The maid was in a happy mood as she helped me get ready for bed. I was very quiet and knew that it was expected that I fire her. I felt like it was my fault. If I didn’t help cooking, the duchess would be happy. I would feel lonely that I could be without some company, but I would not be destroying someone’s life!
Wendy appeared next to my bed. She knew why I was sad and tried to cheer me up. When she failed to do this, she picked up a doll and started playing alone. Wendy kept telling me that I had her. We were friends and that is all that mattered. She told me that people come and go and at least she would have me.
This made me snap at her and tell her that she was dead, so what did she know about friendship and what would happen if I fired the maid. This made her mad as she asked me how I could say such a thing? I asked her why she always wore the same dress, and where was her bedroom? Where were her parents? Then I put my hand through her and told her that she was a ghost. Wendy was now in tears and shouted at me that I was mean before she disappeared.
The next day, I went down to the kitchen as the maid was making breakfast. I wanted to hug her and cry. However, I decided I needed to be brave. I told her bluntly that the duchess has decided to fire her. The maid and Diego were to leave the estate that day. The maid went pale and walked back and forth. Then after some time, she smiled and told me that she would finish my breakfast, and then she would leave. It would be better for Diego as well, as she wanted him in a better environment. Then the maid gave me a big hug and said that she was more worried about me. I had no escape.
Wendy did not come to class, so I was alone with the ghost teacher. I did not hear a word the teacher said. All I could think about was how things changed a lot. It was so sad when the maid and Diego left. I felt all alone in the world.
Wendy was not around and I could not find her. I knew that in some way, I hurt her but did not know what was so bad. I just told her the truth. I was so lonely that I sat with the duchess all day like a pet at her feet. It did help that she was not so evil when I was there. It was quite the opposite. She was nice and even smiled. She talked a lot, especially about her childhood. I wanted to ask so many questions. The most important one is now that the maid was gone, who made the food and who put clothes out so I could wear the next day? I could not understand that they were still being done!
The Duchess really did not answer anything. The only thing she would admit was that the huge house was so lively when she was a child. I got up and started to tidy the room. It was obvious that it was not tidied for years. At first, the duchess started to feel uncomfortable and tell me to stop. I told her that it needed to be tidied. It was gloomy and no one could be happy when they were in this room. The Duchess let me tidy up, but she demanded that the curtains or windows would not be opened. It would have been nice with some light, but I figured that I had enough to do. Duchess smiled at first, saying that the room was beginning to look cheerful. Then it seems as if she was tired because she advised me to take a break and walk in the garden.
As I walked through the garden, I started crying. All the things that happened suddenly caught up with me. I ruined Diegos and his mom’s life. They were probably living in poverty and could not get a job. I was so lonely, not even Wendy wanted to be my friend again. I wondered if my parents were ghosts. I will always remember the last thing that I said to them. I told them that I hated them! I slumped down between overgrown bushes as I thought that the Duchess and I were similar. We pushed people away from us. My worse fear that I would be alone and bitter as the Duchess was suddenly coming true.
Then I heard a small whimper. I looked under a bush and was a bit surprised when I saw two small puppies. I took the puppies and took them to the attic of the house. I gave the two puppies some milk and then just sat down and played with them. They were so cute, and yet so helpless. They were so alone. Then I felt bad. I should not feel sorry for myself. Others were worse off than me. These puppies needed me. The Duchess needed me. I needed them!
I heard the doorbell. This was very strange. No one visited this place. When I rushed down the hundreds of steps and opened the door, it was my aunt that cried and cried at the hospital. She gave me a huge hug and asked why I was wearing a Victorian dress. She answered saying she wore the same dresses when she was a child.
I took her to the duchess. My aunt and the Duchess just looked at each other without saying a word. It was a very awkward situation. The Duchess did not say a word and turned her head away from my aunt. She finally asked me to find my aunt a room.
It was only the duchess and me that ate in the small room. The Duchess did not want my aunt there. She explained that she was my father’s sister. When my father left, he took my sister with him. He never got over when his older brother died by falling down from a tree. Since the two left, the duchess said that life was sad and very lonely. She admitted that she felt as if she was sitting in this room for centuries.
Then the Duchess smiled and said that at least I came, which was the best that has happened in years.
That night, Wendy appeared as I was getting in bed. She told me that she had to spend time trying to accept that she was a ghost. The worse thing was that she could not remember anything. She could not remember her name, her family, or even how she died. She was also afraid I would not be a friend with a ghost. She started talking like the duchess, that she was so lonely and sad before I came. I smiled at Wendy and said we were BFF, and of course, I had to explain what that was.
The next day, I told Wendy that I had to show her something. When she saw the puppies, she was clearly afraid. I smiled and said that the puppies were harmless and they could not hurt her. She was already dead, so what could two puppies do? This did not help Mandy. She was very afraid and shivering as she looked at the puppies.
I heard Aunt’s voice. Mandy disappeared as my aunt found me in the attic.
“I found you,” My aunt said, ” You are probably wondering why I am here. I am here to save you from this place. It is an evil house and the Duchess is evil. You are also the firstborn, so your life is in danger. I was too afraid to let you live with me when I have seen you in the hospital. However, now I am ready. We leave tomorrow evening. We can sneak out”
I told my aunt that the Duchess expected me to come down to her.
When I came down to the duchess, she was in the worse mood I ever seen her. She was shouting at me that I was like the others. She knew that I would end up hating her and leaving her all alone. When she told me that she did not want to see me anymore and to leave her alone. I fell on my knees and started to cry. I shouted that I did not want to leave. I wanted to stay with the Duchess. The others may see her as some evil demon, but I have seen her smile and heard her tell stories. I knew in a way that she loved me.
Wendy also was sad when she visited me that night. She asked if I was really leaving. Wendy admitted that it was strange being dead and yet she could feel sadness. I was the only friend that she ever had. She did not want to leave me.
“If you asked me this morning, I would have gone with her, ” I said, “My aunt did not care about me in the hospital. I do not trust her. I do trust the Duchess and you. I am staying here.”
The next day, I was once again in the attic. The puppies were asleep and Wendy was far away from them. I saw a box of photos behind her. I told her that we should look at them. After I went through a lot of old photos I found one of the teacher. I showed it to Wendy and she was shocked that it had the year 1907 on it. I told her that it meant the teacher must be a ghost as well. We went back to looking at the pictures. I picked one up from 1864 and told Wendy that the girl in it looked like her. Wendy looked at it but did not say anything. After some time, she asked me could I put the picture in my room.
I could not answer, as I heard my aunt come up. Wendy disappeared. My Aunt said that it was time to leave. I told her that I did not want to go. She did not care. She grabbed my hand and dragged me to the stairs. I screamed that I did not want to go and the only response I got was to be quiet. I shouted that I would run away and that I did not like her. I cried for the duchess to help me. Then Aunt and I were nearly blinded by a white light. It was the same one that killed my parents. I could also see the old lady in the white light. She looked very much like the duchess.
I started struggling as my aunt screamed when she saw the white light. She lost her balance, She fell over the railings and fell down to the ground floor. I knew that she could never survive this. I ran down the stairs and rushed into the small room. I shouted that I did not want to go. I jumped to give her a hug but went right through her. I screamed when I realized that the duchess was also a ghost. I ran out of the room.
I didn’t see the Duchess for a few days, I was so confused.
We had to bury my aunt. I looked at the other graves. Then Wendy appeared and pointed to a grave where a child of 9 was buried. Her name was Victora.
“This is my grave,” Many announced, ” I remember everything now. I was 9 when I died. I was bit by a stray dog and he gave me rabies. How was I to know that this dog would kill me? He looked so sad and lonely. I just petted him and he bit me. Why did I not go to heaven?”
I told Wendy that we should go and see the duchess. I knew she was a ghost and they were most likely relatives. So I led Wendy towards the small room, Wendy told me she never went into this part of the house as it always made her want to cry.
When the Duchess saw Wendy, she just sat and looked at her. This silence was unbearable. Wendy was finally the one that said something.
The Duchess started crying as she held on to Wendy.
“Victoria!” she cried, “My dear Victoria. Now I am beginning to remember things. You died after some dog bit you. I was so much in grief over losing you! My family and town wanted me to act like a lady. Accept your death as God’s will and smile. I became so bitter that I started hating everyone. I cursed this family by saying that the firstborn will die every generation.”
The Duchess started crying asking everyone to forgive her. She even asked if God would forgive her.
Then everything started shaking. Pictures were falling from the walls and furniture was falling over. Then bits of the ceiling was coming down. I couldn’t keep my balance and hid under a table. I was so afraid and crying. I called out for the Duchess to help me. The only thing I could see was falling bricks, wood, and a lot of dust. There was a lot of noise.
Then everything went black.
I woke up when someone shouted, “There is someone under this table”. I heard people around me and finally, I was pulled out.
As I was on the stretcher, I looked up. I could see a cloud with the Duchess on it. She was smiling and Mandy was standing next to her. The duchess was giving mom and dad a hug. I didn’t know the others that were there. There were so many! I smiled as I realized that they all found peace and were now going to heaven.
A few days later, I was in the hospital. The Maid and Diego were there. Diego told me the big house was destroyed and they could not find the body of the Duchess. They found me and two puppies.
Diego said that I did not have to be alone.
" You can be my sister if you want,” he said in a hopeful voice.