The Night in Winchester House
Charlotte was just silently tip toeing back up the stairs to her room when she heard a rustle behind her. She spun around only to see a window rattle from the fearsome storm brewing outside. Turning back around, she was about to continue up the stairs, but she stopped in her tracks. Standing atop the cream carpet was Gwendolyn.
The doll her gnarled hands by her side, her white cotton dress torn to shreds, her flawless ivory skin cracked and the delicate necklace replaced with a scarlet line across her throat. All sense of grace and beauty about her was gone, but she had the same haunting eyes, the same sinister grey, lifeless voids of malevolence, string straight at Charlotte, piercing through her soul. Every hair on Charlotte’s neck stood on end as the colour drained from her face.
This wasn’t possible, it just wasn’t. Gwendolyn had been behind the shut door of her bedroom on her shelf. This wasn’t happening, it couldn’t be. But still a wave of terror washed over her while she stood motionless, feet planted firmly to the ground, even though every cell in her body told her to run from this nightmare.
The doll made a step towards her. The lights went out. Charlotte broke free of her paralysis, ran to the nearest room and slammed the door shut.
Her heart hammered in her chest, her body shook uncontrollably, eyes shut tight, hands clammy. She could see her in her mind, that face, that traumatising face taunting her, standing there on top of the stairs in front of the door that had been firmly closed and was now stood wide open. The scene played over and over again in her mind, it was all crystal clear yet still she refused to believe it.
Regaining a small amount of courage, she opened her eyes. The room was dark and empty apart from herself. There must have been a power cut: she could barely see anything but silhouettes. She could get a flashlight from the other room and then check if the landline was still working… maybe there was chance she could call her parents.
Taking a shaky breath, with trembling hands she cautiously twisted the cold door handle. Without thinking twice, she opened the door, Just pulled it wide open. The biggest mistake of her entire life. She didn’t see the thin silver blade swipe at her, all she saw was Gwendolyn in front of her, and with a silent scream Charlotte crumpled to the floor.