Whispers of Perspective
This is a short story I wrote in about 2 hours as a challenge, it was based on a dream I had. The idea for this was really worthy of several more pages than it got, but I didn't have the time for it in 2 hours. Like my other projects, I may come back to this and improve and expand on it in the future.Please, enjoy.
They turned a corner as lightning flashed through the sky and thunder crashed far above. The road ended at a large metal gate around 50 feet ahead, where it turned into a rough, neglected gravel path which wound its way through a patch of trees and up a hill to the front door of a large manor which loomed ominously above the surrounding area. In the waning light of the evening the house was washed in a palette of red and orange, and the shadows cast from its Victorian features grew long.
The two of them paused and took in the view, it wasn’t a stop on their tour but they were curious to at least see the property as they’d heard rumours from locals that it was haunted. The sky slowly grew darker as the sun set and the clouds thickened into a storm, and they knew they hadn’t the time to spend truly investing in a search of the estate. But it was quite a sight to behold, this style of architecture was becoming increasingly rare as the mundane and dreary styles of modern tastes flooded the market. Mansions as old as this were bound to be swarmed with legends of hauntings, as this one was.
“Do you think any of it is remotely true?” he asked, not even referring to the ghost which was said to roam its winding halls and dusty rooms, but to the events which would have caused the haunting.
“I dunno,” she replied thoughtfully, “I’d think that if a woman was murdered here, by her own mother no less, this place wou-“ she trailed off and leaned forward, squinting.
Her companion, a little curious, offered, “What’s up? Do you see something?”
A fog was beginning to settle on the hill before their very eyes and the storm was getting closer, but she did definitely see something. Through the haze and over the trees she could see, in a window on the top floor of the mansion, a figure who peered lazily back out at them.
“Do you,” she said, “Do you see that?”
“There’s a pale, almost white, girl standing in that window.” She said, pointing.
“I don’t see anything, honestly. This fog’s getting pretty dense.”
“Huh, maybe it’s a trick of the light.” she said, straightening back up. But she knew what she saw. She knew. “But I’d swear I saw a young woman in that window.”
“Let’s get back, it looks like it’s gonna rain soon.”
You continued watching as the two strangers on the side of the road outside turned and began walking away. The woman occasionally glanced back over her shoulder, but they ultimately eventually disappeared from view. Tourists didn’t usually come this way, this far out of town, even just to see a building as old as this one. An odd sight they were, one wearing a small cap which seemed to droop over his head, the brim barely visible; the other wearing a skirt which seemed to cascade in vibrant colourful sections down to her ankles. Hipsters from the deep city come to see the locations of various local urban legends.
You grimaced at the thought and shut the window again, turning away and back into the attic. You could hear occasional squeaks and moans and thuds as the wind battered against the walls and the old house settled to face the coming storm. And thunder boomed as the storm, too prepared for the battle. An ancient feud, the chaos of nature versus this mighty house, the building had withstood it for over a century, but it was a feud nature would eventually win.
The thunder alone was enough to shake the entire house, and the storm was predicted to last most of the night, but it was only 6:30 pm. This would be an ordeal, the attic would probably suffer leakage, and the lower floors would probably suffer a barrage of wind breaking through the tiny cracks in the walls.
It didn’t bother you, though, it wasn’t even enough to get you to move downstairs from the attic to avoid the water. Hell, you hadn’t left the attic in years, and you weren’t about to start now. There was nothing for you in the lower floors or the outside world, nothing except the awkward silence which was caused by your mother’s being unable to see or hear you.
You took a step toward one of the four beams in the attic which supported the roof, with your flowing white dress trailing lazily behind you. Your footstep didn’t make any noise, of course they never did. It had been 20 years but the absolute silence of your existence was something which still made you uncomfortable. It was impossible to adjust to, it was like literally living in a vacuum. All other sounds became almost deafening to you after you realized you could no longer make any yourself.
There was also the bonechilling cold, you never seemed to be warm, not even in the summer when the temperature rose to over 100F. You often wondered if it’d help if you wore something thicker than your old white dress, but you couldn’t seem to find any of your clothes anyway. You reached out to grab the support beam, to lean against it, but it swept nothing but air and fell back to your side. You wished you’d never died.
The doorbell interrupted your quiet solitude, and you turned back to the window to see who was at the door. It was an older man, wearing a blazer and a tie, and carrying a briefcase. He waited, though impatiently glanced at his watch multiple times, there for about a minute before ringing the doorbell again. The door finally opened and your mother greeted him. You slowly opened the window again so you could hear what was being said.
“Hello, thank you so much for coming.”
“Yes,” he replied in a German accent, “I apologize for my tardiness but, you see, your home is some distance from civilization.”
“I’m sorry, I would have come to your office, it’s just that she can’t leave the house.”
Your heart sank.
“Yes, I understand,” he replied, “I’ve been told she’s schizophrenic?”
Jonathan McIntosh. © 2012-2019 All rights reserved.