Having an antique shop in a small town won't make you rich. Nan was never rich. As she used to say « this house has been in the family since my grand father arrived from Ireland, i don't drive so much and i'm never sick. I don't need a lot of money to live ». Indeed. But she had to work all her life. She was against loans, mortgages and credits. She said it was for pretentious people who wanted to seem richer than they were.
Even if Saskia agreed, you have enough money when you don't lack of it, with the economy being so slow, people hesitated a lot before buying an expensive antique. Her first move was starting to sell on the internet, and it was clever, she gained a few clients, but not enough to keep the business afloat. She needed rare stuff. Rare things rich people would want. But to have rare things, you need to find them, and buy them. What's rare is precious, what's precious is expensive.
It felt like she was a hamster running in a wheel.
She began to be desperate about it until she remembered there was a time when she saw rare and expensive things on a regular basis. Usually, those things were old, unique, precious and haunted by vicious beings. Like that killer mirror, in Louisiana that had been cursed by a a voodoo witch. That was certainly a very clever witch, and Saskia always thought she must have had a good reason to curse a mirror, and make it kill all the member of the same family whenever they reached a certain level of happiness. And its owner was an old bitch, still living in her family's plantation house she didn't want to leave at any cost, regretting the time when black people "knew where their place was". The only flaw of that mirror, was that when you're old and bitter and you hate everyone, it doesn't kill you. Anyway. Ellen managed to identify the cursed object and to purify it, after the old bitch's son died on his wedding day. That mirror dated from the 18th century, and cost certainly a lot. Maybe there were other people trying to get rid of that kind of stuff?
Maybe theses people would sell it for peanuts?
That's when she started to investigate cases again. To her, it was not hunting. For some weird reason, she always felt close to those angry things stuck in a world of fear and anger. Vengeful ghosts, trapped souls, old curses...All this existed because someone suffered at some point and tried to get revenge. Wanting revenge is human. But even if she felt some sympathy for them, when it's vicious you need to kill it. Period.
So one day she read that story about a farmer's daughter, not so far away from North Kingston, who was supposed to be possessed by a demon. Possessed people are usually idiots who played too much with a ouija board, or idiots who opened an hex box. Yes you have to be a moron to open a box with DON'T OPEN IT written on it. But normal people never take seriously that kind of warning until they begin to speak latin and puke blood. Anyway, a priest tried to exorcise her, a psychiatrist tried to knock her out with drugs, nothing worked. The newspaper concluded this was another meth drama.
She took one of her faked Ids, the Katie Smithers one, and drove five hours to that farm. She was lucky she looked young. She pretended to be a psychic who would help the girl for free. "My Light Being drove me to your home, and told me to use my energy of love to purify your daughter", she said, with an ecstatic smile. She figured it was the kind of crap a psychic would say. But it worked. She asked the parents to leave the house, "because it's not very feng shui at the moment", and went inside the girls room.
The girl was indeed possessed. In the room, Saskia noticed that all the furniture was old. Damn. Which on was it?
-What's your name?
-I'm Satan! Lord of Hell! You whore! Grunted the possessed girl
-Yeah you certainly hope so, you trash, I don't even care about your name. What are you, a dybbuk? A ghost? You're trapped somewhere in the room?
The girl suddenly looked puzzled.
-Who are you?
-I'm Saskia, i'm here to free you.
-You can do that?
-Yes, if you tell me how you arrived here...
-She opened my box
A hex box, almost too easy.
-It's that jewelry box, over there.
That jewelry box was a beautiful marquetry box. It looked quite old and had written on it, "some secrets are meant to stay hidden". Morons. Saskia touched the box, and felt that strange tingling in her fingers she always felt near that kind of objects. She closed her eyes, and focused and that feeling until she found the weak point. She whispered "release", and the girl began to laugh hysterically.
-i'm free! I'm free! You stupid bitch! Now you're gonna...
-No so fast scumbag, said Saskia, pointing her finger to the girl who instantly froze.
The girl looked very angry, but couldn't move. She was pinned on the wall like a very ugly butterfly.
-You liar! You said you would free me!
-I said I would free you, I never said I would leave you inside that girl's body.
-If you try to take me out, I'll kill her!
-Not if you die first
The demons eyes widened with fear as she stuttered "your eyes...you're not...". Saskia looked at her with a little grin. Stupid creatures.
Suddenly the girl collapsed. Saskia carried her to her bed, waiting for her to wake up. After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and cried. Saskia rose, took her ecstatic psychic smile and said "You're free sweetheart! God bless you!", and went outside to ask the girl's parent to come in. Everyone was crying, Saskia was trying to. And when they asked her what she wanted, she asked for the jewelry box.
A few weeks later she sold it for 3000 dollars on e-bay
That's how the new business started. Since the jewelry box episode, she bought or was given a lot of cursed objects. She didn't even used her fake Ids, she just asked people if they had something to sell and they were more than happy to get rid of those things. Especially when you know that if you try to get rid of a cursed artifact, it will always find its way back to you. Well except if someone purifies it before. After a few months, some people even came to the shop to sell her things. She couldn't help but noticing that some of theses people, though knowing the object was dangerous, were still trying to make money out of it. Tightwads.
That how she saved Nan's treasures. Of course she had to make up another lie. Michael said she was an excellent business woman and that he was very proud of her. He even said, sometimes you should take me with you to those secondhand markets. She said I don't think so honey, it's very dusty and very boring.
So on this nice spring morning, Saskia is browsing the internet, looking for a case. Internet really changed everything about hunting. When she was a kid, people were reading actual papers, and it took ages to find something interesting.
After a few minutes she stumbles upon something that looks like a case. 4 children died in mysterious circumstances in a youth camp. They apparently died sleeping. The weird thing is, a fifth kid didn't die, he wasn't sleeping, he was in the bathroom, and told the police he saw a ghost little boy crawling out of an old wardrobe and kiss on the forehead all the kids in the room.
That is creepy. Ghost children are the creepiest thing. But hey, maybe that wardrobe is worth something. And the camp is only two hours away.