The following work of flash fiction is in collaboration with my fellow blogger friend Jithin of PHOTRABLOGGER . The picture above is his creative photography which has inspired this FLASH FICTION CHAIN 4. Do check out his blog to read his adventures while travelling and some lovely photographs.
I am entrusted with the task of writing PART 1 of Flash Fiction chain 4 . So here goes… :
Character list :
1.Margaret or Maggy, a 19 year old girl , out to search for some truths.
2.Steve – The caretaker of the mansion , a man in his fifty’s
3.Robert– The house cook
Shadows loomed large around the old mansion . There was an eerie silence around it. The tall coconut palms swayed violently in the evening breeze , as if mourning over their isolation . Layers of dust encrusted the peeling , once brightly colored walls and fissured window panes bordered the enormous framework of the house. The shut doors ambiguously creaked in sorrow of its disintegration .
Maggy stood there , eyeing the dilapidated remains of the huge house , a tiny speck of tear peering out from one corner of her eyes . A waft of a cold breeze caressed her cheeks and she felt a cold shudder trickle down her spine .. She took a deep breath and ventured forth , towards the rusty iron gates . It took her some time to open the lichen coated bolt and push open the gates .
‘I hope Steve is home …’ , Maggy thought to herself , as she knocked at the door , a little hesitatingly .
After knocking a few times , Maggy turned to leave when suddenly she heard footsteps behind the closed door . She turned around , as the door opened , only to be met by Steve, a tall , skinny old man , in his fifty’s (though Maggy always felt he was much older than that ! ) .
Steve inspected her through the rims of his spectacles and grinned all of a sudden , revealing a gold tooth , that gleamed from one corner of his mouth . Then , pushing the door aside with his gnarled fingers , he exclaimed , ‘Oh ..it is you Maggy..you are early…Come on in…’.
Then , lifting the luggage that Maggy had got along , he walked her into the living room of the sprawling mansion .
Maggy followed Steve’s bent figure , hobbling across the living room , and into a narrow corridor and then up a flight of rickety old stairs . The stairs creaked loudly at every single step . But other than that there was complete silence , the whole house seemed to be on a standstill…
Steve halted without warning , outside a room at the first landing . Having given himself the time to recuperate from the exhausting climb , he spoke with some strain in his voice , ‘This is the room I have prepared for you. Hope it meets your requirements’ .
After gauging Maggy’s reaction , he added , as an after thought , ‘I did think of allotting you, your grandpa’s room , because I know you would want that so much , but you see , no body visits that room much anymore. Ever since your grandpa’s mysterious disappearance , an year ago , his bedroom had been locked and secured to preserve all his valuable documents along with other things….Errr…I hope you understand dear…’
Maggy’s face suddenly lost all color and she became pensive . Then suddenly , she looked up at Steve , faking a smile , and replied , ‘It is alright..I know..I..’ , the lump in her throat refused to let her complete the sentence . But the tears that followed , conveyed her sentiments well .
Steve put a hand on her shoulder , trying to pacify her , but he knew how hurt grandpa’s little girl was .
It had been an year , yet Maggy had not been able to come in terms with the sudden tragedy that had befallen their family . Maggy was very close to her grandpa , and this was the first time since his disappearance that , she had managed to convince herself to visit his house .
But the purpose of her visit wasn’t merely to revive old memories… It was much more than that…She wanted some answers ……She was here for that..
It was ten in the night by the time Maggy finished with her sumptuous meal , prepared by Robert , the house cook .
Robert was a young man in his late twenties , who had been employed by Maggy’s grandpa , a few years ago . Once grandpa disappeared and was deemed dead , an year ago , Robert was asked to leave . But now that Maggy was here to stay , Steve had approached him to rejoin his post and to his surprise Robert had happily agreed….
At around five past eleven , Maggy finally retired to bed . As she lay there , staring at the ceiling , her mind a kaleidoscope of images and memories from the past , Maggy felt miserable … How much she loved grandpa and what a wonderful person he had been….where was he now…is he actually dead?…
With these thoughts , Maggy soon slipped into a deep slumber . But it was not for long….In the dead of the night a loud bloodcurdling scream reverberated through the rooms of the huge mansion…Maggy bolted upright in her bed , horrified.
Alarmed , and a little dazed from her sleep , she crept out of her bed and walked cautiously towards the direction of the sound……………
Whose scream was it….?Will Maggy find out the secret behind Grandpa’s disappearance…..? What secrets await her in her grandpa’s house…?Is her own life in danger now… ?