Mildew and damp permeated the stale, heavy air that hung in the dank house. Dust coated the floor, at least 5 inches thick, with no tread marks breaking the smooth layer, all the furniture was covered with large sheets, and the once elegant chandeliers still had stubs of candles remaining, cobwebs and dust looping over the arms of it. The hall was large and circular with a magnificent staircase spiralling around the room and up towards the cavernous ceiling. Rich, engraved doors led off from the main foyer and into various rooms beyond. A creaking of stairs resonated around the expansive hall and the remaining stubs of wax flickered into life, throwing the room into sharp relief and illuminating the small figure standing on the bottom stair, the flickering light reflecting in her dark eyes. As sudden as the candles flickered into life, they went out, plunging the room back into darkness.
The old, ruin of a house once stood, tall and proud, as the mansion of the Welsh family of Griffith - Morgans. They were a wealthy and powerful family, a family of Barons and Baroness', when the title could get you everywhere and anywhere in life. Trystyn Manor stood high and mighty in the Valleys of South Wales, and had been the home to Lord Aled Griffith and his late wife, Lady Bronwyn Morgans, and their children, Alun, Ceinwen, Caerwyn, Dwynwyn, Eiluned, Dyfed and the youngest Ffion. They were descended from royalty, personal friends of King George III and among the highest ranking families in Britain at this time. Baron Griffith was a proud, vain man, who prided himself on his respectful title and powerful influence. He always made certain that his family behaved with the utmost respect and dignity both in public, and in private. With dark hair and strong stature, he was an imposing figure in any society. His young wife, Bronwyn was fair and slight but held herself with composure that anyone of low standing could never achieve. While, Ceinwen, Caerwyn and Dyfed took after their mother, with slight figures and fair features, Alun, Dwynwyn and Eiluned took after their father and young Ffion took after both of her parents.
Ffion Griffith-Morgans ran through the dark halls of Trystyn Manor, her bare feet tapping on the cold, slate floor, her dark eyes were wide with fright and her hair was splayed out behind her in a flurry of soft, dark curls. Her flimsy nightgown was bunched up in one hand, her other hand clutched a flickering lantern. Tears streamed down her small face and she stumbled along the cavernous halls, occasionally throwing a furtive glance over her shoulder back at the thundering man behind her. The normally subdued girl was breathless with fear as she pounded down the halls, the smell of alcohol ripe on the mans breath drawing nearer to her. She was the youngest of all her siblings and the one her father blamed so much for her mothers death.
Lord Griffith had always been harsh on his little one, the stark reminder of his wife's sacrifice, and had a tendency to take his anger out on the young girl. He had been drinking, quite heavily, that night, when the little girl came into his study, wishing for the comfort of her father after a bad dream. Lord Griffith had, by this point, drunken himself into a stupor, so when Ffion roused him, he flew into a alcohol induced fury and chased the terrified girl from his study. He now chased her through the halls, wanting to take his anger out on her. He finally caught up with her and, with a heavy hand, grabbed her by the collar of her night gown and flung her back against the wall. Ffion whimpered and slid down the wall, curling up into a ball as her father took his aggression out on her. He kicked the little girl solidly in her abdomen and ribs, making her choke up blood, before dragging her up the wall, and beating her until her face was mangled. The body became limper as he hammered her against the wall, the sickening crack of her skull echoing around the vast corridors. With one more solid movement, the little girls fragile neck snapped and her broken body fell limp and lifeless in her fathers arms and her whimpers of pain silenced.
Lord Griffith let go of the young girls body, and it fell with a dull thud to the floor. He moved back, paling as he stared at the blood smeared across the walls and the corpse of his youngest child crumpled beneath it. He let out a shuddering gasp and staggered away, looking at his, now blood stained, hands and fell against the wall opposite, heaving great sobs. In his large hands, he scooped the bloodied body up and stumbled down the grand stairs and towards the oak doors. Slamming the doors open, he retrieved a shovel and a blanket from the groundskeepers shed and proceeded to wrap his dead daughter up with it and bury her in the ground. It was a long laborious task and the sun was on the horizon by the time he had finished. He ran a filthy hand over his dishevelled face and moved back towards the manor. Clattering up the stairs, he reached his office, and wrote a letter to his remaining children stating, in no uncertain terms, what had happened and what would happen to them. Then he took some rope he obtained earlier and hung himself from the rafters of his study.
The screams of the maid aroused the rest of the children later in the morning and Ceinwen, being the closest to their fathers study, reached the source of noise first. She stared in blank horror at hanging body of her father, swinging to and fro in his noose like some sick puppet, and fell back against the wall, eyes closed in grief. Her elder brother, Alun, came striding pompously into the room, nose upturned, chest puffed out with a sense of regal authority, that at 15 years old, he couldn't quite achieve. As he saw the collapsed maid on the floor, as she had fainted shortly after discovering this, and his sister propped up against a wall, heaving great sighs, clutched his heart, all pretence of superiority gone from his chubby face.
After the discovery of their fathers tragic, grief drowned downfall, the remaining children were forced to go their separate ways. The younger children stuck together through the various orphanages of Wales and the older ones were forced to separate to different work houses and factories in the UK. The house, empty of all occupants, fell into disrepair and was abandoned for decades. All families who moved in after this tragic event were said to have ran screaming from a little girl in a bloody nightgown and her father still hanging from his noose in the study. The echoes of the young girls screams of pain and anguish would still haunt the empty manor for years to come.