Author's note: Hope you enjoy! If you want to read the next chapter just post me a comment and I will. ^_^
Matchmaker's Mansion: Ch. 29A heartbeat thumped loud in her head, like her heart had switched places with her brain. As it pounded throughout her body, she lifted her head, grimacing at the sharp shock that coursed through her. Squinting from the pain, she forced one eye to open, then slowly the other one.
In the darkness she recognized the backyard of Matchmaker’s Mansion, the garden slowly starting to come to life with spring’s warmer breezes. Spears of light sparked across the garden, illuminating the
Untangling herself from the blanket that was wrapped about her, Asha managed to rearrange herself until she sat on her folded legs, knees digging into the earth. Gripping the edge of the windowsill, she pulled herself up till her eyes cleared the cold brick to see through the clear glass.
Squinting, she peered into the dimly lit ballroom. Torches and candles burned all about the room, the smoke floating hazily in the air like a curtain. In the flicker of gold, she made out two rows of people, one a line of girls in glittering dresses facing a line of boys barely discernible in their black tuxedos. A white suit stood out like a beacon, the man clearly noticeable by the way the light slid off of his gelled hair. A smile glinted on his face.
Suddenly, each of the girls raised their right hands and in their outstretched grasp was a red rose, offered to the one they had chosen. The boys reached out in unison to receive the rose, their fingers pricking the thorns as they took them. As soon as the rose was in their’ hands, the boys doubled over, their backs hunched. A dark smoke curled off of their bodies in torrents, enveloping them. They shook violently, hugging their sides as if they were trying to hold themselves together.
Their’ heads snapped back, mouths wide open with their screams, dark purple smoke pouring out with the noise. Then all went silent as the boys’ heads dropped and they swayed on their feet. Eyes jerked open, a glowing blood red filmed over the entire white and pupil.
Asha clamped a hand over her mouth to catch the cry that tried to escape. Tears flooded her eyes and shivered down into her shaking hand as she watched, eyes wide in hysterics.
Teeth like daggers, fingernails like claws, and ugly horns like huge thorns tore into the innocent girls in front of them. The beasts destroyed every perfect face, beautiful body, and love-filled heart.
Asha turned away, her back scraping down the cold brick, till she sat hugging herself. Crying with heart-wrenching sobs, she tried to shake the awful images out of her head. The tearing apart, the blood-curling screams, the wild expressions on the girls’ faces before they were devoured.
Shivering with fear, she wobbled to her feet, forcing herself forward. Stumbling away from the garden, she knew she had to get to the only safe place—home. Scrambling away, she never turned to see Shaun’s blood-red gaze watching her flee.
The door shut with a harsh clap, her shaking fingertips unable to grasp the doorknob. She thanked the silent stars that her mother had started to take sleeping pills, ever since her father had…
Her fingers were fumbling with the zipper of her dress just as a sharp beeping noise cut through her muffled crying. Eyes skidding across the room, she saw her cellphone vibrating across her nightstand. On the caller ID read “Matchmaker’s Mansion.” She reached out to pick it up, but then drew back like it had bitten her. She couldn’t pick up after what she just saw. Those horrible monsters. The poor girls.
Her chest tightened each time the cellphone rang until she was almost fighting to breathe by the time the phone went still and the little voice message icon occupied the left corner of the screen. Blowing out a nervous breathe, she picked up the phone and punched in the password.
“Hello, Miss Asha,” Asha’s head jerked away from the phone. The voice was gravelly and deep, but she recognized Shaun’s silky voice beneath it all like it was in the background.
“I recall seeing you at the ball earlier, but it was to my greatest disappointment that you were not present at the most exciting moment of the night. This was a pinnacle moment of your love life. I fear it can not be rescheduled. But…you see, for you I may be able to pull some strings. Especially since I have your father here in dire need to see you.”
“Ash—Asha! Baby, I never left you don’t liste—“
“You see, you may not come for your little boy lovers, but surely you can not bear to lose your father. If you wish to save him, be at the ball room at midnight. Not a second later. Good night, Miss Asha.”
The phone clicked as the call was cut, a sharp noise in her ear. The dull thud of the phone hitting the floor sounded miles away. Her whole body had gone cold, her mouth gaping open, the air crushed out of her. But suddenly it was like a fire surged through her, catapulting her whole body into action. The door swung back and forth in the wake of her frenzied rush.
Asha fought for breath as she tripped up the last stair. Halting with her nose barely brushing the peeling doors, she inhaled sharply. Months ago she had walked in sheepishly, a wimp. What was she now? She didn’t even know. But she would be what she wanted to be, and if this is where the first question was to be finally answered she knew that it may be her last impression.
Grabbing hold of both handles, she swung the doors open, a breeze ruffling her dress as they whooshed past her. She took one strong stride into the dark room, but her cover was immediately shattered by the bang of the doors shutting behind her and the click of the lock. She stood rigid, hoping that she looked bold and daring, because she knew she couldn’t take another step forward without crumpling to her knees.
A spotlight pierced the center of the room, a white circle surrounding a throne on which sat her father. He raised his head, the light catching the glitter of his eyes. When he saw her he tried to stand, “Ash!”
“Dad!!!” she bolted forward, but just as she reached the throne his body vanished into a cloud of steam. Her arms thrown over the seat, where his lap would’ve been, she realized it wasn’t even warm from his body heat.
“Oh-ho, you thought it’d be that simple, Miss Asha?”
Her head snapped up to see Shaun leaning against the back of the throne, one hand propping up his head while the other draped over the edge, his white hand accented by dagger-like fingernails.
She didn’t bother to cover the intake of air that sounded like a strangled gasp. “What are you?!”
His lips peeled back to flash a sharp canine in what looked like an attempt at a smile, but it chilled her instead of warming since it didn’t quite reach his blood colored eyes.