Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Halloween Story - Captain of the Manor - Chapter 1

I plan on continuing this Blog Story throughout the Month of October - The Captain of the Manor. A ghostly story of a trapped pirate captain in his home turning into a B&B. The realistic research nerd of a ghost hunter show appears on the doorstep after hearing the ghost stories with a ghost hunter show. Though he doesn't believe in ghosts or ghost hunters, it's a job in this crummy economy. Of course he never expected to find a ghost, let alone a yummy pirate who fulfills every Captain Jack Sparrow fantasy running through his head.

Chapter 1

On the balcony overlooking the manor’s entrance, Captain Edmund Carslyle stared with revulsion at the men emptying luggage and containers from a dark van. With his gifts, he knew damn well what those containers held. It wasn’t materials for a quantum conference.

These were ghost hunters. Something he forbid from entering his home.

Hands gripped the railing until his knuckles went white. His image altered from corporeal to his ghostly pirate with anger. A flicker of lightning raged over the manor, lighting the skies, revealing one face peering. Behind glasses, bright eyes widened when he caught sight of his image. How could someone see his ghost image? No one could see him. There were rumors abound about a ghost haunting the ancient Greek Revival-styled manor turned into an elegant seaside B&B, but nothing was based on fact.

Cussing, Edmund disappeared into the manor. Retaking his corporeal image, he dressed himself in slim Armani trousers, a white silk button-down shirt, and grey knitwear V-neck sweater. Shoving a hand through his golden brown hair, he moved through the manor’s family wing and down the stairs.

In spite of tales, rumors, and gossip, he kept ghost hunters away from his lands for over five hundred years. He wanted no one to scour the old stories and hurts hidden in the walls of the manor and lighthouse. There was the issue about his curse, ancient and powerful, and never-ending. It caused him enough grief and pain and didn’t want wannabe ghost hunters messing with his life even further. His hands clenched while he rounded the final bend.

* * *

Outside, gazing upon the elegant southern manor with the double story Doric columns and widow’s walk on the corner facing the sea, Aiden Joseph turned to take in the surroundings. Further beyond the manor, he spotted a towering lighthouse built on the hammerhead-shaped peninsula to warn all sea captains about the dangerous reefs and shoals hidden under the beautiful blue ocean. Aiden could understand why the first Carslyle wanted to put roots here in the rich sandy soil, nestled against the dangerous North Carolina stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. Fixing his glasses, he moved his gaze up the three stories, timing his movements with the sudden fix of lightning, to see a figure standing on the ledge of the widow’s walk tower.

A gasp escaped when he caught sight of a ghost.

A figure of a pirate.

“What? What did you see?” Morris, the leader of the group, asked, turning at the sound of the gasp. He met Aiden’s gaze.

“Nothing. I saw nothing.” Aiden cleared his throat. “A hawk flying over caused a shadow.”

“Damn, don’t spook on us. We’re not even in the door with the gear.”

“You think we’re gonna get in, boss? Word is the owner doesn’t let in hunters,” George, one of the cameramen, said, hefting a bag on his shoulder before grabbing the handles of another one.

“We’re signed in for a weekend as a quantum conference and not hunters. Aiden here gives us some credence as experts with his brain.” Morris thumped a hand to Aiden’s shoulder.

This was not a job he wanted, but positions as a scientific researcher weren’t readily available in the current economy. His savings were running low and bills were piling up. He found a researcher job on the internet and it ended up being the researcher for Spectre Hunters, one of the many ghost hunter shows on television. With a scientific, logical background, the idea of ghosts and other paranormal events weren’t high on his believability list. Still, it was a job.

Now due to this position, he found the stories of a captain of the Satan’s Trident, who disappeared after a fateful voyage up the coast after an armada, but a storm overtook the fleet. His ship foundered off the coast near the lighthouse, the captain and the crew disappeared.

Within months of his disappearance, the Carslyle family and friends reported their home was haunted by the captain, who wandered the upper suite and widow’s walk. The sightings continued after the manor was turned into a popular B&B. While the owner and manager didn’t allow paranormal hunters on the property, Morris figured they could enter under a different identity. Aiden wasn’t too sure about the plan.

“Yes, excellent for everyone I’m such a nerd with credentials,” Aiden answered, shouldering his laptop bag and weekend case. He went up the front steps and across the wide front veranda, admiring the glorious craftsmanship of the woodwork.

Pressing a hand on the brass handle, he opened one of the double glass front doors and opened it, stepping into the huge front room. His heels clicked onto the welcoming old hardwood parquet patterned floor. The doubled staircase curved a full three flights, taking guests across the entire three floors of the manor. He read on the manor’s website, there was a two-story library, an old-fashioned parlor, a ballroom, a sitting room for a ladies’ afternoon tea, a smoking room for the gentlemen, and a large dining room off the well-equipped kitchen. The various named suites finished the upper floors.

He heard Morris, George, and the other two men grump and groan as they dragged in their gear. The various trunks thumped and dropped on the floor. Aiden winced at their carelessness with the beautiful floor.

“Well, now. Wouldn’t that be romantic?” Morris said, nudging George, pointing off to one of the rooms. “We can swoon some ladies down here, get them in the beds.”

Aiden rolled his eyes at their crass attitude over this beautiful manor.

“Unless you’re not able to check into a suite,” a man called out, his tone powerful and clipped.

Turning, fixing his glasses, his eyes widened at the sight of the six-two male stepping down the last of the winding stairs. Aiden looked at the ceiling and then around the front area. This man looked the same as… It couldn’t be the same…

“Ahh, sir, this is the Quantum Theorem Group here for the weekend,” the desk manager said.

“There is no group. This is another useless disguise for another group of ghost hunters trying to get in under my nose. Gentleman, you may stay within the walls of my ancestors’ homes, but all of your gear forbidden. I know those containers don’t have conference pamphlets. Return everything to your van if you wish to stay. If anything paranormal happens, it will not be recorded in any fashion,” the man said as he strode across the floor. “I know of your reputation, Morris Jarrett, as I keep track of all professional and amateur ghost hunters.”

“We have a right to conduct our…” Morris tried to speak.

The man raised a hand. “This is my family’s ancient home and land. I have the right to refuse a room. It’s a known fact, all ghost hunters aren’t welcome.” He rested his gaze upon Aiden.

Aiden swallowed at the curl of lust low in his belly at the sight of those green eyes peering at him. He could swoon at those powerful shoulders and lean height. Such a gorgeous man stood in front of him. Still, the ghostly image he saw on the ledge under the lightning haunted him.

“Well, shit…What the hell are we supposed to do now?” Morris interrupted.

The man glared at Morris. “Shove your gear in the van and leave with it or stay without it. Either way, your gear doesn’t enter my doors.”

“My laptop?” Aiden inquired.

The man returned his gaze to Aiden. “If it’s a simple laptop for basic research, it can remain. If you attempt to use it for something other than ghost hunting, it will be removed.”

“I promise I’ll not let it happen.”

“You have permission to sign in for your room, Mr…”

“Joseph. Aiden Joseph. You?”

“Edmund. I’m Edmund Carslyle.”

“Like the Captain who disappered,” Aiden whispered. “Like the ghost. The ghost on the ledge.”