Hey guys. I’m finally back with another Flash Fiction Friday. What with it being October and a Friday the Thirteenth, I just had to post something a little scary. Admittedly, I would have liked to have spent more time on this one, but I don’t think it’s too bad.
The Family Estate
Elizabeth’s head reeled as the car bounced along the dirt road that led to the enormous castle.
It had all happened so fast. She’d been working as a waitress in a greasy little diner and on the verge of being evicted from her tiny apartment when he walked through the door and swept her off her feet just like in one of those fairy tales.
She’d just been Lizzy then, but he’d insisted on calling her Elizabeth and it had grown on her, especially considering her new, nearly royal, lifestyle.
It had been a whirlwind courtship followed by a small ceremony. Neither of them had any family to speak of and the only friends she had were her former coworkers from the diner. When he’d approached her with his desire to move back to Romania and into his family estate, she hadn’t even needed to think about it before she’d said yes. He hadn’t told her it was an actual castle until they’d turned onto the unpaved road that led to it.
As they pulled up to the massive wooden doors, she made to grab the small suitcase that contained everything she cared about.
“Leave that.” Gregory said. “Cromwell will get it.”
“Him.” Gregory said, pointing out the car window at a skeleton of a man who had appeared as if out of nowhere.
“Oh, there’s no way…” She began, before Gregory shushed her.
“That’s what he’s here for. It’s okay, he’s much stronger than he looks.”
Elizabeth felt doubtful, but didn’t argue.
Gregory stepped out of the car and took her hand.
“Now, allow me to show you to your room.”
“You mean we won’t be living together?”
“Oh, you’ll be seeing more of me than you could ever want.”
She followed him into the castle and up a flight of stairs which led to a long hallway lined with dozens of portraits of women. Their clothing progressed through the ages as she made her way down the hall.
“Who are these women?” She asked.
“Those who are no longer with us.” Gregory said with a hint of sadness in his voice.
Finally, they reached a thick oak door, and Gregory opened it with an antique key. Beyond the door was a huge room decked out in the finest silks and velvets. The bed alone was as big as her old apartment.
“Of course, you’re welcome to redecorate as you see fit. Just let Cromwell know and he will get you anything you wish.”
“How?” She asked, looking around for a telephone or something.
“Just ring this bell.” He said, pulling a thick velvet rope. She heard a bell ring in the next room. “His room adjoins yours. He’s here to attend to your every need.”
As if on cue, Cromwell appeared from his room with her suitcase in hand.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some things to attend to, my love. I will see you again for dinner.” Gregory said, taking her hand and kissing it. As he did, Elizabeth could have sworn she saw a flash of teeth. But they couldn’t be teeth. Nobody had teeth that long.
Gregory slipped out through the oak door, closing it behind him. She heard the distinct sound of an iron key turning into an iron lock. She felt something drip onto her foot and looked down. Her hand was bleeding where he had kissed it. Small red drops stained the white carpet.
Elizabeth turned to Cromwell, still not understanding.
Cromwell stood before an easel with a blank canvas propped on it.
“Now then. Shall we get started on your portrait?” Cromwell asked, smiling. His fangs clearly visible.
. . .
So that’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll have another one for you before the thirty-first. Until then, be sure to check out all the places I can be found online.
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