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|get lost in you own home...imagine that...||
You felt the key lying in your hand and weighed it, just to noticed it weighed a bit more than an ordinary key would. But then, this was no ordinary key, so it had every right to weigh a little more. As far as you could see, that was the only disadvantage until now. You felt good. This was going to be a new start. You thought back in your happiness to the blessed day this whole new life had begun. How you felt weary of the life you led and how you craved for something different. How you heard about a castle being ‘sold’ for just a symbolic prize, in change for the maintenance to be done by the owner. It was a national monument, which wasn’t allowed to be torn down, because of its historic value. And though you had searched for some information about its history, none was to be found. You found that weird, but it didn’t really bother you. You looked forward to taking care of a garden that was so wide that if you would be done mowing all the grass, you could start all over again, for the part where you started would have grown tall already. And you looked forward to take care of the building itself, so old, so graceful and dignified that you had to respect it. It wasn’t a couple of stones standing one above the other, it was more than that, it had led a life of its own, listening to the voices of the people who had lived inside it and feeling their feet touch its floor. Following their lives. The castle was something you respected, old as it was.
And now you were going to live there, make sure it will be well taken care of, giving it the rest it deserves.
You stepped up the threshold, and listened to the inevitable croak with which the door gave way. Closing it behind you, it shut all the light out and you stood there, in the dark, listening to the sounds that could be perceived. There was a soft whistling, probably of the wind, and some clattering of which you weren’t sure what it was. ‘I will once be used to all of that, knowing exactly what they mean…’ you thought, in silent joy of what will be.
‘I could get lost in here…imagine that! Get lost in you own home!’ You sniggered out loud. The sound made turned a bit creepy in the large silent hall, the stone floor reflecting the laughter and turning it into a hollow sound, not welcoming at all for one who doesn’t know where it came from. It even gave you an uncomfortable feeling, though it was your own voice you were hearing. Shaking the shiver off your back, you stepped forward, into the darkness that was to be your home. You had seen a candlestick next to the door, when light had shone through when entering and you now groped for it. Taking a step sideways, you fell. The stone floor was harder than you thought. Rubbing an aching shoulder you, for once, started thinking logically and got a lighter from your pocket. With the little help of this one flame, you were able to locate the candle a bit quicker and it made the wide space a bit more welcoming, thought the light the candle gave was weak and in another way menacing too. Hey, but what do you expect from a long hall, a stone floor, a wooden roof and just a few candles lighting it? Lighting more candles, you could easily imagine all the knights sitting at a round table somewhere in this building, pondering about the damsels in distress who helplessly were yearning for attention up in a tower somewhere else in this building. You smiled.
There wasn’t much to take in. The little apartment you used to live in didn’t contain much stuff that was valuable enough to you to take along and all the rest didn’t really fit in a castle. And besides, everything was still in the building. You just had to pick one of the many rooms that had a bed and that would do...
You turned in early. Tomorrow you would explore your new territory...
As the early sun entered your room, you thought yourself to be in the Middle Ages. Not too far away, your heard the sounds of a neighing horse. As you blinked with your eyes for a couple of times, you remembered where you were. The horse puzzled you. You didn’t have a horse and you hadn’t seen a horse around at arriving. Oh, well, you’ll sort that one out later. First explore the building itself.
As you opened your door to go to the bathroom you’d discovered the day before, you accidentally took the wrong door. It was another bedroom. ‘Yeah, I might need some time getting used to this place...maybe I should even make a map!’ Smiling at your own silly idea – what idiot would build a map of his own home?!?!? – you opened the door of the bathroom. Or thought you did. It was a storage room. You could have sworn the bathroom was on this side of the corridor.
Walking to the other side, not finding the bathroom there and returning, you suddenly saw stairs appearing at you right side. Your mind made a leap. “I’m sure those weren’t there just a minute ago...” you said out loud, and, giving in to your adventurous feelings, you started dismounting the mysterious stairs.
‘I wonder if it’s me or if this place is enchanted or something.’ you mused. Maybe it was haunted. It indeed looked like a stereotype haunted castle...
The stairs led to another corridor. To the left of you you could see closed doors, and to the right of you dito. No windows were to be seen, the sun searched its way through cracks in the wood of the heavy doors. You tried one, but it was locked. Now where were those keys again? You probably left them besides your bed. Curiosity permitted you not to feel too bad about having to mount the stairs again, while thinking ‘so much for trying to approach the ‘expedition new home’ in a logical way...’
‘OK, so my bedroom now is the second door to the right and I am sure about that.’ But in opening that door, the only conclusion you could draw was that you really were a hopeless case when it came to finding your way. No bedroom. At least not the one you were looking for. “I don’t get it!” you cried out loud. Not that there was an answer. Were you this forgetful?
No, the bedroom wasn’t to be found again. Was this the right floor? Did you accidentally skip one on the way up? You didn’t quite remember and decided to believe that for the sake of not going totally insane by the weird things happening. You were down-to-earth enough, but still this itchy feeling was beginning to grow in your stomach, a there-must-be-something-wrong-feeling. Almost desperate, you turned around, only to see another stairs circling down.
“Well, well, another magical stairs” you mocked “Let’s see where these will lead us...” you mumbled, surprising you were talking to yourself, not to feel too alone.
The steady and rhythmic going of yourself down the stairs calmed you a bit. The disturbing feeling turned into an exiting feeling when you reached the end of the stairs. You were in what probably had been the ballroom, all the walls being decorated with mirror-plates. At the far end you saw a typical lustre hanging from the high ceiling. Smiling at the beauty of it, you saw yourself calmly walking across the room until suddenly you thought you saw a flash. You turned around, only to see air, of course, and while thinking ‘Come on, loosen up, there’s nothing there. You’re much too tensed, I’d say.’ you continued you mission. But there was something wrong. You couldn’t quite make out what it was until you reached the end of the room and the discovery made you stand still abruptly. The lustre had disappeared! Slowly you turned, afraid what you might find. It appeared that you were wrong, it was still there, but it hung at the far end of the room! Though you were certain you crossed it... The itchy feeling began to creep up again.
Trying not to care and to ignore what you were certain of, you came to another large room. There was a wooden table in the middle, several chairs alongside it. Diningroom. You halfly expected the landlord’s ghost sitting at the end of the table, but to your (small) comfort, nothing (or no one) was there. You awed at the largeness of the space. The end of the room was hardly to be seen. And you were sure that if one person would sit on one side of the table and another on the other side, they would have to shout to be able to communicate with one another. The atmosphere was a dark one, you didn’t feel too comfortable. Now anxious enough to think you heard a sound, you turned around and sighed when nothing was there. But as you stepped into the diningroom, or so you thought, you found yourself walking across another space instead... No table, no chairs, just an empty space. Almost panicking, you started running. Door ... kitchen ... door ... study ... door ... library ... door ... ballroom?!?!? Your heart began pounding ... door ... stables ... door ... ballroom!!! ... door ... another study ... kitchen? ... diningroom ... ballroom!!! ...
Out of breath, mind confused, you gave up. Where were you? What is this place? You started running again. There seemed to be no end. And now, every time you entered a room, it was a ballroom...over and over and over again. Even when you turned back. The same ballroom with the lustre at the far end of the room. Were you trapped in space? Were you trapped in time? You couldn’t tell. You heart pounded even louder. There was no escape now. And in a desperate attempt to go faster, to outrun this horrid time and space cycle, you fell.
You saw a person lying on a ballroom floor. And then it happened.