March 17, 2008
By Jessica Morgan, Coon Rapids, MN

"You're kidding, right? You actually believe in ghosts?" asked Lilly Larson, scowling at the two men in front of her.

"I don't know... Maybe," Nick Anderson mumbled, looking at the sea beneath him. "I don't know why you even bothered coming, I mean, it's pretty stupid to come to a haunted castle when you don't even believe it's actually haunted."

Lilly glared at the darkening sky and crossed her arms. "My brother is sick, and Mr. Smith here is paying for his treatment if I come along," Lilly said, her eyes darkening. She cleared her throat, and glanced at Nick. "And I think it's pretty stupid to come to
a haunted castle when you believe it's actually haunted."

A few awkward minutes passed, each passenger's emotions, aside from Edward Smith, were running wild. Lilly let out a long, exasperated sigh and plopped down on the boat, causing it to rock slightly.

"He's paying for me to go to college," Nick blurted out, stealing a glance at Edward, who was concentrating on rowing the boat, his white hair blowing all over the place. Lilly's head snapped up, and followed Nicks gaze to the old man.

"Why?" Lilly blurted out.

“Why what?” Nick asked.

“Why would he waste all that money to bring you on?” She blurted out, then immediately regretted it. A blush crept up her neck and she stared at the ground.

“You don’t even know me! For all you know, I could be a genius… Just a poor genius.”

Lilly was about to apologize, but was cut off by Edward.

“Would you two be quiet? We’re almost there.”

The two explorers’ mouths snapped shut as they arrived at the Blackwell Castle; it hovered over them like a cat hovers over a mouse. Even in the dark it seemed to give off a dark glow. Edward, Nick, and Lilly seemed to be stuck in a daze, mesmerized by the castle.

No more than five minutes passed and they were at the entrance, and stepping out of the boat, where Lilly nearly fell into the dark, wild sea, but Nick caught her in the nick of time. They had arrived.


“Oh my!” Lilly exclaimed, placing a hand on the outside of the door, where it automatically swung open. “This is phenomenal!”

She marched in, her curiosity taking over. Which was why she didn’t notice she was alone, in a darkened castle, which was supposedly haunted, until a minute or two later.

“You coming?” She asked, running back to the entrance and popping her head out the door, where the two men stood shuffling their feet, cheeks bright red.

Lilly tried to get one of them to meet her gaze, or at least acknowledge her, but each one seemed to take an increasing interest in their shoes.

“Hello? Mr. Smith, Mr. Anderson?” Lilly said in a singsong voice. “What’s wrong with you guys?”

She sighed, and grabbed Nicks’ hand, pulling him inside the castle; Edward reluctantly following, after Lilly accused him of being a baby.

“I can’t believe I'm being bossed around by a little redheaded girl,” Edward mumbled, following the couple towards a strange water fountain in the middle of the entrance hall.

Lilly snorted and plopped down on edge of the fountain, placing a hand into the dark, murky water of the fountain, and stared back at her slightly flustered reflection. “I'm hardly little, Mr. Smith. I'm eighteen years old, thank you very much… It’s so dark in here. You brought candles, right?” She asked, looking up at Edward, who shook his head.

“What about you,” Lilly asked, splashing Nick with the chilling water, a smile playing at her lips.

Nick took the backpack that was slung over his shoulder and withdrew three candles, including a matchbox. He then handed it to Lilly, mumbling under his breath how Lilly should appreciate him more.

“Thanks,” Lilly muttered, lighting each candle, and handing them to Nick, but Edward shook his head, sliding his already long sleeves farther down.

“How long do you think it’s been since someone’s been here?” Nick asked, holding his candle up high to see dozens of spider webs, and a few bats.

Lilly crinkled her nose, and set down the candle on the floor, and accidentally bumped into Edward. She was about to reply to Nick, but was cut off as she was pulled into the fountain, by something, or someone. Lilly let out a strangled scream as she realized how deep the fountain really was, and how something was digging into her leg.

In the distance she heard someone yelling her name. Her head started to feel light and heavy at the same time. She tried inhaling only to have a rush of cold water fill her lungs. The monster’s claws were digging deeper and deeper into her leg, the pain almost unbearable. Just when Lilly was about to give up, and let the monster take over, it let go of her leg. As it swam away, Lilly saw it and his eyes struck her odd; they were a startling shade of yellow with a tint of red around the edges- sorta like Edwards.

Lilly told herself to stay focused, and more importantly, conscious. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to kick up, sending a horrible tingle up her body and back down. She glanced down and saw the deep cut where the monster had dug into her. She let out a cry, and tried to take another breath, with no luck. She stopped kicking, and stopped trying to swim; she just stopped. Which is when everything faded to black.

“Lilly, are you okay?” asked Nick, gently placing an arm on her shoulder, and giving it a light squeeze.

Lilly groaned; her head felt heavy, her back ached, it felt hard to even breath. She squeezed her eyes, then slowly opened them. Everything seemed blurry, but she could make out Nicks dark brown hair in front of her. She blinked a few times, trying to focus, and her eyes traveled to the old man a few feet back, and she started screaming, and made a leap for him.

“Whoa,” Nick said, grabbing her around the waist to hold her back. “Calm down, Lilly. You hit your head pretty hard.”

“Let…go…of…me!” Lilly said, pushing Nick away. “Just listen to me. Edward, he’s…I don’t know what he is, but he’s not human!” Lilly breathed heavily, “…he… he tried to kill me, just now.”

Edward placed a hand on Lilly’s arm. “Miss Larson, please-.”

“Don’t you touch me, you…you women-drowning…thing,” Lilly stuttered, on the edge of hysteria, and backed up against the old castle’s wall.

“Lilly, you fell pretty hard against the fountain. This place probably made you have a nightmare, just calm down,” Nick pleaded, placing a hand on her arm again.

One thing Lilly hated was having someone pitying her, which was exactly what Nick was doing. She flinched against his cold hand and glared at Edward. His eyes seemed even a darker yellow and a darker rim around his eyes, his mouth gave a little smirk. She hadn’t imagined that, and he was a monster; but how could she prove it?

Her leg gave out, and Nick thankfully caught her before she landed. Then it hit her; her leg. Did it still have the marks from his hand?

She quickly lifted her long skirt where a pool of blood had gathered. Nick’s eyes slowly fell to the floor and to her leg. He stared at it for a second, before glancing at Edward.

Edward’s eyes had been going to the blood on the floor to the cut in her leg. His face was a mix of emotions, emotions that reminded Nick of a dog who stares at the treat in his owner’s hands, yet has to ‘sit’ until the owner says it’s okay.

The next minute was a blur; it was like a nightmare taking place. Edward’s hands, which had been hidden by his long sleeves, now showed his hands…if you could call them that. They were extremely pale and bony with thick and long nails. Lilly had seen nothing like it ever before! His expressions wild; he dove for the twosome, but missed; something seemed to be pulling him back.

Suddenly, the candles surrounding them flickered on, exposing what looked to Lilly like a host a few feet away from them.

Lilly covered her mouth, trying not to scream, and grabbed Nick’s hand.

“Omigosh,” Lilly whispered, too stunned to say anything else.

“Edward Blackwell!” The ghost moaned in a deep voice, chilling Nick and Lilly to the bone. “You have failed to kill the mortals! You merely made one hallucinate, which was not your assignment! You now must return to the underworld, and never return!”

A light flashed, forcing the two young explorers to shut their eyes. Lilly didn’t know what happened, but the next thing she new she was in their old boat with Nick, a half a mile away from the Blackwell Castle.

“Never return!” A voice boomed, making them jump despite themselves.

“Gladly,” Nick said, his voice quivering slightly.

Maybe they had gotten lucky, compared to the other people who had gone there and never returned. Maybe this is just another legend, with no real truth to it, since no record can be found of an Edward Blackwell or a Blackwell Castle. Maybe Nick Anderson and Lilly Larson (who became Mrs. Anderson a few years later) made all this up. Or maybe it is true; and the castle will be lost for eternity.

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