The stranger fought the screaming wind up the steps of an enormous manor and fought the latch on the double doors until he prevailed. Expecting a multitude of people, he stepped inside, but no one was to be seen. He thought this odd, until he saw a dim glow from the next room. He crossed the expansive foyer and found a young woman holding a small green lamp. She glanced up.
“Are you looking for something, miss-”
“Call me Gildie. What shall I call you?”
“Wyndel. Are you the only one here?” Gildie smiled.
“No. Come meet the lucky few,” she invited, leading him northeast along a huge shadowy corridor. Wyndel noticed the indigo dawn lighting up specks in the air.
“Oh, Wyndel, here-” Gildie pulled another lantern, round like hers, off an alcove and lit it for him. By its light, he saw light grey powder layering the dark marble floor and the pictures on the walls, although in some places the dust had been blown or wiped away.
“Why is this place so lonely?”
“Lots of reasons. I’ve heard it didn’t operate how it was supposed to. I’ve heard there was fighting, and people stopped feeling safe and welcome here. I’ve heard that the two brothers who own the place have other places to work their wonders. I know it isn’t always people’s highest priority to come here. But some still do.” She grinned at him. “And now you’re here!” She turned left down another hall and Wyndel saw newer pictures, paintings yet unmarred by neglect. But down at the end of the hall, Wyndel could see several people, all with bright emerald lights, all around a big redwood table with a infernesque fireplace behind. As he and Gildie approached, she called to them.
“Guys, we have a new friend! This is Wyndel!” Two of the girls waved the knives they were sharpening in friendly acknowledgment.
“My name’s Sabri,” offered the younger one.
“I’m Karen,” the elder announced. The third girl stopped her gymnastics to introduce herself.
“Name’s Jessi!” Jessi returned to her cartwheeling and one of the men stood up to shake Wyndel’s hand.
“I’m Cyphr, nice to meet you.” Another boy came back from the gigantic target on the west wall, carrying multiple daggers.
“Numil,” he said, inclining his head. After Numil got out of the way, the last young man tossed his blade. When it stuck a few inches from the center, everyone cheered.
“And the expert marksman is Sonik,” Gildie told Wyndel. “That’s pretty much everyone, others might come, though. We try to make this place fun like it used to be. There was a beautiful manor that the brothers owned before this. Karen says it was fabulous.”
“It was.” Karen launched a knife at the circular board, and it bounced off the bullseye, to a collective gasp of disappointment.
“Oh, Karen, you were so close!” Sabri threw her own, and came up just centimeters short.
“Sweet!” Gildie turned to Jessi. “OK, I thought of a really good one. What would you do if dragons were real?”
“Find a baby dragon and raise it as my pet! K, Wyndel, this one’s for you: what would you do if faced with the decision to stick knives into that target over there or play ‘what would you do if’ with me and Gildie?”
“Can I do both?” Wyndel asked.
“Sure!” Cyphr handed him a knife.
“K, what would you do if I wrote a story?” Wyndel tried, flipping a blade at the target. It stuck inches from the edge.
“Good first try,” Sonik encouraged.
“Hope to high heaven you were a good writer, ‘cause I might have to read it!” responded a young man from the door. “Hello, I’m Cole. Who are you?”
“I am Wyndel,” answered the boy.
Much more happened that morning, and occasionally afterward new people came, or old friends came back, drawn by the renewed light in the old manor. It is yet to be seen if it will ever again be the place it was before, but the friends who remain are happy with it the way it is.
I see what you did there and I really like it! ( I find it extremely interesting to see how other people write me and the people I know)
Yeah, I don't really know you that well, but I read your bio and tried to impose that in Sabri!
Aw! This is so wholesome and fun!
This is so cool! :D
Oh, why thank you!