The investigators left the bedroom and continued their exploration of the house. They followed Lisa’s intuition and headed towards the nursery, which was located on the third floor, next to the attic. They hoped to find some clues about the house’s family and the tragedy that befell them.
They entered the nursery, which was a small and cozy room, with a crib, a rocking chair, a toy box, and a bookshelf. The nursery was also bright and cheerful and smelled of baby powder and candy.
“Wow,” Amy said. “This is where they used to play.”
She turned on her flashlight and scanned the room.
“Look at this crib,” she said. “It’s covered with blankets and stuffed animals. It looks like they were very loved.”
She pointed her camera at the crib, which was neatly made and decorated with stars and moons. The crib looked warm and soft, but also empty and silent.
“Yuck,” Jake said. “That’s sad.”
He turned on his flashlight and scanned the room.
“Look at this toy box,” he said. “It’s full of toys and games. It looks like they were very happy.”
He pointed his camera at the toy box, which was open and filled with dolls, cars, blocks, puzzles, and cards. The toys looked colorful and fun, but also dusty and forgotten.
“Who were they?” Jake asked.
Lisa stepped forward and looked at the toy box.
“They were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Blackwood,” she said. “They were twins, a boy and a girl. They were four years old when they died.”
She touched one of the dolls with her hand and closed her eyes.
“They died of a mysterious illness,” she said. “They had a fever, a cough, a rash, and a headache. They suffered for days before they passed away.”
She opened her eyes and shuddered.
“They blamed their parents,” she said.
“What?” Amy asked.
“They blamed their parents,” Lisa repeated. “They blamed them for neglecting them. They blamed them for not caring for them. They blamed them for not saving them.”
She pointed at a painting on the wall, which showed a portrait of two children. They were a young boy and a girl, with curly brown hair, green eyes, and freckles. They wore matching blue outfits and held hands. They smiled innocently at the viewer, but also had a hint of resentment and bitterness in their eyes.
“They were their children,” Lisa said. “They were their twins. They hated them on their deathbed.”
She pointed at another painting on the wall, which showed the same scene as before, but at a different stage. The children were lying on a bed in the nursery, covered in blankets and stuffed animals. They had been sickened by their illness. Some of them had sweat on their foreheads, some of them had blood on their lips, and some of them had tears in their eyes.
“They died in pain,” Lisa said. “They died in fear. They died in hate.”
She pointed at another painting on the wall, which showed the same scene as before, but at a different stage. The children were sitting on the crib again, but this time they were transparent and ghostly. They had the same smile as before, but also a hint of sadness and loneliness.
“They regretted what they said,” Lisa said. “But it was too late. Their souls were bound to this house by their hate. They haunt this nursery, waiting for their parents to come.”
She pointed at the last painting on the wall, which showed the same scene as before, but at a different stage. The children were looking at the investigators, who were standing in the middle of the room. They had the same smile as before, but also a hint of curiosity and mischief.
“They want us to play with them,” Lisa said. “They want us to be their friends.”
She turned around and faced the toy box, which was still full of toys and games. She saw that some of them had moved or changed since they entered the room. The dolls had grown eyes and mouths, the cars had grown wheels and horns, the blocks had grown letters and numbers, the puzzles had grown pieces and shapes, and the cards had grown suits and ranks.
“They are alive,” Lisa said. “They are playful.”
She heard a loud giggle from behind her. She turned around and saw that the children had appeared in front of the door, blocking their exit. They were two small and cute kids, with curly brown hair, green eyes, and freckles. They wore matching blue outfits and held hands. They held a toy in each hand: a ball for the boy and a doll for the girl.
“Hello,” they said in unison. “Welcome to our nursery. We are Tommy and Tammy, the twins of this house. We have been waiting for you for a long time. Please, play with us. We are lonely!”
They laughed cheerfully as they threw their toys at them.
The investigators were surprised and amused by their appearance and words. They realized they were trapped in a fantasy. They had to find a way to escape from the nursery, or they would become the next playmates of the children and their toys.
To be continued…