The Curse of Midnight Manor Prologue

Delaware St. John awoke suddenly. Dripping in sweat, he quickly snapped up his notebook that lay poised on his nightstand. His fingers raced to the first blank page he could find. He began writing feverishly. His mind was flooded with random images and words that flowed from his brain through his pen and onto the paper. These random words would seem like gibberish to the average eye but it would soon make sense to him. That was the only thing in Delaware's life that even came close to making sense. He knew what this was leading up to. It was time to investigate another case.

After what seemed like an eternity, he lowered the notebook and lounged back in bed. As he tapped his pen on his chin, he glanced at the clock on top of his TV. 9:51PM blazed across his room in a bright red light, which seemed to illuminate the whole room. Del ran his hands through his thick dark hair, let out an exhausting sigh and reluctantly climbed out of bed. As he shuffled across the cold hardwood floor of his apartment, he noticed the phone sitting on the table. Should he call Kelly? She always got annoyed when he would go off to investigate cases without her. Instead, he walked right past the phone, to his closet and grabbed something to wear.

By 10:30PM Delaware's truck was slowly creeping down a dark and ominous road near a large water tower. Though he had never been there, the windy road that led up to the tower looked familiar. He looked down at his notebook on the passenger seat. The open page had a series of scribbled words and phrases on it. The phrase "water tower" was written next to the word "manor," which was boldly sketched in the notebook, it easily caught his eye. The visions in Delaware's nightmare had given him the directions to this very road.

The road he ascended upon zigzagged through layers of thick trees. Del noticed that the farther he went into the forest, the darker it became. The moon that only moments ago shined brightly in the night sky was virtually gone. When the road came to a dead end, Del was face to face with the remains of a very large, very old and decrepit building. He had reached Morrisville Manor.

The building itself seemed to be created from gathering darkness. Even the headlights of his truck had to work extra hard just to illuminate it. He grabbed a flashlight from the glove compartment and got out of his truck. As he walked towards the entrance of the abandoned building, he could feel the chill of the night air crawl up his spine. The air was so cold that he could see every breath he took. Upon arriving at the front door, the air seemed to get even cooler. As he reached out for the cold steel of the doorknob, the door slowly crept open all by itself, as if magnetically repelled by his hand.

"Okay," he uttered nervously,"Fair is fair. I know you're here. And you know I'm here." No sooner than he took his first step inside, did his flashlight begin to flicker. He quickly smacked it on the side of his hand to jolt its full power back. He then thought to himself, "This is gonna be a long night."

Kelly Bradford woke up in her computer chair with a copy of Paranormal Monthly rested across her chest. She quickly grabbed her watch on the desk. She had dozed off and it was almost a quarter after eleven. She slid herself over to her computer and examined the map that was displayed on her screen.

"Not this time, Delaware St. John," she said. "This is the last time you leave me behind!" She moved a pile of papers that were clumsily stacked on her desk and picked up a small device. It looked like something out of a sci-fi movie. The device resembled a video recorder, but had a keypad on it. Unbeknownst to Delaware, she had slipped a device just like it into the pocket of his jacket the night before. Kelly smiled as she pushed the "connect" button on the device. A crackling voice was heard over the speaker.

"What theā€¦? What's this?" Delaware's voice cracked over the device.

"Hey there, partner," Kelly replied with a sly grin.

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