The Return to Maljardin
by Debby Graham

Chapter 1 - House Rebuilt

Five years have passed since the destruction and fire on Maljardin. Jean Paul Desmond has hired a crew to rebuild the mansion and the grounds around it. He travels to the Mainland and hires a new groundskeeper Karl Anderson and trains him personally to navigate the boat to the Island.

Jean Paul and his wife Emily rent a house on the Mainland while the mansion is under construction. “Jean Paul are you sure this is what you want? I can’t believe that you would want to live on Maljardin again.” Emily says as Jean Paul enters the den to find Emily reading a book.

“Emily darling we’re free; the curse is lifted.” He says and pulls her to her feet and into his arms.

“What about your nightmares? Jean Paul you cry out every night, sometimes screaming yourself awake.”

He draws back from her. “Emily my therapist says I must face my fears and memories from the Island. By tearing down the remains of the mansion and rebuilding the land and house I hope to do just that.”

“But why now? I’m afraid Jean Paul, especially now that we’re expecting our first baby.” She says as she drops the book on pregnancy and baby care onto the couch.

“Emily if I thought there was any danger to you or our baby I would send you to stay at Desmond Hall.”

“Oh Jean Paul the baby won’t arrive for another seven months. I don’t want to be away from you that long.” She says and puts her arms around his waist.

“Emily everything will be alright. Doctor Harland has contacted a friend of his; a doctor of parapsychology.”

“Parapsychology?”

“Yes Doctor Harland thought he might be helpful because of what had happened on Maljardin.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Doctor Harland says this man is the leading authority on ESP and the paranormal. His office is at the Parapsychology Department at one of the leading Universities in New York.”

“If it’s over why do we need this man?”

“We don’t Emily; this doctor is interested in the history of the Island.”

“I hope your right.” Emily says as she looks up at him with fear in her eyes.

There is a knock at the door. “That will be Karl. Are you ready to look at our new home?”

***

Karl docks the boat into the rebuilt boathouse. Jean Paul helps Emily step out of the small cruiser. Emily glances around the boathouse walls. “White?” She asks.

“I don’t want any dark colors.” Jean Paul replies then glances at Karl. “Karl could you collect our luggage.”

Karl gives a nod then steps into the cabin of the cruiser.

Jean Paul leads Emily up the steep stone stairs. “The work crews are cutting a pathway through the underbrush leading to the mansion. Soon we’ll have a paved walkway.” Jean Paul says as he points out the gently sloping ground on the right side of the stairs.

As they near the top of the stairs Emily stops and stares at the mansion. “Jean Paul it’s beautiful; like a fairy tale castle.”

Jean Paul also stops and looks. Gone is the dark mansion and in its place is a house covered in white stone with flower beds surrounding the path leading to it. Gently sloping grass hills fall away from the house and on the left side surrounded by rose bushes is a large flowing fountain

“Welcome to Maljardin darling.” Jean Paul says and kisses Emily.

“Jean Paul about that name; I wish we could call it something else.”

“What about UN NOUVEL DE’PARTS?”

“A NEW BEGINNING, it sounds wonderful.’ Emily says as she steps into his arms and kisses him.

Pulling apart they enter the mansion as Karl joins them carrying a couple of cases. Stepping through the foyer they enter the Great Hall. The walls are paneled in a light tan color; with drapes in a darker brown covering the windows. The fireplace is made of white marble.

“Jean Paul the room is so light and cozy looking.” Emily says as she steps away as she glances around. She glances back at Jean Paul and notices him staring at one of the walls. “Jean Paul what’s wrong?”

Turning away from the wall Jean Paul looks at her. “For a minute there I felt like I was back here before the fire. I thought I saw…” He turns and looks back at the wall.

“What Jean Paul?”

Jean Paul shakes his head and looks at her with a smile. “Just my imagination.”

“Is that where Jacques Eloi Des Mondes portrait hung?”

“Yes but as I said it’s over. Now let’s go look at the rest of the house.”

“When is the furniture arriving?”

“The first load should be ready for unloading tomorrow morning.” Jean Paul says as they enter the kitchen. “The kitchen appliances are already installed. The refrigerator and freezer are already stocked; the cooking utensils and dishes are also in the cupboards.”

“Now all we need is the table and chairs. “ Emily says with a smile as she looks at the white and yellow kitchen.

“We’ll spend tonight here and in the morning you can supervise the placement of the furniture.” He says as he leads her from the kitchen to the staircase and to the Master Bedroom. He opens the door and sweeps Emily into his arms and carries her across the thresh hold.

“Jean Paul it’s lovely.” Emily says as he sets her on her feet. The room has a king size sleigh bed in colors of gold and blue. Light colored wood armoires are against one wall with matching floor to ceiling bookcases against another. The walls are done in the same shade as the blue of the bedding with darker blue drapes. At the foot of the bed is a chest with their luggage sitting on it. There is a side table and a matching gold chaise lounge against the back wall. “But how did you know?”

“I noticed you left a home décor catalogue on the table with this bedroom set circled.”

“Jean Paul I love it.” She says and steps into his arms. “And I love you.”

Jean Paul feels a chill go through his body with an echo of male laughter.

“Darling what’s wrong?”

“Nothing; I felt a cold draft.”

Emily glances at the window to find it open. “Let me close the window and I’ll get us unpacked.” As she steps to the window there is a knock on the bedroom door.

“Come in.” Jean Paul calls out.

Karl enters the room. “Mr. Desmond I have a message for you from the Mainland, I forgot to give it to you before we left.” He says then hands an envelope to Jean Paul.

“Thank you Karl, I think there are sandwiches in the fridge. Go help yourself.”

Karl gives a nod and walks out of the room closing the door behind him.

Jean Paul opens the envelope and pulls out a sheet of paper.

‘Mr. Desmond I will be arriving 6:00pm tonight on the Mainland. I’m very excited to meet you and start on the study of your Island.

Yours Truly, Doctor James Dawson

“Dawson?” Jean Paul says.

Emily glances up at Jean Paul as she empties the cases. “Jean Paul do you know this doctor?”

“No but I had a guest with the same last name staying here the last time.”

“You mean Reverend Matt Dawson.”

“Yes.” Jean Paul says as he lowers the paper.

“Darling please don’t worry. There are a lot of people with the same last name and it doesn’t mean anything.”

Jean Paul glances at his watch. “Let’s go down and have lunch; then I have to go across and meet this Doctor Dawson.”

Emily precedes him from the room.

***

Jean Paul enters the French Leaf Café to find it packed. He approaches the bar and Jeff glances up after setting drinks on a tray. “Hello Mr. Desmond, welcome back.”

“Hello Jeff, has there been anyone asking for me?”

“Yes a Doctor Dawson; he’s sitting at the end table.”

“Thank you.” Jean Paul says and walks over to the end table. “Doctor Dawson?” He asks as he stands behind the man.

The man turns and glances up at Jean Paul. “Yes.”

“No!” Jean Paul cries out for the man could be Reverend Dawson’s double.

“Are you alright?” The Doctor asks as he jumps to his feet.

“No it can’t be!” Jean Paul cries out.

“Please sit, you’ve turned very pale.” He helps Jean Paul to a chair. “Can I get you anything?”

“No; please forgive me.” Jean Paul says shakily as Doctor Dawson sits across from him.

“It should be I who should apologize. I take it that Doctor Harland didn’t tell you that Matt and I were twins.”

“Twins?” 

“Yes I haven’t spoken to my brother in years. He didn’t approve of my career choice.”

Jean Paul signals the waitress and orders a gin and tonic and glances at the doctor’s drink.

“I’m fine. Oh you are Mr. Jean Paul Desmond aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

“I’m Doctor James Dawson.” He says and holds his hand out. Jean Paul reaches to shake his hand and Doctor Dawson instead takes Jean Paul’s pulse. “Are you feeling better?”

“Yes.” Jean Paul replies and pulls his hand away. He takes a sip from his glass after the waitress sets it down. Jean Paul watches her walk away then turns back to the doctor. “You do know that your brother died on Maljardin.”

“Yes I read the police report but it didn’t make much sense.”

“Doctor did you really come here to make a study of the Island?”

“Yes but I also have another reason.”

“And that would be what?”

“An Island with many mysteries starting with your ancestor and the death of my brother.”

Jean Paul stiffens. “What ancestor?”

“Jacques Eloi Des Mondes and that branch of your family.”

“Why?"

“Your Island and the Mainland are said to be ruled by Voodoo. My studies in the occult have led me to the practice of Voodoo.”

“Doctor I better warn you getting involved with the occult and voodoo led to your brother’s death.”

“Mr. Desmond how can you believe that.”

“Because I was there doctor and I don’t want the past stirred up again.”

“Mr. Desmond don’t you really want to know what happened on your island?”

“I know what happened. You made this trip for nothing doctor.” Jean Paul says and stands.

“Mr. Desmond if you reconsider I’m staying at the Inn.”

“Goodbyee Doctor.” Jean Paul says and walks away.

Chapter 2 - Relatives and Relationships

Jean Paul pilots the speed boat back to Maljardin and enters the mansion. "Emily." He calls out.

With a cup of tea in her hand Emily walks from the kitchen. "Jean Paul where's our guest?"

"Doctor Dawson will not be coming to Maljardin."

"But why?"

"I have my reasons."

"Jean Paul I thought we were not going to have any secrets from each other."

Jean Paul turns away from her.

"Jean Paul please don't close me out." She says stepping closer to him.

Jean Paul turns towards her. "Doctor James Dawson is Reverend Matt Dawson's twin."

"Surely he doesn't blame you for his brother's death."

"I don't know what he believes; I don't want him here."

"But why darling?"

"All that I can say is his resemblance to his brother makes me uncomfortable."

"Jean Paul you keep reminding me that we are starting a new life, a new beginning."

"Emily I won't discuss it further." He says and walks from the room.

***

The next morning Karl steers the large boat to the Mainland. He hires four men to help load the first crates onto the boat. Arriving on Maljardin Emily directs them where to place the furniture as they uncrate it. The first load is the furniture for the Great Hall. She has them place two cream stuffed armchairs and a table in front of the fireplace. Next they uncrate a cream colored sofa and matching loveseat, she has them placed in the center of the room. A coffee table sits in front that matches the end tables.

Jean Paul enters the room. "Darling it looks wonderful." He says as he takes her in his arms and kisses her.

"Jean Paul we need a phone installed."

"The workman is coming out later this week."

Emily glances around the room. "Where would you like the bar installed?" Emily asks as Karl opens the crate with the table and shelves for the wooden bar.

Jean Paul glances at the spot where Jacque's portrait had hung. "Against that wall."

Karl helps two of the workmen set it up.


It takes three more trips to the Mainland to bring the rest of the furniture to Maljardin. By early evening they have the dining room, two guest bedrooms and the servants quarters furnished. On the last boat load are the paintings that Jean Paul and Emily had selected for the walls of the house.

Karl finds Emily in one of the guest bedrooms. "Mrs. Desmond the paintings for the Great Hall are ready to be hung."

"Karl go ahead and hang them; the instructions for their arrangement is on the coffee table."

"I'll grab a couple of men to bring in the ladder." He says and walks from the room.

***

They hang eight sea scape paintings following the placement directions. One of the men pulls the last painting from the crate. "Hey Andrews this one isn't on the list."

Karl joins him and looks at the painting.

"Where should we hang this one?" The worker asks.

Karl stares into the eyes of the portrait and turns to the bar. "It belongs there."

"If you say so." The worker says and he and the other man hang the portrait.

They collect the empty crates, carry them out; Karl stands and stares at the portrait. When the workers come back for the ladder they look at Karl. "Andrews, hey Andrews we're finished here. We want to go back to the Mainland." Karl turns and looks at them; as they carry the ladder out Karl follows them.

Jean Paul pays the workmen and Karl takes them back to the Mainland.

Jean Paul enters the mansion and stops in the Great Hall. His gaze lifts to the portrait above the bar. "No." He whispers. "No! Emily, Emily come here!" He shouts as he looks at the portrait of Jacques Eloi Des Mondes."

"Jean Paul what's wrong?" Emily asks as she rushes down the staircase.

Jean Paul slowly turns towards her.

Emily glances past him to the wall. "How did that portrait get here? Jean Paul Jacques image is back in the portrait."

Laughter echoes through the room. "Jean Paul you really didn't think you saw the last of me at Desmond Hall did you?" Jacques says with a laugh.

Jean Paul spins back towards the portrait. "It's ended Jacques; I won't allow you to invade our lives again."

"Oh no Jean Paul Desmond it can never be ended."

"Why didn't you find peace? The curse is ended." Emily says to the portrait.

"She cannot hear me Jean Paul so you should tell her that the curse may have ended but you linked your soul to me and my Master. Only by death will you be free of me then you will take my place."

"No never." Jean Paul replies.

"What does he want Jean Paul?" Emily asks.

"My life." Jean Paul says as he turns and looks at Emily.

"Jean Paul you voluntarily gave up your soul to bring your wife back."

Jean Paul looks back at the portrait. "And you know that creature was not my wife!" He shouts angrily.

"It does not matter for we are bound together for eternity."

"You have no power on Maljardin."

Jacques laughs. "Think again my descendant." Jacques says as thunder and lightning flash and rumble from outside. 

"Jean Paul what are we going to do?" Emily says as she shivers and wraps her arms around her middle.

"I don't know." Jean Paul says as he takes her in his arms.

"Why don't you sleep on it." Jacques says with a laugh.

"Sleep on it?" Jean Paul says as he glances at the portrait.

"The true Master of Maljardin will gain control as you sleep."

"Not this time Jacques; I will not allow you to use me again."

"We won't allow it." Emily adds looking around Jean Paul's shoulder at the portrait.

Jacques laughter echoes around the room.


As the clock strikes two a.m. Jean Paul finally succumbs to sleep through total exhaustion. His eyes open and a smile appears upon his face. He turns his head and looks at Emily to find her sound asleep. He slips out of bed, grabs his robe and slips it on. He leaves the room, walks down the staircase and enters the Great Hall. A fire ignites in the fireplace and candles light around the room.

 "It's good to have a body again." He says with a grin then glances around the room. "Oh Jean Paul this will not do."

"Jean Paul?" Emily calls out from the staircase.

"Yes my dear." Jacques says as he turns and looks at her.

"What are you doing?" She asks as she walks down the staircase to the Great Hall. She lets out a gasp as the room begins to change. "The room!"

"What's wrong with it?"

She watches as the room changes back to the way it was before the fire.

"Don't you like it my dear?"

"Oh Jean Paul." She says with a sob and turns and rushes back up the staircase. She reaches their bedroom and locks herself inside.

"Whatever is the matter with her?" Jacques asks then pours himself a drink. Turning he lounges on the blue sofa.

***

As Doctor James Dawson sleeps a figure materializes near his bed. "Jim, Jim you must wake." Matt Dawson voice calls out.

Doctor Dawson stirs.

"Jim wake up."

The doctor sits up and glances around the room.

"Brother I am here."

James sees Matt in a fog filled room. "Matt?" James asks in amazement.

"Jim the evil is again unleashed on Maljardin. You must go to Maljardin and help Jean Paul and his wife. Because I didn't believe that there was evil on that island many people died including me."

"What evil?" James asks.

"His name is Jacques Eloi Des Mondes, and he is trying to come back to Earth and if he succeeds Jean Paul will be forever lost."

"How can I help?"

"Go to Maljardin, the sister of the Voodoo Priestess will soon arrive. It will take the two of you to banish this demon."

"Matt I don't understand."

"Speak to Jean Paul he can tell you more about this ancestor of his. He arrives on the Mainland in the morning." Matt says as he disappears.

***

As daylight breaks Jean Paul wakes to find himself in the Great Hall lying on a blue sofa. He glances up at Jacques portrait. "You devil from hell, what do you want? Why are you back?" He begins to notice the changes to the great Hall. "No!" He shouts and jumps to his feet and rushes up the staircase with the sound of laughter echoing around him. When he reaches his bedroom he discovers that the door is locked. "Emily please unlock the door.' He says.

He hears the lock click and the door opens a crack. Emily peeks out. "Jean Paul?"

"Yes darling it's me."

"Oh Jean Paul." Emily cries out and flings the door open. She rushes into his arms with a sob. "Oh Jean Paul I thought it was all over with the end of the curse. Why is he back?"

"I don't know but I mean to find out." He kisses her then steps back. "Are you all right?"

"Yes." She says and leans against him.

"He won't win Emily."

"I hope your right." She says as she glances up at him.

"Go back inside and get some rest."

"What are you going to do?"

"Find out why he's returned."

"Jean Paul please be careful."

He kisses her and turns her towards the room and gives her a gentle push. "Stay here." He says then walks down the staircase.

He approaches the portrait and stands in front of it. "All right Jacques Eloi Des Mondes why have you returned?"

"To return Maljardin back to its former glory of course."

"You have no claim to this Island. You have been released from the Mark Of Death; the same as all the Desmond men."

"That may be true Jean Paul Desmond but our pact brought you to my Master and he still has a claim on your soul. He has granted me my life force; to come back and gain control of my Island."

"You have no power here."

"Think again Jean Paul, look around you. How do you think this room has changed back to the way it was before?"

"I'm warning you Jacques."

"No I warn you; do not oppose me or you will forfeit your life."

"Mr. Desmond." Karl calls out from the doorway.

"Yes Karl.' Jean Paul answers as he turns towards the other man.

"The new housekeeper is arriving on the Mainland later this morning. Should I take the boat across and pick her up?"

"Yes, I have business on the Mainland and I'll ride in with you.. I'll be ready within an hour,
"I'll have the boat ready sir."

Jean Paul glances back at the portrait then walks up the staircase.

"Is Mrs. Desmond going also?" Kael asks from the bottom of the stairs.

"Not this time." Jean Paul replies and steps away.

***

Jean Paul and Karl arrive on the Mainland. "Karl, Miss Montego is waiting at the Inn; will you please collect her luggage. I'll wait at the French Leaf Café for you both when she is ready to leave for Maljardin."

"Yes sir." Karl replies as he secures the boat.

Jean Paul enters the French Leaf Café and glances around; he sees Doctor Dawson sitting at a side table eating a late breakfast. He approaches him. "Doctor Dawson?"

James glances up. "Mr. Desmond."

"Could I have a word with you?"

"Please sit down."

Jean Paul takes a seat across from him as a waitress approaches the table. "Just a cup of coffee please." Jean Paul says to her. The waitress moves away after pouring the coffee; Jean Paul looks at James. "Are you still interested in coming to Maljardin?"

"Very much Mr. Desmond; can I ask why you changed your mind."

"How much do you believe in evil doctor, true evil?"

"Enough to know that it exists."

"Doctor Dawson I need your help. The evil that killed your brother has returned."

"Then it's true. Jacques Eloi Des Mondes has returned."
Jean Paul stares at him.

"Yes I know about your ancestor."

"But how?" Jean Paul asks.

"My brother Matt appeared to me last night and warned me."

"I don't understand."

"I don't either, but I know that I'm needed on your Island."

"I think that you're right doctor."


The café door opens and Jean Paul sees Karl enter the room; he holds the door for a young woman. Karl leads her to their table.

Jean Paul and James come to their feet. Miss Montego my name is Jean Paul Desmond and this is Doctor James Dawson."

"Hello Mr. Desmond, Doctor Dawson." She says.

"Please sit down and join us'' Doctor Dawson says as he holds out a chair. "Would you like something to drink?"

"No thank you." She replies then notices Jean Paul staring at her. ""Is something wrong?"

"No, it's just that you remind me of somebody."

"Could it be my sister Vangie Abbot?"

"Vangie Abbot, but your last name is Montego."

"No it's Abbot but I go by my first and middle name on the Mainland. My sister stayed on the Mainland to take care of our father. As you know my father was the Conjure Man; I didn't want the people on the Mainland to think I was like my father because I'm not. I moved to the city and joined a housekeeping firm as a junior executive."

"And now you're here to work for me?"

"Not quite, when your application arrived I discovered that your Island was the place where my sister had died. I decided to come and check out the job before assigning someone to the position."

James begins to feel uncomfortable and glances across the room. He notices a woman sitting alone at a table near the outside door. She lifts her head and looks at him then vanishes. When he glances back at Miss Montego he notices a resemblance to the mysterious woman.

Jean Paul glances at James. "Are you alright?"

"Yes why."

"You've turned very pale."

James reaches for his water glass and takes a sip. "I'm alright."

Jean Paul glances at Miss Montego. "Are you sure you wouldn't like something to eat or drink Miss Montego?"

"No thank you and please call me Charlene." She glances at James. "Both of you."

Jean Paul sees Karl step out the door. "Well in that case are you both ready to leave."

James gives a nod and Charlene stands. As they walk to the door James stops next to the last table near the door. Lying on the table is as tarot card; the card of the fool. As he reaches for it, it disappears. "Be careful.' He hears the voice of his brother.

"Are you coming?" Jean Paul asks from the open doorway.

With a nod James follows him out the door.

***

Arriving on Maljardin Karl helps Charlene step out of the boat.

"Karl would you carry our guests luggage inside and place it in the guest rooms." Jean Paul asks him.

"Yes Mr. Desmond." Karl replies and steps back into the boat.

James follows Jean Paul from the boat. As they approach the mansion Charlene stops. "Mr. Desmond it's beautiful."
"Thank you and my name is Jean Paul."

The door to the mansion swings open and Emily steps outside.

Jean Paul walks up to her followed by the others.
"Let me introduce my wife Emily Desmond. Emily this is Charlene Montego Abbot."

Emily glances questioningly at Charlene.

"Vangie was my sister." Charlene says.

"The Voodoo Priestess?"

"Voodoo priestess; I thought my sister refused to follow our father's beliefs?"

"She took your father's place because it was his last wish. Your sister thought she could help me." Jean Paul says.

"And because of that she died as did my brother Reverend Matt Dawson." James says.

"Emily this is Doctor James Dawson." Jean Paul says.

"Welcome to Maljardin." Emily says as Karl carries the suitcases up the path to the mansion.

They follow her inside.

 

Chapter 3 - Warnings

As they enter the Great Hall James stands in front of Jacques portrait. “So this is the man that has brought evil back to the island.”

“Who me?” Jacques voice answers.

“Did you hear that?” James asks as he glances around the room.

“You heard him?” Jean Paul asks as he looks at James.

“Heard who?” Charlene asks.

“A voice.” James replies.

“I didn’t hear anything.”

“Neither did I.” Emily says.

Charlene glances around the Great Hall. Her gaze stops at an area across the room. “My sister died right there didn’t she?”

Jean Paul looks across the room. “Yes I’m afraid so.”

“Then why Mr. Desmond did you decorate this room in such dark and somber colors. My sister would not have wanted you to do that if it’s because of her death.”

“I would say it’s an improvement.” Jacques says.”

Jean Paul glances at the portrait then at Emily. “Emily could you show Charlene the rest of the house.”

“Charlene I want to show you the kitchen and maybe get some ideas for a breakfast bar.”

“It’s his voice isn’t it?’ James asks after Emily and Charlene walk from the room.

“Yes, how is it that you can hear him?”

“Since I was a young child I could sense; I guess you could call them spirits or ghosts. That is one of the reasons I decided to work in the field of Parapsychology. “

“And you think you can help me?” Jean Paul asks.

“I don’t know, Doctor Harland gave me the file on the events that youbelieved happened on this Island.”

“Do you still believe that Erica did not die but went on a murdering rampage after the loss of our child?”

“I did until Matt appeared to me, and then that woman in the café.”

“What woman?”

“She was sitting near the door and as I looked at her she disappeared into thin air. Jean Paul I think she was Charlene’s sister Vangie Abbot.”

“Vangie?”

“Yes she stared at me then disappeared. As we were leaving the café a tarot card appeared on the table; the card of The Fool. Then it also disappeared.”

“So it would seem that the Voodoo Priestess has returned.” Jacques says.

Jean Paul looks at the portrait. “To send you back to hell.”

Jacques begins to laugh. “Doctor are you here to take the place of your brother the fool.”

“Leave my brother out of this.” James says then looks at Jean Paul. “I truly didn’t believe evil could exist through a spirit or ghost. The manifestations I have encountered were looking for peace and to be released from this Earthly plane.”

“My dear ancestor is trying to do just the opposite.” Jean Paul says.

James glances at the kitchen doorway as Emily and Charlene step into the Great Hall.

Emily and Charlene join them.

“Well Charlene do you think you’ll be able to help us with a housekeeper?” Jean Paul asks.

“Your wife and I were discussing it; if it’s alright with you I’d like to stay and help for a while myself.”

“Are you sure Charlene? This is the house where your sister died.” James says.

“I feel like I am needed here. And if I heard right didn’t your brother also died here?”

“Yes.” James replies then glances up at Jacques portrait.

Charlene looks at the name on the plaque. “So that’s Jacques Eloi Des Mondes. My father told many stories about him.”

“They weren’t stories Charlene; before Jean Paul and I were married I worked on the family history.” Emily says.

“I don’t think these stories were in Mr. Desmond’s books. My father told my sister and me that Jacques was in league with the devil and did the most horrendous things to the people around him.”

“And now you think this evil has returned.” James says.

“You heard his voice doctor.” Jean Paul says.

“I heard something Mr. Desmond; I just don’t know what it is yet.”

“Time will tell won’t it Doctor Dawson.’ Jacques voice says mockingly.

Jean Paul glares at the portrait. “Doctor Dawson, Charlene I will have Karl show you to your rooms.” Jean Paul says as he sees Karl enter the great Hall.

“Jean Paul I’d like to go to my room and freshen up then start lunch. Emily if you can advise me on what to prepare I could be ready in a few minutes.”

“I’ll meet you in the kitchen in fifteen minutes.” Emily says.

Charlene follows Karl up the staircase. Karl stops at the top and glances down at James.

“I’ll join you in a minute.” James says.

Karl nods and shows Charlene to her room.



James steps up to the portrait and examines its sides, top and bottom.

“It’s not a trick Doctor. That cursed portrait follows me and believe me when I say its cursed.” Jean Paul says.

“Doctor Dawson how is it that you can hear Jacques voice?” Emily asks.

“I don’t know; first I received a warning from my dead brother, then what I think is a warning from Miss Montego’s sister. And now a voice that Mr. Desmond claims comes from the portrait is taunting me. Everything started when I arrived on the Mainland.”

“Is this the first time you’ve had contact with the spirit world?” Emily asks.

“No it started when I was a child but I have never had contact with true evil..”

“Then you’re very lucky.’ Jean Paul says looking at the portrait. “I’ll show you to your room Doctor.” Jean Paul says and leads the way up the staircase.



After lunch Jean Paul shows James to the library. The walls are paneled in light tan, with floor to ceiling bookcases built into two walls the same color as the paneling. A desk sits against the far wall with a swivel chair. On the side wall is a white marble fireplace, with two white leather armchairs arranged in front of it.. Next to the chairs are two end tables with reading lamps mounted on them.

“Anything that has been written about the Island will be in those books. You can use the desk.” Jean Paul tells him. “I’m sorry that the lighting is so poor, I’ll find you another table lamp.” Jean Paul steps to the door.

“Mr. Desmond?”

“Please call me Jean Paul.”

“Jean Paul what do you really think is happening here? What does your ancestor want?”

“Knowing Jacques Eloi Des Mondes, everything.” Jean Paul says and walks out of the room.



Evening comes over the Island; James has found books on the Voodoo practices on the Mainland. There is a tap on the door and Charlene enters with a covered tray. “Sorry to disturb you Doctor but you missed dinner.”

James stands and stretches. “Is it that late?”

“Yes it’s almost midnight.” Charlene says as she glances around. “James it’s so dark and gloomy in here, how can you work?”

James glances around to see dark wood walls, lit wall sconces mounted to the walls on each side of dark bookcases. “I don’t understand.”

“What’s wrong?”

“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe it.”

The sound of mocking laughter fills the room.

James steps forward and takes the tray. “I think I would rather eat in the dining room.”

“I don’t blame you.” Charlene says as she again glances around the room. “I don’t understand why Mr. Desmond would want his library so dark and gloomy the same as the Great Hall.”

“I have a feeling it wasn’t his choice.” James says as he again looks at the walls.



Everyone is asleep when the clock strikes two. James tosses and turns when he hears a voice call his name. He wakes and sits up. “Matt?”

“James you must protect Jean Paul, the demon grows stronger through each night that passes.”

“How can I protect him?” James asks.

“There is a place here in this house that might have something that could drive him away. He cannot be destroyed but he can be contained.”

“Is it the portrait?”

“No the portrait holds his soul during the day but it cannot contain him through eternity. The pact he made with his Master gives him the power to move from the portrait.”

“Then what?”

“I don’t know but there is someone who does.”

“Who?”

“The young woman.”

“Miss Montego?”

“She will know once she is shown the way. One more warning brother; beware of Jean Paul Desmond in the midnight hours.” Matt says then disappears.

“Matt, Matt?” James calls out but does not receive an answer.



Jean Paul’s eyes open. He glances at Emily who is sleeping soundly. He slips out of bed and leaves the room, walks down the staircase and walks over to Jacques’ portrait. A smile appears upon his face as he turns towards the staircase. “So your brother thinks that you can defeat me Doctor.”

“Mr. Desmond?” James says from the top of the staircase.

“Hello Doctor Dawson, come and join me for a drink.”

James walks down the staircase. “Did I hear you right?”

“Whatever do you mean?” Jacques asks.

“You said something about Matt and me defeating you.”

“Oh yes your poor brother; it’s too bad about him being suicidal.”

“Jean Paul how can you say that?”

“Because it’s true.”

“No it’s not, your wife pushed him off the roof of this house.”

“Oh really doctor, are you becoming delusional also.”

“It’s all in the reports; the reports that you told the doctor about..”

“Oh yes those reports, I wasn’t myself when I told the authorities about the deaths on my Island. Now if you will excuse me I think I’ll go for a walk.”

“At two o’clock in the morning?”

“Yes I seem to have a lot of energy tonight.” Jacques says then walks from the room.

James watches as he leaves by a side door.

Jacques strolls through the grounds. “Oh Jean Paul this will not do.” He says and walks past the flowers causing them to wither and die. The grass turns brown and the fountain stops working as algae spreads over it. “That’s more like it.” He says with a smile.


As the sun shines through the bedroom window Emily wakes to find that she’s alone in bed once again. Grabbing her robe she leaves her room. Walking down the staircase she sees Jean Paul asleep on the sofa an empty glass in his hand. She steps to the side door and looks outside and cries out in shock and horror.

Jean Paul wakes and jumps to his feet. “Emily what’s wrong?”

“Jean Paul the grounds, all the beautiful flowers they’re dead.” She says with a sob.

Jean Paul joins her. “No!” He shouts then turns away and walks to the portrait. “Damn you Jacques Eloi Des Mondes leave the Island and us alone!”

“Don’t you like my improvements?” Jacques asks.

“Improvements? This is my Island leave it alone!” Jean Paul says angrily.

“No Jean Paul Desmond, this is my Island and everything and everyone on it is under my rule.”

“I won’t allow you to hurt more people.”

“There is nothing you can do; I will reclaim what is mine.”

“I will find a way to stop you.”

Jacques begins to laugh.

Charlene rushed down the staircase. “Jean Paul, Emily I heard shouting. What’s wrong?”

Jean Paul spins around. “It’s nothing, please forgive me.”

Charlene steps closer to Emily and notices the changes that have taken place outside. “My God what happened?”

Emily shakes her head with tears in her eyes.

Jean Paul steps over to Emily and puts his arms around her. “Don’t worry everything will be alright.”

“I’ll start breakfast.” Charlene says then walks from the room to give them some privacy.

Emily pulls away and approaches the portrait. “How can it be alright? I thought this was ended at Desmond Hall.”

“It was darling. Jacques may have returned but we will find a way to send him away forever.”

Chapter 4 - Confronting the Evil on Maljardin

Emily pulls away. “I’ll go help Charlene.” She says and walks out of the room.

James walks down the staircase and joins Jean Paul. “Mr. Desmond I didn’t like the way that you treated me last night.”

“Last night?” Jean Paul says in puzzlement.

“You claimed that my brother was insane and took his own life.”

“James please join me in the library; I’ll try to explain what happened.” Jean Paul walks across the room followed by James. 

As James passes the side door he stops. “Jean Paul what happened?”

“I’ll explain it all.” Jean Paul says and James follows him into the library. Jean Paul glances around the room. “Jacques is up to more of his tricks.”

***

“Do you know what you’re saying?” James says to Jean Paul.

“Yes, my ancestor is able to take control of my body when I sleep. His power is growing with every night he takes control.”

“But that’s not possible.”

“Then how would you explain the changes to the mansion and the outside grounds.”

“I can’t.”

“James there must be a way to stop Jacques.”

“My brother said we will need the help of the Conjure Man’s daughter.”

“Vangie is dead.”

“Not Vangie but Charlene. The answer to stopping Jacques is on the island or somewhere in the mansion.”

“But what, I’ve had the mansion and grounds rebuilt.”

“And Jacques is changing it back. Maybe I’ll find the answer in these books.”

“Emily might be able to help you. She did research on the Desmond family when she was at Desmond Hall.”

There is a tap on the door and the door opens. Emily glances inside. “Breakfast is ready.”

“We’ll be along in a minute.’ Jean Paul says to her.

“Emily, Jean Paul told me that you did research on the Desmond family, I want to ask you if you would help me. We think there might be something in these books that will stop Jacques.”

“I’d be happy to help.”

“Good we’ll start right after breakfast.”

Jean Paul, James and Emily begin to look at the books in the library. “A lot of this information is already documented by me.” Emily says as she reaches for another book.

As the hours go by James glances up at the others. “I haven’t found anything that will help.”

Jean Paul closes the book in his hand. “Why don’t we stop, we missed lunch. Emily after we eat I think you should rest; you’re beginning to look tired.”


After a late meal James glances around. “Where’s Charlene?

“Karl took her to the Mainland to pick up some supplies. They should be back before it gets dark. Are you done working for the night?”

“No I’d like to work for another hour.”

“I have some work I have to take care of if you don’t need help.”

“Please go ahead as I said I want to work for another hour; and I agree that Emily should get some rest.”

“Do I look that tired?” Emily asks.

“No darling but I think you should turn in; I’ll be up soon.” Jean Paul says.

“All right; then I’ll say good night.”

“Good night Emily.” James says as he comes to his feet as Emily stands. “Maybe I’ll find a way to stop Jacques from taking control of Jean Paul tonight.”

“I hope so.”

Jean Paul gives Emily a hug and kiss. “I’ll be along soon.”


Later that night James comes across a journal from the Conjure Man. ‘This can’t be right.’ He says to himself when he sees the date. ‘It has to be the great grandfather to Charlene and Vangie.’ As he reads the journal he takes notes. The pirate Jacques Eloi Des Mondes arrived on the Mainland in the mid-1600s. He claimed the Island he named Maljardin for himself. There were reports of Jacques evil (murder, robbery, torture) against the people of the Mainland. He was said to be in league with the devil. A man only known as the Conjure Man was the leader of the Voodoo practices on the Mainland. Working with him was a Voodoo Priestess named Raxl. She was accompanied by a mute by the name of Quito..

A Conjure Doll was made in the image of Jacques Eloi Des Mondes, the Conjure Man performs a Voodoo ceremony and using a silver pin drives it through the temple of the doll. It traps Jacques in another world or dimension. The portrait of Jacques supposedly contains his soul. “Could it be true? I heard the voice myself.” James says out loud. Conjure Man mentions a secret or sacred temple that is located somewhere on Maljardin where the Great Serpent rules. James adds to his notes.

Lowering his pen he rubs his eyes and discovers that it is after midnight. He sees the room begin to fill wispy fog and senses another presence in the room. Expecting to see his brother he’s surprised to see the mysterious woman from the café. “Vangie, Vangie Abbot?” He calls out.

Her form is not solid, she doesn’t answer; she turns and walks through the door.

“Wait, please wait!” James says as he jumps to his feet and rushes to the door. He opens it; he sees her in the Great Hall.

The woman stops and glances back then continues to glide to an alcove at the end of the Great Hall.

As James rushes towards her she disappears. Reaching the alcove James discovers a door, when he tries the knob he finds out that the door is locked. There is a noise behind him and James spins around. Charlene is standing behind him.

“Did you see her?” James asks.

“See who?”

“I think it was your sister.”

“Vangie?”

“Yes she went through this door.”

“James you must have been dreaming.”

“No I tell you I saw her disappear through this door.”

“Charlene reaches for the doorknob. “Do you know where this door leads?”

“No.”

“I think I do; Mrs. Desmond told me there was a crypt under the house where the Desmond family is buried.” She turns the knob and the door opens.

“I just tried that door and it was locked.” James says then glances down a dark staircase.

“I saw a flashlight in the kitchen; I’ll go get it.” Charlene says and rushes away.. Walking back to James Charlene flips the light on and hands it to James.

James walks down the staircase with Charlene right behind him.

“Do you think we should enter this part of the house?” Charlene asks.

“Your sister wanted me to follow her but wouldn’t open the door until you joined me.”

“But why?”

“There’s only one way to find out.” James says as they enter a large room built of stone.

“It is the crypt.” Charlene says as she glances at the built in wall tombs. She steps closer to James.

James shines the light around the room. “Let me get these torches lit.” He says and steps away. As he gets two of them lit he glances back to see Vangie standing in front of a wall. She raises her hand and touches the wall.

“James I see her, I see my sister.” Charlene says.
Vangie looks at her then disappears through the wall.
James steps forward and pushes on the wall that Vangie had touched; he feels the wall move.

Charlene joins him and between the two of them they get the passageway open.

“I think we’ve found the Sacred Temple.” James says.

“I’ll grab one of the torches; it will give us more light.” He says and hands the flashlight to Charlene. After retrieving a torch James again leads the way with Charlene following him. They walk through a long tunnel into a large cavern. James glances at the floor to see a large painted pattern. In front of it is a golden staff.

“The Serpent God’s alter.” Charlene says shining the flashlight on the alter across from the staff.

James looks at a slab made of black stone. . “Charlene this a sacrificial alter.”

“Yes; my father and the followers of his religion built this Temple to fight the evil that came to their Island.”

“Charlene this alter was used for human sacrifices.”

“James I can’t believe my father would do such a thing.”

“From what I read the Serpent God could only be appeased through a blood sacrifice and it had to be human.”

Charlene looks at the altar. “James look.”

He glances down to see a strange necklace. It had three circles attached vertically with a cross beam on top with another smaller circle above it; all made from bronze silver with a heavy chain threaded through the smaller circle.

Vangie appears and points at her sister then the necklace.

“No Vangie I don’t want it.”

“You must.’ Vangie says as she lifts the necklace and her form becomes solid.

Charlene shakes her head. “No please.”

“Charlene it’s the only way, you are the last of our line. If you don’t do it Jacques evil will continue to spread, Jean Paul, Emily James and everyone he comes in contact with will die.”

“If she accepts will it save Jean Paul?” James asks.

“Yes.” Vangie answers.

“Charlene please, don’t let him win.” James pleads.

“But my life will never be the same.” Charlene says turning away.

“If he wins you won’t have a life.” Vangie says to her sister.

With tears in her eyes Charlene turns to her sister. Vangie places the necklace over her head. “Now what do I do?” Charlene asks but as Vangie releases the necklace she disappears. Charlene glances at James.

“I don’t know; let’s go back to the library maybe the answer is there.”

As they exit the Sacred Temple the door closes by itself.

“Let’s call it a night.’ James says as he stands and stretches. It’s almost four in the morning.” He glances across the room to see Charlene asleep in a chair. “Charlene wake up.” He says as he walks across the room and shakes her shoulder.

She stirs and opens her eyes. “We’re done for tonight go up and get some sleep.”

She tries to stand and stumbles; James helps her up and walks with her to her room.

As she steps into her room James stops her. “Don’t take the necklace off even to sleep.”

“Why?”

“It’s just a feeling I have, I think it weakens Jacques Eloi Des Mondes powers.”

“All right, good night James.”

“Good night Charlene.” James says and walks to his room. As he enters the room thunder rumbles and lighting flashes outside his window.

As the sun comes up Jean Paul wakes to find himself in his own bed. “Emily wake up, something has changed. I don’t feel so drained of energy this morning."

Emily sits up. “What do you think happened?”

He wraps his arms around her. “Let’s get dressed and talk to the others.”

Emily kisses him and slips out of bed.

As they enter the hallway they see Charlene just leaving her room. “Good morning Jean Paul, Emily I’ll go down and start breakfast.”

“I’ll go with you and help.” Emily says.

As Charlene begins to walk past him jean Paul touches her arm. “Where did you get that necklace?” 

“Vangie gave it to me. James thinks there is something in the library that can contain Jacques Eloi Des Mondes soul.”

“You mean destroy him.” Emily says.

“No he can’t be destroyed but he can be drained of his power and contained.”

“How?” Jean Paul asks.

“I don’t know.” Charlene says and walks past Jean Paul fo9llowed by Emily.

Jean Paul walks in the opposite direction to James room and taps on the door.

James opens the door.

“The girls are preparing breakfast. Charlene told me you might have a way to stop Jacques.”

“It’s just a feeling I have that the answer is in the library.”

“The four of us will begin working in the library after breakfast.”

“I’ll join you after I get dressed.” James says and turns back into his room.

After breakfast James, Charlene and Emily enter the library.

Emily glances out the door to see Jean Paul pulling on his jacket. “Jean Paul where are you going?”

“Karl mentioned there was a problem with the crew he hired.”

Emily joins him. “Darling can you blame them for wanting to quit and go back to the Mainland. Look what Jacques did to the Island.”

“Emily, Jean Paul; come quick.” Charlene calls from the library doorway.

They join her and James inside the library.

“Look what James found, six journals from my father.” Charlene says.

James passes them out.

“Where did you find these? I filled the library myself and there were no journals.” Jean Paul says.

“In the file cabinet.”

“All that is stored in there are the receipts for the restoration of the island and mansion.”

“Either Vangie or my father placed them there.” Charlene says as she takes a seat behind the desk.

“I’ll get another chair.” Jean Paul says as Emily and James sit in the side chairs. Carrying in a kitchen chair Jean Paul places it next to Emily and begins to read over the journal in his hand.

“Listen to this.” Emily says. They glance over at her. ”I call upon the power of the Serpent God to bind this person, draining him of his power and sending his soul into the dark abyss. So deep and dark that your Master
cannot reach you. There’s more but I can’t make it out.”

“Do you think this is what we’re looking for?” James asks.

“Look at my necklace.” Charlene says. They look over at her to see the necklace glow a deep red.

“Jean Paul it’s up to you, do you think we should try it?” James asks.

Emily turns the page. “Look at this.”

They crowd around her to look at the journal. A drawing of the staff with a serpent coiled around it is shown on the page.

“If I’m right the staff must be drawn and circled in salt upon the floor in front of the person or thing the spell is to contain.” Charlene says.

“Well Jean Paul?” James asks.

“Let’s get started.” Jean Paul says to everyone.

Emily finds chalk in the desk and walks out into the Great Hall with the journal in her hand. She hands the chalk to Charlene who draws a picture of the staff on the floor in front of Jacques portrait while James and Jean Paul collect boxes of salt from the kitchen. James walks in a circle around the chalk drawing poring salt on the floor, as Jean Paul pushes furniture out of the way to give them more room.

“From this picture the Priest stands at the top of the staff with the others on each side and one at the bottom.” Charlene says.

“There are only four of us.” Jean Paul says.

“We’ll do what we can.” Charlene says and takes her place in front of Jacques portrait. Jean Paul stands across from her and James and Emily on one side.

They all face the portrait. James and Emily begin to read together. “We call upon the power of the Serpent God to bind Jacques Eloi des Mondes soul; draining him of his powers and sending him to the dark abyss. An abyss so deep and dark that his Master cannot reach him.”

Jean Paul cries out and collapses.

“Jean Paul!” Emily cries out.

They rush over to Jean Paul. “Is he…” Emily asks with tears in her eyes as James checks him over.

“He’s still alive Emily, but his heart rate has slowed and his respiration is low. He seems to be in a coma. Help me get him to the sofa.” James says.

Between the three of them they place Jean Paul on the sofa.

“Emily let me look at that journal.” Charlene says.
Emily passes the journal to her.

Charlene reads over the previous page then notices the words at the bottom. “Emily stay here with Jean Paul, James please come with me.”

“Where?”

“To find something.” She says as they step away from Emily and Jean Paul. “James, how was Jacques bound the last time?”

“A conjure doll.”

“We have to find it and we don’t have much time. If I’m right we just sentenced Jean Paul to the fate that we planned for Jacques.”

“Can we reverse it?”

“No but the spell wasn’t done right. Jacques pushed Jean Paul into the abyss because we had nothing to bind him with. Because of the link Jean Paul has to Jacques he took his place.”

“Where do we look for the conjure doll?” James asks.

“I was hoping you could tell me. James I need you to concentrate.”

“On what?”

“I need you to use your ability to see the spirit world.”

James closes his eyes and stands still. When he opens his eyes he sees a flickering light near the door to the crypt.

He walks to the door with Charlene following and reaches for the knob to find the door unlocked. Opening the door he sees the flickering light at the bottom of the stairs.

Entering the crypt he walks to a wooden beam and pushes on the side of it. A hidden chamber opens; he reaches inside and pulls something out.

“The Conjure doll.” Charlene says and glances into the chamber. “There’s something else inside, it looks like a necklace.” Charlene lifts it out to find a long silver chain.

“Look it has the head of a snake at one end the tail at the other end. It’s got to be the missing part of the spell.”

“We need to get back upstairs.” James says.

Charlene hands him the chain and takes the Conjure doll; they rush back to the Great Hall.

“James Jean Paul’s breathing is becoming labored and I can’t feel a heartbeat!” Emily cries out.

“Emily we have to finish now.” Charlene says.

Emily stands with tears in her eyes and walks over to the chalked symbol with the journal in her hand.

Charlene takes her place with Emily on her side with James taking Jean Paul’s place.

Emily begins to read from the journal. Charlene raises the doll. “We call upon the power of the Serpent God to bind Jacques Eloi Des Mondes soul, draining him of his power; sending him to the dark abyss. An abyss so deep and dark that his Master cannot reach him.”

James joins Charlene and wraps the chain around the doll.

The sound of Jacques screams echo around the room and his imager in the portrait fades.

“Emily?” Jean Paul says as he sits up with his hand to his head.

“Jean Paul.” Emily says and rushes over to him followed by James and Charlene.

“What happened?” He asks glancing around as he comes to his feet.

“You almost died.” Emily says as she steps into his arms.
Jean Paul glances up at the portrait.

“It worked Jean Paul.” James says.

Jean Paul notices the Conjure Doll in Charlene’s hand. “Where did you get that?”

“Either Vangie or my father sent it to us. What do we do with it now?” Charlene asks.

James glances behind him to see Vangie appear. “Give it to me.” He says to Charlene.

Charlene hands it to him and he carries it across the room.

Vangie holds out her hands. James places it in her hands and she disappears.

“I saw her, I saw your sister.” Emily says as she looks at Charlene then James.

“So did I.” Charlene says. The room begins to shimmer.

“Jean Paul it’s changed back.” Emily says as the walls turn back the lighter colors.

James steps to the library. “The library is back also.”

Jean Paul places his arm around Emily’s shoulder and they walk to the side door. He opens it. “It’s over.”

Charlene joins them. “Thank God with the help of my father and sister.” She says when she sees the outside with flowers blooming and the grass green once again. The fountain flowing.

James watches them then turns when he senses something behind him. He watches as his brother appears. “Goodbye my brother, you did well.” Matt says then disappears.

“Goodbye Matt.” James says quietly then joins the others.

The End

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