Previously on “The Red Barn”
Bart and Linda have met with some locals in a neighborhood style diner after a huge earthquake rocked the town of Avalon, basically swallowing the entire town in a massive sink hole. Now with things only beginning to get worse, Linda and Bart must try to find ways to stop her or things will become more and more difficult to do so.
With only a couple of days left in their trip in the Carolinas, they both quickly enter the library in the town to see if they can find more about Ebony and the town of Avalon. Bart and Linda walk up to the front assistant of the library and asked her about the historic relevance of the town of Avalon. When Linda asked the woman about that, the woman looked at her and stared at her in the eyes before replying. “Why do you want to know that?”, she said to Linda. Linda looks at her and replied, “Well, we have an assignment we need to complete and it involves that town.” After that fib of an explanation the woman told them to stay where they are as she walked towards the back of an office behind her. She opens a file cabinet drawer and comes back with a gold key, displaying in front of them.
“This key is the key to open the back room of this library. We don’t normally just give this key out without supervision, but for some reason I trust you two. In that room you will find I think what you need to finish your assignment. People don’t ask for this key very often and when they do it usually accompanies the feds”, the woman said to Linda and Bart. Bart looked at the woman in the eyes and gave his thanks before taking the key and reassured her that the federal government will not come based on them and their research. After taking the key from the woman, they both followed the posted signs that led them to the back room where the historic records of Avalon were kept. Both, Linda and Bart, are about to see why the records are kept secret and separate from the rest of the library.
Once they find the correct room to enter, a Chinese red door stand in front of them with a bright gold lock attached to it. Bart looks over at Linda and she returns the look back to him before he looks down at the gold key in his hand. He takes a deep breath and releases slowly, as if he was getting ready to enter the abyss. He puts the key in the key hole and turns the lock and hears it unlock, which sounded like a huge echo through the library. He turns and looks at Linda, who motions for him to open the door. Bart opens the door and can see nothing but darkness in front of him. He reaches to his right on the wall and finds the light switch and flips it on. Once the light came on they could see spider webs all over certain parts of the room and in all the corners, especially on the light switch. Linda saw the spider webs all over the room and grimaced her face in disgust, but that what wasn’t nearly sent her up the wall. She saw something crawling out of the corner of her eyes and saw two oversized cockroaches running up along the wall to her right. She nearly screamed and took off running, but just jumped out of the room and told Bart.
He looked to his right and could see the oversized cockroach crawling up the yellow-pale wall. As he continued to look around he saw a very dusty black book, which looked liked it contained nearly ten-thousand pages. Bart reached out to grab it, but had to swipe away all the spider webs covering it and blow the dust off the cover of the book. Once he grabbed the book and lifted it off the stand, he heard something fall to the ground and bounce around. Linda heard it too and immediately glanced down on the floor behind Bart as he turned around. Linda pointed to the object and alerted Bart of what she heard and sees. He turns around and looks behind him and is quite astonished at what he is looking at.
He turns back around and hands Linda the dusty, spider web filled book to Linda, who nearly freaks out and coughs from the dust being dumped in her face. Bart turns back around and reaches down to the grab the shiny object, which was a gold necklace that had a picture of a woman on it. He looked and examined the piece, but placed it in his pocket before walking out of the room to a private table to look inside the book. Once they found a table to use, Linda dusted her hands off of Bart’s shirt, who looks at her with a problem and wonders what the hell that was for. She opens the book and can see that a few of the first pages are old, moldy, and have faded over time. The first few pages couldn’t be read due to the print disintegrating and fading away for being stored in an appalling condition. The first page that they were able to read and look at pictures was on page 10 of the beginning historic accounts of Avalon.
The family that founded the town, which was an extreme plantation at that time, was posing for a photo in the black and white print. The husband, who was standing behind his wife and two children in the photo, named Joseph Avalon, was displaying a long white beard hanging from his chin and a snow-white imagined hair. His wife, named Madelyn Avalon-Smith, was looking proper and sophisticated with the dress of that time in the early 1600’s. The kids in the photo that stood directly in front of their mother, named George and Sarah Avalon, had a straight look on their faces, very little emotion.
When Linda started reading about the family in the biography printed below, she learned that the family intentions was not to own slaves and to either use it as a slave camp. They settled in the undiscovered land to use for the family and to build other houses on the property as their family expanded with possibly more children, grandchildren, and so on. The article went on to say that a group of European settlers pounced upon the land and tried to claim the property of a certain territory. Mr. Avalon became aware of this and confronted the leader of the European expedition group at that time. Through mutual understanding and compromise, the huge property was soon known to be the town of Avalon, which years later was invaded by native American Indians.
Throughout the beginning history of the town, bloodshed has been spilled upon the land and has seen battles between different cultures and groups. The wife, Madelyn, was introduced to a group of European women, who practiced magic and chants on a regular basis. This was considered a religious aspect of their life and soon taught Madelyn how to integrate this in her life. Soon after months of using this new magic arm she was taught, she found herself living amongst the evil spirits from the afterlife. They terrorized her and her family for days and days, which nearly caused the death of her daughter, Sarah. Instead of burning all of the items that she received from the women she met, she took the items in a remote part of the town and buried them. This would be a mistake that would soon follow the town’s existence till this day.
Year’s later, after the original family passed away and their heirs assumed responsibility of the town, black slaves arrived in the town. During their captive labor, one female slave dug up the materials buried by Madelyn years earlier. Although the slave who found it couldn’t read, she was soon admitted to being a house negro and was taught to read by the master family. Once she started getting more confidence in her reading ability, she started experimenting with the black magic materials she found months before. As she got older and bared a child, soon to be known as Ebony, she started to actually use the magic on certain slaves that she felt were not pulling their weight and conducting in a manner pleasing to her master.
When she found out that the magic actually worked on one slave, who was diagnosed with an extreme tumor in his head and died several days later, this was a exciting time for her. The problem came aware to her master several months later when he started to notice that he was losing slaves almost every two weeks. This cost him money as he had to keep replacing one dead slave with two new ones. The moment came to him as a light bulb when he heard his house slave chanting in the basement with a fire light on a table and her on her knees. He scared her to the point that she jumped up from her knees and attempted to hide the book, but the master was able to yank it from her. When he examined the book, he recognized it and knew what it was immediately. This discovery sent her to the punishment of hundred lashes, which nearly killed her. After she healed somewhat, her master sent her out amongst the other slaves in the field, which was nearly her demise.
The slaves out in the field found out of her magic abilities and how she caused other slaves to die because of her hatred toward them. The only thing that saved her was one male slave, who would soon be the father of Ebony and protects his family from further harm. For several years, other female slaves would give birth to children to join them on the fields. Instead of the children being a blessing to the slave families, they were treated harshly, separated from their families, and when they got older and were able to be with their birth family, were raped or sexual abused by the master. This didn’t trend well with Ebony’s mother and she jumped back into the black magic scene to rectify this situation. When she broke into the residence and was seen inside the house by the master’s wife, the wife gave her the book and just asked her to spare her life.
Events that followed was just devastating for both the family, the slaves, and for others that got involved in the massacre. This was news to Linda and Bart as they didn’t know that a family who owned the land sold it, which later became a slave plantation year’s later. As they read more and researched more into the historic records of the town, they get to one page that shows a town fair from the 1950’s. As Bart examines the photo he sees a little black girl in the background by one of the rides. As he sees the little black girl in the photo, he flips back towards the front of the book to a photo that was taken in the early 1700’s. Once he made the comparison, him and Linda were astonished and surprised at to what they saw. Ebony, the little girl, has been hanging around the town for over 200 years. Since they know now how long she has been around, they must now understand where did the terrorizing begin.
Bart flips the book at least a few hundred pages forward and comes across another photo of the town’s annual fair taken in the 1990’s. This time the photograph was in color and Ebony could be seen hanging around the cotton candy looking upset and not happy. When Bart flips over to the next two pages, he reads about a Farris Wheel ride collapsing with riders still on board, killing nearly a dozen. When the photo of the collapsed Farris Wheel was seen by Linda and Bart, they could see Ebony standing on top of the crash site with a big smile on her face. However, the other people in the picture and at that time couldn’t see her at all. So this led Bart and Linda to the belief that she was definitely a spirit that enjoys bringing death and destruction to the people of Avalon. This enjoyment, they believed, has started to spread to other cities, such as Charleston, South Carolina with the random house fires and toy barns being discovered.
After looking through the history book of Avalon for nearly thirty minutes to an hour, Bart looks at Linda and tells her, “Well, we now know more about the town and that most of the tragedy that has happened was because of her. However, we will have a difficult time to find a pattern for her behavior, especially within the time we have left here before we both have to head home. What do we do now?” Linda looks back at Bart and replies, “I suppose we better buy more clothes and start finding the relatives of Ebony’s family to warn them and to see if they can help us stop her.” Bart keeps looking at Linda and smiles at her as he just liked the idea she gave.
TO BE CONTINUED…PART XIX