That Haunting Little House

Margot awoke in a sweat that morning, the memory of the nightmare still haunting her as she quickly pulled the curtains open to let the daylight greet her bedchamber.

Last night something had crawled out of that ugly house on the little island in the center of the pond, visible from her chamber windows. She had stared at it limp ever closer to her, her feet rooted into the freezing cold water beneath. It had leapt at her with the speed of a deadly predator. And that was when she woke up.

Now she was up and about, getting dressed for the busy day ahead. She tied her shoes and tightened her apron before she blew out the candles on her bedside table. She had placed one candle there when she first arrived at the manor so she wouldn't have to face the darkness of the night. Then she started worrying about what would happen if the candle died out, so she brought a second candle to keep the first company. Then she got a third and a fourth and a fifth. Now six candles lit up her room every time the sun couldn't. A little sacrificial circle of candles on her bedside table.

Breakfast with the other staff in the kitchen was quiet. At least it was for Margot, so caught in her own thoughts she barely heard the usual screams of the damned from the large bread oven in the corner. She was so deeply lost in thought about that horrible little stone building, on that disgusting little grass island, in that stinking little pond that she hated even more than the dark. I was as if it had placed itself there merely to irritate her, to distract her from her work. She simply had to know what was inside.

She wished Philip, the manager--who laid half asleep on the reception desk in the entrance hall--a good morning as she passed by. How he could be so relaxed with the ever whispering paintings cursing the walls around him was a mystery.

A leather and hide hat kept her head mostly dry as she picked up her work in the gardens. The rain had become familiar to her now. She knew it was friendly and harmless--at least today--which was a lot compared to the other encounters she had made in her time here. The little stone house on the little island in the little pond for example... It haunted her.

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