The Stranger 1

One stormy Sunday morning a woman named Lydia was just opening her music store for her 12 hour shift when she realised that she wasn't meant to be working today as it was a non working day. She couldn't believe that the stress had caught up and made her feel like a fool. At this moment she locked back up and started to walk home. As she walked she got soaked from the rain, she had no coat and no umbrella and yet she knew it was raining when she left home. Her hands were in her pockets staying warm and away from the bitter winds.

The bitter winds cut through Lydia just like a knife. When she was only a few yards away from her home she could hear heavy breathing and footsteps coming from behind her, dreading what or who was behind following her in this weather, she looked behind to see. As she took a glance behind she saw a man walking behind her, he was wearing a black trench coat and a black trilby, so she started to panic and so she ran, every now and then she would look back. When she looked back for the 5th time the man had disappeared.

As she looked back in front of herself she tripped over and landed on a piece of a glass bottle, cutting her arm badly. She sat up and held her arm as the blood seeped through her fingers. The man who was walking behind her before reappeared and helped her up. Lydia looked at the man and smiled, as well she looked into his empty eyes and all she could see was a black vortex. The man looked at her arm and then walked off and disappeared into the distance.

Lydia ran after the man to find out where he came from, she just saw what house he went into and so she walked over to the gate. She was shocked to find out that the house he walked into was actually her house, at this point her arm went into immense pain that bad that she passed out in the gateway.

Later on that morning a boy was walking past and noticed Lydia lying there and so he ran to her next door neighbour and asked them to come and help. Lydia’s neighbour came out and helped. When the boy pointed out all the blood gushing from her arm the man from next door rang for an ambulance. They didn’t know whether the serious cut down her arm was an accident or if someone attacked her. The strange bloke from earlier on came walking from the back garden and told them that the cut was from a fall she had experienced earlier that morning.

"How do you know it’s from a fall this morning?" asked the boy. The stranger replied, "Well if you look at the wound carefully you can just see the graze next to the cut!" As strange as the man was he was absolutely right and he wasn’t even looking at the wound. They turned round to talk to the man, but once again he had just disappeared.

An ambulance pulled up outside the house, which meant that Lydia was in safe hands. Her neighbour had to go with her as he knew most of her basic details. The young boy how ever had to go home or he would be in a lot of trouble. Lucky for Lydia she only had to have stitches, about 30 stitches were done to close the whole of the wound.

A few days later she returned home where she dreaded the thought of there being a stranger lingering in her house. The worrying made her paranoid and seem a little mentally unstable at times. Her only visitors were her neighbour and her employees who she worked with at her music store. She in the end went to the doctors to talk about her paranoia and distress. They believed that she was just depressed and subscribed her anti-depressants.

Friday morning, she looked in her mirror and the stranger appeared in her mirror and she thought that her head was playing tricks on her. One minute she was stood in front of the mirror with her eyes now closed the next she was lying flat out on the bed in her bedroom sweating buckets. She sat up and there in front of her stood The Stranger staring at her arm, which then started to pulsate and sting like fire burning someone alive. The Stranger walked over to her and stood right beside her, he grabbed her bandaged arm and dug his thumb into her wound. To Lydia’s surprise the pain got better instead of worse.

The Stranger then left her on her own in an emotional wreck, shaking with fear and crying from the pain. She stood up, looked around and then ran out the door. With nowhere nearby to go she had to just keep running until she finally found her music store. Her employees stared at her and asked, "What the hell happened to you? Are you alright? Please Lydia you can trust all of us now tell us." Lydia fell to the floor and sobbed, she then got up and replied, "You’ll think I’m crazy, but there’s a stranger in my house. He appears and disappears without a trace. He somehow moved me from my bathroom in front of the mirror to my bed in my bedroom without me realising until I reopened my eyes. I don’t feel safe!"

A customer walked in and when Lydia saw the person’s face she screamed and ran out the back of the store. "Sorry about that, our manager’s going through a tough time at the moment." The bloke looked at them and then carried on and looked around the store. Lydia ran straight into the wall hoping that she was in a dream, but unfortunately she was in reality. After the customer left they closed the store and went to see if Lydia was alright, but by then she had gone into a state of shock. " Guys we must get her to hospital. There’s no way that this is just depression, she’s acting too weirdly."

They all helped to get Lydia into the car to take her to hospital. When the doctors heard Lydia’s story they decided to send her straight up to the psychiatric ward. When she got her chance, to speak to her employees, she done everything she could to convince them that she wasn’t crazy. She done this by asking them to stay at her house for a couple of nights, The Stranger made another appearance at Lydia’s house on the second night they stayed for. He frightened one of the employees, Tanya, half to death. This made the employees convinced, especially when they found Tanya curled up on the floor shaking with fear and crying from the worry.

Lydia gave it a couple of nights away from home and instead slept at her music store, hoping that The Stranger would leave her house. But would he leave her home after her not sleeping there for a couple of nights? She gave her house another try and regretted it as the next morning The Stranger reappeared, this time not just to torment her but to do something else. She was meant to turn up at work, but when her employees realised that she hadn’t come into work they sent one of them to her house to see why she hadn’t turned up at work.

At the house the woman that was sent realised that Lydia’s door was untouched and yet there was no sign of any life inside, which worried her, so she broke the door down and searched the house. She walked into the bedroom and there she was, hanging from the ceiling with a fresh, bloody hole in her stomach. The woman run out of the room and the house and vomited on the lawn, she rang the other employees and cried, " GUYS COME QUICK! SHE’S DEAD! SHE’S BLOODY DEAD! CLOSE THE STORE AND COME, I DON’T THINK I CAN TAKE IT HERE ALONE!" The other employees locked the store up quickly and ran to Lydia’s house where they met Tanya who was crying and still vomiting.

"Tanya is the sight that bad? Guys wait here with Tanya I’ll be right back." Tanya looked at him and cried " Please Robb don’t go in there! It’s a horrible sight! Please stay out here!" He just turned and carried on walking. As he entered the room filled with the scent of blood and the look of pure devilish evil he saw the body hanging, he too had to run out and vomit. "Man are you alright?" he just fell to the floor and wept, "Hey come here it’s alright to be upset, just let out your emotions."

"Why did she have to die? There was so much I had to tell her. One thing was, that on a special occasion I was going to ask her to marry me." The faces of all the group showed that they were shocked about what he’d just said. They rang the cops to report the finding of Lydia’s body. When they arrived and saw the state of her body they said, " This is not a crime committed by anything human believe me. So this case is going to be hard to crack." The officer was very respectful and sat with Lydia’s only friends, he talked to them about the fact that Lydia has no family left alive.

Later that week Tanya was walking along the street in the rain in the early hours of the morning as she couldn’t sleep, she saw The Stranger in the street, he then started following behind her. She ran just like Lydia had, but she didn’t fall and so she out run him, but knowing that The Stranger was still out there worried her. Questions like these; Was the stranger, as he was known, the person/thing that killed Lydia? If so will he strike again? If so who will be his next victim? rushed through her head.

The next day the employees all met up to discuss the plans and expenses for Lydia’s funeral, as they decided that it was their job to give her a good send off especially as she had no family to do it for her. It took weeks to plan the funeral and the only way of paying for it was by doing something like a fund raiser at the music store or even more drastic like selling the music store. They decided that a fund raiser was a good idea, so they all went to the music store and had a look up in the storage room upstairs to see whether they could find some old things for the fund raiser. Hoping to find a lot of stuff they rummaged through the storage room contents.

As they were searching they came across an old wooden chest which was locked with a padlock, carved into the lid of the chest were the words, ‘I will forever be in your hearts. The key to the chest is in my heart, so now I’m dead get the key and open this chest for the help you need.’ Also there was a signature, ‘L. Robertson’ they couldn’t really make out what it said, but they just guessed that the person who done the writing was expecting to die soon. Tanya may not of told her mates about the sighting of The Stranger, but she still decided to stay at the store whilst the others went to see Lydia’s body and to see whether she was wearing a locket when she died.

They were given the locket which surprisingly was heart shaped. They took the locket back to the store and opened it, the key was in her heart locket as it fell on to the floor. Tanya came downstairs and took the key from Gerard. She went up the stairs and into the storage room to the chest, she tried the key and it fitted the lock and opened it. Tanya took the lock off and lifted the lid of the chest.

In the chest Tanya could see a piece of paper, which she picked up, when reading it she realised exactly what it was. The piece of paper was Lydia’s last will which said, ‘I Lydia Robertson leave my music store to my dear friend Tanya. My furniture I leave for all my employees to use to get some money. And here in this chest is all my valuables, memorabilia and my most cherished belongings which I leave for my dear love Robb. Message for Robb, I now know just how much you love me, shame we never made it up the isle, which would have been nice. And finally, my house must never be entered by any of you, I don’t want to meet you in this place they call heaven.’ Tanya cried and then took the will down to the others who were comforting Robb.

Robb was crying because when he looked in the locket there was a picture of Lydia on one half of the locket and on the other half there was a picture of him. Tanya got downstairs to them and gave Robb the will as it was mainly aimed at him. Robb read the will aloud to the employees and when he got to the part aimed at himself he started to read it quietly. Then he burst out crying from the things said, Tanya finished off reading the last part about the house to the employees. Hayley walked over to Robb and whispered, "Robb it’s alright to be upset come out the back and I’ll make you a nice cup of tea or coffee." Robb looked up at Hayley and nodded then he walked out the back with Hayley. "Hayley do you think Lydia knows that I wanted to marry her? What should I do with this beautiful ring I bought?" asked Robb. Hayley looked him in the eyes and replied, " You could drop it into her grave at the funeral or you could keep it. Yeah you could keep it for your marriage to another lucky woman." Robb looked at her and shook his head in disgrace. Hayley then carried on and made him and herself a cup of coffee.

Tanya walked back upstairs and looked at some of Lydia’s things. There was a picture of Lydia, Robb, Hayley and Gerard from before she worked with them. Tanya looked at it and then tossed it back into the chest, there was a diary too, which had everything in it about what Lydia saw on different days leading up to her death. As the date got closer to the date she died the number of sightings of The Stranger had rapidly increased. Tanya found a small drawing clipped on the page just before the date of her death, the drawing was of a faceless person hanging dripping with blood just like Lydia was when she was found.

In the diary it said, ‘Today I woke up and at the end of my bed stood was The Stranger, he was holding the attached drawing which he dropped onto my stomach and disappeared in a small cloud of mist. I thought it was my imagination playing tricks but then I saw the drawing on my stomach. The Stranger has appeared 10 times as many times as yesterday and I don’t know why.’ Tanya was so shocked by the drawing that she fell backwards and bashed her head on the storage room door handle.

Gerard heard the thud and ran upstairs to see what it was. He seen Tanya lying there and so he picked her up and carried her downstairs whilst she was unconscious, he lay her on the table out the back of the store. When Hayley heard Gerard coming she quickly moved away from Robb. Robb got up and asked, "What happened to her? Is she gonna be alright?" Gerard looked at Robb and replied, "I don’t know what happened, all I heard was a thud so I went to see what the noise was. I found her lying in the storage room doorway with this in her hand." Robb went to take the diary, but Hayley took it first and looked in it. "What the hell. Lydia kept a diary, how sad is that?" cried out Hayley. Robb looked at Hayley and shouted, "DON’T MOCK LYDIA, HAYLEY! I THINK THAT PEOPLE WHO KEEP DIARIES ARE SWEET AND SENSATIVE! NOW GIVE ME LYDIA’S DIARY!" Hayley handed the diary to Robb and then apologised for mocking Lydia.

Robb opened the diary and flicked through the pages, on the page for the day after Lydia died it had 2 sentences which read, ‘I killed your girlfriend and now if you have any other girlfriends they are in danger too. You’re gonna be alone all your life, no-one will go near you, make the most of the short life you’ve got left.’ Robb chucked the diary on the floor and ran out of the store. Hayley looked at the page which Robb was reading, but it was blank. She ran after him to find out what happened. He was stood at the bottom of the tallest building in the city staring up at the top. Hayley walked up to him and asked, "Robb, what happened back at the store? Why are you staring up at the top of this building?" Robb looked at Hayley and then he looked behind her as he could see two people.

He pushed Hayley aside and walked towards the two people. As he got closer the people became more clear. He just made out that the one person was The Stranger, but knowing this it didn’t make him back away. He got even closer and he could now see that the other person was his dead girlfriend Lydia. When he got even closer The Stranger stared at him and then lifted his arm in the air. His arm swooped down and pierced straight through Lydia’s stomach. Robb ran and managed to actually hold her before she died, The Stranger however just walked off leaving Robb with Lydia.

Lydia looked Robb in the eyes and slowly said, "Don’t carry on living alone just ‘cause I’ve gone. Find someone who deserves a lovely man like you. Don’t let yourself suffer ‘cause I’m gone, that what you saw in the diary was not real it’s just your paranoia kicking in. Your trying to worry yourself silly, so that you would help yourself become so bad that you’d be suicidal to be with me. Never give in find someone to look after you even if it’s one of our friends." At that point she disappeared from his arms and Hayley came over. She got him up to his feet and cuddled him because she was worried about what he might go and do to himself.

Robb looked in her eyes and then he just ended up falling straight in love. But was this love true or just false? Was Hayley being used just to help get Robb through this bad time? They both walked to the canal and sat right on the edge of the embankment. A person walked past and accidentally knocked Hayley into the canal and she couldn’t swim, so she started to drown. Robb jumped straight in after her and rescued her. After clearing their heads they headed back to the music store. When they got there Hayley went straight out to the toilet. By the time they got back Tanya was conscious and talking, she went over to Robb and whispered, "You know what you saw in the diary it wasn’t real The Stranger’s playing tricks on you." He didn’t know how she knew about what he saw so he whispered back, "How do you know about what I saw?" Tanya just walked away as he asked her.

Gerard walked over to Robb and asked, "Shouldn’t you be looking at what your girlfriend left for you to get the money for her funeral?" He nodded and started to walk up the stairs, Gerard started to follow and so he stopped and turned around and asked, "Please Gerard can I go on my own?" Gerard turned back and went and sat with Tanya. Robb walked in the storage room and looked into the chest filled with memories of Lydia, as he looked through, all the memories of Lydia made him cry. In the bottom of the chest unseen by Tanya was a note saying, ‘Sell as much as you want to make the money for my lovely funeral you’ll do. Just promise me and yourself that no matter what you’ll never forget our love for each other. And as well I have a long lost sister that I want you to find for me, her name is Linda Robertson, but she might be married now so she might have a different surname. Just do your best PLEASE.’ Robb looked at the name and straight away a person came to mind.

He ran down the stairs and out of the store, he ran all the way home to find the number for the person who came to mind. He found the number and address, so instead of calling the person he went straight to the person’s house. He knocked and a woman answered. "Just the woman I’ve been looking for. Please tell me that you used to be Linda Robertson." begged Robb. The woman stepped outside, closing the door behind her. "How do you know this Robb? And don’t say it so loud, my husband was an enemy to the Robertsons. I told him that my name was Linda Roberts instead." declared Linda. Robb looked at her and replied, "I’ve been sent to find you," he handed her the note from Lydia, "I’m afraid to say it’s not good news, Lydia’s dead. Your sister was my girlfriend." Linda looked at the note and then responded, "My sister was the only one who knew that I had left to be with our family’s enemy. Our parents believed that I was dead as I never returned and I had changed my name. I just can’t believe that she’s dead and gone before me." Linda sat on the floor and cried, Robb sat next to her and comforted her. "I know it’s a shock but you’ve got to understand that the only thing me and the other employees can do is give her a good send off, but I won’t leave until you promise to come to your sister’s funeral." She nodded and then stood back up.

She went back in and just before she shut the door she whispered, "Ring me with the arrangements. Please, if you need anything all you must do is ask, but always over the phone." They cuddled and then she went in and shut the door. As Robb walked out the gate he could hear Linda’s husband shouting abusive words at her. Linda had no choice and went running out of the house straight past Robb and towards the canal. Robb chased after her to see if she was alright, when he caught up with her she stopped running, turned and looked at him, he could see that she had been hit by the man she called her husband. Robb took Linda back to the music store with him, he introduced her to all the employees. Robb left her downstairs so he could see what things would be best to sell to get the funeral money. He got a bunch of things down into the back of the store which he was planning on selling.

Linda had a look at her sister’s belongings which were going to be sold and so she cried, "Wait! There’s no need to sell her belongings I can see how much I can get to pay for the whole funeral. All you have to do is do all the booking and tally up the costs." Right away they got to working together to do all the bookings, they all met back by Linda who was waiting to tally up the costs. When the booking was all made the cost came to be, £2,385. "So Linda do you think you can get that money without selling any of your sister’s belongings?" asked Robb. She looked at him and replied, "Just leave it to me, but don’t expect me straight back. My husband would lend me the money as long as I don’t do something which I did in the past. I will get that money." So Linda ran home to her evil husband.

As she walked in the door she cried, "I’m so sorry, but I’ve cleared my head now. The person earlier on was a friend of my sister’s. I would never do the dirty on you, I love you too much. There is a bad side to all this and that is that if you lend me £3,000 I won’t tell anyone that this black eye was from you. So do we have a deal?" Her husband looked at her and shouted, "What? You dare to black mail me just so that you can have money. So tell me what do you need that big sum of money for?" she looked at him and replied, "I need to pay for a funeral." He looked at her suspiciously, "And who may I ask has died and made it your duty to pay for the funeral?" She looked him in the eye and replied, "Well to tell you the complete truth it is my sister’s funeral. I never wanted you to know, but my real name was Linda Robertson, sister to Lydia Robertson. You remember my sister as the girl left beaten up in the boy’s toilets at school." His eyes widened and his hands clenched into fist shapes. "You lied to me, you are an enemy to my family. How can I stay married to you? Here have the money and find somewhere else to live your not welcome here anymore." boomed her husband fiercely.

She ran out with the money and went back to the music store where Robb was waiting. "Here’s the money you need and more too." panted Linda. They had the bookings ready for two days time which was a perfect day for a funeral, as it was a Monday. The bookings were paid for and so that Monday Lydia had the rightful send off she deserved. Tanya read out a speech and so did Robb and Linda. Tanya over heard Linda on the phone asking for a place to stay, but had no joy so she offered Linda to stay at her house until she found somewhere else, she accepted. That night Robb had a dream, it was Lydia stood in front of a bright light, it was freaky as Lydia was repeatedly saying, "It’s not over yet!" What did Lydia mean by it not being over yet? Has The Stranger gone away for good now or not?

Tanya was the closest thing to a best friend for Lydia which is why she took on the music store as though it were her own. This meant that all the stress would be put on her just like it was on Lydia, but she readied herself. Her friends which were now her employees supported her and helped her relieve herself of some stress if it built up. After a few days Tanya got the courage to tell her friends that she had seen that Stranger that Lydia warned them about and The Stranger that she had seen when they stayed at Lydia’s house. They looked at her and said, "If he makes an appearance in your house you can stay with one of us. Just don’t take any chances with that weird person. That was probably what Lydia saw before she ended up dead."

Tanya grabbed the lamp on the side and flung it straight at her friends, hitting one of them in the side of the head knocking him down. She then collapsed to the floor and started to wail and weep. "Tanya what the hell is wrong with you?" asked her friend, Robb. "I don’t know what just happened. My eyes went black when you mentioned about Lydia seeing The Stranger before she died. My eyes go back to normal and I’m wailing and weeping on the floor and all my mates are around Gerard on the floor." replied Tanya. She got up and walked over to Gerard and when she got over to him again she blacked out. This time a familiar but strange voice says, "Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you and I’m sorry Gerard, I couldn’t help it. You are right The Stranger was the last one I saw before I died."

They were all stunned and scared. Tanya came back round and looked at her mates, who were staring at her as though she were a freak. "Why you looking at me like that for? Well spit it out guys." screamed Tanya. Gerard turned round and replied, "Do you realise that Lydia just spoke to us by using your body, it was freaky and that’s why we’re looking at you like we are." Everyone nodded. Tanya just fell to the floor and wailed and weeped once again.

That night when Tanya was walking home she saw The Stranger once again, he was looking straight at her with his black vortex eyes. She feared that she was going to see him more often and become as bad as Lydia. Her fear made her run all the way home. When she got in her door she shut it and locked it fully hoping that The Stranger would never get through if he followed her. The appearance of The Stranger every time Tanya saw him was the same, a black trench coat and a trilby hat which was also black, also every time she saw him it happened to be raining. Tanya started to become scared of the outside world.

The next day she ran all the way to work to make sure that she wouldn’t see The Stranger. The trouble with her running was that she wasn’t able to stop as she ran round the corner and bumped straight into The Stranger. The Stranger and Tanya went hurdling straight to the floor together, as Tanya got up and realised who she had knocked over she just ran and ran until she got to work. She stepped into the music store and cried, "I knocked The Stranger over. He’s going to be after me now please help." Robb walked over to Tanya and walked out to the back of the store with her. "Tanya please calm down! Everything’s going to be fine. He’s not going to be after you and even if he is I’ll come and stay with you if you would like?" reassured Robb. Hayley came walking out the back of the store as well and she cried, "What the hell do you think you’re doing Robb? Don’t let her talk you into leaving me for her." Robb looked at Hayley and shouted, "What the hell do you think you’re doing? Blaming her for taking me from you, you don’t know what you’re talking about. To tell you the truth I’ve had no choice but to move on from the person I wanted to marry, you were the worst mistake in my life and now I’ve realised that Tanya here is the one for me, she was also Lydia’s best friend so I get someone who actually knows how I feel. So just get lost!" Hayley’s eyes started to water and so she ran out of the store and down the street in the now pouring rain.

Tanya stood up and walked out to the main entrance of the store and stepped outside. Her eyes blacked out, but her body just carried on moving towards a back alley. From the back alley came a black figure, it was The Stranger, Tanya was just walking straight towards the figure. Was this Lydia controlling her body or some other force? Robb dashed out of the store and over to Tanya and grabbed her arm, which then shoved him off. He grabbed both her arms and dragged her back, but she carried on trying to get to him. Her lips opened and she whispered, "Let me go Robb you know I loved you now let me do this to free Tanya from the fear, depression and paranoia which I went through." Robb let her go and so she carried on walking towards The Stranger who now slowly started walking out of the shadowy alleyway.

As Tanya approached The Stranger, he grabbed her and stabbed his fingers into her head. At this point Robb shouted, "NO! Lydia you said she’d be free. Why does she have to die too!" The Stranger looked at Robb and shouted, "She’s free now I promise you Robb!" at this point The Stranger dropped Tanya and walked away. Robb ran over to Tanya and cried, as he cried he noticed through his salty tears that Tanya had no marks on her and that she was breathing, but very weak. He got her up in his arms and carried her into the music store. He lay her down on the main desk in the actual store area.

Gerard grabbed the phone and rang for an ambulance, the ambulance was going to be a short while so they closed the store and sat and held her hands. Her breathing was getting weaker the longer they were waiting. Robb thought to himself, ‘Is this what Lydia meant by being free, by dying slowly. Lydia how do you know that The Stranger won’t be back.’ He was trying to look for the answer in Tanya’s one open eye. As Robb looked in her eye he cried out and said, "This isn’t Tanya! She never had eyes like that!" Gerard looked in her eye and slowly said, "Robb I think you’re right that isn’t her eyes. And they don’t look like Lydia’s so it can’t be Lydia in her body." Both of them let go of her hands and backed away from her body. Was the person lying there an intruder or was someone trying to contact them through Tanya’s body? This question quickly entered their heads. The answer to this question was going to be hard for them to find.

The ambulance finally arrived and so Robb and Gerard went out to it. Robb looked down the street and saw The Stranger stood in the middle of the road, he was looking straight towards Robb. He waved to Robb and then he mysteriously floated up into the air and disappeared. Robb went into the store and now when he looked into her eye he recognised the eye it was Lydia’s eye. The paramedics opened her other eye to see whether it was fixed and dilated like the other one. And Robb managed to get a glance at the other eye too and recognised it as being Tanya’s which was weird. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Robb just burst out crying and had no choice in his mind but to run from the truth, so as they told him she was gone and they couldn’t do anything more to save her, he ran away and kept in his mind that she was still alive. He put himself into a state of denial.

In the state of denial he’d put himself in, he couldn’t even be bothered to stop himself running out in front of a car. Later that day he woke up in a hospital bed in a lot of pain. He couldn’t help it but he just had to scream out loud getting himself in trouble with the hospital staff. Police officers came to talk to Robb, but Robb just completely ignored everything they had to say and stared up at the ceiling and thought about the two women in his life which he had lost due to the same monster, The Stranger. He was lucky enough to have Gerard coming in and visiting otherwise he would be all alone.

One rainy day Gerard went to see Robb and behind him followed Hayley. "Sorry Robb but Hayley wouldn’t take no for an answer so I brought her along. You didn’t mind did you?" asked Gerard. Robb looked at Hayley’s glum face and asked, "Hayley will you forgive me for what I did to you? I’m ever so sorry." Hayley looked into Robb’s eyes and replied, "Your not the one who should be sorry. I should be apologising to you because of your loss. So I’m sorry and yes I’ll forgive you." At this moment they cuddled to show how much they were sorry to each other.

When Robb was finally out of hospital he had to raise some money with the help of Hayley and Gerard so that he could help pay something towards Tanya’s funeral. Luckily Tanya still had her parents and family alive so they could pay quite a bit towards the funeral. Linda was still living in Tanya’s house, so Hayley went to see her, she told her about how Tanya had passed away. "So that’s why the poor girl never came home from work. I thought that she just stayed at the store because she had so much work to do and by the time she got it done it was too late to come home." exclaimed Linda. "Yeah, I can see how you could get that idea. And it’s a shame that what you thought was happening wasn’t the truth. ‘Cause that would mean that she is still alive, a bit like what Robb is trying to believe." explained Hayley. Linda stepped outside the door shut it behind herself and locked it and then she said, "Lets go then! I mean to the morgue or mortuary where ever, so that I can see Tanya’s body!"

Hayley took Linda to see Tanya’s body so that she could see that what she had been told was the truth. She cried when she saw Tanya’s face as she for some reason was still smiling. "How’s Robb holding up? It’s true isn’t it that he was going out with Tanya just before she died?" asked Linda inquisitively. Hayley looked at her and replied, " Yeah it’s true and he’s holding up alright, but we should leave now and perhaps you should come and see Robb yourself." Linda shook her head and started to head back out to the car, Hayley opened the car and got in Linda did too. She was taken home and dropped off so that Hayley could get back to Robb. "Tell Robb that I’ll come and see him tomorrow. I think that taking this night to think about her and to get to terms with her death would be better for me and probably him too." moped Linda as she cried salty tears. Hayley nodded and then set off back to Robb.

"Robb, I’m back now. Are you here?" yelled Hayley. She heard someone on the stairs and decided to go and see who it was. She thought that it was Robb, but it wasn’t it was The Stranger stood wearing his usual trilby hat but without his trench coat. Hayley turned around and ran towards the front door, she was cut short from the door as The Stranger stepped out in front of her. "Hayley please stop running away from me. I’m not going to hurt you." bellowed The Stranger. "Get away from me you freak of nature!" screamed Hayley. She kicked The Stranger in the shin and ran out the front door, she bumped into Robb just down the road from the music store. "What the hell? What you running from? Hayley?" asked Robb. "The....The....Strange......Stranger." replied Hayley in a quivery voice. Robb shook his head and started to walk the opposite way and headed to the music store.

Weirdly The Stranger stepped out in front of him and whispered, "Robb please don’t run. I won’t hurt you, I wasn’t your true love and Lydia’s sorry that I was killed in the process of being free." This scared him more and so he started to step backwards but fell over banging his head. The Stranger helped him up and then whispered, "That was silly now wasn’t it? Look into my eyes and tell me what you see." He was worried but he still did it. Hayley shouted, "NO! Robb don’t do it!" He carried on any way and looked into The Stranger’s eyes, "I see me and Lydia together having a nice time. Now I see me with Hayley having a laugh about one of the customer in the store. And now I can see me with Tanya whilst I was still going out with Hayley, we got drunk and I kissed her."

The Stranger pulled his arm back and then stabbed his hand straight into his heart. Hayley ran straight at The Stranger and hit him making him drop Robb, "Bad idea Hayley now you’ll have to leave with him!" yelled The Stranger. Hayley backed away and then ran to get as far away from The Stranger as possible. The Stranger picked Robb up and carried him to the music store and lay him on the front desk. Then he clicked his fingers and Robb sat up unharmed, The Stranger then just faded away. Hayley ended up going to the music store and when she got there she was shocked. When she walked in the door she could see Robb sat on the front desk unaware that stood in the doorway at the back of the store was Lydia and Tanya.

"Robb it’s Tanya and Lydia. Please look now I’m not lying." cried Hayley. "Robb she’s not lying we’re here because you broke the curse by not giving in to the temptation to move straight on to the next person. You believed that there was a way of seeing us again. You even trusted The Stranger even after everything it done to us." exclaimed Tanya. Robb looked up and in front of him unbelievably was Lydia. "I will marry you if you would still like to. I still love you." whispered Lydia. He nodded and then they kissed and cuddled. Tanya walked over and put her arm around Lydia’s waist and asked, "Why don’t you and Lydia go out and do the proposal properly?" Robb replied, "Yeah sure but can you come with me a second Tanya?" She nodded and followed him out the back of the store. He held his hand out, but Tanya didn’t know what he wanted so she just stood there. "Tanya don’t you remember the ring? I gave you it after Lydia died." he whispered.

She ran out and headed home to get the ring. When she got in her door she scared Linda half to death with her return from the grave. "Linda it’s okay it really is me. Robb managed to defeat The Stranger and so everyone killed came back to live their life the way they’re meant to." explained Tanya. So Linda cried, "I’m glad ‘cause I thought that I was going to have to find a way of paying your rent and sorting out all your belongings. I also missed your company here in the evening." They then both hugged, Tanya walked up the stairs to her room where she then blacked out and fell to the floor with a thud. Linda heard the thud and ran up to Tanya’s room, she entered and found Tanya on the floor unconscious but shivering.

She knelt next to Tanya after getting a glass of water, which she then poured on Tanya’s face bringing her back round. She sat up and asked, "What just happened? Why am I on the floor? And why am I all wet?" Linda replied, "It’s alright Tanya you must have blacked out or something, so I poured a glass of water over your face to bring you back around." Linda stood up and then helped Tanya up onto her feet and asked, "Is there any special reason for you to rush up here anyway?" Tanya nodded and replied, "I need to get Robb’s ring to him so that he can marry Lydia finally."

She searched the draw and found the ring, she then ran to the music store and gave it to Robb. "Thank you for getting it back to me Tanya. Shame Lydia’s already left to go and sort out her housing arrangements until she can get her old house back or another house in the area. Luckily I asked her to go out with me after work tomorrow." cried Robb. She apologised and walked out back, where Hayley sat in the shadows crying, she walked over to Hayley and asked, "Hayley what’s a matter everyone’s back and everything’s back to normal? Except for Gerard of course he’ll only come back if you bring him back," she was confused by what Tanya just said, "He was so hurt when you went out with Robb because he... he... liked you and wanted to go out with you. I thought you knew." Hayley shook her head and explained, "I never knew that he liked me otherwise I would of gave him a chance. The truth is that I like him too but I didn’t think he’d want to go out with me. God damn it where does he live I’ve got to go see him now." Tanya went out into the store and grabbed a piece of paper and a pen from behind the front desk. She wrote Gerard’s address on the paper and gave it to Hayley.

It was getting late so Hayley hurried to Gerard’s house leaving Tanya and Robb alone in the store. Tanya locked the back entrance and then shut the door behind her. "Hey we better get home ourselves shouldn’t we Robb?" asked Tanya. Robb nodded and so they exited the store through the main entrance, Robb locked the main entrance after setting the alarm. Tanya waited with him and so they walked as far as they could together to get home, which was quite a distance from the store. They both got home safely, but at about midnight Robb got a knock at the door, he opened the door and stood dripping with water was Lydia shivering and crying. Robb took her in and got her a blanket to wrap around herself whilst her clothes dried in the tumble drier.

He sat her down on the sofa and asked her, "What happened out there to upset you and make you shiver with fear?" She just stared blankly at the floor in silence, so Robb went and made her a cup of coffee to heat her up. "I don’t know what happened out there. I might just be panicky after what happened with The Stranger." sobbed Lydia. He finished making her coffee and gave it to her, then he sat next to her and put his arm around her, she moved as he touched her causing her coffee to spill on her hand burning her. She jumped up and ran to the corner of the room where she sat on the floor in fear holding her hurt hand. Robb ran over to her and persuaded her that everything was going to be fine. She got up again trusting Robb she took his hand and whispered, "I want to get married very soon just in case something bad happens to me or you I want to know that we are together until we die. Please I love you and after tonight I know that now is the time we belong together."

He walked back out in the kitchen and then when he went back in with Lydia he got down on one knee and asked, "Will you make me one of the happiest men on Earth by accepting to marry me?" She accepted and so they cuddled and kissed. In the end Lydia stayed at Robb’s house that night because she had nowhere else anyway. She slept downstairs on the sofa. In the middle of the night at about 3am she woke up and ran to the corner of the room again, she began to shiver again from fright. She fell back to sleep curled up in the corner of the room. The next morning Robb got up and walked down the stairs, when he saw her in the corner curled up asleep he went over to her and woke her up to find out why she was in the corner of the room again.

She woke up and straight away she began to shiver from fear once again. "What’s wrong Lydia? You can trust me." asked Robb. She got up off the floor and replied, "I’m not a hundred percent sure but I swear there was a feeling of evil in this room." He looked at her and embraced to cuddle her and whispered, "Come here. Everything’s back to normal The Stranger will never be back to mess with us again, I promise you this." They then cuddled and soon enough she became more comfortable in the room and also she managed to stop shivering. They both had breakfast before heading off to work. They walked hand in hand down the street all the way to work.

They entered the shop, sorted things out ready for the start of the day and then sat out the back together talking to pass the left over time before Tanya and Hayley come in. There came a knock on the main entrance window, Robb went to see who it was and he noticed that it was Hayley and Gerard. He let them in and so they sat out the back too and made conversation with Lydia and Robb. "Lydia, Robb I hope you don’t mind but I would like to come back and work here again with all my friends and my girlfriend." explained Gerard. They smiled and nodded their heads, Gerard smiled back and walked out to the front desk with Hayley following quite close behind. Next came Tanya turning up late whilst everyone else was already there and rushed off their feet.

Tanya went straight out back and sat down, Lydia followed her and asked, "What the hell do you think you’re doing? You come in late then you just sit straight down. Tanya are you listening to me?" Tanya looked up from the ground and replied, "Sorry Lydia but I’m late because something happened on my way here. I seen someone which I thought looked familiar to me, I made myself believe that it was just me being paranoid. And now I’m scared stiff, see how much I’m shivering from fright." Lydia let her stay out back to calm herself down and then carried on out to the front desk to get more work done. Tanya ended up getting out of doing any work as she wouldn’t stop shaking.

At the end of the day when everything had been done Hayley and Gerard went home, so that only Tanya, Lydia and Robb were left. Lydia asked Robb to carry on home so that she could talk to Tanya alone. He respected her wishes and carried on home leaving her to speak with Tanya. "Tanya tell me exactly who or what you saw." demanded Lydia. Tanya looked into Lydia’s eyes and trusting her she began to describe. "I seen a man all in black stood staring at a person in front of me, his stance looked familiar to me you know like The Stranger. That’s why I got frightened and made myself late. I didn’t carry on to work I walked to the building site that is just down the road from where I live. I wanted to end ‘it’, ‘it’ being my life, then I told myself that it was just me being paranoid so I managed to stop myself and finally make my way to work." Lydia hugged Tanya as she started to cry, comforting her was the only way for her to make sure that she knows that she is loved and that nothing should be able to make her commit suicide.

They sat in the back of the store for a couple of hours talking to each other. "It’s alright Tanya I too have had some weird things happen to me, such as when I was walking to Robb’s house last night at about 10:27pm I had a weird feeling inside me as I walked along. It became more of a pain as it started to rain and so I ran, but instead of going straight to Robb’s I ran past and entered the garden of my old house. As I stared at the door a familiar person appeared and then disappeared in a flash. I recognised his stance it seemed like The Stranger too, so I ran back and went to Robb’s, for some reason though the rain suddenly became heavier and so I got drenched just getting from my old house to the end of the road." explained Lydia.

Tanya seemed happier when she found out that she wasn’t the only one who had experienced something weird connected to the tragic thing which happened to them before because of The Stranger. They then both left the store and went home. Lydia went to Robb’s, Robb had got a little worried as she was late home but she explained everything to him to show him there was nothing to worry about. They settled down for the night hoping that this was the last day that The Stranger was ever mentioned. The only thing is this, ‘Was The Stranger really gone or not?’

The End

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