Monday, August 26, 2013

The Mysteries Beneath Logan Cabin

Chapter 1

Bridgeport, 2003

“Your honor, the defendant has made outrageous claims against my client—claims that have brought disrepute unfairly to an upright and noble citizen of Bridgeport.” 

“The judgment is for the plaintiff, Pete Logan, in the amount of $9000 to be paid immediately. This court is adjourned.”

“How did it go?” Carter asks. 
“I won, but not without a fight,” Pete replies. “I don’t know how much I want to keep living here in Bridgeport,” Pete continues. 

“And now that our adoption is finally going to happen, perhaps it’s time to consider a new home to raise our daughter.” 

“Well, since Grandpa Joseph passed away, his home in Twinbrook has been vacant,” Carter replies. “What do you think about going back home? It would be a nice change of pace and scenery.”

So Pete and Carter Logan pack up the house, leave their celebrity lives in Bridgeport, and make the long journey to a new life in Twinbrook. 

“That’s strange. Someone left the lights on,” says Pete as they see the Logan home in the distance. 
“I had the inspector check out the house earlier today," Carter explains. "He must have left them on. Apparently, the house is in good condition, but we’re going to need to update the appliances.” 

“Who is that?” Pete asks as they approach a mysterious woman at the gate. 
“I have no idea. Did the paparazzi follow us to Twinbrook?” Carter replies. “I wouldn’t put it past them.” 

“See the fireflies?” she whispers. “They are drawn to the lonely and noble spirit who inhabits these grounds. I bring a peace offering.” The woman places an unusual gem into Carter’s hands, then continues up the road. 

“Lovely. I’ll just place our gift on the desk over here. I’m ready to crawl into bed. We’ve got busy days ahead of us.”

“Do you think our ‘lonely and noble spirit’ might be willing to chip in on all of the housework that awaits us?” 

The next morning, Pete and Carter awaken to good news. “We have a message from the adoption agency. Betsy, our new daughter, will finally be here on Friday!” 

“I really love it here, Carter. This will be the perfect place for us to start a family. And you can write your novels, and I will pursue my painting and sculpting. No more filming, rehearsals, and movie premieres.”

The days that follow are filled with upgrading all of the appliances and preparing the home for Betsy. 
Chapter 2

“We can’t tell you enough, Ms. Coburn, how thankful we are for making this adoption possible. This is a dream come true.” 
“Mr. Logan," she answers, "I am confident that you both will make wonderful fathers.”

Pete and Carter relish every moment with their daughter over the next few years as she grows and develops into a beautiful, creative, and smart young girl. 

Betsy excels in school and spends her free time painting, writing, and hanging out with friends. 

She also loves to stargaze and dreams of becoming an astronaut. 

One morning, Betsy wakes up to find a monarch butterfly on display in her bedroom. She is ecstatic. 

“Thank you for the butterfly! I love it!” Betsy tells her dads at breakfast. 

“Did you get Betsy a butterfly?” Carter asks Pete after Betsy leaves the table. 
“I didn’t do it. I assumed you were behind it all.” 

“This is very strange. I really hope we aren’t dealing with an intruder here,” Pete says. 
“Or more mischievous paparazzi,” Carter adds. 
“I’ll call the police to check out our security system.” 

“Officer Gregson, there must have been an intruder,” Pete insists. 
“Mr. Logan, I assure you the security system is working perfectly, and there are no fingerprints other than your daughter’s,” the officer replies. 

“I don’t have much to go on here. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help to you and your family. Call me if you find anything else suspicious.” 

“It’s probably nothing,” Pete says to himself. “She must think we’re crazy.” 

“I’m baking you cookies since you made honor roll once again.” 
“Oooh! Chocolate chip! Chocolate chip! They’re my favorite,” Betsy exclaims overjoyed. 
“You can have one tonight before bedtime," Carter says, "but save the rest for later.” 

“Daddy, did you eat all of the cookies?” Betsy asks the next morning. 
“It wasn’t me,” Carter replies. “I think someone else might have a sweet tooth,” he adds turning his smile to Pete. 

“I didn’t eat the cookies. Do you want me to call the police again to investigate?” 

Betsy goes to sleep that night just as she is about to receive a special visitor.
Chapter 3

As she is about to yell for her fathers, the ghost stops her, “Don’t fear, Betsy. I'm not here to hurt or scare you. I actually care about you greatly. I’m the one who brought you the butterfly." 

“My name is Jackson, and I lost my life and my family many years ago when I was trapped in a mineshaft.” 
“But why are you here?” Betsy asks before hearing a knock at the door. 

“Is everything ok in there, Betsy? Who are you talking to?” 

Jackson vanishes, and Betsy rushes to her father. “That was Jackson, daddy. He’s a friendly ghost. He was the one who gave me the butterfly.” 
“A ghost? I don’t see anyone. Did you have a bad dream?” Carter asks. He continues, “Do you want daddy and I to sleep downstairs tonight?” 

“I’m ok, daddy. I’m a big girl. I’m not afraid.” 

Pete and Carter decide to sleep downstairs anyway. 

The next day, Betsy goes to the library after school to try to learn more about her mysterious visitor. She types “Jackson” and “mineshaft” with no results. 

She then types “Jackson” and “missing,” and learns of an unsolved mystery within her own family many years ago. 

Jackson Logan, Carter’s great-grandfather, lived with his wife Jessica and twin boys, Jacob and Joseph. 

One day, Jacob and Joseph ventured into the wilderness to find a new fishing spot. But they were lost and unable to find a way home. 

Jackson came home that night to find Jessica distressed. “They were supposed to be home hours ago,” she told her husband.

“Don’t worry, my dear. I will find them. I’m sure they just went fishing and lost track of time,” Jackson said. He then went on an expedition in search of his missing boys. 

The boys were eventually found by a town search party. Jackson, however, never returned. 

“How sad,” Betsy murmurs to herself. “I wonder what I will find if I type ‘mineshaft’ and ‘Twinbrook’?” 

The search leads Betsy to the rare document room of the library. There she finds a map of an abandoned mineshaft, sealed for ages, and right beneath her own home!
Chapter 4

Betsy invites her great-great-uncle Jacob over for a visit. “Tell me about my great-great grandfather, uncle Jacob.” 

“There he is right there. And there,” Jacob says pointing to the old photographs on the wall. 

“He was a great, great man. He loved us so much. And I will never forgive myself for his loss. Joseph never did either.” 

“Joseph and I were responsible.” Jacob’s eyes well with tears. “If we hadn’t gotten lost, he would have never gone missing.”

“He’s here, uncle Jacob! I’ve met him. And I’m sure he’d love to speak with you. If there’s a way that can happen, I’m going to try to find it. I promise.”

“My brother was drawn to build his home here for a special reason. He said a mysterious woman appeared to him in a dream and guided him to this ‘sacred and magical’ spot. You may be on to something, Betsy, but please be careful.” 

Jackson visits Betsy more and more in the coming days. They become good friends. “I found the mineshaft,” Betsy tells him over a game of chess. “It’s right underneath this house.” 

“You’re a brilliant girl, Betsy,” Jackson replies. “Your fathers must be so very proud. I certainly am.” 

“Who are you talking to, Betsy?” Carter asks. 
“It’s Jackson, daddy! Can’t you see him?” 
Carter stares at an empty seat across from Betsy. He thinks to himself as he walks away, “Ah, kids at this age and their overactive imaginations…” 

“Why couldn’t he see you, Jackson?” Betsy asks. 
“It’s the curse, Betsy,” he replies. “Your father is my great-grandson, and he will never be able to see or hear me as long as the mineshaft is sealed. It was a deal I made with fate, and the consequence was that I could never appear to or speak with any of my blood relatives.” 

Betsy is taken aback. The topic of adoption always makes her feel a bit isolated. 
“You are my precious gift,” Jackson comforts her. “When your fathers adopted you as their own, I had a descendant with whom I could finally communicate.” 

“I’m going to lift this curse,” Betsy states with certainty. “If I can’t do it, I’m going to find someone who can.” 
"Please be careful, Betsy," Jackson warns. "You should not attempt such a dangerous feat. I don't ever want to see you get hurt." 

“I want to open the mineshaft below our house,” Betsy tells her fathers at the dinner table. “Jackson needs to be free.” 
“That mineshaft is very dangerous,” Carter replies. “It’s sealed for a reason.” 
Betsy leaves the table in frustration and anger. 

“This has to stop, Carter,” Pete tells his partner. 
“I know. She is a determined and very smart girl. We should be proud of that,” Carter replies. “I’ll see what I can do.” 

"Listen," Carter says as he tucks his daughter into bed that night, “Daddy and I will take a look at the mineshaft in the morning, but you must stay upstairs and work on that book report that’s due on Tuesday. It’s very dangerous for you and may even be so for myself.” 

Betsy falls asleep smiling and hoping that Jackson will soon be free.
Chapter 5

“You ready to get started?” Carter asks Pete. 

“I’m going to clear away this rubble, and hopefully we’ll find a way in,” Carter shouts over the din of his pickaxe. 

“There must be a way in somehow,” Pete says. "I'll look around." 

“Here! I found a hidden switch in the corner.” 

“You stay behind while I explore this place,” Carter tells Pete. “If I don’t come back in two hours, call for help.” 

“This place is one big puzzle,” Carter says as he finds another switch to reveal a hidden staircase. 

Carter ponders every room carefully finding hidden switches, torch levers, keystones, and abundant treasure. 

“More fireflies. I must be getting close to the end here.” 

“I wonder what lies behind this pile of rocks.” 

“You must be Jackson,” Carter says as he meets eyes with the ghost in front of him. For some reason, he isn’t scared at all. 

“Hello, Carter. I’m Jackson, your great-grandfather. I’m sorry I led you into such great danger, but I was confident you would succeed. You've always excelled and achieved what you've set your mind to doing. I’ve always been so proud of you.” 

“Why did I have to crawl through this abandoned mineshaft to finally see you?” Carter asks.

Jackson momentarily loses himself in the memories and begins to explain. 

“When my boys went missing long ago, I ventured into the wilderness to try to find them. After several days, I almost gave up hope, but I ultimately found them by the water. They were cold and hungry. I called out to them, but death had beaten me there.” 

“'No!’ I called out to death. ‘Don’t take them! Take me instead. Please don’t take my boys.’” 

“Death paused and looked into my eyes. ‘Very well. I will spare your boys’ lives and have your life instead.’” 

“Death continued, ‘You are to enter that mineshaft over the hill, and I will seal you in it for eternity. As long as you are sealed in there, I prohibit you from ever speaking to your boys, or any blood relative, for that matter.’ I cautiously approached the shaft entrance as the sun began to rise.” 

“It had to be done. It was the only way my boys would ever grow up to have their own families.” 

“As long as the entrance was sealed, I was unable to communicate with you. Betsy was my salvation. And you lifted the curse at last!” 

“I’m so proud of you, Carter.” 

Finally free from the curse, Jackson is welcomed into his new family. 

“Dad?” Jacob nears his father with hands trembling and heart pounding. “I’m so sorry I brought you harm. I’m so, so sorry.” 

“There is nothing to apologize for,” Jackson replies. “I just want to hold you close once again. I don’t ever want to let go.”

The moon rises over a happy Logan household that night. 

And Betsy and Jackson sit outside watching the fireflies.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story! So touching. My eyes welled up when Death appeared and the father begged him to take his life instead of his boys'. And, I especially love how an adopted child is the heroine. (BTW, I found your story because I saw sharonxyz's post.)