The Old House

Tom lay asleep on the little bed, with no sheets or blankets to cover him. In his mind he was awake, standing in the dark in an empty street, looking around for someone. Waiting...

And then she appeared; the beautiful woman with orange hair... she was walking towards him. She was very close now. And then they were embracing. He felt as if his whole life had led up to this moment... finding this woman he loved, here, in this street... He kissed her, and he knew that she loved him too.

He pulled back and looked into her eyes... so pretty, so mysterious. So...

Suddenly the feeling changed. He was afraid. She looked at him with dominance and possession in her eyes. He needed to escape her before she consumed him.

He turned and ran away from her as quickly as he could, and he could feel that she was following. He rounded a corner, scanning for a place to hide. He spotted a dumpster and took his chances.

Inside the dumpster he heard her footsteps turning into the alley. She came closer and closer... and then he heard the pounding on the dumpster.

- - -

Tom woke up sweating, and knew that he was still in danger. The woman was approaching him. He heard her touch the doorknob. In one swift movement he stepped off the bed, grabbed his bags and slipped out through the door, right past her, the instant she opened it.

He ran through the short hallway, out of the inn, and into the street. He ran in the direction he had been driving in the first place.

He kept looking back to see if the woman was behind him, but she wasn't. That was stupid of me to run out like that, he thought. It was just a damn dream that scared me. But it doesn't matter. I don't know what I'm doing anyway. This road has to take me somewhere...

Walking now, because he was quite alone, he began to notice a large mansion fading into view in the distance. It looked extremely old in style, like it was built in the 1800's or something. As it took shape it seemed to get bigger and bigger... and when Tom finally reached it, he was in awe.

What was this house doing here? There weren't any cars around it, and who would want to live way out here anyway? He walked the long, overgrown path all the way around one side of the house. It seemed to get darker as he strayed off the road, though there were no street lights.

Behind the house he found what may have once been a beautiful courtyard. The ground was a vast battlefield between stone tiles and vigorous vegetation. Enormous oak trees towered overhead. It would likely be this dark even in daytime. In the center stood a large stone water fountain that was completely dry and covered in vines. Around it were two old benches, and steps that led down a short hill, away from the house.

Tom stepped up to the double doors leading into the house. Each door seemed twice as large as it needed to be. He touched it, felt the cold wood and the engravings. He slid his hand slowly across the door, feeling the details that the darkness concealed; completing the image in his mind's eye. His hand stopped in the middle and rested on the heavy door handle. He pressed down with his thumb, felt the click, and pushed open the door.

The End

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