Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by Autumn

Adelaide finally finds out what is in the letter while at home with her family.


Adelaide kicked off her black high heels as she walked into her family’s small, three bedroom house. “I’m home!” she called as she walked into the forest themed living room.

“I’m in my room!” her father shouted back.

Adelaide took a left into the narrow, white walled hallway. She walked into the first room on the left. Her heels dangled from her fingertips as she leaned on the door frame. Adelaide lightly giggled at the sight in front of her. Her father’s short brown hair was sticking up in all directions. A few potato chips were scattered on top of the forest green comforter. A couple empty beer cans littered his abnormally large nightstand while a full one rested in his hand. His grey eyes were glued to the television screen in front of him. “Are you throwing yourself a one person party?” Adelaide teased with one of her eyebrows quirked up.

“You’re invited if you want,” he said, briefly looking away from the television.

“I might after I change,” she answered. Adelaide began to walked away but then jerked her head back into the doorway. “Hey where’s Eric? I didn’t see him in his usual spot.”

“He went out with some friends. He should be back any minute now. I think he’s also bringing a couple of friends over,” her father answered.

Adelaide’s nose wrinkled at the mention of her brother’s friends. “Gross then that definitely means I’m hiding in here with you.”

“That’s okay with me. Just bring me another beer before you come back in here!” her father yelled as she left to disappear into her room.

Her barefeet silently padded down the hallway on the soft green carpet that was all throughout the house. Adelaide walked all the way down the narrow hallway where her room was located.

As soon as she was in her room, she closed the thick wooden door, shutting herself off from the rest of the household. Adelaide breathed in the faint vanilla and lavender scent that was always associated with her part of the house. She peeled off her turquoise sweater after she let her blonde curls fall loosely down her back. She then proceeded to shake the numerous bobby pins that gripped onto her hair like it was a lifeline. She heard multiple pings as they fell onto the hardwood floor. She tossed her heels back into her walk-in closet. Adelaide took off her white blouse along with her black shirt and threw it onto the laundry pile that had accumulated in the middle of the floor. After slipping on a pair of black running shorts, she went into the master bedroom since her father had given the master bedroom to her a few years after her mother had died. Adelaide perched herself on the large double sink counter and began to put earrings into her numerous piercings that lined her right earlobe and up to her cartilage. She stuck another piece of jewelry through her tragus piercing on the other side of her head after she did the same to her nostril piercing since she was not allowed to wear any of it except the bottom of her earlobe. Too bad the boss was not here today to see my new tattoo on my ankle. The old bat would have completely flipped out! Adelaide thought while admiring the healing quote that was woven around her left ankle.

“Hey Adelaide, can you make something for us to eat?” her little brother asked while walking into the bathroom.

Adelaide rolled her eyes as she hopped off the counter. “You do realize that I am only wearing running shorts and a bra, right?”

“I have better vision than you do, Addie,” he replied. “Just put on a shirt.”

Adelaide walked past her brother and pulled on an old, faded white tank top over her head with her back to him, not bothering to say anything else.

“You never answered my question,” her little brother observed.

Adelaide turned to face her brother. “Dude, you’re sixteen. Learn how to cook for you and your friends. I’m busy.”

“No you’re not. You do practically nothing when you get home this late,” he confronted her.

“How would you know, Eric? You are rarely ever here when I’m home.”

“That’s because I have a life outside of his house and school.”

“So? It wouldn’t kill you to be home every once in a while. Dad and I work hard to keep this place running efficiently,” Adelaide snapped at him.

“Whatever you say.” 

Adelaide heard him crystal clear despite the nearly incoherent muttering. “What the f**k is that supposed to mean!” she exclaimed with irritation strongly laced through her voice.

“It means neither you nor Dad are home often enough for me to simply talk to you anymore!”

“That’s because we work all the time!” Adelaide shouted. “Do you want to know where over half of my paycheck goes?”

Eric shook his head no. “I really don’t care.”

Oh well. You definitely are going to hear every word I have to say if you want to act like a spoiled little brat, she angrily thought. Adelaide shifted her stance to where her arms were crossed in front of her chest and to where one of her hips were sticking out a little bit. “I put a little over half my paycheck into a separate bank account just for you. This is before I take out the money I need to cover all y necessities for the month. If I need something that I don’t have enough money for, I go without whatever it is until I get my next paycheck a month later because I simply refuse to take  money out of the account I set up for you.”

“Why?” Eric softly asked, feeling terrible. His hazel eyes stared back at Adelaide’s stormy grey ones.

“Why do you think? I want you to have a better life after you graduate high school unlike I did. I want you to go on to an actual college.”

“Really? You do all that for me?” he asked, bewildered.

“Of course. I’d do practically anything for you. You’re my little brother, a pain in my rear, but my little brother nonetheless.”

“Have you been doing this since you began working?” Eric asked attempting to wrap his mind around it.

“Yeah, since I was fifteen.” Adelaide turned around and picked up the black shirt she was wearing just a few moments ago, remembering the creepy, old man and the events that followed. She took the letter, keys, and the note out from her pockets and lightly tossed it all onto her dark wooden desk.

Eric pointed at the items. “What are those?”

Adelaide looked over her shoulder at the letter, the keys, and the creepy note. “Nothing for you so don’t worry about it. Now how many twerps are over so I know how much pizza to order?”

“Wait. You’re actually ordering pizza instead of making it yourself?” he asked while utterly shocked.

“What can I say? I’m getting lazy in my old age,” Adelaide kidded. She walked out of her room with her Eric at her heels.

“Addie, you’re only eighteen,” he stated, flashing his sister one of his major sass faces. His mouth was in a firm pink line across the lower half of his face while his eyes were slightly glaring at her back. His head was slightly tilted to the side.

“Are you giving me that face because I’m pretty sure you are?” Adelaide glanced over her shoulder and laughed. “I knew it! Anyway, I’ll see what kind of pizza Dad wants. You can go see what your friends want since they are in the living room.”

“How did you know that?” Eric asked.

“Because I didn’t hear a heard of wild animals stomp their way down the hall.”

“We’re not that loud,” Eric protested.


The siblings stopped in front of their father’s bedroom door. “Eric, go on. I got this.”

“Fine, I’ll be in the living room.”

No, I would have never told you to go there, she sarcastically thought. Despite this thought, Adelaide nodded in acknowledgement as her little brother continued walking down the long, narrow hallway.

She walked into the bedroom. “Hey, I’m ordering pizza. Is there anything specific you want?”

Her father, who her brother adopted the majority of his looks from, shook his head. “No, you know me. I’ll eat almost anything.”

Adelaide let out a small laugh. “Boy, don’t I know it,” she kidded.

Her father’s grey eyes, almost identical to hers, stared at her.

“I could use another beer though.”

“Sure thing.” Adelaide began to walk away but turned back around. She leaned against the doorway once again. “Dad, is it okay if I ask you a question? It’s kind of a sore subject for the both of us.”

Her father scooted over a little and patted the empty spot next to him. “Seems important so get over here, kiddo.”

Before the petite, blonde woman sat by her father, she analyzed her father’s appearance. He was wearing a pair of sweatpants, an old t-shirt, and a dark pair of socks that supported many holes in the bottom. This was the most relaxed Adelaide has seen her father in a long time. There was almost no stress looming over him. She finally walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed. Adelaide discovered that he had not shaved in a few days. He had a bit of brownish-greyish scruff. As Adelaide looked back into her father’s eyes, she felt like her own were staring back at her. She felt like she was a carefree kid again. It mesmerized her for a second.

Adelaide quickly composed herself. She looked back down at her hands, staring at her interwoven fingers and pale palms. “Do you remember when we last saw Great Aunt Barnhardt?” she quietly asked. She looked up just in time to witness her father nodding.

“It was shortly after your brother was born and about a year before your mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” her father, Roger, elaborated.

“I received a letter today from her,” Adelaide confessed. She saw her father tilt his head as she finally faced him, too curious to see his reaction to refrain herself from looking. “I have only seen her once and that was when I was three. Do you know why she would send me a letter?”

“I have no clue,” Roger answered truthfully.

“Do you think I should open it?”

Her father shrugged. “It’s your choice.”

Adelaide nodded before she stood up and walked over to the door. She turned to look back at her father. “Hey, can you do me a favor?”

Her father looked at her quizzically. “Depends on what it is.”

“Could you not tell Eric about any of this yet, please?” she pleaded a little.

“Sure thing, just let me know when you do actually tell him, okay?”

“No problem. Let me order the pizzas and then I’ll bring you that beer you asked for.”

Her father nodded his head once. “Sounds like a plan.”

Adelaide left the room and walked into the living room, making her way to the kitchen. She silently watched her little brother and his friends yell at each other over the videogame they were playing for a moment. She quietly giggled to herself before speaking. “Hey guys, time out!”

Eric appeared to be the first one to hit the pause button. He rolled his hazel eyes before looking at his older sister. “What do you want?” he said, exasperated.

Adelaide also rolled her eyes. Let it go. He’s only trying to show off in front of his friends, she thought to herself, repressing the urge to smack him upside the head. Instead, she held her hands up in front of her chest, like she was surrendering. “No need for the rudeness. I just want to ask you if you have figured out what kind of pizza you want.”


“Cool, I’m just going to cut through here to get to the kitchen.”

Adelaide carefully walked around the limbs, pillows, and controllers. She pushed through the swinging door that cut off the living room’s view of the kitchen. She picked up the phone and dialed the local pizza place’s number that she pulled from memory. She ordered the two large pizzas. One was pepperoni while the other one was only cheese. She then grabbed a can of beer out of the tall, stainless steel refrigerator. She walked back out of the kitchen and into the living room. “Hey guys, pause it again. I just need to get back to my room real quick!” she said while raising her voice enough to be heard.

Eric let out a dramatic sigh, but, nonetheless, paused it anyway.

Adelaide teased, “Man, I was convinced you were a boy, but now I’m rethinking that with all the theatrics, Erica.” She quickly made her way through the room and was about to walk down the hallway until one of the many small throw pillows collided with the back of her head. She slowly turned around and faced her brother. “You have exactly five seconds to apologized or else,” Adelaide threatened with a steely glare.

Her brother smirked. “Never,” Eric whispered challengingly.

“Are you sure that’s how you want to play it?” she asked with a hand firmly planted on her hip that was slightly sticking out.

Eric’s friends were nervously glancing between the two siblings while sitting on the dark green carpet floor.

Meanwhile, Eric slowly stood up on the brown leather couch, his eyes never leaving hers. Adelaide moved towards the family’s entertainment system after picking up the pillow and replacing its spot with the unopened can of beer. Almost simultaneously, the siblings revealed a foam sword from their hidden spots.

Eric’s friends were extremely confused.

In the meantime, Adelaide was the first to advance forward in the battle of the siblings. Eric attempted to use his long arm length to stab her in the chest once she was within reach. However, she easily deflected it with the small pillow that was previously thrown at her.

“Remember, the first one to stab the other in the heart wins,” Adelaide politely reminded her brother as she blocked the hit.

Eric attempted another stab, but Adelaide used it as an opportunity. She dropped the pillow, grabbed his arm with her now free hand and pulled him towards her, using his own momentum to cause him to fall off the couch. Adelaide then stole his place on the couch.

“Hey!” he protested as he caught himself.

Adelaide childishly stuck her tongue out at her brother.

“Dude, you’re still taller than her!” one of his friends called out.

Turning his head to look over his shoulder, Eric yelled, “That’s not the point and aren’t you supposed to be on my team?!”

His friend merely shrugged.

Eric attempted to hit his sister in the chest with the tip of his sword again. Adelaide swiftly ducked and rolled off the couch. Once she was on the ground, she kicked one of her feet out to take Eric’s out from under him. He fell to the ground with a thud. Adelaide quickly pointed the sword at his chest as she harshly knocked his sword from his hand with her foot. She blew a strand of hair that was resting directly in front of her face away. “Say it and I might show you some mercy.”

Eric attempted to inconspicuously grab the sword but did not go unnoticed by his sister. She quickly bent over, carefully keeping her sword pointed at his chest and snatched the sword from the ground and out of her brother’s reached. Adelaide then pointed Eric’s own sword at his throat. Her sword did not budge an inch from where it was. She intensely glared at him with her head slightly tilted to the side. “Last chance to surrender, brother,” she said in a deep voice with menace laced all throughout it.

Eric grumbled but, nonetheless said, “Fine, I am sorry. Now let me up.”

Adelaide smirked a little, not moving the sword away from his throat. “I didn’t hear a please.”

“Addie, just let me the hell up!”

Adelaide rolled her eyes despite the smile on her face. “You ruin all the fun.” She dropped the swords onto her brother’s chest and walked away. She looked at Eric’s friends as she passed them and said, “That is the reason why you should never challenge me.” Once she reached the hall, she picked up the beer off the ground and disappeared into the dark hallway. I don’t think they’ll want to come back anytime soon, Adelaide thought to herself.

Adelaide stepped into her father’s room. “Hey catch!” she warned a second before she caught it. “The pizza should be here in about twenty minutes or so. I’m going to be in my room until then so just call if you need something,” Adelaide turned back around to leave.

“Where are Eric and his friends?” Roger asked.

His daughter turned back around. “They’re all in the living room playing video games. Why?”

Her father shrugged as he looked down and popped his beer open.


“Really, what is it?” she pressed. Adelaide walked over to the edge of the bed.

“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it, kiddo.”

Adelaide shook her head. “No, I am going to worry about it. We’re family.”

Roger let out a heavy sigh. He looked her directly in the eye and asked, “Do you think I am a terrible father?”

“Hell no! What in the world could possibly make you think that?”

He shrugged his shoulders again. “It’s just after your mother died, I feel like I wasn’t there for you kids. Hell, I’m hiding in my bedroom while my son has friends over. I should be like any normal dad and be teasing the s**t out of him. And with you, I was rarely there for any of your chorus concerts, or any of your events for that matter, just because of someone else’s damn car needed fixed! Addie, I’ve been a horrible father to you kids ever since your mother died.” His eyes were forming a slight shine as he said this.

“Hey, hey, hey,” Adelaide whispered. “Look at me. You’ve always made sure that we’ve had everything we have ever needed in our lives. Don’t you dare give up on yourself now.”

Her father did not say a word. He just stared at the comforter.

“I mean it,” Adelaide said sternly. “You have always been there for us, especially when Mom died.”

As she stood up to leave to go to her bedroom, her father proudly said, “You remind me so much of your mother.”

Adelaide froze for a full minute before she faced her father once more. “How?” she softly asked, filled with curiosity.

Roger looked directly at his daughter. “The way you look and the small things you do are very similar to what your mother would have done if she was still alive.”

“Do you think she would be proud of me?”

Her father smiled widely. “She would not be proud of you…” he trailed off.

Adelaide’s ever-present smile disappeared. Then why is he smiling? Excellent way to show cruelty, Father.

“Eliana would be honored to be called your mother, Addie.”

Adelaide grinned from ear to ear. “Thanks Dad.” She waved goodbye before she walked towards her room. Damn, he had me going there, she absentmindedly thought as she shut her thick, wooden door. She leisurely strolled over to her shelf and chose a song out of her mp3 player that was already plugged into the small sound system.

As the music softly played, Adelaide sat down at her desk. She tucked her legs underneath her rear before she picked up the letter off the top of her desk. This is so beyond weird. I barely knew this lady. Hell, the last time I ever saw, much less talked to this lady was when I was three. So why in the world would she send me a letter after she died? she thought, pumped full of ever-growing curiosity. Adelaide flipped the letter over and barely touched her fingertips to the solid, blood red wax. Because this looks so historic, it is going to physically and emotionally pain me to break this wax in order to open this letter. Adelaide planted her feet on the floor, stopping her chair directly in front of her desk. She eyed the silver letter opener that was sticking out of its holder on top of the wide desk. Or I could use this. Adelaide picked up the letter opener after she had set the letter back onto the desk. She slowly and cautiously forced the letter opener in where the letter and the wax met. After a few seconds, the flap was finally free from its prison, and the wax was still in one piece. Adelaide gently pulled the letter from its confines. She observed that the handwriting was identical to the front where her full name was written. She began to read the letter to herself:

Dear Adelaide Marie Way,

How are you, dear?  Sadly is you are reading this, my time has on this planet has come to pass. Basically, I have died. I am writing this letter shortly after I have begun to feel my lifetime coming to an end. I trust that you remember the last time we have seen each other face to face. You were very young, but nevertheless, you made an exuberant impression. Whenever Eliana, your mother, asked you to do something, you rarely ever asked her why. You simply did as you were told. It was simply remarkable for you to cooperate so efficiently at the young age you were.

Returning to the true purpose of this letter, I have sent multiple private investigators to take pictures of you since I had first saw you. I know you probably think that is crossing a line, but I wanted to see you grow up to make sure you would be a wonderful candidate to inherit my estate when I was gone. Needless to say, you have grown into an exceptionally beautiful woman, considering the way you looked when you were a child. It makes me feel proud to call you my great niece. You look almost identical to your mother when she was your age.

As you know of, I do not have any children or husband that I can give my fortune to. Thus, I am leaving everything in my possession to you. However, there are a few requirements that you will need to accomplish before you get control of anything that is under my name or power.

First of all, you are required to attend my funeral and also deliver the eulogy. I know that you know practically little to nothing about me so I took the liberty of writing one for you. There is no need to worry. Everything I have written is true and factual, with the exceptions of a few embellishments. Although you are free to write one of your own, I strongly prefer for you to read the one I have already provided for you.

Secondly, in order to keep the name of the mansion, or manor in the correct term, you are required to change your last name to Barnhardt, which was your deceased mother’s maiden name. The manor has only changed its name once in history that it has been standing. This is the one thing will never change if they are any inconsistencies throughout the manor.

Lastly, there are a few things that you absolutely need to know. First of all, the mansion is what keeps the surrounding small town alive, economically speaking of course. The majority of the servants are the town. You also have to have a large portrait of you painted. It will be hung up in the grand hallway that leads to most of the bedrooms on the ground floor. For the funeral, there is an elegantly statuesque black dress along with jewelry I would like for you to wear for my funeral if you accept my offer along with all of these requirements. I will forewarn you that the entire outfit is most likely a little extravagant for your taste, but it will aid you in establishing your new role as the mansion’s rightful heir and owner. The last shred of important information that you’ll need to know before accepting is that you are never, ever allowed to change your last name from Barnhardt once it’s changed. For example, if you get married, the groom will have to find a way to accept that you not being able to change your last name. He could change his, but that is unlikely due to our society and machismo that most males seem to possess.

Now all that is out in the open, I wish you the best of luck with the manor if you choose to accept.


Irma Adeline Barnhardt

P.S. There is another letter at the manor in your room with a couple more notes on it, simply little notes to help you find your way around the mansion.

After Adelaide finished reading, she thought, Why in the hell would this lady give me all of this when the last time I’ve even had a source of contact with her was when I was three? Adelaide checked the envelope to see if there was anything else inside. She discovered that there was a small invitation telling her where the funeral was and that it would be held in the late afternoon in just four days from now.

Adelaide’s chair was angled towards the desk as she reread the letter, soaking in every little detail.

Eric knocked on the door before he walked in, not waiting for an answer. “Hey, pizzas are here,” he announced.

Adelaide hummed in acknowledgement. “Fine, I’m coming. Give me a sec,” she mumbled as she swiftly stuffed the papers and envelope into one of her top drawers.

Eric looked at the papers quizzically. “What’s that about?”

Adelaide stood up as she grabbed the money she had already set aside off the corner of the desk. “Nothing important enough for you to know,” she casually dismissed. “Now let’s go eat some pizza, freckle face.” She playfully shoved Eric out the door, pulling it closed with her foot on the way out.

As the siblings walked down the hallway, Adelaide popped her head into Roger’s room. “Hey, pizzas are here.”

“Awesome, I’ll be there in a second.”

They continued their miniature trip to the living room where the pizza man was waiting. “Hey, sorry about the wait,” Adelaide immediately apologized.

The pizza delivery guy shrugged. “It’s no problem. Awesome bird tattoo by the way,” he complimented, gesturing toward her right collar bone.

“Thanks. It actually wraps around my back. Nice septum piercing. I thought about getting one of those, but I went with the nostril piercing instead because of my job,” Adelaide explained while they were exchanging the pizza and the money.

The pizza man glanced down at her left ankle.

Adelaide stuck out ankle a little bit to get a better look. “It’s a quote by Shakespeare. ‘We know what we are, but know not what we may be’. It’s just something that gives me inspiration, and it’s somewhat new.”

“I can tell by the pink tint it has. My name is Seth by the way.”

“Adelaide,” she informed, looking back up.

“By the way, your piercings are pretty cool too, especially that ear.”

Adelaide blushed lightly while self-consciously touching her piercings that went all the way down her right ear. “Thanks, I wish I could wear them to work. The only reason I can possibly get away with the tattoo on my ankle is because it’s a quote by Shakespeare and also my boss wasn’t there to see it today.”

“Where do you work?” Seth asked, tilting his head to the side slightly.

“You’re not going to believe it once I tell you.”

“Come on. It can’t be that bad. Hell, I’m a f*****g pizza delivery boy.”

Adelaide laughed a little. “Thanks for telling me Captain Obvious. To answer your question, I’m the one of the city’s librarians at the library.”

“Really? No offense but you don’t seem like the type.”

Adelaide waved him off. “Don’t worry about offending me. It’s nearly impossible to do. Plus, I get that similar comment more than you think.” She handed him another five dollar bill. “You might want to get going. You probably have other pizzas to deliver. Here’s some more cash to add to your tip.”

Seth gratefully took the offered money. “Thanks, it was nice talking to you.”

“Likewise,” Adelaide replied. After she closed the door, she leaned her upper body against the mahogany door and closed her eyes before letting out a sigh.

“So you flirt with pizza guys now?” Eric teased.

“He was the one flirting, not me. And you could have saved me from that!” Adelaide defended. She pulled herself away from the door and quickly walked through the crowded living room towards the kitchen.

“What makes you think that I would want to do that?” Eric chuckled.

Adelaide rolled her eyes. “You could have at least said something.” She grabbed multiple plates from the kitchen from the wooden cabinet after she set both of the pizzas on the round kitchen table. She handed her brother the large pepperoni pizza with four of the plates stacked on top. “That’s for you guys. Dad and I have our own.”

“That’s not fair. There are twice as many of us than there are you.”

Adelaide stuck her tongue out as her father walked into the kitchen.

“So where are we eating?” Roger asked after he chuckled at his children’s antics.

Adelaide shrugged. “I was thinking about eating in the living room along with Eric and his friends, but it’s completely up to you.” She glanced at both of her family members.

Eric shrugged, copying his sister. “I don’t care personally.”

“Living room it is then,” Roger announced before he opened the box of cheese pizza before stealing a plate and a slice of pizza.

“Okey dokey. Hey Dad, would you grab my plate for me so I can grab the pizza?”

“Sure thing, Addie.”

The small family made their way to the living room where Eric’s friends were passing the time by playing a different video game. Adelaide set the pizzas, taking one from her brother, on the lengthy coffee table. Eric placed the remaining plates beside it. Roger handed his daughter her plate. She quickly thanked him as she took it. “Okay, the pepperoni is your guys’. Dad and I have the cheese pizza all to ourselves. If any of you are still hungry after your pizza is gone, I’ll call free game on the remaining pizza we don’t eat,” she quickly explained. Adelaide took a slice of her and her father’s pizza before she sat down on the floor in front of the couch but behind the coffee table. “Oh! By the way, there are drinks in the refrigerator if any of you get thirsty. Feel free to get up and grab something.”

Adelaide watched the pepperoni pizza almost instantly disappear from her spot on the carpet. I sure am glad I’m not sitting on that side. Even I might not have survived that.

The rest of the night was filled with horrible puns and terrible jokes that were extremely bad that they were hysterical. Adelaide ended up having her water shoot through her nose due to someone telling a joke right as she was drinking.

When the night came to a close, Adelaide watched two of Eric’s friends leave while the other chose to stay the night. After she had crawled into her king-size bed, Adelaide somberly thought, If I actually accept this inheritance, this is definitely going miss the most.

© 2018 Autumn

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Added on January 3, 2018
Last Updated on January 3, 2018
Tags: home, supernatural, letter, discovery, family, humor, funny