This prologue is part of Diane Wing’s latest ebook Thorne Manor: And Other Bizarre Tales (Modern History Press, 2012). Wing takes her readers to experience a reality where the world only appears normal – underlying is a dark world of occult influence, dangerous beliefs, and fearsome energies. For more about the author and her work, visithttp://www.dianewing.tv/.
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My attempts at a better life have created this situation; to be shunned and denied all contact is the wickedest torture they have yet to devise. My requests for human interaction or for the chance to relate to another living creature of any kind have resulted in lessened visits by family members. The strange voices have become more talkative over the last few months, filling the silent hours of my solitude and enriching my inner world. Sometimes they admonish those who imprison me and suggest appropriate recompense for their actions. Other times they whisper to me, soothing my fear and sadness, and igniting my anger toward the situation. Treatment for the voices is a simple matter—to be able to speak with a person, or to have an animal, a pet with which to exchange emotion—would calm the incessant talking.
This journal has become my only release. My hopes and fears entered onto its pages with no response in return. Being imprisoned in these gracious accommodations with cruel jailors at the helm has pushed my mind toward thoughts of torment to retaliate against their emotional abuse.
To be able to roam the grounds and feel the sun was my dearest wish. Yet after years in these rooms, the sun now gives me headaches and a rash has developed on most of my torso. I have come to know every nook, every peel and flake of paint and wallpaper, every dimming of the colors on upholstery and carpet. Darkness quells the discomfort of these symptoms; eating exacerbates them. Refusing the food they bring only sets off a series of additional tortures they seem to enjoy administering.
Surviving puberty and its challenges, tolerating the oddities of my family and the isolation from friends, it seems that I have paid my dues. Is this the fate I am to endure for my entire adulthood as well? Whatever semblance of a god promised to me in The Bible was a lie.
The shadows are witness to my pain. Hope is replaced by loathing, tainting my disposition and my will. In the absence of guilt, in the absence of God, revenge and hatred will be my guides in this world and the next.
—From the diary of Erick Thorne, January 7th, 2002
“It’s too risky, Heather,” Joyce Wolfe warned. “As your realtor and friend, I have to remind you that financially this is too much to take on.”
Heather stared at the Gothic mansion. It was as if Heather had been absorbed into its strange aura. Riding up the driveway, the overhanging trees hugged her from above and pointed the way toward the house. Standing amidst a dense forest of maple, sycamore, pine, and cedar the timeworn stone Gothic mansion welcomed her. The arched windows gazed down upon her with dark, tired eyes. The soaring center tower of the house enshrouded in aged brown stone gave the impression of an old woman wrapped in a tattered shawl.
“I dreamed of this place; of owning it and starting a business. I can live and work here,” her voice trailed off as if talking to herself. With commercial zoning, she saw in its dark countenance the bright spark of a successful enterprise, not simply a fantastic place to live. The rumors of the home’s dark history did not dissuade her from seeing its potential. All it needed was some loving attention, and the sadness that was said to permeate the structure would dissipate.
“No one who lives around here will come near the place. Too much has happened here—the murders, the torture—to allow a business to be successful.”
“We can clear the energy. The psychics that rent from me will bring fresh energy to the house and the grounds.”
Thorne Manor stood before them, patiently awaiting the final decision. A gentle pine-scented breeze blew Heather’s long brown hair across her face. She moved the hair to the side and hooked it behind her ear.
“There are several other properties I can show you that will be perfect for what you want to do. Let’s go take a look.”
Heather’s eyes were fixed on the mansion, mind whirring with ideas for the abandoned building. “The dark history of this house will add an air of mystery that will attract people to have social gatherings here. I can use it as part of my marketing strategy.”
The enamored expression on Heather’s face told Joyce she had made her decision, but wanted to give one last attempt to dissuade her.
“The house on Chestnut Street is a bright contemporary with an open floor plan on three acres. There is plenty of parking and we can get it for an incredible price.”
Heather nodded, knowing Joyce had said something, but did not know what it was.
Joyce could see that Heather was enthralled with the property and completely oblivious to her opinion. Thorne Manor had been on the market for almost five years; the structure was sound, but the tragedies that took place here deterred most buyers. Joyce had researched the history of the property in depth with the hope of finding something positive in its past that she could share with her clients. What she found out she mostly kept to herself.
Heather was not only her client, but also her friend, so in this case, she would do her best to talk Heather out of buying this place. The dark past of the house would not be good for Heather’s healing after such a difficult marriage. The professional relationship Joyce and Heather shared began when Heather was assigned as the accountant to Joyce’s real estate office, Mather Properties. The friendship began when Heather left her possessive husband, Robert.
When Joyce took over her father’s business when he retired in 1995, she kept his name on the sign rather than changing it to her married name of Wolfe. Residents of the area recognized Mather Properties as a brand, and Joyce wanted to honor the work her father had done in building the business. She often thought that she should have kept her maiden name to avoid hearing comments like “She’s a Wolfe in sheep’s clothing,” and “Here comes the big, bad Wolfe!” It was tiresome to hear the dame jokes repeated year after year, but she simply smiled and tolerated it. Real estate was about relationships, so she was careful to allow people to think they were clever and original, especially when it helped them to remember her name and establish rapport.
Heather had never joked about Joyce’s married name; in fact, for a young woman in her mid-thirties, she seemed much older and somewhat tired. Highly professional, yet cold and aloof, Joyce could see that there was a restrictive quality to Heather’s demeanor, coupled with an underlying sadness. Joyce appreciated the accuracy and focused attention Heather gave to her account, and a friendship grew from the working relationship. They talked of many things, but Heather’s home life was not one of them. Joyce decided that when she was ready, Heather would open up.
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