Long black hair curtained shy violet eyes, which blinked once in the strong sunlight. She spoke with a soft, sibilant whisper, “Let’s go back in.”
“It’s dark in there,” I protested, but her insistent hand pulled at mine and I followed.
“The light hurts my eyes,” she said as we stepped into the dank coolness of the hallway. She ran her fingers over the walls as she walked, leading me deeper into the entrails of the abandoned mansion. We passed by space after space of forgotten glory, each one growing darker, quieter, stiller.
“What’s that?” I asked, stopping in the doorway of the largest hall I had ever seen. Traces of gilt still remained on the arches, the frescoes still partially visible.
She cocked her head on one side, a look of puzzlement on her face.
“It sounds like violins,” I said. “Is there a gramophone playing in there?”
“Oh that. The walls are remembering. This used to be the ballroom. Oh, they had grand dances here once.” She turned away and continued walking.
I stared at her retreating back. “Wait. Wait – I don’t want to go any further in.”
“Come on, I’ll lead you.”
“Do you stay here? By yourself?”
She turned back to face me, beckoning from down the dark hallway. I could barely see her in the dim light, the fair skin of her face seeming to float by itself; her hair swished back and forth with her movement, only allowing me to see parts of it at a time. “Yes.”
“Aren’t you afraid?”
“There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“Why don’t I go and get my torch?”
She shook her head. “No, don’t. You’ll hurt her if you do.”
“But what if it gets so dark that we can’t see where we’re going?”
She smiled. “It won’t. Trust me.”
I hesitated, but followed her. Her bare feet padded lightly, her dappled green sundress swayed to a non-existent breeze. It seemed to me that the further we got into the house and the deeper down we went, the hallways seemed to grow brighter with a slight green glow. The walls were covered with ivy now, and she often touched them as we passed by. Sometimes when she stopped, she seemed to almost blend into the walls.
“Where are we?” I whispered as she came to a stop in a yawning cavern, bigger than the hall I had admired upstairs. I wondered if it used to be the wine cellar.
“In the heart of the house.” She laid a pale hand on the thickest stem of ivy that I had ever seen. It seemed old and thick and hard enough to be part of a tree trunk. I wondered how it grew in the dimness of the house that never saw the light of day. Firmly, she pushed me against the wall; my bare arms shuddered a little as they brushed against the tendrils that swayed in the unfelt wind. The leaves rustled around me and she seemed to be communicating to them silently.
“Who are you?” I finally asked.
She smiled, her body pressing against mine. “Ivy.”
“Are you going to hurt me?”
Her eyes widened a little. “Why would I?”
“Stay with me, Ben.”
She laid her soft lips on mine and the outside world faded away.
Ivy means a lot of things. Check out Wikipedia here. After all, as Taylor said, "If it's on Wikipedia, it must be true!"
Very nice. I particularly like the line "the walls are remembering." It sent a shiver down my spine.ReplyDelete
That is one spooky mansion. Great story!ReplyDelete
A to Z Blogger
Cool story, nice ending :)ReplyDelete
Look forward to your challenge run…
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012
That was really lovely, Anna. I love the idea of the walls having memories and the sound of the long dead dances. Very nice touch.ReplyDelete
Very spooky - glad I was reading this in the daytime and not late at night!ReplyDelete
What a grand tale! I want to read more!ReplyDelete
And then ...? Would love to know what happens next.ReplyDelete
And then what?!?! Not nice. I'm just saying. :)ReplyDelete
Interesting tale of Ivy. I want to know what happens, too. :)ReplyDelete
"The walls are remembering" - what an excellent line!ReplyDelete
Fellow A-Zer: http://libbyheily.blogspot.com/
The "and then" is coming tomorrow. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your lovely comments!
This is SO great!!! Makes me want more....ReplyDelete
Just found you on the A to Z challenge...