Also titled: The Diary of Christopher Martin
Original Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Mystery, Old Crime Stories, Ghost Stories
Summary: Diary entries tell the troubles of a man haunted by the spirit of his infatuated younger sister.
By Marie Meyers. Copyright Agatha by Marie Meyers, 2017. All Rights Reserved.
November 17th, 1902
Ha Ha! It is done at last! Hark to the heavens! Rejoice and be merry! The witch is dead, the witch is dead! Now, my life is complete! Why—was it not only recently that I yearned for the devil to claim Agatha’s soul? And now the deed is done, dear Agatha, my dear younger sister, is dead! Passed away mysteriously in her sleep! Ha!—it is no mystery, her luck had simply run out! Indeed my friend, indeed, this is a momentous occasion! So momentous in fact, that—
ah, you think me heartless still, don’t you, my companion? But you know as well as I the witch whom she was. The young thing, a tyrant! She who grew obsessed with me—she who grew mad with me—the child who wouldn’t relent! Never once was her fondness innocent—it grew and grew and escalated to such a height that I could not reach and destroy it. You my dear companion and friend know of some occurrences that contribute to that which I mention.
The previous things I have written on your pages and for so long…but none entry prior has ever been as joyous as this! Now, let us celebrate? The night is young, as am I, and I—now—am a free man. At last!
November 21st, 1902
I cannot do a thing but contribute to you, my friend, events which present themselves peculiar to me. I shall begin with last night. The outside wind grows chillier still, as we approach the most joyous of winter months. Last night, before turning in for sleep, I had bolted my window shut, for as I had said previously, the wind grows chill, and I am not a young man who stands the cold. Thus I bolted the window, and finding it securely shut, I went to sleep.
The first strange occurrence begins roughly around two-thirty in the morning. As I said earlier—I was asleep. Now in my sleep I rest deeply, and none can penetrate. However, last night my mind and body was somewhat unsettled, and my subconscious was light. As I lay in bed, I suddenly sensed a chill near me. As I became more aroused from slumber, I felt a weight being applied to the bed as the chill became closer to me and more evident. I wished not to awake, thus I ignored all and kept my eyes closed, and hoping deep sleep would come. Then, I felt the coldest chill press into my backside and stream along my waist in a strong lock. I felt my hair being tussled, and I felt my ear being feathered by something.
Reluctantly, I opened my eyes. I glanced down at my waist. No one’s arms were around me, yet the pressure—the feeling of being held to someone stayed firm. In agitation well as resignation, I audibly exhaled a breath, and I saw my breath, a puff of smoke in the room. It was odd. I was sure I had bolted the window. I got up and went to the window, it was indeed bolted—then how was the room cold? I put my hand to the window. No imprint was left where my hand had been. That’s when I noticed a picture of Agatha on the floor. I picked it up. A picture of her, here? My room is sacred ground to me—no evil should’ve been in there. I ripped it up and threw it away. I climbed back in bed. No chill followed. My breath I could no longer see. I went to sleep and remained, undisturbed.
When I awoke this morning I passed the window, and noticed there was a hand print on the spot where my hand had been the night before. I put my hand over it, the handprint was smaller than my hand, it was not my own. It was peculiar and puzzled me throughout this day, because I was alone in my room last night.
Now tonight, the sun had set and I felt ill, so I retired to bed early. Again, I bolted the window and proceeded to bed. What awoke me was the frightful chill that gripped and caressed one particular part of me—I’d rather not say (surely than you can guess)—and I have to admit, that for a few moments, I indulged myself quite guiltily in the sensation, until I realized that the feeling was not caused by my own accord. My dear friend, I was surprised to feel such a pleasure alone, and not by my own ministrations.
So now, here am I transcribing to you, the accounts and events that have disrupted my thoughts and awoken me, before I picked you up, and opened you, to begin to transcribe my troubles, I went by the window and not surprisingly it was bolted as before I fell asleep. I ask you now, my friend—for what could be the cause of such nightly occurrences?
November 24th, 1902
Ah! Blast it all! Blast it all, I say! No more! No more! There is only so much I can take! Ah, my friend, what to do—what to do?! True and be as it may, this is only day five of these disturbing events, but I am a man who can only take so much!
This morning, when I awoke, on my nightstand was another; another picture of that tyrant Agatha. Vile! To wake up and turn to see her face smiling up at me—it’s disgraceful to say the least and considering the fact that I had not put the picture there! Is this someone’s idea of a cruel prank—is someone trying to thwart me, punish me for some crime I unknowingly committed? I grew enraged—I flew myself towards the flight of stairs and I burst into my fathers study.
He looked up. He had been smoking his pipe when he peered toward my direction and said, “Christopher, my boy? Is that you? By the sound of it…for what cause do you fling yourself into my presence in such a manner?”
“This!” I hissed as I threw down Agatha’s portrait on his desk. “This picture of Agatha was by my bed side!” Father smiled sadly. “Beautiful, isn’t she…wasn’t she? Oh, poor Aggie! To die so suddenly and at seventeen! So young and so innocent!” He cried out loud.
“Ha! She was all but innocent!” I scoffed. “She was all but beautiful! She was a witch! Why—why I’m glad she’s dead!” I exclaimed.
“Oh, my dear boy, I understand your grief. You are nineteen. Although separated by two years, she and you were very close. It was sweet of you to bring her picture to your room as a keepsake. She will be missed greatly.”
“What!” I shrieked, furiously. “We were never close! She was no more than a thorn in my backside! An unrelenting, half twit who didn’t know how or when to leave well enough alone! Surely, father, you of all people—do you not understand my troubles? By what means do you present Agatha’s memory to me—in your eyes—a saint by default, when I, as well as you, know that was far from being so!” Father sighed then, defeated.
“Agatha was…a troubled child, Christopher,” he said to me. “You knew that best.”
“No, Agatha was ill. She was an ill child. Ill in the head,” I replied to him. “She loved me—“
“As well she should!”
“—with a flame that burned brightly and never seemed to waver,” I continued. “Could she have not seen that I was not the one for her? That she and I would never be? And yet she continued to ache for my touch, and it was a touch I could not give her—why would I touch my sister in such a way? Was I a depraved man-beast in her eyes?” I collapsed in a chair. “Father—forgive me for saying such things of dear Agatha, but in my heart these words do not ring false.” I rubbed my eyes. I was tired; so exhausted of the games. “And then for you to put her picture by my bedside..? What possessed you, dear father?”
“But Christopher, it was not I who placed that picture by your bedside.”
“That was not you?”
“On of the maids, perhaps,” he mused aloud. “Now my boy,” he said to me, “go back upstairs—are you decent?—and I shall inquire about this picture n your behalf. And I apologize, for your troubles. As Agatha’s troubles were your own, they were also mine as well. But now that she has passed, those troubles you shall suffer no longer. Why not remember Agatha with pleasantries, for all that it is worth?”
I told him I’d try, and preceded back here, where I now tell you these woes. Ugh, was father right? Was he telling the truth? Was it merely an accident, Agatha’s picture beside me while I slept? Did one of the maids mistakenly place it on my nightstand, or is it my father at fault? And what about the other picture nights prior? If it was really a maid who placed the first portrait in here, could it have been the same maid who placed the second one as well? And if so, why place another one, knowing she had already placed on in here?
Could it have been another maid? Another maid…no. Currently, we only have one maid within our residence. Paulina and Jolene are out of the country. We only have Margaret with us. But she doesn’t work this week—we Martins do prefer to be independent for ourselves once in a while—so who..? Surely it was not I. Perhaps it was father after all. But then, why lie about it? In fact, why leave the picture here at all? He knows the troubled mind Agatha had, so why would he go through all the trouble of sneaking the picture on my nightstand?
I must ruminate on these things.
November 26th, Eleven p.m.
Father is blind. He does not know where my nightstand is. Searching for it, he’d have caused a racket.
November 27th, 1902
I did not sleep a wink last night, and I shall not sleep a wink tonight. I am most disturbed by the events that have presented themselves to me. How did Agatha’s picture come within my possession? I know no other way to go about this manner. I refuse to sleep until these woes are resolved.
November 29th, 1902
Not even twelve days of sleep could posses me to bring her memory anywhere near me! With my door locked so no one could enter in, it would be impossible for any maid to sneak in her portrait, therefore I dare ask, who is causing all this madness? Well stop, I say! Pursue no longer! I have no wish to suffer you, or your games! Go back hence—back to there which you came—and do not set me in your sights again! Do not smite me—for have I really done you such evil? Why just a moment ago, I burned what was yet another Agatha portrait found in a locked room no less!
I hadn’t slept for four days, thus this morning my eyes drew weary, so I cleansed myself to refresh myself awake. Before I went into my bathroom I had locked my bedroom door so I was not to be disturbed. When I emerged from the bathroom, there on my bed, in the very center, was a picture of my sister, smiling up at me. It was the same picture as the other two times before! Immediately, I went to the door to find it locked.
I looked around, yet I saw no one! I took up the portrait and ran down the stairs—in my robe—and into my father’s study where I took some matches. Then I ran into our backyard, flung the picture on the concrete there, and stroke it on fire; and, when there was nothing left but ashes, I hurried into my room, and ransacked it, looking for the intruder within my dwelling. I found no one! Surely—have I gone mad? Surely that isn’t so. What is going on? Whose target for what game have I become? I’ve had enough. I will seek guidance for my troubles. Surely a priest can advise me on my woes.
December 1st, 1902
I cannot be without sleep any longer. Tonight I sleep in the Advent Church.
December 3rd, 1902
I am truly frightened. My whole mind and body—soul even!—quivers in fear. The Father Wright says I am not safe here in my father’s house. He says there is a somewhat evil surrounding me—following me. At first, I didn’t want to believe, but quite truthfully, I’ve begun to believe such.
December 4th, 1902
It has been quiet today. No thing has disturbed my thoughts. How peculiar…
December 9th, 1902
Honestly—this I must say—I do not know whether to be relieved or suspicious, for I have slept quite soundly these last five days. No one—no thing—and no presence kept me from sleeping deeply. Could this be the end of all my troubles? I must see into this further.
December 20th, 1902
Ha! Fifteen days, fifteen long days, days that I dreaded simply because I knew what to expect—and nothing! Ha! Has God turned his eyes to me? Have I won my Lord’s favor? This is truly splendid! In fact, I have not felt so light since Agatha had died! My friend, oh my dear companion, I have been cured!!!
December 22nd, 1902
I thought it was over, now I am not so sure. I shall explain.
I can live in this house no longer. After everything that happened, I find that I have no desire to reside within my father’s dwelling any longer. I was packing up my room and while I was putting away my clothes I saw, on my bed, another portrait of my sister. Now, I am moving, so I did not pay as much attention to her picture as I used to. Until I noticed what picture it was.
“Impossible,” I mused aloud as I set down my clothes. I stared at the picture, shocked. I did not touch it. I refused to touch it, because I had known what I had done to that picture, and so seeing it threw me immensely; for even though it had darkened and was burnt around the edges, the picture was in tact.