The manor was huge, with gigantic wooden spires rising up to the sky. It had a five-foot-high wall of stone, with large, rusted iron gates. The vegetation surrounding it had long died due to the exposure of the winter elements. It’s barren trees and prickly bushes made perfectly for the creepy scenery of the manor. It was gorgeous… and eerie. The quiet added to the eeriness, and for a moment, the only sound was the whistling of the wind. Then all returned to normal, the bustling and jostling of a seventh-grade field trip. A young, cheery man walked out of the building, smiling.
“Hey, there, kids! My name is Scott, as you can see from the name tag, and we’re gonna have a bunch of fun today.” He articulated.
“As you know our agenda is filled to the brim with learning opportunities, so put on those thinking caps!” The students of Willowbrook Middle groaned simultaneously and walked into the building. Nate whistled slightly, fanning his face, despite the frigid wind enveloping them.
“Dude, he is waaaay too old for you.” Terrah joked, laughing at his expression. Nate’s pale face flushed harder than ever, giving him the look of a ripe cherry tomato.
“That’s your opinion,” he murmured, averting his eyes from her knowing look. Terrah giggled at her friend’s shy state and followed the rest of the group inside.
Unlike the outside of the manor, the foyer was grand – very grand, with thick, plush carpets, and elaborately decorated cushions. There were many murals on the walls, which Terrah barely regarded because she was so excited by the sights that stood before her. Terrah always loved historic places, and since she lived in Virginia she always got the chance to look at them. She remembered the last time she visited a manor as extravagant as this one, it was with her grandmother when she was around 6. And every time she went her grandmother would say the same thing.
“The world outside these places may be changing, but the feeling and the history will always remain the same.” Terrah’s grandma usually said wise and peculiar things like that. It was one of the reasons Terrah cherished her so much.
Scott led the group around, standing at the front, and pointed out various things that related to the house’s history – but something he said had specifically caught her attention.
“The family who lived here were known as the Abraams family, famous for their wealth and their only child, a daughter named Elizabeth, who tragically died from an illness on her seventh birthday. This portrait was painted to commemorate the day.” Terrah looked up, gasping silently, realization hitting her like a truck. Somehow, for whatever reason, she bore a striking resemblance to the girl. With her red hair and distinctive green-blue eyes, Terrah and the girl were practically twins. Yet the thing that had caught her eye the most was the identical necklace she and the girl shared. But how, Terrah wondered, it belonged to her great-great-great-great grandmother, from almost 200 years ago!
“That’s strange – she kinda looks like you,” Jess whispered softly from beside her.
“Oh yeah,” Terrah said absentmindedly, “must be some kind of paint trick or whatever.” Terrah truly didn’t know why exactly she and this girl looked so similar. Who knows, it might just be a coincidence, or again, a really weird paint trick. Hopefully, that was the truth. Unfortunately, much to Terrah’s despise, a certain someone had been listening to their conversation.
“Yeah that could be true,” Jaxon said, butting in, “or the girl never died and lives on Earth as a ghost.” His eyes glanced comically towards Terrah.
“Oh my god – there she is!” He screamed quietly.
“Quit eavesdropping on my conversations Jaxon.” Terrah hissed. Jaxon merely smirked at her and turned back towards the tour guide.
“You don’t have to treat him so terribly,” Jess whispered.
“I’ll stop treating him terribly when he stops being so full of himself!” She argued.
“You girls know I can still hear you,” Jaxon interrupted rudely – well, in Terrah’s mind. She simply glowered in response and continued to follow Scott to the next room, wanting to escape Jaxon’s presence as fast as possible.
The tour continued on, lasting for an excruciating amount of time. The children were practically brain dead towards the end of it all. Scott had led the class back towards the main foyer, giving them one last goodbye.
“Well, I hoped you all learned something inspirational today, and don’t forget to leave a good review on Trivago!” He said excitedly. Mrs. Hawthorne had thanked him for the final time before going to open the door for the students. But when she reached for the handle and pushed, nothing happened. She tried again, harder this time. Again, nothing.
“That’s strange,” She remarked. “Scott, can you come help with this, I believe it’s stuck,” Mrs. Hathorne said hurriedly. Scott ran to her side attempting to assist with the impenetrable door. Both heaved, pulled, kicked, nothing they did worked. Terrah realized the worst. They were snowed in and had no way out.