Emery thought the idea of actively looking for ghosts was a bad one. He was terrified of things that went bump in the night. What possessed him to tag along with the other boys was beyond understanding. “This place is giving me the heebie-jeebies,” he said to no one in particular.

“Emery, it’s the Harvest Festival,” Hadyn chided gently. “It’s a time for ghosts and spooks. Where’s your sense of adventure.”

“At home in bed,” Emery whispered back. He looked around and murmured, “Any thoughts on what we’re going to do if we actually see something?”

“Take a picture,” the twins said at the same time. Each held a camera and both took a few shots just to show that they could.

“Not if you use up your film,” Emery retorted. “I’m… I feel something, in case you’re wondering.”

“What do you feel?” Timothy asked softly.

“They… want out,” Emery whispered. “So desperately, but… they’re trapped. Hadyn, can we go. I don’t like this.” He backed toward the door. The memories or ghosts in the place were making him feel claustrophobic.

“Just a little while longer,” Hadyn whispered back, taking his hand. “Can you tell what has them trapped?”

“Isn’t there a story about this place… some reason you chose here over… a cemetery for example?” Thomas asked.

“There is a story. Let’s take a seat,” Hadyn invited. Emery sighed as he allowed the older boy to tow him toward a chair. The twins sat across from them and Hadyn began, “Thirty years ago, when the school was just founded, a group of students came to this house. It was Harvest Festival time and the idea of spending a night in a deserted house seemed just the way to celebrate.”

“Hadyn, please,” Emery whispered. The parallels between real life and the tale were too close for his comfort.

“They explored the building for a while, eventually splitting up so that each was alone. Suddenly, from the kitchen there was a clatter as if of dishes,” Hadyn paused and one of the twins looked over toward the kitchen, just in time for a soft patter to sound from within.

“Let’s just go,” Emery whispered.

“The sound drew the rest of the kids and they were shocked to realize that one of their number was missing. They figured that the place had creeped him out too much – ”

“He must have been like Emery,” Timothy said with a soft chuckle.

“Just you wait’ll scurd-flit class tomorrow,” Emery promised softly. Not one of the other boys could best Emery at the martial art that all the students studied.

“Anyway, they didn’t think anything about it and continued exploring,” Hadyn said with a grin. “Then it happened again, but in the basement this time.”

Emery shot to his feet as there was a soft rumble from the floor beneath them. “Hadyn, please, you know I hate this kind of story. I want to go. I don’t want to stay. This place is bad. They were trapped. They couldn’t breathe. They died. They’re still trapped. They… Let’s go.”

“Emery, you’re shaking,” Thomas said softly. “Can you really feel them here with us?”

“No… it’s memories. They… something… the house.” He squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. “One in the kitchen, the next in the basement, then the master bedroom, the bathroom, one of the closets. The… there was a spell. The house absorbed them.”

“Oh my god!” Timothy whispered. “Are you – you’re serious. Hadyn, all teasing aside, I’m with Emery. It’s not safe here. We should go.”

“It’s too late,” Emery said softly, his voice taking on an almost hollow quality. “We can’t leave without outside help now. We’ll follow them soon enough.”

Thomas whimpered and caught his brother’s hand. “I don’t want to get eaten by a house,” he murmured.

Suddenly the front door crashed open and Miles stood there glaring at the four of them. “Then listen to my brother next time he tells you something is a bad idea,” he snapped. “Hadyn, carry him,” he added as Emery collapsed to the floor. As they fled the house, Miles growled, “He’d better not have an attack from your shenanigans.”

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