Young Frank Goolz: Spectral Nights 84 - Part#1

In 1984, Frank Goolz was 13 year old, and already weird as a blue carrot. 
That summer, like every summer since ever, he was sent to his aunt Patricia "Trish" Baroness of Goolz, in rural France.
Only that summer, not like every other summer, he saw his very first ghost.
Solved a 40-year-old murder mystery.
Escaped death a couple times.
Broke his arm.
Learned that dead things don't always rest.
Oh, and... Fell madly in love with Nathalie, who would become his wife and the mother of his daughters many many years later.

* *

Patricia "Trish" Baroness of Goolz was an eccentric middle-aged woman, the last of the French Goolz, and many times odder then the rest of her American cousins. After her father died, she inherited the amazing Château de Goolz, a medieval fortified Castle smack in the middle of France. She was terribly independent, strong minded and free spirited. Yet, she was warm and motherly and turned the château into a horse riding summer camp that welcomed hordes of kids from all around the world.
She had neither husband, nor partner nor children. She wished she'd had children, but couldn't. As for having a husband, she thought she would rather drink liquid iron.
She had strange beliefs.
Dabbled in tarot cards. 
Performed seances to call the spirits of her ancestors.
Studied eerie old books and manuscripts in her cherished west wing library.
Talked about alchemy and had no problem presenting herself as a witch.
She was often spotted sitting alone in the wood at dawn, talking to herself or to creatures invisible to others, in words she only knew.
She gathered plants, healed you with foul-smelling decoctions or with the simple touch of her hand.
She was incredibly generous. She charged a fee only to the wealthy parents who could afford to send their children to her for the summer, and hosted freely the rest of them, most of them.  
And she knew hundreds of scary stories that she would tell to the kids at night, after dinner, when everybody would gather around her near the fireplace in the gigantic great hall.
Frank Goolz loved that woman. Loved her good heart and lifestyle. And he adored Castle Goolz. every room and hall and stone and staircase of it. As Trish had told him so many times in the past, this was his true home, and all the other kids, who were his age or older, were his guests.

* *

"They seem to like you," was the very first thing Nathalie ever told him. She meant the horses.
He was in the stable, getting the more docile ones ready for the new guests who had arrived the night before. Nathalie was one of them.
"I saw you ride last night," she said. "It was totally dark outside, yet you were just..." she made a galloping horse with her fingers.
"I like to ride at night," was the very first thing Frank Goolz ever told her.


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