The tapping of her fingers on the screen was the only noise in the desolate hallway. Looking down at her phone, she passed familiar paintings and familiar pictures, all with eyes that would stare at her with their cold, dead gaze.
The eyes would follow, but she was used to the feeling.
She sent out one last text when her shoe clapped down on the floor and sunk into the water. Furrowing her brows, she looked up and dragged her foot away.
The soles of her converse were caked with water that was slowly seeping through. Trickles of water that splashed up somehow reached her knee. Little dots and lines a shade of darker blue were damp and felt tight against her skin.
Following the trail of water, her eyes remained stoic. She had experienced this situation one too many times. This one bathroom, in a vast castle that was fully operational, was the only bathroom that experienced pipe problems. It was also the only room that has been locked away from the public eye, even when she first got here.
Celeste had stayed in this monstrous castle for about two weeks now due to a school field trip. Throughout her trip, one might say she experienced… odd happenings.
In her room, she discovered a worn-out box stuffed into the closet, deep in its hold. A painting was wrapped up in fine cloth to protect it, and once unraveled, she was met face to face with Richard XI, the king who lived in the castle in the late 1400’s.
She recognized the face due to seeing a portrait of him and his wife hanging near the entrance of the palace. Brown, murky eyes always followed her. It felt like she was being watched, even when the painting was tucked away, far far away from her.
When she first arrived with her group of friends and was given a tour, they were strictly forbidden from entering that one bathroom. She wasn’t told exactly why to stay away until she first came across it. The excessive water damage and flooding in the room were hazardous.
The first time coming across the incident, she immediately found someone to clean up the mess. Once they returned, though, the spill was gone. Brushing it off as another employee coming across the mess and cleaning it up, she went on with her life. Until it happened again. And again.
This time, she had enough. She scoffed and rolled her eyes, but paused when she noticed something was quite peculiar about it all this time.
The door was open. Wide open.
“What..?”, she whispered to herself, gently stepping through the puddle, curiously peeking into the bathroom.
She would’ve marveled at the beauty of the vast thing if it weren’t for the hand obviously sticking out of the bath.
She fumbled over her words. The hand wasn’t moving at all.
“Yo, you aren’t supposed to be here…”, her words trailed off when the water plopped and splashed on the tiled ground stained red.
That’s when it hits her. Why was the water red?
“Oh my god.”, she yelped, slipping on the water as she rushed over to the tub.
Not bothering to fix her sleeves, she dunks her hands in. The reflection on the water and the crimson blur the image of the person but at her proximity, she can tell this was a man.
Her hands slipped and fumbled, and she couldn’t grab him. She heard her heart in her throat. The blood water splashed and coated her, but she could care less. He was dying.
Suddenly, she yelps. Quickly glancing behind her, she confirms that the noise was the door closing on her. Focusing back on the man, she pales when she realizes he’s gone.
Freezing entirely, Celeste is left in shock. After some seconds of total silence, she gently paws through the water, as if he disintegrated from lack of blood. Pulling her hands out of the water, she begins to tremble when the smell hits her.
The smell of death and blood and iron hit her straight on and she curls up, almost about to throw up her lunch. She shrieks when she realizes she’s coated in the substance. Her clothes stick to her skin, and she tugged, trying to get them to not hug her flesh. Her throat closed up as she tasted the familiar taste of tears on her tongue.
Fumbling to the door, she fights with the knob, only for her to discover that it’s jammed.
“Come on, come on!”, she cries, proceeding to bang on the door with all her might, “Somebody help me!”.
Her fist and heart stop when her ear catches a slight noise. The water in the tub. Did she turn off the faucet? Was it even on in the first place?
Her grip on the doorknob is iron-tight as she turns, although the rest of her shook like an autumn leave.
There he was. The man.
Her knees gave out on her and she slid down the door all the way to the ground. The harsh landing was ignored, her heart beating so loud it sounded almost like her favorite tune.
His eyes emerged from the murky red bath, while his nose and the rest of him stayed under. Glossy black hair dripped and dripped, and the only noise besides her heartbeat was the dripping of the drops on the surface of the bath water.
His skin was pale, almost gray, and you could see every vein subtly detail his face. High cheekbones and sharp eyes finished his look off.
Their gazes locked and brown, murky eyes were the only thing she saw.
This is an excerpt from a book I’m planning called Richard’s Castle, it’s a supernatural fiction based on Celeste and her experiences in the castle. I have a big plan for the book and everything tied to it and I can’t wait to see how the book will go, honestly. I’ve always been really into writing fictional stories, especially dealing with the unique and odd.
I hope you enjoyed. Thank you for reading!