#Who's Who of B and B

The Ghost of Blackwood Hall

October 31, 2017

Random Generated Prompts:

Who:  Anthony Black 
What:  lost key, a bounced check, a next door neighbor, dusty attic
Where:  a small town
First line:  The old woman turned and smiled.
The old woman turned and smiled in the doorway entrance.  Shoulder length gray hair softly framed her round face, yet the light dusting of freckles on her fair cheeks and the twinkle lighting up her arresting verdant eyes led him to believe she could be much younger than first appearances would indicate.   Her gracious smile and gentle manner made this first meeting as her new tenant more relaxing.

“Mrs. Cooper?  I’m Anthony Black.  I’m so embarrassed and wanted to apologize for that bounced check," he said as he reached out to shake her hand and was surprised at how cold it felt.  "I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time and wrote it from one of my closed accounts.  Claire always took care of our finances.  One more thing I have to . . . well, I can assure you it won’t happen again,” he said while feeling some of the pressures of the previous months start to crack through his emotional barricade. 

“Now, don’t you fret about it, and please call me Miss Anne.  I wasn’t too worried when I heard the new chief of police would be joining us at Blackwood Hall.  I feel much safer already,” she said in a voice closely resembling honey.   “Come in!  Come into the parlor,” said the spider to the fly.  

She stood to the side and with a sweeping motion opened up his view to a grand entryway of aged stone leading to a central staircase.  As he took off his wet coat and hung it on the umbrella tree, she lit one candle in the hallway sconce and one to carry with her, the flickering shadows forcing even the smallest of spiders to abandon their webs.  

“Nasty weather we're having, isn't it?  We’ve updated this old house, but I'm afraid during electrical storms we have to rely on candles.  Let me show you to your room.  Until you learn your way around, it’s very easy to get lost.  Tell me, Mr. Black, do you have family nearby?” 

“With the recent passing of my wife, I only have a daughter left, but she prefers the beat of a big city to a quiet, small town.” 

“Ah, yes,” her silky voice drawing him in.   “Many of these young kids do, perhaps she will come for a visit.”

He followed her graceful steps up the stairs having no internal warning as to what lie ahead.  If only he knew then what was painfully clear now, he would have bolted without a trace, leaving everything, never to look back.  If only one of those stately portraits on the wall had whispered, “Stop. Leave!  Your daughter isn’t safe here.”  Nothing.  Their vacant, clouded orbs showed only a casual interest as they followed him along the hallway totally oblivious to the tightening web of deceit.

“This stairway leads to an attic.  It was so dusty and damp we rarely went up there and then somehow misplaced the key to it years ago.  Now, I can’t remember what’s locked behind it.  Probably some old family secret.  Most neighbors have them, wouldn’t you agree?"  

Miss Anne stopped abruptly, turned, leaning forward to within inches of Anthony's startled face, her eyes turning gray and whispered, almost breathless, "You don’t believe in ghosts, do you, Mr. Black?” 

Thunder rattled the floor and a streak of lightening blazed into the corridor illuminating the old woman's face leaving dread in its wake.  The storm brewing outside the old Hall was of little consequence compared to the shiver that chilled his bones.

Happy Halloween!  Bwahaha . . .


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