The inn was old, but charming as the carriage drew up to the lit yard. However, this was no normal inn as it was situated high up the road from the prospering village and at the base of a large, abandoned castle. A castle that was sturdy, but clearly starting to decay and crumble. It was as if the inn had not idea there was something majestic behind it.
The coachman stepped down from the box and opened the carriage door just as the innkeeper, Henri, opened his welcoming doors, sending out more light from the cheery interior. He was the first person Aline saw as the coachman helped her down.
“Welcome, welcome,” the jovial man said. “Come in quickly and we will get you warm.
Before Aline could take a step, a proprietary hand reached out from the coach and stopped her.
“Wait, Aline,” the cultured, but spoiled voice said and a tall, thin man stepped from the coach. Roland Verninac, Baron Rogier, surveyed the inn, a brow raised as his eyes traveled up the castle walls.
“You must come in quickly before the fog and mist settle in,” the innkeeper urged. “Your driver can take the horses around back to the stables. Jean will help you.” Henri motioned for his stable boy.
Both Aline and Roland looked around, and sure enough, a mist was rising from the valley, thickening the shadows. Aline shivered and drew her green cloak closer around her shoulders.
There was an eerie silence all around as the mist sifted closer and for some inexplicable reason, Aline felt a pull to enter not the inn, but the large ornate doors of the castle.
Her ears tuned out her brother and the innkeeper as they directed the stable boy and coachman to take a few necessary satchels and her case down from the coach. She stared, mesmerized by the doors, and involuntarily she moved towards them. One of her hands reached up to clasp the large silver cross on a heavy silver chain and she fingered the cool metal.
Whispers called her. Whispers tugged her closer and closer. All other sounds were tuned out as she stepped up to the doors and rested her palm on the wood. She didn’t hear the should of alarm from the inn yard.
Over and over the whispers called her.
“Aline, sweet child. Come. Come sweet one. Unlock the doors and com in. Come dearest Aline.”
The whispers were in her head. They knew her name. She wanted to scream for the voices to get out of her head. She wanted to push the doors open and do as they commanded. Pushing and pulling, she felt the invisible forces tugging her to the door while her hand on the cross pulled her back.
“Stop it!” She screamed at the voices in her head. “Stop! Stop!”
Suddenly the screaming in her head wasn’t just silent. She started screaming out the prayer she had learned for deliverance.
“Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, Sanctum nos Spiritum votis promereri sedulis, quatenus eius gratia et ab omnibus liberemur tentationibus, et peccatorum nostrorum indulgentiam percipere mereamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.”
She repeated the words over and over, sobbing, tears streaming down her face as the whispers tried to drown out her words, becoming screams themselves.
A hand gripped Aline’s arm, jerking her away from the door and thrusting the screams back where they belonged. The whispers abated and she stood in the fading light as the mist from the surrounding areas crept into the in yard. Her face was dry and she found that all her screaming and crying, while she thought it visible, had been only in her head. It had all happened in her head.
She shivered violently and heard a soft curse. She looked at the large hand that still gripped her arm and she followed it up to the man who was watching her intently. He was very tall with dark features; deep set eyes, eyebrows that slashed, and a grim mouth. He wore simple clothes, a basic white shirt and dark brown breeches tucked into scuffed black boots that went up to his thighs. Striking. The man was very striking and Aline tried to pull away from his grip, but he held her firmly.
“You need to come away from the door,” he said softly, his tone far softer than she would have imagined with his fierce look.
…………………………………….To be continued
Have I hooked you? This all came from a very strange dream I mentioned a week or so ago. It gets more interesting, in my opinion, after a time. There is no continued plot, but well, I thought I would see what you all think. It’s not meant to go anywhere other than me having some fun at writing.