What Happened in the Manor

November 4, 2016
By , Ashburn, VA

A dark, cold place and a sharp pain the back of her head, was all she could remember. She couldn’t even remember her own name. When her eyes fluttered open, all she could see was the thick brush of the trees. She sat up, and observed her surroundings. She was in a thick forest, with only the stars shining above for a light source. She stood up and felt the swish of fabric against her legs. She looked down and saw that she wore a white nightgown made of silk.
Her legs started moving on their own, like they were moving through a path they seemed to remember. She could only sound of her bare feet stepping onto the grass, the rest of the forest was silent, as if it was holding its breath, anxiously waiting to see what happened. She stopped when she came to a clearing. There was a stone path that lead to an old manor.
The manor was painted a dark brown and had vines crawling up it. She walked up to the grand doors, that gave a loud groan as she opened them. She walked in slowly, not sure what she doing. The room was old, with paintings covered in dust. The wallpaper was peeling, and the floorboards creaked as she put her weight on them. The once grand staircase was now covered with dust and looked like it was about to collapse.
She kept walking, all of this somehow feeling familiar. She went to the next room, which seemed to be a kitchen. She was walking in the kitchen when she remembered something. A woman, looking worn out, cooking a dinner. The woman called her something, a name, but she couldn’t remember what it was.
She was trying to remember her name when she saw a boy standing in the doorway of the kitchen. He was unnaturally pale and his lips were almost blue. He had black hair, and wore pajamas that were a light blue. As soon as she looked at him he took off.
“Wait!” she called and they both froze, startled by her voice.
He recovered quicker than her, and darted up the rickety stairs. She chased after him, and followed him down a long hallway. He raced into a room farther down the hallway. She burst into the room, only to see that he had somehow disappeared.
She found herself in a bedroom that was covered in dust and cobwebs. She slowly walked around the room, feeling like she had been here before. She stopped when she saw a picture of a teenage girl with long, brown hair and soft, blue-gray eyes. There was a dusty mirror on the nightstand across from the picture. When she looked at it she saw a faded figure staring back at her. It took her a moment to realize it was her own reflection. When she focused on her reflection she saw that she had long, brown hair and faded, soft, blue-green eyes……. She realized that when she looked at her reflection, she saw the girl in the picture.
A faded memory slowly formed in her mind.
She was sitting in a room with filled with furniture all colored a vibrant red. A man standing behind a camera told her to stand still.
“Samantha! Please stop making those ridiculous faces and simply smile!” a woman standing next to the man yelled.
“Samantha,” she said, “So that’s my name.”
Samantha walked out of the room, now realizing it was her bedroom. She turned around and saw the boy standing in the hallway.
“Excuse me,” Samantha started to say, “But who are you?”
The boy stood there fidgeting with his hands. He mumbled so quietly that Samantha couldn’t hear him even though they were in complete silence.
“I’m sorry, could you speak up,” Samantha said, trying to sound as gentle as possible. The boy was probably as confused and frightened as she was.
“My name is William. William Retts,” he said, still barely audible.
“It’s nice to meet your acquaintance. My name is Samantha, just Samantha. Can I ask you where we are?” she said, taking a slow step forward.
“We’re in the Wilstein Manor,” William said, sounding a little more confident with his voice.
The name sounded familiar to Samantha.
“Yes, they were a rich family in the 1950’s,” William replied.
“Were? Are they still here?”
“No, they moved a few years ago.”
“How do you know that?”
“I was there,” he remarked.
“What do you mean you were there?”
He gave her a funny look and replied, “What do you think?”
Samantha, who was very confused, retorted, “I don’t know, how long have you been here?”
“A while,” he said, being very vague.
“How long is a while?”
“You know, you like to ask a lot of questions,” he retorted, as he started walking down the hall.
“Where are you going?” Samantha asked, rushing to keep up with him.
“I don’t know, I just like to wander, since there’s nothing else to do,”
“Why don’t you just leave if there’s nothing else to do?”
He gave her another funny look and kept walking.
“Okay… So do you know the reason the Wilstein’s moved?”
“Something happened in the cellar. I don’t know because I don’t like going down there.”
“Why?! Because when something bad happens in the cellar you don’t go down there, or the same thing will happen to you.”
“Is the cellar cold and dark?” Samantha asked, having  an idea.
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“One second, I need to see something,” she called, as she ran down the hall to get to the cellar.
“What are doing?” William yelled after her, as he caught up to her.
She didn’t answer him because she wasn’t sure what she was what she was doing. She ran down the steps and went down to another hallway that had a single door.  She slowly walked up to the door.
“Oh, no,” William said, realizing what she was doing.
He walked away from her as she slowly opened the door. As soon as she opened the door a horrible stench that smelled like rotten eggs filled the hallway. She gulped as she looked down at the bottom of the staircase.
“Oh my god,” she whispered.
There lying at the bottom of the staircase, was the rotting corpse of a girl with a knife in the back of her head. Slowly, she had a horrifying realization.
“What's wrong?” William asked from down the hall.
“I’m dead,” she whispered.

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