lounge floor in the lodge, the place was half deserted.Drake, Carrie, Florence and Andrew had all pulled out.I donít blame them.Derek would have wanted a post mortem on the night.He would have treated them gently, sure, but he wouldíve wanted facts and figures, all the details of what theyíd each experienced.They looked pretty shaken after the sťance.If Iíd been them, I wouldnít have wanted to hash it all out.

††††††††† Weíd quit the Manor around 2:30.It felt different after the sťance.To me, it felt empty.Just an old house.It took around 3 hours for Andrew and the others to recover their senses and be okay to walk to the lodge.Alex recovered faster but sheís had experience of this.Even so, it took longer than usual to make the trip.It was like herding 5 drunks (or 4Ĺ anyway).No one spoke a word.They all seemed to be deep inside their own heads.Rachel kept close to Carrie, Alex asked Florence if she was okay but didnít get an answer.Derek asked the same of Andrew and he turned away.No one was ready for breakfast yet so we just crashed.Weíd left everything in the Manor and figured weíd pack it all up in the morning.I left the sensors on to see if there was any noise in the night. They hadnít triggered.I think itís over.

††††††††† When we woke around 11:30, we were on our own.Merli said Drake had been the last to go around 11.Andrew had cleared out most of the supplies but had left enough for brunch so I got on with that while the others made the plans.As far as I was concerned, it was just a matter of packing up our stuff from the lodge then driving up to the Manor to pack up the equipment there.Thatís pretty much what happened.Once weíd checked weíd left nothing behind, we shut the lodge and we drove up to the house.Derek wanted to see where the baby had been buried so Merli took him, Alex and Rachel round back into the woods.I got on with the stripping out and loading up.It was just as well that Alex hitched a ride with Merli Ė the Range Rover was pretty much full.By the time they got back, I was done so we took one last walk round to double check I hadnít missed anything and to see if anyone sensed a return of these troubled spirits.We didnít sense a thing.After that, we shut up the Manor and hit the road south.

††††††††† We talked about Haystone on the trip.Seemed the right thing to do to pass the time.Rachel had her own views on how the relationship could have developed.Derek kept to the facts.As for me, I donít understand incest.I never had a sister but I am damned sure I wouldnít have been sexually attracted to her if I had.Thereís something inside me which says Ďuh uh, no wayí.Rachel says that, in a secluded, segregated environment, the children would have been friends as well as siblings.Itís an unhealthy way to live.Merli is the exception, she added, because Merli has no siblings and her life, while secluded and segregated, was totally focused on learning, control and discipline.She didnít know there was another way to live.The McFarlane kids did.And, if friendship was that strong that it overrode social custom and sibling affection, it could have Ė just like in any friendship Ė become sexual.I bow to Rachelís understanding of the motivation but I donít understand how Barnaby could be so weak.

††††††††† The outcome canít be dismissed Ė a child was born from that union.Iím tempted to say it was an unholy union but it wasnít evil.Bad, sure, and they paid for tainting the gene pool.I never saw the baby but, from the reactions I got on video, it was horrific.It survived for 2 days and died.Because it was from incest, it couldnít be buried in town so they hid it under the library floor.The only reason for putting it there had to be punishment.The smell was a reminder every day of what theyíd done.Jack couldnít forget even though he was innocent so he sold up.Split the family apart.And they reburied the baby out in the woods.

††††††††† We got home at 6.Profelis was there to meet us.Rachel didnít stay long.Alex headed upstairs.Merli and I unpacked the equipment and put it away.Weíre all concerned about Andrew.Derekís tried calling his place but thereís no answer.I know he didnít wrap himself around a light pole because I looked as I drove south.Andrew must be feeling a lot of mixed emotions right now.Guilt of his own that he agreed to it, and Jackís guilt too.Itís a lot to work thru.Profelis cooked supper and we all had an early night.

††††††††† Tomorrow, Merli and I are going to look at the house.Tonight, I asked her about kids, about us raising one of our own.She didnít answer me.Not a good sign.

 

*****

 

††††††††† It was incest.Haystoneís secret was incest.I should have realized long before the sťance.I have, for many years, thought the Legacy was rather incestuous.I should have seen the signs.A large, old house.Family members who live in relative isolation.A glasshouse atmosphere.People who marry colleagues because, in so many ways, itís easier than trying to find a soul mate out in the world.Yes, Haystone has many comparable similarities to the Legacy.

††††††††† Peri had said from the beginning there was no evil in the house, only bad and shades of bad at that.Barnaby and Florentine obviously did not see it as bad.If they had, they would have tried a lot harder to end the relationship.Clemency and Charity were apparently ambivalent.And Jack McFarlane was furious, so much so that he tried to kill his pregnant sister and ended up shooting his brother instead.

††††††††† I could not question Andrew, Drake, Carrie and Florence this morning because they left before we woke.I hope they can come to terms with what happened.I am especially concerned about Andrew.I have tried calling him but there is no answer.Perhaps he just needs a little time to adjust.When I attempted to speak with him early this morning when we got back to the lodge, he turned away.I think he was embarrassed more than anything that weíd seen him Ďout of controlí.It wasnít him, it was Jack.I do not blame Andrew for his actions, he was powerless to stop them.If anyone must be blamed, it is me for suggesting we hold the sťance.

††††††††† The saddest aspect of the entire investigation was one where no sound was involved.The smell in the library Ė that of rotting flesh Ė was exactly that.The body of the child who died 2 days after birth and was interred in the house as a reminder of the sinful result of incest.I suspect revenge was the underlying factor in that decision.The affair was bad enough in Jackís opinion.For it to have borne fruit was intolerable.But even that was not enough to purge his conscience and his familyís disgrace.He sold the estate and split the family up.

††††††††† Looking at the grave in the woods behind the Manor, I felt terribly sad for all of them, even if some did not deserve my sympathy.Barnaby was weak to have given in to his temptation, Florentine was weak to allow it to happen.Jack McFarlane must have felt betrayed by his own family.But they did not deserve to be so punished after death that they relived the fateful moments over and over.I believe we have, in sharing this dark secret of theirs, helped them find peace.

††††††††† What have I learned from this investigation?That a life outside is beneficial and necessary for proper health, mental, physical and spiritual.I have learned that people who hid in life can continue to hide in death.And I have learned that hauntings can occur for any number of reasons.In this particular case, it was not unfinished business or unexpected or violent death, or even to pass on information.In this case, it was guilt and shame which pulled them back to Haystone.Strong emotions imprinted on the fabric of the house acted as a spiritual anchor.After death, they could not go on.They had to remain until the emotions were purged by sharing them with others.They may not be aware of it, but Drake and Carrie, Florence, Alex and Andrew, in allowing themselves to be possessed, did a great service of good.

††††††††† If for no other reason, I would like to speak with Andrew to explain this.If he then decides he would rather seek alternative employment, I will try to dissuade him but, ultimately, it is his choice and I will abide by it.In time, if he chooses to stay, I will thank him for inviting the Luna Foundationís help.Haystone was a puzzle right to the end, one I appreciated for the strenuous mental exercise it gave me.

††††††††† We arrived home around 6:00 this evening.Profelis met us and looks much more at home than he did.Rachel did not remain long Ė she has responsibilities on the mainland.Alex will be all right, given time.She came back with Peri.I think this was to avoid questions.She will tell us when she is ready Ė a lesson she has learned from her traveling companion.I will not press for information in the interim.

††††††††† Profelis had a quiet Halloween.He told me there was no activity in the city which demanded his attention.He has made progress on the Paris house referral.I must admit, I have not thought about it once while we were away.There are a few messages but nothing urgent for tonight.

††††††††† There is always a sense of anti-climax when an investigation like this is concluded, a sense of minor depression and not just because of the answers we received.However, with time, that feeling will lift.Haystone has shown to me, yet again, that the Legacy exists for many reasons.It is here to fight evil and defend people from the shadows but it also has a purpose to help those who cannot help themselves thru no fault of their own.

††††††††† I consider myself not only fortunate but blessed that I and my colleagues have the power to do that.

 

 

 

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