Trumpet's Haunting

It is so many years ago in the year of our Lord 1871, and I’m still not sure what occurred on this estate during the early hours of that morning. An icy wind tore at the eaves and rocked the rafters like a dilapidated dinghy on the violent sea in the heaviest of squalls. Moans of pain filled the halls with torment and dread, for we all knew that death was coming for my beloved wife Gerda.

That night I was at my writing desk pulling at my hair and drawing a tortured letter to the now late Dr. VanKollar of South London, inquiring on what exactly he was a Doctor of. I heard through the grapevine he possessed the ability to converse with recently departed spirits and I wondered if he could reach my daughter, Trumpet, deceased a fortnight ago. According to Inspector James W. Smoth of the London Office of Inquiry, Trumpet died under what he thought the most mysterious of circumstance.

It was a terrible feat to overcome two great losses in the month of October of the same year, first my daughter then within weeks, Gerda from infection of a cut hand. She had accused Trumpet of stabbing her with a shard of mirror during one of her queer tantrums.

Trumpet had been acting most strange of the evenings and especially at the witching hour. She would spit and curse the vilest phrases I’m most honestly not sure where she had learned such vulgar language. From her quarters there would be great booms and sounds of cracking wood from the third floor of the estate where then only Trumpet occupied. The servants were always visibly shaken to their bones and refused to go near her door after sunset and would only attempt to service her with at least one other person for comfort’s sake. Trumpet would sometimes speak in some such unrecognizable tongue or touch herself in an obscene way. But the most fearsome of tricks, she could conjure a spell and move the heavy furniture that five strong men could not lift, but she did it with only her thoughts. On occasion she somehow knew your most intimate secrets and desires and would blurt them for all to hear.

The night of Trumpet’s death, I slowly crept up the stairs with Gerda in tow and I could feel the hot pus and blood soaked bandage of her left hand. Careful not to disturb the calmness that had overcome the third floor, we approached the door to Trumpet’s quarters with both trepidation and glee, hoping the devilish occurrences of the last month were finally abating. We entered the freezing room and immediately were overcome with the stench of shit and death. The room was empty of Trumpet, but the French windows to the captain’s walk were agape and the icy wind was blowing the tapestry askew. Staring in shock I saw my daughter balancing on the rail of the walk, mumbling in that indecipherable tongue with arms held high like in a crucifix of Christ himself. She either stumbled or something other worldly pushed her from her perch and she fell to her death on the cold cobblestones below.

Inspector Smoth finished his investigation the next morning with no resolution but “it is a mysterious occurrence” to her death. I was utterly devastated. My wife Gerda also was in poor spirits as were the servants. I couldn’t sleep for days on end and was never the slightest bit hungry.

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