A woman wiped her hands on her apron, and went to answer the door.
“My, someone at this hour?” she muttered to herself, glancing at the clock which read on the dot. Faintly, she wondered why a person said ‘on the dot’ when there really was no such thing on a clock as she opened the door.
A man with striking silver hair stood in the doorway. The woman was struck with how oddly beautiful he look, it was almost unearthly. The only thing that was off about him was his eyes. They were purple, blue, green, white, and pink, all rolled into one. It was like he was holding some strange planet inside his eyes.
“Hello,” his voice was luring and luxurious, and the woman was instantly mesmerized, “I am your relative, and you are about to let me in, no?” The woman stepped aside automatically.
“Yes, yes, relative, yes, come in,” she gabbed in a slight monotone, nodding. The man smiled and stepped over the threshold. In the back of her mind, the woman longed for more of this beautiful man’s wonderful voice, but she waited patiently for more orders.
“I have known you for all my life, and yet this is the first time you have seen me,” the man sighed, “so sad.”
“Yes, all my life. So sad,” she repeated. There was a thumping from the stairs, and her child appeared over the banister.
“Hey mom, who’s this?” he asked.
“This is our long-lost relative…” she trailed off, blinking. Had he told her his name?
“Joe,” the man turned to the child, smiling. “Ah, you, my boy, are amazed at this new man, but you know your mother would never let anyone bad in the house.” The boy’s eyes glazed over, and he nodded just like his mother had and was.
The man smiled. This was going well. He whispered a faint word, but a creature huddled within the walls of the house heard it and would later run to the only human it knew to protect the Earth.
A sudden chill made its way up her spine. Amber sighed, and closed the window she so often had open at night. But she couldn’t help but let her imagination wander. The chill had a sense of…foreboding! Yes, that was it, foreboding. Her mind let the word twist in her mind, mingling with the others she stored.
It was made of the finest silk. The garment flowed around the young woman as if it were fire dancing around her instead of the man that she had accompanied that night. Laughter bubbled out of her, wonderful as the music played that night.
But even as she spun in a circle again, a sense of foreboding flooded her mind. She recoiled, looking at the man properly for the first time. His face twisted into a face of horror, and the young woman screamed.
No, no. That didn’t feel right somehow. Amber analyzed the couple paragraphs, crossing out a few lines here and there. For some reason, the woman’s date didn’t seem like his face would be twisting in horror. Now what would be the emotion on his face that would cause the woman, so soft-hearted and foolish, to scream?
Amber leaned back on her chair so that two of its legs were off the floor. She put the pencil to her mouth. Was the man to be evil? Some sort of villain? Should he transform into a beast? Would he have a choice to?
“Amber! Come down and eat dinner!”
Amber sighed, taking the pencil away from her lips. “I’m working on a story, Mom!” But in any case, she turned and clomped downstairs, following the scent of food.
“I made bread and spaghetti,” her mother explained, sliding a dish toward her as she sat down at the counter.
“I’m stuck at this one part I think,” explained Amber, spreading butter onto the bread.
“With the plot or the character?” asked her mother. After all, she had her share of hard bits of stories. Also Amber was always getting stuck with her never-ending story.
Some writers never stop creating new stories. Some take their time developing a whole series. Some jot down some pure stroke of inspiration. Amber, on the other hand, had been working on the same story since she was in second grade. It just simply came to her, the words throwing themselves into the forefront of her mind until they were transferred onto the paper. Her teacher had caught her writing, and was amazed by the words she used.
“The character,” Amber withdrew the paper from her pocket and pushed it over. Her mother read it over.
“I see. The young man does seem like he wouldn’t be ‘twisting in horror’. Are you sure that the woman screamed?”
“Positive. It seems right, but I can’t seem to get what his expression should be,” she sighed again, taking a bite of her bread.
Her mother thought a bit, and then gave her a torrent of words. “Leering? Anger? Of a face of a beast’s?”
But Amber just shook her head. “No. But it’ll come to me soon. Thanks for trying.” Her mother smiled.
“Oh, no problem, honey. I’m just proud you’ve kept this up for seven years. Where is the story at this point?” she took a sip of her milk.
“Well, Alina’s daughter is thus far has been invited to a ball by a handsome young suitor with a beautiful voice. I can’t help but think that there might be a connection from the young man to the sinister Bartimus who too had a wonderful voice. Remember him?”
“The man who killed men for their wives, meanwhile slowly enchanting the Queen? Of course! That part was breath-taking,” her mother beamed.
At that moment, Amber’s father entered the house. He smiled at his wife and daughter, set his coat on the rack, and kicked off his shoes.
“How are my two brilliant writers this lovely morning?” Mr. Penill kissed his wife and hugged his daughter.
“I’m stuck,” Amber answered simply. Her father grinned, turning to start the coffee maker.
“Well that’s no surprise,” he commented. Once the tinkle of coffee sounded, he turned back around, “what’s it this time?” Amber sighed and explained, finishing her meal and itching to get back to her story. Some form of inspiration was beginning to creep into her mind.
The instant she got away, Amber took out the sheet and changed it.
But even as she spun in a circle again, a sense of foreboding flooded her mind. She recoiled, looking at the man properly for the first time. His face twisted into a face of pure and utter malice, and the young woman screamed. A cackle emerged horrendously from the man, and the young woman knew in that instant she was going to die.