By: Eremitic Girl
© Copyright 2013 Eremitic Girl
Serena moved into the town on Halloween night when the town children were about trick-or-treating. She came in the moving van with her two luggage bags, a cherry-wood cupboard and a gunpowder black bed frame to see a small group of ghosts and vampires staring up at the house that she was going to live in.
The driver grinned at her through a cloud of cigarette smoke that she dispelled with a few vigorous waves of her hands, “Your house is haunted.”
“The way I like it,” she replied, jumping out of the van. The children turned to look at her and an ice princess’ jaw dropped at the sight of her. She gave them a cheerless wave and unlatched the tall iron wrought gates with a key in her pocket.
“That house is haunted,” said dracula-number-one.
She shrugged. “It’s mine.”
“Trick or treat?” asked dracula-number-two.
“Trick,” she replied, pulling the gate all the way open for the moving van. “Move out of the way; the van’s driving through.”
They shuffled to the side but did not leave, staring up at her with wide eyes as she kept her gaze on the van as it manoeuvred into the narrow winding driveway up to the house.
She wore a sleeveless maroon shirt with a black striped sweater over it, crocheted to look like spider-webs hanging from her arms and an oxblood-checkered plait skirt with tall laced-up boots. The ice princess puzzled over what Halloween creature she was dressed up as.
Serena turned to stare at her with intense black eyes and she turned away quickly. “Sorry!” she said to the ground.
There was no reply so she looked up to see the older girl striding away after the moving van. “Let’s go,” dracula-number-one said, taking the ice princess’ hand, “She’s not going to give us any treats.”
“Maybe she’s playing too?” suggested dracula-number-two, puffing after the other two. “She doesn’t look like an adult.”
“Probably your sister’s age,” dracula-number-one replied, “Eighteen or something.”
“But she’s living alone?” the ice princess pointed out.
“Maybe her parents are coming later.”
Dracula-number-two frowned. “We should really tell her the house is haunted.”
Dracula-number-one sighed. “We did.”
The house had an ornate front door with an old-fashioned knocker and a carved door handle. The door opened to either side to reveal a musty hall with white marble stairs running up on the left and right side of the foyer. Directly opposite the front door was a single door with the same carved handle and led to a fairly modern kitchen and bathroom.
“Serena!” a voice called out just as she pulled the bath curtains aside to reveal a porclain bathtub and she poked her head from the kitchen to see the wafts of smoke drifting from behind the walking cupboard.
She slammed the kitchen door shut. “No smoking upstairs.”
“I’m to take the cupboard upstairs?” He coughed with laughter.
She crossed her arms and eyed him curiously. “You mean it’s not included in your absurdly high prices?”
“I’d do it as a favour,” he offered, throwing the cigarette on the floor and crushing it with his boot. Serena watched him calmly as he struggled to carry the cupboard and began his ascend up the stairs.
The moving man would swear she was trying to infuriate him but Serena climbed past him up the same staircase, running her hand along the cold marble banister to the second level.
From the second floor corridor, she had a view of the foyer below and the chandelier ropes attached to the wall. The walls were papered a crumbling white paper and each of the three rooms had the same door knob. She went into the middle room and walked across the creaky wooden floor to the window. Cold air gushed into the room as she pushed open the ornately framed windows.
There was a door to the right of the room, a simpler wooden door but with the same door knob. She opened it to reveal shelves and a hanging rod. Serena grinned the same moment an echoing crash resounded from below.
In the foyer, she saw as she bent over to look, the moving man lighting a new cigarette, glaring at the splintered cupboard. “It costs a hundred dollars,” she told him.
He swore. “You’re lucky I didn’t fall instead.”
“You would not have,” she declared, showing him out the door to the porch, “with your selfish attitude and ignorance, you’ll live a long life,” and she slammed the door in his face. He was speechless for a while but when his face finally turned red in anger and he wanted to curse her, the door opened again and she tossed the cigarette in his face.
Deeply humiliated, he revved the engine of the rusty moving van and burst out the iron-wrought gates, muttering under his breath, “The ghost will get her,” heedless of the two draculas and an ice princess looking after him.
I’ve started a Figment account where I will finish this story so look out for the updates to this story on Figment at: http://figment.com/books/722482-Serena-Blackletter
This story is meant to be horror themed but I know it doesn’t really sound like that yet. The last time I wrote a horror story, I scared myself silly but a friend of mine who read it found it romantic rather than scary so let me know if my story starts drifting off from the genre.