Cutting Edge

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Cutting Edge

by Barbara Lynn Terry

Copyright  © 2010 Barbara Lynn Terry
All Rights Reserved.

 


 
Part I - The mansion is haunted.

"Coming in?" Carl asked his friend Dan. Both boys were fourteen years old, and they could have been twins if it weren't for the fact their parents were not related. They did everything together; they went skinny dipping; looking for video game bargains; going on double dates to the show, or bowling. Their friends had dubbed them the two musketeers, because they were always there for each other.

On this particular night, the two of them had been challenged to spend the weekend in the old Stevens mansion on the outskirts of town. In the last ten years, people in town had said it was haunted because they could see lights on, and when they went to invesitgate no one was there.

The town's beginnings.

Ezekiel Stevens was one of the original founders of the town, having settled by the river so he would have a constant supply of water. He was a young man too, only twenty three when he, and three others settled in the area. They all said this was the perfect place for a town, because the one they just came from was two days ride away. The four set out cutting trees and making logs for building. The first thing they did was make their houses. Then the houses for all four were simple, and not too fancy. Then others came, and started settling in also.

One of the first after the original four, was a family of five. A man, his wife, and three children, two boys and a girl. One of the boys would become Dan's great grandfather. About two years had gone by, and there were three hundred people living in the town and the town's charter in the state capitol said its name was Cutting Edge because they had cut it out of the edge of the wilderness. There was a bank, a drug store, a general store, and four saloons. The pastor who had built the church was one of the last settlers to arrive in Cutting Edge. The year was eighteen hundred and seventy six, one hundred years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Ezekiel Stevens had opened the bank with his own money of one hundred thousand dollars, and since a bank would bring in revenue, nobody bothered to ask him where he had got it from. After the town had grown, and the original four settlers as well as some others, became rich, Ezekiel Stevens then built his mansion right next door to the original house, and used the original house for guests.

Then sometime in nineteen hundred and ten, Ezekiel Stevens passed away mysteriously in his sleep. The whole town turned out at his funeral, and he was buried with full honors as befits a founding father. The mansion he had built and the original house went up for auction, because Ezekiel Stevens didn't have any children or a spouse to give his estate to. He was fifty six years old.

It was one year to the day that Ezkiel Stevens had passed away, that the haunting rumors had started. John Bartholomew, who owned and ran the lumber mill, was the one who had gotten the Stevens mansion. But a year later, on the anniversary of Ezekiel Stevens death, John Bartholomew had told the people in town of strange noises he had heard during the night for a whole week. He said it sounded like someone was crying, and he claimed it souned like a little girl.

A search of the Stevens mansion had turned up no bones of a child. But as night crept up on the town, there were sobbing sounds coming from Ezekiel Stevens bedroom. When the searchers went in there, they didn't see anybody, but they could still hear the noises. Then they all thought they heard a little girl say; "why won't anybody help me?"

The searchers, who were beyond exhaustion, just put it to the fact that they were tired and needed to go home to their beds. There were no other disturbances, and John Bartholomew lived out his days in the mansion. But when his son took over the mansion and the mill, he sold the mansion to a new family that had just come to town on the railroad. The noises in the Stevens mansion were gone, and they all put it down to their active imaginations.

Then in nineteen hundred and sixty, the noises had started again. The little girl was heard crying, and then saying; "Why won't anybody help me?" But the family living there said that they thought they heard something else that sounded like; "Why must I live like this?" Then the noises went away, and the family moved out of town. The noises were never heard again, and everybody said it was the work of over imaginations.

Back to the present.

As Carl and Dan went in the mansion through the back door, they thought they heard a young girl crying. They looked all over the mansion but couldn't find anybody. Carl just shrugged his shoulders, and they looked to see if there was any electricity in the old mansion. Apparently there was, because when Carl had flipped a switch the living room lights came on. Then they heard the crying again, and this time they thought they heard a little girl say; "Is anyone there? Have you come to help me?"

"Hello, is anyone besides us in the house?" Dan had called out.

"Yes, thank you for coming. Can you help me?"

"Who are you?"

"I am Catherine Stevens."

"Are you Ezekiel Stevens daughter, or niece?"

"No, I am Ezekiel Stevens."

"But Ezekiel Stevens is dead, and he was a man. You sound like you are a little girl."

"No. Those were hard days, and women were considered to be men's playthings or nothing at all. A woman on her own had to learn to survive by whatever means available. So I assumed the image of a young man, and called myself Ezekiel. I helped the men build this town, took my turn cutting and chopping the wood, and we even sat around our original campfire and told men jokes. It appalled me when they told jokes about women and made them out to be nothing more than harlots.

"I am so lonely here, and it makes me sad that I had to live a lie because of how the men of the time thought. Can you help me to be the woman I gave up being just so I could live?"

"I don't know where to start. I am only fourteen and so is my friend here."

"What year is this?"

"This is the year two thousand and ten, in the twenty first century."

"The twenty first century. When I was young we thought that the world would end way before that. Can you help me be the woman I gave up being. You say you are only fourteen, and in my day that was considered a full grown woman already."

"I'm sorry Catherine, I'm not sure what we can do to help you."

"What is your name?"

"I'm Carl Spencer and my friend is Daniel Baker."

"Baker? Were you born in Cutting Edge."

"Yes I was," Dan replied looking around the room for whoever was talking to us.

"Then you are the great grandson of Jonas Baker, who came here shortly after the town was founded."

"Yes, that is my great grandfather's name, alright."

"Danielle, can you do me a big favor. The biggest favor anyone could ever imagine?"

"I don't know if I can, and my name is Daniel."

"Yes, that is what I said."

"Danielle, will you let me live in your body, so I can be free of this desolate place?"

"But, you wouldn't be a woman, you would be a fourteen year old boy."

"Danielle, you leave that to me."

"How do you live in someone else's body?"

"When you go to sleep tonight, I will enter your body, and have a look around. I will inhabit your brain, especially the parts that make you talk, walk, eat, sit, and all the other things you do. But I just cannot enter any body though. I have to have the host's permission."

"If I find that I don't like you in my body do you have to go if I tell you too?"

"Yes. Please Danielle, help me to be free of this desolate place."

"Let me talk to my friend Carl for just while. I will let you know."

As Carl and Dan talked, the crying continued.

"Look Dan, this may be Catherine/Ezekiel, or it may not. Sometimes very fierce and evil spirirts will pretend to be good spirits, but when they get what they want, they take over the person's body, and zap, no more person. I think we should ask a few more questions."

"Good idea, Carl."

"I know that spirits cannot tell lies unless they are demons trying to trick a human in to selling their soul, so to speak. When was Ezekiel uhm Catherine Stevens, born?

"I was born in May, eighteen hundred and fifty four, in a two room house my father had built himself." That was what the history of our town said too.

"Why did Ezekiel uhm Catherine Stevens build his mansion by the river?"

"First I built my house by the river so I could have lots of water and fish whenever I wanted that for dinner. I didn't build my mansion until much later." That was also in the history of our town.

"Are you free to leave this mansion?"

"No. This is where I died, and this is where I must spend eternity. But if I can find a host to live in, then I can be free of the boundaries of this mansion. Can...you...help...me, please?" She was crying again.

"Let me talk to my friend again."

"What do you think Carl?"

"One more question you should ask her. Will you still be you after she inhabits your body?"

"Good question."

"Catherine, if I let you live in my body, will I still be me?"

"I have been told that you will still be you for a while, but they didn't tell me how long that while was."

"So what you are saying is, that you may be taking over completely and I will like wearing dresses and other women's clothing. Is that right?"

"That may be right, as you say, but I cannot say now, because all I was told was that I had to have permission to live in a live body. They said that was the only way I could be free of this mansion."

"Who said?"

"The Guardians that govern the spirit world. Every spirit when it leaves its body has to go before these Guardians. What I have said is what they have told me. Please help me, Danielle."

"I will tell you what I will do. I will flip one of my money coins. If it lands on the side you picked, then you will be able to live in my body, but if it lands on the side I picked, the answer is no. Are you ready, Catherine?"

"Yes?"

"Call it then, heads or tails."

"Heads."

Dan flipped the coin and let it drop to the floor. Both he and Carl looked at it.

"Catherine, the coin landed on heads. You may live in my body."

"Oh thank you, Danielle, you are such a great girlfriend."

"Uhm, my name is Daniel, and I'm a boy."

"Yes, that is what I said, Danielle. But you look like a girl, and you have a small figure for a teenage girl, uhm, boy."

"You have been watching us the whole time?"

"Yes."

"But where are you?"

"Sitting on the sofa." Just then a shape started to materialize. It was the shape of a young girl. "When you go to bed tonight, and are fast asleep, I will come and get in your body and I will explore you. Remember, I will be in all the places of your brain that controls everything you say and do."

As the boys continued to look through the mansion, they found one bedroom that was really pretty. Catherine/Ezekiel never had any children, but this was probably built for a daughter if she/he had had one. As the night wore on, they both fell asleep on the bed in the pretty bedroom. What the two boys didn't know was that this was actually Ezekiel/Catherine's bedroom that he/she had used while he/she was alive. As the boys slept they did not hear the evil sounding laughter that filled the mansion, as the spirit entered Dan's Body.



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