One. Two. Three. Then four. And then five. The delicate flakes of snow wafted down to the chunky white blanket of snow already covering the ground, becoming quite the menace of nature itself. I’ll admit, counting the flakes as they floated downwards then disappeared into the mess was tedious, and quite time wasting. The scene before me was not, however, and would of been quite the spectacle to any foreign girl looking for the wonder that was known as “snow”.
The once botanical wonders of lush bushes and majestic trees had died months ago, their brittle skeletons waving sheepishly in the cold, now replaced with the death of winters end
I ghosted my hand over the oak of the window’s boarder, taking in it’s dulling polished feel. Nicks in the long plank stood out like a leapers spots, and the noticeable wears also grace me with their presence. With little strength I could wiggle it, and almost pop it free. Regrettably that would probably not be fixed, and even more guiltily, it probably wouldn’t even be noticed. No one could know it was broken, not because it was not properly examined. But because no one knew this once prosperous house like I did.
The hollow bounds of this once lively beast was my residence and my life. At one point in time it rang out with laughter and joyous, merry times. The patter of children’s feet as they raced down the stairs to play out in the snow sang like a melodious choir on the Holy Day. A once burning flame, The fire crackled and sizzled like the trumpets at noon and it warmed the hearts of all who marveled at it. A liveliness, indescribable by words alone, resided in these oaken halls, boasting to the world of their happiness and merit. A beggar might look on the horizon in envious serpent like emotion, or a scrooge with no compassion or heart might scoff in loftiness of his own moral. However so, I stand here, unshaken by the rebounds by broken by the single shot fired.
I leave the room with my morality shattered by the recalls of my mementos, closing the also dulling polished spruce door behind me. I stroll down what was once the halls I would chase little Issy down, pretending I was her favorite villain, Madame Lollipop Chauffer. Pretends and such (which would of been idolized like the golden calf who was strewn across Moses feet by the Holy himself in the biblical times in other, neater households) was favored over studies and etiquette here in the once proud Winstead Manor.
Each room I pass, a memory flutters into my mind, like the dainties of the snow fluttering outside as I speak. Each room is layered with unkept dust and each piece of furniture is clothed with a white cloth, draping over it like Marley’s Ghost. The house, now emptied, had this ethereal sense to it, nothing like the old shell it was.
The stairs groan as I trot down them, grazing my slender, white fingers over the rotting wood. The house was old. Surprised I would not be if they tore it down for another home or hospital for the soldiers. Unrest had spread quickly as the beggars grew with contempt, there wretched cries bringing the rich to their deaf ears.
“Will she prefer it there? Another home might bring her a pirates joy!” A voice, too bitter sweet sounded off, echoing through much of the breezeway of the empty wooden structure. Without any words calling out “Chalice” or “The primary maid”, I knew they were talking about me. They hadn’t stopped for hours.
“Watch what you say! She could’ve heard what you said. And then what? You’ll apologize while blabbering on hopelessly?”
The voices, however they tried, could not hide their words from my ears. Not much else could either. For a brief moment in this house’s long standing history of fun and joy, their was pain, grief, and agony echoing through the halls. Wailing like whales, as pain, indescribable by emotions alone, shrieked through the ears of all who did not suffer, but listened anyways, suffering in their own beliefs.
“Both of you should, shut your mutt. And Laurenline, you vazey. Shut your mutt you shall, before you bring up any unwanted feeling for Miss Arthur.” This voice was a man, one who seemed to know the other two. There was miniscule shuffling before I heard her, Laurenline, speak again.
“Do you think it’s true about what happened? The family, I talk about. Was it really….Cholera?”
I tighten my hold on the old railing, making it moan with a loud and annoying groan of the hinges. The trio had been in view for a while, and had now taken to recognize my presence. We stared, ticks of the antiqued grandfather clock that resided near by wasting away like death itself. An oblivious, yet rude, example of our own passing, whether near or belated, upon us.
“Miss Arthur” The man said, itching what i knew was a fake scratch on the back of his neck. “Are you departure ready? I would hope you payed your respects in advance yes?”
I nodded, softly stepping down the remaining ledges and pattering quietly to the huddle of what i assume are friends. They were bundled in their coats where as mine still lay on the hinge, a reminder of where it always used to be.