Whispers in the Wind
By: Scarlett Burns
"I know that wherever he is, you are happier for it." Quentin said smiling down
at her. Judith looked up surprised at what she *thought* she just heard in
Quentin's voice. Could it be sincerity, from her younger brother? She doubted it. He was kissing up to her. He wanted something, but then she noticed his smile. Not a smug, wicked smile like he usually gave but a kinder one that reminded her surprisingly of their mother's. He had her eyes; there was no denying that. Sometimes she hated looking into those eyes that seemed to instantly touch her heart and soul and made her think about her mother.
She turned away from him again and replied, "I am happy whenever he is here and right now he's not here, is he Quentin? So how could I possibly be happier?" She realized after looking at him again that her tone was much harsher than she meant it to be and in a softer voice added, "Please, let's not discuss Gregory."
"All right" Quentin laughed. "He's not exactly my favorite subject anyway. Would you care to keep a fellow insomniac company and play a game of cards?"
For the second time that night, Judith was surprised. And surprised by her own reaction even more than to Quentin's offer.
"I would enjoy that." There was no way she was going to be able to sleep anyway. She knew her dear husband was at this very moment bricked up in Quentin's room no doubt looking for a way to escape and as much as she detested Mr. Gregory Trask she couldn't sleep knowing that he was there - still alive. She looked up at Quentin; he has no idea she thought.
Little did she know that Quentin was hiding his own secrets and sorrows. He was thinking of Beth again and the more he thought of her the more his heart ached. Why did she have to die? Quentin thought to himself. He was going to have to give in and admit to himself that he really, truly did love her. Sure, he had loved Jenny, chased after Amanda but Beth was the one who truly new who *and what for that matter* he was. She had helped him when he had needed it the most. She never turned her back on him no matter how he treated her. Beth was his one, true love. When she came back from the grave to forgive him it made him feel even worse. He hadn't even had a chance to say, "I'm sorry". Quentin looked up at Judith and thought, she has no idea.
Quentin and Judith truly enjoyed each others company this night and that hadn't happened in a long time. He's changing, Judith thought. He's finally growing up, and it's about time!
After Judith finally gave in and admitted that she simply could not win a game of cards against her brother Quentin, declared that she had better go to bed before she lost any more of her money. Laughing, Quentin gave the large sum of money that he had won back to Judith, "Your company was all I wanted Judith, not your money."
Judith, not being able to take anymore extreme surprises from her brother tonight went off to bed not having any idea that this was the last time she would ever see her brother, Quentin Collins.
"Thank You for a very enjoyable evening Judith" Quentin whispered to himself. A faint noise was heard somewhere upstairs. But Roger was in bed and Judith is just now on her way upstairs? Which made Quentin wonder exactly who made that noise. It sounded like it was coming from...yes, the West Wing.
But Judith had just closed off the West Wing.
"Arrghhh" Quentin tossed his pillow on the floor, this bed was not comfortable in the least. A spring was piercing him in the back and the bed creaked every time he tried to move. "You would think that with all the money Judith has she could manage to buy a good bed for the Green bedroom!". He was beginning to think this one was left over from 1802.
"What was heck was that?"
He listened intently and after about 10 minutes decided it must have been his imagination and tried to go to sleep but he just kept tossing and turning. It was no use. He could not fall asleep and Judith's weird behavior and the mysterious sounds coming from the West Wing, if he even heard them he reminded himself, had his curiosity positively peaked. He was certain that Judith was hiding something and he was going to find out what it was.
After putting on a pair of pants and a shirt he decided that the West Wing, or more specifically, *his* room, would be the best place to start. After all,
Judith didn't usually make a habit out of closing off wings of the house simply because only one person was living in them...there are wings in the house no one was living in and they remained open.
Trying the main door to the West Wing he found out that it was indeed locked. He didn't want to bother trying to get the key from Judith, after all why should he when all he has to do is take the secret panel from the drawing room? Going downstairs through the empty house and into the drawing room he found that Judith hadn't thought about the secret panel and it was easy to open.
Making his was through the cold, damp maze like he had done so many times before when he was a boy he was anxious to find out exactly what Judith was hiding. More so by the fact that she was normally a pretty dull person.
He suddenly turned around; he could swear he just heard something coming from behind him in the dark. No, it was nothing. Just move on, he thought to himself. After going a little further he noticed that there was defiantly a chill in the air that wasn't there before. Something weird was happening and Quentin didn't want to stick around to find out exactly what it was.
Walking a little faster now, he tried to concentrate and keep his mind focused on the maze of tunnels but it didn't work. He could swear someone or *something* was watching him and he was very right. From behind him a dark figure loomed and watched Quentin.
Quentin is starting to get nervous now, which is exactly what I want. It smiled. This was going to be fun, revenge always was.
"Noooo, you couldn't just stay in your bed and try to get some sleep...Oh, no! You had to go and chase a sound which you aren't even sure you heard!" Quentin was beginning to think that he should have waited. But he couldn't have waited he reminded himself, because he was leaving Collinwood the day after tomorrow and tomorrow would be dedicated to his most favorite thing in the whole wide world - packing, he frowned at the thought. Just how was he supposed to bring his favorite gramophone along with him? It wasn't going to fit in a suitcase....
He really didn't want to leave Collinwood, but he couldn't let Count Petofi get his way. This was his body and he was attached to it (in more ways than one).
Quentin suddenly heard a slight howl, it sounded like a breeze blowing through the tunnel, but that couldn't be?
Suddenly a blast of cold air hit him and he dropped his candle. The flame went out, taking with it the only small sliver of light he had.
"Oh! Nice Quentin" he said out loud, getting exasperated with himself. Now he would have to feel his way. With so many tunnels it would be difficult to do without a light, not impossible but difficult non-the less. "Guess I won't be getting much sleep tonight".
Making his way cautiously through the tunnels, the weird sounds seemed to have gone away and he was just about ready to chalk it all up to his overactive imagination.
Sounding like a whisper in the wind, it was almost just that. But there was no mistaking it; his name was in it. Great, now he was imagining things.
"Quentin ....... Collins"
There is was again, only this time it was slightly louder and echoed through the deep maze inside Collinwood's walls, sending a shiver up Quentin's spine. He could feel himself start to panic and quickened his pace more eager than ever to get away from this thing that was following him. It was defiantly not his imagination.
"He's Dead.......He's Dead"
Fear was in Quentin's eyes now as he threw caution to the wind and started running, he wanted to get away. This was not good. He believe in ghosts, heard the stories that Barnabas had told him about himself haunting Collinwood. He had heard all the evil things he had done and what a ghost was capable of, he didn't want to think about what this ghost (if it was that) had in mind for him.
"You had to do it, I know that"
Quentin had the weirdest sense of DejaVu... He decided to take the passageway to the right, that was the right way wasn't it? he thought.
"Will we ever see an end to all of this"
He had heard all this before, but where and when? "What do you want!" Quentin called out, his voice faltering, "Who are you? What are you!?!"
"What a horrible place to joke"
"I...I'm not joking" Quentin shouted right before he ran straight into a wall. "* Ouch! *" He hadn't noticed the tunnel had veered off to the left. Suddenly he began to look around, where was he? He hadn't been here before. A deep sense of dread flooded through him. He must have taken a wrong turn somewhere and without a light.... He just didn't want to think about how long he could be lost inside Collinwood's walls. He knew that they spread far and even went under and outside the house.
"What are you doing? You don't have any choice."
The whisper continued. Quentin didn't understand any of it. What was it saying? "What do you mean I have no choice? What are you talking about?!?"
"I do have a choice"
Quentin froze, the whisper was beginning to take on his voice and the words seemed so familiar.
"I'll kill you if you try to run"
"Oh, Please..." Quentin pleaded "I'm lost, I didn't mean to come here! I just want to find a way to get out!"
"Don't you know how to get out?"
The voice sounded so much like Quentin now, and he decided he had better answer, "No!"
"Well, then you'll just have to stay here."
"No, No, I don't want to stay here!" Quentin shouted
"Are you scared?"
It hit Quentin all at once, he remembered now. Yes, he knew where he had heard this all before...
Yes, Quentin remembered now….
"Are you coming Quentin? Are you sure he's asleep?"
"Are you scared Carl?"
"I don't know what I'm feeling"
Quentin opens the gate and enters the Collins mausoleum with Carl right behind him.
"Oh, Why did he have to come here all the way from England?"
"Maybe he didn't Carl. Maybe he's been here all along, waiting for someone to let him out."
"You mean he's the real Barnabas … our ancestor?"
Quentin just nods yes.
"Oh…that makes it worse."
"Open the door Carl."
Carl reaches up towards the middle lion's head on the far wall of the mausoleum, grabs the brass ring in its mouth and pulls. The secret door opens revealing a coffin in the middle of the room. Quentin and Carl enter.
"Go ahead, open it!" Carl tells Quentin. Quentin looks at him, "Give *me* the gun Carl...unless you want to do it."
"No!" Carl hands Quentin the gun. After he takes the gun, he opens the coffin revealing a sleeping Barnabas Collins. Quentin now knows the truth, Barnabas, his dear cousin from England *was* in fact a Vampire, just as Carl said. But he couldn't kill him now; he was his only hope for a cure.
"Do it!" Carl shouted interrupting Quentin's thoughts. Quentin decides that he simply can't kill him. He starts closing the coffin.
"What are you doing?"
After he closes the lid of the coffin Quentin points the gun at Carl.
"What a horrible place to joke."
"I'll kill you Carl if you try to run."
"What are you doing? You have no choice!"
"Oh yes, I do have a choice Carl."
"Quentin for god sakes, don't do this"
"I only ever do what I must."
"Oh God, no Quentin! Don't leave me here!"
"Don't you know how to get out?"
"Well, then you'll just have to stay here. Till dusk at least".
"Oh nooo!" Carl Moaned as Quentin stepped out of the secret room. He was going to close the door with him inside, Carl thought.
"Yes, I'm closing it. And remember I can do it with one hand. While the gun is in the other."
Quentin reached for the metal ring and pulled, closing the secret room's door and trapping Carl inside with the vampire, Barnabas Collins. Sealing Carl's fate. All the while Carl was screaming for him not to do it and just before the door closed Quentin heard his brothers last words to him.
"Why Quentin? Why?"
Quentin hated himself for doing what he had just done but unlike what he told his brother, he really didn't have a choice.
Later, after Barnabas killed him in the drawing room. Quentin had seen his brother dead and it finally hit him. He had been responsible.
"You had to do it, I know that but...oh god. Will tonight ever see an end to all this?"
"Tonight may be a new beginning, for all of us" Barnabas had told him.
Later, when Reverend Trask was talking to him in the drawing room his brother fell out from behind the curtains where Barnabas had hidden him.
"You knew about this!" Trask accused
In a shaky voice Quentin replied, "What do you mean I know about it? Carl? Carl? CARL!"
He went over to Carl and started to shake him, wishing he would wake up and this whole nightmare would be over. But he knew better, Carl would never wake up, Carl was dead. He looked up, pretending to be surprised,
"He's Dead.....He's Dead!"
He was saying it just as much to himself as to Trask. Quentin had fooled the Reverend and everyone else in the house, but it didn't stop him from feeling guilty about what he had done to Carl Collins, his brother.
No! It couldn't be, could it?
"Oh my God...Carl? What do you want? Why are you doing this?"
"I only ever do what I must"
"Carl - I'm sorry Carl! Please, leave me alone!" Quentin screamed. He was getting dizzy, he suddenly was aware that he was running, he didn't know where but he didn't care. He just had to get away, away from Carl and his memories of what he did to him so many months ago. He didn't kill Carl, but Carl wouldn't be dead now if it weren't for him. He wanted to escape.
"Don't you know how to get out?"
"No Carl, Help me!"
"Then you'll just have to stay here."
The walls were closing in on Quentin fast, he was running furiously and he hadn't the first clue where he was going. The wind seemed to follow him wherever he ran - no, not the wind, Quentin thought. But Carl, he was everywhere. In front of him, behind him, beside him. There was no escape from him, Quentin took any tunnel - right, left, and it didn't matter. Carl was always there.
Then suddenly it all stopped. The chill was gone and Quentin noticed that he stood before a room, a room he had never seen before. Was he still inside the house? Or did he follow the tunnels so far that he was in the maze that connected Collinwood to the Old House. He hoped that wasn't true.
The room wasn't too large; but it was a spectacular site.
In the center of the room stood a large stone about 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. There was something balanced on top of the stone. But What?
Upon closer inspection Quentin discovered that it was what appeared to be a small obelisk. On the side of it was some hieroglyphics and what appeared to be an opening.
"Great, Egyptian. I just have no luck"
The opening was oddly shaped and Quentin finally figured out that it must have served its purpose as a keyhole.
"Find it" whispered the wind. This time it wasn't Carl, it was a female voice. He had no idea where to start, there was an endless amount of passageways, secret rooms and tunnels (he knew this from experience). Trying to find a small key could take forever, and that's assuming that it was even *in* the tunnels.
"It could be anywhere. Where would I start?" Quentin asked
"The Key...find it"
"But where? Do you know where it is? Give me a clue!"
Quentin waited and again she responded,
"The clue is written for the chosen one to see, in this room is where it be."
"I don't know what you mean! I don't see any writing." Quentin said exasperated. "Look, I don't know who you are or what this thing on the rock is or what it can do or what's inside it but quite frankly I am getting a little tired of this and would like to get out of this mess of tunnels!" He had had enough of this.
A woman's laughter echoed inside the walls of the room, "Quentin Collins, you cannot find your way back. You will be trapped here forever if you do not find the key."
It had been at least an hour and after Quentin was through having his panic attack he figured he had better sit down and think things through. It became quite apparent that the only way he was going to find his way out was to do what the woman had said. Yes, he knew what he had to do.
"I'm going to have to find the key"
Sighing, Quentin stood up and started to look around the room more carefully. He noticed the floor wasn't like the rest of the tunnels, it looked like it was marble. A beautiful pearl color with swirls of steel blue, the obelisk's color was the same as the floor. The walls were white as well but the rock in the middle was pure black and had a slick look making it stand out from the entire room.
What was this? Certainly it wasn't here when these tunnels were originally made.
"I wish I had a Brandy right about now"
He had a feeling he was going to need it.
"OK! I give up!"
Quentin had looked everywhere and the simple fact was that there was nothing in the room other that obelisk and rock. He went over to the obelisk for what must have been the 400th time and tried to pick it up, and just like before it simply wouldn't budge. He wasn't going to be taking the thing with him. Slowly he walked around it. Inspecting it from all sides. There had to be something about the obelisk that could lead him to the key.
He was just about to give up when he noticed that on one side of the obelisk the 'writing' seemed to be different from the rest, as a matter of fact it wasn't the same at all. It almost looked like.... no. Could it be? A map. There were two 'X' like symbols on the map, he figured one must be where he was and the other was where the key lied. He figured out he was in the bigger room, by comparison of the size of the two rooms and the width of the tunnels on the map. The room with the key was much smaller than the room he was standing in now.
Unfortunately, he was going to have to memorize the map and feel his way through the tunnels and that may not be that easy.
"OK, I take the first tunnel to the right, pass 2 tunnels then take the 3rd tunnel to the right, then there will be a branch of three tunnels and I take the middle, go 5 tunnels down then take the left tunnel. The first room should be the one."
Yeah Right! Like I'll remember that, Quentin thought to himself - right - right -middle - left. Right, right, middle, left. Right, right, left, middle...uh, oops. Well, here goes nothing. I just hope Carl isn't waiting for me out in the tunnels...
He stepped out of the room, half expecting to have Carl attack him then and there, but he didn't. It was eerily silent and in a way Quentin was the happier for it. He looked back to get one last glance at the room and was startled to find the room was empty! No, it can't be. I didn't hallucinate this! He stepped back into the room and as soon as he crossed the doorway the room re-appeared just as it was the first time he entered it. He stepped back out and it disappeared again.
"No wonder no one knows about this"
Quentin decided he had better get going, before he forgot where it was he was going too. After an hour of taking tunnels he was getting anxious to find the room and, more importantly, the key. As he preceded closer (or at least he hoped so) to his target he noticed that the stone seemed to be changing. Instead of the hard, grayish granite the tunnels were made of before it was slowly becoming more reddish in color. He remembered seeing this kind of Sandstone in Egypt when he was there last year. He had never seen it in or around Collinsport though...
"This is just to weird"
Quentin made his way through the tunnels with little trouble. He made the last turn and stood in front of the doorway to the room that supposedly held the key.
It looked totally barren but then again so did the other one until he crossed the doorway.
"Well, hold on to your Mutton Chops ladies and Gentlemen."
Quentin stepped into the tiny room and sure enough, just as he had guessed the room changed right before his eyes. This room was quite different from the last one. Clearly of Egyptian origin, this one had three torches lit, one hanging from each wall. The torches gave the room a beautiful, yellow illumination and Quentin immediately noticed the hieroglyphs on the walls, deeply etched and beautifully gilded in fine Italian marble. In the corner of the room was a small table in what appeared to be pure gold.
Would love to see how much money I could get for something like that, Quentin mused. He walked over to the table, his footsteps echoing through the small chamber. The key sat there. It gave off a glow much as the obelisk did and the shape on the end of the key seemed right. They key itself was beautiful, the Eye of Horus, in pure marble that matched the obelisk.
Quentin picked it up and held it tight in his hand, it was warm to the touch. Totally un-natural for marble inside a cold chamber under the ground. He also grabbed one of the torches that hanged on the wall. He certainly wasn't going to walk all the way back without light if he could take the torch with him. That would be, well, stupid. He turned around to leave, but stopped right before going through the doorway and gave the room one last glance. It truly was a magnificent sight. Sighing, he walked through the doorway and looked back.
It had all disappeared.
Making his way back to the tunnel, Quentin thought about everything he had just seen and how it could all be possible. What was in store for him now? What would happen when he opened the obelisk, what would he find?
"Are you scared?"
Carl whispered to Quentin.
"Leave me alone Carl!" Quentin ran; he had memorized the way back and if he could just make it to the other room he was sure he would be safe from Carl. Makes it a lot easier to find your way when you have a light, Quentin thought.
The temperature was dropping fast, he could feel it and it was becoming increasingly gusty in the dank passageway. Now fearing for his torch, he prayed it wouldn't blow out before he got to the room. He could now see his breath in front of him and cursed himself for once telling his brother Carl that he hated the cold.
There was a faint but steady whisper in the wind but Quentin couldn't make out what Carl was saying. Almost there Quentin, just keep going.
"You have discovered the key to the 3rd sacred stone of Cleopatra."
"What!?" Quentin Shouted, just now being able to make out what Carl was saying.
"I tried to stop you, but you would not go back. You would not leave."
Quentin stopped and listened while Carl's voice was brought to him on the wind from some supernatural place.
"No one knows what powers you may unleash."
The chill in the air subsided a bit but the faint voice still prickled up the hairs on the back of his neck.
"If you'll take my advice, you will stop now before anything else happens."
"Before what happens Carl?"
He was gone. Just like that and he took the chill and the breeze with him. He had the key in his hand. After Carl's warning should I really go through with it? I still haven't found my way out but with the torch still burning brightly I could probably find my way. But then, I would never be able to find that room again and I would never know what lies inside the Obelisk.
What should I do? Leave it all or go and discover what lies inside, even if it might be dangerous?
He knew he couldn't leave it all without knowing.
"Well, you've never been known to do the sensible thing Quentin. So, why start now?" he told himself out loud. He made his way through the passages with no trouble and no interference by Carl. No, Carl had come to scare him off. To try and get him to become frightened, yes and it had worked. Quentin had the feeling that even though he was trying to frighten him away from the room he was also getting his revenge on him. The eternal kid thought Quentin and chuckled to himself. He remembered all the times while they were growing up, Carl had tried to scare him. Never with any success.
"Well Carl, you did scare me this time."
He was standing in front of the doorway; he found the room again. As he stepped into the room the key in his hand grew increasingly hot and the closer he got to the obelisk, the brighter both the key and obelisk became.
Taking in a deep breath, Quentin made his last few steps to the stone on which the obelisk sat. "Well, here goes nothing."
Quentin inserted the key and was instantly knocked back by an invisible, yet very powerful force. He looked up and saw that the key had melted straight into the obelisk, and they had now become one and the same. Suddenly the obelisk started to split in half and a beam of light was coming from inside. As it opened Quentin noticed that something seemed to be inside the light itself and the more the light grew, the more this something grew as well, until he could finally make out what it was.
Quentin gasped and stared in wide-eyed wonder at a hologram of a woman and a very beautiful woman at that. She appeared fairly young with shoulder length, straight black hair and bright brown eyes that seemed to probe into his mind.
She was wearing a long, gold dress that touched and dragged on the floor. She was clearly Egyptian and probably of royal upbringing. It was extremely revealing in the mid-drift as well as the bust area, which of course Quentin noticed right away. She looked at Quentin; one eyebrow raised and seemed to be inspected him. Then she began to speak…
"You are the chosen, the 3rd sacred stone of Cleopatra is yours. There are 6 stones, each one holds a little of it's own power but when all are together and acquired by one person there is no limit to the powers they can wield. But know this; if evil is your intent then the stone will not work for you the way you may wish. Many seek the stones, for they can heal, cure and grant almost any wish one may have but the stones are the ones that truly choose whom will acquire them. Use caution for if you do not know how to use them, they can cause more harm then good."
And with that she was gone. The bright, steel blue colored stone sat in the middle of the obelisk and Quentin slowly made his way towards it. His heavy breathing echoed on the walls as he approached. If the stones together could really do what the woman said they could, then that would mean he had found a way to be cured from his curse.
Quentin reached for the stone and once he held it in his hand he felt an odd sensation. He looked down at the stone, which had taken on a brighter shade of blue. When he looked back up he was once again in Collinwood and the West Wing no less, where he had intended to go all along.
Laughing Quentin decided that he might as well discover what Judith was up to while he was here and on a role. Making his way to his room he noticed nothing out of the ordinary…until he actually reached his room. The doorway had been bricked up and Quentin knew for a fact that had not been there before. Quentin walked up to his now bricked up doorway and leaned into it to see if he could hear anything coming from inside. Yes, as he listened more closely he could swear he heard rustling sounds coming from his room.
"Is anyone in there?" Quentin shouted.
"Yes! Minerva, it's your husband and he's alone and frightened. Please, let me out! I learned my lesson, I won't do it again!"
It was Trask, and it sounded as if he just might have shot his bolt.
"No, no, no Trask, its Quentin."
"Don't hurt me Minerva! Please let me out, I'll be good!" Trask shouted obviously living in his own little world at this point.
Quentin smiled, so this is why Judith had closed off the West Wing. She had bricked up her dear husband in his room and was now torturing him. Making Trask go insane like he did to Judith a few months ago. Well, he had to hand it to his dear sister, Judith. There couldn't have been a better fate for Trask and he deserved exactly what he was getting. She was a woman after his own heart, he would never have thought.
"You couldn't defeat someone that has the all mighty on his side, Reverend Trask."
Quentin walked away laughing as it suddenly occurred to him that Trask was the skeleton by the roll top desk in his room. That's what Jamison, while possessed by David Collins had been talking about. So he wasn't the skeleton, it was Trask.
Finally, he had answered several questions that had been nagging at him.
The honorable Reverend Trask story has ended.
Quentin spent the rest of the day packing and almost fainted when he discovered that even if he had found a way to take his Gramophone he wouldn't be able to. The servants had forgotten to take it out of his room! Of all things, weren't they supposed to take all of his things out of his room?!? He would have to leave it behind.
He put the stone in a safe place where it was sure not to be forgotten and wrote a note to Mrs. Fillmore explaining his plans on leaving. He hated to leave his daughter behind but in the end it was probably better this way. If the stones cure him then maybe he could come back to Lenore on day. If he found no cure it was better that he was far away from her.
He took one last tour of the house. He would miss it and as much as he hated to admit it he would miss his siblings as well. Sure, Edward pretty much hated his guts, Carl was a cruel joking ghost and Judith could be rather dull (although today had proved otherwise) but they were his family non-the less. He would not say goodbye to them; it would be better that way.
Sighing Quentin retrieved an old trunk with all his old pictures, memoirs, writing and misc. junk he had collected over the years and figured he might as well dive in and see if there was anything worth taking. He was leaving early in the morning and even though he was getting sleepy he needed to do it before he went to bed or it wouldn't be done at all.
While sifting through the trunk he heard someone coming down the stairs. It was Charity, or should he say, it was Pansy. She walked into the room and when she saw him it was clear she thought he was still possessed by Count Petofi.
"Oh, Excuse me. I didn't know this room was occupied."
She started to walk away but then turned around and gave him a second glance.
"Quentin, it's you! It's really you."
"Yes, it is I."
The End? I think not, It's only the beginning.