Jennifer sat stiff with fear as she sat at the head of a banquet table she was escorted to following her arrival, she couldn't have been dead, it was impossible yet searching her mind for any accident or sudden gun shot to the head was tough because she couldn't remember anything. That scared her the most, she couldn't remember anything all she seemed to know was what was in front of her and even that was puzzling.
Hector who welcomed her into this town explained to her how this banquet is a Helleville tradition. It was extravagant and flashy, the long table was covered with all different kinds of food and drink that no-one seemed to be eating, it all looked so delicious but Jennifer couldn't even bring herself to pick up anything. Maybe she was dead?
"Don't you find all this wasteful?"
Jennifer turned to the gentlemen beside her whos head rested between the roast Chicken and mashed potatoes, he didn't respond to her question but as soon as she asked him, she watched Hector click his fingers and that once full with food table disappeared. The towns people around her fell to silent from the heavy conversation and laughter that was before.
Hector rose from his chair holding his hand up towards Jennifer, it almost looked like he was holding an invisible glass of champagne.
"Good afternoon towns people, we are here today to welcome or newest resident, miss Jennifer."
A roar of applause rang through the hall as she sat there so confused, with only more questions than she was getting answers. She wanted to go home, where ever that was for her, she didn't want to be here.
"Jennifer has come to us from a very tragic accident, which thankfully has brought her to us, so Jennifer we are very happy to welcome you to my town where everything you need is only a click away,?
He snapped his fingers and the food that he'd made vanish was back in front of her, the cheering, conversation and laughter commenced, that didn't help the banging in her head at all. She knew it would be pointless asking Hector the questions she wanted answers to so she lean down the the body-less head this time against the bread rolls.
"Excuse me sir, I need your help,"
His arms reached up moving his head slightly to face her as he replied with a yes and a smile.
"Do you know if there's a way out of her, I don't belong here, I need to leave,"
His body straightened clearly his body was made uncomfortable by her question but the same smile still on his face told her it was ok to ask.
"You've got to ask Mr Valentine, he tried once to leave and got really close, find him he might have more answers for you,"
"Where does he live?"
Just as that little head was about to answer, Hector came up behind his body and rested his hand upon his shoulder, a scarred hand that froze a headless body immobile.
"Jennifer dear, I hear you are ask about leaving, I'm sorry but that is impossible, you are meant to be here and you're here to stay,"
Jennifer was shocked, how did he know what she was talking about. Hector was one of those magical beings that could actually see and hear all things. So now with wanting to leave this town, Hectors all seeing eye scared her.
After dark when all that changed was the shade of red in the sky, Jennifer found herself walking along the street in search for Mr Valentine, the one person she learned that wasn't at her welcome banquet, she didn't know where she was going or where he lived but she was being pulled into a direction her body was taking her.
She ended up standing at a gate of a dark house, out of the shadows you assumed it was black but once you step into the darkness you were hit with this vile stench, a stench surprising to Jennifer she was able to walk into.
The moment she knocked on the door the voice of a man called out back from the inside.
"Hello, I'm Jennifer, I'm new in town and I would really like to talk to you,"
The door flew open revealing a tall, thin, frail man standing in front of he, he looked worn and tired, he didn't look like anyone else here well maybe not anyone else but her.
Sitting down on the sofa opposite him, Jennifer felt nervous, a little shaky and she was surprised for the first time to feel her palms begin to sweat.
"So how can I help you?"
"You nearly escaped, I need to know how because I'm not supposed to be here,"
"Wow, you do like to get straight to the point,"
"I don't see the point in beating around the bush,"
"Please, Jennifer I will tell you everything but I'll have to be quick,"
He told her how Hector founded this town only for the dead 150 years ago but much to his dismay he learned the dead were pretty boring, so he began plucking people that weren't quite dead yet, the ones floating around in the in between, he began stealing souls.
"I was put on this case 5 years ago looking into strange disappearances that were happening in the area, one night I was struck in the head and I slipped into a coma, in my out of body state Hector enticed me to join him and I ended up here."
"How did you escape then, maybe I can this time,"
"Maybe but the grounds it's on is forbidden now, how long can you hold your breathe for?"
"I don't know I have never tried," The pounding in her head got stronger causing her to hold her head in her hands for a few seconds.
"The grounds are forbidden but there still should be a well there, if you want to escape you need to go to the bottom of the well and let it fill up with water, once it's filled to the top it should flush you right back, well that's the theory,"
As he spoke the banging in her head went from inside her mind to the front door, making them both jump up on to their feet.
"Hello Officer Valentine, I believe you have a visitor,"
"No, no-one here just me," he turned to Jennifer and whispered, "Hide,"
"Hello again Jennifer, I know you're in there, what can Officer Valentine possibly help you with?"
His laugh ran through her veins like ice cold shards, this was going to be impossible Jennifer thought there was no escape,
"Knock, knock, Is anybody home?"