The ground was snowy and deep to the point where my feet sank almost a foot into the snow and the night was dark with no bright stars and the big cheesy moon to shine upon the late night. The town was silent as a child sneaking into the kitchen to steal some cookies. The cemetery to my right wasn’t as big as I thought it would be, it was small, there was only a scant amount of graves; ten. The pub didn’t have a single man that night which is a surprise as it was a late Saturday night, a night which all the men drank away their sorrows and celebrated their increase in payments and sang merry songs all night long which can be heard miles into the forest. The bell in the tall tower rang really loud signaling that it was eleven o’clock. I stood still and looked around to see where I was going but mainly to see if anyone was around because this town was starting to terrify me seeing that there wasn’t anyone to be seen for meters. “Third house to the left of a big pumpkin” I kept repeating as I walked past each house. It seemed that everybody was mysterious as the houses looked old and musty; they had a dark, gloomy look to them.
I finally reached the third door to the left of a big pumpkin and I opened the front gate. It gave away this wooden creak as I walked through the gate. I looked up to see if anyone was inside the house, as I was about to go through the front door I saw something move from the corner of my eye. Suddenly, I was rooted to the front steps of the house, sweating heavily and trying to catch my breath even though I had not moved an inch. Adrenalin started to kick in and ideas of how to defend myself appeared in my head and in the brief two seconds I decided to wait it out to see if a person or creature was around. I waited for a minute or two and decided that it was probably nothing. I looked around again to see if there was anyone behind me, when I discovered there was nobody behind me I knocked on the door. There was no answer. I knocked again. Still there was no answer. I tried to open the door and I found it already uncluttered, I walked inside very gradually and took a quick glimpse to see if anyone was in this deep-rooted, eerie house. I started to feel scared, my heart was beating faster than usual and my legs felt like they were ready to run a marathon. I heard a creaking noise and I stopped.
Something was behind me but I was afraid to know what it was, afraid that it would jump on my face and assassinate me. I turned around swiftly and only saw the door being pushed by the winds.
“It’s only a door. It’s only a door.” I told myself, still afraid of the creaking sound from a trivial, innocent door. I continued on to journey through the house and saw surprising things in the
rooms. The kitchen was empty but there was enough fresh food for a family of five, the lounge room had webs growing in every corner of the room and the bathroom had taps turning on and off which
had me regretting ever coming to this creepy town. Each room was a new mystery, weird things happened and all of them were unanticipated. But there was one room which caught my attention really
quickly. It was a scream. A scream so loud I almost went deaf, I thought maybe someone was being murdered and so I ran to where the scream came from and it led to a room that had a person’s name on
it; female. It wrote ‘Miss Black’ in black writing. I opened the door of the room and stuck my head in the gap to see what was inside, to see who was screaming and I saw nothing, I saw nobody. All
there was in the room was a king-sized bed with curtains hanging down from the top. If I was a bed inspector I would call it a big, red, royal bed. Why was there a royal bed in a poor town such as
this? It didn’t make any sense at all. There was a cupboard on the left and I wanted to open it, but my gut told me otherwise. I opened the dusty cupboard against the wishes of my gut and out came
a white figure swooshing straight at me, I could almost see through it. I was taken by surprise and fell backwards on the floor. I started to stammer and couldn’t bring myself to ask her the one
question I feared to ask,
“Who are you?”
“I am a queen.” The figure replied. It got me thinking that maybe this town was not so poor after all.
“Indeed. It’s not a poor town” she said. I was shocked that she could read my thoughts.
“This town was a normal town. You had your average working class people and the average working class houses. The scream you heard was from me. It was the same scream I gave the night my husband ‘The Great King Henry III’ came here into this room, raped me and put an iron dagger through my heart. He killed me because he thought I was a witch. He thought I was doing magic and that I planned on dethroning him.” She narrated this very smoothly, almost putting me to sleep.
“Did you have a son before you died?” I blurted. I felt embarrassed at what I said.
“It’s okay to be upfront and ask such questions. People tend to hide their curiosity and seek the answers they wish to find through other disrespectful means. I did have a son. A cute little thing he was, I only held him for a day before I was sent here. Henry must have gotten rid of him as soon as he murdered me. What brings you to ask this?”
“What was his name?” I ask, ignorant of her question and in a hurry to finally know the truth.
“His name was Robert.”
At that moment I was the happiest man alive. The joy that filled me was unexplainable as the tears flowed down my cheek. But reality had hit me and I was sad. Sad that it was the first and last time I would see her again.
“Mother…” I said in a soft voice, trying to clear my throat.
“Robert? Is that you? Oh my, it is you. Oh how much you’ve grown.” She was a ghost but she portrayed the actions of a person crying.
“Robert! I must go. Somebody is coming. Robert, listen to my instructions carefully. You are to go to your father and give him a potion called Magnimus. You shall find it where the earth is rough and the water is tough.”
“How will I know if I've found it mother?”
But it was too late. The white figure that was once there was now gone, never to be seen again.
I sat there for a while trying to take everything in, thoughts and questions started to rush into my head. I thought my mother beautiful, kind and loving. Why would my father kill her? Why did she call herself ‘Miss Black’ when she was married? Maybe she didn’t like my father so she rid herself of that title. Maybe this and maybe that, why this and why that. All these questions make me philosophical in my way of thinking, thinking of possible reasons as to why my mother left in the first place. Then it hits me and I realize that I’m an idiot, I don’t even know her real name. There is one person who knows her name and that is my father who will probably have me face death under the guillotine for speaking her name. But I must take the risk no matter what the danger is, I have to venture through the dark tunnel to reach the light.
I get up to leave the room but I notice an envelope on the bed with the seal broken and written on it was my mother’s name ‘Miss Black’. I picked up the envelope and opened it hastily. There’s a letter inside written by my father and signed by him. The smell of the paper tells me that it was written a long time ago or maybe it’s because of this stale house. The first phrase written on the paper caught my attention quicker than a predator hunting its poor, powerless prey. It wrote, “Dear Valerie.” Valerie? Who is Valerie? Is that her name because it sounds familiar to me? The letter had a strange feeling to it. It was confusing and I didn’t think my father could write well.
Please come back to me. I didn’t mean it when I called you a witch and I did not send my men to hunt you. I sent them so they could bring you back to me in order for us to once again reunite our love. Valerie, you must come home now! Sorry, I’m just a little frustrated and lost without you being around me anymore. Return to me and you’ll be safe and secure, think of our son, Robert, our strong boy Robert. He misses you a lot and wishes you were here with him so you can sing to him with your lovely, caressing voice. Please, come back to me my love. Come back.
Love Henry “
I stared at the letter for a while and felt angry that my father was lying to my mother. I don’t know what he intended to do with her but it must’ve been worse than what I heard. I folded the letter and put it in my pocket. I left the house and walked back the same way I arrived at this house but this time there was something out of place, something didn’t feel right. Everything was the same except this time there was a black horse standing next to the pub. There wasn’t a horse before so where did it come from? I heard footsteps and I drew my sword, preparing myself for whoever was walking towards me. Suddenly someone attacks me by surprise and I’m taken back, it looks like a woman. Still trying to recover she keeps on striking me but this time it was heavy strikes, she wanted to knock me out cold. I fell to the floor, sword flew out of my hand and I was left with my skills for instincts. I kick her on the legs and she fell to the ground which gave me time to get my sword and hold it against her neck.
“Yield,” I commanded and for once in my life someone listened to me. I uncovered the hood from her eyes so I could see and underneath the hood was a beautiful face.
“Who are you?” I asked her trying not to let her beauty drift me away from the matter at hand.
“I’m Valerie.” She replied.
© Copyright 2017 Aiden Cobb. All rights reserved.
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