“What is this place?” Alexa queried as she and her husband stepped up the stone walkway. “It looks like a castle or something out of some creepy horror movie or something. Are you sure we should be doing this?”
“What choice do we have? The car broke down in the middle of nowhere, this is the only place around for miles,” Jacob snapped, frustrated at their predicament. They made their way up the long, twisted path, marveling at the well kept topiaries and black iron gates.
When they finally reached the victorian gothic mansion, the cold stone stretching up into the cloudy sky and the cathedral windows staring down at them, Jacob reached out to knock on the dark arched, double doors. Before he could knock, the doors opened, light streaming out into the night. The couple looked at one another curiously, and stepped forward into the mansion.
“Um, excuse me, our car broke down and we were just wondering if-woah!” Jacob was cut short when he was faced with the inside of the gothic building. The exterior was well taken care of, but dark and ancient, whereas the interior was decorated elaborately with golden candelabras, red velvet curtains, and antique furniture. There was a winding staircase leading to the second floor situated to their right, and straight ahead was an ornate desk behind which stood a woman.
“Welcome.” The strange woman raised her arms, gesturing for the couple to enter. “We know what you need.”
As they stepped toward the desk, the doors closed mysteriously behind them. The woman behind the desk was dressed oddly, and Alexa and Jacob approached her with caution. She had long, straight black hair and her eyes glimmered like emerald jewels. Her skin was drained completely of any color, as white as porcelain. Her lips were candy apple red, and the sleeves of her black gown hung down to the ground as she tented her fingers.
“We have everything you need here.” As she spoke, Alexa noticed that her eye teeth were oddly pointed, and overlapped over her lower lip. “We will take care of everything for you. Why, you must be chilled to the bone on such a cold night, it’s a long walk from Eighth street. Please, allow us to make you comfortable.”
Alexa’s eyebrows furrowed.
“H-how did you know-” Alexa was cut off when two women appeared seemingly out of nowhere beside both Jacob and Alexa.
“Please, we can make you very comfortable. Go ahead and follow Reena and Abby. We know exactly what you need.” The pale woman gave them a wide smile, her fang-like teeth shining in the candle light. Jacob and Alexa shared an awkward look, and he could see that his wife felt uneasy.
“I mean, they can help us. Our only other choice is walking hours down these dark roads, is that really what you want?” Jacob asked, giving his wife a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
“I suppose not, it’s just…” Alexa trailed off as Abby took her by the arm and led her toward the staircase. Reena pulled Jacob the opposite direction, toward the archway behind the front desk. “Wait, we aren’t going together??” Alexa protested.
“Not to worry, we will take very good care of you. We specialize in knowing the needs of our visitors. There is nothing to fear here.” The ivory skinned woman smiled again, and her mesmerizing eyes glimmered as she spoke.
Abby pulled Alexa up the stairs as Jacob watched. He, too, was being dragged away from the entryway, worried that his wife was apprehensive to accept help from this strange establishment. He reluctantly followed Reena, anxious to take his wet coat and shoes off while he waited for a tow truck. The walk seemed to go on for a while, and before Jacob could attempt to keep track of where he was being led, he realised he wasn’t inside the mansion any more. When he looked around him, he noticed that his guide had led him to an outdoor area surrounded by mythical stone statues and tall, twisting topiaries, similar to those at the front of the building. It was a fanciful garden, trimmed hedges lining the outer area, and floating lanterns bobbing back and forth over the clear water of the stone fountains on the left and right of the marble deck. There, stretched out in front of him in the center of the courtyard, was an in-ground pool of crystal blue water, a set of marble steps leading down into the pool with an ornamented brass railing.