It was a few days before my first experience of the visitors. I’m sure that if my memory were better I could describe those few days and the things I found out about life in that house over the time, but without any memorable events to mark them, those days have merged into an uncertain gap in my memory.
It was morning, and I had lazily wandered downstairs to see Eve sat in her usual armchair, Emily stood before her. Before I saw them I heard their voices.
“That dress looks lovely on you,” Eve was saying. “Let me put this ribbon in your hair, it matches.”
Eve ran her fingers through the girl’s fine hair as she did so. Emily stood silently.
“You have such nice, soft hair, Emily Rose.” Eve said, almost to herself. Emily turned back around once the ribbon was in place. Eve carried on inspecting her and commenting. “And such a perfect face. Of course, you’re too young for things to start going wrong, aren’t you? Wrinkles and imperfections, I mean.”
Emily looked uncertain about how to reply.
“You just stay this age, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.” Eve told her with a smile, tapping her nose playfully.
“Good morning” I greeted them, feeling a little awkward for intruding.
“Ah, you’re awake!” Eve replied cheerfully. “Don’t you think this dress suits my Emily so much?”
"It is a very nice dress." I commented weakly, having not much interest in dresses. The dress was long and blue, with a white lacy collar. Of course, it had only just been put on, but it was almost too perfect, without a single crease. Emily was expressionless.
"I think it brings out the blue in her eyes nicely." said Eve, pleased with herself. "I got that dress a long time ago, but never had her wear it until now."
"You seem to be in a good mood today." I commented, sitting down. For the past few days, Eve had mostly been sitting in an armchair by the closed curtains, lost in her own thoughts, and barely speaking.
"Yes, I am." she hummed, taking her seat opposite me. Emily quietly left the room in the direction of the kitchen. Eve didn't seem to notice. "I'm feeling rather positive today. I feel like something good will happen."
I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my eye and turned around to see Emily return to the room.
"I'm making some toast." she said in her small voice. "Would either of you like some too?"
"No thankyou, Emily." Eve replied gently. "I've already had some."
I opened my mouth to reply, but suddenly, Eve stood up with a jolt, her eyes wide.
"What's-" I began, but she motioned to me to stay silent.
The clock ticked through the silence. Eve slowly took a step forward, looking like she was listening for something.
Then I heard it; footsteps outside the house. Someone was talking but I couldn't make out the words.
"Quick. Hide." Eve hissed, rushing over to Emily and guiding her out of the room, glancing at me as well. I followed, and the three of us ascended the stairs hurriedly. I had no idea who it was outside the house, but they brought with them a terrifyingly ominous atmosphere.
Eve led us to a dark room that was near to my guest room, lightly closing the door behind us. We heard the front door open. Eve clutched Emily to her.
There were different voices, but again they were too muffled to understand. I heard more movement and doors opening and closing. Panicking, I turned to Eve.
"Who are they?" I whispered. The room was so dark that most of her face was in the shadows. The little light that crept through the gap in the doorway reflected from her fearful eyes.
"I don't know, but you have to stay away from them. They're..." she paused, leaning closer to me. "They're not like us."
I shuddered, unsure what she meant by that.
Eventually, they left again. The front door closed and there were no more voices. I breathed a sigh of relief. Eve let go of Emily and walked out of the room with an air of frustration.
"Oh, why won't they ever leave me alone?" she cried, distressed. "They haunt me, I tell you! I'm constantly haunted, in my own home!"
With that, she strode away to her own room and we didn't see her for the rest of the day.
"It's a shame, she was so cheerful earlier!" I said, half to myself.
"They always make her anxious when they show up." Emily replied. I was a little taken aback, as it was rare for her to speak if not answering a question.
"Who exactly are they?" I tried asking the girl, but she looked away quickly, as if remembering her place, and began to walk away.
"I'm sorry. I don't know." she mumbled before disappearing to her own room.
"Well." I muttered. "I suppose I'm left to entertain myself again."