“Do you really think this castle is haunted Angela? I mean seriously do you believe in paranormal stuff? This stop is a beautiful example of a well kept historical treasure, nothing more,” Sam said.
“I don’t know. Are all the people who wrote letters about the curse and who gave testimony about seeing and feeling things making it up? You know Tracy and Rebecca. Do you think they made up the flashing lights and orbs when they ran back up to the Landseer suit before dinner last night as well the hands on their arms guiding them to the door?” Angela asked feeling irritated. There were two trustworthy people together experiencing the same thing. How could he really deny something was going on. Sam was cute, but so close minded? She heard footsteps and jumped as she watched Sam’s face pale.
“All houses in which men have lived and died
Are haunted houses: Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sounds upon the floors,” a gravelly voice said from behind her.
“Longfellow?” She asked turning to see who was speaking and hoping it was a real person, but they were standing by the entrance to the museum and it wasn’t that big with nowhere she could see to hide. Just because she believed her friends didn’t mean she was ready for an encounter of her own. Her eyes met his startling blue and she felt stunned, frozen.
“Correct good lady,” he said as he continued to walk deliberately toward her. He seemed unable or unwilling to break eye contact and she was not complaining.
She started to feel dazed and wobbly. He looked at Sam and she was able to take a deep steadying breath. Sam moved forward slightly as if to get between them. She hadn’t realized she was holding her breath until oxygen flooded her brain. Now she took in his long, dark hair and old fashioned clothes. The stunning man was regarding Sam as an erring attendant who should have already noiselessly excused himself from their presence.
“I, um, we are, um,” she stammered.
“The place is great. Historical with good food. What more can you ask for in a castle?” Sam said.
Not bothering to look as Sam he said, “Oh, there are many things I have asked for in this castle that I have not been able to attain, but it appears the fates have smiled on me this day.”
Angela giggled and blushed.
“That’s nice,” Sam said a bit loudly for how close they were standing. “Well, I think we should get back to the group Angela. They will be starting dinner and then we are heading to the grounds for something haunted.” He put his hand on Angela’s arm and tried to pull her toward the exit of the Museum. “I don’t really think we were supposed to be in here without a guide anyway.” The man looked fiercely at Sam and he let go of Angela as though he'd been stung.
The man looked back at Angela to him Sam was no longer worth notice if he wasn't tugging on her arm. He stepped forward closing the gap between them and easily moving around Sam’s attempt of a body guard. He reached for Angela’s hand bringing it to his mouth and kissing it. “Emrik Young at your service,” he said not taking his eyes off her’s.
“Angela Cunningham, glad to…” she paused and looked at Sam. His eyes were narrowed at her hand in Emrik's. She started to pull it back because that was what she thought would be expected of her, but then saw something in his eyes begging her not to and gripped him tighter. “Oh Sam, go ahead and catch up with the group so you don’t miss dinner. I want to look a bit more.” She looked back and caught her breath again, Emrik’s smile was astonishing and it filled her with elation that it was directed at her.
Sam looked determined to stay and Angela was about to say something when Emrik said, “Go now. She is in good hands. I will keep her safe from harm.”
Sam’s eyes looked out of focus, but he nodded and left the Museum. Angela wanted to make sure he was alright, but when she turned to ask Emrik if they could all just go find the group she gazed into his beautiful blue eyes and forgot all about following Sam. She shook her head slightly. “I thought the castle didn’t open to the public until later for the ghost vigil. Are you staying in one of the suits as well? I'm sure I would have noticed you at breakfast,” she said.
“Not at all,” she said just glad to be in his company. He raised his eyebrow and his face looked unconvinced. “Alright, it does sound weird, but I feel sure I know you, too.”
He drew back a step and she moved with him desperate not to let him put distance between them. He stopped, with his eyebrows knitted together and said, “I can’t do this. You should go after that Sam. I can tell he cares for you, go make him happy before I do something we’ll both regret,” he said and pulled his hand out of hers.
Angela’s face contorted. Her eyes reduced to slits, her mouth a gaping frown like the tragedy mask and her chin quivered. “No, no,” he said and put his head in his hands. “I have waited here for you. I have served countless kings, faked countless deaths, bided my time, waiting for you. You seem that of an angel, so beautiful so innocent. You are not heaven, you are a hell and that is why I sin,”
He moved at her so fast she didn’t even know he was coming until she was in his arms. He leaned in much slower and she thought he was going to kiss her, but he bit her neck. His teeth hurt, but she didn’t want to move. She wanted to be in his arms forever and was terrified that was exactly what she was getting.
The genre of Gothic Romance was very popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole is considered a forerunner of this genre. There was a Gothic novel revival in the 1960’s, but there aren’t many published per year in this genre. The poem quoted at the beginning of the flash Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Read by Tom O'Bedlam who has an amazing voice.)
ROW80 RundownTo make the check-ins on Sundays and Wednesdays - First Sunday check-in so far so good.
To visit 5 fellow ROW80 bloggers each check-in - I was able to get to 3, almost as good of odds as Meatloaf.
To write 667 words every day to keep up with my Camp NaNo goal - Wednesday - 540 Thursday 904 - Friday - 481 Saturday - 1,083 That would be 50% I must work harder.
To post every additional day in April for A to Z - I missed Saturday. I think I will make a new drinking game. Get your alcoholic beverage of choice and take a drink every time I say I got too busy or any variant. Also, take a drink when I miss a goal, write about Medieval or Renaissance stuff. I will have to make up more rules because the Hurricane Drinking Game that it’s based on has lots more opportunities to drink. If you don’t know what the Hurricane Drinking Game is follow the link. Yeah, Floridians are weird. The Magic seeping from X(A/N)th ‘s sleeping body is too much to remain mundane. I suppose I should add any Piers Anthony reference to the list of things you must drink for.
I can't find the Linky code this week either. If you want to see what the other ROW80 Bloggers are up to check them out here.
I am at 5,215 and should be at 6,666.
Camp Nano Update
Chillingham Castle by Glen Bowman from Newcastle, England - My Best of 2005 29-08-2005 16-11-39, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4586856
Other photos by Pixabay.