Melinda walked into the deserted and dreary mansion. The windows on all floors were cracking, cobwebs were clinging to many pieces of furniture, the rooms were dark and foreboding, and the wooden floorboards creaked underneath her feet as she tiptoed in the night.
It had been years since Melinda had last been here, which was the same length of time ago that this house had been running and active. The former servant sighed as she delved back into bright memories of her mistress Mrs. Dorling smiling and indulging in her children’s welfare and wants, and the children themselves, Thomas, Fiona, and Giorginia, running around and chasing each other. Melinda’s master, Mr. Dorling, would come home in his clean, sharp-looking black suit with his briefcase and head to the study, shutting the door behind him. Melinda had watched as the children she nursed aged and matured before her very own eyes.
The then-comfortable and cozy-looking house had been perfect for small gatherings. But as the years passed, the Dorling family had felt increasing tension and nervousness of the location of their mansion. Many of their socialites and neighbors had left gradually during the recent years, and the Dorlings had decided it was their turn to leave too.
Melinda, ever the faithful servant she was, had stayed behind to look after the mansion. For some strange reason, the Dorlings had decided not to drag her along with them on their move. And now, as the faithful servant sat in a dusty old leather couch in the dank and musty living room, she still wondered why.
No one had wanted to move into this house after the Dorlings’ departure. And now, come to think of it, no one had even moved into the neighborhood. Everyone had just gone up and gone. Disappeared.
But why? Melinda wondered to herself. There had to be some reason. A whole neighborhood full of well-off people couldn’t have just decided to leave town without some valid reason. Right?
Looking behind her, Melinda shakily pulled out a flashlight. The place gave her the shivers and the creeps. The maid was grateful now that she brought her flashlight, though she hadn’t thought she’d need it at first. Blindly feeling her way with her hands along the walls, Melinda, little by little, made her way to the staircase.
She thought that the answers might most likely lie there, somewhere above that creaking staircase. Up and up Melinda went, tiptoeing in case- she didn’t know why.
The ex-servant cautiously pushed the wooden door in front of her open and swatted away the dust specks that collected around her as she entered. Sneezing, she wiped away her snot with the sleeve of her classy, small black and white dress. Her foot suddenly hit something that felt like a box.
Melinda froze for a moment in shock. Then, after several seconds, she slowly squatted down and shone her flashlight in the box. In this old, torn cardboard box, she saw something that she thought might hold the answers to her question.
A book. An old leather-bound book.
She opened it, and dust went flying everywhere, making Melinda sneeze. In the notebook, she saw scrawled and scribbled small words across the yellowed and wrinkled pages. She could barely make out the incoherent mess, but some words stood out to her. And as she saw the words, a sudden chill crept up her spine and she dropped the book, shrieking.
THEY HAVE ARRIVED.