Saturday, July 11, 2020

Locked In A Castle -- Chapter One

             Chapter One
Kelly heard a car coming up the long drive and hurried to the window to see who it was. Looking out, she saw her guardian, Jack, coming. For a moment hope ran through her body. “I wonder if he has another man ready to come to the castle? Someone that will free me from this curse.”
     Kelly Taylor moved through the castle to greet him. It was the same as it’d been every other day since the warlock had cursed her. She was trapped within the boundaries of the castle’s grounds, waiting for the one man that could break the curse. Many have come but they were always scared away. A sadness fell over her face when she thought about all the men over the years that were too scared to even talk to her much less fall in love with her so the curse would be broken. She was trapped year after year never able to leave the grounds and never aging. All she could do was hope and pray that one day her guardian would send the right man to her. Knowing that the curse would be broken was all she had to hold onto. Every day she would be in ghost form and every night at midnight she would get her life back and be human but only until morning. Even as human she was trapped to the confines of the grounds never able to leave until the curse was broken.
            She slowly made it through the great hall and past the white ivory fireplace that Jack always kept going. Along the walls were paintings of all of her ancestors. She didn’t know much about them but never felt like it was right to remove the photos. Kelly drifted into the room to wait for Jack.
 Jack was an immortal shape shifter. He had been with her since the beginning. He was like a father to her. As the years passed, he shifted into a new face so the town’s people never questioned why he never aged.
            She waited patiently as Jack parked the car and walked into the castle then met him at the front door.
            Jack smiled as he saw her. “Good morning Kelly. I do have some good news for you.”
            Kelly smiled back at him. She loved it when Jack had the time to come see her. He was her only friend. “What do you have for me? Or should I say who do you have for me?” She smiled. “I’m guessing there is a new man all ready to come here for me to scare off as soon as he sees my ghost self.” The smile faded from her face.
            Jack walked over to her. “Don’t give up on me Kelly. I think I have found the perfect guy this time. I really do feel like it’s going to work. Be strong. Don’t let him win.”
            Kelly put on a fake smile for Jack. She didn’t want him disappointed because he had tried so hard over the many years. “I won’t give up, Jack. I know it will work. But when it does and I’m finally free I’m going to get my revenge on him.”
            Jack shook his head and firmly said, “No, you are not. You are going to break this curse and then live a happy life. You are not going to anything other than be happy. Besides, you know he isn’t alive anymore. I’ve told you the story over and over about his death. Just be happy that the curse is broken.”
            Kelly saw Jack was genuinely worried about her. “Okay you win. I will behave myself. I won’t go after anyone in his family. As long as they don’t come after me. But what I don’t understand is why didn’t it break when he died?” She wondered. “So, tell me. What’s the story on the new guy and when does he get here?”
            Jack started to walk into the kitchen. “I’m going to go grab a soda before we get started.”
            Kelly followed behind. “This can’t be good if you don’t want to tell me. What is wrong with him? I don’t want to waste my time if there isn’t a chance of him being the one.”
            Jack got a soda from the refrigerator and popped the top. “Kelly, we don’t know what is going to happen until the guy gets here and we let it all play out.”
            She walked closer. “Okay but what are you not telling me about him? I can tell when you are hiding something.”
            Jack looked at her and with hesitation said. “Okay, here it goes. This one is a not going to be super easy. I wanted to make sure this time that the guy would not get scared off and run.”
            Kelly interrupted. “Yeah and how exactly did you make sure of this?”
            Jack sipped his soda. “Hear me out. I found a great guy. I decided I would get somebody who would be more able to handle that you are a ghost. So, I turned to only looking for somebody who was a witch or shapeshifter. This way he would have something in common with both of us. I had a stack of witches to interview for the position. I didn’t break any of the conditions. I didn’t tell him there is a ghost here and I didn’t tell him that you are a witch. We didn’t break any ‘rules’. When I finally decided on the guy, I had him sign a contract saying that he would be awarded one million dollars if he was able to stay here at the castle for a full year. The stipulation of the contract says he is only allowed to leave for an hour a day to run errands and get groceries. Anything he needs to do he can go do but can’t be gone more than an hour.”
            Kelly started pacing back and forth. “So, you are keeping him trapped here with me?”    
            Jack walked over to the table and set his soda can down. “I’m not really trapping the guy. I’m simply giving him an incentive to stay. All the other guys were scared off when they found out you were a ghost and they never got to know the real you. This time I’m making it possible for him to get to know you.”
            Kelly rubbed her forehead. “I don’t know how he is supposed to fall in love with me if he’s only here for the money.”
            Jack smiled. “Oh, but my dear, that is where you come into it. He won’t be able to not fall in love with you once he gets to know you.”        
            Kelly loved the way Jack always took care of her. It really didn’t surprise her that he would go to these lengths to try and save her. He was an amazing guardian and once her curse was broken the council would find him another witch to be the care giver for.
            “When can I expect him?” She asked.
            Jack started to walk to the door. “He will be here first thing in the morning.”
            “What did you tell him about me?”
            Jack looked up at her with caring eyes and a smile. “Don’t worry, Kelly. I wouldn’t have sent somebody if I didn’t think they had a chance. I told him that a wonderful woman lived in the castle too that he might run into from time to time. The rest he will learn in time.”
            Kelly wasn’t sure that she completely liked the idea but at this point it’s worth giving it a try. “Okay thanks. All I can do is see what happens. Until tomorrow.” She said as she walked Jack to the door.

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