Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, enough said.
Thoughts spoken to or heard by Edward will be italicized
Chapter 7: Trapped
"Do you believe everything they told us really happened?" I asked my husband as we ran through the forest.
"Yes," he responded in a grim tone. "I don't want to, but the looks in their eyes told me they were telling the truth."
"It is obvious they truly believe what they experienced was real, but do you think that perhaps they may have been mistaken or fooled by something?" I pressed.
"Is that what you believe, or is it what you want to believe?" he asked back with a wry grin.
"It's what I want to believe," I answered back with a sigh.
"Me as well," he agreed with a humorless chuckle. "I would love to think they had just fallen for some kind of prank or whatnot, but I can understand one or two of them falling for something like that, but not all of them. If it'd been humans playing a joke on them, they would've known immediately, especially with Edward and Alice's abilities, not to mention they would have heard and smelled the humans."
"Yes," I agreed with a nod, "And I don't think it was any of the children playing pranks on each other either. Emmett and Bella's wounds were real, and I know Edward would never have gone along with something that would have caused her harm."
"Exactly," Carlisle said, "and thinking along those lines, I don't believe they are pulling a prank on us either. The fear was too real, and I could never see anyone but the boys trying to pull this kind of joke. Besides," he added with a small grin, "Bella still cannot lie to us convincingly, so whatever happened was real to her."
I gave a snort of amusement at that thought before frowning. If the children were telling the truth, then that meant ghosts and demons were real, and that they could harm us. Fear grabbed hold of me at this point, and I suddenly didn't want to get anywhere near this hospital. It was just my luck, that right as these thoughts crossed my mind we arrived at the wretched place.
I stared at the dismal building, giving a gasp of surprise when I saw the face of a woman staring out from the fourth floor.
"What is it?" Carlisle immediately questioned, and I began to point towards the building when all of a sudden the woman disappeared.
"Esme?" Carlisle called in concern, and I gave a small shake of my head. It must have been my imagination. "It's nothing dear," I responded.
Carlisle looked unconvinced, but did not press the matter.
"Come on," I told him, "There's Emmett's car. Let's get in and go." I began to make my way towards the jeep, only to pause and turn around when I noticed my husband was not following. Instead, he was staring at the brick building with narrowed eyes.
"Carlisle!" I called, and he looked over at me. "I am going in Esme," he declared, and I looked at him as though he were mad. "I am going to go in and see if I can find those video-cameras." I stared into his eyes, and I knew that was only part of the reason. Carlisle was the most curious man I knew, so I should have known that despite what the children had told us, he would want to explore this damned building for himself.
"Absolutely not Carlisle!" I exclaimed angrily. "Don't think I do not realize why you really want to go in there!"
"Esme," he argued, "It is not like that. Jasper told us where all the cameras were, so I am simply going to go in and retrieve them. I will not dawdle. I will be in and out before you know it."
"Carlisle, please," I begged, running up and grabbing his arm to stop him. He just sighed as he placed a hand over mine.
"Do not worry, my dear," he soothed, "I will be perfectly fine." And with that he began to make his way towards the front entrance. I gave a low growl of frustration, cursing my husband for being so damn stupid before reluctantly deciding I could not let him go in alone. He obviously was not thinking clearly, so I was going with him to make sure he did not waste any time.
"Darn you Carlisle Cullen, I am coming with you!" I yelled as I raced over towards him. He looked at me in surprise before saying, "No Esme, you do not have to."
"Save your words, you great buffoon," I hissed somewhat angrily, "I am going along to make sure you do not come up with any more idiotic ideas. I swear to God Emmett is rubbing off on you because if I didn't know any better I would think you were a teenage boy right now, not a full grown man."
Carlisle stared at me with an affronted expression for several moments before placing a hand on his heart. "Ouch Esme, you have wounded me deeply," he said with thinly veiled amusement.
I rolled my eyes before motioning for him to take the lead. He gave me a charming grin before walking up the steps. He turned the knob to open the door only to find that it was locked. "That's odd," he mused out loud, "Bella said they broke this door down."
"Then how is it locked?" I asked. "Perhaps an officer or someone came by after they left," but even as I said that I knew it was not true as the only scents lingering in the air were that of my children.
Carlisle's eyes narrowed before he forcefully shoved the doors open. We both walked in slowly, and I rapidly flicked my eyes around the entryway in nervous anticipation.
"This place is awfully depressing," I murmured as I took in the dismal surroundings.
My husband gave a noise of agreement before making his way towards the staircase. "Do you want to split up? I can take the, uh, the…," he trailed off as I gave him a fierce glare.
"Right," he responded as he shifted uncomfortably. "My apologies, my dear, of course we will stick together."
I shook my head in disbelief as I made my way up the stairs. Split up? Honestly, it was as though my husband had lost all sense. "We will go to the third floor, then fifth, and then the underground tunnel," I announced. "There will be no exploring, no attempting to contact anything, and no dawdling. We find those blasted camcorders and we leave, understood?" I questioned sternly.
"Yes Esme, I understand," Carlisle replied, and I smiled at the exasperation in his tone. I turned around to tease him, but before the words could leave my mouth I was startled by the laughter of a child. I immediately directed my gaze to where it had come from and gasped when I saw a little girl. She looked to be about six years old with long brown, curly hair and a frilly little dress. Her face had a mischievous look to it as she held up a small hand to stifle another giggle. This vision lasted only a few seconds before it suddenly disappeared.
I turned back towards my husband to see him staring at me with wide eyes. "Did you just"—
"Yes," I answered breathlessly. "It was Judy, the little girl Rosalie told us about." I could not believe it. I could not believe we had actually seen a ghost. Any doubts I had concerning my children's experiences vanished in an instant.
"Let's continue on dear," Carlisle advised as he gently tugged on my arm. I absentmindedly nodded my head as I trailed up the stairs behind him, my mind still abuzz with what I had just witnessed.
We reached the third floor in no time at all, and when we stepped out into the hallway my nerves came back full force. I had been oddly fascinated by the ghost girl, but Edward and Alice's experiences on this floor had been anything but pleasant. I just hoped we would find the camcorder before anything—
"They're back…Vampires…We should say hello…."
I sucked in a breath at these whispered words as I turned my head to all sides looking for who had spoken them. I pressed up against Carlisle when I saw no one, fear beginning to build up in me.
"It's alright Esme," he soothed as he took one of my hands in his and began to lead me down the hallway. We knew the camcorder had been dropped in room 313 so we quickly made our way over to the room, pausing a moment before opening the door.
"Ah, here it is," Carlisle announced as he stepped into the empty room. I stood at the doorway anxiously surveying the surroundings, hoping beyond hope that nothing would happen. My husband on the other hand seemed completely unconcerned as he casually walked in and picked up the fallen camcorder. He stood for a few seconds examining them before frowning.
"It's been crushed," he mused out loud with a frown "It's completely useless."
"Alice or Edward could have accidently stepped on it as they were running out of the room," I suggested, and Carlisle nodded his head even though he still looked unsure.
"Let's move on Carlisle," I then told him, and he stuffed the cameras in the backpack we had brought before making his way over. He gave me a reassuring grin before taking my hand and leading me back to the stairwell. We made it up the stairs and to the fifth floor with no problems, but that only increased my anxiety. I had a feeling that something big was about to happen, something that neither one of us was going to enjoy.
"Carlisle, stop," I suddenly said as I grabbed hold of his arm.
"What is it Esme?" he questioned as he gazed at me with curious eyes.
"Let's leave," I said. "Something is not right here, I can feel it. Let's just leave the cameras and go home."
"Esme," he sighed as he ran a hand through his hair.
"Please Carlisle," I begged, looking at him with earnest eyes. He stared right back, and I nearly let out a yell of relief when he gave a reluctant nod.
"Alright dear, we'll leave," he sighed as he gave one last longing look down the hallway. I wondered at his expression before deciding to ask him about it later.
I quickly made my way back into the stairwell, waiting for my husband to catch up when the door slammed shut. I let out a gasp of surprise before trying to open it, but it would not budge.
"Carlisle!" I called, forcefully squashing down the panic that was welling up inside of me.
"Esme!" I heard him yell back, and I let out a small sigh of relief that he was alright.
"The door will not open Esme," he declared, and I responded that I too could not open the door.
"What are we going to do?" I asked him, anxiously peering all around me as though I would see another exit for him.
"I will find another way out," Carlisle answered confidently, although I could hear a bit of doubt in his voice. "You should leave Esme," he then advised. "I will meet you when I get out."
"Absolutely not Carlisle!" I snapped back angrily. "I am not leaving this building without you. This door should not be able to withstand our strength for long." I jumped as I heard several bangs on the door before haring a humorless chuckle.
"I'm afraid I do not agree with you on that point, my dear," Carlisle spoke wryly. "This door seems to hold up against my strength quite well."
I gave a hiss of distress before trying myself to break open the door. Nothing, not even a dent or a scratch. This was impossible!
"Listen Esme, please just leave this place. I do not want you getting hurt or trapped in here. I will be just fine," he assured me, and I groaned out loud.
"There must be another staircase on the other side," I then told him. "I will meet you there, understood?" I asked him in a no-nonsense tone.
There was a moment of silence, and I could just imagine the exasperated expression my husband must've been sporting before he said, "Very well, I will meet you there. See you soon, my love."
"See you soon," I responded. "And Carlisle, please be careful," I nearly begged.
"I will," he promptly replied before saying, "And the same to you. Now get going."
"Alright, I love you, and I'm leaving now," I told him before reluctantly making my way down the stairs as fast as I could. I raced across the entranceway to the other side of the compound in no time flat looking for the other stairwell, only to find that there wasn't one.
Oh no, I thought in extreme worry. How the hell will Carlisle get out of there? I continued to search for several more minutes before I was shocked by the sound of a sobbing woman. I froze in fear as I recalled that everything went to hell for my children after they heard this sobbing woman. God, I knew this had been a stupid idea! I should have dragged my foolish husband home instead of indulging him in his insatiable curiosity.
I was just beginning to wonder what horrors I would face when I turned around and realized that the hallway I had just ran down was no longer there. What in the world? I thought in shock as I slowly walked down this 'new' hallway. I did not recognize anything. My mind raced as I tried to comprehend this, but my increasing fear was inhibiting my thought process. There were no windows here, and I could not even see the end of this hallway. I had no idea where I was anymore.
Okay, calm down Esme, I scolded myself. There is no need to panic. This hospital is not so large. Just keep running and you will eventually find your way back to the front entrance. I took a deep breath, feeling somewhat reassured. Setting off at a full spring I raced around looking for anything that seemed familiar and sniffing to see if I could locate my scent or that of my children.
I was near tears at this point, not understanding how this had happened. This hospital was not large enough for me to have gotten so lost. There was no plausible explanation for what had happened. I took a few more deep breaths to help calm myself down, closing my eyes as I leaned against a wall.
Just stay calm Esme. Everything will be alright. Carlisle will find a way out and you will both leave this cursed place. You will then make your husband rue the day he was born for having subjected you to this, and ground those children of yours for the rest of eternity for ever believing that entering this sanatorium was a good idea. I took a few more deep breaths before opening my eyes.
I gave a strangled gasp at the sight before me. The little girl, Judy was standing before me with a kind smile on her young face. "Follow me," she said before beginning to run down where I had just come from. I didn't even think before taking off after her. I tried to catch up to her, but no matter how fast I ran, she was always faster. We had been running for several minutes when I finally began to recognize where we were. I didn't know how it had happened, but we were standing right outside the stairwell Carlisle and I had originally gone up on.
I let out a huge sigh of relief, and was about to thank Judy when someone burst out of the stairwell. I let out a startled scream before I realized it was my husband.
30 minutes before
I heard as my wife walked down the stairs before taking a huge breath and turning around. I had not told Esme or the children, but I had been here before back when it was still an operating hospital. A human doctor who I had grown quite fond of, Dr. George Reynolds had been brought here after contracting tuberculosis. It had been against my better judgment, but I had checked up on him while he had been here. I had stayed for him for several days until one day the entire floor caught fire. George, along with most the other patients and staff did not make it out alive.
Anyways, I knew from that visit that the only way off this floor was through this one stairwell. There was an elevator, but without power it was essentially useless. I gritted my teeth slightly before deciding it would not hurt to check. I had not been here since 1939, so for all I knew they could have added another stairwell since then.
Quickly making my way down the hallway, I paused at the first door on my right. This had been the room George had been in. I thought about stepping inside before shaking my head. I had to find a way out. This was not a sight-seeing tour.
With that thought in mind I decided to head to the far side of the hallway and look for the camera and camcorder Rosalie and Jasper had left behind. I found the cameras in one of the last rooms on the left. Taking a calming breath I stepped into the room and quickly picked up the cameras, only to frown once more when I found that these too had been destroyed; however, instead of being crushed, these had been burned. A chill ran through me as I realized the danger my two children had been in. Thank God they had gotten out unharmed. I stuffed the cameras inside my backpack and stepped outside the room.
It was at that point that I was startled by the sobbing of a woman. It lasted for several seconds before it turned into a terrified scream that abruptly cut off. The silence that followed was thickening, and I tensed as I was hit with the strong feeling that something bad was about to happen.
No sooner had I thought that when I caught the scent of fire and burning flesh. I wrinkled my noise as I forcefully shoved away the fear that was building up inside of me. Now was not the time to panic, I chided myself.
Beginning to move a little faster I quickly reached the other end of the hallway, only to discover what I already knew-a dead end. I uttered a small curse before running a hand through my hair. Now what? I asked myself. Esme was probably freaking out at this point since she no doubt had found out what I already knew. I should probably just head back to the stairwell and hope the door will open this time.
"Are you lost?" a voice called out, and I whirled around to find no one there.
"Whose there?" I called out futilely, unsurprised when I received no response. Giving a growl of frustration I began heading back towards the stairs when I saw a dark figure standing in my way. I froze as I took in this…creature's features, or lack of. It was a black figure in the shape of a human with red eyes…Shit! This was the demon Emmett and Bella had encountered in the underground tunnel. What the hell was it doing up here?
The demon stared at me with an expressionless face, and I did the best I could to show no fear.
"What do you want?" I called out bravely, shivering when all it did was smile back at me in a menacing manner before beginning to walk towards me.
I let out a loud growl as I bared my teeth. "Keep your distance you wretched beast before I send you back to hell!" I roared as I fought against the instinct to run.
The demon let out an evil laugh that cut right through me before I was all of a sudden lifted off my feet and thrown forty feet into the end of the hallway I had just come from. I lay there in stunned surprise for a couple of seconds before lifting myself out of the wall. The demon was still laughing as it made its way down towards me, and I suddenly decided to listen to my instincts and make a run for it. The only problem was, I was at a dead end hallway—wait what?
I stared in shock as I suddenly realized there was an entire hallway that I had not noticed earlier. How in God's name was that possible? I stared back at the grinning demon before deciding I didn't really care where it had come from before beginning to run. It didn't matter how far or how quickly I ran because I could tell the demon was not far behind. Fear coursed through me as I tried to figure a way out of here, but this place had suddenly turned into a maze. I knew I should have already made an entire circle of this floor, but no matter how much I ran I never ran into a place I had been before. This was impossible though as I knew this floor was not that large. Even if they had added to it since the last time I had been here, it would still have been physically impossible for there to have been this many hallways.
"Carlisle," a voice whispered, and I nearly jumped out of my skin thinking it was the demon speaking.
"Follow me Carlisle, follow me," the same voice called out a little louder, and my mouth fell open in complete shock when Dr. George Reynolds was suddenly standing before me. Half of his body looked burnt, but he had a knowing grin on his face as he motioned for me to follow him. Numbly, I decided not to question what was happening. As long as it got me away from the demon I was happy to follow anyone and anything. I ran after George for several minutes, astounded at how I could never catch up to him when I found myself back at the stairwell.
My heart leapt as I reached it, and I let out a yell of happiness when I opened it without a problem. I was about to give George my eternal thanks when I felt a burning hand grab onto my arm. Letting out a hiss of pain I stared in horror at the demon holding onto me.
"STAY!," it growled out in a menacing tone. I did the best I could to get him off of me, but every time I touched this beast it was as though I were hitting fire. The arm he had a hold of was burning, and I gave a loud snarl as I futilely tried to pull my arm out of its grasp.
"Let me go!" I yelled angrily, but all it did was tighten its grasp. I let out a gasp as the burning increased and began to move up my arm and towards my chest. Falling to my knees I groaned as I felt myself losing strength. This could not be happening! Fight back Carlisle! Fight back I roared in my head.
Oh God, please help me I begged over and over as the pain increased. I was just preparing to use my remaining energy to lash out at this beast once more when I suddenly felt the pain vanish and my strength return. Letting out sharp breath I looked up to see George and a bunch of other patients and doctors standing between me and the beast. What the bloody hell…
"Go Carlisle, we will hold him off," George ordered as he turned to me, and I gave him a grateful look before rushing into the stairwell and down the stairs. Bursting out of the door, I was beyond relieved to see my unharmed wife standing there.
"Carlisle, thank God!" she yelled in relief as she threw herself into my arms. I wrapped my arms around her tightly before letting go and pulling her towards the exit.
"We have to go," I told her, "Right now!" She did not argue, only followed silently as we made it to the entrance and burst out the door. Pulling out Emmett's key I had that car started in no time before I peeled out of here. I drove as fast as the car would go towards home, my mind racing with everything that had happened.
"Carlisle, what happened to your arm?" I heard my wife ask in deep concern, but I only shook my head at her. I was not ready to speak. She gave me a worried look but remained silent the rest of the way home.
I was waiting in the garage when my parents screeched to a halt in front of me. One look at their faces and I knew they'd gone inside. They quickly exited my car, and I stared in horror at the terrible burn mark on my father's arm.
"Shit Pops, what the hell happened?" I asked concernedly, my wife and siblings all huddling around our parents. Pops just shook his head at me, a look of shock on his face as I walked over towards him. Edward, Jasper, and Alice were with Mom, doing their best to comfort her as she too looked to be in a state of shock.
"Let's get them inside," I announced, and Rose and Bella helped me pull Pops inside as the others guided Mom in. We sat them both down, allowing them a few minutes of silence before I decided to speak.
"You went in, didn't you?" I asked them, and Mom glanced at Pops before looking at me and nodding.
"Your father wanted to go in," she informed us somewhat angrily, and I watched as my father lowered his head in guilt before looking at her.
"I am so sorry Esme," he apologized. "I just, I needed to go in there once more." We all gave him looks of confusion at these words.
"What do you mean once more?" Esme asked. "You've been at this hospital before?"
Pops closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. Gazing at each one of us, he nodded his head. "Yes, I visited a patient in this hospital back in 1939. I was there the day the fifth floor caught fire and killed all those people," he explained, and I stared at him in surprise.
"Who were you visiting?" Edward asked, and Carlisle flicked his eyes towards him as he answered, "Dr. George Reynolds." Edward's eyes widened in surprise, and I got the feeling Pops was having a silent conversation with him as Edward's eyes softened and he gave an understanding nod.
"What happened to you guys?" Alice asked, and I didn't need to be Jasper to feel the increase in nervous energy. We were all tense, wanting yet not wanting to know what our parents had experienced.
Mom was the first to speak, and we all listened in shock as she told us of how the ghost girl Judy had helped her out.
We turned towards Pops at this time to hear his story, and he gave a grimace before launching into his tale. By the end of it, every one of us had our mouths opened in disbelief.
"So your friend George saved you?" Bella asked in awe, and Carlisle nodded his head.
"Jeez Pops, I think we can all agree you had the worst experience," I murmured, and he gave a short humorless laugh. Mom gave his hand a comforting squeeze before running a hand through his hair. Pops let out a sigh before looking her in the eye. They had a silent conversation before Mom stood up and gave us all a stern glare.
"Alright everyone, it is time to listen up," she declared, and we all exchanged wary glances before giving her our undivided attention.
"New family rule," she announced, "Under no circumstances is anyone in this family to ever partake in any paranormal investigation ever again, am I understood?"
We all quickly voiced our understanding, all too happy to agree with this rule. There were many family rules that I couldn't help but break, but this would not be one of them. I had set out to find evidence of ghosts, and boy had I found it. I had never been more upset at being proved right in my life.
We all feel silent at this point, each one lost in his or her own thoughts, contemplating everything that had happened to them on this night. I had set out to give us all an unforgettable Halloween and boy had I succeeded. I gave a small snort. What was I going to do to top this next year?
A/N: So, it's finally over! Not too happy with how it turned out, but oh well. Hope I haven't disappointed any of you too badly, and I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I sure did!