Fiction Horror Mystery

"Who are you?"

"Who am I? Who are you? This is my house."

"Is it now? Interesting."

"Who are you and what are you doing in my house?"

"I'm Hemlock."

"Like the poison?"

"Like the tree."

"Well, Hemlock, I think you should leave."

"Whatever the lady of the house requests. Can I ask for her name before I go?"


"Like the wolf?"

"Like the flower."


"You're here again."

"I am."

"I'm dreaming again."

"You are."

"You're not actually here."

"That depends on your definition of where here is."

"That's a frustratingly vague answer."

"Life's full of disappointments."

"Tell me about it."

"How's your husband?"

"He's fine. Enjoying his new house. Neither of us have ever lived in a house this big before."

"I thought it was your house, Mrs. Lupin."

"Our house. It's our house."

"I see."

"Why do I see you in my dreams?"

"How am I supposed to know. It's your head."

"I've never had dreams this realistic before."

"This is a strange house. Strange things are known to happen in it."

"What do you mean by that?"

"What, you think murmurs of peoples' past lives walk around the halls of every great mansion in this town? Ghosts aren't common, Mrs. Lupin."

"I thought I was dreaming them."

"Oh, no, Mrs. Lupin, this house is full of ghosts."

"You're making fun of me."

"I am not."

"You're telling me that I'm living in a house with dead people wandering around?"

"Does that scare you?"

"I don't think so. As long as they're nice."

"They might not be nice, but they aren't dangerous."

"I didn't realize there were non-dangerous ghosts."

"You'll learn in this house that there is a lot you don't know."

"Now you're making fun of me."

"I wouldn't dare."



"If you're in my head, do you know what I'm thinking?"



"What are you thinking?"

"Wouldn't you like to know."


"Your husband isn't very kind, is he? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Hemlock."

"Let me see."

"Like you can do anything. You're just a dream."

"Does it hurt?"

"No. Yes, it hurts. I didn't think my face would hurt while I was asleep."

"The mind plays curious tricks on us. Makes us see things that aren't there, feel things that we'd rather forget, hold things we could never possess."

"You know what that's like?"

"Everyone knows what that's like. We've all wanted things we can't have."

"What have you wanted?"

"That's a bit personal."

"We always talk about me. I want to talk about you."

"There's not much to talk about."

"I'm not inclined to believe you. Don't you trust me?"

"I do."

"Tell me, then. What have you wanted that you could never have?"

"I want to see the world the way you do. I want to see kindness in everything, goodness in everyone. I want to walk into a house full of ghosts and ask nothing from them but that they're nice. I want to sit beside a lonely man and look at the stars in peace."

"I was being serious, Hemlock?"

"So was I."

"You're introspective tonight."

"It's all in your head, sweetheart."

"Don't call me that."

"I'm sorry."

"He didn't use to be mean, you know. My husband. When I married George Lupin, he was gentle and generous and he loved me more than anything in the world."

"Does he still?...Lupin, does he still?"

"I want to wake up now."


"Go away, Hemlock. I would like to wake up now."


"You can't let him treat you like this."

"You don't know anything."

"I think I know enough. I see how he treats you, what he says to you, how he talks down to you."

"You are nothing more than a figment of my imagination. You don't see or hear anything. You know nothing."

"I know what you know."

"Except my name. You think you know everything, still you call me Mrs. Lupin and never by my first name. Why is that?"

"Don't change the subject. We're talking about you and George-"

"If this is all in my head, we can talk about whatever it is I want to talk about and I want to talk about why you never call me by my name."

"Because you don't want me to."

"I'm giving you permission then. Call me by my name."

"I can't."

"You think you know everything about me and about my life and about my husband, but you don't even know what my name is. It's sad."


"Yes, it's sad."

"Why won't you leave him? You deserve better."

"Hemlock, I really don't want to talk about this. I would like my dreams to be peaceful."

"It can be peaceful. We can just sit here, look at the stars if you want."

"Thank you. They're beautiful tonight."

"Beautiful. Cold."

"That's not very peaceful of you."

"Sorry. Do you know any of the stars?"

"Um...that one might be part of Orion. I don't know. Do you?"


"Are you okay?"

"I'm worried about you."

"Well, you can stop worrying. For a dream, you have quiet a lot of feelings."

"You promise that you're okay?"

"I promise."

"Then I'll stop worrying."

"And you'll stop asking me about my husband?"

"If you tell me your name."

"Emily. My name is Emily."


"What did you do?"

"Emily, I was protecting you."

"From my husband?"

"From the man who beat you. He was going to kill you!"

"What are you even doing here? How are you here? This isn't a dream."

"No, it isn't."

"How are you here? You're a figment, a firing of my neurons in my brain while I sleep."

"No, I'm not."

"You lied to me?"

"I did."

"You're real?"

"I am."

"I wasn't dreaming?"

"No, you weren't."

"All that time, I was actually awake?"

"I told you, this is a strange house."

"You just killed my husband."

"I did. To protect you."

"To protect me?"


"What are you?"

"I'm Hemlock.

"No, you're a monster."

"Darling, the only monster here is the one you brought with you."

February 22, 2023 08:49

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