I will not tell you
Of my name
Nor the reason I am here
I only tell you I am watching,
And that I am near
I send you these instructions
As desire for some revenge
So do not fly
When I tell you this
Or you die
As the carriage stopped beneath the archway, Elizabeth Cockles jumped out and looked around her. Above her head was a tall archway of trees that edged the pathway to the house. As she got closer, Elizabeth realised that “mansion” was a more correct way to describe it.
Once one got nearer, the archway opened up until one could see the whole front of the house in a somehow eerie way. Around the windows grew ivy and creepers, twisting their way up to the roof in a claw like fashion. The windows themselves were sparkling clean, but the curtains were drawn in most of them, even though it was almost noon. The doors were of solid pieces of dark oak and the two windows above it seemed to give the whole house a rather formidable look.
The reason that she was here was simple, but cost her much to say it. Her mother had died in a fire a month before, and her father had been a drunk who was hanged for murder three years beforehand. She had been invited to the Carew orphanage by her aunt who worked there and had done for over thirty years.
Elizabeth rang the bell, and stood at the door with her small bag, waiting. Eventually a small, slender woman that could not have been older than twenty answered.
“Yes? Can I help you, miss?”
“Hello, yes, I am looking for Mrs. Cockles? I am her niece.”
No sooner where the words out of her mouth, than old Auntie Cockles came bustling to the door. She was just the same as Elizabeth remembered her, small, plump, busy as a bee, with glasses that frames her kind, warm eyes.
“Elizabeth! Dearest, come here!” and with one arm, whirled Elizabeth inside and leaving a very amused maid at the door.
Auntie Cockles gave Elizabeth a grand welcome, and sat her down by the kitchen fire and told her all the latest news of the orphanage. What interested Elizabeth most was the appearance of a new housemistress, and the disappearance of four girls her age in the six months after Miss Samuels’ arrival.
“And now dear, it is time for bed. Charlotte will show you up to your dormitory, won’t you Charlotte?” smiled Auntie Cockles, before giving Charlotte such a stare, that she at once stood up and began to lead the way.
During the next weeks, Elizabeth was plagued by the memories of her aunt’s face as she spoke of the missing girls, and told her friends of her suspicions, and they told her that the cellar was supposedly haunted, and dared her to go down and talk to the ghost, or whatever was down there.
Not being one to ever back out of a dare, Elizabeth took her candle and crept down to the cellar that night. As she opened the door, a horrible smell met her nostrils, and she recoiled from the stench, and, breathing through her mouth, quietly stepped from step to step.
As she reached the bottom, the...