You stand at the balcony of the staircase, the early morning sun throwing rainbows of color over you like waves from the stained glass behind you. The cool, crisp air smells sweet as it brushes by through an open window. You take a deep, long awaited breath—you’re finally home. You’re in your very own place for the first time. It’s a good yet nervous feeling as you move down the stairs while examining the amazing wood work of the railing. It leads you to a grand entrance way, the polished ash grey wood floor and dark cream walls are warm and welcoming surrounded with the boxes left yet to unpack.
Your straight, long, dark hair brushing against your hips as you move to see what’s left in the box blocking the front door. It was plates, cups and bowls. They’re a navy blue with tones of black, your mothers which she gave you before she moved away. You think to yourself about how selfish she was for leaving you at such a needing time in your life and set them down on the dark granite top of the island.
As a young adult you’ve made your way—a new home, new country, new opportunities! You have a new sense of freedom as you unpack and explore your Victorian style home, a rare find for this semi tropical area. The owner was kind enough to leave the bed and some non perishable food for you until you find your way around. There was a store just up the street but you never got a good look as to what it was. You only remember the large welcoming window and pale yellow coloring of the building.
A sudden knock at the door pulls you back to reality. You move to see who could possibly be at your door, as you open it you see it’s a woman. She can’t be more than 40. She’s tall with olive skin, soft features, gentle green eyes, full lips which were turned into a welcoming smile. You greet her, her voice is like a melody as she tells you she’s your neighbor. Her name is Marina and came to see if you needed anything. As you welcome her in and apologize for the mess you can’t help but notice her, her slender yet muscular figure, her large breasts and her cute bum. She says she hopes you enjoy living here and offers to help you unpack. As you protest that she probably has better things to do she assures you that she doesn’t, but respects your privacy and tells you to call if there’s anything you need. You close the door behind her.
You make your way up to your bedroom to be greeted by more boxes. You sigh and open a large box in front of you, it’s filled with blankets you’ve had for years —all hand made by the women in the family, some over seas and some you’ve never met, but your favorite one is a periwinkle blue quilt made by your Nona. You pick it up, hug it and smell it sighing. It still smelt like her and was big enough to fit four people into it. You smile into the fabric as memories of Nona came rushing back and place it gently on the mattress.
You unpack what’s left—the usual clothing, bedding, pillows and various bedroom clutter. Eventually the whole room is pulled together and box free, you stand back to embellish in your work. It looks more mature than your old one with an elegant wooden canopy bed with matching dresser and side tables. As you leave to finally eat something you notice a large beautiful oil painting with gold frame—it was a bright, colorful sunset overlooking a lake and mountains.
As you make you way back down the stairs you wonder why the owner left such a beautiful painting behind. You make your way to the kitchen, look into the fridge and see a small stack of pre-made sandwiches. You take one and go sit down, you don’t have much to do as nothing will be hooked up for a couple days. Maybe you’ll read, draw, have a lie down or take a bit of a walk to see what’s around. You could find out what stores are around then possibly, if it’s not too late, go down to the beach.
It’s only early evening and you decide to look at the stores just a short walk away. As you lock the door and make your way down the smooth stone walkway and onto the main road you see all the people out, they seem to be in a rush—well at least to you. At least they seem nice as they exchange a smile while walking past, you make it to the the yellow storefront looking at the sign that reads "Shellwares Maiden." You laugh to yourself about how ridiculously named it was and open the door. You are greeted by an automated giant clan telling you about a sale. You continue through and notice it’s almost like a secondary store, but every item is shell related aside from the candy and gum.
You make your way outside and down to the beach. There’s other shops such as a bakery, butcher and dairy shop, laundromat, a used furniture store and one that said “Big Apple” which seemed like a larger chain store. You peer in the window for a moment and see clothes, beach chairs and toys, along with towels, food, bedding and other basic needs. You breathe deep the salty air as you reach beautiful white sand and see a purplish, orangey, pink sunset of your own at the waters horizon. You walk closer to the shoreline, remove your shoes and dig your toes into the sand. You stop to admire the beauty of this new place before heading back home.
The wind picks up as you make it home, probably just a costal wind since you don't recall hearing anything about a storm you think to yourself as you move up the stairs to bed. You wash up and change then slide into bed tiredly and yet stare at the ceiling sleepless, hours seems to pass as you toss and turn. The houses bones groan in response to the wind, you finally fall asleep but it's one of those guarded sleeps—as if someone is watching you in the dark.
In a fluid motion you jolt awakes by the sounds of the house. You breathe and check the time and groan seeing its only 4 AM, so you roll over and try to fall back to sleep. You're so close to drifting to sleep when you hear the floor boards creaking from the hallway, you breathe lightly trying to listen. The floor creaks again, they seemed further away than the first time but you stayed perfectly still as an uncomfortable feeling washed over you.
Barely breathing you stay perfectly still in the dark, you feel as if someone is standing at the bedroom door and your heart begins to race. You can sense something silently moving, a hushed whisper tells you that you'll be okay as you start to panic. You feel a hand on your arm, cold with long nails, you turn to see who it is and as the being delves its knife-like nails into your chest and teeth into your neck; with your last breath you whisper... Marina...