PAST STORIES : 2009
October 27th 1870 7:45PM
The nearly full moon peeped through overcast clouds. It shone intermittently through the windows lighting Silas Montbard's way down the hall. Kingsbury Manor was quiet, except for the normal noises of a house settling further down on its foundations in the evening. The servants had finished their chores and most had absconded to their quarters on the outskirts of the property. He approached his room at the end of the hall and noticed that the door, securely locked when he had left it earlier that afternoon, was ever so slightly ajar.
Walking on the balls of his feet he quietly crept forward and was surprised to see his employer's wife Lillian looking through his desk and the bookshelves above it. What in the bloody hell was that crazy woman up to? He decided just to observe to see what she was doing. After a few moments he watched in shock as she pulled out a small side drawer from the top right of the desk to find the concealed hiding space on the side. Lillian withdrew a stylized brass key. In the dim glow of her lantern Silas thought he saw the corners of her mouth turn down in displeasure.
He moved quickly away from the door and into a dark corner of the hall. Lillian exited the room and move quickly to the back stairs and down and out into the cool night air. Silas followed at a discrete distance making no sound. He watched at a distance from behind a gnarled oak tree as Lillian opened the wrought iron gate of Kingsbury Cemetery and moved toward the Kingsbury Family mausoleum that housed her recently departed daughter. She paused outside the door and seemed to examine the handle with her lantern, then inserted her key and turned. The doors swung open quietly except for the scrape of the blown leaves on the stone floor.
Whatever she was up to Silas knew that it could not continue. He had worked too hard and there was too much at stake. He moved forward. The ever changing beams of moonlight through the clouds caused the landscape before him seem to sway as he walked. Cutting between two large silver maple trees he caught a face full of spider web spun between the tree branches. Angrily he wiped it away from his face, extremely annoyed now at the intruder up ahead.
Arriving at the doorway he saw that Clara's niche in the mausoleum had already been opened and Lillian was peering inside with her lantern and reaching toward something. Some of the coins he had carefully concealed there had already spilled onto the floor. Silas grabbed Lillian and threw her to the floor. He quickly retrieved his LePage pistol from inside his overcoat and smashed the butt of his pistol onto the back of Lillian's head, subduing her. He grabbed the lantern and looked about the niche seeing what had been disturbed in his hiding place. He noticed a small form in the arms of Clara and realized this must have been what Lillian was reaching for. It was that ridiculous doll "Mattie" that Clara had always carried around with her.
He picked up the doll and began to withdraw it from the niche but immediately he sensed something was suddenly wrong. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and every fiber of his being went on high alert. Silas knew that every human being, whether a person is keenly aware of it or not, has an incredible "sixth" sense for self preservation. His sixth sense was screaming at him now. Silas felt, rather than saw that there was suddenly someone else there with him besides Lillian lying motionless on the floor. He turned to see Clara standing there next to her mother. Clara was frowning, as if very displeased. She looked pale and somehow blurry. He blinked in disbelief. Her cheeks were sunken and her……..eyes, they seemed to be missing and replaced by an otherworldly glow. She slowly raised a finger and pointed at him. He looked down at the doll in his hands and realized that Mattie's eyes were glowing as well. He watched in horror as Mattie's mouth began to move, and then open wide to reveal a maw of needle-like teeth. The blackness in the void between them seemed to reach towards the depths of the earth. Silas abruptly felt the hinges on his sanity loosen. A low keening sound began to fill and echo throughout the mausoleum and Silas realized it was himself, screaming. The screaming slowly changed to a choked gargle. At the same time both Clara and Mattie…….smiled.