12:02 AM Saturday
One of Sarah’s favourite things in the world was camping in the woods and sleeping under the stars. The nineteen-year-old hit the outdoors at least once a month. She would pack up her 1955 Beetle and a backpack full of food and clean clothes and just hit the road. She took care of that car like it was an extension of her. Also the red beauty was her grandfather’s who raised her when both of her parents died in a car accident when she was five. When her granddad died two years ago, he left her the big house they lived in, the car and a whole bunch of money. Sarah still missed him dearly, but more so, she was thankful that she was set for life. Sarah decided not to go to university but instead started her own online clothing business that grew out of her blogs that she’s been doing for almost a decade. Thanks to her grandfather’s fortune that she inherited along with her own mini fortune that she is earning on her own, the world was her oyster.
Of all the things she could do, the thing that made her feel alive was camping. Maybe she picked up this passion from her granddad. They would go every summer to the woods that they’ve never been before and go fishing, explore and meet the locals. She loved the sense of adventure and living off the land. She’s become quite the outdoorsman and knew how to handle herself.
But tonight, she was starting to maybe reassess her position on the whole camping thing and take up a new hobby and stay close to society. Her tent had blown off out of sight and the heavy rain didn’t relent since five yesterday afternoon. As far as she could see, the only road way into this camp site was flooded in and there were no way of driving out of there. She checked her phone. Luckily the phone had almost full charge. The peculiar thing was the weather app on her phone. It indicated that it was sunny and should have been a balmy night. But she was soaking wet and cold and shivering in the long sleeve T-shirt that she didn’t think that she needed when she packed it last night. Her camp site was starting to get flooded and she made the decision to make a move to higher grounds. The heavy, cold rain did not stop and it was the middle of summer.
Sarah packed her small backpack with packets of food, socks, spare T-Shirt and stepped out of her granddad’s Beetle. She was sad to abandon it in the middle of nowhere, but she had no choice.
Not bringing a rain jacket was her biggest regret, but it was going to be a two night camp as she had a very important meeting with a new supplier on Monday. Her only priority now was to find a shelter and keep dry and warm until morning.
Sarah must have walked up the mountain for about half an hour when she saw a large gate and a driveway that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Sarah squinted and focused in the dark and the rain and saw a big house some hundred metres at the end of the driveway. The lights seemed to be on. She was a little startled but hoped to God that there were someone living here. Sarah walked up the winding driveway. Either side of her of these massive trees without any leaves. As thunder roared, she saw a tomb stone as she approached the huge house. At that point Sarah was drenched and freezing. Without hesitation, she knocked on the door.
For about two minutes, no one came. At least she was undercover she thought to herself. She could hear voices coming from inside and saw people walk back and forth so she knew there were people living in the house. As she was about to knock again, the beautiful solid door with gold trims opened slowly. A lady about seventy dressed in an old Victorian dress opened the door. She had a very kind expression and vibe about her. Sarah was glad.
“Oh my, come in dear, you must be freezing, in this weather” The old lady said in a warm and welcoming voice.
Sarah entered and the lady offered her a soft towel to dry off and some change of clothes. Sarah was thankful that she found this beautiful house with a nice lady living in it. The lady sat her down at a table in a dining room that could only be described as regal. Sarah felt bad that she was intruding so late at night. The lady whose name is Catherine Davis seemed only to be happy to have Sarah. Catherine said her husband Geoffrey is asleep upstairs and assured her that he didn’t mind at all that she was spending the night here.
Catherine cleaned up after Sarah had finished her much needed dinner and told her that she was tired and went upstairs to join her husband. Catherine told her that she was welcome to stay for the night and make way out in the morning if she didn’t see her.
Sarah was so grateful and fell a sleep on the couch in the living room. She dreamed of her grandfather who was with her in this awesome house.
Sarah woke up and checked the time. It was four minutes past six. The hot sun came through the windows like summer was back. Sarah didn’t want to disturb Catherine and Geoff so she got up slowly without making much noise. Her T-Shirt and jeans were washed, dried and folded neatly next to her. She put them on and carefully laid the night gown that Catherine gave her to wear last night. Sarah left a thank you note and left it on the table and made her way out.
The sun was hot and nourishing. As she started walking back towards the gate. She saw the tomb stones that she saw in the thunderstorm last night. Not thinking much of it, she decided to take a closer look. To her horror, the names on the stones were Catherine and Geoffrey Davis who died in 1844. Sarah quickly turned and ran back to the house and opened the door. It appeared to be abandoned for two hundred years. Everything was rotted and decayed. She ran into the beautiful dining room. It was the same except very old, decayed and rotted like the rest of the mansion. The note that she left on the table was gone but a beautiful envelope sealed in a red wax was now on the same spot. Sarah opened it and read it:
It was a very nice meeting you last night and I hope that you enjoyed the dinner I made for you. I pray that you make you way home safely today as the weather has improved.