Shelly looked out her window of the 3rd class carriage and saw the scenery flashing by. Her father was reluctant to let her go on this trip, but Shelly managed to convince him that she needed a break from all the pressure in college. She sighed as she tucked a loose strand of her black hair behind her ear. Her dark brown eyes scanned the other passengers then fell on the two elderly women sitting across from her.
"Listen to this Charlotte," the lady said to her companion, "Just yesterday, I heard that there was a fire at the Cutler mansion and the mother went in to get something, but she never came out. How terrible is that! Who would want to set a fire?"
And so, they conversed on until they felt as though they were being watched. Both women looked up and caught Shelly staring at them intensely. She quickly looked away, though if one looked close enough, it could be seen that Shelly's usual olive complexion has paled to a ghostly white.
Not long ago, Shelly received a letter saying that her departed grandparents left her some inheritance and it was to be picked up on an island off the Devon coast. A woman named Una Nancy Owen signed the letter and addressed herself as Shelly's mother's sister. Sister? Her mother had a sister? If so, why hadn't Shelly heard of her? Shelly was so absorbed in trying to figure out why Una would have her inheritance that she didn't realize that her mother's only sister died in a plane crash 15 years ago.
Pulling Shelly out of her trance was the conductor's voice that rang loud and clear from the speakers, "We're here! Everybody off!" People hurried off the train, no longer able to bear the wait of meeting with their loved ones.
Shelly stood up slowly, smoothed the wrinkles out of her navy blue skirt, checked if her luggage were all there, and walked off the train with a stiff posture, the click-clack sound of her black high-heeled sandals echoing through the humongous station.
She quickly called a cab, got into it, and in no time, fell into a deep slumber.
Fire! Smoke! Everywhere she went, bright, red flames jumped into her face, blocking her exit and charcoal black smoke filled her lungs and nostrils. Then she heard it; a voice.
It called out to her, "Shelly! Where are you?"
Desperately trying to clear the smoke from her lungs, Shelly managed to cough a little "help!" Someone grabbed her and started to run.
Suddenly, one of the ceiling beams fell and Shelly was crushed under the weight of her rescuer.
"Run!" she heard, "Run, my darling and never look back!"
Not heeding the warning, Shelly looked back at her rescuer.
"Mom!" Shelly cried out.
Just when she was about to go back, another beam fell, separating daughter and mother forever.
"Miss. Miss." someone was shaking her, "We're here! Miss. Please wake up!"
Shelly opened her eyes and stared at the gates leading to the Castle of Dracula look-alike mansion.
"I'll stay here until someone opens the door," the cab driver offered after Shelly paid him, "Can't be too sure about what's going to happen in this place."
Shelly thanked him and headed towards the gates. She searched for a doorbell, and after five minutes of futile searching, she raised her hand and was about to knock when the gates started to open on their own. Creek! The sound of rusted metal rubbing together echoed through the air. The night wind brushed across Shelly's ears and whispered, "Beware, beware!"