Talking to Dead (The Banshee Series Book 1)

Prologue – The Beginning

31. 10. 1666

Dear Lara,

When you read this I will already be married to your fiancé Martin. If you haven’t noticed by now he never really loved you. When he first met you I was very ill and mother sent you to pick him and his sister at the railway station. Our parents lied to you about the arranged marriage between you and Martin. He was supposed to marry me but when I fell ill and was almost touched by death they changed their minds.

We are twins and we look so much alike, so what could be amiss? What you probably didn’t know is that I met Martin before you met him. He was just visiting his aunt when I met him. We quickly hit it off and he started courting me. My mother caught me sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night once and I told her what was going on. Our parents had a long talk and finally agreed I should marry Martin. Martin and I were excited about it, so he left town to tell his family and invite them to the wedding. While he was away I fell ill and nearly died. Mother and farther didn’t want to take the chance of losing Martin’s wealth so they told you about Martin and arranged the marriage between you and him.

Martin came back and father told him about my health and the agreement. At first he wasn’t sure about it but once he met you he realized we look alike and think alike so he knew he would eventually fall in love with you. You were always the naïve and the innocent one, so you fell for the trick and fell for Martin. Meanwhile I became better and didn’t want to lose Martin. For two weeks we prepared the wedding you thought was for you when really it was for me.

As you know the night before the wedding we gave you something that helped you fall into a deep sleep. Father arranged a wagon that took you to the next town. Martin and I were nice enough to buy you a small house in that town and I, of course, packed you some clothes. I hope you will forgive me someday and we’ll be a family again.

With all my love,

Your twin sister Eva

Lara’s eyes filled with tears. She couldn’t believe her sister and Martin. Lara had always looked up to her twin and now she felt betrayed. She knew she was always acting naïve and innocent, but usually the people took it as a joke, laughed and forgot about it. Now her behaviour was frowned upon and criticized. And her love for Martin was obvious even though now she felt like a complete fool for falling in love with him.

After shedding some tears she took a deep breath and stood up from the table. She would no longer be a naïve young girl. No, now she was a strong independent woman, who doesn’t need a man in her life or a backstabbing twin sister. She is now Lara, the woman of Life. With that her sister Eva became the woman of Death. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One – First Dreams

10. 9. 2013

Tiptoeing, Azalea’s brother entered her room. Giggling quietly he walked to her bed, reached into his pocket and pulled the frog out. Putting it in front of Azalea’s face he shouted her name, “Azalea!” Azalea woke up with a start and screamed when she saw the frog in front of her face.

“Lee!” Mrs. Monday – their mother – shouted.

“What did you do to your sister?” Mrs. Monday asked walking into Azalea’s room. When she saw the frog she just shook her head and walked to Lee. She grabbed his ear and pulled him out of Azalea’s room and sent him to his room.

“I’m sorry honey,” Mrs. Monday said walking back to Azalea’s room. Hugging her daughter she wished her a happy birthday.

“Thanks Mum,” Azalea mumbled quietly. Her dreams were filled with blood and other horrible images so her sleep hadn’t really been good. Actually, her birthday had started horribly and she wished she could go without Lee’s pranks for at least one day.

“Come, I have fresh pancakes just for you,” Mrs. Monday said to her daughter releasing her form the hug. Azalea smiled thankfully and stood up.

“Okay Mum. I’ll get dressed and then come down,” Azalea said and her mother nodded leaving the room.  Dressed, Azalea left the room still in a bad mood. Her dreams still haunted her and she tried everything to get rid of them. Nothing worked.

“Here you are,” Mrs. Monday said when Azalea sat at the table. Azalea just nodded and started eating. Mrs. Mrs. Monday could see the distress on her daughter’s face and frowned.

“Azalea is everything okay?” she asked sitting at the table next to Azalea. Her face was filled with worry and she knew something was wrong.

“Everything’s fine Mum,” Azalea replied, lying.

“Honey… I know you and you’re not fine. Usually you’re all hyper on your birthday but today you didn’t say more than a few words and you have this sad expression on your face,” Mrs. Monday said shaking her head. Azalea always told her when something was wrong so when she didn’t tell her the truth, Mrs. Monday knew something was very wrong.

Azalea sighed and turned to her Mum. “I had these dreams that seemed so real and I can’t forget about it. I also have this feeling that they might really happen,” Azalea explained with a pained expression. The truth made Mrs. Monday very curious.

She remembered her father saying the same thing to her mother and sometimes she overheard what the dreams were about. It was like her father was psychic because she also remembered that those dreams and feelings turned out to be right and the things her father dreamt actually happened.

She and her mother always thought that he was crazy and at some moments they had suspicions of him being schizophrenic and that it was his fault that those things happened. He claimed everything was okay with him and the medical test results came back negative. After a while they got used to it and started living with his strange sayings and dreams, even though the doctors said that he might be medically insane and there are records of his family having the same insanity.

Now, Mrs. Monday was afraid that her daughter had started showing the same symptoms and she was also insane. Mentally shaking away those thoughts she returned to reality.

“What did you dream about?” Mrs. Monday asked trying to sound as normal as she could after thinking those things.

“I…” Azalea started but stopped. ‘Could she tell her mother about the dreams and not upset her too much?’ she thought to herself. Mrs. Monday noticed her hesitation and smiled reassuringly. “Go on, tell me.”

Taking a deep breath, Azalea continued. “I dreamt about Holland getting raped and then killed in cold blood.” Azalea said without sugar-coating it. Mrs. Monday caught her breath and she paled.  

She couldn’t think of that happening to her twelve – year - old daughter. She wouldn’t think of it! Mrs. Monday said to herself and stood from the table.

“Azalea… Do not ever think of this, understand? We must forget about it,” Mrs. Monday commanded. Shocked, Azalea nodded and continued eating her breakfast. With that the debate was over and they didn’t mention it until later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

Chapter Two –

Happy Birthday, Goodbye Life

 

The dreadful morning turned into a beautiful day. After Azalea had eaten breakfast her brother Lee, her sister Holland and she left for school. Although she didn’t have many friends some schoolmates said happy birthday to her and that calmed her nerves. Realizing it was her birthday she stopped thinking about those dreams and forgot about them.

After school she picked up Lee and went home. Walking into her house she was surprised by how many people showed up. Mrs. and Mr. Monday had prepared a surprise party and all of her family were there. Wishing her happy birthday the guests chatted and laughed. Azalea was happy seeing her family but she noticed that the most important person was missing, her grandpa Franz.

“Mum, where’s grandpa?” Azalea asked scaring her mum. Mrs. Monday looked at Azalea and shook her head. She didn’t really hate her father but she did hate his behaviour and his influence on Azalea.

“I don’t know Azalea. I told him about the party and he knows about your birthday,” Mrs Monday said. Azalea frowned and nodded.

“Okay… I just wished he was here,” Azalea replied, turned away from her mother and left the kitchen. While everyone was having fun and chatted Azalea was miserable. She missed her grandpa and that dreadful feeling from the morning returned.

“Azalea darling!” a well-known voice called for Azalea.  She rose from the couch and turned around.  The person who called her was her grandfather and a smile appeared on her face.

“Grandfather!” she called and hugged him close. Azalea hasn’t seen him for a few months and missed him. “I missed you! When did you come?”

“A few moments ago,” Franz answered and smiled. “I know I’m late but I had a few other things I had to check on,” he continued. Azalea didn’t really care, she was just happy to see him.

“I’m happy you’re here,” she said and Franz nodded but his smile faded a bit remembering the accident that was going to happen.

The party continued and Azalea started having fun. But it was like the day wasn’t made for her. Everything just went wrong. The doorbell rang and surprised everyone. Mrs. Monday went to open the door and was shocked to see two police officers were standing there.

“Mrs. Monday?” the taller police officer asked. Mrs. Monday nodded still too surprised to speak. “I’m sorry to inform you but there has been a terrible accident,” the policeman explained. 

“What happened?” Mrs. Monday asked motioning to them to step inside. She remembered the talk she had with Azalea in the morning. Dread filled her and she paled. The policemen noticed that and really felt bad for bringing the news. Stepping into the living room they noticed the crowd. After an awkward silence the taller one cleared his throat.

“I’m afraid I’m bringing horrible news,” he said. “We were just on our way to the station when we heard a gunshot. We stopped the car and walked into the street. The man who shot the gun ran away before we could catch him but the person who was shot was still alive. Before she died she told us her name. We are really sorry but your daughter Holland was raped and killed and we couldn’t do anything to prevent it,” he explained.

Gasps filled the room and everyone was shocked. Mrs. Monday and Azalea couldn’t believe their ears. Mrs. Monday was afraid that her daughter was turning into the same thing as her father. Beside that she couldn’t believe her other daughter was dead. On the other side Azalea couldn’t believe her dreams became true and her feelings were right.

Even though she often argued with Holland she loved her dearly. Tears filled her eyes and started falling. Franz hugged her trying to hold his own tears from falling. He knew too and couldn’t help her. He came to the street too late and the police were already there with Holland’s body.

“We need the body till we end the police investigation and then you can bury her,” the taller policeman said and they left. Mrs. Monday asked everyone to leave the house and only her family stayed.

“I want to talk to you,” she said to everyone and they sat behind the table. “I want to know what you are and what my daughter is becoming!” Mrs. Monday demanded from Franz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three – The Truth

 

Everyone was shocked by Mrs. Monday’s outburst. Franz expected it though. Knowing that someday his daughter will realize something weird was going on he prepared to give an explanation. Azalea was more scared than shocked and tears filled her eyes again. She knew that her mother despised Franz and she always wondered why. Azalea feared that if she has the same thing going on as her Grandfather, then her mother would also despise her.

“Anna, please calm down,” Franz said trying to calm his daughter. Mrs. Monday’s head snapped towards him and she glared.

“How can I calm down when my youngest daughter is dead and my oldest one is has your insanity?” Mrs. Monday demanded standing up. It was obvious that she was angry by her flushed face and crazy glare. She scared everyone. Mrs. Monday was the calmest and most understanding person Mr. Monday and his daughter knew.

“I understand you are upset,” Franz continued. “I can explain everything I know but I can assure you that Azalea is perfectly healthy and not insane.” Azalea relaxed the second she heard those words but her question still wasn’t answered.
‘What is happening to me?’
“That doesn’t mean anything!” Mrs. Monday exclaimed. “Holland is dead and Azalea knew this would happen,” she continued. Gasps coming from her husband and son filled the room. “It’s the year 1980 all over again,” Mrs. Monday sighed sitting back in her chair.

“What happened in 1980?” Lee asked innocently. Both Franz and his daughter looked at him with sad eyes. Shaking her head Mrs. Monday took a deep breath.

“That year my father started dreaming about murders that a few hours later actually happened. My mother and I took him to every doctor in this county that could help him but nothing worked. He went through every test they could run but everything turned out negative. Even though the tests showed that he wasn’t insane, mother and I behaved like he was,” Mrs. Monday started and Franz continued.

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