‘Therein lies the genius. Nobody will suspect the likes of us to seek sanctuary here.’
His smile widens. I bury my face in hands. He has a point, as usual. I love him to bits. Without his kindness, I wouldn’t have survived the first nights. But sometimes, his ancient weirdness bothers me. As does the idea of moving into a church.
‘And it’s disused – nobody to ask us in.’
His smile splits his face.
‘I’ll invite you,’ he says. ‘It comes with a spacious crypt.’
Gripped by this creeping fear that somethings’s watching me, I try to wake myself up. But slumber clings to me like early-morning mist to the ground. I’m trapped, neither awake nor asleep, in a room filled with eyes.
It must be a dream within a dream, like in that movie I didn’t understand. Once the dream dream is over, I’ll wake up alone and the sun will be out. Calmed by the thought, I close my eyes to get it over with.
I’ve almost drifted off when the sound of hundreds of eyes blinking reels me back into the trap.
Again, Marianne finds herself at the old cemetery. She can’t explain why. Other than she has to find something. It’s a crazy thought, she doesn’t like it. But since she’s come, she might as well look. She walks farther than before, to where the overgrown graves are.
A ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds. It lights up a headstone. She reads the inscription. She stumbles backwards, sits down by the fountain.
Her name on the headstone. Her date of birth two centuries earlier. 1790-born Marianne died on 26 March 1815.
You’re so engrossed exploring outside the derelict Gothic mansion, you pay no attention to the weather. First you know of the storm is rain pelting down on you. You don’t mean to trespass but it’s an emergency. Your hair won’t survive this. Plenty of shelter in the mansion, and the door’s ajar. Lightning slashes the sky. You slip into the hall.
Your eyes take a moment to adjust to the murky light. But you sense evil before you see the remains. Fellow goth, judging from the accessories surrounding the bones.