The Manor in Grey.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the grey of the city lives an old forgotten Manor and a very curious little girl.

Submitted: December 21, 2011

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Submitted: December 21, 2011

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The city was grey. Grey as the inhabitants that coursed through the veins of its grey, grey streets. Like all beneath, the sky above was also painted in that dreadful colourless shade. The only bright of light came in the night with the dim yellow of street lights, sickening bright flashes of car head-lamps, and the sleazy shine of neon signs. And as the city was in day and in night, so were the people. The people, so grey, painted together as one big blob; a mass of bodies dondering aimlessly through the streets, with hardly a hint of acknowledgement to each other. In the flip of day to night, just like the changing of lights, so too did the people express themselves more brashly and unashamedly.

In this city with its inhabitants all as one, ran one crucial un-written policy followed by all – concern none with your business (pleasure or plight) and none shall concern you. There were paid professionals whose purpose was to deal with things that another citizen shouldn’t have to. Should a fellow man see his neighbour robbed then it was a matter for the police to deal with just like a paramedic should treat the boy attacked and lying bloodied in the street. Each citizen had his or her role to play, and to that role they stuck with no concern to another.

Now, in a quieter suburb, just on the city’s southern edge rested a place that can be said to signify all that has been said. A place greyer than the streets around it, the people that walked past it and skies that hung above. A place as empty as the concerns and souls of its fellow inhabitants. A place that was alone, like all else, in a jungle full of others. An old, grand, gothic Manor stood in the grounds of overgrown, yellow weeds and shrubs, with not a hint of life within its vicinity. Everyday people would walk past its large rusted iron gates and give no hint of interest to its presence or history. In return the Manor gave none in return.

Of course the place had not always been so. It had once been a more vibrant life, rich with life. Bigger as the city was smaller; while the city was merely a large town. The exact history of the place, not even the oldest minds could remember. So as the town grew and grew around it, the life of the place shrunk and shrunk until it was beyond a care of everyone and anyone. And like that it remained for a very, very long time.

Until one day, a day unusually brighter than recent times, a passer by noticed the absence of something that he thought he hadn’t noticed before. Everyday this person would walk past the old brown rusted gates, with typically no interest or concern. Though on this day he could have sworn that unlike now, there had always been a large sign right next to the gates. A sign covered in moss and entangled in weeds and vines so that it’s exact purpose or message was unclear. While that was unclear, what was perfectly clear was the fact that that sign had disappeared. The passer-by was slightly more perplexed than usually. But only a little more. Not so much that it would stop him from his daily routine. So on he went as normal, forgetting the whole thing, lost in his own concerns.

Should a more curious soul have walked passed they might have noticed something else further amiss. Not only had the large anonymous sign disappeared, but the gates that had been sealed shut for all these grey, grey year, had been left slightly ajar. And a curious soul did walk pass. A soul in the form of a little girl. The little girl did notice that gates which once had been shut, were now open, and like a curious soul would (and probably should) she ventured inside.

The girl, by the name of Josie, was by all means not grey. She was brighter, in person and in brains, than a lot of the others of the city. The drabness of the city had not yet touched on the innocence and hopes of her youth. Her soft and loose brown locks dropped down on to her shoulders as care-free as she was. Her bright red lips were shaped in such a way that it appeared to be smiling all the time and on the whiteness of her skin shone out like a vibrant beacon. But above all else, she was a very curious girl. And so when she walked past the old manor, (which she had learned to forget after being told that any place with its door or gates shut is an unwelcome place) and saw that it’s gates were for once open she reasoned with herself “I can’t remember them ever being open. What if it’s just for this moment?”. Naturally then in she went.

She was the second person to have stepped onto the grounds for a very long time. Second because there had obviously been someone else just recently. Someone else that had opened the gates. Someone else that had left heavy foot marks in the crusty yellowing grass. Someone else who was there as the exact same moment as Josie. Josie’s fear urged on her curiosity. Step, by timid step she walked along the moss cracked paving stones that lead up the darkness of the old manor. Around her not a sign of life gave a sound, and the buzz of the city, as if by magic, had stopped, so that all had stopped to an eerie quiet. The unusually brighter day had now turned shade to an even more unusually greyer evening. Yet on she went, up to half way point of no return. Up to the point where her curiosity and stubbornness would not allow herself to turn back.  “I’ve gotten this far” she told herself, “I can go farther” She was determined that she would at least stand on the door step of the old manor, if only to bang the large brass knocker on its large door.

The closer she got to the house, the more everything around fell out of her minds concern. The city had long disappeared and now the old over grown grounds hardly took a hint of her notice. All she could see now was the large, dark and imposing Manor in front of her. It looked down at her in a terrible and ferocious pride. In all her time walking past the place on her way to School every day, she had never fully appreciated its grandness and size. It was as if, it had made itself larger, like a male puffing up his chest should a female take interest. Finally she took one more step and there she was, standing on the front door step, the manor towering intimidating above her. She held her breath. Frozen. The gates and the familiar streets behind her felt so far away. Has curiosity had reached near enough the end of it’s tether. She wasn’t going to hang around for much longer. Besides she had been on her way to school and if she were to late again then that would be the third time that week. She became slightly more concerned with the thought in that moment that her guard fell. In that fleeting moment she had allowed herself stare into one of the ground floor windows. “Just don’t stare at the windows!” she had told herself, remembering the countless tales of the ghostly faces the popped up behind them. But as she starred at this window the more relaxed she felt. She had faced her fear. The frame that held it was splintered and rotten and the glass dark with a film of dirt and dust. She took notice of the many old and dead cobwebs that hung in the corners, the old moth ridden white net curtains that hung on the inside, the face of an old man that appeared for the briefest of seconds. Had it? Terrified she tried to reason with herself? Had she seen a face at the window? Before she could compose herself she heard heavy footsteps going walking from window to the door of the house. She stood rooted to the spot as the heavy brass lock clanked open and the large wooden door creaked slowly ajar. “Any place with its door or gates shut is an unwelcome place; what if it’s just for this moment?”

 


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