Drama Fantasy Mystery

As the rain entered into its second hour and the sound of a million drops hitting a hundred panes of glass echoed through the halls of Chrestfall Manor, Henry Lovvold put his pen aside and rested his palms on both sides of the letter he’d just finished. Having written by hand most of his life, all new and arguably easier ways aside, if felt appropriate and almost poetic that his final thoughts would be passed on this way —a relic laid to rest. He looked upon the pristine lettering, the wording of which had been fixed in his mind for a long time; and with a hand as steady as ever, picked up the wooden metal dip pen, refilled the ink, and signed the bottom of the document - Charles Henry Lovvold.

  Dark clouds moved slowly across the sky, allowing the moon little room to shine, making it seem like a pale white orb bobbing in a pitch black sea. The wind tore into the walls of the estate, chasing moans and whistling through every crack and crevice.


Henry turned slowly from the window, unsure how long he’d been standing there, staring into the night. Katarina was standing in the door way. 

”Yes my dear?”

She came towards him. Her long dark hair flowed across her shoulders and framed her delicate features almost knowingly.

”We are going out” Her voice was soft and airy like a whisper but could carry her anywhere. She reminded him of a sylph, lustrous and bright. This night however, the worry in her eyes dimmed her radiance. He held out his hand.

”We were wondering if you would come with us” she said, taking it. "When was the last time you had something to eat?”

Henry placed his other hand on top of hers.

”I’m fine child. No need to worry.”

Katarina looked at him, her eyes almost silvery in the light of the moon.

”Eric says you haven’t been down in weeks. That you haven’t even left the house?”

Henry caressed her cheek. It was cool and soft as satin.

”How long have you been calling me father?” he asked. ”Do you remember?” 

Katarina stood silent. The moon shone through the window again, making her skin appear pale as snow.

”You had parents once. Do you ever think of them?” He spoke softly.

The rain drummed above them.

”No,” she said after awhile. ”Why are you saying these things?”

Henrys eyes glistened.

”I want you to know how proud I am. Of you. Of all of you. But I fear, that I have taken from you, more than you’ve been given. And for that I am sorry.”

Katarina took his arm and turned him towards her.

”You took us in. You. You made me what I am. You are our father!”

Tiny flames of silvery blue danced in the depth of her eyes and Henry leaned over and kissed her gently on the forehead.

”For that alone, I am blessed” he said, letting go of her. ”Now leave me. The night is yours and you shouldn’t keep it waiting.”


  As he drove through the gates of the estate, Teddy Munson thought back to the last time he’d been invited to Chrestfall Manor, three days prior. 

A rainstorm had been barreling down on the countryside for days and gusts of cold winds slammed into him like a monstrous giant trying to sweep him off the road. He wished he’d taken the company car instead of his own. The flooded windshield made it hard to see but soon the ember lights of the estate poured like egg yolks before him and the sound of wet gravel told him he was close. The building lay ahead, dark and hulking. He had stopped just outside the weathered stone steps.

He’d been surprised to find a message at the office telling him to visit. His firm normally conducted business with the estate by phone or email. This was different. 

The message had been short:

”Dear Mr.Munson.

I shall require your services tomorrow evening after regular business hours.

Any and all overtime will be compensated.

Until then,

Sincerely yours

Henry Lovvold”

As a member of one of the oldest law firms in the country; same as his father and grandfather before him; with Chrestfall Manor as their sole client, their services mainly entailed moving funds around or acquiring new land or property for the family. Which had never happened during those three years Munson had handled the account. As far as he knew, it only happened twice during the forty years his father had been in charge. It was the easiest job he'd ever had.

He hurried through the tearing winds, shielding his face from the rain but still was completely soaked when he entered the mansion. He had been here once before, his father had brought him when he was just a boy. ”If this is my last visit, I want you with me” his father said. ”Chances are you’ll get to visit yourself one day; but just in case, I wanted you to see it”

 That was over thirty years ago but he still marvelled at the sight.

Munson shook the rain off his damp overcoat and turned to hang it on the wall of the foyer.

A tiny voice next to him made him spin around

”Who are you?”

A girl, no more than eight or ten, was suddenly standing mere three feet behind him. She had not made a sound.

”Sorry, you startled me!” Teddy could feel his cheeks bloom.

The girl stared at him.

”Do you want to play?” Her voice was bright as a violin.

It might have been a trick of the light or his eyes hadn’t yet adjusted from the darkness outside, but he could have sworn her eyes had a faint glow to them. He suddenly felt uneasy.


A voice coming from the top of the stairs pulled him from the girls gaze. A tall thin man was looking down on them. The girl took a step back.

”He is not for you.” The man said calmly and gestured to the child. ”Come here.”

The girl left without a word and sauntered up the stairs.

Teddy had called out to the man and asked about where to find Mr.Lovvold and the man had nodded towards the open doors leading from the living room to the master suite. When Munson turned to thank him, he had already gone.

Inside the suite a large oak desk flanked by two deep leather chairs stood in the middle of the room. The walls were covered in impressive portraits and red velvet curtains covered the tall windows on either side, making the room dim apart from the flickering flames from a couple of lit candles. 

A bookshelf reaching from floor to the ceiling covered the entire west wall and there - pushing a book back into place - was the man he’d come to see.

Mr. Lovvold shook his hand and graciously asked him to sit down. Teddy was amazed at how little the man had aged since the last time they’d met. Teddy had been a boy of fourteen, his father had been fifty, almost the same age as Teddy was now — and yet, this man looked about the same age as him. Must be his Scandinavian genes, Teddy thought as they sat down across from each other at the desk. Mr. Lovvold, with his long bone white hair and ice blue eyes really fit the stereotype of someone born and raised in the cold mountainous country of Norway. He had thin pale hands and Teddy could not help but notice a large oval ring glistening on his finger. The ring had a red ruby held in place by what looked like the long slender legs of a spider. 

Seemed ostentatious he thought; but then again, the man was exceedingly wealthy and that comes with quirks and weird tastes. He had been surprised to learn the reason for his visit.

”I want you to take this document, return to the city and have it typed up and finalised.” 

Lovvold had withdrawn a handwritten document from his drawer and slid it across the desk. 

”Then I want you to return in three days, in the afternoon just before sunset, and read it to the family.”

Teddy hadn’t looked at the document, and didn’t ask any questions. But it did seem odd that this request couldn’t have been handled by computer or at least over the phone. 

It was not until the following day, that he realised that in his hand was the final will and testament of Henry Lovvold.

That was three days ago. The rain had stopped and the sky was slowly turning a deeper shade of blue as the sun slowly set over the horizon. As Munsons car crept through the long alley of trees he could see rays of sunlight still beaming off the roof and stone walls of Chrestfall Manor.


Henry had gotten up early. He wanted to sample every minute of this day. The way he did so however, could seem to an outsider like a waste of time. For hours he had been sitting in this leather chair just watching as the sun shuffled shadows around the room like chess pieces. The long dark, shapes stretched across the floor, crawled their way up furniture and passed gently over his legs. He enjoyed it very much. More than anything, the passage of time suddenly felt more like the knowing touch of an old lover, and less like a loss he had struggled to cope with.

Without looking he could tell what time it was, and was just about to stand when he heard the sound of a car pulling up the driveway.

Henry put on his smoking jacket and slippers and as he walked across the room he looked at all the memories he’d collected here. Paintings of familiar faces, all the books he’d read, places he had visited and items that came with them. Some bought, some conquered, some given freely, some taken. He wouldn’t miss any of it. That was the hope.

As Henry reached the balcony he pulled the curtains aside. It was still light out. He opened the doors. The cooling evening air pressed against him; like a fantasy lowering to settle behind the eyelids of a sleeping dreamer. The threshold lay in shadow but the setting sun still reached far over the balcony floor. He could feel its heat even now but didn’t recoil from it. It was time.

Down below he heard a car door slam and footsteps in the gravel. Henry smiled, closed his eyes — and stepped out unto the balcony.


Teddy Munson locked his car door and put the keys back into his pocket when he heard a sound. It was like a sigh or the sound sand makes when a returning wave pulls it back into the sea. He looked up. The sun was quickly moving behind the mansion now but a golden rim of light still lingered. He felt watched, but when his eyes fell on the open balcony no one was there. He continued into the house.

This time no one was here to greet him. He found the large gathering room where the reading of the will would take place and sat down at the long table in the middle of the room. The family was not yet here. Teddy hadn’t done one of these readings in awhile and found it peculiar that Mr.Lovvold had wanted it this way. Usually the testator would be deceased before the will was revealed to the family - but he had met Mr.Lovvold just three days ago and the man looked as healthy as ever. He looked at his watch. They were late.

The room became darker and shadows crept in from all sides as the outside world was put to rest. Teddys eyes grew heavy and he was unaware of his head slowly lowering against his chest. 

”Shall we start?” 

The voice whipped Teddys eyes open like a bucket of cold water. The family was there. Sitting opposite him at the table. They must have walked in while he was sleeping. 

The man that had spoken was the same man Teddy had seen before. Eric Lovvold. The eldest of the children. Next to him sat Katarina Lovvold and beside her, barely reaching over the table, the young girl he’d met the other day. 

”What is this?” Eric asked impatiently. ”Father told us you would come, but he never explained the reason for it.”

”Shouldn’t we wait for him?” Katarinas voice was as stunning as she was.

Teddy cleared his throat.

”Mr.Lovvold has instructed me to read to you this document he’s written. His wish was for us to proceed without him.”

The family exchanged glances. Eric studied him.

”Go on then”

Teddy opened his briefcase and took out the document. He read:

”My Dearest family.

I have pondered this moment for what seems like an eternity and words fail to give my thoughts justice. But justice must be had nonetheless. 

It has always been my goal that neither of you should ever want for anything. I have tried my utmost to give you treasure, knowing that what I stole could never be replaced. Eric and Katarina, you have been the hope I lost so long ago and little Susanne the light in a world of darkness. 

I have decided that in order to right the wrongs of my past, I offer you the future. A chance to grow, to love and learn, to bleed and heal, and bleed again. 

Therefore my gift to you is mortality. 

It was never my right to curse you with life. 

So my gift to you all is death.

Waste it not.

As I have wasted.


The way Love does.

And without death -

Love dies.

You have been my everything, and everything is now yours


Charles Henry Lovvold.”

”It’s not true!” 

Eric rose up with such force the chair toppled over and hit the floor like a hammer. ”Why would he do this?? Without telling us!?” 

Susanne had stopped fidgeting and studied Katarina as if to judge the severity of the moment on her expression. Not even the other worldly beauty of Katarinas face could dampen the sheer terror it displayed.

My gift to you is death, what does it mean?” Katarina spoke quietly. The question was aimed at no one.

”I’m speaking to him, right now!”

Eric moved so fast his body seemed to shimmer as he burst through the doors and into the halls.

Katarina stood up silently and without a word Susanne did too. The woman’s eyes fell upon Teddy and the gravity in them seemed to tether him to his seat, more so than the weight of the world would have, had he been caught under it. 

”Did you know?” she asked, her face ashen and tense. Teddy wasn’t sure what he knew, or what to say. He shifted, swallowed, steadied himself and looked up — but the woman and child had left.

The mansion lay in darkness. A fireplace sent billowing apparitions flying across the walls. Like ghosts set free.

”Father!” Eric flung open the doors to Henrys study and a backdraft made the curtains billow inwards through the open balcony. The candle on the writing desk blew out and black blue wisps of smoke rose and curled in the air. 

The room was silent and empty.

Eric walked towards the sweeping curtains, raised his hand and pushed them aside as they flowed against him. It was a cloudless starry night and the moon was fat and pale.

He stopped and felt his whole body grow cold. Before him, stretched out on the balcony floor, lay his fathers red jacket, a pair of linen pants and a set of slippers. Eric knelt down and slowly lifted the smoking jacket. A fine brownish dust poured through the sleeves. More dust lay beneath him, piles of it. Eric let it run through his fingers. And then he saw it. A flash of ruby red. His fathers ring. And he knew.

Eric pressed the jacket against his chest and with a whimper sank to the floor, his fathers ashes rising around him as he did. 


Eric lifted his head. Katarina and Susanne was standing in the door of the study watching him.

”He’s gone,” he whispered. ”He’s gone…”

And with the pain of two hundred years and the sorrow of eternities lost — Katarina let out a cry that echoed through the halls of Chrestfall Manor.

September 03, 2020 20:05

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Jose Gonzalez
07:26 Sep 11, 2020

Very creative. I love how you took the prompt and made it a spooky story. But there was times when I was lost what did Henry take from them? Why did he feel he took more than he gave them. They weren't his biological kids so how did he get them? A lot of unanswered questions. I think you are talented keep up the good work


Jesper Jee
11:03 Sep 11, 2020

Thanks for your comment. Yes I get that it might be confusing. I didn't want to make it too obvious what was going on and realised that perhaps it didn't get across in the end. It's the kind of story that requires more words than 3000 (and a better writer) Thanks again!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Rayhan Hidayat
21:07 Sep 06, 2020

This was a stunning read! Gorgeous descriptions everywhere. From the get-go the reader is sort of aware that there’s something fantastical going on but can’t quite say what it is, making the reading of the will all the more powerful. I also love how each family member had a distinct personality that was conveyed well in the short word count. Good stuff, keep it up! 😙


Jesper Jee
22:11 Sep 06, 2020

Thank so so much! Glad you liked it!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.