I would have screamed but I was too busy trying not to pass out.
A dead girl.
I ran from the room, down the rickety ebony staircase with the ornate banisters. I turned left, hoping to find the exit but instead I found the sitting room.
Long, trailing black velvet curtains drawn over stained-glass windows. The walls were painted dark purple. There were silver-framed pictures on the wall, charcoal portraits and countryside scenes, the horses standing in feilds painted in dark green-brown-black watercolours. There was a large oil painting of a beautiful dark-haired woman with huge brown eyes hung above the upright piano.
The piano itself was dusty and looked as if it hadn't been played in years.
The sofa and two winged armchairs were dark green velvet, the carpet thick and black.
Then I noticed a trail of darker black-red on the carpet, leading to behind the sofa.
Being the curious fool that I am, I had to go and look.
The woman in the portrait lay behing the sofa, her eyes open but blank and staring and glassy, a gaping hole in the bodice of her dress, layers of dried blood, split and rotting skin and pearly, blue white bone visible in the stab wound beneath the maroon velvet of the bodice...