I'm so sorry for the delay but it's been tough to write this summer. I am happy to say that there are just two chapters left for this case, but I am debating going immediately into a new case or to do a post case chapter. What are your thoughts? Enjoy!
March Day 5, 2:11 P.M.
"Are you okay?" Naru grunted as Mai realized that her hip was jabbed into a rather uncomfortable spot for the young man.
"Yeah," she groaned, trying to get a grip of the floor to lift herself up, but she kept seeming to get a hold of his arm or torso. She finally managed to get off of him and picked up the flashlight Naru had dropped while he picked himself up. "Here."
Naru took the flashlight with a nod and pointed the light toward the tunnel before them. He then pointed it at the trapdoor above them. A fleeting memory of a case earlier that year floated in Mai's mind before she shook it out. "We're not going to have the leverage to open that from down here," he said with a breath. He pointed the light to Mai's feet. "And exploring the tunnel would not be the best of plans seeing as no one knows our position. You didn't tell anyone where we were going right?"
Mai raised a brow at him. "How could I? You never told me and I've been with you the whole time," she said, having another déjà vu moment.
"Just making sure you're paying attention," he said, but she had the sneaking suspicion he was having the same feeling as her.
"Okay, in that case why don't you just call Lin on your phone? I know you have him on speed dial," she quipped, crossing her arms.
Just as she said it, Naru pulled out his phone only to shake his head. "My battery's dead, can you call him on yours?"
Mai rolled her eyes and shoved her hand into her front jean pocket only to have her heart skip a beat. She tried her other pocket and then her back pockets, scrunching up her face in annoyed defeat. "I…I left it in the room…"
Naru let out a sigh and slid his phone in his pocket. "Then we have no choice," he decided, pointing the light toward the tunnel.
"You're kidding," Mai deadpanned as Naru walked forward.
"Stay close," he ordered over his shoulder. Mai suddenly had a very bad feeling about this.
"We can cross him off the list of suspects, and we know a little more about the Moto couple, so why are you still in a mood?" Monk asked as Ayako violently scribbled on her clipboard.
"I'm not in a mood," she snapped, snatching the thermometer and waltzing out of the room to the next.
"I know you're usually a little snippy, but even this is a little out of character. Now that it's looking a little more likely that the Motos' disappearance wasn't due to foul play, I thought you-"
"I'm out of character?" She spun around with fury in her eyes. "What about you? You're the one who wanted to corner a potential murder suspect alone! You wanted to interrogate him and have me finish the temperature sweep! You don't see what the issue with that is?"
Monk just raised a brow and shrugged in confusion.
"It was reckless! And that's out of character for you!" She whipped herself back in the direction she had been walking in and went into the next room.
"What do you mean you didn't sell the hotel willingly?" Kiko asked as their guest took a sip of her tea. After the shock the old woman had given them, Yasuhara took it upon himself to make the tea she had declined. Needless to say, all three of them were happy to have a warm cup in their hand.
"That's just it, we didn't," Hanako said, gazing down at her mug. "You asked my husband if there were any rumors as to why we closed and oh there certainly were. From bankruptcy to murder to hauntings to cursed land, you name it, we heard it. Of course, that all happened after we shut our doors for good and took the little we had left and moved to another village."
"But why did you have to do it, Kuroki-san?" Yasuhara asked after taking a sip. "The rumors didn't come until after."
"You see, in order to understand, I need to start from the beginning of that fiasco." Hanako let out a deep breath and relaxed her shoulders. "In the summer of forty years ago, ten years after my husband and I purchased the resort from his parents, there was a family of three who stayed at our hotel. A husband, a wife, and their daughter, Tomi."
"Tomi?" Kiko repeated, sending a look to the boy next to her who jotted down the story.
"Yes, she would play with the other girls who were here with their families, as well as some who lived in the village specifically-"
"Kikuchi-san?" they both asked in unison. The woman looked up in thought with a finger on her chin trying to recall.
"I suppose that is her married name now," she said considerately. "Back then, I knew her as 'Akemi-chan' she was a feisty little thing, always covered in dirt from playing in the forest. Once she met Tomi, they became stuck like glue. Played every day."
"Kuroki-san," Yasuhara interrupted after scratching his pen to his notepad for a few seconds. "Are you trying to tell us that Tomi had something to do with your business closing down?"
"Tomi was the exact reason why we had to shut our doors for good." She looked down at her mug somberly. "Well, her parents to be exact."
"Are you sure this will lead to the caves?" Mai asked warily as she followed behind Naru and his flashlight. "I don't feel a breeze or anything-"
Naru stopped short and turned around. He stuck one finger up in the air before sticking it in his mouth and pulling it out to stand alone in the air.
"Do this," he said and confused as she was, she copied his actions. With her damp finger in the air she felt the slightest shift in the air. "There's an opening somewhere. If it is the caves then we have a lot of walking to do. C'mon."
Mai just sighed and trucked on behind him, a nagging feeling filled the pit of her stomach. Something was off, but what was it?
"His phone is dead," Lin said when he walked back into the room that he and Madoka were checking the temperature. "I saw Mai's in their room."
"I'm sure they're fine, Lin," Madoka chided with a roll of her eyes as she jotted down the temp on her clipboard. "Yasuhara and Kiko are watching Base so if they go off they'll know."
Lin remained silent as they walked into another room. He honestly wasn't too sure why they were still taking temperature readings. There was no pattern since they arrived. No fluctuations before activity happened, then again they didn't really have too much activity.
"A lot of activity happened outside…" he muttered to himself as he looked out the window to the lake.
"What was that?" Madoka poked her head up from her clipboard and walked to the window to join him.
"We've had significant activity happen outside," he repeated with crossed arms.
"Well, now that we've had the body discovered, it makes sense why Maede Hitomi wanted to go to the lake so badly." She mimicked his stance as they both gazed out the window. "That little girl must have really wanted to be found."
"But why would she wait forty years? Kikuchi-san runs the boathouse, why didn't the girl try to contact her?"
"Probably the same reason Gene hasn't been able to reach out to us," Madoka shrugged as she felt her boyfriend tense and sigh next to her.
"No." Her voice was quiet, yet firm as she kept her gaze out at the lake. "Do not try to tell me that Gene is at rest when he knows that his only brother witnessed his death on the other side of the globe. Do not tell me that he is at peace with the death he endured. Do not-"
"I wasn't going to say any of that." His voice was a little louder than hers, but just as firm, maybe even understanding. "Besides, he isn't at peace."
Madoka's throat clenched at the certainty in his voice. She held her breath and kept facing the window. She couldn't answer even if she tried.
"Several cases ago, Kiko managed to make contact with him," Lin confessed, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Back when she was impersonating your sister, she caught a cold and spent most of the case sleeping it off. For a while she was sleeping in Base, she woke up and told me Gene was doing well."
Madoka let out a breath and closed her eyes tight. Her throat was still tight and dry, but more out of relief than sadness. "At least he was able to get the message out. I feel even worse now that I haven't made the attempt to contact her sooner."
"Why don't we rest a bit?" Naru suggested after Mai bumped into him after falling behind and running to keep up for the third time. He flashed his light around the walls of rock and dirt as Mai slid to the ground, feeling a little more disheartened than she probably should have in this situation.
She pulled her knees to her chest, resting her chin on them as she wrapped her arms around her legs. What was wrong with her? When she woke up that morning she felt refreshed and free and almost whole. Maybe that was it. She was almost whole. When she spoke with Hozumi, they agreed that regaining contact with her spirit guide should fill the void, but it didn't seem to do the trick?
She was feeling, almost a sense of regret as she looked down at the dirt floor. But why? She should have been ecstatic to be able to spend time with only him in a place where they wouldn't be interrupted. She knew she wasn't over her crush and this was the perfect time to ask questions that have been plaguing her mind. So what was stopping her?
Her thoughts were interrupted when Naru sat next to her and put the flashlight down on the ground. It was standing upright with the light pointed at the ceiling and illuminated them.
Mai turned her head and watched as Naru pulled out something from the inside pocket of his jacket. "Remember our little friend?" he asked as he produced a five hundred yen piece.
Mai smiled softly as she remembered the last time he had done the same thing. It had been a long time ago, now that she thought about it, when they fell down a manhole and he tried to comfort her with that trick. He was trying to do it again. It was actually sweet.
Since when is Naru sweet? She wondered as she watched him skillfully make the coin disappear and reappear. He even made it jump at her only to disappear in midair. Whatever spirits have been influencing me this case must be doing the same to him, she determined.
"I've always liked that trick," she commented absently as the coin reemerged in his hand.
"So it's a trick?" Naru repeated with a raised brow. Mai nodded with an innocent look.
"Isn't it? A simple magic trick and ventriloquism," she answered, lifting her head.
"You used to think it was magic."
"But it's not." Naru and Mai turned to the coin in his hand. "What? You both know it's not magic."
Mai couldn't help herself, she laughed. "You don't seem so afraid of Mai anymore," Naru told the coin who moved similar to a nod. The coin then turned in his hand as if to give Mai the cold shoulder. "Are you mad?"
"Are you mad at me?" Mai asked with an amused smiled. The coin nodded. "Why is that?"
"You're too quiet. Not the same." She wasn't sure what hit her worse, the words or the fact that they were technically coming from Naru.
I guess I really have changed a lot, thought Mai as her eyes held a sad look in them despite her smile. And I suppose Lin wasn't lying when he told me Naru was worried about me.
"No, I'm not the same, not completely at least." Mai hadn't fully realized it when the words came out, but there was no stopping them now. For whatever reason, it was easier to tell this to a coin than to her boss. "But that doesn't mean that something is wrong. I'm still Mai, I swear."
The coin turned back to face her and seemed to nod before it disappeared. Mai was sad to see it leave. She couldn't quite explain it, but she suddenly felt a little lonely without its presence.
"We should start moving again. We still don't know how much farther we have until we find the exit and it's only a matter of time before the others start to worry," Naru said as he took his hand out of his jacket pocket.
"Yeah, you're right," Mai agreed, suddenly feeling exhausted. She shook her head of it and extended her legs to help her stand up. Unfortunately, she moved too quickly and knocked the flashlight from its stand, only to watch as it slowly fell to the ground with a crash and the light went out instantly. Mai groaned as Naru swore and she was a little too tempted to hit her head against the wall for her stupidity. "I-I'm sorry, Naru! I-ugh!"
Way to go, Klutz, she taunted herself.
"It's fine," Naru said with a sigh and from the sound of it, had found and picked up the flashlight. "It was my fault, I put it down carelessly." Mai could hear his footsteps wander toward her. "C'mon, we better get going."
She didn't have to see to know he was offering her a hand to get up, the problem was, she couldn't see said hand. So she decided to get up herself and keep her and against the wall.
"Mai, we're not moving until you take my hand," Naru said in a stern tone. It took every ounce of effort she had to not let her squeak out loud, but was very glad they were under the cover of darkness. He wouldn't be able to see her blush. "I need to make sure we won't be separated."
So that was how Mai had to grope around in the dark to find his hand. This is not how I imagined it…
"You see, there was always something about Tomi that wasn't quite right," Hanako explained, looking at her hands. "Or should I say her family? Tomi was a sweet girl, but made it a point to keep away from me and my husband and really any of the adults. She looked like she wanted to talk but knew she'd be scolded by her parents for speaking out of turn."
"Like she wanted to tell you a secret that could have gotten her in trouble?" Yasuhara asked, the woman nodded.
"What she wanted to tell me, I never found out, but," she looked up at the investigators, "I soon found out her parents weren't the most pleasant couple in the world."
"What happened to Tomi, Kuroki-"
"Please, call me Hanako, Kiko-chan."
"What happened to her, Hanako-san?"
Hanako let out another breath and they could see the sadness in her eyes. It confirmed for the both of them just who Tomi really was. "It was early one morning in July, very early, the sun had only barely peaked over the horizon. When my husband and I were awoken by Tomi's parents at our door."
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "They told us that Tomi had sleepwalked and fell into the lake. None of our guests were awake yet so we went to investigate, unfortunately, it was too late for Tomi, she had inhaled water and drowned. My heart broke for the poor girl that night as her parents convinced us it was our fault, our negligence led to their daughter's death. But there was one problem."
"Yes?" Yasuhara and Kiko had leaned in closer.
"They were not distraught over the child's death." Hanako shook her head as she let out a shaky breath as though reliving the event. "No, they were quite calm. They claimed they wanted justice, but the justice they wanted was to discard the girl's body."
"They made you tie the girl down?" Yasuhara asked, ceasing his notetaking.
She nodded again and covered her face with her hands. "They made my husband and I tie rocks to Tomi's hands and feet and waist. We had to be quick so the other guests wouldn't see. I couldn't stop crying. This poor sweet girl deserved a burial or a cremation, not a watery grave. And Akemi would come in day after day asking for her, beginning to know where she was. She thought Tomi was my daughter, that's what she had been told. Lord knows I would have been a better mother-"
"Hanako-san?" Kiko said, holding a hand up to cease the rambling. The woman took her head from her hands. "What happened after you disposed of her body?"
"It got worse."
"Mai and Naru haven't come back yet?" Madoka asked once she and Lin walked into Base. Monk and Ayako were there as well. "They've been gone for hours now."
Yasuhara and Kiko shook their heads, still processing what Kuroki Hanako had told them. The woman left about an hour before and they were still trying to organize her information into a plausible theory.
"We just got back," Monk explained, seeing as the two college students weren't up to answering. He turned to them. "Have you guys checked the video lately?" The two shook their heads again.
Lin reclaimed his seat in front of his laptop by the monitors. Madoka came over and put a hand on Kiko and Yasuhara's shoulders. "What's wrong? You look like you saw someone die," she asked.
Sharing a look the two nodded and Yaushara lifted his head. "We had a visitor, Kuroki Hanako, she and her husband owned the resort that stood before this one was built," he explained, adjusting his glasses. "She actually confirmed the story that Kikuchi-san told Naru and Mai when we arrived."
"That's good, right?" Ayako asked with her arms crossed as she looked over the back of the couch at them. "I mean, not for the little girl that Kiko found, but at least it gives us something to go on."
"The little girl that Kikuchi-san would play with was named 'Tomi,'" Kiko said with a deep breath. "She came here with her parents and would play with Kikuchi-san, but would stay away from the adults."
Together, Yasuhara and Kiko explained what they knew of Tomi's demise, earning shocked gasps and clenched fists of anger. "What do you mean, 'it got worse?'" Ayako asked.
"Apparently, after the couple forced Hanako and her husband to dispose of the body, they demanded payment in exchange for them to not sue them for negligence," Kiko explained, shaking her head. She began to rub her temples.
"When Hanako's husband refused, the couple threatened to call the police to search the lake for their daughter," Yasuhara continued. "Which lead to the Kuroki family paying virtually all of their lifesavings in order to keep this quiet."
"And then the resort closed a few months later?" Monk asked, leaning against the wall with his arms folded in front of him. The two researchers nodded.
"Kikuchi-san asked about Tomi everyday," Yasuhara explained. "After a few months, the Kuroki couple had scrounged up enough money to shut down the business and start a new life in the next town over."
"Actually, they tried to go even farther, into the Akita Prefecture," Kiko added, shutting her eyes as thought seeing the even herself. "But when they got there they found missing posters of Yukimura, Tomomi. So they decided to move again."
"So it was the same girl?" Monk asked, everyone shared a somber look. He shook his head in anger. "Goddamn bastards!" he hissed.
They had wandered around for a long time. Silence hung in the air since their discussion of magic more than an hour before. Probably two, now that she thought about it. Mai felt a nagging urge to ask about what happened that morning. Did she really wake up to hear Naru apologize? And did she forgive him out loud? Did she ever apologize to him?
That was a thought she hadn't let breach the surface until now. She had apologized for allowing her personal life to affect her professional life, but never apologized for what really happened. Her stomach twisted at how naïve and clueless she had been. Hozumi had said that she had some wounded bonds that she needed to mend, but it was only now that she realized what he meant. "Naru?" she asked as he stopped abruptly.
"We've been walking a while, why don't we rest for a bit?" he suggested and Mai could only nod and give a small noise in answer. She let go of his hand and leaned against the cave wall, sliding to the ground. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she lied. Her stomach knotted tighter. She was angry with herself for not understanding sooner and was upset that she had allowed someone else to control what she felt toward those close to her. She wanted to throw up. She wasn't sure how long it was that they sat in silence but her chest clenched in a way that made her feel as though she were sobbing. It gave a whole knew meaning to get something off of her chest. "Hey, Naru?"
"Yes?" he replied. It was so dark she could barely make out his silhouette, but she knew that he held a curious look in his eyes.
"I just," she paused taking a deep breath gathering her thoughts. Why was this so hard? "I want to apologize, Naru." Another breath. "Apologize for ever giving you the idea that I hated you."
Naru just looked in her general direction, he may not have been able to see her in the dark, but he knew the exact expression that her face wore. He stayed silent, knowing that she had more to say.
"I allowed someone to influence and decide my views and opinions of people who I consider close to me." She swallowed hard, the twisted knot traveled from her stomach to her chest, tightening with each word. "I don't know if I can forgive myself for allowing someone to have that kind of control over me, even after I shut him out of my life. But I hope that maybe you might forgive me. I know that for the most part I'm just good at making tea and doing paperwork and getting on your nerves, but I can honestly say that I'll never let what happened happen again."
There was a silent moment between the two. The knot was almost suffocating at this point. Practically crushing Mai's lungs, she was almost sure this was a paranormal attack, but knew it wasn't. She needed to know Naru's response. Little did she know, it wasn't anything she had in mind.
"I'm sorry too." Mai almost choked on her own spit at the response. "I'm sorry if I ever gave you a reason to hate me. I often forget how sensitive you are and how attached you get to a case, so I know I have said things that I shouldn't. And I watched how negatively it affected you along with the cases, I'm sorry that I did it to you."
"Are you talking about threatening my job at the nursing home?" Mai cocked her head to the side. She couldn't see, but knew the young man nodded. "Naru, I forgave you for that a long time ago. I held a grudge, don't get me wrong, but it had a lot to do with Shouta. He was the one who hated you and he tried to make me hate you. I understand now what happened back on that case. You were trying to teach me a lesso-"
"I'm not talking just about that case," Naru interrupted, stunning his assistant.
"What?" Mai was definitely taken aback.
"I'm surprised you let it go so easily." Mai pouted at the tease, but listened carefully. "Back when we investigated the theater…" And Mai understood where he was going. "I should have confronted you about what I had thought and seen, instead of deciding for myself. You had every right to be angry with me-"
"I got over that a while ago," she stopped him. It wasn't completely a lie, when you think about it. "I wasn't in a good place back then and everyone knew it. Hell, even Lin tried talking it out with me at Christmas. Rational me knew that, but irrational me thought that I was only burdening everyone so I lashed out when you thought I was suicidal."
Mai shook her head, this wasn't going how she had planned it out. This wasn't going the way it did when she would talk this out with Hozumi and it annoyed her. But there was a point she had to make. "What I'm trying to say is, I know that I can be too trusting of myself and others, you wanted me to learn that with you before I learned it the hard way. You were concerned when you found me on the roof and wanted to make sure that it was a spirit that made me go up there and not something else. Would I have gone about it differently? Probably, but I probably wouldn't have learned any way else. Basically, I forgive you, Naru, I have always forgiven you."
There was a stunned silence that hung in the air as Mai swore her heart stopped. Why not just go on and say you're in love with him? You've said pretty much the same thing, idiot! She chided herself.
But if Naru caught on to the subliminal message, he never let on. No he decided to surprise her in a different way.
"And I forgive you for hating me." Her breath was caught in her throat for a moment as she processed what he had said. Everything was falling into place.
Finally the knot's tension in her stomach had released and Mai could breathe normally. Had she been able to see his face she swore there would be the same smile as the Naru from her dreams. An overwhelming sense of relief washed over her and she was vaguely aware that there were tears falling from her eyes. "Are you okay?"
"What?" she asked, realizing he could probably sense what a mess she was in the dark. She began to laugh. Leaning her head back against the wall. "I'm sorry, Naru, but it's a little funny. We're both apologizing and forgiving each other for hating and giving reason to hate. It's about as comical as Madoka assigning our room arrangements."
"Speaking of, I'm never letting her be in charge of that again." Mai could have swore the man rolled his eyes.
"What? Is my insomnia too much for you to handle?" she teased.
"No, you kick and fuss in your sleep," he teased back. Earning a scowl that he knew was there but couldn't actually see. "By the way, did you sleep through the night?"
"I-" Mai had to pause as she remembered when she woke up the first time to find her employer's arm around her waist and fought back a blush that threatened to creep up. Not that he could see it anyway. "I think I did. I fell asleep before eleven I think and it was past noon when I woke up. Why did you let me sleep in so late?"
"You were in a dead sleep, I couldn't have woke you if I tried," he lied smoothly. Never skipping a beat. "I figured you needed all the rest you could get and you didn't seem to be having any nightmares or visions so I figured you were catching up on sleep."
"Well, thanks," Mai replied, sensing him stand back up. She did the same. A ghost of a joke passed through her mind, but she figured she should bring it up. "And if I was in a ghost induced coma and didn't wake up, when would you have noticed?"
"Believe it or not, the thought did occur to me." Great, ghost induced comas are plausible? I was just getting used to being able to sleep again. "If you weren't up before one I was going to wake you, but obviously you're fine. Now c'mon, we should keep going, who knows when we'll reach the end of this tunnel."
Mai took his hand and followed him with a smile on her face. For the first time she felt whole again. She felt she could finally cope with everything that's happened over the last five months. A shaky and questionable bond she shared with her employer was finally on solid ground for the most part. And as she mimicked his footsteps she was sure of one thing.
At least we reached the end of that tunnel.
"They're gone." It was Lin's voice that drew the attention of everyone in the room. He spun around in his seat in front of the monitors as if to prove his point. "They're nowhere to be found on the cameras and Naru didn't tell me where he was planning to go to."
"Madoka! We are not going there!" Ayako snapped, as the other woman shrugged. "Didn't he say he was going to talk to Kikuchi-san? We don't have any cameras out there so they could still be there."
"It's after five now, do you really think Kikuchi's story is that interesting?" Monk asked with a raised brow, earning a glare. "What?"
"It's as good a place as any to start," Madoka decided, eyeing the group. "Kiko and Ayako will stay here and watch Base in case they do turn up. Monk will come with me, we'll go have a word with Kikuchi-san and see when she last saw them. And that leaves Yasuhara and Lin to ask around the hotel, see if maybe your Shiki can track him."
"The sun's going to set in about an hour, so we better find them before it gets dark," Yasuhara pointed out as he stood up to fulfill his task.
"Do you see it too?" Mai asked as she looked up ahead. It was a little dot of light. She could sworn she was smelling something more than just the musty smell of the tunnel. "I think I can smell the lake."
"I think you're right," Naru answered, keeping his grip on her hand tight. "Let's keep moving."
Mai felt him tug her hand, but she stayed still. She felt the air around her grow cold. She jumped with a shriek as she felt cold bony fingers curl around her ankle. Naru must have the same thought as her, seeing as his grip tightened and her arm was jerked forward, forcing her into a run.
Three times Mai stumbled and tripped, but managed to keep up with Naru's longer legs. Before she knew it they were both panting and leaning on a tree. "What happened?" he asked, gaining his breath before she had.
"I…it…hand…ugh!" She stood up straight and forced herself to take a long, slow, deep breath. "I felt the air get cold around us and then there was a hand on my ankle and well, you know the rest." She took another breath. "Why? What did you think happened?"
But Naru didn't answer her. Instead, he walked over to the edge of the lake and looked out to where the hotel must have been and noticed the quickly setting sun. "We can go over everything later with the team. It's going to get dark and I haven't followed the trails this far out."
"Neither have I," Mai admitted, straightening herself. A sudden wave of exhaustion hit her. Her body felt too heavy for her legs as she stood and her head began to get dizzy. "Hey, Naru…" She knew her words came out slurred as she watched him turn around.
But she couldn't help it. Her knees gave out. Her eyelids fell. And her mind shut off. She didn't remember if she fell forward or backward as her exhaustion took over.
When I originally came up with this case a few years ago, I didn't expect half of the things to happen to Mai and the rest of SPR that did end u happening. Before, Mai was really to just hold a grudge against Naru about the nursing home case, which she did and while it's uncharacteristic of her she was also being influenced by the demon and Shouta. But while Mai has pretty much reconciled with most of SPR by now (Ayako, John, Yasuhara, indirectly with Masako, etc.) she hasn't exactly made the effort to do that with Naru. And that's why I made this case an undercover couple case.
I also wanted to bring back the coin scene for a while now and this just seemed to fit and show how Mai's changed. All in all I'm very happy with this chapter and I hope you all are too.
Now a question for all of you, do you have any predictions for this case or future chapters with character development? Any cute scenes you might want to see like the coin scene?
If you haven't already, check out The Haunt Continues... one of my favorite chapters has been posted recently and I'm so happy with it!