The any other turn of the century home in

The old brownstone and apricot brick Victorian house at 224 Church Avenue in Harrisburg was much like any other turn of the century home in western Pennsylvania.  The former Smith family home is now in a state of deterioration.  Betty Smith, who’s a widowed mother, is currently raising her 12 year old twin sons, Michael and Jason, in the modest home. Her husband and father to the twin boys died a day before the twins were born in what appeared to be a suicide; which still haunts Betty till this day considering she nor his family and friends had any idea he was suicidal. Ever since then, she had been raising her boys on her own. “Michael! Jason! Come downstairs, dinner’s ready!” yelled Betty from the first floor of their house. There was no answer. “I made your favorites; roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob! Better get down here before it gets cold!” said Betty in a slightly raised tone than before. After giving the boys five minutes to come down, Betty decided to go upstairs to see why they haven’t made their way to the dining room yet. As she walked up the stairs, the feelings of unsettlement and anxiety sent chills through her spine as something was troubling her and she did not know what it was. All of the sudden a troubling noise screeched from Michael and Jason’s bedroom right as their mother reached for the doorknob. She rushed inside their room and saw Michael and Jason dressed in their favorite superhero costumes and masks while role playing a death scene which went horribly wrong. Or as Betty thought. In the scene the twins were acting out, Michael made it seem like he killed Jason by using a fake sword to pierce through Jason’s chest and added fake blood they bought from their local party city store on Fairview Ave. Betty rushed to her boys side, hysterically trying to see if Jason was still alive. After 5 seconds of frantically trying to figure out if he was still alive or not a little smirk which turned into a full out laughter took over Michael and Jason’s face.  “What is wrong with you boys?! Nearly gave your mother a heart attack!” howled Betty. The boys were laughing uncontrollably knowing that they scared their mom more than they expected with that prank. “Ahahaha mom you really thought I was dead?” laughed Jason as Michael added “That was too funny, you should’ve seen the look on your face! Hahaha this was too easy mom you need to keep up.” It was pranks like this that they loved to play on their mother. They were pranksters since young. Identical twins, Michael and Jason were practically impossible to tell apart. Only Betty could easily tell the two boys from one another whenever they were together. Mothers are naturally like that.  But for most people, the twins were almost always impossible to tell apart from each other.  Both young men were the same weight, same height, same voice, same eye color, and both had the same hair style; therefore it was easy to see why people could not tell them apart. This led the twins to easily partake in many tricks and pranks over the years.       Fast forward 15 years later to May 21st, 1991. It was a bright sunny day. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and the sun was shining gloriously. This was the day Jason met his soulmate Sasha. Sasha was a 24 year old Real estate agent who owns her own real estate firm out in Las Vegas, Nevada. They met through Jason’s twin brother Michael at a Basketball game in Philadelphia between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. What started off as a friendship soon flourished its way into becoming a relationship. They began dating while Megan was still out working in Las Vegas while Jason still lived out in Pennsylvania. “I still remember sitting next to Sasha at the lobby of Matt’s Grill & Bistro restaurant with some other close friends listening to her talk about how much he made her happy and how much she liked him. As soon as they started a relationship it became clear to everyone who knew them that they were meant to be together. No one else can humiliate Sasha quite like Jason, and no one else can make fun of Jason quite like Sasha” exclaimed Sasha’s Sister Kayla. “They are always laughing at each other and have an amazing chemistry with one another. They are a whole lot of fun to be around and you just can’t help but smile yourself while being around them!” Sasha has a feeling that Jason was about to propose to her sometime before this year was over, she just didn’t know exactly when. She was on all ten toes just as any female whose been dating a guy that they like for a long time. Besides is real job as an electrician, Jason owns a tacky Christmas sweater company called BadDay. Every year around the Christmas time they add new merchandise and he invites all his colleagues to a mini photoshoot where they start off the hectic season by having fun and modelling all the new merchandise. Sasha had one of those mornings where she couldn’t agree on what outfit she wanted to wear and her electricity randomly went off while she was about to do her makeup and hair. She was a little shook up when she arrived to the meeting spot for the BadDay photoshoot. Sasha looked outside the diner and to her surprise she couldn’t find anyone. Little did she know that her sister Kayla was waiting inside the diner with a note that would change her life. After waiting 20 minutes she then spotted Sasha. Kayla ran outside and told her she needed to borrow her phone and gave her a cute note saying “Meet me at the 3rd table from the entrance at 7 o’clock sharp – Love Jason.” Teary eyed, Sasha rushed to get her hair and makeup done before their date. Sasha made it to the diner at just in time at 7 and was met with Jason and 100 of her favorite yellow tulips. She was overcome with emotion as she knew what Jason was about to do. Just as Kayla was about to take a seat he approached her with a soft kiss on the lips and told her he loved her. Finally, he proposed right at the 3rd table from the entrance at Ronny’s eatery which is the same table and diner they had their first date at 3 years earlier.       On April 22nd, 1994 they decided to get married at The Cairn Wood Estate in Jason’s hometown of Harrisburg Pennsylvania. It was a sunlit day in late September. The air was crisp and across the horizon, the sky held a soft blue glow. The birds were chirping and it was an all-around beautiful day.  Of course Jason couldn’t resist the urge to do a wedding prank. Its been years since he has played a prank on anyone and knowing that his brother Michael was going to be there made him feel like he just had to do one for old time’s sake.  “What perfect person to play a prank on than Pastor Marrkel” thought Jason. Pastor Markkel was an old-school man and played no games when it came time to bring a man and a woman together before god. This is why Jason thought it would be hilarious to play a prank around him. His reaction would be priceless. “Let us pray. God, we ask for your endless blessings upon this man and woman, as we rejoice this significant event in their lives. Gift them contentment and happiness as they create their new home, new life, new family and travel the depths of their love for one another and for you. May you be given the mindfulness to visibly witness one another, and the endless kindness of spirit essential to nurture one another’s soul and for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poor, may you both pleasantly keep the promises you make here today.” Preached Pastor Markkel before the bride and groom. As sentimental as this moment was, this was when Jason decided to pull off his prank. Pastor Markkel was enraged when the guests at the wedding broke out in laughter when the couple knelled for his blessing at the altar. “Are you kidding me?!” shrieked the Pastor. What the good pastor didn’t realize was the fact that everyone had just seen Jason’s message to the gathered crowd.  The “I’m Michael” message taped to the soles of his shoes was just the kind of prank that people in Harrisburg expected from the twins. “Those up to to no good prankster boys are still at it, huh Betty?” said Mrs. Wilkins to Betty smith who was sitting right next to her at the altar. “Yep those are my boys, haven’t given up their pranking ways since they learned how to talk” responded Betty. Michael Smith just smirked as the people around him howled at Jason’s joke.       Jason and Sasha moved to Houston, TX shortly after their wedding so that Jason could work for a large regional bank located there. This was a big move for them considering her business is based in Las Vegas and he has never lived anywhere outside of their little town of Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Life was good for the young Smith couple and soon they became accustomed to the new city. 2 years into their marriage everything was going perfect and that’s when they decided it was time to expand their family. They were both extremely excited to start a family but thoughts of doubt lingered in Jason’s mind. “Am I fit enough to raise a child?” “Can I raise a child?” “Will I be able to raise a child?” Jason thought to himself. Eventually he overcame these thoughts and realized that it was time for him to grow up. That prankster image he’s always had has now become a thing of the past for him. It was time to grow up. On November 17th, 1997 Sasha gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Annalisa. Both parents were overcome with joy and happiness. Around this time Jason got promoted to a managerial position at the greater Houston Financial Corporation. Life was at an all-time high for him.      By contrast, life was not so kind for Michael Smith.  A confirmed bachelor, he stayed in Harrisburg where he worked a series of low paying, dead end jobs.  Bad relationships and failed friendships eventually led Michael into row of petty crimes and mistakes that he was let off easily for due to Jason always paying his bail. It was ten o’clock on an autumn’s night. Thin, light rain spat and trickled past the car headlights and lighted street lamps. The pavement shined long and yellow. Michael smith was waiting at the corner of Abanarty road and McCanister avenue waiting for a man who was supposed to be coming to pick up the drugs he ordered off of him. “Where are you?” texted Michael to his customer. There was no response for five minutes but his phone vibrated. “I’m running a little late I’ll be there shortly.” said his customer. Ten minutes pass and all of the sudden there are 4 cops flashing their lights and pointing their gun at Michael. “HANDS UP IN THE AIR NOW DROP ANY WEAPONS” shouted the cop from a distance as Michael looked on in fear and confusion. He was set up. Never in a million years did he think this would happen. He was arrested and charged with a felony for drug trafficking. This arrest is the one that would change his life. By 1998, Michael was incarcerated and serving 25 years for Marijuana and Cocaine distribution.      Michael and Jason had grown apart physically but stayed kept in contact even though Michael was in prison. Jason would frequently mention to Sasha that he could “feel” that something must be wrong with Michael and he would call to check on his brother. More often than not, Jason’s feelings would be confirmed when he checked on his brother, but Sasha never gave the occurrences much thought. Life was too busy for them. “Hey Michael! How’s everything been?” said Jason over the phone. “Man everything okay I guess just been feeling a little off” said Michael. “What do you mean a little off?” asked Jason. “I don’t know like just weird feeling” said Michael. Jason didn’t bring up the fact that he was also having strange feeling s that he didn’t know how to explain just so it wouldn’t worry his brother. Whenever he called they would just reminisce on the good times they used to have as children as a way to not bring up the strange feelings they would feel inside.      It was the fall of 1999 when Jason and Sasha decided to set up a small heater at their cabin on a small lake outside of Houston. The cabin had basic, defective and unreliable electricity from old lines running into the property. This made it really hard to have a stable heating system. Common electrical outages made the cabin impossible to stay in during cold weather months.  Jason hoped to make the cabin more of a year round retreat, an escape from the pressures of work. He decided to start working on the place and fixing it up considering he was an electrician and had a knack for interior design.      Jason had thought the cabin electrical supply had been switched off as he began to work on the generator hookup.  But that was an oversight on his part.  A high voltage surge plummeted Jason to the ground with large black electrical scars on his skin which ran down and up his right arm.  “JASON! OH MY GOD SOMEONE CALL 911! SOMEONE CALL 911!” screamed sasha as she ran outside to find help from anyone she can find. “MY HUSBAND! HES HURT I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED BUT I NEED HELP!” cried Sasha to a truck driver who happened to be driving down the road on that cold starry winter night. Lucky that man was certified in CPR and because Jason wasn’t breathing, the man tried to revive him but it was already too late.  Sasha hysterically dialed 911 and the EMTs from a nearby local town rushed to the cabin in an attempt to revive the Husband and father of two.      Jason Smith arrived at Kings County Hospital at 7:38 PM in a state of cardiac arrest.  The EMTs had tried to revive him in the back of the ambulance but failed on the ride to the hospital.  He was immediately transported to one of Kings County’s emergency rooms where violent electrical shocks from defibrillators where used in an attempt to revive the man. Sasha sat in the waiting room distressed and sobbing. “I can’t I can’t I can’t lose my husband! My lover my best friend the father to my beautiful daughter. How will I be able to move on from this” cried Sasha. She then prayed “Whatever comes my way, please let it be good, God please help for I am in need and more so Jason is in need of you right now. I cannot make it through anything without You. Your endless love and support. Please be with me during this terrible time and please let my husband push through or at least give him a second chance. I put my all into you.”      Dr. Seymour Gills declared Jason dead at 8:02 PM and left the ER and went into the waiting room to notify Sasha that nothing more could be done to save her husband.  While trying to explain the death of her Jason to his hysterical wife, Dr. Gills was interrupted by an ER nurse who was walking past the room where they keep dead patients when she noticed his heartbeat machine started beeping again. Then slowly it started to show sign of life as the screen wasn’t flat lined anymore. This baffled the nurse who ran and reported that Jason Smith had attained a weak but significant cardiac function and shallow breathing just after the doctor had left the room. This shocked everyone in the waiting room and Sasha broke out into tears and ran to her husband’s side. Gills ran back to the ER, following by Sasha Smith who refused to leave when asked to make space for the medical assistants.  Instead, Sasha stayed, constantly holding Jason’s right hand and stroking his arm.  An arm that looked far less injured than before. This was very strange but of course Sasha didn’t notice this.  She had been praying for a miracle and possibly one had finally come.       In the Harrisburg Correctional Facility in western Pennsylvania, Michael Smith was exercising in the courtyard of the jail.  It was around 2:15 PM when he felt the shock.  The pain was unbearable and Michael fell to the ground immediately. “OH MY GOD AHHH I CAN’T MOVE! THIS PAIN IS FOR YOU BROTHER” screeched Michael. The correction officers responded instantly and called for medical assistance immediately and they couldn’t figure out what was going on or why he collapsed but they could see that he wasn’t moving. The medical staff tried to revive Prisoner #TN87-017253 using CPR but without any luck. External EMTs transported Michael to the Harrisburg Community Hospital where intensive defibrillation and CPR were used in an attempt to revive the man.  The ER doctor on duty at the hospital declared Michael Smith dead at 8:48 PM.  Strangely enough, a note was made of the black charred skin on Michaels’s left arm in the hospital notes that were passed on the prison. Further investigations at the Harrisburg Correctional Facility failed to explain the skin damage and discoloration reported back to the facility.      The visits on November 14th of each year to the St. Martin Cemetery in Harrisburg, PA were trips that Jason Smith kept vigilantly over the years. He would always pack some roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob to take with him considering that was their favorite food. Jason would sit in front of his brother’s tombstone and eat it until he was finished. He would talk about and reminisce on all the things and pranks they did as kids. This was a way of Jason releasing his emotions. He would also update Michael on anything new that has been going on in his life and vowed to play one more crazy prank for all times sake knowing his brother would love that. Sasha never fully understood why Jason was so compelled and would continually make these annual pilgrimages but she never stood in the way of that.  In fact, Jason couldn’t completely explain why he continued to go.  It was just something that he was compelled to do. One day he was sitting in front of his brother’s tombstone when a hologram like image of Michael appeared. This baffled Jason. He didn’t know what was going on and thought he was hallucinating due to tiredness and being up long endless hours trying to figure out his brother’s death. On the inside he knew why his brother died but couldn’t come to terms with it.       The grave was modest, a simple headstone next to his mother’s grave. Betty smith had died months earlier due to an apparent suicide which is strange considering that’s the same way her husband passed away decades earlier. Nobody suspected she was suicidal so her death came as a shock to everyone especially Jason who now has to deal with the sudden death of this brother too. Many suspect she took her life because she was still grieving over Michael being incarcerated. She was in a deep state of depression. The thought of him being in jail ripped her apart considering how close she was to both her sons. She just wanted everyone to be a big happy family again but with Michael being in jail, Jason living in Houston, and her husband dead she felt like she had no one but that deterioration brownstone and apricot brick Victorian home. What had once seemed like a perfect life for Jason suddenly came crashing down. Jason questioned god everyday saying “What did I do to deserve all this loss and pain?” Everyday Jason ponders in those thoughts of grief and sometimes guilt. This would cause him to go into a mild depression but the only thing that keeps him alive and strong is know that he has and loving wife and daughter. This is now the only family that he knows. “May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God the almighty and most forgiving. Here lies Michael B. Smith friend and brother. Rest in Peace” read Michael’s tombstone. To Jason, this said all that needed to be said. Jason knew deep down that Michael had always been there for him no matter what situation or circumstance arose.  And he was convinced, as only twin brothers can be, that Michael was now at eternal peace and harmony with himself. Hopefully Jason can eventually find that peace too      Six months later Sasha found out she was pregnant and with twin boys! Both parents were over joyed by this. Sasha and Jason named the boys Michael and Micah. Somehow Jason feels as if this is some kind of sign from Michael in the heavens letting him know that everything is alright and that he is still there with him.