Haunted – Part Two

This is the second half of “Haunted”, which features Erin von Brenner and Richard Moore.  I have too much fun with these two characters.  Erin’s so… strong and unflappable, even when she’s a little freaked out by what’s happening.  Richard, on the other hand, is sort of a wimp.  This scene was inspired by a word prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth (a darkness dwelt).

**

Erin was, truthfully, more than a little unnerved about the house.  Something about it felt off – somehow wrong.  It wasn’t as if there was something very wrong.  Indeed, on the surface, it all looked like you’d expect a house that had sat empty to look.  There was dust and cobwebs everywhere.  Still, there was something – something she couldn’t quite put her finger on – that was not as it should be.

As she reached the second story, she stopped in front of a mirror.  It was the only thing that wasn’t covered in dust.  It was as though someone had come in ahead of them to clean and had only done the mirrors.  Erin stopped on the landing and frowned at the mirror.

She could see Richard stop behind her on the steps to frown at her.  She could see her own reflection, frowning back at her.  “What is it?” he asked, his voice soft.

Erin shook her head.  “Something’s off,” she said.  “Why aren’t the mirrors covered in dust?”  She turned to him and Richard gasped.  Grabbing her by the shoulders, he pulled her to one side.  “What?” she breathed.

Tears welled in his eyes.  “You turned to face me and – and your reflection grinned,” he said, his voice strained.  “That’s not right, Erin!  That shouldn’t happen!”

Erin scowled and turned back to the mirror.  Neither of them were reflected in the glass now.  All she could see was the lower level of the house – the shadows and darkness.  Her brows furrowed as she saw a darkness that was denser than the shadows flit across the glass.  “There’s a darkness here,” she murmured, finally.

“Erin,” Richard said, his voice soft and calmer now.  “Can we leave?  Please?”  He was holding her hand and she could feel him trembling.  If she teased him for being afraid now, he wouldn’t deny it.  At the same time, she wouldn’t be teasing him for his fear at this point.

A flash of movement down the corridor caught Erin’s attention and she looked up.  There was another mirror at the far end of the corridor.  She knew without looking that Richard was staring at it.  That was why he was shaking.  Both of their reflections wore manic grins.

“Go,” Erin breathed.

Richard didn’t have to be told twice.  Using the strength and speed that only his kind had, he scooped Erin up in a princess-style carry and bolted down the steps and out the front door.  Erin watched in fascinated dread as the shadows followed them down the steps as far as the door.  They stopped at the threshold, as if they were trapped in the house.

Panting, Richard set her on her feet and raised his umbrella over his head.  As he turned to the house, he shuddered.  “So,” he said, his voice a bit high and breathy, “what shall we tell Lucas?”

“That he doesn’t want this house,” Erin said.  Then she turned on her heel and headed for the waiting carriage.  Next time Richard told her that he didn’t like the way a place felt, perhaps she’d listen.  Then again, she could be very stubborn, so she probably wouldn’t listen after all.

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