Black Violets

Miss Violet Ashwater has been suffering with strange dreams for her whole life it seems. She travels to a distant hotel to meet a specialised Doctor in attempt to help her. But at the hotel more mayhem is unleashed. Murder after murder. A dashing detective named Victor Cordent steps in but he is not all as he seems...

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3. The Castle From Afar

 

My body ached and I was thirsty. I sniffed the cold air- there wasn’t anything to drink nearby. I only needed a little to drink. I could wait for a more fulfilling drink later... Just a little snack before the feast, it never did hurt to have a small bite before tea. I leaped high into the air and swooped with glee before I dived. Luckily, his screams wouldn’t be heard out here.

***

I woke to a frosty silence. I blinked and looked around. I felt awful and I’d had the most horrendous dream. I had killed the coach driver. The coach had stopped and the cold had frozen over the window, leaving white, icy patterns. I tried to move but I felt so stiff and cold. I rubbed my arms and my legs and breathed into my hands in an attempt to warm myself up. I pushed against the door trying to get out and see what had happened but it, like me, was frozen and cold. I put both my hands against the door and heaved with all my might. It took several attempts before the door gave way and I tumbled out head first. I heard the crack as my head thwacked against the icy ground. I shrieked before sitting up and looking around. The driver was missing and the horses gone, the snow was still falling and it looked like I was miles away from anywhere. Then I felt a trickle across my nose. I reached up and touched the blood that was seeping from my head. I pulled myself up trying not to panic; the thought that I might freeze out here was just not worth thinking about.

I looked up to see the tip of a gigantic castle just visible above the trees; the hotel. It left me breathless; just that little bit of it filled me with some unknown dread. The clouds were low concealing the top of the castle, giving it an eerie feel. However, I could still make out a white flag with a red cross through it flapping in the wind, although the right corner of the flag seemed to have been torn away by the wind or maybe just time. The fine mist swirling around the castle’s peak made it look as though it was part of the clouds themselves. A fairytale castle surrounded by fluffy clouds was not the image I got from it though, more like an old, ominous, haunted castle which had witnessed much affliction within its walls.  I could tell from where I stood that the castle was big, big enough to be seen over the tops of these enormously tall trees.

I pulled my transfixed eyes away from the castle and walked slowly round to the back of the coach holding my hand over my forehead to try and stop the blood pouring all over my face. The smell of my blood was strong but not so terribly bad. I looked around the corner trying to work out what had happened and there on the ground I saw the driver, lying in the snow, frozen in death. I stepped backwards and desperately wanted to scream but nothing came from my mouth. I tried to be brave and turn him over just to see if he really was dead, but when I did, I regretted it. His face was full of surprise and fear. His eyes were large and gormless and his eyelashes were coated in tiny snowflakes. His blobby face was drained of all colour.  I shrieked loudly this time and stepped back as far away as I could. I’d never seen a dead person before. I turned round and threw up all over the ground, from shock, fatigue and hunger. I had no idea how long I had been out here. I began to feel faint and the last thing I remember was trying to get back into the coach, to the warmth and safety. Then I fell into a deep, black hole.

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