Thunder boomed across the land as lightning flashed across the skies and rain drenched the ground. A storm was rolling in, everyone knew that. The castle gates had been closed and a head count was done in one of the south gathering room. Everyone was here. Five commoners, with the chance of a lifetime, and fourteen royals. The fire crackled, illuminating the darkened room. Every student at the academy was relaxing in their pajamas as conversation was bringing life to the dimly lit room. A flash of lightning glowed outside startling a blonde princess. One of the many males in the room told her it was going to be alright…but was it really? Maybe the storm wouldn’t bring doom, but there were many other factors that could spell out the end for someone. The Raven, the ghost…speaking of the ghost, a tall man by the name of Jaxon gathered people around by the fire and was telling the story of the woman in white. “Long ago, on a night just like this, a woman who inhabited this castle with her husband, King Harrison, went missing…” the male paused to take a breath. “She had gone down to the North Wing, some say she was following a voice of a small child, the child she never got to have, and many others believe she was being chased. Either way she ended up in the North Wing…alone.” Jaxon again paused, but this time was to take a drink of his water that sat atop of the fireplace mantle, looking at each person softly. Jaxon was always one for dramatics. “No one knows what happened, but a horrifying scream echoed through the halls, sending chills up each spine of the person that heard it.” He spoke, his voice was just creepy enough to haunt in the back of someone’s mind. “The woman was never seen again…at least in her body. Decades after decades of servants and visitors to this castle had claimed to see the ghost of the woman, saying she was dressed in white. Giving her the nickname of the lady in white. Though many of those who claimed to see her didn’t leave the castle the same as they arrived. They were changed mentally. Some never got to leave because after seeing the ghost, she visited them and killed them” He paused again. “It’s said that if you see her and live, your life will be full of misery and sadness. And the other option…well…we all know where that ends.” “Horse shit.” Another male claimed. The gathering crowd of both royals and few commoners laughed. Sure the story was lame, but little did they know it was the truth. Sure the lore was twisted and changed, but the outcome was the same. There was a ghost. And only a few lived to tell the tale. Again lightning caused a glow to stretch across the room as the students fanned out of the south gathering room, on their ways back to their dorm rooms. Few students had some one walk back with them, some in a group, and others were braving it. Was the ghost story that scary? No. But Jaxon was a gifted story teller, getting the effect he wanted out of the audience every time. No matter the load of garbage he was delivering it seemed to hit the mark without fail. As students walked down the hallways, which were lit by the candles they carried, they slowly fanned off into their own bedrooms, until one single girl was left. Her roommate had gone home when her mother had died, leaving the girl alone. Her name was Gretchen, princess of Oceanic- a kingdom known for fish. She was a doe eyed girl with blonde hair that stood barely five feet tall. She wore glasses and had freckles littering her face. She was quiet and fearful of anything and everything. Gretchen wouldn’t admit it, but she had a heart disease that wasn’t too serious unless provoked. The dark hallway provided just enough fear to get Gretchen’s heart pounding. She was five feet away from her door when she heard the creak of the floor boards. Gretchen stopped, the flame from the candle flickered as her hand began to tremble. The floor never creaked. Gretchen took another step, again the floor creaked behind her. She froze. “Whose there?” She called out. No one could hear her, seeing as her room was a ways away from everyone else’s dorms. There was no answer. Gretchen slowly turned around. What her eyes saw was next to impossible. It was her. The woman, no more than ten feet in front of Gretchen, seemed to glow in the darkness, providing her own light. Gretchen’s eyes grew wide in complete fear. She would have screamed, she tried actually, but the fear raised a lump in her throat to where no sound escaped her. Gretchen wiped around and bolted down the hallway, completely avoiding her dorm room door. She dashed for the stair case that led to the fourth, and final, floor. Once there she began to take the steps two at a time, but good cardio wasn’t something Gretchen had. She began to slow in pace, breathing heavy as she tried to keep going up the spiral staircase. Reaching the top, Gretchen turned the corner and was immediately bombarded with the glow of the woman again. This time she did scream, but it was soon muted somehow. The ghost smiled kindly and mouthed the word “sorry” before extending her arms out with great force, sending Gretchen backwards over the railing of the staircase. Gretchen plummeted four stories to the bottom. As her body connected with the marble flooring, the sound of cracking bones echoed throughout the hall. Many students heard the load thud of Gretchen’s body hitting the floor and they made their way out of their rooms. Questions like “what was that” or “did you hear that” was frequently asked among the students before Headmaster made his way out of his own bedroom, Mr. Banks exited his chambers as well- leaving his wife in the room. “Clear the way.” Headmaster said as Mr. Banks, the head butler, followed after him. The two taller males seemed to race down the hallway, with grace, until they reached the spiral staircase; students followed after them. When Headmaster reached the staircase, he looked down to see the body of Gretchen bleeding out on the first floor. “Back! Get back I say!” He yelled to the students he heard coming closer. “You do not need to see this,” he said more sternly. “Go back to your chambers.” Mr. Banks looked down at the body for a mere moment before looking up to see her. She still smiled, but it was sadistic and merciless this time. Mr. Banks glared at her before she disappeared into thin wisps of what looked to be white smoke. Mr. Banks knew what had happened to Gretchen because he had seen it happen to many students before. The lady in white had killed her. The students made their way back to their rooms. Faint whispers among them told that they knew what had happened. It was possible one of them could have gotten a look over the railing, but that wasn’t for sure. But somehow, someway, each knew that Gretchen was dead. Though most thought she committed suicide since her family was losing their fight and was sure to be over thrown within weeks. She wouldn’t have a home to return to after the year, so she choose to die. Little did they know this was only the beginning to the thrill, and horror, ride that they would experience at the Royal Academy.