1850 in the countryside of London, England
In the house of Pandera, Lady Izabella Pandera set in a chair in the parlor. Today is the day of sorrow for the whole house because of the Lady's mother and grandmother had passed on to heaven. In the room sat dozens of Pandera's relatives with their ebony clothing. Their faces were grim, and the air of the room was gloomy. Women took their handkerchiefs wiping their red swollen eyes. The men just sat in silence with their heads bowed.
For a while, the room has filled with the sound of sniffles. As for Bella, this day will be forever locked in her memory. She tries to remember the moments spent with both of her loved ones who had passed on. Her mother had become ill after her father left them for a harlot. Indeed, that whore had left a repugnant taste in her mouth. Bella had been proud of her family, for the Pandera family was an affluent yet honorable one. Her grandmother had cancer, and it took the life out of the poor soul.
"My child we must get going so you can have a proper rest." said Aunt Quinzy in a melancholy tone breaking the dull silence.
"I understand, all of you may leave if you wish." responded Bella, who did not turn away from the window.
"Please accept our condolences. We understand your losses," replied all.
Bella heard footsteps down the hall and quickly disappeared. She gave a long sigh after everyone had left. All they want is my father's precious wealth. My mother gave me the responsibility of protecting that box in father's study room.
"My Lady would you like some hot tea to warm your inner cord?" questioned a butler, breaking her thoughts.
"Yes, Alex I would appreciate it. Bring the tea into my father's study," reply Bella.
"As you wish, me Lady."
Bella got up from her seat and walked out of the parlor. She arrived at the study, reaching her right hand to open the solid wood door. She stepped inside and scanned the large room. The room looked the same as the day when her father left. All of the wooden bookshelves were cover with dust. Bella took her glove hand and put it over her mouth.
"Alex, please clean up this filthy room!" exclaimed Bella.
"Right away Miss." answered Alex, taking a dust mop and wiping the dust off the bookshelves.
"Thank you, Alex."
She walked towards her father's beloved walnut desk. Oh, the happier times, memories of the times spent in this study with her father. She remembered when she was a little girl; her father would pick her up and set her on his knees. He would take one of his favorite books off the bookshelf. His husky voice would tell the story.
Bella sat down in her father's chair. She leaned back in the presidency, and a long sigh escaped her lips. Alex brought her tea in and handed it to her to drink. She picked up the cup and brought it to her mouth. Then she quickly pulled the cup away from her.
"OH! Hot, HOT!!"
"I am so sorry! I forgot to warn you, it's hot," exclaimed Alex, taking the cup from her hand.
"Gee, thanks for the late warning." said Bella in a sarcastic tone.
“I’m sorry again Miss."
"Well, forget it, ok; just go bring me my father's treasure."
"As you wish."
While Alex was gone, Bella went through the piles of papers on the desk. Some papers were about the old news; others were about the people who had business with her father. On the bottom of the pile was her father's family history. Bella pondered over why her father had been looking at the family history? What was he looking at in the book?
She put the paper aside and waited for Alex to come back. To her dismay, however, he did not come back. She stood up from her seat and yelled the words, "Alex! Where are you at?"
There was no answer. Bella stepped out from behind the desk and slowly walked toward the open door. She glanced in both directions in hopes to find Alex, but there was no sign of him anywhere. Where in the heck is he? He was supposed to be here already. I better check on him to make sure he is okay.
Bella quickly ran towards the master bedroom. When she arrived, there was glass everywhere on the floor.
"Alex! Are you alright?” called out Bella in a concerned tone.
No reply came this time either. Bella quickly stormed into the room. To her horror, Alex was on the floor bleeding. She rushed to him.
"Alex! What happened?"
"Miss, you must run away with the treasure,” Alex said weakly.
"Who did this to you? We must take you to a doctor now!" responded Bella, trying to lift him up, but she failed to do so.
"There is no time for me. Someone stabbed me while I was getting the box."
"You must not talk, or you will bleed more!" replied Bella, who was putting pressure on the open wound.
Alex grabbed her bloody hand and put a small box in it.
"Now do as I say for once in your life! Leave this place and burn it!" ordered Alex coughing.
She got up to her feet and ran out of the room with tears in her eyes. Bella ran fast, as far as her leg could carry her. Unfortunately for her, bad luck was there. She ran to her father's study and, panicking, grabbed the most important book of her father's, beside the tiny box.
She knew that time was running out for her to escape the mansion. A loud sound came from the front entrance. Bella quickly moved towards the back door with her things. Her heart pounded hard in her chest, and her lungs screamed for air. Knowing there was no time to stop or look back, Bella ordered her legs to keep moving. The sounds of feet marching near Bella hid behind the nearest room.
Bella peered over the doorway to make sure no one was around. After a few seconds of waiting, she quietly slipped to the back door. Once she was outside, Bella began to run towards the main road without even a glance back.
Her feet kept on moving, and it didn't matter what was happening behind her back. After several minutes of endless running, Bella stopped herself, to get some air into her fired up lungs. She let her eyes wandered toward the sky.
The heavens seemed to want to shed tears of sorrow. Bella's mind was in too much pondering to notice people running towards the mansion.
"Miss you better get away from here quickly!" a man yelled breaking her thoughts.
"What is wrong?" asked Bella with a worrisome tone.
"There is a fire at one of the mansion! The fire is quickly spreading towards the field."
Bella wasted no time in thought; she gathered her thing as fast as her hands could reach. She ran away from the blazing track as quickly as her legs would allow. As soon as she felt that she was at a safe distance from danger, Bella looked back toward the field of fire.
People ran back and forth from the well to the burning house and the area. The once bright blue sky now engulfed in black smoke. Bella covered her mouth with her sleeves. In her mind, she knew whose house was on fire. Bella let her eyes close for a few minutes. She thought Poor Alex, May God rest his soul.
What will happen to Bella? To be continued
© Copyright 2017 Penquiyan. All rights reserved.
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