Read part one here
Read part two here
He doesn’t know.
He doesn’t know.
He couldn’t know…
I have always thought that, when faced with a killer, I would confront them. I would attempt to incapacitate such a monster and turn them into the police to ensure they would never be able to hurt another person ever again.
But when faced with the man who lived in the house with the children of light, I simply turned around and walked away.
Almost immediately, however, I came to my senses. My subconscious coming up with a plan faster than I could actually comprehend it, I picked up a random book from the nearest display and turned to face the man with a tight, thin smile. The boy from the front desk was standing beside Mr. Freeman, though I hadn’t noticed him before. He seemed perplexed by my actions, but after a moment’s hesitation his face returned to a practiced customer service grin. “I can check out that book for you while you talk with Mr. Freeman.” He offered warmly. I glanced down at the book in my hands. Solutions manual for Organic Chemistry: Fifth edition. They must have set out some of the solution manuals for classes that have quizzes the first week of the semester. Handing the heavy book to the boy with a brief thanks, too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t actually need it, I nodded to Mr. Freeman and followed him inside his frosted glass office.
Nothing unexpected jumped out at me as I entered the quiet space, though my gaze hardly left the Librarian’s back. There were book shelves from floor to ceiling on the walls to my right and left, filled with encyclopedias and textbooks of varying subjects. A globe perched in a brass stand on the right side of a simple wooden desk, with a comfortable looking black leather chair on the far side, and two cushioned wooden chairs on the other. Dim light filtered through a thick navy blue curtain on the far wall, silhouetting Mr. Freeman as he settled himself into the large leather chair, creating the illusion of a living shadow as he gestured for me to take one of the other seats.
“Adrian tells me that you’re researching some of Harrisburg’s criminal records. Are you looking for anything in particular?” His gruff voice hardly cut through the pounding of my heart pulsing in my ears. The tone of his voice was surprisingly casual, however, and I was grateful for the ancillary evidence that he did not recognize me. Taking a deep breath, I nodded and crossed the room, eyeing the faded blue carpet until I sat down. Finally, I stared into his startling gray-blue eyes.
“Erm, yes.” I replied awkwardly, clearing my throat. Relief washed over me as I realized the library assistant, Adrian, had not told him I had expressly been looking into incidents on Cherry Street. “I’m not from around here, so I was hoping to learn a bit more about the history of the town. I didn’t think they would go into much detail about local felony cases in a freshmen Criminal Justice class.” I had never been so grateful to have the major I did. “Just a lot of terminology and general information, you know?”
Mr. Freeman’s eyes narrowed, his gaze drifting towards the door. “I was wondering why Adrian insisted you meet with me.” He grumbled so quietly I wouldn’t have been able to hear him if the office hadn’t otherwise been silent. He stood up and walked intently towards one of the nearest shelves of books. “Most of the records we have are also available online,” he explained as he grabbed a large, unmarked volume of what I had thought were more encyclopedias. A note of pride entered his voice as he added “However, I have been able to obtain original copies of newspapers as far back as the 1950’s.” He set the book on the otherwise unadorned desk, then sighed. “I should tell you that my daughter was kidnapped five years ago. This volume contains articles about her disappearance and death.” His hands clenched, and I tensed. “The man who took her was drunk, and once he drove off with her he crashed, and she passed away. The man who took her died as well, so he never faced justice for what he did.”
I squirmed in my chair, unsure of how to respond. “I-I’m so sorry to hear that.” It was the lame platitude I was certain the librarian had heard hundreds of times already, but I wasn’t sure what else he wanted a stranger to say. The confession did spark an idea in my mind, though. Salem had said during our conversation that she could make a spirit appear if someone had a close personal connection to the deceased. This appeared to be a perfect candidate.“How old was she?” I murmured as I began flipping through the book, pausing occasionally at mentions of unusual deaths, searching for the answer.
“Mary was only eight.” So she would be a child of light, I thought as I closed the book. I took a deep breath and stood up, not daring to look at the walls before the feeling that they were pressing in around me became reality. “Thank you for giving this to me.” I said, nodding politely and giving a muted smile. “Is it okay if I come back if I have any more questions?” I did not want to stir up hostility or suspicion between Mr. Freeman and I by probing for information I would easily be able to find.
“Of course.” The librarian replied, blinking slowly. “If anyone is willing to listen to Mary’s story, I want to tell them. I won’t let her memory die with me.” I hope I can do better than that, I thought, eyeing the sad man with confusion. He lived in the house with the children of light, but maybe that was just an unlucky coincidence of living in an older house and having death already looming over him. Maybe I can actually get the story from Mary herself.
Leaving the suffocating atmosphere of the office behind, I inhaled deeply to help settle my nerves. With Mr. Freeman’s book of records settled against my hip, I found it hard to suppress an eager stride to my walk. This meeting had been more helpful than I could have ever anticipated, and it hadn’t lasted long, so Salem might still be on campus. I whipped out my phone to call my new friend, only to jump as a finger tapped my shoulder, causing me to drop both the book and my phone on the ground. My face heating with embarrassment, I turned an expression that was equal parts beseeching for secrecy and an irritated glare at the person who had tried to get my attention. I quickly felt ridiculous as I realized it was only Adrian, attempting to give me the book I had checked out. “Oh, hey again,” I said, chuckling as I gathered my things. “I almost forgot to pick that up.”
Adrian flashed me a knowing smile, nodding at my other book.”Mr. Freeman found the records you wanted?”
“Yes, he did.” I replied, unable to hide my enthusiasm. “Thank you for getting this for me in the meantime.”
“Of course. I know what it’s like getting a book you really want. You can’t think of anything else.” He pointed towards a large staircase in the middle of the library. “There are some private study rooms on the second floor. I can reserve one for you if you would like?”
I opened my mouth to reject his offer, but quickly closed it. I was unsure of where Salem was, and if she was unable to show me Mary’s spirit today, then gathering information about the girl’s death would give me an outlet for the need for information I felt coursing through my veins. “That would be great, thanks.” I agreed, and a few clicks of a mouse later, Adrian handed me a large key to one of the rooms upstairs. I lugged my haul up the stairs and arrived, panting, at my assigned room. Setting the books down with a grateful grunt, I unlocked the door and slid the books the rest of the way inside with my foot.Once I was finally seated, I texted Salem.
Hey, Salem. I think there is a child of light whose spirit we could summon. Her father is the librarian here. Are you still on campus?
As I waited for a response, I checked over my other messages, hoping that Violet had let me know what time she, Dallas, Colton, and I were meeting. But there was nothing, so I set it to the side and flipped open the leather-bound book of town newspapers and out-of-date records. Mr. Freeman had mentioned that Mary had gone missing five years ago, so I rapidly flipped the pages until I found the right year. Turning the pages more slowly, I found an article on the front page of a newspaper simply titled The Daily News.
Local Girl, Eight, dies in a tragic crash after being kidnapped!
The Harrisburg community was rocked by the sudden death of a local girl, Mary Freeman (8), who was taken from her bedroom late Thursday night. She was found dead less than ten miles away on I-75 in the car of her suspected kidnapper, Carl Norton (38). The car was found after multiple 911 calls to police alerting them to the crash. Both Freeman and Norton were found dead on arrival. Police reported that Norton had a high level of alcohol in his system and is suspected to have driven off the road and crashed. No other cars were found in the area, and no other injuries have been reported.
I blinked back tears as I read over the article, thinking about my own car crash. I could have met the same fate as Mary, leaving my parents like Mr. Freeman: defeated and alone. I stood and stretched, trying to dismiss these grim thoughts, then picked up my phone. I was happy to find that Salem had texted me back while I had been reading.
Yes. :) Violet and I were trying to find where all of her classrooms are. Where are you?
I’m at the library. Room 203. See you soon!
As I waited, I flipped forward a few days, looking for the obituaries. Salem had not explained exactly how her summoning ability worked, but I thought that Mary’s spirit would have the strongest connection to her burial place. I felt a rush of anticipation and fear when I found her obituary. Mary was buried in the local cemetery only a few miles north of campus. I wasn’t surprised, considering I knew her father was a local, but it made the possibility of summoning her even more real. My anxiety ebbed as I heard Violet’s searching hum drifting up the stairs before she and Salem entered the room.
“Hazel!” Violet dashed forward and hugged me. “Salem was telling me all about what you guys discussed earlier and then ding! You texted. A real ghost!” she squealed.
“What if they know about the house that you saw? I’m so excited! We’re gonna be heroes!” She bounced in delight, and I snorted in amusement, unsurprised to find her completely undaunted. Salem followed her in, her serious expression brightening into a small, closed-lip smile as she saw me struggling to free myself from Violet’s embrace. “Why don’t you start by telling us how you found out about this girl?” she urged gently. Despite her even tone, once she and Violet were seated, Salem ran a hand nervously up and down her thigh. I decided to start at the beginning of my encounter with Mr. Freeman: realizing he was the man from the house with the children of light, listening to him tell the story of his daughter, and finally figuring out where Mary was buried.
“That must be why Dallas and I didn’t find him at his house today!” Violet chimed in. “We went there but no one answered when we knocked on the door. We looked around a little bit afterwards but didn’t find anything. Dallas went to help his parents pack, but he’ll meet up with us later.”
I glanced sadly at Salem. “Are you leaving with your family?” I hadn’t realized she would be going home so soon, and I regretted not being able to get to know her better.
“Yes,” Salem replied, sounding unenthusiastic as well. “I thought about staying, but if this spirit can help you find the information you need, then you will not need me here anymore. Even so, you can always call me for… anything.” she glanced at the floor, embarrassed. I smiled gratefully. I was not as convinced that this would be the end of our troubles, and it was reassuring to know she would still be there.
“But back on topic, Mary is buried not far from here, you said? We should leave as soon as possible.” Salem suggested, and Violet quickly bolted up. “Yes, let’s go, let’s go! Things will be way too spooky if we wait until nightfall, and by then we won’t have enough time if we want to make it to our double date.” I cringed at Violet’s interpretation of our outing later, but dismissed the feeling and instead latched onto her determination. “Good idea. We can take both cars so that Violet and I can leave for the bowling alley while Salem leaves to pack, if that’s alright with you?” Salem nodded, and with our plan decided we split off.
Violet suddenly dashed ahead of me as we left the library and got within sight of my car. Her spring-like curls were tossed neatly aside by the wind as she called “Race you!” over her shoulder. I laughed and started running after her, even though I knew I had no chance of winning. I felt so carefree in that moment, it was as if my reservations about my powers and the eerie circumstances surrounding Mr. Freeman’s house were dark clouds easily swept away by the icy breeze, allowing cold clarity to wash over me like the murky sunlight.
“That wasn’t fair,” I puffed with mock indignance as I reached Violet, who was grinning victoriously. “All is fair in love and war~” she wheedled. “And in car races.” I was about to retort when we heard a beep to our right. Turning, we watched Salem drive by, already in her car, already ahead of both of us. Violet and I burst out laughing, and it took a few moments before either of us had enough control to speak. Clearing my throat, I handed the brunette my keys. “Do you mind driving?” I asked, and she quickly agreed, taking the keys and getting in on the driver’s side.
“So when are Salem and her parents leaving?” I asked Violet as she started the engine, tapping quietly at my phone to load directions.
“Tomorrow morning,” Violet replied. “They’re having a small dinner once we get back from the bowling alley. I’m sure they won’t mind if you join us!”
I was cheered by the thought of getting to spend some more time with Salem. “I’d like that,” I agreed immediately, then paused. “But then Colton would come as well.” I reasoned after a moment. “Do you think Dallas and Salem’s parents would mind a second extra mouth?”
“Not at all! Well… Salem might mind him snatching her new friend’s attention.” Violet mused, her voice rising in amusement. “I’ve never seen her open up to anyone like she has with you. She’s told me about her powers and all, but I think she appreciates that you actually understand her. I don’t think she honestly believes any of us accept her as she is.” She trailed off with a worried sigh, then brightened. “Of course, Dallas and his brothers could talk for hours about anything, so they’ll both have to share with me.”
I found myself suddenly not wanting to go to this party. I scratched the back of my head, deciding to leave the subject at that before I impulsively dropped out. A few minutes of idle chatter passed as we turned down two more salt-laden streets and finally arrived at Harrisburg Community Cemetery. Salem’s car was the only other car in the graveyard, so it was easy to see her, however getting to her was a more difficult task. The roads were all gravel, with nothing to divide them except sporadic sprouts of grass, and they all connected like a giant, coiled snake. After three wrong turns at forks in the road, we made it to the enchanting girl’s side.
“Sorry!” Violet called as she hopped out of the car. “This place is so confusing!” Her unhappy croon dropped to silence as we reached the grave. She solemnly traced a hand over the top of the gravestone. It was in immaculate condition compared to the others surrounding it: Unblemished ebony-colored stone glittered from every angle, and two small plots of delicate purple flowers adorned either side of the monument. A bouquet of the same type of flower was carved into the stone with the engraving Mary Elise Freeman: 2008-2016 above it.
“I know I heard Mr. Freeman correctly,” I said, my voice falling to a reverent whisper. “But she was only eight years old. It’s hard to wrap your head around.” Violet nodded in agreement, wiping her misting eyes.
“Well, she might not be lost to us.” Salem murmured comfortingly, patting Violet’s shoulder. “We may be able to talk to her, although it will be more difficult without someone who was close to her.” She gave me a doubtful look, but I shook my head. “We can’t involve Mr. Freeman.” I answered resolutely. “Even if he’s not the one who murdered those kids, we can’t know that for sure yet. And if we involve him before we know we can trust him, he could try to hurt us for knowing too much. Especially you,” I pointed out to Salem. “He may be trying to kill those who can see the children of light, and your powers are even greater than that.”
Salem gave a measured smile. “You’re right. I appreciate you trying to protect me. I only hope we haven’t come here for nothing.” She glanced at the gravestone, and I could see her eyes harden as she brushed aside her uncertainty. I took her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “We’ll do this together.” I said, “I’m not sure if I can help, but hopefully if we both try to summon her we won’t need him.” Taking a deep breath, I let Salem begin the incantation.
“Please come to us Mary,” she ordered. “We want to see you, and we want to know your story.” As she repeated the command, I felt something stir deep in my chest. Salem’s words seemed to reach inside my mind like claws, digging through every thought until it reached into my subconscious and pulled, tugging insistently. My ears suddenly rang with a high-pitched sound, and my eyes blacked out. My hand tensed in Salem’s and I held back a whimper as the ringing continued, only to fade suddenly as a clear voice rang in my mind.
I gasped, and my eyesight began to blur back into focus until I could see Salem. She was gazing at me with such intensity that I knew she had heard the voice as well. Beginning the incantation once more, Salem had not recited the first sentence before a small voice called from behind us.
“Are you looking for me?”
Violet jumped and whisked around. Her mouth fell agape as she stared in amazement at the shimmering golden figure of a little boy. Salem and I stepped to Violet’s side, and I put a hand on her back to help her settle down. The brunette had a wild expression in her eyes, as if this answered everything she had ever wanted to know about the world, but now she had about ten thousand more questions for the universe. I couldn’t blame her; even though I had my powers, I’d had my own doubts about whether we could summon a real spirit. Salem was the only one calm enough to speak.
“Hello, little one. My name is Salem.” she said, then gestured to Mary’s grave. “We were hoping to talk to Mary Freeman. Have you seen her?”
The spirit shook his head. “No. Why do you wanna talk with her? Oh! Did she have buried treasure somewhere, and now you need to find it?” He looked around the cemetery. “I heard lots of spirits wish they had told where they hid their extra money. I left my favorite dinosaur in a secret place no one will ever, ever, find it. Only now I wish I had it to play with.” He looked between the three of us excitedly. “Will you find it for me?” He paused, then gasped with sudden remembrance and folded his hands together. “Please?”
My mouth felt dry as I stared at the little boy. Violet was already nodding eagerly, and I decided to follow her lead. “I promise we’ll try. What’s your name?” I began scanning the nearby gravestones for names.
“I’m Mason Brewer.” The spirit said proudly. “I can spell it! M-A-S-O-N.” Salem smiled at the boy. “Thank you, Mason. That’s very good. Where is your gravestone?” Mason pointed to his right, pouting. “It’s over here. But they got my name all wrong.” His form began to shimmer as he ran towards it. “I’ll show you. Come on!” I immediately stepped after him, worried that if we lost sight of the boy he would vanish completely. Without a word, my companions followed. The graveyard was not that large, and after a small uphill climb we caught up to Mason, who was standing next to a red gravestone, speckled here and there with brown and white. Once the stone came into full view, I realized I had placed too little significance on what the spirit had said. The name on the stone wasn’t just spelled incorrectly: it was completely wrong. And shining dully on it in the gray sunlight was a child of light.
Violet was the first to catch up to me, and despite not knowing the child of light was there, she gave me a questioning look upon seeing my stunned expression, and I nodded. Once Salem joined us I asked “Mason, did you die here?”
“Yeah,” the spirit muttered, but didn’t elaborate. I didn’t blame him for not wanting to discuss the details of his death, but there was one thing I needed to know. “Were you at a house on Cherry Street before you died?”
Mason frowned, nodding his head and beginning to wipe his eyes. “That must have been very scary,” Violet murmured, kneeling onto the ground. “Do you remember who put you here?” She coaxed, giving him an angelic smile even though I could tell she was close to tears. The boy began to cry louder then, a sad wailing that eventually turned into words. “I don’t wanna remember!” He told Violet. “I don’t wanna! I want my toy! I want my mommy!” Salem joined Violet on the ground. Her tone was more firm but she kept her voice to a soft near-whisper as she spoke. “Mason, we need to know. We want to catch the man who did this to you. If you don’t remember that’s okay, but if you do, please tell us.”
After a few moments, Mason’s sobs settled into desolate whimpers. He stared at the three of us, his form flickering occasionally out of sight. Finally, he looked between Violet and Salem. “P-promise you will get’im?” He asked softly. Though tears had started to drift silently down her face, Violet spoke with unwavering determination. “We will.” I knew I did not share her conviction, and couldn’t have said the same with a straight face. I felt a burst of affection for my friend, whose positivity and trust had brought us to this point. If she had refused to believe me, then I would have been convinced that I was only ever seeing tricks of the light instead of echoes of spirits, and children would have continued to die.
“The man who lives in that house… he took me when I was playing at the park,” Mason explained. “He said he had the perfect house to play hide-and-seek in. I was gonna go tell mommy, but she was talking with someone. She would get super mad when I tried to inter-put… interrupt her. So I went with him.” I shuddered. Was someone distracting her so that Mr. Freeman could take him? Who is his partner?
“He took me to his house, but I-” He started to whimper again. “I don’t r-remember what else happened.” His form flickered again, and Salem stood up. “Thank you, Mason. You’ve been very brave. We’ll come to see you again, I promise. You are free to return to where you came from.” With another flicker, Mason was gone, waving at the three of us.
I reached a hand to help Violet up, and she took it with a grateful half-smile. She began brushing dust off of her dress. “Hazel, we have to do something! That man is a murderer!”
“I know.” I sighed, thoughts spinning in my head. “The real question is what do we do? We could tell the police, but what evidence could we give that isn’t the first hand account of a spirit or based on a power that only I can see?”
“We’ll bring them here!” Violet protested. Her voice rose in indignance at a situation that hadn’t even occurred. “They won’t be able to ignore it when it’s staring them straight in the face.”
“But that would still require them to believe us a little bit.” Salem pointed out. “If they don’t believe in ghosts or strange powers, why would they even agree to that?”
“True,” I agreed, as Violet paced in a contemplative circle around us. I felt her frustration; We had all heard the evidence for ourselves. We knew it was true, but how were we going to do anything with it? “We could confront Mr. Freeman,” I suggested. “We wouldn’t even have to tell him everything we know. I think we were right when we suspected he was using the powers of the children of light somehow. He would know we’re telling the truth. And we’re not defenseless children.” I spat. “He wouldn’t be able to fight us all off.”
“Especially if we come with Dallas,” Violet added. “He’ll believe us, and he would want to help.”
“But where would we do it?” Salem queried with an uncertain expression. “We don’t know if Mr. Freeman is still on campus, and I doubt he would be willing to let us all into his house, or have a big confrontation in front of it.”
“Especially if he suspects me already,” I muttered. “Which he probably does. Damn it,” I hissed, running a hand through my hair. “I shouldn’t have asked for those records.” Salem put a hand on my shoulder. She was frowning intently, but her blue eyes were sympathetic. “You couldn’t have known. And now we have confirmation of who the killer is. That’s a good thing, Hazel.”
“Salem’s right.” Violet said. “The more information we have, the better. Let’s talk to Dallas. He can help us come up with other ideas, and we can go from there. At the very least we can put in an anonymous tip to the police. They don’t have to know who gave the information, and we can say we saw what happened to Mason with our own eyes.”
Cheered at the thought of actually putting a plan into action and doing something about Mr. Freeman, I let Violet take my hand and lead me back to the car.
“Are we really going to meet up with Dallas and Colton after what just happened? With a killer on the loose?” I asked dubiously as she began driving. “Bowling is fun!” Violet chided lightly. “Besides, we all agree that we probably won’t be able to do anything today. Even an anonymous tip will require a bit of planning on our part. What information should we tell them? We can’t sound like we’re making any of it up, even if we’re not, really. Maybe we should write it down? Should we give Mr. Freeman’s name, that kind of stuff. What is his name?” She began speculating, listing some of her least favorite names of all time, assuming he had one of them. As she did, my muscles gradually began to relax.
Tomorrow, I reassured myself.
Dallas and Colton were the first to arrive at the bowling alley, though only Violet’s boyfriend was standing outside of the building when we arrived. His usual sweatshirt and jeans had been replaced with tan slacks and a maroon polo shirt that suited his complexion well. He had an easy-going smile on his face that immediately brightened as he spotted Violet. He raced up to the car once it was parked, wrapping his arms around the angelic girl. Violet nuzzled the crook of his neck as she leaned into the embrace. “Vi! I missed you, darlin’ Dallas said, releasing her. “Packing was boring without you. Good to see you, Hazel,” he added with a friendly nod to me. I gave him a small wave. “You too, Dallas.” I waited only a moment before putting my hands on my hips. “You’re not going to notice the new cardigan Violet is wearing? For shame,” I teased, shaking my head. Violet had changed in the car since the other had gotten dirty at the cemetery.
“Rude, that was going to be the next thing I said,” Dallas retorted with a grin. Violet scoffed dramatically. “The two of you… my fashion sense is so underappreciated.” She giggled, and we all headed inside, deciding to get a lane and wait for Colton there, Dallas explaining that he was ordering some drinks for us. The boy arrived just as I was tying the laces to my bowling shoes, so I didn’t notice him until his shadow loomed above me.
“You look great, Hazel-” He said, offering me a hand. “You even managed to match the bowling shoes.”
I took his hand and forced a smile, hardly able to stop myself from jumping. The navy blue stripe on the shoe happened to match the fitted long sleeve shirt I was wearing.
“Don’t say that around Violet,” I advised. “She actually picked an outfit, but I don’t think the shoes are what she was intending to match.” Her dress today was the same maroon as Dallas’ shirt.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said with a smile as he glanced their way and waved. Violet was about to make her first roll. “Are you any good at bowling?”
I shrugged. “I was on the bowling team in high-school, but that isn’t saying much.” I chuckled. “What about you?”
“I’ve played here and there,” he said with a relaxed sigh. After being near Violet’s high-energy movement and excited squeals all day, it made me wonder what he was thinking and what it would take to get a rise out of him.
We bowled two games, with Dallas winning both times. Violet and Colton swapped third and fourth place, and I surprised myself by taking second each round. It was hard to have the same carefree feeling as I’d had racing against Violet earlier with the dangerous task ahead of us, and I found myself unable to make much more than meager small talk with my so-called date. However, knowing we would be doing something to help the children of light made it easier to join in the joking and happy conversation as the night went on, until Dallas suddenly bolted to return his shoes after the second game, speaking frantically as he untied his laces. “Quick, I forgot to do the laundry for York. We have to burn his apartment down to hide the evidence!” Colton and Dallas promptly split off from us to reconvene at the York’s house for dinner, leaving Violet and I giggling in their wake. Violet gushed over her boyfriend’s victories in the car, and as I idly listened I looked forward to meeting the rest of Dallas’ family. My spirits lifted as I saw Salem already waiting for us at the door when we returned to the apartment complex, our companions having arrived moments before and walking up behind us.
“Welcome back,” she called to us as we approached. She hugged me tightly and I returned the gesture, however I quickly felt the warmth of our embrace freeze as Salem’s body tensed once she gazed over my shoulder.
She was staring straight at Colton.
Goosebumps rose along my arms as she spoke. “Hazel, that boy-“ she whispered.
“He’s dead. There’s a spirit inside of him.”
Credit : BexLapis
Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on Creepypasta.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed under any circumstance.