Submitted into Contest #64 in response to: Set your story in a Gothic manor house.... view prompt



I take a deep breath of the cold night air and I step into the manor instantly attacked by the large amounts of dusty and molding wood. I cough as I brush my hand against the dark green wool walls of the manor that belonged to the late Alegra Pioswood. She was a magnificent writer. Born on September 9th, 1899 on the witching hour.

In fact, 3 people had died because of her. Her brother in a bicycle incident where his bicycle slipped into a creek because of the wet roads. Rain covered his body making it unable to be found for weeks. Another body found the coal mines, her father's to be precise.

As I search deeper into the dark manor I turn on the bright flashlight on my phone and I hear the light scattering of spiders and crawly insects around me. I hop up the creaky stairs and I enter a mauve walled room with an old band name faded into the wall.

Alegra's father was mining and received the news within a day and was meant to leave the mine. he started to race out of the mine but rocks collapsed and he was crushed by the boulders of earth.

Lastly, her mischievous aunt who was pickpocketing. Whilst she was on her way to see the baby she took the wallet of the police who was on alert for an assassin. As she grazed her hand in his pocket, he turned quickly and shot her in the head.

I see the words AP engraved into the molding wood bedframe. I look under the bed to find a black velvet box with silver decoration and a lock. I notice the scratches and dents in the metal lock hindering my ability to pick it quickly.

Alegra was an unusual baby. Not pink and wailing. She was pale and bored all the time since she was born. When she was 2 weeks old she learned to walk. 2 months old she learned to talk. 5 months old learning to talk. 7 months old learning 2nd-grade math. 1-year-old learning the violin and piano. She was highly intelligent for that age. Her parents did nothing to achieve this ability just herself and her nanny.

But what really intrigued Alegra was the genre of Gothic literature. When she was the age of 5 she was reading famous Gothic pieces like Frankenstein and Dracula.

As I open the box inside is a fragile leather booklet with papers overflowing. Black ink in small neat print covered all the papers inside with another shiny trinket inside.

By age 10 she was ready for college. She was a genius. Sadly, it went unnoticed by her so-called demented mindset. Back then people called her cuckoo and she was the crackpot of the school or a nutcase. If someone befriended her she would talk about Gothic novels and her obsession with them.

Nowadays, she would be as obsessed as a fan club is with a celebrity. Her obsession caused her to have to put up the constant mockery and bullying.

I gently caress the golden glass pendant of the helmet from The Castle of Otranto. A note in red is written messily

Alegra's cousin owned a publishing company and she took this to her advantage. Anonymously, she began the story of The Bearwoman.

A story about princess Katherine about to be married to Prince Fredrick. Her maid is excited for her Princess and takes a stroll through the forest behind the village. As she strolls she finds small white wild flowers. She picks them and decides to make a nice hot cup of tea with some mint leaves and these flowers.

As she rinses the flowers her hands get itchy but she doesn't notice by all the chaos around her for the wedding the next day. She makes the tea and provides the tea to the porcelain doll-like Princess and she sips the tea engulfed by the addicting flavor. Within 6 hours the Princess is covered in dark black hair. Her blue eyes are radiant in the darkness of her hair. Her teeth turn pointer and her voice deepens. Her wild side has taken over the best of her. It goes on and how she terrorizes the palace and eventually the village. By the time she gets her cure will there still be anyone to help her rebuild her life or even kingdom?

A shiver travels down my spine but I ignore it carelessly. I shove the velvet box into my cream tote bag and I look around to find a dark closet with a dark crack peeking out. I pull the doors apart and I let out a blood-curdling scream.

Alegra gave in her story to the company and with a few tweaks, she published her first book anonymously. For the first time in her life, she had excitement. She looked through book reviews and comments of big companies who had read her novel. She decided to release another one.

As she began to write even more Gothic novels her popularity grew so did her identity. Her fake name Anastasia Poisonwood. She decided to reveal herself to the public. She let out a newspaper article on July 19th, 1915 she revealed herself. People were astonished by her young age and her creative ability.

By 1920 she fell in love with Oliver Harrison. He was a teacher and they lived in a manor near Clarkson Creek and they planned on having a child on September 9th, 1927. It was dark and stormy just like the day of Alegra's birth.

On the way to the hospital after Alegra had been in childbirth she grabbed the steering wheel and totaled the old car whilst jumping out onto the muddy grass while the car exploded 40 feet away from her. As she screamed she delivered her baby. The baby was also thrown into the car explosion. 2 days before she gave birth to her baby she realized that Oliver had an affair. Angry and seeking vengeance caused a series of unfortunate events.

Later, she claimed she gave birth in the car and she somehow made it out of the scene.

I begin to tear up. I stare at the limited edition Bearwoman figurine the size of a human. I slam on the hidden button on the bed and the host is coming into the room along with 2 other cameramen and another man trying to hold the microphone overhead steadily. I grin at the camera then the host.

As the crew leaves the bedroom and chats in the hallway I peek around. I look into the cobweb filled closet and a thick wooden board covers space and I tear it off to find a corpse with pink cheeks and looks like the photos of Alegra I scream again but more scared. People rush in and I stumble back and we all stare at the body. The 10 of us scared to death. We stare at her for 2 minutes then she flashes open her pale gray eyes and we dash out of the set taking our belongings.

Alegra was murdered and stashed away behind a hidden room in her closet by her late husband's brother never to be seen again.

October 21, 2020 01:49

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