He stood in the doorway of a great room shrouded in darkness. The faintly visible light came from a large rectangular window. As he looked out the window, he noticed that it was beginning to rain.
The maid had escorted him here after seeing the small scrap of paper that had summoned him here. He noticed the expectant look on her face as she led him up the stairs with a candle. She had left him here at the doorway and quickly disappeared.
He had been standing in this position for some time. As he shifted his weight from foot to foot, he heard the soft movement of fabric. He stiffened and looked hard into the darkness, trying to see the figure that he sensed was neat him. A soft chuckle echoed off the wall to his right. “Well, Klaedyn, you have grown a great deal since I last say you.” Her voice cut throughout the darkness to him.
He thought back to the last time that he had seen her. She had not been much older than he, maybe five years. She had always been a mysterious part of the family. They had spoken little of her. Then again, the family rarely spoke of or to him. He cleared his throat. ” I would say the same to you, Lyndielle, but I am not able to recognize much in the dark.”
She called her maid for a candle, which was quickly produced. She them motioned to two chairs near the window. He followed her and sat down in the chair opposite her. She wore a dark robe with a hood. The hood had not yet been removed, and he again felt baffled at her choice of hiding herself to family. He searched her features looking for any resemblance to his late Aunt Joann. He say nothing that reminded him of his dark-haired aunt.
She looked kindly at him, “I am sure that you are quite hungry, and want rest. I will have Glenn show you to your room. I have decided to have the evening meal in the library this night. I will meet you there at sunset.” She stood up. “We shall talk then.,” and with those words she left the room, taking the light with her.
He stood up and squinted around for Glenn the maid. Lyndielle had ended quite quickly before abruptly leaving him. She had also looked suddenly uncomfortable, uncertain perhaps. When had they as cousins ever truly had a conversation? He also wondered why she had really sent for him. I this was only a family visit, why did she seem so nervous?
A slight wheeze interrupted his reverie. As he turned around, Glenn the maid panted out hurried apologies. She was truly sorry she had left him waiting so long, and in the dark! And, would he like to see his room now? It was truly awaiting his company. He smiled brightly at the flustered middle-aged woman. “It was no trouble at all, Glenn. It gave me time to collect my thoughts, somewhat.”
Glenn cast a troubled look at him. ” You mean of Mistress, I presume? She has been truly acting strange lately. I truly don’t know what to think of her, sir. She’s monstrously confusing for the likes of me. I hope that your visit will do her good.” She led him out of the room, up a staircase. “You see, sir,” she puffed, “she’s been truly lonesome these past few months since Mistress Joann was thrown from her horse and killed, poor soul. A truly dreadful way to leave the likes of this world, no?” She led him down a hallway to another ascending set of stairs. “This house is so truly – large – you see, sir. – It must truly – darken the – likes of her – spirit, sir.” She was breathing quite heavily now. With large gaps between her words. She brought him to a large room at what seemed to be the top of a tower. She gasped as she leaned against the wall. ” As you know, supper is to be in the book-room at sunset. Fell free to look around, if you would truly like to, sir. Give me a ringy on the bell there if you need anything, sir.” He smiled and nodded. “Tata for now!,” she puffed, and was off down the stairs.
He looked about the room. The atmosphere was airy. He turned to look out the window. It was at that point, giving him a start, that he noticed the regal looking, brown cat staring at him from its perch on the window seat. He started to lauch as the cat stood up and gave him a loud meow.
He looked at the cat and said, “Well, old fellow, what do you think of your curious household?” The cat gracefully jumped down at the “old fellow,” and walked, insulted, out of the room. The sun was beginning to shine through the window. He looked toward the mountains, and thought, “This is going to be a truly interesting visit.”