Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Visit

I needed to visit again to know. It was two years since I had left and now I was here, standing before the great oak door. I waited for someone to respond to my knocking and, after a short while, a woman appeared.

“You've come to view the house,” she said in a brusk manner. 

I had never seen this woman before today and she introduced herself as the wife of the caretaker. I waited for her to invite me in as she stood looking, not at me but beyond me – as if she wasn't seeing me at all, through eyes that were looking on another dimension. She was distant, yet perturbed also. I noted that her clothing was very much out of fashion. She wore a full crinoline skirt in an older style, whereas slimmer garments were now the vogue. It struck me as strange for someone who, though not young, was not yet middle-aged either.

By now, we were in the drawing-room - I, seated on the sofa and she standing by the door. Even in the dimness of the room, I could see that her skin had a strange pallor – she was ghostly white. She retreated to the kitchen to make us tea - so she said - but it seemed that she had disappeared, for I waited for some time and she did not return. How rude..... unless..... I made up my mind that I would not stay a moment longer in that house and so I left and hurried down the pathway towards the gates.

“Well, what did you find out? Any good?” Harry asked as he approached from behind a tree.

“Not worth the bother Harry, “ I said. “The house is empty. There's only the caretaker and his wife.... boring as hell and too easily scared.  I wasn't there five minutes and she scarpered. I want some fun, a big family with lots of kiddies. I'd sooner watch the grass grow as haunt a pair of dimwits.”

Harry laughed and pulled me towards him for a kiss. I put my arms round his neck. The marks the noose had made were still visible. I know I should really be keeping company other than the bloke that bashed my head in with a candlestick, but he had been my husband and I always thought it better to stick with the devil you know as the one you don't.

“Come on girl,” he said fondly, “let's go find us a big family to scare the living daylights out of.”

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