Winifred Pickle and The Ghost of Godwin Manor

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6

The cold wind hammered against the unstable window. With every howl, the barrier between my room and the night air grew thinner and thinner. I could not begin to understand what possessed my father to give me this room. The look on his face suggested he believed he was doing me a favor.

The fact that the walls were an awful shade of salmon pink only offended me. My favorite color was blue; a fact he never appeared to comprehend. I once asked Julian what his favorite color was. He shrugged. I didn’t persist.

The mattress to my delight was surprisingly soft. I sunk into it like a cloud. Perhaps that should have been enough to get me to sleep. Perhaps if that damn window would stop rattling, I might just.

I closed my eyes and pictured rain, falling softly in slow motion. The tiny droplets spattered around me like tiny little water fireworks. I loved the rain, the soft dreary kind. The sound it makes when spattering on the roof creates a unique kind of music.

I opened my eyes and glared over at the fragile window, still rattling away. The moon created a luminous glow. It lit up the frosty window like a flash light on low beam.

There was no rain tonight. The sky was not sad. By my estimation it was simply furious.  It was a dry, tear-less fury; the most dangerous kind. It was a kind of rage that far surpassed the simplicity of sorrow. I thought of Julian and the tears I have never seen him shed. BANG.

I sat up straight with a start. The inevitable had happened. The window was open and rattling wildly as gusts of wind blasted through my room. The leaves that covered my floor began to swirl around wildly.

My feet hit the ground and were quite startled at how cold the floorboards were. I ran to the window while icy air and dead leaves continued to slap me in the face. I tried to shut it but it was hopeless. My arms were too weak against this kind of fury.

Suddenly I found my legs give way as the wind knocked me backwards to the hard wooden floor. I landed with a thud upon some leaves that had melted there. My hands could feel the sticky combination of rotten leaves and dust.

I managed to lift myself up onto my elbows and what I saw next could not be explained away by the wind.

The leaves were not flying sporadically around the room anymore. They instead kept to the center, as though they were being pulled together by a magnetic force. They formed a shape that was easily recognizable but hard to believe.

They formed the shape of a woman.

 

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