Eleanor and I sat in the living room speaking with each other while being intoxicated by the delectable smell of the baking cake. The fumes were irresistible, and they filled the entire house. Meanwhile, Eleanor sat on the other side of the couch she looked over, slightly tilted her head, and remarked, "That necklace looks beautiful on you, Angel."
My face flushed with color from the compliment. "Thank you," I said with a large smile showing from my glittering face that I couldn't help to hide.
We spent almost an hour's time waiting on the cake and continued to talk about... well, older things. It was quite boring in my opinion, but it wasn't necessarily too dreadful to deal with. Seeing that I was becoming completely jaded by the endless conversations with little or no emotional interest, Eleanor spontaneously questioned, "Would you like to play a game instead? There are a few up in the attic that we have. If you would like, that is."
After a delayed reaction, I stopped resting my chin on my palm, and my interest sparked a little bit to say the least. I sprang up off the couch and answered, "Sure, but I want to come with you."
She nodded her head, and I followed her up the creaking stairs of the two-story inn. When we came to the top, we walked down a hallway of various rooms. All of them were well kept and tidy. The beds all had a feather pillow or two with a blanket that looked to be hand stitched. They all had wooden frames, as did most of the rest of the house, and at the end of the hall we found ourselves at a lonely, locked door.
Eleanor pulled out a tainted, rusty key from her pocket and opened the door. The door gave a loud screech from the rusty, red hinges. My eyes finally adjusted to the darkness that was laid before me, and we began walking up the dusted stairs to the attic. It was very cold up there but as we walked up a final set of steps, a few boxes laid around in the attic with ceilings that collapsed upon one another in a point. There were cobwebs dangling from corners, but not as many as I would have thought; it definitely wasn't your traditional, eerie attic to be sure!
After taking a quick peek through the boxes, we grabbed the box full of games and took it down below to the second floor for a more comfortable and warmer spot to look it through. Most of the games in the box were worn out and childish, but inside was Cock Robin, Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, a deck of cards for Go Fish, Skunk, and a few others that had been too faded away to see what they were.
"So what would you like to play?" asked Eleanor almost too eagerly for me to be able to respond without chuckling.
I looked through the games again, and randomly picked Cock Robin. At least it looked basic enough to learn. When we arrived back downstairs in the living room, I quickly learned how easy it was. It was a cute game that followed through the story of the murder of (quite named properly to the game) Cock Robin. Eleanor was the reader through the story and started the game by asking, "Who killed Cock Robin?"
With the card I had in hand, boldly I played along, "I, said the Sparrow, with my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin."
As we went on through the game, the most interesting part was when Eleanor asked, "Who caught his blood?" I was fairly astonished that a child's game would really revolve around the case of a mysterious murder of an innocent life. However, continuing the game Eleanor answered and boasted quite proudly, "I, said the Fish, with my little Dish, I caught his blood."
Toward the end of the game when all the animals had made preparations for Cock Robin's death, Eleanor paused and started rejoicing loudly, "Oh! Mr. Bulfinch: Oh! Mr. Popinjay, Never believe what these little birds say - Bad little birds - telling us a story - Cock Robin is alive, in all his glory!" Going through the game of riddles, Eleanor finished by reading, "And now Mr. Thrush, Come out of your bush, and sing us a song - or give us a riddle; and we'll grant you the fame of winning the game."
I stopped in surprise for how this game was supposed to end and asked reluctantly, "Do I have to?"
"Yes you have to!" Eleanor exclaimed.
I saw she was really into the game, and it made me smile a little. "Okay," I said thinking of a quick riddle: "I, say the thrush, from out of the brush...
Guarding the Lone Star,
Waiting for the One to come-
The day rises and the dark fades.
The day falls and the darkness arrives;
The dagger of men drips of blood.
Into this darkness some have gone,
Out of dark the others have won.
What am I, I who live up high?"
Eleanor crossed her legs and sat in deep thought. "Hmm, I don't know..." replied Eleanor after minutes of thinking and asked, "What is it?"
"The game never says I have to tell you to win." I teased while winking at her.
"So there isn't an answer?"
"No," I went on to promise (as I do to you too), "There is. But, it wouldn't be much of a riddle if I just told you."
"True... I'll have to think about it more, but you must tell me if I guess right."
"Of course I will tell you if you are right." I assured her.
"But surely you must answer, is there more than one answer?" She asked very attentively while waiting patiently for my answer.
I stopped. Almost instinctively I said, "There would be two possible answers."
"Okay," she replied and quickly changed her tone, "Let's go finish that cake in the meanwhile shall we?" I nodded my head, and with that we headed out to the kitchen.
The cake was just about ready to be taken out of the oven by now, and within a minute Eleanor had it sitting on the table ready to topped with icing. After we added a layer of chocolate icing, we danced around the kitchen adding all sorts of things to the cake. To top it all off, we finished it with a splashing of chocolate chips.
Finally, we came back to the living room and sat down on the couch to get a moment's rest. We looked out the window, and from the horizon four shadows were approaching the town. "Who would the fourth person be, Eleanor?" I asked curiously.