dust and bottles

Despite the age of the abandoned manor, the bedroom was grand. It was clear that whoever had owned this house had plenty of money.

Sitting in the middle of the room was a king-sized bed. Expensive sheets and silks were draped over the mattress. A satin red canopy hung from the ceiling.

Open to the bedroom was the bathroom – the only separation being half-walls and more red curtains. Within this bathing-room was small nook tucked into the corner. Three steps led up to this small window-covered room, the only furnishings being a small vanity table – which was covered with colourful glass bottles and jewels.

Who had lived here?

Why did they decide to leave such a beautiful home?

Thick layers of dust coated every surface. I could clearly hear the ‘pit-patting’ of rats scurrying within the walls.

Surprisingly, this did not bother me. The multiple cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and critters crawling along the floor were nothing but background conditions to the home. My focus wasn’t on the current mess the room appeared to be, instead, I found myself yearning for those delicate bottles in the nook.

I was still gazing at the bottles when the hair on the back of my neck rose. A chill ran down my spine, towards my toes. I pursed my lips, hoping that whoever was behind me hadn’t noticed I was aware of their presence.

Delicately, I picked up a dark green bottle. The light shimmered off of the glass, sending small rainbows across the nook.

“You shouldn’t be touching that,” the man behind me stated. “We agreed we wouldn’t touch anything here, remember?”

A small smile reached my lips. “You never followed the rules, so why should I?”

The floor creaked behind me and I knew he was coming closer. I felt light pressure on my back as he placed his hand there.

“Welcome back.” His voice was deeper than I remembered.

I placed the bottle back down, careful to place it in its original spot. “No need to throw a party, no one knows I’m here.”

He seemed to ponder this. “Why did you keep it a secret?”

“It didn’t feel necessary,” I shrugged. “I don’t plan on staying for long.”

“Are you going away again?”

I turned and met his dark gaze. It had been so long since we had seen each other that I almost had forgotten how his blonde hair shined in the light. All his baby fat was gone, leaving behind a sharp jawline, and high cheekbones.

“Mable?” His voice brought my attention back. “Are you going away again?”

I nodded. I didn’t want to explain to him why I needed to leave town again, why I always seemed to go away on a trip.

“I wish you wouldn’t go.” He sighed, lightly touching my cheek. I echoed his sigh with my own.

He spoke again, but his voice sounded hollow. “Mable, she doesn’t want you to go either.”

My stomach plummeted to my toes as he mentioned her. I pushed out shaky breathe. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the dark figure.

I really shouldn’t have touched that stupid bottle.

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