It took her some time, but finally she found the estate. She was really shocked when she saw the state it was in. Mister Trustmee had told her a housekeeper was taking care of everything, but that person wasn’t anywhere around… It was clear she hadn’t been here for some time now.
Bills had accumulated around the mailbox, and the mailbox itself was overflowing with more bills. She sighed… fortunately there was enough money to pay them. She only hoped that the power and the water supply hadn’t been cut off.
She wasn’t afraid of cleaning. She had done enough of that in the orphanage… but this was… incredible and the house was in desperate need of many major changes. Tomorrow she would start cleaning. Right now, after the journey she was just too tired.
She felt exhausted and she looked for the best available clean sheets to make the bed. Although she was very tired, she was so anxious that she couldn’t sleep. She read the book she had brought with her and after a while her eyelids became heavy.
She fell asleep… A restless sleep she woke up on several times during that night. The unknown noises of the house…, the sound of an owl near the window…. She wasn’t afraid but wasn’t happy either. With nostalgia she remembered the orphanage…. Finally she drifted off and slept through the rest of the night.
After a few hours, when she left the bedroom her heart skipped a beat when she noticed that the woman in the painting had disappeared. The painting was EMPTY! She swallowed and thought that she must be imagining things.
That night she slept well without waking up, which really made sense after all the work she had done.
When she woke up she stayed in bed daydreaming a bit. She thought it would be a good idea to remove all the creepy paintings in the house. She wondered where she could store them all, because there were so many of them if she remembered well.
She got up and toured the house to look at all those paintings. She went from room to room again. She still hadn’t explored the attic, which turned out to be a very nice place. Although the wood needed painting, the walls were the only clear colored ones in the house. It appealed to her. It would make a nice office, she thought. She wanted to get her laptop out right away but, thinking it over, she decided not to because there were so many other things that had to be done.
Then she continued with the bedroom and the en-suite bathroom. She was happily sandpapering, painting and refurbishing for the next few days.
Feeling pleased with herself that she had been able to clean and paint the bedroom and bathroom she decided on a homemade hamburger. After that she went to take a nice bubble bath and turned in for the night.
She woke up to a strange sound in the middle of the night…. It was the door handle! It was moving! Somebody wanted to come into her bedroom! She got up and quickly pushed the dresser in front of the door.
Daylight made everything look very different and she pushed the dresser back in its place. Outside her room she noticed footsteps imprinted in the dust on the floor that hadn’t been there before. It scared her again.
She did her best to deny this. This is not happening… this cannot be happening. Her mood meter was below zero already, and besides that she felt very lonely. In the orphanage she had other kids around, but here…. Okay.., Mr. Trustmee had called her twice being very interested to know if she was accepting the house, which was quite strange in her opinion. Why would he be so interested? Well, perhaps he only wanted to make sure she was alright.
After this stressful night and the discovery of the footsteps, she knew she had to socialize to keep in touch with the real world outside. She dressed up and drove her car to one of the local places where she could get to know some of the locals.
There was a strange place. Like circles of rocks and stone, lots of wild reeds, and even a place to light a bonfire. It seemed to be a place for some kind of ritual, but she didn’t have a clue what for. She was tired enough to sleep through the night without waking up. She went home, made sure to close her bedroom and went to sleep.
‘Will this ever end?’ One strange thing after another had happened. THIS drained all her resilience….. It was if though the people from the paintings wanted to tell her something but couldn’t find a way to communicate with her. She wanted to put an end to this… but how? She felt a shivering cold, not only on her skin but in her bones as well. The woman looked at her pensively. Beth couldn’t move. There was some strange force holding her down and making her stay. The woman said with an unearthly voice… “If you really want to, you can change all of this… I can tell you how….”
She was puzzled and wanted with all her heart to know how she could change things. She tried to talk and ask but it was like she was frozen… With every moment, she felt if though she was to be dragged back to… what? Where and when…?
The director of the orphanage asked her to step inside her office. “My dear Beth… I knew this day would come… I’ve grown very attached to you and the other orphans here… but I just have to accept that you all have to leave at a certain point. Here is an envelope with some money to start you with. I don’t doubt you will find a decent job soon. You are skilled enough…. Ah… and there’s one more thing. You will have to contact a lawyer… Here’s his card.”
Beth took the envelope, the business card and said goodbye. Once outside she looked at the business card and when she saw the lawyers name on it, she felt like fainting… Mr. Trustmee…
What would YOU do?
The End (or not…)