She ran as quickly as her mud soaked feet could carry her. She’d gone through the woods at the back of the house so as not to be seen. The drops were hitting harder as the storm really got going and she could barely see through the rain and hair that stung her eyes. As she came to the clearing and wiped her face she could see the house in the distance, something was wrong. All the lights were out and a window was smashed, the curtain from inside was billowing out like the sheets that she washed and hung out on a windy day. She ran as fast as she could to the door and collapsed, out of breath, in to the eerily quiet hall. She looked around her and walked slowly towards the drawing room. She could see the doorway on her left, the double doors were still open but there was no light or sounds of shouting like when she had left. She tried to control her breathing but the tiredness and fear ran through her like the rain off her body.
“Hello. Sir. Are you there?” she called.
She heard a faint mumbling and then a shout of despair that turned to crying. She went quickly in to the room and slipped, sprawling face first on the floor. As she tried to get up she looked down at her hands and realised that they were covered in blood. The stench of copper filled her nostrils and the dark sticky fluid covered her hands and clothes. She tried to scream but nothing came out and as she looked up she could see where the blood had come from. Her new Mistress lay on her back on the floor, her head twisted upwards so that it appeared she was staring straight at Margret. Her eyes were gouged out and her face was slashed so badly that she’d be unrecognisable if not for her hair and dress she wore. Margret starred, unable to take her eyes off the macabre scene until she focused again on the crying. She pushed herself to sit up and looked over toward the broken window. The Master of the house sat huddled with his head in his hands, blood running down between his fingers. She scrambled to her feet, lightning struck and the whole scene lit up in a white blue flash. Blood all over the floor, her Mistress Victoria laying lifelessly, her Master cowering and crying and glass from the widow everywhere. She went over to him and knelt down, he flinched as she put her hand on his shoulder.
“It’s alright Sir. It’s me Margret. Master Edgar, what happened here?” she asked.
Edgar mumbled and took his head from his hands. Margret gasped as she saw that his eyes had been clawed from his face. He was shaking and trying to speak.
“It’s alright Sir. I’m going to get help. Can you tell me what happened? Who did this?” Margret asked.
He took deep breaths and shook with pain and fear. The mumbling stopped and turned to a scream that rang through the entire house.
A deep vastness loomed over everything. Places that were once green and lush were now dying, the darkness was seeping slowly and menacingly in to everything and without a doubt the people here new that it was spreading faster.
At the heart of this darkness stood its maker. A tall tower of thick stone walls that were as black as the sky that surrounded it. The sun never shone here, the place was a constant night. Outside these walls the land was bare, nothing was now living, it looked as though it has been swept clean of everything and the remains had since turned to dust. The tower itself was almost like a chess piece. Its base large and sturdy with its length sweeping upwards to reach a single window that harboured a balcony with which to view the land. It was here that It stood, watching.
The towers walls looked as though they had been charred with flames. Inside the large oak doors there was hustle and bustle as the guards and Its captives work. Weapons were made here, swords, lances, shields and amour made to measure for Its army. To the left side of the hall was the start of an enormous winding staircase that could take you to the very top of the tower. On the way up there were many floors which held the guards quarters and holding rooms for captives or traitors. Even Its own deepest secrets. To the right of the staircase was a huge oak door leading to a room for Its closest adviser. She was strong and wise and could see visions of what was to come. She used her attributes well to serve It and had not let It down so far. Guards patrolled the outer walls to watch for attack, so far there had never been a battle of any kind and it was thought that there was never likely to be. They had seen some people once or twice when the tower had first made its home here. Clearly it was from curiosity and after a while it seemed that no one was interested, but It new different. It had seen them, cloaked and disguised to blend in among the darkness. Scouts, that’s what they were. Not many of them but often enough for It to know that It was also being watched. To what end It did not know, but It was prepared for anything. It was convinced that It should not underestimate any of the inhabitants of this place.
They seemed quiet and pleasant and full of spirit and life, as though it was indeed a most magical place to live. And yet It knew that this didn’t mean they wouldn’t fight or turn the minute that their world was threatened. So It waited. Quietly and patiently, spreading outward until the real moment came. It knew this was soon. It could feel it more and more everyday. The scouts visits had all but stopped, It was uneasy at the thought of this and had sent Its adviser out two days ago to observe and report back. It knew that the darkness had been spreading further and further and at a quicker rate, it would not be long now.
The large doors to Its chamber swung open, she had returned with the two soldiers she took on her observations. She was tall and beautiful with a long dark flowing dress that almost made it look like she was floating. She stopped at the balcony window and knelt down. The soldiers stayed two steps behind her and did the same.
“It has begun, I believe that we need to prepare” she said calmly.
There was an edge to her voice. Her next words made Its fists clench and It new that war was upon them.
“My vision is clear. He is coming”.