Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Franklin Castle - Chapter 4

Table of Contents
Floor Plan 

The group of people milled about the formal hall. The uncomfortable feeling in the eerie room amplified, fueled by the uncomfortable event with Yvette. Little sunlight from the windows touched the interior of the house. Several spots in the main room the wood appeared stained black as if at least one fire touched these walls. Wood beams crossed the ceiling at intervals. Across from the entry, a staircase too large for the size of the main hall wound to the upper floors.
To the right a Tiffany stained glass door led to a parlor. The glass stood out as the only new and pristine object on the first floor, beautiful with etched designs looped in circles and shapes colored in light blue and beige. Above the doors, a semi-circular similar stained glass window caught what little light offered by the entry.
The sense of sadness radiated throughout the dark house. The darkness and oppression damped the mood and became a presence in the room. To the left of the front door, a fire roared in the large stone fireplace large enough to fit Ashley. The crackled of the fire amplified through the room and offset the cool early autumn breeze. A chilly draft blew from the fireplace hit Ashley and sent a shudder through her body.
The dingy theme of the house continued with the furniture, each piece dark, dreary, and thread worn. In a corner, workers stacked ladders and scaffolds. The ceilings contained impressive frescoes sadly faded with age. Dramatically brighter, a single spot on the mural stood out more vivid than the rest. Ashley marveled at the restored section of the mural and wondered what this room must have looked like in its prime.
Ashley squirmed as she experienced the substantial oppressive sensation inside the house. Her breath quickened as she stepped away from the large group. She longed to go outside.
Ashley stood alone in front of the fire and placed her hands on the wooden mantle. She looked up at the portrait painted in oil. The crackled surface appeared dark and faded, however the stern face in the portrait unsettled her. The man in the painting appeared angry, and glared through blue eyes from the aged canvas. The vivid eyes troubled her, and caused her to look away like a schoolchild scolded by a headmaster.
“Did that thing with Yvette bother you as much as me?” Keith said from behind her. She flinched and jerked her head to look at him. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“That’s all right,” Ashley said. She looked back to the painting’s blue eyes. “Yeah, it really bothered me, too.”
“This creepy painting doesn’t help,” Keith said.
“Did you see the look on her face?” Ashley whispered. “She was terrified.”
“I know,” Keith said.
Ashley’s father and Dr. Lyman walked up to the painting with Dr. Fran. Ashley led Keith deeper into the main hall, past the stairway, away from the others.
She leaned towards Keith and spoke in a low voice. “Have you ever known a time when Yvette was wrong about anything with her psychic powers?”
“I don’t know,” Keith said. He rubbed the back of his head.
“I do know,” Ashley said. “And I can’t remember when she hasn’t been spot on. She may not flaunt her abilities like the others, but I can’t remember when she’s been wrong.”
“Okay?” Keith said.
“She’s a very neat person. She used to read my palm to tell my fortune. She was not like a fortune-teller at the fair that relies on observational tricks. She was specific about my future. She predicted my Dad would accept a job in Atlanta and we moved from Chicago. We did. She predicted I would go to a prestigious prep school, and I start at one in a couple of weeks.”
“She also predicted you would meet a Hollywood movie star and sweep you off your feet,” Keith said. “That hasn’t happened.”
“Yet,” Ashley added, her face broke into a momentary smile. “I have hope for that one.”
“My point is,” Ashley said. “If Yvette was frightened by this house, then I am scared as well.” 
Dr. Fran walked past Ashley and Keith and led the rest of the group in that direction. He approached a diagonal wall at the end of the main hall. He tugged on two ornate wooden doors that contained frosted glass with several cracks webbed through the design. After several attempts, the doors flung open and revealed a dining room.
Dr. Fran motioned everyone inside the room with a flourish.

Go to Chapter 5
Return to Chapter 3
Table of Contents 

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