No Such Thing As Ghosts
Chapter Seven: Bainbrook Castle
"Well, there it is."
Copper gazed up at the big castle on the hill, a slightly dreamy expression
in her brown eyes as she took in it's turrets and strong brick buttresses.
A lazy Union Jack fluttered in the breeze from the top of the highest tower,
and in the castle grounds, fans and press had already begun to gather, eager
to catch a glimpse of the stars.
"It doesn't look much." Nancy eyed it critically. "A heap of bricks, if
you ask me. Nothing romantic or spooky about it, Copper...I don't understand
why you get all goopy over this history stuff."
"I would have thought you of all people would appreciate it, with your
heritage." Copper scolded her companion. "This is a part of you, you know!"
"Hardly." Nancy snorted. "I don't think any of Mom's family were of the
titular variety, thanks. Not the ones I've met, anyhow!"
"You've only met your uncle and your grandfather - who when it came to
it isn't really that at all." Copper shrugged. "How do you know, Nancy?
You know, for someone as musically imaginative as you are, you really have
no soul when it comes to things like this."
"I have plenty of soul, thank you." Nancy grimaced at her friend, not at
all insulted. "Just I don't waste it on bricks and dusty cement, that's
"It's probably not cement. They used to glue bricks and stuff together
with manure and stuff." Sadie glanced up from the guidebook, her eyes twinkling
as she took in her friends' expressions. "Hey, don't look at me like that!
It's true enough! They used to mix manure with straw and other stuff to plaster
up their houses. You've seen those old black and white timber framed buildings
all along the main high street here, haven't you? That's what the white bit
is. Painted cow doo-doo."
"Ugh. Now you;re taking any romance right out of it." Sylva pulled a graphic
face. "Shut up, will you? I don't want to sleep in a castle made of manure!"
"You won't be, so pipe down." Jetta took a hand now, the amusement clear
on her face. "It's built of stone. I don't know what they used to gel the
bricks together, but I don't think you've anything to worry about - except,
of course, givin' the press a hot scandal about why you won't stop in the
castle an' 'elp the hospital fund."
"All right, all right, I'm going in." Sylva rolled her eyes expressively.
"But seriously, that's just gross."
"Mediaeval people weren't so squeamish as you, though." Sadie told her,
linking an arm in her companion's. "I mean, they used to line the street to
watch executions and stuff like that. They didn't mind a bit of rotting flesh."
"You're gonna make me throw up!" Sylva protested. "Please! Enough!"
"Welcome to Bainbrook Castle!" A lady in a smart English Heritage uniform
came to greet them, casting the group a warm smile. "We've been expecting
you! I'm Tessa - I'm going to give you a full tour of the castle first of
all, so that you know what we're about and what part of this is in aid of."
She gestured around the grounds. "As you can see, for an eleventh century
castle an amazing amount of it is still standing, but parts of it need repair
before we can allow members of the public in to visit on a large-scale basis.
The far part of the grounds are out of commission and noone is allowed to
go there - it's mostly where the out-houses and barracks were, I believe.
This central part of the castle is open to the public, but you will be some
of the first to visit our tower."
"There's a story attached to the tower, isn't there?" Copper asked interestedly,
as they crossed the forecourt towards the magnificent structure. Tessa nodded.
"Yes. The rumours go that a young girl committed suicide from the tower
after her lover was killed in one of the skirmishes for territory. This area
was a major battleground back in the middle ages, you know. Wales and England
were governed by independant Kings and Princes and this borderland was rife
with feuds and treachery and battles, especially in times of national unrest."
She grinned. "Of course, the story about the girl is just one of the castle's
many legends. It's been passed down by word of mouth, but noone knows if
there is any truth in that or any of the other more popular stories surrounding
"I think it's kind of beautiful, in an old fashioned way." Topaz said thoughtfully,
gazing up at the solid brick walls. She put her hand against the stone,
running her fingers over the deep grooves. "What caused this? Weather?"
"No. That's where soldiers sharpened their weapons before they went into
battle." Tessa smiled. "It's hard to imagine now, but this place was once
a thriving community and the means of defence for the whole of the surrounding
She pushed open the wooden door. "Come on, let me show you inside. We've
only recently restored this section but we've tried to make it as true to
life as it should be. It's locally known as King Edward's tower, since this
is where Edward II allegedly stayed after his deposition, so we've tried
to restore it to the way it might have looked in the thirteenth century.
If you follow me up these steps - the royal chamber is on the top floor and
that is where you will be spending the night."
"The royal chamber, huh?" Sylva winked at Sadie. "Now that sounds more
Tessa smiled, nodding.
"We call it the King's Room, for obvious reasons." She agreed. "And we're
trying to make it live up to it's name!"
"It sure has a lot of steps." Nancy observed, as they mounted the winding
stairway. "They must have been pretty fit in Mediaeval times, that's all
I'm saying about it. Thank God for elevators!"
"You're just lazy." Topaz teased. "Come on. It isn't that bad and it's
just for one night. Besides, we'll have a great view from the top floor."
"Ooh, it's kind of pretty in here." Sylva was the first to step into the
room, stopping and glancing appreciatively at the decor. A tapestry hung
on one of the far walls and there was a makeshift bed in one corner, pushed
to one side. On the floor, brightly coloured rugs and tiles brightened the
otherwise cold room, and the high ceiling beams were decorated with a carefully
carved out tower symbol - the emblem of Edward II.
"Tonight we'll have sleeping bags for you all." Tessa told them. "It will
be cold in here - we can't risk a fire and there isn't any electricity up
here yet. We'll give you torches, though, so you can see where you're going
once the sun sets."
"It is a heck of a view." Copper moved to the window. "You can see the
whole county from here!"
"Precisely why it was such a good look-out point." Tessa nodded. "You can
see an army advancing from miles away."
"Why are the windows so tiny, though?" Sylva came to join her bandmate.
"You'd think they'd let all the sun in, if they didn't have electricity!"
"They're arrow-slit windows." Tessa explained. "Wide enough to fire an
arrow from, but narrow enough to - hopefully - protect the people inside
in case of attack. Besides, glass was an expensive commodity and most castle
windows didn't install it - in the winter, gaping windows would be no good
"I guess not." Sylva acknowledged. She peered down at the grounds below.
"It is pretty cool up here. The people look tiny...look, there's Jetta down
"Or more specifically, Jetta's hat, since that's all we can see." Copper
giggled. "It's almost like being up in an aircraft."
"Not quite. More like on Misfit Music's top floor." Topaz put in.
"What's that funny black thing by the castle gate?" Sylva pointed. Tessa
came to look.
"That? Oh, we're very proud of that." She said, her eyes twinkling. "It's
a gibbet - not a genuine mediaeval one, sadly, but a very fine replica."
"Why do I get the feeling a gibbet isn't a good thing?"
"I think it's where they put dead people." Sadie looked thoughtful, flicking
through her guidebook. "Isn't that right?"
"Yes. They would display hanged criminals on gibbets as a warning to others."
Tessa nodded. "Alternatively traitors' heads might be displayed on spikes
over the town gates, to ward off anyone else who might betray the King."
Sylva swallowed hard.
"Mediaeval people were sick in the head." She decided finally. "I'm glad
I don't live then."
"Syl, it happened a long time ago. Tisn't like there are skeletons rattling
about or anything! Get a grip. After all, everyone who was alive then is
dead now. So what if they were used as cheap party decorations?"
"Well, I still think it's gross." Sylva folded her arms.
"Now you've seen where we intend you to stay, how about I take you across
and show you some of the rest of the castle?" Tessa suggested. "We've a
very well restored castle dungeon and of course, the latrines..."
"I'm just not going to ask." Sylva decided, and Topaz laughed, linking
her arm in her friend's.
"Come on, Syl, where's your sense of adventure?" She teased. "It's going
to be fun - and something that not many people get to do. It'll be an experience,
no doubt about it, and it's just for tonight. Tomorrow we'll be playing
a heck of a set for the local public and it'll be a blast. You know you'll
love it all then."
"Oh, it'll be an experience all right, Topaz."
Jesta concealed herself in one of the castle's many crevices, watching
the group as they descended the stone steps and walked out into the courtyard
once more. "This place is perfect - plenty of cobwebs and a story about a
girl jumping from the tower, so I can for sure dream up some ghostly activity
for tonight. It shouldn't be too hard. Noone ever said Jewel were that clever,
after all! Let's just say this will be a night to remember - but if Jewel
last the night out at Bainbrook Castle I will be very much surprised!"
* * * *
* * * *
"I can't believe we're really staying the night here."
Nancy shivered, pulling her jacket more tightly around her as she gazed
out at the darkening sky. "Now the press have gone home and it's just us up
in this tower, it's striking me that it's going to be one heck of a long night."
"Not if you shut up, so we can get some sleep." Sylva told her, from where
she had been carefully brushing her long curls into two tails. "It's not
even dark yet, Nance, and it's going to be an even longer night if you complain
about it the whole time."
"From sundown on October 31st to sun up on November 1st." Topaz came to
join Nancy beside the arrow slit. "But it doesn't follow that we have to stay
in the tower, you know. Just on the castle grounds." An impish smile touched
her face. "We could go hunt for some of the ghosts that are supposed to haunt
here. That'd make the night interesting, don't you think?"
"If there are any ghosts here, I don't want to meet them." Sadie shuddered.
"I don't know if I believe in them or not, but I don't really want to have
my faith put to the test, if you don't mind." She rummaged in her bag for
her cigarettes and her lighter. "Strikes me that it's gonna be real spooky
in here when it's dark, and I don't intend on leaving this room until dawn
once it's really black outside."
"Tessa said that they couldn't risk a fire. You shouldn't smoke up here."
Sylva scolded. "That wouldn't be great press for Jewel, now would it? Setting
this place alight?"
"I'll be very careful, I promise." Sadie lit her cigarette, slipping her
lighter safely back into her purse and exhaling a cloud of smoke. "But I
admit it, Syl, I'm afraid. This place is...kind of creepy, when you come
to think of it."
"I think it's beautiful." Copper ran her fingers along the stone walls,
glancing up at the tapestries. "I can just about imagine being a mediaeval
lady, staying in a chamber like this one."
"What, with Aaron as your knight in shining armour?" Topaz teased. Copper
"Something like that." She agreed. "Sir Aaron of...of..."
"Of the City of Angels, surely?" Nancy turned from the window, a wry smile
on her face. Copper shrugged.
"Sure." She agreed good naturedly. "Which would make me the Lady Elizabeth
of Detroit." She sighed. "It's no good. That so doesn't sound mediaeval or
"Are you going to do this all night?" Nancy demanded. Copper grimaced.
"I like the castle." She defended herself. "I like the fact that there's
really old places like this that are still here. Think of all the people who
must have lived and died here."
"Living is fine. The dying I'm not so hot on." Sadie took another drag
on her cigarette. "Wasn't it this tower that that girl jumped from?"
"Supposedly." Topaz nodded. "Or rather the balcony just there." She indicated.
"I think it's called a parapet. It's not a balcony." Nancy pursed her lips.
"But seriously, it was a pretty silly thing to do."
"Silly, perhaps. Tragic, definitely." Copper looked thoughtful. "But also
kind of romantic, in a Romeo and Juliet sense. They were really religious
in the Middle Ages, weren't they? Perhaps she thought that it was the only
way she would see him again."
"Then she'd have had a shock." Nancy said bluntly. "Didn't that Tessa
woman say that suicides were buried outside church grounds and stuff? Besides,
she must have made an awful mess of the cobbles below."
"Nancy, sometimes you're beyond belief." Sylva pulled a face. "That's not
something that we want to be thinking about."
"I wonder what it really was like, though, to live here." Copper sat down
on the end of her sleeping bag. "It's a whole other world, don't you guys
think?" She indicated Sadie. "Maybe one of your ancestors lived here once,
Sadie. Wouldn't that be cool?"
"I think my ancestors were more likely cut-throats and wolvesheads, given
my history." Sadie said wryly. "Not great lords and ladies of the realm."
"From what Tessa was saying, it didn't sound like there was a lot of difference
between the two." Nancy said acidly.
"You could have ancestry in this castle too, Nance." Copper was not to
be swayed. "What was your mother's maiden name again?"
"Burns. Well. Sort of." Nancy pursed her lips. "But that was the family
name. It doesn't sound aristocratic, Copper."
"Monahue could, though." Sylva grinned. "Don't you think? I bet Copper's
right, Sadie, and you have blue blood somewhere in you."
"Well, if I do, it's very well hidden." Sadie rolled her eyes. "Trust
Copper opened her mouth to retort, but a sound made her pause, casting
her companions a confused look.
"Did anyone else hear that?"
"Hear what?" Nancy asked.
"Sounded like an owl." Topaz frowned. "Is it dark enough for owls to be
"It wasn't an owl. I know what owls sound like." Copper shook her head.
"It was...kind of strange, but not..." She shook her head. "Maybe I imagined
An eerie wail echoed out of the castle courtyard and despite themselves,
the five musicians jumped.
"Was that what you heard?" Sadie managed. Copper nodded.
"Sort of." She agreed. "What was it?"
"Definitely no owl." Topaz shook her head. "And it's almost black out there
She turned on her torch, glancing at her watch in it's reassuring glow.
"It's half past seven. Maybe it was a fox or something like that? They can
sound eerie sometimes, I've heard."
"More like a huntsman's horn." Sadie shook her head. "Except stranger
and...well...more echoey." She shivered. "Though I suppose it could have
been a wild animal. After all, we are near the Welsh border here and this
is a rural county. There are...are a lot of animals out there."
"Before anyone says it, it isn't a ghost." Nancy said firmly. "Probably
a wild animal, like Sadie said. We're here for the night and it's too early
for you guys to get spooked, so don't, all right? There are no such thing
From down below them they heard the creak of the tower door, and then the
sound of footsteps, coming nearer and nearer. Sylva bit her lip.
"If there's no such thing as ghosts, what just made that noise?"
"It's probably Mom, come with some bright idea or other." Nancy shrugged.
"Will you stop it? We've got twelve hours or more to do in this place yet!
Don't let your imaginations run away with you."
She had barely finished speaking when the door of the King's Room swung
slowly open, creaking and groaning in the darkness. Sadie let out a squeal,
clinging to Topaz in fear, and Sylva hid underneath her sleeping bag. Copper
shuffled back against the wall, grabbing Nancy by the hand and pulling her
with her. In the panic, Topaz's torch fell to the floor, knocking itself into
the off position and plunging them all into darkness. Sadie let out another
shriek, as the footsteps seemed to come closer and closer. Then, suddenly,
all was silent, and the moon shone in through the arrow-slit window, illuminating
the girls in it's silvery glow.
Sylva peered out from beneath her sleeping bag.
"But...there's nothing there." She breathed. "It's empty! What...?"
"It was the ghost!" Sadie whispered, her eyes big with fear. "The ghost
of the girl! She's here!"
NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS
Chapter One: Flight To England
Chapter Two: A TV Welcome
Chapter Three: Avril
Chapter Four: A Rival
Chapter Five: Sadie's Family
Chapter Six: Suspicions
Chapter Seven: Bainbrook
Chapter Eight: Jesta's Game
Chapter Nine: Trapped!
Chapter Ten: The Castle Ghost
Chapter Eleven: To The Rescue
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena,
Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other
characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem
series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless
otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission
ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original
Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx
and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz,
Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial
are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted
jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and
any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons
of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in
this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja
and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of
the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel
Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The
character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters
mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and
appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!