One night, as I was walking by the manor I stopped at the front gates. Curious of the ancient building, I grasped the wrought iron bars. They felt cold and heavy in my hands as I peered towards the decaying building. In the topmost windows, I saw the flicker of burning candles, and I had to take a double glance as my eyes landed upon a figure standing in one of the illuminated windows. I stood there for a good while watching him. I could tell the figure was male by his body language…It bespoke of authority, power and confidence. If I had been closer, I would not be surprised if there was a triumphant smirk like that of a naughty child looking at some new plaything, upon his lips.
Eventually I did continue on my way, walking back to Samuel’s house with a lingering feeling of being watched. The next day at work, I heard the story of the Westerfields and my blood ran cold. Maybe it had been a trick of the candlelight, but I could have sworn the figure I saw had dark hair.
As the storyteller told the legend to me I withheld shudders, unable to keep my mind off the figure I had seen. It haunted me all day and night, my sleep becoming restless. I tossed and turned all night long, getting up around three in the morning and taking a glimpse at the moon above the woods to try to calm my nerves. Out of the bottom of my vision, I saw something move at the tree line, and there it was again, the figure. With my heart thudding loudly in my ears I quickly shut the window, pulling the shade down low before running to my bed and hiding under the blankets. Whatever I had bothered on my walk, whether it a specter or something more sinister was now following me. The idea scared me to wits end; I wondered if the figure was the evil Samuel had spoken about. Hell, I still wonder to this day…but now I do follow the curfew, and I swear nothing will ever coax me out after nightfall again. I will not disobey curfew anymore. Not even to sit out on the porch and listen to the song of the night creatures, for if the figure can follow me to the tree line, what would stop that, thing from coming to me on the porch?
“Alana, Alana…It’s time to come upstairs, I’ve finished with the sales for today.” Alana smiled softly to herself as she heard Samuel’s slow baritone float down the stairs that connected the bookstore to the basement storage room. The sound was soft and sweet, a kind of gentle vocal lullaby that characterized the sound as Samuel’s voice. Placing her pen back into its holder, Alana’s hands went to her journal. The book was old fashioned, made of leather and held shut by a silk thread laced between the covers. The covers felt smooth as she carefully closed her journal, only a few ridges marking the edges of the book. She turned her journal onto its spine, picking up the silk string and rethreading the book. After threading it from the bottom to top, she secured the thread with a square knot and a bow.
Alana stretched her arms above her head, her vest rising up slightly as she did. Her vest had a navy pinstripe design on it and reached just above her hips. Her pants matched the design and she wore a white dress shirt beneath her vest. Currently her sleeves were rolled up to her elbows, a method she learned to use to keep her sleeves away from the wet ink as she wrote. Lowering her arms and placing the palms of her hands on the table, Alana rose from her chair. She grabbed her journal and placed it on the second shelf by the door. The appearance of the book was similar to the other books on the shelf so it was only her trained eye that could tell which book belonged to her. Samuel hardly ever came downstairs anymore so Alana knew that she would be able to keep her journal downstairs and he would never read it.
Quickly scanning the room she headed to the foot of the stairs. Lifting a single finger, she flicked the light switch to the off position, hearing the buzzing of the basement lights abruptly stop. With the sudden heaviness of the dark looming behind her Alana ran up the staircase, nearly knocking Samuel over as she got to the top. He grinned, stopping her by placing his hands on her shoulders.