©2013 FEY Kegs
I run. With every power it takes for me to get away, my body is fragile, my heart accelerates with every pace I add to my run. Heat courses through my body with the dominant part of fear, fear of getting caught. I turn my head to see if they’re behind me, I find that they’re chasing after me ready to hold me in captivity. “Oh god Ivran run faster run”. My conscience screams whilst the anxious side of me wanted no more than to hide, but I obey knowing that they are still close behind me. I hear their livid screams and curses to get me, “get that fool!” I can feel their burning desire as they chase after me to grip me in their arms and beat the living crap out of me.
The stalls of fresh goods, vegetables, spices, yams and the sluggish salespeople are scattered around the busy street, but I waste no time to distract the men chasing me, I charge into a salesman with a box of tomatoes, the box crashes to the ground with the tomatoes scattering everywhere, I refuse to halt or apologize to the salesman. I reach the end of the busy street and turn on my right to find my hiding place behind the tall tree at Jerrico hill and as I silently celebrate getting far away from the bulky men, a hand claws at my blue dress gripping the back of it tightly knocking me viciously down to the dusty muddy ground and the brown loaf of bread that was once held tightly in my left palm had vanished…
“You stupid foolish girl”, father brusquely yells in his thick accent, he stood in the middle of the living room, his tanned wrinkled face hardens matching the heated anger in his green eyes and his teeth grits together. With his body hunched over he points his long finger at me, rebuking me and shamelessly cussing me for my actions.
“Papi”! I shout at him.
“Don’t papi me” he stomps his feet and coldly glares at me.
“How could you go round stealing, when did you become a THEIF, You think I will put up with a thief in my own home”.
“Stupid”! He exclaims. I say nothing to him but reflect the glare in my eyes back at him, he continues calling me silly and dumb but the pain inflicted on my right eye and on my arms holds more importance than his rant. My mother dips the towel in warm water and dabs it all over the battered areas of my body. I flinch, with every touch came an agonising sting and the thought of the canes, wooden stick and brawny fists used on my body Argh! I wanted to scream it pains me so much.
“Be still”, my mother warns.
“Do you realize what you have done, I never asked you to steal, there was no need to do that especially when you see the consequences”, he bellows.
“How can you be so dumb”!
“Argh”, I flinch on my seat.
“Be still”, my mother cups my face and dabs the water on my swollen eye.
“Ah”, I scream again
“I blame you, look at you grooming the foolish brat when you see that she’s done wrong”, father points his finger at my mother instantly yelling at her.
“It doesn’t change anything you shouting at her will not make the situation any better”, mother argues.
“Oh dio, so you pamper her, don’t be so stupid woman and let her face her punishment”.
I watch him screech at I and my mother, part of my ache is suddenly replaced with anger my evil conscience wanted to stand up and throw a boiled kettle of water at his face just so he can feel pain. I hate the way he spoke to me and I despised the way he confronted my mother.
“She has now, are you happy”, mother snaps at him. Silence fills the room fathers face is still acidic and cold, his hand rests on his hip as he huffs tiredly, my mother stops dabbing my skin. I feel the usual but unwanted tension in the room and I want no part in being here.
“They should have battered you some more or even worse”, his voice is low and bitter, his eyes stares harshly at mine. I glare at him, my lip tightens and anger absorbs through me, he glares back maintaining the silence, I say nothing. I get up regardless of the ache and stomp out the living room.
I run to my room and hear the voices of my parents, father shouting over my mother, him cursing me in every possible way and her telling him she’s had enough. I slowly lay my back on the mattress wincing with every movement and cover my ears to block out the noise.
It’s morning the sun has just risen and the skies are clear blue, I take some water from the filled bucket and splash it all over my face trying to refresh myself from the early warmth. Ah that felt good. The cattle is divided around the farm and it’ s my job to groom the herd of horses and take care of the chickens, goats and sheep. Salay my favourite black horse is sick which is a shame because I like feeding her but most of all riding on her though I’m not meant to if I got caught Oh dio! I’d get into serious trouble, she is twenty years old in horse age but still capable of galloping around like a young beauty that she is. I take Misha, my other named horse into the stable and begin to brush her hair, bending down to dip the brush in the bucket I suddenly recoil feeling the pain of my battered limbs from yesterdays event. Oh God! I sigh. I hate to whinge but I can’t take it anymore. I am weak, tired, dehydrated and hungry, my eyes are weary but I’m use to it if I have to hunch my back again I might just scream bloody murder.
I’d rather fetch water at the crack of dawn first thing than go through this!
I drop the brush and give up.
“HA”! A voice behind me shouts, startling the life out of me I turn to face the person responsible. Of course not a person an idiot, Roberto, the same boy who enjoys scaring me, irritating the life out of me and coming to steal my food at noon.
“Oh god, it works every time”, he laughs hysterically and I feel the urge to punch him in the throat.
“What do you want, do you realize how annoying you are”, I cross my arms and scrunch my face refusing to find him amusing.
“Oh c’mon bello, you know you love me”, he chuckles.
“How many times am I going to tell you stop calling me bello”
“But isn’t that what you are pumpkin”, he smiles
I tut at him. God he’s frustrating. Roberto is a year older than me 19, tall, slim, black haired, brown eyed and tanned. He lives 3 minutes away from me, his father also owns a farm land and when he’s not farming the animals he comes to my land to annoy me, or as he puts it “flirt” with me. Urgh I curse the fact that I have to see him almost all the time, he maybe decent looking ok good looking but that doesn’t change the fact that the boy needed mental help.
“Oh mio Dio, Ivran, what happened to your face”! He moves in closer to me to inspect the swollen purple bruise shaped like a circle around my eye.
I step back and flush scarlet out of embarrassment.
“None of your business”
“Look your eye is bruised, tell me”, he reaches out his hand to touch it
“NO”, I snap, and slap the back of his hand.
“Oh c’mon tell me”, despite the fact that I slapped his hand he still doesn’t withdraw it.
“Look, it’s not a big deal”, I say as I grab the bucket’s handle and walk into the stable not wanting him to look at me. Grr can’t he take a hint, buzz off
“Please tell me”, he pleads
“I-I fell”, I lie. “Yes, down Jerrico hill near the market”.
Roberto folds his arms and scrutinizes my face with amusement in his eyes
“Yes”, I snap again whilst rolling my eyes. Roberto holds my gaze for a brief second and then suddenly bursts into laughter.
“Ah oh wow”!
“Why-why are you laughing at me”?
Roberto laughs so hard that he holds his diaphragm to help him breathe.
“Oh Gosh, Ivran you are such a terrible liar, you think I don’t know what happened to you”!
Humiliation suddenly washes over me.
“The bread at the market and the big salesmen chasing after you, oh you cannot hide this, the village is too small for secrets, and you have the nerve to say you fell”. He inverts the word fell with his fingers as he teases me I can feel my cheeks burning red from the embarrassment and anger, anger that he already knew and possibly came here to make fun of me about it.
“If you knew why the hell are you asking me what happened then”, I shout. I am beyond furious and despite that Roberto tilts his head backward and continues to chuckle.
“B-b-because I-I w-wanted t-to Oh, see w-what excuse y-you’d g-give me, god you’re h-hilarious”!
“Shut up, urgh, you irritate me so much, don’t you have anything to do like milking the cows, getting a life or better yet masturbating over your wrinkled mother”! I yell.
“HA-ha-ha- OH bello you are so funny, especially when you throw your daily tantrums, you know I think of you when I do such dirty things”, he roars and winks at me. Urgh he makes me feel sick.
“I love you’re short temper you know you’re feisty when you’re angry”
“Oh for god sakes Roberto will you just get lost”!
“But I’ll miss you”, he teases
I grab the buckets handle
“GO or I swear I will tip this water over your head”
“Ah bello no you can’t do that to your future husband”, he places his hand on his chest and portrays the appearance of a wounded person.
“Oh yeah” I hold up the bucket and as I do Roberto slowly backs away holding his hands up and grinning wildly like a dumb fool that he is.
“Ah c’mon baby I dare you, I dare”_ Wasting no time I weakly chuck the water at him but it’s not enough to reach his clothes, Roberto doges the water, he laughs wanting me to continue out of his enjoyment but I won’t surrender until the idiot is fully soaked.
“Sophia come on”, I yell at my little sister. She trails behind and stubbornly folds her arms.
“I want chocolate”, she demands
I tightly hold onto Fabio, my little brother’s hand and walk on. I’d just pick my siblings up from school, they go to St Angelos only 15 minutes away from home, Fabio and Sophia are twins both 8 years of age, they are not identical but share some of the same features, black haired and brown eyed like my mother, and small in height. Fabio was the cute one, Sophia god she’s unbearable, adorable but annoying.
“I want chocolate now”, she frowns and stomps her feet
“No Sophia I can’t afford chocolate”, I try to say calmly without snapping at her. God she’s so stubborn.
We finally reach home after Sophia’s strop through the whole journey. The kids run indoors but I can’t help but notice a shiny black SUV car parked in front of the house, it‘s so impeccable and clean that I find my eyes hurting as I gawk at it. I have never seen a car that looks so expensive around the village; the car definitely didn’t belong to us so there must be a visitor in the house, a very rich visitor perhaps. Curious to know who this visitor is I walk into the house whilst trying to take my eyes off of the vehicle.
I enter the living room and everything is unnecessarily quiet Mother is seated on a couch, father is standing up both looking somewhat anxious and there seats the visitor opposite my mother, it’s a man that looks middle aged and all dressed in a black suit, his skin is fair, he has a rather pointed nose and tiny pink lips, his eyes are dark blue in colour, and his brown hair is neatly quaffed back. I can clearly see he is wealthy just by the way he is dressed, no one looked as well polished as he did in this village.
“Ivran, come meet our visitor”, Father touches my shoulder and sounds sincere, that’s weird I’m hardly ever aloud to meet the older guests when they come to our house I normally run to my room and wait until they go back to wherever they came from. The visitor stands up, he’s average height and looks slightly brawny in his attire. The man reaches out to shake my hand.
“Hello Ivran”, he says in his thick accent that I don’t recognise. Surely he’s not from here.
“Hello”, I look up at the man and awkwardly place my hand in his. His eyes are warm and friendly.
“My name is Martin, it’s a pleasure to meet you”. What?
“Erm nice meeting to you”, yes whatever he said.
“Er Ivran I think it’s best you get to know this kind man before we-we continue”, I glance at Father and for some reason he looks… happy a little too happy like he’s putting on a fake smile when deep down there was a problem. I frown confused at his suggestion.
“Why, w-what’s going on”, I ask and why is my mother so quiet.
“Ah, don’t fear I don’t bite”, Martin says his eyes filled with humour, what? “I don’t bite”, what the hell does that mean.
I look at father “Why do I have to get to know this man”, I say calmly not trying to disrespect the visitor.
“Erm we’ll explain once you’re ready dear”, dear, he never calls me dear something is defiantly not adding up.
“I’m ready now”.
“Mr Savige”, Martin says like he’s directing my father to speak.
I frown the room is suddenly silent and the atmosphere in here feels odd very odd. My mother looks worried or even possibly frightened, she sits still and very quiet, her hands are balled up into a fist. She looks at me then away making sure our eyes do not meet, I don’t think I ever seen her like this. Father is shifting uncomfortably from where he’s standing and his fake smile has vanished. I search for an answer from everybody’s face in the room, all eyes are on me and I know from the sudden change of mood something is wrong and it has something to do with me and this Martin.
“Will someone please tell me what’s going on”, I demand.
“Ma”, I look at my mother she doesn’t speak. I then turn to Father.
“Ivran, you see Martin is a business man and, well he’s looking for maids to take care of his home, he pays good price and we want you to go erm live with him”. WHAT!
I ogle at Father as if he has two heads then at my mother who’s still not saying anything, then at the strange man.
“I originate from Portugal but live in the United States of America I mainly travel across the world for work and trade but I’m a very busy man and since you’ve come recommended by you’re father your services will be needed”.
I don’t say a word, I am confused I cannot believe what’s happening.
“Ivran I want you to come work for me right away”.
I stare at him wide eyed, I can feel my lips slightly parting, I freeze and divert my huge orbs at Father. Surely he cannot allow this stranger to take me away. He turns the other cheek hesitating to look me back in the face. It’s obvious that he approves. No, no this can’t be happening.
“N-no, no, NO”, I exclaim.
“Ivran”! Father shouts
“No, you want me to work for a stranger in another country, I don’t know this man, I am NOT going”, I point at Martin and glare at him. No way in hell.
“Ivran”, my mother calls. Oh now she finally decides to speak, this is bullshit.
“NO”, I panic. “Is this what you wanted to tell me, you think I am going to go live with him just like that, all for the sake of money, no”, I don’t care if I’m offending the visitor now, I don’t give a damn if I’m being rude I detested Father at this moment and I never thought I’d be disgusted at my mother for easily allowing this to happen.
“Shut up, you do not make the rules you will go with him and that is final”. He points his long finger, his eyes are hash and his lips are pressed into a tight line, I scowl at him and glance at Martin then swallow the taste of disgust and betrayal in my throat. Every muscle in my body is tensing,
my skin is burning from the anger inside me.
“Now, I want you to go to your room and pack you’re things right this minute, you’re leaving with Martin tomorrow morning”. I cannot speak any longer, silence fills the air. I refuse to look at Martin, shock and anger boils in my body all at once just when I thought this was all a dream I’m awake standing in the middle of my living room and wanting to do nothing but scream from the top of my lungs. Father stands there waiting for me to move and Mother with her eyes cowardly looking away to avoid facing me just sits there……
I load a carrier bag of my clothes into the trunk of Martin’s car and turn to face my family who stands there to watch me go. Sophia was tearful, she tried to understand what was happening but she knew it was something to do with me leaving. I can already feel the tears wounding up in the back of my eyes.
“So, I think we’re ready”, Martin says. He still keeps up his friendly image despite the fact I was disrespectful to him. I look at Ma who looks as if she’s about to cry she walks up to me and embraces me and though I try to be mad at her for not defending me I knew her final say would not matter, I hug her back holding back the tears in my eyes.
“Mi dispiace”, she whispers.
“Take care of yourself Ma”, I look into her eyes and tell her. I hug my brother Fabio then take one last look at father, his face creates an impassive expression and I too appear emotionless.
“Take care” is the last thing I say to him.
The vehicle halts at the nearby stores beside a sidewalk. I silently sit in the backseat, Martin lets go of the steering wheel whilst the engine is still on. He turns his head to look at me, an outlandish grin is plastered on his lips. Urgh I cringe in my seat.
“Thirsty”? He beams
I shake my head in denial. I haven’t said a word to the man in the three hours he’s been driving. He’d check his rear-view mirror plenty times to look at me, I’d simply turn my head to avoid him.
“Oh c’mon Ivran”
I scowl at him with abhorrence, I hate the way he coolly says my name.
“It’s very hot aren’t you dehydrated”. I’m beyond dehydrated, my throat is dry and my light skin is slowly burning away in the heated weather. I can’t hide the sweat trickling down my forehead and my hair sticking to it like glue despite the fact the windows are rolled down.
Martin reaches a bottle of water from a blue nylon bag. Ooh it looks expensive, its packaging is perfect, it isn’t like the filthy water sold in those little cheap pure water bags back at the village, this water is clear, my thirst heightens just looking at it.
“Ivran please drink”, he nicely says
“You’ll burn away”, he holds the drink up tempting me with it. I give in and take the bottle from him. I unscrew the lid cap and gulp it down.
“See that’s not bad”, he laughs. Yes not bad indeed.
A whole day has passed slowly by after sleeping in a motel for the night Martin had sent his driver with a white mini van to escort me to the house I’ll be working in.
It’s a warm afternoon. I close my eyes feeling exhausted and think of many things that’ll keep me happy, Salay my horse is one of them, though it doesn’t change the worry that is deep within my soul, I breathe heavily not knowing what to expect. It’ll be ok I tell myself. Wait why has the car stopped.
I open my eyes and gape at the big white building standing behind the black and golden gates. What the… the gates slowly and automatically open, I beam my eyes at a grey oval in the middle of the bars and the engraved name Hunter fancily written on it. My eyes dart back to the house and my mouth hangs open as if a string was pulling on my jaw. Where the hell am I… heaven! Once the driver parks the car on the tiled ground I step out of it and analyse the beautiful surrounding I see before me.
I take in the green well trimmed grass that grew on each side of the house and the tile that laid on top of it leading the steps to maybe the garden, the spring colourful plants that are decorated around the patio and the sides of the house, the tall immaculate bricked fence that surrounds and protects the building, oh my, the trees that stands tall behind the house. I can see the shiny apples hanging off the branch of the trees, I swear I’ve never seen apples look so clean and so red . Mmm god they look so juicy. Then the house, oh dio! The exterior of the house is decorated in white bricks, and the roof isn’t made of black bundle sticks like the ones back at home oh no they are decorated in gray squared tiles, they look so tough and clean. The windows of the house are shaped in rectangles, three at the bottom and three at the top. The grey marbled step at the front porch of the house is exceptionally wide and has ficus plants on each side. I sigh, this place oh my, oh my. I‘ve never seen anything like it maybe in magazines but never with my own two eyes.
The driver opens the grey door. I step into the house, I stand in the hallway and see young looking maids scattered around the house dressed in red cotton knee length dresses and their hairs neatly quaffed back. One is dusting, one is brushing, and one is holding a bucket of water in her hand. I sign, oh my how the hell will I fit in. The inside of this house is large filled with unknown people, the floors are decorated in silver marbled tiles, the walls are painted white and god, everything looks so perfect and spacious. I blink my eyes bashfully and ask myself who the hell owns this work of heaven. One of the workers escorts me to my allocated room. I am given a red uniform and I’m told to change into it. What the hell do I do? Will anyone tell me where I’ll go? Not even a single introduction yet oh god Ivran calm down this shouldn’t be hard.
I step into the red cotton dress and button them up. I stand in front of a square framed mirror flattening my long dark brown hair down. I argue with myself on whether I should pack it up or wear it down the way I usually do. I pinch my cheeks to add some colour to my porcelain skin and widen my dark green eyes to look as if I’m ready and awake though the bags underneath them didn’t help.
When I’m done one of the maids attends to me.
“Are you ready”, she asks in a high pitched tone, I recognise her accent she’s American. The maid is a young Caucasian girl with a light skin and brunette coloured hair.
I nod and trail behind her like a lost sheep.
“What’s you’re name”? My mind is off in la la land.
“You’re name”, the girl waits for an answer.
“Ivran, m-my name is Ivran”, I snap out of my daydream as we walk down the long flight of stairs.
“Oh that’s a very unique name”, she beams her brown eyes at me.
“Oh well hello Ivran, I’m Hattie, I’ve been here for two weeks and It took me days for me to know my way around but don’t worry I’ll help you if you want”, Hattie speaks extremely fast that I can hardly hear what she says but I still nod my head pretending like I know what she’s talking about.
“Graham says you’ll be working in the kitchen and clean for the week”.
“Graham”? I question.
“Yes, he’s the personal assistant to Mr Hunter here; if you’re stuck I’ll help you out”. I nod my head in response
“So Ivran where are you from”? She questions me
“Ooo Italy that sounds nice which part”
“A v-village called Shalack”, I said trying to watch my step as I walk.
“Oh cool”, she smiles
Hattie and I reach the long hallway and enter the living room. Six maids are scurrying around the room trying to get from one place to another. I am confused and I try to keep up with Hattie.
“It’s very difficult to keep up here but you’ll get use to it, trust me”.
“You’ll start with scrubbing the tables and washing dishes but you’ll talk to Graham first. Just nod your head when he speaks, he chats a bunch full of shit”. I smile at Hattie’s confidence she reminds me of my best friend Kate back at home, such a chatterbox.
A tray of filled water in a glass cup and what looks like a rolled fish on the side was handed to me by one of the head maids, god the kitchen is so big that though everyone is tidying it it’s still not enough, I scan the place looking absolutely confused. What do I do with this? All the woman said to me was “To Mr Hunter”. Who the hell is Mr Hunter?
I awkwardly look at Hattie for help she whispers and directs me with her hand. “Walk straight down the hallway up the stairs, turn left and walk up three flight of stairs then when you reach the third floor walk straight down, the brown door at the end is the room”, she whispers.
“The sexy piece of god in that room is Mr Hunter”, she adds. I’m puzzled her words are jumble in my ear, I’m not even sure if I knew what she fully said. I walk towards the hallway with the tray shaking in my hand; god the weight of the glass is heavy. I slowly walk up the stairs carefully monitoring the jug of water, I must not drop this, I must not slip I say to myself as I’ve reached the third floor. Brown door, the whole passageway is filled with brown doors, she said walk straight down. I slowly walk to the brown door at the end.
I reach my destination with the tray held tightly in palms so hard that I feel them sweating. Oh I must not drop this. I balance the tray with all my might in my left and quickly knock on the door. I wait for someone to respond, oh come on! I impatiently knock again and with what felt like minutes the door opens. I walk slowly into the room keeping my eye on the jug and glass cup.
“I told you next week give me some time”, the man who allowed me in yells, he paces up and down in the middle of the medium sized room while a look of irritation is plastered on his face as he sternly talks on the phone. So this must be Mr Hunter! He looks about 24! God help me.
I still hold the tray in my hand not sure what to do with it, the man does not take notice of my presence in the room.
“YES, yes I know we’ve gone through this so many times”, the man shouts in his thick American accent.
He’s is tall about 6 ft and slender in size, his thick dark brown hair is slicked back neatly suiting his fair skinned face. His appearance is strong and prominent, his jaw sharp and masculine that when he turns I observe every aspect of his strong profile. He has a small well shaped nose and pink full lips with perfect white gleaming teeth when he opens his mouth. His eyes are wild brown so evident and bright that it bought out the splendour in his face especially when his brows furrow together. He glances at me then looks away, the man’s face is so incredibly defined that I am taken aback by how young and attractive he is I mean he is very, very attractive that it almost seems weird, weird because his features are so distinct and almost too flawless, all the boys in my village I’ve set my eyes on are snotty and boyish but he is godly, a prince charming. I marvel at the muscular beauty of him and the way his black t-shirt clings to his arms and his revealing Pectorals. He’s like a male model, a dark angry, fierce male model, mmm my mind admires what it sees.
He runs his fingers through his brown hair and stomps his foot angrily causing me to wince in fear that I’ll drop this tray anytime soon if he doesn’t tell me what to do with it.
I notice a glass table placed beside him, I cannot hold this any longer so I slowly walk to the table with the man’s back turned to me. I’m steadying the tray as much as I can. No! The chain attached on the side of my dress is caught on a hook beside the table. I vigorously yank my body forward and before I realize what happened unexpectedly the man turns around colliding into me with the tray between us and the jug of water pours over his clothes, the glass jug and his phone smashes to the ground and his rolled fish is thrown on his white rug permanently staining it. My eyes widens horrified at what I had just done.
“I-I I’m so sorry”, I shriek
“What the hell have you done”, the man shouts as he throws his hands in the air.
“I-I”, is all I managed to say.
“Are you crazy or are you blind what the hell is wrong with you”.
I quickly reach out to take a tissue on the table and without thinking I begin to wipe his shirt.
“Can you not see where you are going, what the hell are you doing”!
“I didn’t I mean-it was an accident”
“An ACCIDENT what I’ll do to you will be an accident if you don’t get the hell of off me”! I hear him grit his teeth.
I panic, oh dio. This man is mad really mad. “I’m I’m sorry”, I desperately plead with him.
“I’m wet look at what you done”. My body jolts at his fierce temper, I don’t know what to do. I cover my face with my hand appalled at my lack of carelessness.
“Well don’t just fucking stand there”! He exclaims.
I jump again and swiftly reach out to take another tissue and without making eye contact at him I begin to wipe it over his groin where the water soaked him despite the fact that I look as if I am rubbing the man’s penis through his grey pants. Oh god, can this get any worse.
“I’m so sorry mr, here, it- it will come off”, I wipe then dab.
“Will you get off of me I’m capable of doing it myself”. He snaps and grabs
my wrist, I feel my cheek burning a hot red colour, what did he want me to do. Gosh I’m so stupid, if only this man will stop yelling like a teenager throwing a damn tantrum, it was an accident. He grabs a white towel from the bed and wipes his shirt.
“W-what kind of joke is this”? He looks up at me with disgust all over his face.
His brown eyes glare at me, I feel so embarrassed and so small that all I want to do is hide in my hair.
“Look at me, look at what you’ve done all because you couldn’t do a simple task of placing the tray on the table”!
I feel like a small child being told off by this man. Gah so bloody superficial it’s just water come to my village and if you get pigs manure chucked all over your clothes it wouldn’t be a big deal!
“I’m, I’m sorry”, my voice cracks, feeling so intimidated when I’m normally the complete opposite. It’s my first day and I have already made a bad first impression.
“Get out of my sight”, he dismisses me and angrily turns his back to me. My conscience wants to forcefully chuck the jug’s pieces of shattered glass at the back of his head. I recoil from the thought and exit the room leaving my mess on the floor.
“His name is Mr Hunter, I don’t know his real name”, Hattie says to me as we wash the dishes and she informs me about him.
“I met him on my first day he welcomed all the maids that are working here, he didn’t seem snappy or rude, he doesn’t say much”
“Who is he, I mean what does he do”, I ask
Hattie cleans the dish before she answers with a huge grin on her face.
“I dunno, we know nothing about Mr Hunter except the fact that he is filthy stinking rich, this mansion we’re staying in, he owns it, must be a billionaire or something”. I’m working for him! Crap!
“Are you serious”, horror takes over my voice
“Yeah”, she beams
“He’s not v-very nice”, I whisper.
“I don’t know anything about that”, Hattie moves in closer to me with a mischievous grin on her lips.
“But one thing for sure, he is very good looking and young if he wasn’t my boss I’d totally sleep with him”, she squeals.
“We hardly ever see him around the house, he must be a very busy man I don’t think he’s married but god the things that I’d let that hunk do to me”, she flashes her teeth. I cringe.
“We have to work, for him”? I ask trying to hide the disgust in my voice whilst I wash the dishes.
“Yes, well we are so lucky I’d do anything to stare at that man all day”, she giggles.
“Give it a day and I’d be fired”, I mutter to myself.
“You need to get on his good side apparently he pays well” I consider myself sacked already, I had to be so stupid and pour water on my own boss.
I unpack my carrier bags of clothes and fold them into a clothes holder er wardrobe. God, I’ve never had a wardrobe before and to think my clothes will remain neat and secure in it made me even more fascinated. After I’ve picked my last cloth I see a picture of the twins and I smile at their chubby little faces. I’m still hurting for having to be away from home but I didn’t mind working in this place called heaven, I don’t know anyone but this place beats the village back home.
I kiss the picture and silently pray that my staying here will not be difficult.
I stand in the middle of the room and study it’s beauty, never in my life will I posses something so clean and warm, I share with Hattie and two other maids that I’ve not been acquainted by but god for the four of us it may be realistically average size but to me it’s big, really big. I have my own bed well it’s more of a bunk bed and it has a mattress soft and full-size. The walls are painted white giving the room a very plain but soft look, there is an en suite bathroom at the side of the room and a decent sized mirror hanging on the wall and a dresser table is placed beside the bunk beds, I love it. I hop into my bed and fall slowly asleep hoping that today will be all but forgotten.
“We don’t have to fetch water to shower there’s hot water already there”, Hattie tells me.
I’m standing underneath the shower with my eyes closed and my head pressed back to the wall. Ah this is wonderful. I was confused about how I was going to have my morning bath and when I asked Hattie where the nearest well for water here is she laughed so hard until she resulted to tears.
“So it will always stay this hot”? I curiously ask. Hattie is near the sink brushing her teeth.
“Yes, God Ivran where are you from”, she giggles.
“Where I come from they don’t have showers and water this hot”.
“You like it”
“Yes”, I sigh letting the sensation of the warm water take over me.
“So what would you have to do every morning”? She asks
“I’d walk all the way to the local well with a bucket and fill it at least twice”
“Is it far?”
“At least ten minutes away”
“Ten minutes”! I hear her shout with disbelief in her voice.
“That’s long away from home, all for a bath”
“Yes, it’s not a problem”
“Is the water even warm”
“Only from a certain time, if I don’t make it the water will turn cold for the rest of the day”
“Wow and you cope with that”?
“I’m use to it”, I shrug my shoulders
All the maids assemble in a lounge room big enough to host a party in it.
From what I’m told we are aloud to stay in here until our due time for work.
I sit casually and view the strangers around the room.
“You know what I’m so hungry why can’t we skip breakfast and get straight to lunch”, one of the maids sitting opposite me with a foreign accent complains.
“Gah you’re so greedy Sarah it’s no wonder why you’re overweight”, a maid who looks of a Latino descendant snaps at her.
I crease trying to contain my laugher when I see Sarah’s face turn crimson and her lips quiver as if she’s about to sulk.
“Well excuse me for being hungry I don’t get as much food from the village I’m from”, Sarah pouts.
“You’re from a village”, Hattie beams. “I’m from a village” “Infact Ivran is from a village too”, she points at me. God no. I mentally sigh.
“Really”, says a tall slender Caucasian girl.
“Where”? She addresses me.
“Erm Shalack in Italy”
“I bet it’s full of poor people”, she nods her head. I blink awkwardly at her.
“Hannah that is so rude just because she’s from a village doesn’t mean she’s poor”, Hattie butts in.
“Erm actually I am”, I stupidly say.
Hattie turns to me and furrows her brow
“Well I tried to defend you”, she whispers.
“Oh don’t worry about it most of us here are from poor overpopulated villages”, Sarah shrugs.
“So what kind of name is Ivran”, one of the maids asks me. I’m getting self conscious will all their eyes glued to me, it disturbs me.
“Erm my grandma named me, I don’t know what it means”
“Mmm it’s a very weird name”, Hannah nods her head.
“Thanks”, I whisper. I want to frown at her forwardness.
“So what’s your story I’m here because apparently I’m lazy and my parents can’t put up with me anymore”, the Latino maid crosses her arms.
“Mmm I wanted to get away from them and save up some money to buy a house but I know that is never going to happen now but maybe someday”, Hannah sighs.
“What about you”? Hannah addresses me.
“M-me”, I point to myself.
“Yes”. I felt rather uncomfortable with sharing my reason for being here with strangers. I swallow heavily and entwine my fingers together.
“Erm I need some money for my family so I was sent here”
“By your parents”? A ginger haired maid asks me.
I nod my head.
“What about you Hattie”? Hannah asks
Hattie blinks with surprise in her brown eyes as is she was caught off guard by Hannah’s sudden question.
“You‘ve never told us why you are here”
I watch Hattie uncomfortably swallow like she is gulping down a lump in her throat.
“Er the same reason as you”. She appears discomfited for a brief second, guiltily even, as if she is possibly hiding something.
“You know what I don’t understand”, a ginger haired light skinned girl stands up and strolls toward the centre of the room.
“Why is everyone here poor or from some sort of village”?
“Yeah that’s what I don’t get”, Sarah adds.
“As if loaded people would work for him”, a girl laid on the floor inputs.
“Maybe Mr Hunter has a thing for poor girls”, the Latino girl smiles.
“Yeah you never know he might be the one to rescue me from poverty and we’d live happily ever after”, Sarah stares at the ceiling day dreaming.
Simultaneously everyone in the room bursts out with laughter pointing at her. The girls squeal so loud they can no longer hold their stomachs; they all thrash their head back and struggle for breath as they laugh at the girl. Sarah’s face turns in to the colour of a red tomato; embarrassment is evident on her face.
“Stop laughing at me”, she whines.
“Oh as if”! Hannah grins.
“You really think Mr Hunter will go for you er hello have you seen him”, a blonde haired maid chuckles.
“You never know it could happen”, Sarah replies.
“Yeah, if he was drunk or visually impaired”, the Latino girl bellows.
I crease at their rudeness towards Sarah holding in my giggles.
“Haven’t you thought of this maybe he just wants to help us poor people so we are able to better our lives and in return we work for him”, The blonde haired girl says.
“Yeah. He is such a nice man”, the ginger haired girl twists her hair around her finger with a smile on her lips.
“I know”, the Latino sighs.
“Yes” Sarah says “But I mean it if he ever needs me for love or for any_
She doesn’t finish her sentence everyone including me this time cackles at the overweight red faced girl whilst she covers her face with her hair in shame.
Hattie, I and the other maids are in the kitchen dusting and cleaning, I am washing a pile of dishes in the sink. I smile at the warm bubbles foaming around my hands. I turn the tap on and the cold water splashes everywhere soaking me and the surrounding. Shit, I hold onto the extended tube and reach for the tap and like a senseless person I am I don’t know how to turn it off! I shriek and turn for help, one of the maids stands behind me. I’m loosing grip of the tube and with it still clasped in my hands the water splashes all over her face. The tap is too tricky I don’t even remember how I turned it on in the first place.
“Oh my god what the hell”, she yells in her thick foreign accent wiping the water from her face.
“I-I don’t know how to turn it off”, I yell.
“Ivran the tap”, Hattie points to it.
The girl is drenched and I am struggling.
“Ivran the tap”, she yells again
“I-I don’t know how”, I shout back.
Hattie runs to the tap and pushes on the handle until it is finally off, I drop the tube and realize that I am soaked all over too.
“You stupid bitch”, the foreign maid launches at me Hattie jumps in front to restrain her.
“Hay pack it up it was an accident”, Hattie defends me.
“I don’t care, couldn’t you see, are you fucking blind”, the maid shrieks at me.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean it”, I stand back not willing to fight this girl.
“You didn’t mean it are you that dumb that you don’t know how to work a bloody tap”
“You need to calm down she said she’s sorry”, Hattie pushes her back. The girl glares at me heavily panting up and down after barking like a mad dog. Hattie stands in the middle of us whilst the maids in the room watch after us and snicker.
“I don’t care”, she hollers.
“What the hell is wrong with you”?
“I said I didn’t know”, I am beginning to get frustrated.
“You didn’t know of course you wouldn’t know, stupid “, she throws her hands in the air. Ok, she is being unreasonable now.
“Excuse me”, I scowl at the girl.
“Ivran just leave it she’s not worth it”, Hattie whispers to me. I do everything I can to keep my composure because a great part of me Is on the verge of loosing it.
“Urgh. Fool”, she stomps her foot and walks away.
“Don’t worry about her, she’s a jackass”, Hattie turns to me.
“I never meant it”
“I know Gretchen is a bitch, one that holds powerful grudges, just stay away from her and don’t get in her way”, she warns.
I sigh, I’m already feeling homesick I have not contacted my mother since I’ve been here and even if I wanted to I don’t know how, I have not spotted one phone around the house nor have I been offered to call my family the only thing I can do for entertainment is read my favourite book War Horse translated in Italian other than hearing the two maids who I’m not familiar with arguing over someone stealing their hairbrush.
I awkwardly leave the room and reach the lounge spotting the pretty green back garden with the spring flowers, I desperately wish to go out there and touch them, the courtyard looks well decorated and unbelievably wide. I see Mr Hunter and Graham standing in the middle of the courtyard, Mr Hunters face is hard and undeniably harsh. He towers over Graham whilst he stands there looking small and controlled, I frown at how punitive Mr Hunter looks as he points to Graham, he’s full of authority and brusqueness. Of course he’s going to be mean he owns the whole fricking house. Graham is Caucasian, his grey hair matches with his unnerving thick eyebrows and his eyes. He’s average height, wears black glasses and looks the age of sixty.
Mr Hunter walks into Graham’s face squaring his broad shoulders and standing there with the most intimidating posture. He grips the corners of his lapels, Graham doesn’t move as Mr Hunter speaks, it looks as if he’s threatening him and Graham has to accept it. I know I shouldn’t be looking but I’m eager to know what they are talking about and why Mr Hunter has to be so so confronting. Graham is old enough to be his father or granddad even. It’s disgusting to see much guts he has to behave like this.
Hattie says he’s a nice man, the image of him stomping his feet like an adolescent throwing tantrums said otherwise.
He walks off, I turn to bolt out of the kitchen so he’s wouldn’t notice me and with lack of double vision I forcefully hit my pelvis on the side of the counter urgh!. I instantly feel the throbbing pain stinging in my area.
I hunch my back over holding my injured spot and run out of the kitchen.
It’s night time and I have this sudden urge to pee, I get off the top bunk of my bed before I burst and lunge for the toilet. I open the bathroom door and find my roommate Clara laying on the toilet seat her bleach blond hair is ruffled with strands of them spewing over her pale face. Her slender body is hunched over and her neck is slanted to the side with her blue eyes bulging wide out. Her legs lay separated in a very revealing posture and her night gown is all ruffled up. I stop in my tracks and gape at her. She doesn’t move, she stays in the same spot still like a statue. I furrow my brows at her. What the hell , she doesn’t blink, I’m not sure if this is some sort of sick joke that the girls play here but it isn’t funny, her mouth is hung open with saliva drooling freely from the corners of her lips as her arms swing loosely by her side. She still does not blink, not once. I walk slowly towards her, her big blue eyes gawks weirdly at me. I tap the girl lightly on the shoulder.
“Excuse me”, she doesn’t move. I blink confoundedly, what the hell.
I bow to my knees and analyse the immobility in her body.
“Clara”? I tap her harder.
Again she doesn’t move. My bladder is beyond full and I’m on the verge of wetting myself. I bend down and touch her pulse, holy shit, it’s not active. Crap she’s not breathing. I gasp taking my finger off her and ogle fearfully at the lifeless girl.
“Ugh”, I fiercely scream, her body twitches unexpectedly and collapses over mine. I am buried underneath her. I use my might to push her off of me kicking and yelling but she doesn’t budge, her heavy weight crushes my chest and yet she looks me directly in the eye not moving not blinking. I scream desperately and punch her forcefully in the gut and knock her off of me. She rolls to the floor hitting her head. My breathing accelerates, I feel the hairs on my arms stand on edge and the wetness of my underwear which is now suddenly soaked with my urine. I get up and run heading to the room yelling for the girls to awake from their deep slumber.
“W-what is it”, Hattie scratches her eyes.
“C-come quick I-its Clara”, I panic.
“What”, the other maid on her bunk says.
“The bathroom, come quick it’s Clara”
Hattie and the other maids roll off their beds and run to the bathroom.
“Ivran what is it”? Hattie says holding her hands up with frustration.
What does she mean what is it?
I run into the bathroom.
“Is this some sort of joke”, the other maid snaps.
Both of them stare at the ground, the ground I saw Clara lay lifelessly on
is precipitously unfilled. My eyes swell out of its sockets, I squeal dramatically.
“Ivran what are you talking about”, Hattie gapes at me as if I am psychotic.
I know what I am talking about she was right there, right there!
“Right there”, I shriek.
“For god sakes is this what you do in your country play practical jokes on people”, the other maid furiously glares at me. This isn’t a prank I saw her, I have my soaked dress to prove it.
“S-she s-sh”, I can’t even find the words to speak. I point at the ground and repeatedly look at it as if she’d appear. “She was right t-there”, I stammer
“Really Ivran you wake us up at night only to play jokes”, Hattie sighs.
“What a bloody attention seeker”, the other maid mumbles.
“I-I’m not lying”, I furiously shake my head and look around the bathroom. I run to the bath and pull the curtains aside to make sure she is there. This couldn’t be happening.
“Ivran”, Hattie calls.
“Ivran”, she says again.
“No she was right here”
“Oh for the love of god”,
“Can’t you see she’s sick”, the other maid snaps.
“There is nothing here Ivran”, Hattie says.
“Right this is a joke I’m going back to bed”
The other maid huffs and walks out of the room.
Hattie watches her leave and shakes her head disappointedly at me.
I stand there wide eyed and baffled as ever.
“Ivran”, she sighs. “Is there something you want to talk about”, she whispers.
“I mean do you have an illness or a disability that you need to inform me about”. I look at her with a dumbfounded expression on my face. Is this girl crazy?
“Are you sick don’t worry I promise I won’t tell anyone”, she touches her chest as a gesture of her ridiculous pledge.
“No n-no I am not sick”, I shout offended, frustrated that she thinks that. “Hattie you have to believe me she was here m-my”, I point to my soaked night gown. Hattie diverts her eyes to it, her pupils suddenly widen as she sees the big patch in my gown.
“Don’t worry things like this happen”, she weakly smiles at me. Oh she thinks I have conditions with my bladder NO! I am using this as proof.
“I’m not lying I’m s-saying the truth, this proves”_
“I won’t tell anyone ok if you don’t want them lot to know consider me a friend”, the corner of her lips forms into a smile, her eyes fill with sympathy for me as if I needed it.
“I’ll see you in the morning”, she says as she walks off.
The day goes past and the more I think of last night the more I come close to the decision where I do not want to stay here anymore. I want to contact my mother I want to I dunno change rooms or possibly scrub myself over and over again to stop feeling the touch of the dead girl. Filth sprayed all over my body is better than her dead skin. For the first time in a long time I am spooked so spooked that I can’t get her pale face out of my head. No one spoke about Clara they went on as if nothing happened, they didn’t even realize that she has disappeared, I desperately wanted to bring it up, tell the maids what I saw but I didn’t have the courage to. I continue with my work and I am left with her face clouding my thoughts.
I am told to serve Mr Hunter…again. I do not want to see him after the last incident, when the head maid hands me a tray of nuts and a plate of pasta on the side it doesn’t feel heavy but the weight of apprehensiveness on my shoulders feels like I am about to drop it. I do not want to face Mr Hunter, he is so intimidating and so… masculine, wait what does that have anything to do with the situation. I angered him the first time I met him I really don’t need to repeat that again but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s unnecessarily scary. I walk up to his room and knock twice, no one answers. Oh here we go again.
I knock once more and I begin to get irritated, perhaps no one is in the room. I twist the door knob and enter the room there is no one here, I contemplate on whether I’m supposed to enter without his consent.
I step in and place the tray down on the brown wooden table and marvel at the room, it’s so big for one person I can hardly believe that Mr Hunter stays here by himself, I wish I stayed here on my own it’s slightly simple but at the same time modern and cosy. I notice the ceiling to the room is certainly high and designed with little white spirals, the curtains are drawn making the room look darker than it should and the brown drawers are matched with it along with the mirror frames and headboard. Wow I really should get out of here but everything is so pretty. I see a big wardrobe beside the brown drawers, maybe it’s a walk- in wardrobe, its exterior is so big, a large mirror is nailed on its door. I look at my reflection and cringe, god I look like an awful mess.
It’s well decorated with a gold rectangle cut frame surrounding it and floral patterns designed on it and going around it, the corners are carved into semi arches and had- I think what looked like gold glitter discreetly sprinkled on the edges.
Whoa it must have cost a fortune for some pretty mirror . I walk towards it and stand in front of it. I really want to appreciate its beauty, I reach out and touch the frame. My mouth hangs open with awe. I stroke it slowly like I’ve never felt anything so precious before. It’s so smooth and shiny and- and glossy. I slide my fingers down to touch the golden apple shaped door knob and it feels the same as the pretty frame, I wonder what is in here. My fingers twitch. I have the urge to open it to see if inside is just as beautiful as the out. It’s probably overflowing with shiny clothes maybe Er what’s it called, Gucki, Doke and Gahana or oo-oo Chantell, god I’m so nosy.
Oh it’s only for a split second, it’s not like I’m going to steal anything. I hold on tightly to the door knob fighting the temptation to twist it. I give in and twist the knob.
“AH”! I flinch for the life of me witnessing the reflection of his stone cold hardened face standing behind me and his brown eyes screaming bloody murder at me. My eyes bulge with terror. Cazzo Santo ! My thought screams. In other words Holy Fuck!
“What… are you doing… Here”, his voice is acidic and low. I turn to face him as I quiver within.
“I-I”, I feel my lips shake uncontrollably.
“I came t-to drop your food”, I point to the tray. Mr Hunter’s jaw fiercely tightens and his hands ball into a tight fist, he doesn’t move his head, his eyes remain sinisterly scary, he harshly glares at me. The rest of his body stays still only his lips move
“I never….told…you…to…come in”, he grits his teeth,
“You-y-you were not here so I e-entered”, the lump in my throat is obvious. I feel the hairs on my body stand up, fear courses through me whilst the silence falls between us. Mr Hunter pauses then locks his jaw, his Addams apple bops as he fiercely swallows and his lips twitch. He squares his shoulders and takes slow intimidating steps towards me and unconsciously with anxiety inside me I step back.
“You had no right to step foot in my room without me being here”, He scowls at me
“You… dared to come in and touch my stuff”, he walks forward I step back he steps forward, I step back. He looks beyond scary and evilly possessed, I can’t help the alarm that is apparent in my eyes; I want to run far away from him.
“I don’t care what the situation is” he steps forward, I step back.
“Don’t you ever in your poverty stricken life step one inch of your foot in here without my knowledge”.
My back reaches the draws, I am trapped, his tall frame towers over me with hardly any space left between us.
“I swear on your life, if you do you will pay”. My lips part open taken aback by his threatening posture.
He peers his face at mine so close that I can see the murderous glare in his eyes, I can smell his sweet cinnamon breath filling my senses. His whole demeanour vastly changes into something more terrorizing, murderous, his skin turns colder and paler, his brown eyes widens as they powerfully hold my gaze without a blink, he bares the top of his white teeth while his lips faintly slants to the left side and his top lip scarcely quivers, he places his right hand on the wall behind me hunching over and surrounding me with his menacing tall posture, he looks like a monster! A malicious, brutal monster. My body pauses; oh dio! A gasp leaves my mouth at the face I see before me.
“Get….the fuck…out…of my… room ”. His voice is as low as a whisper, I feel myself wince in response. He slowly steps back keeping his gaze on me. I can’t find my legs; I stumble over my feet forgetting how to walk. With all the little power I have I rush out of the room not daring to take a second glance behind me…
I can’t get his face out of my head. I am certain that I want to leave, I cannot stay here any longer because if I do each day I will only be shivering in my underwear whenever I have to see him, for the second time lucky urgh why am I such an idiot then again I should not have been rummaging around his room, I should have just dropped the tray and left rather than just stay there and play Sherlock frickin Holmes, oh god. I put my face in my hands and think of what happened, how evil he looked, me possibly being killed by his devil stare. I am right about him he is such a weirdo or worse a freak “I swear on your life, you will pay”. What the hell did that mean? What could he be possibly hiding in his room that he could threaten me with my life? The coldness of his face the way each muscle in his jaw tensed he looked far from being human, urgh, I shudder I could not believe how terrified I was no one absolutely no one had sacred the life out of me or threaten me with such intensity the way this unreasonable creature did. Back at home I’ve always been tough like rock, it was hard for me to even fear anything but ever since I stepped foot into this mansion it’s like things are starting to slowly change.
It’s Friday night, already four days I have been here. The maids and I have to set up the dinning and lounge room, it’s the biggest in the house. Mr Hunter is throwing a dinner party with his work colleagues so we have to make the place spotless. When we are done we change into black silk clothing pants and shirt to look formal since we will be serving all night.
It’s 8:30 pm and the massive lounge is packed with a lot of stuck up snobby ass people who only got bitchy when their food didn’t suit their
taste, of course they are snobs dressed in formal designers.
“Caviar”? One of the maids asks. The visitor retrieves it and places it in her mouth not saying thank you just giving stupid posh nods and fake smiles.
I’m also serving Caviar, whatever they are called they are small but look tasty I’ve never tried them before so as no one is looking I discreetly chuck one into my mouth. I choke on the first bite.
Oh, Urgh, what the hell this tastes like shit! I spit it into my palm screwing my face up at the taste, how can these people like this stuff!
“Urgh dumb rich people”, Hattie complains to me.
I laugh at her comment, they seem beyond that.
“I mean what’s the difference between Champagne and fricking Chardonnay they’re all the same, well they sound the same”
“I wouldn’t know”, I smile, I’m glad Hattie is talking to me. Ever since the incident with Clara Hattie has been regarding me with sympathetic smiles and was cautious with the things she said when she spoke to me. My thoughts didn’t allow me to surrender. I know what I saw but I didn’t push the situation any further.
“See that woman with the dodgy wig”, Hattie points at a middle aged woman wearing a red long sleeved dress.
“She keeps bullshitting about how her whine isn’t”, Hattie puts on an elderly voice.
“Sparkly and sweet enough”. she mimics, god Hattie is so hilarious just like my friend Kate back at home.
“Mmm, god he’s so sexy”, Hattie’s eyes stare straight ahead with pure lust in them.
“Who”, I turn my head and find Mr Hunter walking through the threshold.
“Look at him in that suit. Gah he’s so ravishing”, Hattie moans.
“Erm”, I say suddenly getting anxious
“Erm, what do you mean erm he’s like a sex god”
“We- we better get back to serving before he catches us standing here”, I take another glance at him; he’s dressed in a black fitted suit and white shirt, his dark brown hair is neatly quaffed back looking all fancy and formal. He smiles warmly to his guests with each one he approaches.
“Yeah maybe we should”, Hattie replies.
I serve the guests whilst keeping my eyes on Mr Hunter. I don’t want him to see me, I dread of having to serve him.
“Excuse me”? I turn my head, a middle aged wrinkle faced woman is speaking to me oh crap I wasn’t listening.
“So how many multiple calories are in this snack”? She points to the food. Multiple what? What the hell are calories just eat the damn food!
I nod my head pretending like I knew what she’s saying.
I see Mr Hunter talking to a few senior men, it’s weird I don’t understand how he can have friends and how the people he’s talking to are so ancient despite how young he is and on top of that how could they be so comfortable around him . I am curious to know the occupation of these people as they seemed so full of power with their expensive looking suits and debonair dresses.
After I am done serving one group of people a bald headed old man hands me his jacket. I see Mr Hunter walking towards the left side of the room that I am on, oh crap.
“Dear would you mind if you grab me a glass of champagne”, the bald man says in his posh British accent.
“Y-yeah”, I stammer as I watch Mr Hunter walk towards us.
“Can you make sure it’s warm rather than chilled”, he continues.
“Y-yeah”, I huff and make a turn.
“Oh dear also can y_
I ignore the man and scurry back to the kitchen. I cannot go back in there not when he is there. I sigh. There is a tray of whine glasses with yellow liquid in them. I dunno what it’s called scampagne or whatever Hattie calls it. I’ve never tried alcohol before although I know what it smells like because my father was a hopeless drunk. He’d often come back home with the strong stench of alcohol on his breath.
I grab a glass and have a sip. It actually tastes like….. SOAP, urgh what is this, yuck! I place it back down wiping off my lip stain on the glass.
I go to hang up the old man’s jacket in the cloak room. I enter the room and immediately see the back of Gretchen’s head. Her hands pull out some gold jewellery from the pocket of the visitors coat and into hers she turns her head and jumps acknowledging my presence in the room.
“What are you looking at”? She snaps fiercely. Her eyes widen with shock, shock that she just got caught.
“What, you came to spy on me”, she shouts.
“Erm”, I hold up the man’s coat.
“Yeah well you ought to knock before you enter”
“Excuse me”, I retort
“You better keep your mouth shut and not say anything”
My jaw angrily locks together; I’m not going to stand for this crap.
“And what happens if I don’t”
She swallows heavily her lips quivering not knowing what to do.
“Oh trust me you do not want to mess with me. You don’t know what I’m capable of”.
I mentally snort at the imbecile.
She bumps past me looking all flabbergasted and heated. I shake my head and chuckle at the girl; thieving off the guests….she can’t even do it properly. I walk to the peg to hang up the coat, the feel of is so soft it’s like cotton. I place it on the peg and suddenly feel a light moisture across my forehead. I wipe it off and observe the liquid, my brows furrow at the crimson colour. I feel another drip on the scalp of my head; I wipe it off feeling disgusted as it repeatedly dribbles on my cranium.
I look up and discover a vent above me and holes pocking through it giving access for the liquid to drop right through. It smells like rusty copper kind of like blood, I sniff again, the smell made me feel nauseous. It is blood. Urgh, I recoil as it instantly trickles down my face, wiping it off I run out of the room. I spot the head maid walking towards some of the guests. I quickly run up to her without making a scene.
“Mrs B- Brimmer”, I stammer. She turns to me.
“T-the kitchen, blood, the urgh ceiling is dripping with blood, the vent”, I ramble on. She looks at me with a confused expression in her face.
“What are you talking about, have you been drinking”.
I shake my head, oh god how do I put it.
“The ceiling is dripping with blood”, I say lowly so no one will hear me.
“Blood”, she frowns “Please tell me this isn’t some stupid joke”.
“There is, erm it’s in the cloakroom”!
She remains frowning at me; she turns her head for a split second and then follows me. I take her to the cloakroom and stand under the vent.
“Look”, I point to the vent above us. She contorts her face.
“What, nothing is dripping”, she frowns. What! I look up and wait for the liquid to drip but it doesn’t.
“Wait for it, it’s there, it will come”, I say with hope. We wait and there’s nothing. Mrs Brimmer sighs looking at me as if I’m stupid.
“Still nothing”, she snaps.
“It was there, it dripped on my head, I saw it”. She dully pouts her lips, refusing to believe me she sighs again.
“I often get drenched by water”, she says with a hint of sarcasm in her voice, her rudeness frustrates me.
“Look young lady I do not have time for this”
“But I’m not lying”
Mrs Brimmer disregards me and walks off and I stand there feeling like an idiot. I think over again and tell myself it couldn’t have been my eyes. I notice another drop on my knuckle, I look up and I see the same blood I witnessed before leaking through the tiny holes this time continuously. No this can’t be happening, the vent is covered in red again, what the hell. I knew I wasn’t lying, how the hell did it disappear.
There are stairs in the lounge that could possibly lead to this vent I hurry
past the dozens of people and head up the stairs fervent to know where the blood is coming from. I reach the third floor with the many brown doors and stand still lost at what I should do next.
Fisting my fingers in my hair I sigh with frustration feeling ridiculous. What am I going to do? I puff out loud and consider telling Hattie. I know what I saw, I am not crazy.
I turn towards the stairs and abruptly hear the soft sounds of moaning beneath my feet. My body freezes. I am not sure if it is I and my hearing problems. The sound repeats itself again. My eyes peer to the ground and below me is a white little door designed for a basement. I hear the sound lowly whimper and echo through the keyhole of the door. I squat to my knees anxious to hear more. The whimpering ascends, it’s like a hoarse cry coming from a human a human that sounds as if it is in pain.
“Ivran”? I snap my head up. Sarah walks towards me.
I quickly straighten my posture. She regards me with an uncanny look in her eyes.
“Erm, what are you doing”? She questions.
“Just c-checking, something”, I awkwardly say. Her brows arch at me.
“Are you freshening up”, I try to divert the subject.
“Er yeah I accidently poured champagne over my hair”, she twists the loose strands of her hair around her fingers.
“Well actually”, she beams “The girls and I were trying to see if I can down all the alcohol in under ten seconds, I succeeded”, she claps her hands.
“So I came up to sort out my hair before Mr Hunter could see me”
“O-oh”, I stutter whilst my eyes flash back down to the basement door beneath me.
“So why are you up here”? She asks, distracting me
“Oh erm”, I think of a lie to tell her.
“The bathroom I came upstairs to use the bathroom”, I nod my head and mentally pat myself on the head for telling the quickest fib I’ve ever told without stuttering.
“Kayyy”, she drags her words.
“Are you ok”?
I frown at her
“Yes why wouldn’t I be?”
“It’s just you keep looking at the ground as if you’re searching for something, you seem suspicious”, she squints her eyes at me.
I didn’t realize my eyes were continuously peering to the ground.
“No no, me oh no I’m just tired”, I lie.
“I know what you mean, serving takes a lot out of you. I’m sweating like a beast”, she laughs
I plaster a fake smile on my lips.
“And by the way a friendly advice”, she giggles
“Lay off the quiche, I took one bite of it and then exploded round the toilet seat”
“Oh erm, ok”, I smile.
Sarah laughs and walks past me. She strolls towards the stairs, as she reaches the banister the whimpering sound returns. She suddenly halts and slowly turns to me. She must have heard it. Her eyes bulge with horror in them and her mouth parts widely and her skin heats to red.
“Did you hear that?”
“It’s coming from the basement”, I point at its door. “I think there is someone in there”
“What, no that’s not what I’m talking about”, she frowns.
Puzzlement strikes my face.
“Then what is it”?
“I just farted”, she blushes crimson.
“Don’t tell anyone, I sort of have a gas problem”, she chuckles then joyfully wobbles down the stairs.
My mouth hangs open with astonishment. How could she not hear the sound? How was I the only person that could? I fall anxiously to my knees and hear the hoarse voice grow. I squint my eyes through the little key hole and view a blistered leg. I shift my body closer and slant my head to observe more.
“Help”, the voice wearily whispers. “Help”, it recurs.
“H-help” the voice stops at once. My eyes can no longer trace the leg. Where did it go where the hell did it go? I start to panic.
“Can I help you”? A soft masculine voice says. A pair of polished leather brown shoes and pitch black trousers catches my attention. My eyes flicker up to the familiar voice. He stands in front of me his wild brown eyes casually looks down at me as the corner of his lips curve into a weak smile. I gulp heavily whilst my skin rapidly transforms to red and my quivering heart starts to pound.
“Can I help you”, he repeats.
“Erm I er, the floor”, my voice shakes
“The floor”, he says with a light tone to his voice. He squats down to my level, I wince in response. His eyes are full of amusement.
“Y’know it’s not often I find people poking through the keyhole of my basement”, he humorously says. I can smell the light alcohol from his breath and also his aftershave.
“You look very guarded”, he squints his eyes and examines my face.
“You’re good at being nosy aren’t you”, I swallow hardly, my throat hurts.
His face is mysterious, I can’t comprehend if he is being friendly or serious.
“You’re like some detective, aren’t you”?
“No”, I whisper.
“You mind”, he says lifting his fingers as a gesture for me to get up.
I quickly rise to my feet hoping my knees will not give out. Mr Hunter does the same and his tall frame towers over me.
“I heard noises so I-I came up to check, the noises c-c-came from there”, I point to the loft door.
Mr Hunter scrutinizes my face, his brow arches together.
“Noise, and how do you know it came from here, you shouldn’t even be up here” Whoa! His sudden mood change catches me off guard; I feel my legs shift back on their feet.
“The blood was dripping through the vents in t-the lounge so I c-came up to check where it came from and the noise started after”, the words rushes out of my mouth.
Mr Hunter’s jaw tightens as his pupils dilate.
“Blood, how strange”, his voice is as low as a whisper, I scratch my head timidly not understanding him.
His wild brown eyes intensively gaze at me for what feels like a long time, he clears his throat and straightens up.
“Never mind, you may be excused”, he puts his hand up as a sign that I can leave. I flurry away from him.
“Hattie”, I say to her. I and a few of the maids are loading cements bags at the side of the house. She stands beside me and stabs the bag using a knife.
“What”, she replies.
“I think I need to get out of here”, I lowly say.
I drop the cement on to the concrete.
“If I tell you something p-promise you won’t say anything to anyone”
“What is it Ivran”, her eyes are clouded with curiosity.
“I-I’ve been seeing things lately”, how do you put it
“Strange things”, I add
“I dunno, I think it’s like I’m the only one who sees it”, I couldn’t put into words what it was. Hattie smiles weakly at me
“Ghosts you mean”
“N-no I-I dunno. I’m confused”
“Is it your disorder again”, she looks sympathetically at me.
I frown at her and huff underneath my breath.
“No, no you have it all wrong I don’t have a disorder”
“I-I can’t explain what it is”
“Explain what Ivran”
“I dunno but may be there are bodies hidden in the mansion”
“You’re joking right”, she frowns at me and chucks the bag to the side.
“I’m not. T-the night of the party I saw blood and heard noises whenever people were around me they would disappear”.
“I can tell you that I don’t think they are ghosts”, I add.
“Maybe you’re just paranoid”
“No”, I shake my head. “I know what I saw it’s the same with Clara”
“Oh aha”, she bursts out with laughter. “Not this again”
I stare at her with bewilderment. She is finding this hilarious!
“Why don’t you believe me that night I saw her, How can you not remember her”
“Ivran please don’t let me believe that you’re starting to run mad”
“I-I’m telling the truth” I look around me warily to make sure nobody is listening.
“I think it best if we stopped working for Mr Hunter”
“Pardon”, she replies.
“I think he’s a creep”
“Ok”, she snorts “Now you’re being delusional”, she rolls her eyes.
“It’s just my gut”
“Oh yeah well what is your gut telling you”, she shakes her head and chuckles at me. I nervously entwine my fingers together and sigh hoping she will not find what I’m about to say humorous.
“That we should leave”, I murmur.
“You’ve only been here for five days Ivran”
“I know but it’s for the best”
“Aha, you and who, do you not know I have a family to feed”, she cackles.
“I know you have this ridiculous thing towards Mr Hunter but don’t push your luck”
“I just think it’s best we leave before_
“Before what Ivran”, she raises her voice. “Nothing is going to happen before you came to the mansion I never heard any of this paranormal bullcrap”
“It’s not what you I-I mean it’s n-not lies”, I stammer trying to get the words out trying to get her to understand.
“Look Ivran”, she leans into me so the maids walking by couldn’t hear her.
“The only reason why I’m here is because”, she swallows and looks sternly at me.
“I’m pregnant and I am not financially stable to look after the baby and my parents are not willing to help me neither is anyone in my family so my plan is to work, raise some money”
She gulps again and avoids eye contact with me by looking at the ground.
“And abort it. When I was given this opportunity I gladly took it, you’re the only person I’ve told this to so you have to understand there is no way I’m leaving”
I look at her speechless.
“Now you need to either take some medication or just forget about this”, she turns her head and discreetly points at our roommate who is raking the leaves opposite us.
“Ever since that night in the bathroom Dena has been going around telling the maids you’re nuts, everyone is starting to walk on egg shells around you”. I part my mouth in absolute shock. The nerve of that stupid little… I am not crazy.
“Ivran be careful”, she warns me. Hattie walks off to retrieve a shovel from the maid. I sigh with frustration and scratch my head. I am not nuts gah I’m not weird, how could these girls be so ignorant. I huff and turn to reach another bag of cement. My eyes unconsciously flash up to the top of the house. He stands there behind the window attentively watching me with his untamed eyes not yielding them away even as I lock mine with his. My cheeks burn as the creepy man stands still like a statue and just… ogles at me like some sort of deranged prowler. He mysteriously smiles at me flashing his white teeth and simply holds up the glass of whine gripped in the palm of his hand as a symbol of a toast…
“Ok I know it will be tough but I really want to be a hairdresser someday”, Dena says.
“Hairdresser mmm I dunno will you make lot of money”, Hattie replies
“Of course think of all the celebrities I’d get to work with”, Dena claps her hands excitedly.
“Do you know how famous I’d be”
“Ok so I see you’re that ambitious”, Hattie laughs
“What does that mean, I know it will happen”, Dena sighs “I just have to sleep with a famous hair stylist to get on top”
“Oh that’s not how it works”, Hattie argues
“Yes it does, you know it does”
“Well not for me I want to be a super model”
“Aha”, Dena bellows “That’s even worse you defiantly have to sleep with the producers, photographers, and even your managers that’s if they’re men”
“And how do you know this”
“Have you ever heard of the casting couch”? She says
“Look it up, I’m wise honey it makes absolute sense”
“What about you”
I snap my head up from the book I’m reading. I am met by both their eyes focusing on me.
“W-what”, I’m laid on the bed with War hose in my hands. The girls sit opposite me on Dena’s bed forever talking about their ambitions.
“We were asking what you’d like to be”, Hattie says.
“Oh erm”, I frown “I dunno”, I shrug my shoulders.
They silently look at me with perplexity in their face as if they were waiting for me to finish.
“I-I just don’t really see myself doing anything in the future”
“Do you do anything other than read that book”, Dena asks. I can hear the rude slyness in her tone.
“Erm”, I say whilst trying to keep my composure.
“Back at home I work on my family farm, chickens, goats, milking the cows and taking care of the horses”
“And that’s what you want to do for the rest of your life”, Dena mockingly replies.
“I erm I” don’t have to explain myself to you, you prying dog.
“I dunno”, I dimly say.
There’s a knock on the door. Hattie stands up to let the person in. It’s Hannah standing at the threshold.
“Guys we are needed urgently downstairs”
“But we’re on break” Dena complains.
“It’s not for work Graham just said we need to be at the lounge now and we need to bring our belongings”
“Why” I ask
“Is something wrong”, Hattie frowns.
“I dunno he didn’t say why but I know that it’s not gonna be nice”
We all gather in the lounge apprehensively waiting for the purpose of why we are all called down here. Mrs Brimmer tells us to place our bags by the doors, we all are interested to know why but we comply and stand in the centre of the lounge. Us assembling in the room reminded me of my times back at school if a pupil misbehaved then the whole class would be called to a room and watch the mischievous child be mercilessly flogged as discipline. I’m now wondering, are we going to get punished?
“I didn’t do anything I swear I didn’t”, Sarah squeals as her whole face turns bright red.
“No one knows why we’re here”, one of the maid says.
“Isn’t it obvious we are in trouble well somebody is”, the Latino maid adds.
“Maybe not mayb_
Graham silently walks into the room everyone suddenly seals their lips as they notice his presence.
We bustle into a line. He stands straight in front of us and strictly glances at every one of us through his glasses. He arches his thick grey brows together and pouts his lips.
“Girls”, he says in his raspy voice.
“I’m sure you’re probably wondering why you’re here so I’m going to cut to the chase”
“The other night when Mr Hunter invited his guests here a piece of jewellery was stolen from his visitors”. My eyes swiftly glance to Gretchen. I notice the way her fingers suddenly tangle together.
“Now only you maids had access to the visitors purse and coats one minute it’s there and the next it had vanished”, he claps his hand.
“Because of this Mr Hunter instructed that you must bring your belongings so we can tackle this theft”. The maids gasp looking at one another with bewilderment in their pupils. Graham claps his hands trying to restore their attention back. I observe Gretchen as she swallows down her guilt, I can’t help but quietly snort at the girl. Four men and a woman dressed in black suits enter the room and stand beside Graham regarding us sternly, they look like soldiers from the military. The girls gasp again and question the need of the securities to be here.
“I swear I didn’t do anything I was raise to never steal”, Sarah cries.
“Enough”, Graham claps his hands again.
“Now let’s not turn this into a big fuss I want you all to retrieve your bags at this minute and the security will search through it”
We all go to get collect our bags and place them on the glass table. One by one the securities empty out the items. Hannah’s bag was checked first all she had were her clothes magazine and make up. The next maid was checked and had her books, a few of her clothes and notebook.
“Keep going” Graham instructed the security. I am excited to see the look on Gretchen’s face when they finally catch her, she thought she’d get away with it. I glance at her once more and she scowls at me in response, my god I’m sure she’s probably shitting herself. Sarah is next, she puffs out air and turns pink. She crosses her fingers and bites on her lip hoping they wouldn’t find the jewellery. Once they are done rummaging through her stuff and see there are no stolen items she releases a sigh.
“Told you I’m innocent”, she smiles at the security.
Momentarily they search Hattie’s back and after they are done with her I am next. I hand my carrier bag to the man, he opens it and starts to remove my shirts, cardigan, my tattered sandals, and stained dress. He lays them out on the table and fist his hand back into the bag and rummages them through my underwear. He contorts his face then halts his fingers. His eyes strangely flash up to mine and hold my gaze for what feels like a long time.
“Is there something wrong”, I whisper.
“Sir”, he addresses Graham as he pulls out a bunch of golden sparkly chains from my bag and reveals them to him.
“I think we’ve found the thief”….
“What. No I-I_
“Oh lookey here” Graham walks over to me and collects the chains from the hands of the man. Everyone’s eyes instantly diverts to me. I stand there speechless not believing what is occurring.
“So you stole the chains”, he accuses me.
“No I didn’t, I didn’t” I wildly shake my head.
“Please don’t make this difficult for yourself”, Graham raises his voice.
“But I didn’t take them”, my voice soars into a high pitch.
“You know I told Mr Hunter about hiring poor people I expressed about how they couldn’t be trusted and they’d end up resulting to this” he points to the chains.
“I did…not take those chains”
“So explain to how it was found in you bag”, he holds the item up to my face. “By some miracle, huh”
My blood boils with rage. I scrunch my face and angrily gnash my teeth together as I grimace at her. She sinisterly smiles at me rejoicing her plan whilst narrowing her wicked eyes at me.
“It was her”! I point my fingers at her. “She’s trying to frame me, she took it”
“Enough”, he snaps.
Oh no I am beyond angry I am fuming inside.
“It was her she stole it not me, HER”!
“I said enough”, he shouts.
“No, I didn’t do anything she took the damn chains not me”, I cry
The girls gaze at her. Gretchen looks back at them plastering a mixture of confusion and hurt as if she was guiltless.
“I don’t understand what she’s saying, I didn’t do anything”, she innocently says.
Oh what a pathetic actress. My thought screams.
“She’s a liar”! I scream “She’s a bloody liar” I don’t care if I look like a fool. I don’t care if no one was buying my innocence, oh I am livid, I could run up to the girl right now and rip her head off with my bare hands!
“I didn’t do anything”
“Are you deaf I said that’s enough”, Graham yells “Men take her away, lock her up and isolate her in a room until she is due back for work”
The men obey him and walk towards me
“Don’t touch me” my voice is acidic.
They ignore me and grab onto my arms.
“I said don’t touch me” I madly scream.
They grip onto me and tug me out of the room while the maids watch me in awe and utter disbelief. I try to fight the men using all my might.
“Mr Hunter will hear of this”, Graham’s voice echoes
“Girls you are free to go”
I am released from the cell-like room. I shiver from the coldness and cough out the smell of smoke that infused my nose. I was escorted out by the security guard, for five hours I sat on the moldy floor of the abandoned room whilst the security guard inhaled his cigarette in front of me.
I bit on my lip for those long hours to stop me from cursing. I’m still mad I wanted to attack her, I desperately long to hurt her.
Graham had instructed me to do every chore that the maids were responsible for and when Mr Hunter returns he’d inform him about the incident which was the one thing I dreaded, seeing his face. At least he’d sack you, my thought snickers.
I enter the kitchen with a bucket full of water and sponge in my hand. Everyone in the room suddenly stops their chitter-chatter and looks directly at me. Some of them part their mouth at me with shock in their faces. I am not a pushover neither am I going to stand for this anymore.
I walk up to Gretchen who sits by the counter and snickers under her breath, I place the bucket and sponge beside her.
“What are you doing, get to work”, she chuckles.
“You still have the kitchen and floor to do”
“You want to shut up because we both know you’re the thief”, I grit my teeth together.
“Ah”, she giggles. “Says who, you”
“Did you really steal that chain Ivran”? Hannah stupidly asks me
“Of course she did the girl’s psychotic”, Gretchen screws her face at me.
“You know it was you”, I scowl at her.
“I caught you stealing the chains on that night but because you didn’t want to get in trouble you placed it in my bag to frame me”
“Wow Dena is right you are mental where do you get all your lies from”
“Scrub the floors”, I clench my teeth.
“No that’s your job and you’re not even doing it well”, she crosses her arms and wrinkles her nose as if to show my odour repulses her.
I walk right to her face making sure my stench fills her senses so she can get a good whiff, she cringes.
“You need to stop”, I can feel my control slipping.
“Whoa Ivran”, Hattie runs beside me and tugs on my arm trying to keep distance between us whilst the maid’s separate round the room gaping at us silently so they can witness the tension.
“Calm down there’s no need for this”
“No don’t stop her, the girl needs mental help”, Gretchen retorts.
“Shut up”, I coldly hiss.
“What are you going to do if I don’t?”
“Get to work you dumb bitch”, she wrinkles her nose at me again. I’m not sure if I should either slap Hattie’s hand off of me and attack the girl or wait for her to say one more word just one more word.
“Go on, move”, she adds. That’s it my temper is on overload.
I powerfully swing my hand across her face knocking Hattie off of me and making the dog fall to the ground. The maids gasp in response and huddle around us yelling and cheering. I pounce on the dog. Slapping and whacking my fist directly to it’s face as I straddle it.
“G-get of off me”, it screams. Fighting back and fisting my hair in it’s hands it pulls and pulls with all the strength it has. I scream feeling the pain in my scalp as it tugs.
I use everything I have to punch out my anger and connect my fists to the dog’s eye.
“Argh”, I holler “Get off my hair”!
I don’t realize that I’m swinging at the maids who tried to pull me off it. I am so angry that I want to brutally attack them for getting in my way of beating the crap out of it. It isn’t enough, I need more.
“Ivran stop, just stop it”, Hattie shouts
“If only I had a camera, I’d post this on utube”! One of the maids shouts.
“Don’t break them up this is pure entertainment”, another maid yells.
The raging dog clasps its fingers around my neck in a chokehold and tries to shake me off it. I claw at Its scraggy hair and bite on it’s skin like a fuming predator. The dog cries in response. Just when I have the perfect spot of its face to painfully slam my fist into the maids wrap their arms around me and separate me from it.
“Get off of me, let me kill the dog”, I scream. I throw my body around as they restrain me from the animal.
“You stupid bitch, you crazy mad fool”, it rises to its feet and stands behind the other maids.
“Let me hurt the dog some more”, I pant heavily. My clothes are ruffled, my buttons have popped. Its hair is disheveled and blood drips from its nose.
“If I could I will kill you I will bloody kill you”, the animal barks and points it’s fingers.
“Yeah come on-come on”! I shriek ignoring the pain in my neck.
“Ivran stop, calm down”, Hattie shouts.
“Don’t you ever call me a dog”. It yells and thrashes it’s arms about.
“She’s a lunatic a bloody lunatic”!
“Yeah, well let me show you what this lunatic can do”! I exclaim.
“Stop”, one of the maids protest.
“Guys Brimmer is coming”, Sarah shouts.
The maids quickly release me everyone scatters back to where they were. I follow everyone’s lead; I sort out my dress and run to the bucket, collect the sponge and begin to wipe the floor whilst bended on my knees. Mrs Brimmer wobbles in looking at us awkwardly. We all stare innocently back at her in the casual silence as if nothing had occurred.
It’s ten-thirty at night, day six and I’m exhausted. I’m told by Graham to scrub the long hallways with the sponge. I’ve done this effortlessly…four times, the ground, first and second floor then I must repeat it again. I’m on the third floor scrubbing angrily with force whilst I hear the sound of the maids cheering and chattering from the second floor. I have envy and so much fury from within, my arms begin to ache as I scrub and scrub, wanting to give up for all I know he’d make me do it again. I consistently shift on my knees and wipe off every tiny speckle of dust on the third floor as I went along. I stop as realization hits me, I’ve reached the white door of the basement once again. I halt beside it and gawk at it remembering the night when I had heard the noise. I want to slide over to it and peek my eye through that key hole again. That night I was inquisitive to know what was inside it, human it had to be a human! My thought yells and now I am dying to know. It couldn’t have just been all in my head. I hear shouting coming from the room of the second floor startling the life out of me, I take that as an obvious sign to just get back to work and avoid my curiosity, I turn away from the basement door and continue scrubbing.
“Careful you almost got my shoes”, I hear his soft husky voice. My eyes slowly scrutinize his leather shoes all the way up to his face. He analyses me with blankness in his eyes.
“So Graham tells me you’ve been a naughty girl”, he murmurs.
“True”? He adds.
I swallow the sudden lump in my throat.
“Now why is it I always have some sort of a problem with you”, he emphasizes the you with force.
“It seems to me you’ve been taking what’s not yours and denying it too, huh”?
I nervously bite on my lip.
“Mrs Magee will be very unhappy now she’ll never return to this place again because of your stupid antics”, he spits
“Well I’m not really fond of liars little one, do you know what happens to people who thieve and lie back from where I came from”? He questions rubbing his chin softly.
I shake my head again
“Answer me”, he snaps.
“N-no”, my voice cracks.
“Well if you lie you’d be flogged mercilessly for at least three days until you need the support of a wheelchair to get by”, I hear the dark edge to his tone.
“And if you thieve you’d be burnt alive in front of everyone for at least one minute”
“Do you know how it feels to be burned alive for sixty whole seconds”, he extends his neck and leans his face into me, his wild brown eyes locks into mine.
“N-no”, I gulp.
“Do you want me to show you how it feels”? His voice is acidic and deadly.
My chest tightens and my heart begins to throb with fear.
“N-no”, I whisper.
“I didn’t steal the c-chain I-I was f-f-framed”, my voice shakes.
He gazes at me silently narrowing his eyes as he steps away from me.
“Is it so”, he cocks his head to the side and squints his eyes as if he’s trying to examine my face.
I don’t move or nod my head, I’m speechless I’m frightened of what he’d do next.
“Mmm”, he chuckles to himself. “Framed huh”
“That’s a very funny word”, he weirdly laughs to himself
I watch him with pure confusion in my eyes, his smile rapidly slips and his eyes suddenly scowls at me with disgust.
“How about you get back to work and wipe the floors until midnight”
“And if you’re naughty again I can always show you how to fire breath without using a torch”, his voice is cold and threatening. His lips forms a tight smile, he turns away and strolls off. I sit there watching after him stuck in a position where I find it difficult to move.
“Get to scrubbing”, he commands whilst he ambles down the flight of stairs…
“Ivran”, Sarah calls my name. I stare into space as I sit on the floor behind the draws.
“Why are you sitting there”?
“Ivran, Ivran”, she shouts my name snapping her fingers at my face.
“Huh”, I turn to her. She frowns at me and holds a duster in her hand.
“I said why are you sitting here”.
I point directly to the floor, my pupils dilate.
“S-s-she w-was l-lying h-here b-before you came”, I stammer.
“Oh god, so it is true”, Sarah covers her mouth with disbelief in her eyes.
“You are nuts”, she whispers. “I thought the girls were just being mean but it’s true, you see ghosts”
“T-they a-are not ghosts I-I’m telling you the t-truth”
“They are, and it’s ok to believe in them”, she nods her head patronisingly with a fake smile on her face. She thinks I am stupid, like I don’t know what I am saying.
“I saw her”, my voice rises.
“Saw who”, Sarah jumps at my response.
“H-Hannah, I was cleaning the lounge then when I entered the kitchen to p-put the mop away I-I saw Hannah laid on the floor, I couldn’t find her pulse s-so I ran away because I was scared”.
“And w-when I came back her body was gone”
Sarah’s facial expression does not change.
“Ivran I don’t understand”
“Who is Hannah”?
My mouth hangs open.
“No, this can’t be happening”
“What Ivran, what is it”?
“Something does not add up”
“Okayy”, she rolls her eyes at me
“I’m going upstairs I’ll erm see you later”, she paces out of the room and doesn’t take a look back at me.
“Hattie, Hattie”, I shout her name shutting the bathroom door. She is in the shower, I fidget on my tiptoes desperate to get her attention.
“What”! She pops her head out of the curtain whilst using it to shield her naked body.
“I know, I know you’re not going to believe me but we have to leave”, I pant heavily.
“No I’m not hearing this again, get lost Ivran”
“Please just hear me out”, I fiercely scream. The steam from the hot water causes the strands of my hair to stick to my forehead. I swipe them off hastily before trying to catch my breath.
“Gah Ivran, leave me alone”!
“Hattie you have to understand we have to leave before we die”
“You’re being pathetic”, she grimaces at me.
“I’m being pathetic” I exclaim “Is all the maids that are disappearing and you’ve completely forgotten pathetic”.
“What are you banging on about?”
“How am I the only one that’s seeing this”!
“Because you’re a psycho”
“This has never happened before, only in the bloody mansion”
“Oh stop this”, she tuts at me.
“No Hattie don’t turn your back on me I’m trying to save our lives before_
“Before what Ivran”, she throws her hands furiously in the air
“I don’t trust him”, I wildly shake my head and Pull on my hair to process how I am going to get the words out.
“Hunter”, I clench my teeth together.
“Oh I’m not listening to this”, she pulls the curtain forward to block my face. I stop her.
“You have to listen, he doesn’t seem normal, everything that’s going on is happening in this house, his house”
“Just stop ok, stop”, she presses the button to stop the shower and grabs her towel. I could be horrible I could just say forget it and not warn her at all but I actually like Hattie and if she doesn’t hear me out it will be her loss.
“I’m going tonight when everyone is asleep, let’s go together”, I shout on the other side of the curtain hoping she will not avoid the situation.
She’s wrapped in her towel, she steps out of the bath and barges past me.
“I’m starting to believe that you crave attention”
“This isn’t for godamn attention”, I sharply yell.
“Then why are you telling me this”, she retorts
“Because you’ve got a godamn baby in your stomach and I don’t want you to die”!
She scoffs under her breath and glares at me.
“I am not going anywhere with you, I mean I know you have your problems with him but this, this is mad, you’ve taken it too far”, she snorts.
“I’m telling you he is not what you think he is let’s just leave tonight”
“Whatever voodoo you have in your head it’s got to stop”, she points at me and turns to the door gripping her towel and ready to stomp off.
“Hattie”, I panic and grab her arm. She quickly pushes me back out of reflex.
“Get off of me, you’re a fruit bowl of crazy”, she exclaims.
“Stay the hell away from me”, she holds her hand up and uses it as a guard against me.
“I am warning you”, she extends her arm daring to use it if I move towards her again.
I stand back and seal my lips. She walks out of the bathroom and into the bedroom. I follow after her and run to my bed. I squat down to retrieve my carrier bag and begin to pack my clothes and book into it. I search for any other items I’m missing and after gathering everything I place it on the side of my bed.
“Pathetic”, she whispers.
I hear the moany/ weary sounds constantly repeating through the basement door. I’m shaking now because as I get closer the noise gets louder, I kneel beside the door and find the key in the hole. I’m curious to know what is in the basement. I reach out for the key and as I twist it the door swings up and the smell of poo shoots rapidly to my nostrils. I gasp loudly taking in what I see before my eyes, three of the maids are naked and lie on top of each other all covered in blood, their lifeless bodies slowly decay and waste away like they’ve been laying there for years, their hairs are sheltered in mud, dirt and patches of white fluff which attracts the swarm of flies buzzing around them to lay their eggs in their scalps and on their filthy bodies.
Their eyes are stained with blood shots, their lips are filled with green slimy liquid with what looks like thick mucus clogging their entire mouth, their faces are skeletal that I can see the outline of their bones desperately bulging out of their cheeks, every bit of their body is exposed with little cuts and pink flesh, I want to puke at the gruesome sight of the dozen of tiny black scattered mice making their sickening squeaky sounds as they greedily nibble and chew on the bloody skin of the maids. I recoil at the sight and swallow down the vomit forming at the back of my throat. I feel a hand maliciously gripping onto my back and pinch in to my skin. I scream as I convulse violently, the hand holds tightly on to me and turns me around. I face the dread of Mr Hunter’s striking face casually smiling at me. I squeal. He grabs on to my arms and holds them with such effortless force and in the matter of seconds he pushes me down on to the dead bodies, he takes one look at me, grins wickedly then slams the basement door shut.
My eyes are wide open, my heart uncontrollably accelerates, I feel my sweat clinging to my nightgown and heat taking over my body. I pant recklessly and check my surroundings and find that I am still sitting on the bed in the bedroom and with the sordid smell of urine that’s affecting my nose I realize that I’ve just wet myself…again. I breathe heavily taking it in that it was all a dream but I’m terrified so terrified that I’m scared of the darkness, so clouded with anxiety that I am quivering as if the temperature in the room is below 5 degrees.
That’s it I can’t take it anymore, I don’t care if I’m crazy, I don’t care if this is all in my head I never dream such horrible dreams to the extent where I wet myself. I’ve never been filled with so much fear and dread in my life, with everything that has happened in this mansion, despite how restless and insane I seem to be I’ve already taken it into my mind that firstly, Mr Hunter is a monster. Secondly for whatever reason he may be the purpose for why unexplained events are happening and why the maids keep disappearing and oh thirdly if I don’t get the fuck out of here I will die before I even get the chance to see daylight.
I roll off the bed; I put on my sandals and run to Hattie’s bunk, attempting to warn her for one last time.
“Hattie, Hattie”, I push her body, she doesn’t wake up.
“Hattie wake up”, I violently push her getting desperate now but still she doesn’t wake.
I run to turn the lights on and screech at the sight of Hattie, her eyes are wide open and bulging out, her body slanted across the bed, limp, weak, and pale A deep gash is placed on the right side of her neck with blood oozing down the middle of her chest, the top left side of her shirt had been ripped apart revealing her breast covered in red bite marks and her nipple hacked into two. I suppress my scream and gag into my hands; I don’t need to feel her pulse to know that she is gone. I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO! I want to squeal. The awe in me stopped me from shedding a tear, she’s no more which means I’m next…
I run to my bunk collected my carrier bag of clothes put on a sweater and bolted out of the room. All the lights in the house are off, shit.
I grip onto my carrier bag to prevent the noise. I tip toe towards the stairs and that’s when my thought screams fuck it! I couldn’t be discreet for shit.
I ran down the stairs, my body quivers looking for the nearest exit no I still have another flight of stairs to go. I run down them aware of the noise my stupid sandals are making but I could careless about that, I have to save myself. I reach the final flight of stairs and on the third step with panic taking over me. I stumble on my feet and tumble down the stairs with a loud bang as my body hits the floor. I have so much adrenaline and fear in me that I can’t even feel the pain in my head, I get up hold onto my bag and run to the front door, I quickly pull out the bunch of keys that I stole from Mrs Brimmer and with shaky hands jingling the keys loudly I try to put each key in the lock to see if it matches. SHIT, shit shit Oh god I-I can’t see, it’s too dark. I’m overflowing with trepidation that with every time I waste I’m walking into my own death. Oh dio there are so many fricking keys.
I try the seventh key, it doesn’t work. Oh crap it’s stuck. I pull it out and the bunch of keys drop to the floor. I bend down and use my hand to search for it but the darkness makes it so difficult for me to see, I finally feel the keys and pick them up whilst I pray for my life and to find the damn correct key for the lock. I place one of it into the lock and twist it, oh lord please please fricking work, It does. I pick my carrier bag up and desperately reach for the door knob and just as I twist it I feel the force of
a hand gripped firmly onto my neck and the other onto my mouth, I scream into the hand whilst my body shakes violently fighting to be released. I hold onto the hand digging my nails into the skin but it only holds onto me tighter. My head is forcefully pulled back and the voice angrily whispers.
“Where do you think you’re going”? I’d recognize that voice from a mile off.
“Trying to runaway huh”, he says huskily into my ear
“Well you’re going to stay right here with me”. I shriek, thrashing my body with might against his and still I am incapable, I kick my legs unto the door fighting with every strength that I have until he grips my neck as hard as he possibly could showing that I cannot escape and with his arm strongly wrapped around my torso, his fingers pinching into my skin I sink into him and become powerless…..
I am awake. I recoil from the throbbing ache of my head and the endurable stinging pain around my neck. I think of last night as nothing more than a mental dream but only it wasn’t. I put my hand up to wipe my eyes and discover sliver metallic chains wrapped around my wrists. I swiftly rise up and find my legs are also chained to one another that I can barely move. I check my environment only to discover that I am in a room, a cold, dim deserted room that reeks of manure and tobacco. The brick layered walls withered away with cobwebs hanging down the corners, areas of the concrete floor and the ceilings was filled with mould and damp, I wince as I see something move on the floor, tiny little insects crawling from one place to another. I quiver from the coldness, my mouth parts open as I take in where the hell I am. There’s a door at the far corner of the room there are no windows no secret places I can use to escape, and with my hands padlocked together I know that I’m trapped and there is no way out.
The door creaks open. Mr Hunter steps in, he’s dressed in black matching with the dimness of the grimy room he switches on the light and saunters to me. I do not move I sit still ready for whatever he’s about to do with me as my heart pounds erratically. Mr Hunter’s face is impassive as he intensively watches me. He squats down in front of me keeping space between us.
“Hello Ivran”, he says in his low husky voice. My insides cringe at the way my name rolls off his tongue.
“Did you have a good sleep”, his voice is friendly and his eyes remain emotionless. I don’t reply to him.
“Are you hungry”? I still don’t respond. I feel the weight of his eyes on me, I’m too afraid to look at him.
“See I know you are startled by last nights events but if it’s not too much to ask will you please co-operate with me” co operate! He’s probably about to kill me and he wants me to co-operate!
“Hay- hay”, he reaches over to touch my leg, I can’t move it away.
“There’s no need to be afraid I’m not going to hurt you”, he says gently.
“I just want to talk”, he begins to stroke my leg, I want to recoil but I can’t.
“Where am I”, my voice cracks.
“At home, with me”
“Please let me go”, I whisper with fear evident in my voice.
Mr Hunter is silent, his jaw tightens as he gazes deeply at me. I feel the hairs on my leg stand up, he continues to softly caress it.
“I’m sorry but that’s not going to happen, you’re going to stay with me”, his voice remains low and gentle. I try to swallow down the lump in my throat but it doesn’t help.
“Why”? the question flies out of my mouth without realization. He locks his jaw again and the corners of his lips twitch “You wouldn’t understand”. He lets go of my leg and rises to his feet I look up at him towering over me, I feel small and helpless. He grins at me as his eyes are emotionless.
“You must be hungry”. It’s not a question I blink rapidly, I want to say no but I can no longer find my voice.
Mr Hunter enters the room holding a bowl and spoon in his hand, he walks to me and sits in front of me.
“You like soup”, he says placing the bowl down. I tremor, he’s going to make me eat it.
“It’s potato, very hot”, he grabs the spoon and begins to stir the soup.
“I’m not hungry”, I whisper. I want to break the locks on these chains and run far away from him, I can almost smell my death coming near me and now he wants me to taste it.
“C’mon you have to eat”, he squints his eyes and gently says. He stops stirring the bowl and scoops the soup blows it and holds the spoon directing it to my mouth.
“I said I’m not hungry”, my voice is breaking, I can feel it.
“I’m not going to poison you”, I hear the seriousness behind his voice.
He puts the spoon into my mouth, I can’t help the pain in my throat when I swallow.
“Is it good”, he says I look away from him and don’t reply he takes another scoop and blows then puts it to my mouth. The soup is warm but I’m too filled with fear to enjoy the taste of it. This feels so wrong, why is he feeding me. I don’t want anymore all I want to know is what the hell he
is going to do with me. He feeds me again and again, I swallow until I can’t take no more.
“Stop, please”, I whisper. He puts the spoon back into the bowl.
“See that wasn’t too bad”. I blink shamefully and avoid looking at him.
“What are you going to do to me”, my voice is hoarse that I can hardly hear myself.
Mr Hunter does not speak I can sense him gaping at me. I hold onto the chains nervously, they are hurting my wrists.
“Are you going to hurt me”? His jaw tightens and lips twitches as I look up at him, his eyes are barely fierce and his lips are pressed into a line.
“No”, he says lowly with sincerity. My heart continues to pound so fast that the tension I feel from within makes it unbearable for me to breathe properly when I open my mouth to ask him the next question.
“Are you going to kill me”? His wild, brown lunatic eyes burn into mine and his facial expression turns from agitated to solemn.
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