Category : Stories
Sub Category : Suspense/Mystery
The day was never expected. More or so, it was not expected that it would be Pippa Gibson who would have died in such a mysterious and sudden way.
She had once served in the army so most knew her as a strong woman. She served alongside several other brave soldiers for twenty years. After her years were over in the army, she married a magician who went by the name of Brycen Lombardi as a cover name. His real name was William Gibson and he had never been a very popular magician throughout his life. Despite never having gained much fame, Pippa had found him to be one of the more comedic magicians. Although she was once known for being strong and poker-faced, he had learned to make her laugh. People began to know her for exactly that. She loved to laugh, she loved to smile, and she loved to make others happy.
Her death was tragic for many, but it was more tragic for her two children that she had adopted. They hadn't adopted them both at once, but five years after Georgina was first adopted. Pippa and William adopted Georgina and Milo shortly after they had learned they couldn't have children. The children had made both of them happy.
They lived in a fairly large house that was three stories tall and had lots of yard space for the two to play in. The children were as happy as could be, but the two had never managed to get along well. Georgina was a smart girl who loved to read and learn while Milo loved to play silly games. Georgina was shy, or at least quiet. Milo was shy at first, but as he grew older he seemed to become more of a social butterfly. Georgina had favored their adoptive mother more for being strong and a lovely woman. Milo, otherwise, favored their adoptive father for his tricks and his career.
Pippa loved both of the children equal, but her death seemed to have effected Georgina more than it had Milo. Milo hadn’t shed a tear. It was obvious that he was heartbroken, but he didn’t sob as Georgina had at the funeral.
Milo now felt as he owed so much to Georgina. Georgina had let Milo move in because she knew he was struggling; he couldn't save money well. He was getting better now, after all the help she had offered so far. She hated that she was the one to be stuck having to help him. She had always despised him, but she was too nice to abandon him. Despite that, she was glad she had been the one to inherit the house.
With the house being so large, Georgina knew she couldn't keep to the house herself. So she insisted on letting her cousin, Mable, move in as long as Mable helped with the house. Georgina and Milo were the first to have arrived at the house. Mable would arrive the following Saturday morning.
When they stepped out of the car, they stared at the yard; it looked no different than when they were kids. “Just like when we were younger, isn’t it?” Georgina asked as she watched Milo, who had his two bags in hand and was admiring the house.
Milo chuckled and shook his head, “When we were younger, we couldn’t stand being in the same room. I’d say I’ve gotten used to having you around.”
She ignored him, not trying to pick up an argument, and walked to the door, key in hand, and unlocked the door. They walked in and noticed that it still looked the same. Everything was as it was when Georgina had first arrived to the house as a child. The furniture, the flowers, the smell of the room hadn’t even changed. It was the same flowery scent it had always been.
“They weren’t up for changes, were they?” Milo scoffed as he looked around at the furniture.
“I’d be guessing that you remember where your old room was from when we were younger?” Georgina asked Milo as she took off her coat. “That’s the room you’ll be staying in.”
Milo said nothing in response. He walked up the stairs with his bags in hand with a little hum of a melody that echoed down the staircase.
The living area was lovely. Two white couches faced each other, each having light pink pillows. The fireplace on the wall was between the two couches and there was an oak coffee table in the middle of it all. Books and flowers in vases decorated the coffee table and fireplace mantle. Georgina’s favorite place that she visited too often as a child was the window seat that looked out at the back yard. The back yard had plenty of space for the two to play in, but now that they were older it was hardly used anymore.
Georgina's thoughts were soon interrupted by Milo. He was pouting like a baby as he stomped down the stairs. He had his arms crossed and his dark hair in his dark eyes; he looked like he had as a child. “Do you have the key to William’s workroom?” he asked. “It’s locked.”
“You were supposed to go to your own room,” Georgina told him. She felt like his mother as she walked upstairs where Milo had come from, and Milo followed behind her. She went straight to the room, and though she acted annoyed by it, she was also excited for what William hid inside. It was the one room in the whole house Georgina and Milo were never allowed to go in as children. They hadn’t even managed to get a peak of the room, or at least Georgina knew she hadn’t. When it came to Milo, she couldn’t be sure. He liked to get in trouble a lot as a child.
“What do you think is in there?” Milo asked as Georgina held her hand on the knob of the door. She looked over at him and saw the dreadfulness of how much he wanted to get inside this room. All the tricks and playthings William might have held in there. Milo was an inspired magician as well, he followed William’s legacy with such curiosity. He had always had the desire and curiosity to learn what William hid in this room.
“Even if there are great wonders in there, I know they’d be useless for you. You can’t even remember to tie your shoes,” Georgina smirked.
Milo anticipated seeing even the smallest crack inside the room and ignored Georgina. Georgina intentionally opened the door as slowly as she could to annoy Milo.
There was little light let into the room. The room was murky and had very little light coming through the darkened curtains.. She searched for a light but found none. She took small and careful steps and worked her way towards the window to open the curtains. “Be careful not to run into anything,” Georgina muttered as she heard Milo’s footsteps following behind her. The dark didn’t affect Milo much, so it seemed. He was exploring the drawers in the desk to the left of the door.
Georgina opened the curtains and the light burst into the room. It wasn’t as dark anymore and she could see the disgusting wallpaper chosen for the room. The wallpaper was maroon with green vines trailing from the bottom all the way to the top. There was also white silhouettes of birds covering the vines and maroon background. It wasn’t the best looking room, she had to admit. The light layer of dust covering everything in the room didn’t add much to make up for the horrible wallpaper.
Georgina wasn’t sure what exactly had happened then, but she realized what it was that had startled her. They were pigeons. She knew she squealed and squirmed, which she found to be embarrassing. She also knew she had let the random pigeons that had magically appeared, out of the room by opening the window.
She looked over at Milo, who had begun to laugh at her. “What did you do?” She asked, sounding less angry than she felt about him pulling a trick like that. “Where did they come from?”
“I found where the doves disappear to,” Milo smirked, pointing to the large drawer in the desk.
“There’s no way they all stayed in there. At least, not for as long as dad has been gone.” Georgina crossed her arms and walked to the desk to investigate. She found that inside the drawer was a flattened pile of bird’s feeding at the bottom.
“Unless Pippa came in here,” Milo suggested the idea.
It’s foolish of him to even consider, Georgina thought. William, their adoptive father, was too secretive about this room. He had never let his wife in, he never talked about the room, and it all seemed to piece together now. The room was too disturbingly boring to have something to talk about. There was nothing but a bed and a desk to sit at. Of course, there was also the window. The wallpaper also seemed to be admirable, to a certain extent. Admirable as in one could find themselves puzzled at the design.
“Uh...Georgina, was there always a bird missing from the wall?” Milo asked, pointing over to the wall beside the window.
She looked over to notice a particular, odd space where it looked to be a missing white silhouette. It was completely gone, and she was sure she remembered looking over it in absolute disgust. “Are you sure it isn’t one of William’s tricks? Did you accidentally pull a lever or something when you tried to scare me with the doves?” Georgina asked, becoming irritable with his jokes. He could never stop, he could never learn when enough was enough. She stormed out of the room to grab her luggage and begin the process of unpacking to relieve her stress.
Meanwhile, Milo stayed a while longer in the room. He walked closer to the wall to examine the missing space; to see if there were any clues to show what the trick was. Maybe it was just a trick? No, he doubted it. But he didn’t have all day to play around with a trick that might not even be understandable. He was about to give up and walk away when he realized the bird silhouette next to the missing one. There was a feather, a group of feathers that looked like they were partially morphed into the wall. He managed to pluck one and felt how soft and realistic it felt and looked. The area on the wall where the feather once was now was empty and had nothing but the boring background. There was no white paint. It was odd. Incredibly odd, but he didn’t know what to think of it. His adoptive father was well known for his tricks, it was Brycen Lombardi's job to show off his tricks.
The room was easily swept out of both of their minds and nearly forgotten. The room wasn't disturbed by the two for the rest of the afternoon and even into the next morning. They had almost forgotten about the room, until Georgina was touring Mable around the house. Mable was curious about the one room Georgina insisted she didn't need to care for. Mable had also known that it was her Uncle William's room, and she had always been curious about it as well.
Georgina opened the door and let Mable in to look around. The wallpaper was the first thing she had to make a comment about. “Who would input their time and money into this horrible design?” Mable asked, looking around the room.
“Brycen Lombardi,” Georgina answered her, scoffing as she looked around the room again. She hadn’t been in there since the pigeon accident and she hadn’t wanted to come back. The room put chills up her spine. The dust, the birds, and the dark-curtained window, it all felt eerie.
“Wow, this is uncle Gibson’s room?” Mable asked, smiling with excitement. She admired the man just as much as Milo, though she wasn’t inspired to follow his steps. She was a big fan of what he did.
Georgina had never cared for magic. She didn’t believe it. She only believed that there was an answer, and what William Gibson did was only an illusion. Though it took a lot of practice- she used to watch him practice for hours- she had never found it to have a point. His work made people smile, but she was never caught under his magic.
Georgina began closing the drawers in the desk that Milo must have left open. Mable stood in the doorway of the room and began snickering about how dirty the room was. It looked like a completely different room that belonged to another house. This house was so well-kept other than this one room.
“Does Milo still practice Magic?” Mable asked.
“He still tries,” Georgina told her. She was amazed at how many assortments were kept in the desk and all the many trinkets. There were colorful handkerchiefs tied to one another, several stacks of playing cards, white feathers, and many other things.
Yet, there was no organization of any of the things in the drawer. That became another thing that Georgina hated about the room. She hated the smell of it, the dust, the wallpaper, and how different the room was from any other room in the house.
In disgust, and having a large list of things needed around the house, Georgina walked Mable out of the room. The two said their goodbyes to Milo, who had been taking a nap, and left to go to the city. After waking from his nap and hearing of Mable and Georgina’s departure, Milo had continued to his nap. But he had awakened again to the loud sound of thunder and startled more by the quick lightning flashing in the room.
He rubbed his eyes and sat up from the couch with a wide yawn. The thunder roared again, this time shaking the whole house and bringing a heavy downpour of rain with it. Milo slowly started making his way upstairs, to his bedroom which was on the very third floor. He hadn’t checked the clock for when the girls had left, but he was sure they could be home any time now. It was almost eight o’clock in the afternoon and he knew Georgina went to bed early.
As he reached to top of the stairs, he refrained from taking the last step as his foot had stepped in a liquid. He looked to the ground and noticed a large puddle of water. He followed the trail in which the water seemed to come from and realized it came from William’s room. He turned the doorknob and pushed the door to try and open it, but the door wouldn’t budge. The knob wouldn’t turn, and it was locked.
He started to panic, knowing Georgina would blame him for it in some sort of way. She always blamed him on things as children, but then Milo remembered that it usually was his fault. This situation was different though, but would she believe him?
As if on cue, there was a honking of a horn. Milo jolted downstairs and out the front door into the rain.
“Milo, what are you doing? It’s raining!” Mable laughed as she grabbed the bags of groceries from the car. Georgina was grabbing other bags, but didn’t look the slightest bit amused in Milo. She was more or so annoyed with him as if his presence had ruined her perfect evening.
“Dad’s door, the window must still be open, it’s flooded,” Milo told them, having to holler over the thunder and heavy rain.
“Milo,” Georgina scoffed and walked past him to go into the house. Milo and Mable followed behind her as she started to get angry at Milo. “Why didn’t you go and close it? Don’t tell me there was another one of William’s tricks that caused the door to mysteriously lock itself.” After dropping the bags off in the kitchen, the group rushed to the third floor to investigate. Along the way, Milo and Georgina started arguing.
“I thought you locked the door?” Milo scoffed, throwing Georgina's bickering over his shoulder, letting her words mean nothing to him.
“Why would I lock the door? The only reason I can think of would be so that you wouldn’t bother me with your practicing of William’s stupid little jokes." Georgina shook her head and threw her hands in the air.
“Maybe he wanted to admire the wallpaper,” Mable suggested.
“Yeah, that’s a funny one, Mable,” Georgina scoffed, “Or maybe he wanted to clean, but I have heavy doubts about that.” Georgina mocked disgust as they came to the third floor.
There was no water flooding the floor. They walked towards William's door which was wide open. They found only a small puddle below the window of the magician’s room. The window was wide open.
Milo was stuck in the doorway of the room, shocked at what he was seeing. He could hardly believe it.
Georgina, otherwise, was amazed and yet frustrated with the over exaggeration from her brother. She turned to Milo with her arms crossed, asking for an explanation. “Flooded, I see,” Georgina mocked him.
“Just close the window,” Milo pinched the bridge of his nose, knowing that he had made a fool of himself. It was probably just a dream, Milo had thought to himself. There was no point in trying to persuade the two, there was no proof he could think of.
Georgina closed the window and just as it was shut, lightning lit the room, thunder roared and shook the ground, and the lights shut off.
“The lights are out,” Mable grumbled.
“I’ve got it, don’t worry,” Milo reassured the two. All the girls could hear was footsteps and the sound of a drawer opening. They saw nothing but the pitch blackness of the room. There wasn’t enough light coming from the window for them to see anything but the silhouettes of each other.
Milo had good enough of a memory that he had memorized the room, the drawers in the desk, and where he could find a candle. He had a good memory, and it was one of few things Georgina had been jealous of him for.
The candle brightened the room once it was lit. When trying to grab for it, Georgina had realized that Milo’s attention was on something else. Something that was in the drawer of the desk. “What is it now?” she grumbled, standing beside him to see what he was looking at. While in one hand he held a candle, in the other Milo held a book. A dusty, old book that had a star imprint and the words, “Brycen Lombardi’s Notes on Magic,” on the cover. “Now is not the time-”
“It wasn’t here before,” Milo explained to Georgina. Georgina took the book from his hands and opened it to the first page.
“There’s writing,” Mable muttered, standing next to Georgina to read the book.
Although of the three, some didn’t believe in magic, they all held a strong curiosity of what the amazing Brycen Lombardi had left behind.
“The house is filled with the Magic. I haven’t figured out how to rid of it completely, but I have found a way to keep it contained. None of the children are allowed in the room, Pippa isn’t even allowed. She understands well-” Georgina had turned the page once she was sure they had all read it all. “The Magic is strong, and I fear I may falter one day and I don’t dare let this fall into any of the family’s hands. I have contained it in this room. This room is safe as long as no one opens the door or window or closes their eyes long enough for the Magic to escape. It is contained. I can only hope that it stays that way for as long as possible-” The page was turned again. “I can only remember the day when I let the Magic loose. It all began when someone left the window open-that someone having been me. I didn’t know better, but now I do. This all began when someone left the window open, and it took a different kind of Magic to return things to the way they were before.”