Forgotten Time: Part Two
This is part two of a new story I'm working on based round a very powerful sorcerer who is also a vampire, locked in a time loop of his own creation awaiting the return of his beloved. The story is written as if the writer is telling the story like a diary entry. This is will published as a book one fully finished but this is a readable draft. If you have not already read Part One please follow the link here https://vocal.media/horror/forgotten-time-part-one
Part 2: Picture of the past
My eyes darting back around me as the front door that I had so eagerly walked through and having opened it without invitation, closed once again with a loud click as it returned inside the frame. There is no way a breeze could have pulled the door closed and although to my eyes there was no view of anything or anyone, I could not help but feel there was someone still watching me from within the shadows, a feeling that most likely had followed me from outside.
Once again I turned to face my new surroundings that I now found myself in. This large entrance hall most likely has a tale to tell but if only walls could talk. There was little light to be seen a few candles scattered about here and there, from what little light I could see from the flickers of the sparse candles there was ornate looking gas lamps perfect for the mansions late Victorian gothic glamour. The gas lamps seemed to be hanging upon the walls, but these were not lit and to my ignorant eyes I could not tell if they had been used at all in the more recent past.
I walked carefully to the left of the entrance hall were a large door stood open and what seemed like a more inviting light was escaping into the hall, there was no mistake that should someone be living here they surely would become alert by my shoes tapping across what sounded like an uncovered wooden floor.
The room that I had now entered seemed far more well lit, not only was there a fire burning in the large stone fire place but a few of the oil burning lamps were lit. There was now no mistake that someone called this place home, but eerily this mansion of elegance seemed forgotten in time, there was nothing modern about it and from what I could see everything seemed well kept and perfectly placed. I edged a little closure to the fire, although the sun had been burning brightly in the sky, by no means was it warm outside in the sunlight, for this autumn day felt nothing more than the calm before the raging storm of winter. The fire glowed with a strong heat, the ambers of timber seemed to crackle and pop, there within the flames there was clearly a more recent log that had been placed on top of the flames and already consumed logs, it seemed most likely that this new log had been placed within the flames only ten minuets before as it was barely chard, so were was this mystery person who clearly called this place home, surely they would reveal themselves in time but for the moment I was grateful for the warmth of the fire.
The room was clearly that of a drawing room and although all the curtains were open, no daylight seems to seep in from the windows. I reluctantly left the fireside walking across to one of the windows peering out to the view, it was still clearly day light outside and the view from the window showed not only the forest that I had abandoned my car as well as the clifftop edge of the coast, yet there was still no day light that seemed to illuminate the room as if any light from outside was reflected back and refused access into the the house. Truly the only light that seemed to give any illumination within the room I now found myself came from the fire and dimly lit gas lamps, which thankfully was far more light than what was in the entrance hall.
With the light in the room I could see far more items that gave me the sense that someone clearly did live here and had done for quite some time. The walls were elegant with wallpaper in keeping with the style of building, a large portrait of a rather handsome man dressed in late 1800s clothing hung above the fireplace and there were a few framed pictures than seemed almost haunting, as if they alone held some great mystery. A large comfortable velvet sofa faced the fire with two small side tables either side of the arms there was also an arrangement of four other large chairs that faced round a small table in the middle as if in a half square formation. Clearly this was somewhere that people could easily sit and talk while remaining warm from the fire and no doubt enjoy afternoon tea. To the other side of the room was what looked like a games table that was clearly set up for the evenings games with card and chips waiting to be used by its seated players, each placement also had a small note book beside clearly to keep score. Against the wall near to the door way that I had walked though was a large sideboard with a few ornaments but a large collection of whiskey, port and brandy in a rather elegant crystal glass drinks holder with a a set of four small glasses awaiting use, no doubt in the cupboard of the sideboard there would be other drinks and glasses. It all seemed rather fitting for a Victorian mansion clearly prepared for any guests and clearly prepared to show of their social statues, but the funny thing was this so out of date that it was hauntingly beautiful it not terrifying.
I could not help but feel that who ever called this mansion home was very much from well to do society with wealth handed down to them. The elegance of the room seemed so untouched that it felt locked in a pocket of time and who ever lived here probably didn't know half of what was going on in the outside world, but all I wanted to know was who this person was because only then could I return to the town and prove everyone wrong. In hindsight if I had known then what I do now I would of never come to this place but then I would never of learnt and my life would not be the way it is now, as they say we make our choices and my choice was to find out the truth about this odd mansion and the more I looked around the more I grew to realise that this place was far more than the rumours could comprehend.
I turned my gaze back towards the fire walking towards it past one of the side tables next to the sofa, were I stopped to look at its contents. There was a china cup placed neatly on its matching saucer with the remains of what I could only tell was tea, but beside this cup was a book clearly half read. The book cover seemed to have unusual symbols on it, none that I had ever come across before and as I opened the book I realised that this was a book holding some kind of dark magic. The words on the pages were hand written with symbols that were almost like a code, but as I continued turning the pages of the book investigating it more fully for my own interest, a small picture fell from inside dropping down to my feet. I carefully picked the picture up only to see a young beautiful women that looked no older than twenty-five dressed in an elegant Victorian era evening gown, it almost seemed from either the 1890s or early 1900s, but it was not the clothes that bothered me the most as the women looked like me, scarily like me but this could not possible. The image was clearly that of a women from the late Victorian era and I was born in the 1990's, this women in the picture and me can not be at all related nor can she be me, but she looks exactly like me. Her hair neatly pinned up but clearly naturally long and by the shade of the black and white photo she was red haired, her eyes and even the shape of her face is exactly like mine, the curve of a smile and the soft form of her lips also the same. In every detail she is me but this, this can not real. I quickly placed the picture back neatly into the pages of the book and hurriedly placed the book back on the small table, I did not want to know who that women was, the image was so uncannily like me but how could I look like her, surely this was some kind of illusion or practical joke.
I quickly walked back to the fire trying to clear my mind from that image and I was feeling oddly cold once again, as it was I felt that who ever lived here must surely be deaf or not care if people entered the mansion. However as I thought this the sound of hurried feet rushing across the entrance hall floor was unmistakeable. I turned to face the door preparing to be rather quickly removed from the property as I watched a women enter the room, she looked no more than eighteen and was dressed in a maids uniform which was in keeping with Victorian style. She did not noticed me as she busily placing a tray of glasses on the sideboard and began to prepare things clearly for the evening, she clearly was unaware to her surroundings and had not noticed me at all stood by the fire, so without wanting to really alarm her I coughed lightly.
There was no escaping the shock as the maid quickly spun round to face me alerted to my cough. For a moment she seemed confused as she looked at me as if she was in almost disbelief that someone was even stood before her. She remained quiet for moment trying to comprehend the situation. "Hello, no one answered the door, I need help!" I carefully said as the maid just stood looking at me, her mouth opening then closing and it was clear she was in complete disbelief, the look of shock and her attitude was like she had seem someone from the past or worst still a ghost.
She quickly shook her head looking at me again and smiled a rather comforting if unsure smile. "Please forgive me for me rather shocked expression, the master of the house never has guests, not any more at least so seeing you here is rather odd. The butler, Mr Thomas never opens the door unless he is told that the master is expecting company, but that has not happened in a very long time. My name is Mary I'm one of the house maids, you said you needed help, how can I help you miss?" The maid finally replied to me still looking at me as if I seemed to have three heads or as if I had stepped out of a distant memory, but as I went to explain why I was there a rather tall, elegant, mystical if not rather handsome gentlemen walked into the room, he too was ignorant to me being stood by the fire. "Ah Mary there you are, I would like dinner served in my study this evening, please see to it." Said the man he looked directly at Mary who merely bowed her head to him but her eyes darted to me as she took a deep breath, clearly and rather carefully thinking to what she needed to say to him. "Of course Sir Rothwell but we have a guest Sir." Mary replied as her eyes looked past him towards me. I felt that I was utterly out of my depth now as the man turned to face were Mary was looking making me feel even more oddly scared. I could not help but quickly look at the ground scared to even look upon him and for a brief moment I thought I heard him take a sharp intake of breath as if he had seen someone from his past. But he quickly walked towards me, his fingers carefully placed under my chin raising my head up forcing me to look at him, but as I looked at him I could not help but notice that he too had a look of utter disbelief across his face. He quickly stepped back from me again but all the while holding my gaze. "Mary please lay the dinning table for two, and please attend our guest, I'm sure she's tired and by the state of her shoes and clothes I would say she walked here so would probably like to fresh up from her journey" He began before glancing over his shoulder at Mary who was stood listening to his every word. "Mary please show her to a bedroom and fetch her some clean clothes" He continued before looking back towards me. "Forgive me madam but I must attend my work." He hurriedly said before quickly leaving the room without another word, Mary followed his path with her eyes before looking back at me.
Although both the gentlemen and Mary had seemed in shock with me, I was now in shock myself having expected to be tossed out of the house yet here I was having been invited, almost forced into joining the gentlemen for dinner, I could now honestly say that everything was out of place and not right at this mansion and I in a weird way I felt I was stuck here. "Well miss, seems Sir Nicholas wishes your company, please follow me." Said Mary jolting me from my thoughts before she headed out the doorway clearly expecting me to following and almost against my own will I did follow her as if my body had a mind of its own and I was willingly going to have dinner with this unusual man in this rather out of time place. Mary lead me upstairs as she opened a door down one of the corridors on the lefts wing of the mansion, the door lead to a bedroom which clearly was set up for a lady, possibly the lady of the house which made me feel even more uncomfortable. Mary however was more interested in carrying out her duties and had left me stood in the bedroom as she walked into the adjoining EnSite bathroom turning the faucet's over the bath as warm water quickly flowed out and began filling the bath, along with the floral scent of perfumed bath oils.
I carefully walked over to the large dressing table I couldn't help but feel utterly out of place but still I looked at my reflection, the image of the women that I had seen in that picture earlier still lingered in my mind and how the people here seemed so confused by me yet oddly welcoming was even more unnerving to me. I could hear the water running in the bathroom as I walked through still confused and unnerved by everything but it was clear that as much as I was confused so were they. Mary left me to bathroom so I could bathe in peace and I couldn't lie that the hot bath was a comfort for me. But the feeling of being watch still lingered, it was clear that nothing was as it seemed and the rumours I had been told all my life in town were not as true as what they believed, something here was truly out of place. I remained in the bath for a while feeling the water relaxing my body, all the walking from where my car finally died in the forest to then walk up the hill to the mansion had clearly taken its toll on my body, but I hadn't really noticed how aching and sore my legs were.
By the time I did get out the bath I found Mary tidying round the room, a beautiful 1890s evening dress lay out on the bed, it seemed to be made of the finest silks which were in the brightest red colour with black floral lace which added detail to the other wise elegant but simple dress. Mary helped me into the dress which oddly seemed to fit me perfectly as if it had been made for me. Mary did not utter a word to me as she carefully began tidying my wet hair placing it up off my face in an elegant looking bun, she then carefully applied make up to my face alone with perfume. It felt like I was being prepared for an ornate meeting as if I was about to be interduce to a man of great power in social circles. As I stood up looking at myself in the mirror once again the feeling of fear that I looked like the women in the picture I had seen earlier was now unmistakable but before I could even ask about it Mary had left the room.
I felt so out of my depth, it was clear that what I knew was never going to be the same and maybe the towns people were right that this place is cursed. I slowly walked back downstairs seeing Sir Nicolas walking into a well lit room opposite the drawing room as I carefully followed him, wondering what would await me and if I was indeed at all safe.
To be continued...