Shadoe Rose: Part ThreeMature

April 17, 1725



Though it has only been two weeks, I can feel change in the air. The air here seems to taste richer and fuller of hidden things.

There are woods surrounding our manor, and I've been exploring them nearly every day. My father says tis not "proper" for a lady to be wandering around the woods every day, but I care not. The woods here are different, especially the ones that surround the manor. The trees are taller and darker, and shadows linger beneath the heavy limbs. My sisters say it frightens them and makes them think of evil spirits lurking in the woods. I say it has an air of mystery, and I like it.

                The woods are where I go now when I wish to be alone, and in a large manor with three sisters, four brothers, my parents, and servants, the woods are better for me. No one comes here to look for me, unless it is Dimitri, my eldest brother. The woods bother him not, unlike my other siblings. Mayhap tis because Dimitri and I favor each other in appearance, and in some habits.

                Dimitri and I are what our mother calls “Irish Twins,” children born nine months apart. We are both tall and slender, the only difference in build be that he is broader in the shoulders and I narrower in the waist. He has raven locks that frame his face like a crown, whereas mine is blonde as my mothers, and tumbles in loose curls that fall to my waist. I refuse to wear my hair as fashion demands unless I absolutely must. Tis bothersome not to feel my hair wave around me when I move. It irks me.

                I found something interesting in the woods today. Tis located far from the manor, so far that I cannot hear the bustle of the manor. Methinks tis an old graveyard or ceremonial site of some sort. It is back hidden behind weeping willows and dark trees, and I am the only one who knows how to get there.

                Decrepit stones are scattered about, but with some specific order. I am determined to find that order.

                In the center of the small clearing, there is a large pile of stones that resembles a large table or slab. Tis stained with I know not, but the stains are dark and the liquid that stained them was thick, I can see that by the pattern of how it dripped down the jagged edges of the stone.

                There are also long, thin raised patches in the ground. Tomorrow I will bring a shovel and see what secrets the ground is keeping. Mayhap I should bring Dimitri with me tomorrow. Nay, this will remain my secret hideaway. No one, not even Dimitri may know of its existence.

The End

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