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Authors: Kathleen Whelpley

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BOOK: The Haunting of Josephine
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“I know that this might be hard on you. It is really hard on me. But I need your help with something and I do not know how much time I am going to have to tell you.”
Jo took several deep breaths to calm herself down.

“Alright, what is it that you need from me?”
Katherine
smiled at Jo for a second before responding.
It was so like Jo to try and look past something she could not explain in order to help someone in need.

“I knew that I would be able to count on you. I need you to help me find my killer.” Jo felt like she was going to cry for a moment but f
ocused on what it was that her a
unt was asking of her.

“Do you
remember who it is?” Seeing Katherine
shake her head no she started asking more questions. “Well do you remember anything? What he did to you? How i
s
i
t
that he knew how to get straight to you? What
does
he looked like?”

“That is the problem. I cannot seem to remember his name but I know that I knew him. I remember that when I first opened my eyes and saw him that I was confused on why he was there at that time and in my room. It was
n
o
t until he started talking and telling me what he was going to do to me and why that I
really
started to get scared.”

“Okay, that is at least a little something to go on. Can you remember how recently you may have seen him before then? Like had you seen him recently or was it more of a
vague
remembrance
of someone that you used to know?”

“I think that I had seen him recently because I remember instantly recognizing him. I just cannot seem to remember who it was.” Jo thought for a second.

“Aunt, you said that he told you why he was there. Do you remember what it is that he said to you on why?”
Katherine
thought really hard for a second.

“It was you. It had something to do with you. I remember that he told me and I immediately wished that I could protect you from him. But I cannot remember what it is that he said about you. I just remember that I wished I could protect you from what he wanted to do to you.”

“Do you think it was…” Aunt vanished as the door to Jo’s room
swung open to show her u
ncle standing on the other side.

“I heard you talking and I was worried about you. Did you need something? Would you like for me to ring for a maid for you?” Jo pulled her blankets closer around her.

“No Uncle, I am just fine. Just thinking out loud a bit to myself.”
Her u
ncle hesitated in the door like he was not sure if he should stay or go before ultimately giving out to leaving and
closed the door behind him.

Jo sat in her bed awake for a while longer thinking about her conversation with
her a
unt’s ghost. Who could possibly
have
want
ed
to hurt
her a
unt in order to hurt her? Had she done something to hurt someone and did not realize it and they went after
her aunt? Katherine
did not show up again that night and though sleep eventually came to Jo she did not find it to be restful.

 

 

 

Chapter 10

 

“Young lady what are you still doing in bed?” Jo awoke to a distressed sounding
Katherine
who was pacing back and forth at the foot of Jo’s bed
.

“You are dead. Am I wrong or should not that mean that you are supposed to be moving onto your eternal rest
and not here interrupting mine?
” Jo dragged the covers over her head and tried to go back to bed.
Though she should have realized that her
a
unt would not leave her alone so easily.

“Do you honestly think that I would not love to be able to move on? I cannot until you help me figure out who it is that killed me. Not to mention that I want to make sure that you are not going to ruin your own life.” That got Jo’s attention and she sat up in bed.

“What do you mean that you want to make sure that I do not ruin my life?
” Jo watched as Katherine
paced the room a
back and forth before returning to where Jo still lay in her bed.


Sweetie
, I understand that my death must be hard on you; however, that does not mean that you should back out of your wedding to Bradle
y.” Jo was shocked at what her aunt was accusing her of doing.

“I have not backed out of the wedding. We just have postponed planning it for a little while. Besides how do you even know about that?” Jo got out of bed and headed to her d
resser to get ready for the day figuring at this point she might as well seems how she knew there was no way she would be able to sleep anymore now.

“Jo dear, you do not always realize it when I am here. Sometimes I am
only
able to hear
what is going on in the room
. Like when you were talking to Mr. Kinsley last night. I understand that you must feel that it is all okay because he is saying that he will wait for you but you need to understand that a man like that is not going to stay waiting for long.” Jo picked up her brush and started to run it through her hair.

“Aunt, I am not going to wait that long.
Maybe a day or two,
I just need to have
some time
to adjust and get used to all of this. Besides, it feels so wrong to plan a
wedding without you.”
Katherine
walked over to Jo’s war
drobe and motioned for Jo to join her.

“I want you to come here. There is something that I would like to show you.” Jo
went to where
her
a
unt
was by the
wardrobe. “Open that bottom drawer on the right. The one that I told you is to hold your winter leggings.” Jo opened the drawer that her
a
unt had indicated and was shocked to see a stack of papers bundled together and tied with a
ribbon
.

“What is this?” Jo took the bundle of papers over to her desk and carefully removed the
ribbon
and started going through them one by one.

“I was going to give it to you at
your engagement party. You do not
have to worry about planning your wedding because it is already all done. Everything
contained in that bundle
are
the
plans
that I made from listening to both you and Mr. Kinsley. I hope that the two of you will find that it is the perfect melding together of what you would both want on your big day.
I did my best to make sure that the balance of you and him was perfectly matched.
” As
Katherine
spoke Jo read the note that was on top of the bundle of papers that followed what
her a
unt was saying to her so closely she did not realize when
Katherine
’s voice faded away. A light knock sounded at the door.

“Who is it?” Jo got up and put on her robe as she headed toward the door. She heard Mr. Kinsley identify himself and then opened the door for him. “I did not know that you were going
to be coming here this morning if I had known I would have been sure to be ready for your arrival.” Jo made a slight move to show that she felt her attire was not appropriate for receiving her fiancé in.

“I know that I should have waited for you to send word to me today on if we were still going to be meeting
in order to plan the wedding but I did not want to wait.” Mr. Kinsley stood near the door looking rather nervous and playing with his hands
as if he had more he wished to say but was choosing to keep quiet until her heard her response to give an indicator as to how she was feeling
.

“We will not
need
to meet in order to plan the wedding.” Mr. Kinsley did not wait for her to finish before he was in an outrage.

“I
know that I told you that I would be patient with you but you just sounded as if you do not intend on us ever planning the wedding.
Is that it? Is that what you have decided that you no longer wish to be joined with me?

Jo did her best not to laugh as she realized how he had interpreted what she had said.

“I was going to explain that we have no need to meet in order to plan the wedding for it is all already done.
There is no need to plan something that has already been planned.
” Mr. Kinsley’s fac
e went from an excited hope
to completely confused.

“What do you mean that it is already done? How could you have possible planned the entire thing yourself? You do
n
o
t know much about the merchants around here.
Not to mention that there has not been
adequate
enough time to plan such a large important event. Are you sure that we will not still need to discuss and plan some of it?
” Jo went over to her desk and grabbed the stack of papers and handed them over to Mr. Kinsley.

“I found this in my wardrobe
this morning. I guess that my aunt
had planned everything out pretty much the moment that you asked me to marry you. According to her note she took everything that she heard from the both of us and those papers will contain the perfect melding together of what the both of us would want in a wedding.” Jo found herself starting to cr
y at the thoughtfulness of her a
unt.

“I find it so hard to believe that she had already done all of this for us. What a wonderful gift.” Jo shook her head yes as Mr. Kinsley pulled her in for a comforting hug.

“I am no longer scared of planning the wedding or going through with it. A part of me had been wondering if it would be alright or not and now it feels like it would be wrong to not go through with our wedding.” Mr. Kinsley tipped Jo’s chin
up
so that she was facing him
and he could be sure that she got the full weight of his words
.

“Because I love you I am going to ignore that you thought there might be anything wrong with us marrying. But I want you to know that I am going to do my best to help you because I know that it is going to be hard on you on our wedding day be
cause it meant so much to your a
unt. But with these papers and plans I really feel like a part of her is still going to be there for us on our big day.”
Jo pulled away from Mr. Kinsley enough so that she could look up at him.

“There is just one thing that I would like for us to try and do before our wedding.” Jo bit her lip and looked rather nervous.

“What could you
possibly
have to ask me that is making you this nervous?” Mr. Kinsley tried to pull Jo back into a hug but she resisted knowing that she did not really want to be so close to him in fear of his reaction.

“Well, it is just that I feel like it is really important that we find out who it was that killed my aunt.
A part of me feels like we really need to do this for her.” Jo had turned away from Mr. Kinsley so she wasn’t aware of his reaction to what she had said or even
that he had approached her until she felt his hands on her shoulders
gently
turning her around.

“I hope that this does not upset you, but I have already been working on that a bit.
Unfortunately
there is not much to go on.” Jo was touched and shocked that he had already been trying to find wh
o it was that had murdered her a
unt.

“I know it is not much. I mean they know so many people so how doe
s knowing that the man knew my a
unt and
u
ncle well enough to know how to get right to her and that he must have had a reason such as trying to hurt me or teach me a lesson through hurting her.” Mr. Kinsley was taken aback by what Jo had just said.

“Who told you all of that?” Jo looked at Mr. Kinsley surprised. She had not
meant
to admit to everything that she had learned from her
a
unt
’s ghost
. “I know for a fact that no one has come out and told you all of that because we all agreed to protect you from those details. How did you learn all of that?”

“I do not know. Nobody actually told me. I guess I just figured it out on my own.” Jo tried to busy herself with the papers at her desk hoping that Mr. Kinsley would not realize that she had just lied. Luckily he did not.

“Do you really feel that this is entirely your fault?
Do you think that whoever did this was trying to teach you a
lesson
?”

“It is rather hard not to blame myself. They were happy together for some many
years;
they had countless friends, and never had any problems. Then not long after I get here and my engagement is announced suddenly someone hates her enough to murder her? And to do it in such a
viscous
fashion? It just feels to me like whoever did it was trying to send a message. One that I am afraid that if we do not figure out
he might try to send again.”

BOOK: The Haunting of Josephine
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