Setting up a universe is something that takes a long time to do… Sometimes I wonder if it’s not as valid to reduce that… But then I don’t get the same joy of of revealing a Succubi then do I?
By TeraS and makuta15
“Well, I haven’t quite heard any weird sounds or anything like that,” he admitted with a chuckle. “Then again, I haven’t been here too long.”
He stood behind the sofa and watched as Tessa built up the fire, completely oblivious to her moment of tension. An eyebrow did raise itself on his face as he watched her breaking the wood. She’s pretty strong, he observed, impressed by Tessa’s efficiency. Soon enough, the room was lit by the deep glow of the fire, and he turned off his flashlight. Going back to his bag, he finally found the bag of marshmallows he’d been looking for. Ripping it open, he continued, “I’m not quite sure what you mean by people “getting mad,” to be honest. I mean, I’m sure some people may have gone mad if they ran into a haunted place, but that doesn’t guarantee everyone will; and how many hauntings do you hear about, anyways? Besides, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert on the subject.”
He walked over to the sofa, marshmallows in hand, and took the offered twig. “Thanks. I’d love to share, if it’s not a problem.” He sat down on the sofa, which gave off a little wheeze of dust under his weight. “Still, this place has gathered its fair share of rumors…most of it’s the usual stuff, like eerie lights, people disappearing, and so on. Still, these stories have been around for so long, they tend to seep in after a while. I’m not going to discount a few decades of rumor just because I haven’t seen a figure walking around in a bedsheet.” His voice became a bit more serious towards the end, and he placed the bag marshmallows down between them. The fire had already begun to slowly heat the room, and this close to the fireplace Eric was beginning to feel a little toasty already. He gave an unconscious little stretch. “Um, feel free to take any of those, if you’d like. From one resident of “Hotel Vacant” to another,” he said with a small smile.
She raised one hand a made finger quotes with it, “Mad means a jacket with long sleeves I think. Been out on the road a long time and I’ve heard stories. Oh sure, some of them are baloney, but some of them.”
She shrugged, “You just don’t know. Not until and unless there is proof.”
She allowed a small smile and then took one single marshmallow from the bag with a “Thanks.” putting it on her lap while she took her twig, put a hot dog on the end of it, and pushed it towards the fire. As it began to warm in the fire she admitted, “Actually it’s good that Hotel Vacant… isn’t… Been a while since I have had someone to talk to.”
She looked around at the room as she continued, “I normally only have four walls to talk to. They aren’t exactly great talkers.”
Looking at Eric again she asked, “So. I’ll bet you have a question you want to ask. Go on. It’ll make the time pass faster if you want it to.”
Eric was so wrapped up in Tessa’s words that he barely noticed when she gently plucked through the bag of marshmallows. The flickering firelight shone warm and red in front of the pair, sending long shadows reaching past them and dancing over their faces. Eric was now nice and truly warmed by the fire, and there just seemed something natural about this setting for telling tales about what “you just don’t know.” He lazily watched Tessa as she stuck the hot dog into the fire.
“I’m sorry you don’t usually get company,” he said as he began fiddling with his own stick and the bag of marshmallows. “Lonely nights can really suck.”
Eric looked around at the room, following her motions. “No, walls aren’t usually the best conversationalists,” he conceded. “Still, hey, if one of them does actually answer…” he gave a shrug.
“That would be something to talk about, now wouldn’t it?”
Sticking his marshmallow into the depths of the flame, he turned back to look at Tessa. The shadows were shimmering across her face; in the red glow, it gave her features a distinctly wild cast. With warmth, food, and company, it was easy to forget for a while why he had come out to the manor in the first place, what he hoped (and feared) he may find. Eric smiled. He had the perfect question to ask.
“You mentioned that you’ve been on the road a while, picked up a few stories. Got any you want to share?”
In the fire, Eric’s marshmallow slowly began to burn.
Burn, but not end…