"Serafine?" her brother called out behind her bedroom door. "Are you awake yet you've overslept again." "...and well, this isn't like you."
Her brother beckoned in a tired but hastily voice. "I'm starting to worry for you!" With no answer from his sister his voice faded as he traveled
off down the corridor.
Upon coming too from a deep nearly dreamless slumber, while less clammy and feverish then about an hour before she carefully sat up despite the pain
radiating up her neck. While afraid to touch her neck to figure out what was going and in fear of making what ever it was worse, she pushed herself to
climb out of bed.
Serafine almost stumbled then sat in front of her dressing table desk. Her brother and her, both in their early 20s, live in a before of the turn of
the century Victorian mansion left to them when their immediate family perished in steam boat fire a couple years prior.
Before her eyes became less blurry and her hands less shaky her squinting vision focused on the beautiful wide lace ribbon and velveteen choker
necklace with the most beautiful cameo piece attached to the front that she could ever fathom from the mirror. The room still dimly lit by the
morning light, began to glow from the sun as it had a break in the clouds. It shined, streaming in from the faded stained glass window across from the
desk. Serafine noticed how pale she looked, despite her naturally darker skin tone, her curly raven hair quite messy, was cascading down her back.
...but that cameo alarmed her. It was distinct almost if it was meant to be of someone familiar...
Quickly interrupting her racing thoughts,she thought to herself "I don't recall where this came from", even more worry-some not recalling a
complete picture of her last evening or before it. "Have I became sick and for days?" she wondered.
As she admired the choker running her fingers over the soft velveteen inner ribbon surrounded by lace... She began to recall the time leading up to
her bedridden state...
Serafine recalled a night on the town. Not her usual haunt nor her usual accord. Then remembered, foggy thoughts of what lead up to her adventure.
While visiting and consoling a close friend who was ill at the time, her friend Vivian told her of an upcoming dance at a ballroom on the other side
of town. "You know I'm not going to be able to go on such short notice but I want you too I always miss the chance at least go for me?" I really
have no problem she thought to herself and I enjoy social outings. "Most of all want to brighten the spirits of my friend." she thought "You
don't even have to ask!" Serafine exclaimed excitedly. "I even have the perfect gown". Remember the one I told you about?" Vivian nodded with a
smile. "Vivian...I guess my only concern is I have never really felt comfortable on those city outskirts I mean." In a questioning tone.
Her friend explained how the location of the ballroom isn't so bad and has shopped there before. "The ballroom she remarked is highly praised. Just
take a carriage ride over." Vivian said as she handed her the address written in cursive on a faded pamphlet. "Tomorrow night there will be a
masquerade ball." "Perfect!", Serafine said as they wrapped up the visit wishing Vivian to get well soon and that she will be thinking of her.
The next evening Serafine boarded a carriage to her destination.
Though, something wasn't right the atmosphere was part of it but she also felt like she was being watched but she clearly wasn't being followed at
least not by anything she had been able to see. That became more evident when the carriage ride had to end abruptly due to the coachman having a
personal emergency. He told her that the address is within blocks and shouldn't have an issues getting there.
As she exited the carriage ride over, she noticed while not too late in the evening the streets were somewhat quite the ambience almost louder than
the sparse street traffic.
She was focused on the dreadful thoughts that had quickly faded into that she was just imagining it
because of her fear of the unexplored area. She passed some decripid looking buildings and a cemetery that lasted a block. After a few more short
blocks, "Ah, finally." she mumbled happily to herself, all the while in shaken excitement she proclaimed following the ascending addresses up to a
brighter street corner. The sound ambience quickly changed to a ballroom waltz.
The outside corner of the ballroom has the most activity she has seen in blocks. People chattering, holding drinks and
singing. Serafine had entered the large double doors, walked down a short dimly foyer while being welcomed in by the doormen and ballroom
The dance floor room had more light and was covered with people enjoying the dance. They were adorned in corsets,
flowing skirts, bodice dresses to the fancy petticoats and top hats, and masquerade masks.
While the looming haunting feeling she felt still persisted in the back of her throat from time to time, the air of the evening overtook her. From
the nice people to the offers and acceptance of dancing. Serafine is normally a wallflower, this time it was different. She thoughtfully enjoyed
herself, first time in a long while, dancing her worries away into midnight.
She believed the last recognition was walking alone away from the crowds of people outside of the ballroom building in which
the other corner side was faced the river. The bright full moon illuminated the white cobble stone path with moss growing between it's cracks and
seams. The cyprus trees and willows lining the shore along the a moonlit gently flowing river. A slight mist of rain began to fall it was warm, had a
crisp night bayou scent and not really a bother besides opening the parasol carried at her side in case the rain was to damage her beloved dress. The
moment was more important. It was so tranquil she had wished for her friend to have been there. The looming threat of the feeling of being watched
from earlier in the evening seemed to have lifted.
From there everything of the recollection went blank as she felt pain raiding from the back of her neck to the top of her head.
Serafine had almost blacked out from weakness and aching of her neck but was alright not too soon after. She carefully moved her long curly raven hair
aside from the back to the front of one of her shoulders, to once again slip her fingers against the soft touch of velvet to the back of the choker
where it attaches together. While trying to undo the clasp it felt jammed up until more force was put on it. She felt the choker come undone from her
neck and it fell to her lap... and the next moment was nothing. Darkness...
A while later her brother calls for her due to hearing her string earlier from the room below but now there is silence. "Seraphine"?
Dire to get her attention instead of just busting into the room..." I have news about Vivian that you would want to know."
With no response from his sister, he slowly creeks the door as an air of uneasiness strikers him. His eyes averted from the bed to the desk.
Serafine's body was slumped over the desk. To the left of the top of the desk which was opposite to the door a mass of raven hair,...
her head laid before him on the desk where it had rolled as the choker unfurled.
edit on 31-10-2018 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)
Unfortunately I missed the writing contest despite that would like to share this in the spirit of Halloween.
Thanks for reading, not being a writer this idea for a story was kind of a challenge. This is loosely based on an old scary tale that some may have
heard before but with a new twist to the horror mystery and geared for older audience.
edit on 31-10-2018 by dreamingawake because: contest*
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.