Jacqueline and Jill could have been sisters. They could have been lovers. Or maybe, they were total strangers. What they were to each other while they had been alive held no significance anymore. Once on the other side, love transcends beyond companionship and passion to its purest form, uncontaminated by memories from the past life, which is life as we know it. The only thing that their epitaphs told them was that they both died on the same day and were buried next to each other. Perhaps they died of some illness. Perhaps they died in an accident; which might have involved something like tumbling down a hill. Perhaps they were pushed down the hill for being lesbians a long time before people started considering it fashionable being lesbian. This too, they had no clue about for facts like these did not matter once you are dead. at least, not to the ones who died. But they couldn't possibly have died of any natural cause, since they were both in their mid-teens and looked very healthy and beautiful. Yes, they still retained a wispy yet human form
At nights, they played around in the graveyard behind the old church atop the hill where they were burried. And from dawn till dusk, they slept peacefully in their graves. Under the moon, they looked like nothing but random shapes swirling around in the night-fog, hardly noticeable. But every once in a while a late night traveller, and there were many during those days, would hear them giggle. Very soon, word spread that the graveyard atop the eastern hill was haunted by evil spirits. It is sad how 'haunted' and 'cursed' are closest that people get to hear about magic these days.
People who lived on the hillside started moving away and in less than a decade, not one occupied house remained in the proximity of the church. The church itself had worn down so much due to lack of maintenance that it looked more like a wayside ill-omen perched on top of the desolated hill. Folks who traveled East often had to take the road that went through the foot of the hill and they did so only when the sun was high up in the skies above them. Now and then a traveler would dare to look up at the granite structure, and the graveyard beyond, and say to himself that there is not a chance under the sun, moon, or the stars, that even a minuscule amount of sanctity remained in that God-forsaken mansion of gloom that once used to be a church
It was against all warnings and advices that Brother Emmanuel decided to move in to his uncle's abandoned cottage on the west side of the hill. As a child, Brother Emmanuel was always fascinated by the books about exorcism that he found in his grandfather's forgotten chest on the attic. He had studied each book just the way he had studied the bible during his days in the old Victorian seminary. He knew each page like the back of his hand, but so far he had never gotten a chance to practice what he believed he had mastered, except for an instance with an Ouija board when he almost established communication with the late John Egerton, the 4th Earl of Ellesmere. But that wasn't much of what one would call a noteworthy incident. Hardly of any significance at all compared to what Brother Emmanuel hoped to do in the abandoned church