‘Ellie!’ I called out. The only replies I could hear were the echoes of my voice bouncing off the damp surface of the crumbling walls. I pushed the lantern ahead and marched into the main hall before looking up the stairs where they became engulfed in darkness.
A set of heavy footsteps erupted above my head. I ran up as fast as I could nearly stumbling over in the process frantically calling Ellie’s name. Most of the door’s in the hallway were closed shut except the door to my old bedroom, my father must’ve left it open when we escaped all those years ago. It was open enough to allow what a little big of light to pour through the edges somewhat lighting my path. I took in a deep breath and swung it open.
It had been left untouched, exactly how I remembered it the night my father had taken me away. My small beg stood in front of the large single glazed window where the curtains were left half open. I pulled them apart to allow more light to flow in. My toys littered the floor as they always did. A light mist grew in my eyes as my mothers image burned in the dark corners of my mind, years of torment, drug use and counseling had caused me to forget her face. But her love for me and the things she did for me had never ceased to exist. She would always tell me off for leaving such a huge mess in the room and clean it up everyday just for me to do the same the next day.
I sighed before grabbing the journal from the depths of my pocket before setting my eyes on the ancient paper. The ink had faded to the point where some of the words had become incomprehensible and brown stains that looks like tea had scarred the paper.
Jonathan Harrison, my ancestor, had traveled west with his fellow soldiers after their victory the Mexican-American war. The US government had given them mineral rights to the Colorado mountain range for their efforts in the war. With the Californian gold rush in full effect, they set out with their pickaxes, weapons and supplies to scour the new lands for gold. As a Captain in the military, Jonathon had naturally been given command of the band of prospectors. After nearly a year of no success they stumbled upon a tribe on a mountain know by the natives as Dark Mountain. The Tse'khene, the people of the rocks.
According to these people it was their mission to guard the spirits that roamed the caverns of the mountain. Occasionally they had traded with the Spanish for over a hundred years in fur’s, food and weapons. Some of the restless prospectors fueled by a never-ending greed had noticed some of the natives wearing golden trinkets and began harassing them to trade and allow them to mine the mountain. Outraged by this the elder asked them all to leave their lands.
Angered by this some of the men’s aimed their revolvers at the natives which led to a large confrontation. Before the situation could be contained bullets and arrows flew across both sides injuring and killing many, their blood seeping through the pours of the dirt and into the belly of the mountain. Only Jonathon and a handful of his men survived the ordeal, they stared at the chief who coughed a lungful of blood before laughing and speaking words in his native tongue.
I stopped reading the journal disgusted at the horrible events depicted in the journal. My families legacy was based on the bloodshed of the natives at the hands of stupid greed. No wonder karma had come back to bite the family in the ass. No wonder I had never had any luck with money or with anyone to be fair. I had met my wife Jenny whilst studying at college before we knew it, we had both falling in the deep ditches of each other’s hearts. Before we knew it, we were married with a child on the way. I was working at a local part-time job at an accounting firm when depression struck me harder than lightening. I lost my job, the wife and my life.
I gasped a deep breath before letting loose a deep sigh. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed down the hallway before a door creaked open and shortly slammed shut. I stumbled out of the bedroom and darted down the hallway opening door’s and searching all the rooms one by one. They were all void of anyone or anything. Who could that have been? I even checked the closet’s.
‘Hey! Is anyone there? I know you’re here somewhere. I just heard you run down the hall.’ I called out in a raised tone. What the hell was up with this place? There was no sign of anyone.
The evening began to set with the slight dimming of the sky, I didn’t feel like staying here any longer so I made my way back down into the basement. As I neared the entrance, I noticed it was now shut. I had never closed it. I pushed with all my strength but couldn’t get it to budge even an inch, it was as if something heavy had been placed over it. I sighed and made my way back into the main hall. I remembered my father had always kept a spare key for the main door in his office which was just down the hall.
I swung the door open which revealed many bookcases filled with a century worth of reading material. Piles of paperwork sat on his desk in the far corner of the room. Whilst prowling through the small cabinet I noticed a dark iron key around a key-chain which held another key which read “Mines”. I don’t know why the key for the mine was attacked to the house key, I didn’t really care as long as I could open the front door and get out. The last thing I wanted was to sleep the night here. As I went for the door a loud scream emerged from outside, I darted for entrance and twisted the key with all my strength. The lock had nearly completely seized but I managed to prop it open slamming the door on the wooden frame that surrounded it. I ran outside but the darkness of the evening made it harder to see anything in the dense fog which had become thicker.
Another scream erupted, I turned towards the path which lead to the old mines where a large shadowy figure held what looked like a woman before the fog obscured my vision.