The Marshes were moving house. It was a large, gothic style building that had never been finished. The family had run out of money, or so it was said. In truth, no one really knew what had happened to them, they’d all disappeared around fifty year prior, halfway through the building of it, and none of them had been seen since.
Andrew had seen the house up for sale in a magazine, and fallen in love. Michelle wasn’t so sure, but her husband needed something to keep him busy, and she had less of a commute. Valentine, who was fourteen thought they whole things was great, and that she was going to meet some dark, brooding vampire and it was all very romantic.
Tyler agreed with his mother. He’d didn’t like the house one bit. The only reason he hadn’t stayed behind was because his girlfriend and dumped him for his best friend just weeks before, and he couldn’t bear how much the town reminded him of them.
They stopped to by some bread and milk at a small shop in the local village, and Tyler took a walk along the lane to where it crossed over a gorge. He leant against the wall stared down past the jagged cliffs to the small turquoise thread of a river far below. He watched a large bird of prey circling, searching the ground for its next meal.
“Aren’t you afraid of being so high up?”
Tyler blinked, pulled out of his reverie, and turned to see a young girl, no more than twelve, with startling blue eyes standing a few feet away.
“No.” he answered, “are you?”
She walked over climbed up on the wall next to him, and sat facing out over the chasm her feet dangling over thin air.
“I like it.” She smiled, “sometimes I come and sit here for hours, watching the birds. Do you ever wish you could fly?”
She lifted her arms up like wings. “Fly like a bird.” She pushed her feet against the wall and launched herself out into the air. Tyler lurched forward and grabbed at her, but she was already too faraway. He stood there, arm outstretched as the sound of her body hitting the rocks below echoed along the ravine.
Then he screamed
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! Shit!” he cried out frantically, turning back toward the village.
“Help! Anyone! Someone! Help!”
He fumbled for his phone. Then remembered he’d left it in the car because the battery was dead.
Like her. He thought numbly.
His mother came round the corner, and walked up to him.
“Ah, there you are. We’re ready to go.” She frowned, “Are you ok?” she asked, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“There was a girl. She was sitting on the wall and... she… she fell.”
“Oh my god, Honey. Are you alright?”
She looked down into the gorge.
“Where did she land?”
Tyler pointed down to where she’d smashed into the rocks.
“Just th…” He frowned, “She’s gone!”
“Darling, I think you’re a bit tired. Did you rtake your meds today?"
"Oh honey, you didn't did you?"
"Come on, let’s get you home.”
“But she was there, I swear she was!”
“Come on. It looks like it’s going to rain.”
His mother started back along the lane toward the car. Tyler glanced back down into the ravine one last time before hurrying after her.
Somewhere far below a crow cawed.