Author: Melaye PM
The story follows a group of young people who are stuck in an eternal cycle of reincarnation. their souls were chosen centuries past by several Gods of different Pantheons to protect mankind of a soul eating demon, after the demon had cast the Gods out of this realm through trickery. every new life these patron's need to figure out what they are before the demon gets to them.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 11,211 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-18-13 - Published: 12-09-12 - id: 3081421
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Chapter Four, The Battered Old Oak.
My nose tickles and my hair is turning grey, but so far I have not fallen down the stairs yet. Mum made me promise to come down as soon as I start feeling dizzy. When the bell rings for lunch I stretch my stiff legs, I start down the six floors, causing little clouds of dust to whirl up after my feet. When I finally reach the lower hall I leave grey footsteps on the scrubbed floor, and I quickly take off my shoes. One of the maids scowls at me, at which I reproach that it is not the cleverest thing to start cleaning at the bottom of the stairs. Barefooted I rush to the kitchen, my stomach growling loudly. When I round the corner to the great hall, which I have to cross to get to the kitchen I run into a stranger. It is a tall man, with a wrinkled face and tired eyes, wearing an old fashioned suit.
'Pardon.' I stumble around him. 'Can I help you?'
'You came home, milady.' His voice is crackling.
'I am sorry, but you must be confusing me with someone else, do you work here?'
'Yes, milady, I have been serving your family for ages, do you not recall?'
He is barking mad.
'Aurnia, who is this?' The lady Ó Broin appears behind me.
'I would not know madam. He just showed up, babbling nonsense.' I explain.
'Alright, You go clean yourself and eat, I will deal with him.' The Lady Ó Broin is the typical strong aristocratic woman who runs the household and holds up appearances. She is classically beautiful and has an iron will. And she scares me a bit, so I hurry and do what she told me so.
I make my way to the kitchen and wash my hands and get the dust of my clothes the best I can.
'You turned grey already.' Liam picks a strand of dust from my hair.
'It is shocking how much dust collects in crevices when left for several years.'
'Why are you on the stairs again, You could fall again.'
'I am not an idiot, Liam.' I run to him.
'No, You are a klutz and those stairs are narrow.' He says sternly. His serious face makes me laugh.
Liam and I grew up together, so despite him being my boss I do not fear him like his mother, nor do I act cautiously like with his father. He is my best friend, and he did not treat me like a servant.
'I am being worried and concerned here, and you stand there laughing at me.' He pulls a blank face. 'Why do I even bother.'
I try to stifle my laugh. 'You pay me to clean those stairs, you know.'
'I do not pay you to do anything, my parents do. And they pay you to be their maid. You can clean the bath or make beds…'
'They asked me to do the stairs. And I am not doing your room, your mother forbade me when I showed her the pigsty you turn it into.'
'Oi, I was seven! I learned how to clear up after myself. My point is just be careful.'
'I am being careful, I do not tumble down those stairs because I misplaced my feet.'
'Then what happens?'
'I fall asleep.'
'Wait, what? You just fall asleep while standing up and working?'
'Pretty much, yeah. And it is not like passing out or fainting. I literally dream. Of the strangest things. You were a total ass, you know.'
'How can I have been a total ass in your dream?'
'Because you were, you were arrogant and snobby and obnoxious.'
'I was a typical aristocrat then.' He shrugs.
'Pretty much. And betrothed to my best friend who was in a relationship with some shabby bakers boy.'
'You dream of me then?'
'Only when I fall down the stairs, so do not look that happy.' I slap his shoulder.
'Ok, all jokes aside, do you have the slightest clue what causes it?'
'Not at all.'
'Then please see a doctor. I know you cannot stand them lot, but we are worried sick about you here. Your mother will get a heart attack the next time I carry you in here.'
'Why is it always you who finds me?'
'What?' he looks puzzled.
'It is always you who finds me afterwards, and wakes me up and then makes sure I am somewhere save and not alone. Why is that?'
'I do not know, coincidence? – But do not change the subject! Go see a doctor. I can get you an appointment with ours if you like.'
'You got me to see your doctor then too, in my dream, because I had hit my head…'
'Coincidence, Aurnia. Stop changing the subject.'
'You know I do not believe in coincidence. And I will go see that retched doctor of yours, if that is what it takes to stop bothering me about it and let me eat. I am famished!' I drop into a seat and take a bowl from my mum, filled with damping mushroom soup and get a chunk of freshly baked bread with it. My mother can cook. I raise the spoon but before I can swallow my first gulp the lady Ó Broin comes in.
'Aurnia, got a minute?'
'She just sat down.' Liam replies.
'I did not ask you, Liam. It is about the guest.'
'I swear I did not let him in, miss,' I put down my spoon.
'Who, what guest?' My mum turns to the lady.
'Some stranger, I ran into him on my way here, he gave the strangest of answers.'
'He was the ward of this house. He looked after it when the inhabitant family disappeared.' The lady explains.
'He did not do that well of a job then.' Liam interferes.
'This big a house, one man? You have now idea boy.' Mum states.
'He said he knew you.' The lady states.
'Yes, but he called me milady, and we all know I am no lady. He said he had been serving my family for ages, he is barking mad.'
The lady wrinkles her forehead, not quite convinced.
'Or confusing you with someone from his past.' Liam backs me up. 'He must be confused, if she says she does not know him, she does not know him. Why is it such a big deal?'
'He comes with the house.' His mother sighs. 'When we bought the house we took over his contract. He was the previous families butler, apparently.'
'That is not possible.' Liam rises. 'They disappeared in the thirties, and the records state that their butler was a seventy-three years old man.'
'Maybe he is the son?' My mum uppers.
'The contract would not pass to his child.' The lady shakes his head. 'and there has never been a death recorded of the butler of the Bán Ardaigh family, a man named Gordon Massons. We have to look into it. But it seems we are stuck with him.'
'How can he be the same man? He has to be over hundred sixty years old.' I stumble.
'That is why I need to know if you met him before, maybe told him of the house and that it has new owners? Something that could have let him to start this scheme.'
'Why would he pose as a hundred sixty old man?' Liam wonders.
'Have you been in any of the rooms in this house yet? This place is a treasury, paintings, statues, clothes, jewellery, all worth tons of money. He could be after the families heritage.' The lady states.
'But then why pretend he worked for me? Everyone knows you only have a son.' I state. 'It just does not add up.'
The lady sighs. 'Do not worry yourself too much Aurnia, at least not until we know what is going on with your head. Too much stress might not be good for you.'
'I am not incompetent, Madame.' I growl.
'No, but you might be sick.' With that she leaves us to eat. Only I lost most of my appetite. This man, I know I remember him from somewhere or something. But I cannot recall. It is like every time I am close the answer, it slips through my fingers, like it is running away from me. It does not make sense at all, and that frightens me a bit.