The following work of Flash Fiction is in collaboration with my fellow blogger friend, Jithin of Photrablogger. The picture above is his creative photography which inspired this series of flash fiction writing. Do check out his blog to read about his adventures while travelling and many lovely pictures.
Margaret or Maggy- a 19 year old girl, out to search some truths
Steve- the caretaker of the mansion, a man in his fifties
Robert- the house cook
Grandpa- Maggy’s grandfather
Part 1 by Sweety
Part 2 by Traveling Hat
Part 3 by Saya
Part 4 by Moses
You are now reading Part 5 of the story. Please read the parts that came before so that you can enjoy the story and understand the flow.
Maggy sat up in her bed abruptly, shaken from the vivid dream she just had and saw Robert, sitting in a chair opposite, looking at her speculatively. Dawn was breaking outside. She saw the trees of the woods take form in the growing light. The cold light of the day did nothing to dispel her fears or to allay her apprehensions. She pressed her fingers to her temples. She felt overwhelmed by the turn of events.
She had arrived in her Grandpa’s mansion the previous night in the hope of uncovering his mysterious disappearance a year back. But, the bloodcurdling scream in the middle of the night and the encounter with a shadowy form had left her nerves frayed.
Maggy swung her legs out of the bed but moaned as she tried to stand. Robert jumped up to help her. Maggy felt a vague discomfort as he steered her with his hand at her elbow. The touch of his soft shirt sleeve evoked memories of a childhood when she and Rob played in the kitchen, in the house and in the woods near the enormous mansion. The look in his eyes as he appraised her were cool but she could not forget the warmth of his gaze just the night before.
Maggy freshened up in the bathroom hurriedly and changed her clothes. “I would like to go for a walk”, she announced weakly. Robert excused himself, saying he needed to be in the kitchen to plan the day’s meals. With trepidation, Maggy walked out of the side door of the living room to the large and now unkept garden. The fringes of the once magnificent garden were slowly being encroached by the surrounding woods. Her grandfather had regaled her with fascinating stories of the woods when she was little. With a start, she remembered her dream, where she was in the dungeon of the mansion. “Is there really a dungeon here? “, she wondered aloud. Her sound sounded hollow even to herself.
Maggy walked on. In her misery, she hardly looked at the tiny wild flowers growing in the bushes. The birds chirped, but her ears echoed with the sound of her Grandpa’s voice, calling for help. She felt as if she were walking in a dream. As the bushes grew denser and the trees blocked out light, Maggy realised she had walked farther than she had realized. She turned to go back. Trying to distangle her clothes from the thorns of a plant, she noticed strange marking on one of the tree trunks.
Surprised, she came to herself with an alertness she had not felt before. She reminded herself of the reason of her visit to the mansion. She had to find out what had happened to her beloved Grandpa. Brushing the leaves off her clothes, she looked around keenly. There was another tree trunk with a similar mark on it. And another… if it was a trail, it seemed to be leading deeper into the woods. She would lose her way, Maggy realised. “I must come back with someone, maybe Rob”.
Her heart quickened at the thought of Rob. With brisk steps, she walked back to the edge of the garden. Some of the beautiful wild flowers were trampled! Was she careless while entering the woods? Or had someone else been here, after her? Following her?
Maggy quickly entered the house through the small kitchen door. Robert was drying the dishes with a towel. Last night’s mess had all been cleared away. The door of the cabinet they had hidden in last night was ajar. Following Maggy’s gaze. Robert walked over to close the door. All of a sudden, Maggy heard a deep, rumbling sound coming from the cabinet? Or was it from beneath the wooden floor of the kitchen? No, she was not mistaken because the vibrations traveled through her body.
Shocked, Maggy looked at Rob but his expression was masked. “Rob”, she blurted out, “Is there a dungeon underneath the mansion”?
“Dungeon? No!”, he said almost harshly. Maggy felt lightheaded. As she swayed on her feet Rob shot out a hand to help her and she saw the crushed petals of the wild flowers on his shirt sleeve…
Can Maggy trust Robert? Where does the trail in the woods lead to? Is there really a dungeon under the house?
To be continued by Manvi