The Beginning of an Acquaintance

The shadows outside of the tinted windows stopped moving and Tom knew that they had arrived. His silent chauffeur sat in the driver’s seat, his hands still on the steering wheel. Ready to drive once his passenger and his baggage are gone. Tom gulped and forced himself to open the door and step out.

His polished leather shoes crunched on the newly-fallen autumn leaves. He could see his pale skin and wide eyes in them. A sudden rustle overhead made him jump. A lone crow broke cover, cawing loudly and he followed its flight with his eyes. He colored, embarrassed of his thumping heart. As he traced the crow’s origin, his thumping heart soon gave way to awe.

It stood dignified even in its disrepair. The fences and shutters, though faded and losing to vines, grimly kept their posts. Its chimney stood proud even with the humiliation of a nesting avian. But for all of its dignity, it could not help but look sad as well. The windows that might have once admitted light into the lives of its masters are now clouded, concealing its mysteries. Tom sighed. Then, a stray ray of sunlight broke through the canopy of branches and the house winked at him. He blinked. No. It’s just a coincidence. The house couldn’t have heard just as he was thinking of mysteries.

But…. what to call it? Now that he thought about it, his uncle’s will never mentioned the name of this mansion. He looked around. Only a cracked wooden sign tacked onto a nearby hickory tree betrayed any sign of its name. 1412. Tom sighed again. That will have to do for now. The chauffeur was getting impatient and as he was unwilling to get out the car, Tom had to lug out all three suitcases plus one duffel bag that would contain his life for the duration of his stay. The chauffeur drove off in a flurry of leaves, leaving Tom with his luggage at the side of the road.

He looked down at his three suitcases plus duffel bag and sighed for the third time.

Well, 1412. It looks like you’re stuck with me for now. My name is Tom. Nice to meet you, too.

He stacked his smaller suitcase on top of one of the bigger one, shouldered his duffel bag and set off on the driveway towards his new acquaintance. The mansion’s top windows twinkled mysteriously as the sun sent forth a final effort and dyed the sky a beautiful gold and red before retiring to make its reappearance the next morning.

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