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The Girl Who Grew Up in Midnight Castle    Oh the Absurdity!

Started 4/26/18 by Desertdruid (stillDruid); 18560 views.

The Girl Who Grew Up in Midnight Castle by Sadie as Tidalwave

The story I am going to tell you is true and from my point of view. I not only grew up here in the castle, but so did my children and soon, my grandchildren. But to get to this point, we must start at the beginning. 

I remember I was 6 years old, everyday my 13 year old brother, Marty, and I would walk to and from school. And each time we passed the castle, I would stare at it. It was almost as though the castle itself was inviting me in. 

One late spring afternoon, Marty and I were walking home when we were joined by 3 of Marty's friends. Everyone was bored with school, and couldn't wait for school to end for the summer in a couple of weeks. As we walked, the boys would push each other around and dare each other to do things. Sometimes, they even picked on me. As we came up to the castle, one of the boys challenged the others to go inside the castle. Now, you have to know that there were rumors that the castle was haunted. None of the boys wanted to take the first turn at going inside. So, not one to give up on a dare, I went in. I thought I was only inside for a few seconds. I heard my brother calling me, "Caroline, where are you. Come out here now, or mom and dad are going to have my hide." It was one of Mom and Dads rules, that Marty must never leave me alone on the way to or from school. "You've been in there for 10 minutes.", he said. I was surprised to hear that I was in there for so long. The boys were all curious as to what kept me in there for so long. I didn't tell them that the castle wanted me to stay, I just told them I was looking around. So, of course, they could not leave a dare in the hands of a six year old. A girl was even worse. So one by one they trooped into the castle and every one of them came running out with their faces as white as flour. When I asked them what happened, they all looked at each other and just said, "Nothing". No one spoke the rest of the way home that day. As we got near to each boy's house, they never spoke, they just peeled off from the group. I didn't care if they did not speak, I was busy thinking of that beautiful castle and what was going on inside.
Throughout the last 2 weeks of school, my fascination turned into obsession as we passed the haunted castle everyday. Everyday, as we walked to and from school, I would slow down and my brother, Marty, would sprint past. He said that he was just practicing his sprinting, but I knew better. He was afraid. Marty was afraid and I couldn't understand why.  

When I went to the castle that time under a dare, I saw what was the most beautiful castle in the world. The marble tiles and decorations on the walls. Everything seemed to be sparkling clean and just waiting for me. I saw a woman there too. She was very beautiful, with golden hair and a long gown. Somehow, I knew she wasn't really real, but she seemed real to me. She even waved at me. I also saw a handsome young man in what appeared to be some knight attire and he smiled and nodded his head at me. Again, it seemed more that I felt these people than saw them. 

Finally, school was out for the summer! Every time I could sneak away from Mom and Marty, I would go to the castle. It seemed to be calling me. I could see those two people more clearly, each time I was able to sneak into the castle. One night, after Marty and I were sent to bed, I heard Mom and Dad talking quietly downstairs. Being the nosy sort, I quietly went down the stairs, skipping that 6th step that had the telltale squeak. My Dad was saying something about his brother. I didn't even know he had a brother. It was a letter from his brother's lawyer, pertaining to an inheritance. " What did you inherit?", I kept thinking to myself. I tried to hear more, but apparently there was no more about it. So I went back upstairs, skipping the squeaky stair, and hopped back into my bed. But I could not sleep for a while and when sleep finally claimed me, I dreamed about the castle, and the pretty woman and the handsome knight. Soon I would see them again.
In reply toRe: msg 1

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The next morning after breakfast, Mom told us to get dressed in our good clothes because we had to go into town. That Daddy had some business to take care of there. It was going to be at least an hour before we could leave, so Marty and I went outside. As we went out the door, Mom said, "Don't get your good clothes dirty now." "Yes Mama", we both replied. While Marty pretended to hit baseballs, I sat down on the steps. Then I got an idea. I got a glass of water and proceeded to make a mud castle. The more I worked on it, the more it looked like the haunted Castle. All of a sudden a scream came from my mother. "Caroline Vesnik! What have you done to yourself, and your good clothes are ruined! You march right up those stairs, young lady and get cleaned up. And put on some clean clothes!" Boy, was she mad! When I came downstairs again, she checked me all over to make sure I was clean. She even checked my fingernails! Sheesh, why all the fuss? Dad just stood there looking at my castle with admiration. He thought I did a pretty good job, but had a hard time looking stern at me. I heard him say to Mom in a quiet voice, "That girl is going to be an architect when she grows up". Mom just shook her head.  

When we got into town, Mom told us that Daddy had to run into a lawyers office for a few minutes and then we were going to go shopping. Daddy came out after being in the office only a few moments and said that I had to come with him. I thought I was getting punished for getting so dirty this morning. He explained that it was nothing like that. 

Sitting in that big chair in front of an older man behind a big desk was scary. He started talking and since I had no idea what he was talking about, I just thought about the castle, and when could I get back to it. "Caroline, do you understand what this man was saying?" I shook my head no. "It means that my brother, Count Vesnik, has given you his Midnight Castle. My very own castle? I don't really understand. "You will honey." said my Dad.
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It was after supper that Dad sat us all down to tell us what was happening. He told us that he had a brother that he had not seen in many years, and that he had passed away. We felt sorry for Dad, but couldn't understand what that had to do with us going into town this morning. All I could think of was the castle. Since I was daydreaming about the castle, I nearly missed what he had to say. His brother had left the Midnight Castle to me! I did not understand why it should go to me and not my Dad. My Dad explained that the Midnight Castle is in trust for me and that when I turn 20, It will be all mine. Marty started in with "Why didn't he leave it to me?". My Mom said that Count Vesnik was a really strange person, and always did things his own way. Imagine that, a Count in our very own family! My mom said quietly, "Well, I don't know about that, but it is on the legal documents".  

What my Dad said next made my heart sing! We are moving to the Castle, no wait, we are moving to MY Midnight Castle. Marty's face turned several shades of white until he was nearly invisible. "I am NOT going to live in that HAUNTED CASTLE!" he screamed. "Now, calm down Marty," my dad told him. "We can't actually live in the castle until I get it repaired a bit. It has been quite run down and unoccupied for many years. We will live in the Inn in front of the castle until I can get things repaired enough to live in." I was so happy! I went to my Dad and hugged him and said that I will love my Midnight Castle. At that, Marty gave me the most evil look so that I was nearly afraid of him. "I am not living in that place", said Marty. "What's the matter Marty? Are you afraid?" I said. The minute I said it, I knew I should not have. He just gave me a dirty look and left the house, slamming the door behind him.
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For the next two weeks, Mom and I spent our days cleaning and dusting and mopping the floors of the abandoned inn. Marty and Dad were busy making repairs to the inn. There had been termites eating some of the wood that had to be replaced, and a leaky roof to be fixed. It was during this time that I actually met and spoke with my very first ghost. Yes, I had seen the beautiful lady and the handsome knight but had not spoken with them yet. 

This ghost introduced himself as Salty the bartender. Now, I didn't know what a bartender was, but since he seemed to be continually wiping drinking glasses, I thought that maybe he was the one who provided drinks for everybody. He told me that he had been there for a very long time. For some reason, I did not question the fact that not only could I see him, I could also hear him. Mom caught me talking to him one day and asked me who I was talking to. As she had never mentioned seeing or talking to anyone there, I did not think it was wise to mention old Salty. I just told her that I was wondering what we could use to put a shine on the ships wheels on the front of the counter. As she told me what to use, I caught her glancing up to where Salty stood, and I wondered if she could see him, but didn't want to say anything. 

I told Salty that my brother was afraid of the castle, and would he please not do anything to scare him here? Old Salty laughed and said that he would restrain himself and not scare Marty. Then I asked him about the two ghost skeletons in the corner and the one that seemed to be playing dice all by himself. Salty told me not to worry about them, they never bother anybody. He seemed a bit surprised that I could see them. "You are a special one, aren't you" Salty said. I didn't know what he meant by that so I just nodded my head.
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Today Mom was in town getting groceries, and Dad was in the castle making sure "that it didn't fall down around our ears". Marty was over at the castle, but I noticed that he didn't go in. I had been wondering about the pretty lady and the knight in the castle so I asked old Salty about them.  

"So you can see them too? Huh." said Salty. Well the pretty lady was actually a vampire but a very nice vampire. Her name was Anabel. She would be a good friend for you to have in the castle as I cannot leave the Inn. The knight was a werewolf but again a very nice werewolf. He was called The Iron Knight. There are some others in the castle that were not so nice. But you come and ask me about them as you meet them. You can trust both Anabel and the Iron Knight. I thanked him for the information, and sat and thought about the pretty lady, Anabel, and the nice looking man, the Iron Knight. 

Then I thought about Marty. What could he possibly have seen that would have scared him so much. Certainly the sight of a pretty lady and a man would not have provoked such a reaction in him. I have to find out what he saw.
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It was my 7th birthday, and we invited many of my friends to the Chunk and Cheese for the party. We had a great time eating pizza and playing games for several hours. At one point I noticed that a few of Marty's friends were over in a corner and seemed to be scaring some of the girls. I decided to go over and see what they were saying. As I did, I noticed that some of the girls gave me a strange look, as if I had two heads or something. When I listened to what the boys were saying, I understood why. They were telling the girls that the castle was haunted and that if you went inside it, as they did, they would see a great big monster with fire coming from its eyes, and really big, sharp pointy teeth. I told them to stop telling monster stories, and that they were scaring my friends. When I looked at Marty for help, he merely shrugged his shoulders and walked away.  

I had told him that I had seen the pretty lady Anabel and the Iron Knight when I went into the castle, and how pretty the castle looked then. He looked at me as if I was crazy and just mumbled, "that isn't what I saw". I am going to make him tell me what he actually saw that day. He has to tell me tonight. 

The rest of the day was so much fun, opening presents and playing games with some of the kids from my class that I had not seen since school got out more than a month ago. I went to bed that night happy that the party had been such a success and totally forgot about Marty.
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The next day, I was with Dad in castle when he broke through a false wall in the castle entry. Behind that wall was the really big door. It was locked with 8 chains and the biggest lock I had ever seen in my life. That lock would take 7 keys to open it and we only had 4. As I looked around for other keys, I saw an entryway into what I thought was an ice world. There, I was startled to see a very large man, well he was sort of a man, with big pointed teeth that went not down, but up. That made me think of Marty and the stories that his friends were scaring the girls with, at my birthday party yesterday. I decided that this man, or whatever he was, was not large enough, or scary enough, to make Marty, and those friends of his, look so white and totally freaked out. Then I thought about the huge door with its chains and many keys and wondered if his monster was behind that door. But. if that was where it was, how did it get out of it's locked space? I decided that I needed to talk to Marty, but I wanted to check with Old Salty first. 
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Salty told me that the man-thing was actually the Mountain Troll Rustle. "A Troll? Aren't they small and mean looking and live under a bridge?", I asked Salty. "No, not all trolls are like that.", he said after he recovered from a huge belly laugh. He told me that Rustle was a Mountain Troll, and that the "room" that Dad had broken through to, was actually called Ice Rock. Although, he told me, it wasn't always cold. I was an addition to the castle that my Uncle had made. "You will see many strange additions, Caroline. And your uncle also had a spell put on the castle, so that no teenage boys would come in and destroy the castle. It is like the castle is protecting itself." he explained. "As far as what Marty saw, I believe I know what it is, but you will have to get a description from Marty, before I can say for sure." At that, Old Salty disappeared as my Mom came into the room. "Marty is looking for you outside, Caroline. And don't go far, dinner will be ready soon.", said Mom. So I went outside looking for Marty, and a description of what he saw.
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I joined Marty at the picnic table on the side of the Inn. As I sat down, Marty said that he would tell me what he saw, as long as I did not laugh at him or call him crazy. I promised that I would do neither. 

His voice got very low, and I had to lean toward him in order to hear him. He said that when he opened the door and walked in, at first he did not see anything. It was too dark. But all of a sudden a great big monster appeared directly in front of him. The first thing he saw was a huge gaping mouth with giant sharp pointed teeth. There was fire coming from both of its eyes, and its mouth. The roar that accompanied the fiery eyes and mouth was deafening. "But that was not the worst part." he said quietly. And with the fear of remembering in his eyes, he told me that the monster had giant tentacles, like an octopus only much, much larger. It was when that thing rapped one tentacle around him, and pulled him towards the monster's mouth, that he really lost it. He started screaming and didn't think he would ever stop. I told him that none of this was heard outside the castle and for that he was grateful. He told me that even now, after several baths, and scrubbings, he could still feel the cold slime of those tentacles on his body. As he told me what he had seen, I thought that had I seen what he did, I would have been very afraid also. I did not comment on his tale, as I remembered what Salty had said about the castle protecting itself. We sat there together, both of us silent, until Mom called us in for dinner.
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After dinner, I kept trying to get a word with Old Salty, but as my parents were both around, we could not speak to each other. Sometimes I could see Salty standing there behind the counter, polishing his glasses, when my Mom or Dad would almost walk right through him. I was dying to tell him what Marty saw, so I could find out what it was. I also wanted to know where it was, because that was something I did not want to run into unexpectedly. 

I could not talk to Salty all night, so I went to bed and thought about Marty's monster. I fell asleep and dreamed that I could talk to this thing. How anyone could talk to a monster like that, I thought, I just don't know.  

In the morning, I went to the castle vicinity and talked with Anabel for the first time. She was not only very pretty, but also, very nice. Anabel showed me a spot on the huge statues of the castle guards legs that would make them stamp their weapons on the ground. The first time I did that, my Dad came running out of the castle thinking that the walls were falling down around us. After I showed him where to activate the statues, he laughed, but told me not to do that anymore. He said that some of the walls inside the castle were not very safe yet, as there was more work to be done on them. 

As I talked with Anabel, she told me where to find the stones for the magic cupboard inside the castle entry. She also sent me on a scavenger hunt for items that she wanted. Some items were inside that scary coffin that must have been left over from a Halloween from long ago. Then she sent me to the overturned carriage for some other items. One of them was this stone with strange markings on it. She told me to hold onto that for the magic cupboard. 

I had not seen Old Salty all day as Mom has been inside the Inn, getting more of it cleaned out. I thought I heard her talking to someone and looked inside but could not see anyone but Mom. When I asked her who she was talking to, she merely responded, "No one dear. I have been checking off my list of things to do". That struck me as odd since I could not see a list anywhere.
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