After lunch, Kol took them to the small Animal Hospital on Charleston, compelled a vet for Izzy to hang out with and he and Myriam went out for a quick feed. When they came back after an hour, Izzy was gone, not in the building and it sent both vampires flying into a full blown anxiety attack. Again.
Luckily one of the assistants had seen her leave and watched her cross the street to Jace Lewis’ museum of haunted things. The assistant wasn’t sure if she’d entered yet, likely not as there was a big line in front of the museum waiting for people to get in.
Jace Lewis. The fucker from Spooky Investigations all those years ago. He was still alive? He couldn’t be. Not with the shit he pulled all the time! Karma would have caught up with him eventually!
Truth be told, Kol had only kept an eye on Drew Clarke, as Bella had liked him. Drew Clarke had turned over a new leaf and had left Spooky Investigations to be more like Bella after the Halloween episode. Try to tell the stories of the spirits instead of doing the scientific research. Astaria, one of Bella’s contemporaries, thought it was admirable and later she and Drew got married. No kids. Only fur babies. It was a love story for the ages, really. Astaria and Drew both died on the same day, in their sleep, a couple of years ago. Hell, he and Jeremy even went to their funeral.
Myriam and Kol ran across the road to find Izzy standing in line to get into the museum. “What are you doing?” Kol asked playfully.
“I don’t know, I just feel like I have to get in,” Izzy said as she looked at him. “I’m sorry I left the clinic but I couldn’t concentrate, I felt like I was being pulled here and I don’t know why.”
Myriam curled her arms around herself as she eyed the building. “It’s your choice. I’m not going in. Too much activity even for me, but that’s probably for different reasons. I’m just going to go find myself a casino if you’re gonna be here awhile. Maybe compel the place to sell it to me with Klaus’ money.”
Kol let out a snort. “And how many casinos did you buy so far?”
“None of your business,” Myriam said as she stepped out of the line and walked off. “You two are insane for going in there, just so you know! God, the blind leading the even blinder…”
“This place is haunted?” Izzy blinked at Kol. “Really? That’s a thing?”
“It’s a museum of haunted things,” Kol laughed. “Jace Lewis used to be number one in the field of scientific research to hauntings. Spirits, ghosts. Objects. He was a big fat jerk but he was good at what he did.”
“So maybe it’s not a good idea to go in?”
Kol shrugged. “If you were drawn here, why not do our own little investigation? I could have the building cleared in ten minutes so we can have it all to ourselves, would you like that?”
“What?” Izzy laughed. “Are you insane? These poor people! What if I’m not drawn to the museum but to someone in line?”
Kol shrugged. “I’m merely glad you’re not freaking out about it because those kinds of pulls can be scary and confusing.”
“It’s bugging me, I mean I love it that you arranged for me to experience a different vet but I couldn’t concentrate,” she then looked at him. “I’m sorry that I ruined your planning.”
“That’s alright, darling, I’m excited that you’re willing to try to work with this side of you,” he smiled at her. “Give me ten minutes, then we’ll have this place to ourselves, and the staff.”
Before she could object, he was off and the customers were beginning to leave the area. Izzy couldn’t help but wonder if this compelling thing fried the human brain or not.
She moved to the entrance where eventually Kol met up with her with a big smile on his face. “Tadaa!”
“It won’t hurt them, right? To be compelled?”
“Nah darling, they’re fine,” Kol replied as he opened the door for her. “I know it’s a scary thing that we can make humans and other vampires do what we want, and I must admit that in the past we might have taken some advantages with our abilities but it doesn’t hurt them or scramble their pretty little minds,” he said as he closed the door. “In any case, we have the full staff at our disposal to give us a tour, or, if you’d like, you could roam around freely. They did warn me that it could be potentially dangerous as there are a few haunted and cursed items in this place.”
“Yeah. Myriam freaked out about that. I thought she would be all about this,” Izzy replied as she headed inside and glanced around. “I mean, it totally seems like her type of place to set up.”
Kol shrugged. “She always likes to keep that side of herself to herself. In the past, she often still helped people on occasion but she quit that after… Myriam needs to find a new hobby,” he said as he pointed at a picture hanging on the wall. “Yep, just as I thought. This is the place that Jace Lewis set up. The Jace that I knew,” he sighed. “He had a freaky mind.”
“Cool,” Izzy smiled at him before turning left and finding a room filled with creepy dolls. Nothing serious, she didn’t feel anything and it was just stupid. She wasn’t here for the creepy dolls. “How do I find what I’m looking for? Or was attracted to?”
“You take a deep breath and you open yourself up to that feeling, and allow it to lead you while you discard all the other feelings you might get when you pass something that does hold something,” as they passed the reception desk, Kol placed his statue on the counter and told them that nobody was to touch it on the punishment of death. He hated doing this, but he wanted to make sure Izzy was safe. And the moment he let go of the thing was the moment he regretted it instantly. He could tell why Myriam didn’t want to go in here. It was fascinating though, that she seemed to be unaffected. It was as if she had a faulty on and off switch.
“If I didn’t know vampires could get sick, I’d think you were right now,” Izzy commented as she looked back at him. “You okay?”
“I put my statue on the reception desk,” he said before taking her arm. “Don’t get it, because I don’t want them to panic… I merely wanted to make sure you were alright, I just need a moment.”
“You don’t have to do this for me,” she said as she helped him to sit down on the floor.
“But I want to,” Kol replied as he nodded to an empty space behind her. “I see that the man who created this museum is present as well, he’s as surprised to see me as I’m surprised to see him,” he let out a chuckle then. “He says it’s a bad idea for sensitives to be in his museum.”
‘What the fuck?! You should be dead, but here you are looking as young as ever!’
“Yeah well, I’m not and thank you, that’s really flattering,” Kol replied as he looked at Izzy. “Can you hear him?” When she shook her head, he continued. “Try to feel him then, he’s right behind you, leaning against that doorpost. Jace is the least of our worries in this place, I think.”
Izzy sighed as she closed her eyes and tried to feel a presence before falling flat on her ass. “There’s just too much shit in here, if I do that, I’ll never find why I’m here, so much to push through…”
‘She called my stuff SHIT?!’
Kol scowled at him. “Chill out dude. She’s still learning the field. And yes, a lot of it is crap.”
Izzy blinked then as she looked behind her. “I see someone hugging a doll, one of those creepy dolls from that room that didn’t feel too interesting. Uh… it’s a guy, slightly shorter than you are… uh… black hair…” she tilted her head then and squinted. “A big tattoo on his arm… can’t really make out what, it looks like a blob,” she continued. “Really proud, really serious about his job, even in the past. He liked to be the jerk and for people to hate him so he could test their abilities if they claimed to have one, I think. Feels like it. He has something in here that I need to see… something that’s connected to you? Or even me? I don’t know, that’s a bit fuzzy.”
Kol looked over at Jace’s image expectantly. “Do you have any idea what she’s referring to? Saves us the psychological torture of the dead.”
‘Connected to her? I don’t know, I don’t know the chick. But to you? Yeah, totally. Remember the Halloween episode we did? You left one of your recording devices behind, well the one that Bella had on her, and I took it. Thought it’d be nice to have it in my museum,’ Jace nodded. ‘Follow me.’
“Well shit,” Kol muttered, running a hand over his face as he got back to his feet. “This way, Iz. I think we are gonna get more than we bargained for.”
“How bad will it be?” She asked as she followed Kol and tried to focus on him as not to get distracted by the other things that were around them. Flashes of a car accident, a bloody murder, some shoes… serial killers? She wasn’t sure about that one. That’d be just morbid.
Kol’s face was set and as emotionless as he could get. “He referred to a memory I’d rather forget.”
‘What? Dude, you can’t forget what happened that night, it was amazing and spectacular. The amount of paranormal activity there and the proof was just overwhelming. Okay, fine, there was a dead guy and our boss burned down his house but damn, man, you should totally not forget that.’
He glared at Jace’s spirit. “That fucker tried to have my girlfriend murdered and had me possessed you bloody twit. I almost killed her myself because of that!” He nearly shouted, tempted to run out of the museum but bit down on his fist to control his anger.
“Hey,” Izzy said as she put her hand on his arm. “We don’t have to do this. We can just ignore this and leave,” she said kindly. “Or I could do this on my own, that’s fine with me too. I don’t want you to be confronted with things you don’t want to be confronted with.”
Kol shook under her touch, clearly still sensitive about the memories of the events that occurred at the Cullen property all those years ago. Shaking his head, he turned to look at Izzy. “No. I’ll be fine. I couldn’t stand this idiot back then and still can’t now that he’s dead. If I could bring him back just to kill him, I would. Let’s keep going to get this over with.”
She looped her arm through his and continued to follow him before they stopped in front of a closed door, with a big picture of Bella on the door and some text underneath that.
Bella Swan was an amazingly gifted human being, one that in all of our paranormal history hadn’t been seen before. Bella was stubborn in her rules, her morals, and never wanted to grow out of her own comfort zone. She treated everyone with the same kindness and respect, humans and spirits alike. In this room, you’ll find all the things we could find on her, what she’s done and how we think she worked. Emails between news stations and herself, never wavering from appearing on TV shows until that one time where we believed we’d broken her. Bella Swan was amazing and will be remembered for everything she’s done for the paranormal community.
“Oh,” Izzy let out a breath. “You’re kidding me.” It completely sucked that her feelings told her that this is what she had been drawn to.
“Yeah. No shit,” Kol scowled. “She never would have given permission for this, nor would our family had we known about it.”
‘No, and this is why I never let you know or had someone reach out to you for this. You would have buried her memory,’ Jace replied.
“I should have my sister resurrect your bloody arse just so that I can torture you.”
‘Just go inside, it’s not distasteful as you likely think it is.’
Izzy put her hand on the door handle and opened the door. She couldn’t help but to start laughing as she was overwhelmed by the feelings of warmth and love. A completely different feel as the rest of the museum. “There are actually some of her friends inside, aren’t there?” she asked before stepping inside the room, looking around in fascination.
Kol refused to go in, having tried to put Bella in his past since the last incident with Izzy. “She didn’t have many before she came to us,” he answered from the door.
A video started playing, and Jace’s voice sounded from the speakers. “Bella Swan was the kindest, sweetest person there ever was. She hated me with a passion because of my energy, and that was fun to play with.”
The vampire could hold back the eye roll of the voiceover. “That’s because you were a class A jackass.”
‘Shut up and go inside. Or shut up and listen, whatever,’ Jace said as he leaned against the door.
There was footage showing that Izzy had never seen, and was likely not approved by Bella at all, she knew how tedious and particular she was from watching her youtube videos with her parents. “She claimed to be an ordinary psychic, a medium who could interact with the dead. She liked to befriend spirits and tell their stories instead of proving that they were real. At first, she was ridiculed for it, but as more evidence started to show, everyone wanted her. And she all politely turned them down, she was not a science project, oh no. She was a storyteller with a big heart.
I followed her path for years, much like anyone else in the field, and saw that she was declining, spiraling down into a depression, and my friend Drew and I tried to reach out to her, multiple times, but she wouldn’t listen. She was fine, after all. That sidekick of hers was a dick for not seeing the signs and only thinking of his own hide.
But she became better. Found herself a team to work with, two very strong looking young men and capable of taking care of her. We all took a collective breath of relief. One was called Jeremy and the other… well, neither of us can remember his name and we don’t have any footage of him, either.”
“Convenient,” Kol muttered with a relieved sigh.
“There were more stories, Bella’s smile grew wider and became more frequent. I always believed that she wasn’t just human, and it was difficult to prove. And it wasn’t as if she’d allow herself to be tested. Besides, had we come out with this theory of ours, people would have believed us to be crazy. Which is nothing new, but still. In direct connection to Bella? No, that would have been us digging our own hole to get out of.
I believed she was an angel.
Not that it’s backed up with evidence, although I did see a bit of bright light around her after the Halloween Episode at the Cullen House that she so generously agreed to do with us. We never showed this to the masses because it was something we’d never seen before and still can’t explain. As you can see on the left is the footage from one of our nighttime vision cameras, on the right was our full spectrum camera. We can’t, to this day, figure out what that light around her was. All we know that it’s not an anomaly. Or one of us putting a flashlight on her.”
Kol peered into the room, refusing to step inside fully but was able to see the screen displaying the video from the night and he had to close his eyes. Neither he or Jeremy had considered such a possibility back then. Even once they did find out what she was and where she was from. “I’ll be outside waiting for you, Izzy. Take your time,” he quietly said before walking away from the room, lost in his thoughts.
“We don’t fully know what happened to her, her death is a mystery and will likely remain one, just like her life was. But what I do know is that she touched as many humans as spirits in her lifetime. Always approaching them with a big, innocent heart, although she could be quite the devil when treated poorly. Drew and Astaria were always lucky to have called her a friend.
Maybe one day, Bella will come back in a different way, and maybe her reincarnation will be the same as her, shaking up worlds and beliefs, loving with all of her being, diving head first into danger with a smile, no matter the costs to herself.
Although, there is no death certificate. No evidence of her passing. Only hearsay. So the question is… is she still alive?
In this room, you’ll find email correspondence between Bella and news outlets. Papers. Her contemporaries in the paranormal community. Photos taken by fans. Her first camera, and most of all, our prized possession, her recorder. Press the button next to the recorder to hear some snippets that we found on there that can be used for the general public.
And also, please say hi to some of Bella’s friends who have long died but wished to keep her memory alive. Who knows, Drew and Astaria came to say hi, or perhaps Elizabeth and Victoire whom Bella met the first time she came to New Orleans, fresh across the bridge. There is nothing but love in this room. Love for Bella, love for everything she stood for and for everything that she was.”
The energy in the room had slightly changed, almost as if it was leveling out, a curtain being pulled up and revealing the true nature of the room but she wasn’t sure. It started to feel a bit more sinister. Instead, Izzy pressed the button near Bella’s recorder and sat down in the middle of the room before getting her sketchpad out. Taking a deep breath, she started to draw while she listened to Bella’s voice.
“You see that?” Bella asked.
“What?” It was a voice Izzy couldn’t quite place, but she believed it to be of Jeremy.
“That bright thing?”
“Nope. Drew, you okay, buddy?”
“I hate this place,” another strange voice. Was that Drew? “The energy in this place… it’s… I don’t know.”
“Everything,” Bella’s voice. Some knocking on the floor. “Don’t you dare come out of there.”
“What are you doing?” Drew.
A flat hand hitting the floor. “I’m still here, don’t you dare to come out of there! Do you have an SB7 on you?”
“Put it right there, there’s a portal there.”
“Really? But there’s no markings, nothing,” Latin chants came through the spirit box. It wasn’t entirely clear, but Izzy recognized some words from her studies. “Holy shit.”
“Who are you? Tell me what you want!”
“You were never human, were you?” Bella. “Listen up, I can feel that this portal is connected to many portals inside the house and they’re not the only kind of portals, either. I am going to close this one and all connected. Now. You are not welcome here.”
“Please tell me you didn’t just close a portal, I thought we made some rules!” Jeremy.
Izzy had to smile. It seemed like Bella was one for breaking the rules.
“No, you’re Bella and you do wander off at times. This is your nightmare, this house. There’s no way I’m leaving you all by yourself. Especially now that we know that they are still after you.”
“But what if I want to go poof?”
“Why would you want to do that!” Jeremy hissed. “Are you insane?”
“I’m wondering where Jasper is,” Jeremy said. “He sent you to the top floor, after all. I would love to give him a piece of my mind and then some.”
Bella let out a chuckle. “He’s a ghost, Jer. You can’t hurt ghosts.”
“Hello! Don’t be afraid,” Bella said “My name is Bella, and that’s Jeremy. I told Jeremy I wasn’t going to bring any toys with me, but look! They’re yours to play with! Well, I promise you, I’m not going to hurt you, and Jeremy is here to protect us all. Shall we play with the marbles? Roll them to me and I will roll them back. I want to play, this house is making me sad.”
“To try and breed me?” Bella spluttered. “Seriously?”
“The last time I was here, Emmett took over my boyfriend and nearly killed me. A fucking extremely traumatizing one! Hey Jer?”
“Remember the last time we were here? What did you see when the ceiling collapsed?”
“You’d better not be doing what I think you’re about to do!” Kol sounded extremely worried.
“No, I’m not doing anything, I’m just wondering because I’m feeling weird vibes coming from that area and I might want to check it out.”
“Bella, it’s not good,” Jeremy replied. “Wait, so that I can come along, too, in case there’s another collapse.”
And then the audio stopped and Izzy was distracted by the video playing on a different monitor, with Jace’s voice introducing it. “A couple of years ago we somehow got our hands on some disturbing footage from a camera that was in the Cullen House when Bella, Jeremy and her friend went in for the first time with Drew. Edward Cullen had hidden cameras everywhere and well, the following footage may look somewhat disturbing.”
Izzy blinked when she looked up. There was no sound, but she could see a blurry Kol grab Bella by the neck and pushed her up the wall before she managed to get him off of her, some steam making Kol blurrier but she could see the regret and fear on his face. Next, Kol was grabbing Bella and sunk his teeth into her, draining her completely until Jeremy ran in to save her.
“Our job is never without risks. It’s safe to say that this experience changed a lot of lives that night. Whoever that other person was, it wasn’t natural. Perhaps supernatural,” Jace’s voice sounded again. “Just like Bella. And that’s alright, the world is a bigger place than we may believe, and we will forever have questions that need to be answered.”
Izzy felt herself get nauseous as the video played again. And again. This Jace was a sick fuck. She knew what she had to do, but wasn’t sure if she wanted to do it. But she needed to. “Okay, so whoever is here… that video needs to be stopped… this is one sick place.”
‘I’m here,’ a voice came through to her, clear as day. ‘And I hope you can hear me, young lady, I’ve been trying real hard.’
Izzy blinked as she looked around to make sure that nothing else was making any sound. “You’re Jeremy.”
‘It’s about damn time! First thing first, you need to kick my friend in the ass.’
“No, first I want your permission to set fire to this room and hope that it’ll destroy everything, this isn’t a shrine, this is a horror show.”
‘Yeah, well, not with me in it. I’m trapped. I’m likely stuck to one of the items in there, not sure what the item is that got put here two years ago. He put some spell on it so the item needs to be cleaning.’
“Why can’t you move on and what are you stuck on?” Izzy said annoyed as she got to her feet and put her sketchbook back in her bag. She was going to have to look at her drawing later.
‘I’m Supernatural. Those Mikaelsons suck on their teachings. Um, my guess is a video camera or Bella’s equipment.’
“They’re behind glass,” Izzy stated with a sigh before walking out the door to find a fire extinguisher.
‘Break it. Who’s gonna say anything?’
“The staff, maybe. Kol went outside, so yeah… don’t have my gun on me either,” she said as she smashed one case.
‘Ah, he’s a mess, but he will come back and do his mental fuckery that needs to be done.’
Izzy huffed as she took the camera and tried to connect it to Jeremy and shook her head before grabbing the other. And then the next. Before finally grabbing the recorder and smiled. “Bingo,” she said as she stuffed it in her pocket. “And you better be a good guy otherwise I’ll be in a heap of trouble.”
‘Yeah, Yeah. Be happy my sister and her husband are dead. She’d really give you a headache.’
Izzy huffed again as she started to put everything that was loose in the room in the middle of the floor, the most flammable things on top and wondered if she could make enough of a fire to ruin this all with just that.
‘Don’t worry about the intensity or spread, there are a few more people here that loved Bella and would like to help out. Just light the match and walk away.’
“But aren’t they stuck like you? How can I get them out?”
‘That’s a bad idea. Just set the room ablaze and they’ll be free.’
She pulled out a lighter from her bag and a deodorant spray and threw the canister inside the room before she quickly made her way to Kol who was waiting outside. “Okay, done.”
“Do I smell fire?”
“Yep,” Izzy nodded as she looped her arm through Kol’s. “I’ll explain when we get back home… although… could you compel staff to set fire to the entire building and not to panic? There’s no doubt that the whole building is really really wrong.”
Kol eyed her curiously. “What happened in there?”
“I’ll tell you later, promise.”