Roseanne Whitby opened her eyes. It was summer and the sun was already shining, even though it was half past five in the morning. Again a new day had started, but why?
Roseanne was always home alone and had no friends. Her father and mother had divorced when Roseanne was only two years old, so she lived with her mother who was always busy with her job at the Seattle Health Centre. Anna was thirty-eight years old and was still very good-looking. She had blond hair, which hang down to her waist. Her eyes were green and as clear as crystals. Roseanne knew she looked more like her father, because she had shoulder length auburn hair and blue grey eyes. She also had an ability of which she knew was her own. Roseanne could move objects with her eyes and sometimes, though she didn't tell anyone, she thought she heard voices whispering like a wind. Nevertheless, she had to get going again. Once more go to school, being laughed at and humiliated by her classmates. One time she nearly came out of this continuing circle, but she failed and things had stayed the same.
Roseanne came out of her bed and got dressed in a green T-shirt and a small red skirt, which matched her hair. She tied her hair in a ponytail and went down stairs. As usual, her mother was already at work, so Roseanne had the whole house to herself. Their 'house' was one of the biggest villas of Seattle and therefore Roseanne wasn't alone, because there were always servants running through the house.
'Good morning, Miss Whitby,' Roseanne's handmaid said. 'Morning Helena. Please just call me Roseanne for a change,' Roseanne said, walking towards the garden. The garden had more the size of a small park. It had a swimming pool, beautiful flowerbeds and a small wood in which Roseanne had her own hut. Roseanne sat down in the grass, surrounded by the brightest flowers. 'What would you like for breakfast, Miss Whitby?' one of the servants asked. 'Just toast today William,' Roseanne replied without looking up. A newspaper was given to her and Roseanne at once started reading it. On the front was an article taking the complete front page: 'Rose Red has again made victims'. It was about a group of people visiting an ancient house named Rose Red to find evidence of supernatural powers, however, four of them were killed or disappeared and a journalist had disappeared there too. It was said that this mansion was in Seattle and built in around 1900, by a man named John Rimbauer for his coming wife, Ellen Guildchrist. 'Helena!' Roseanne said, once she had finished reading. At once Helena came walking into the garden. 'Yes, Miss?' 'Do you know this mansion? It says here it is in Seattle, but I've never seen it before,' Roseanne said curiously, pointing at the black and white picture of the house. 'Yes, Miss, I know where it is. But it is a bad house. I've heard stories about the house and the mad Ellen Rimbauer. Oh yes, I know it,' Helena said, looking nearly terrified at the thought only. 'Could you tell me where it is?' Roseanne asked, with a feeling of foreboding. 'Oh no Miss, your mother wouldn't want that. I can't say such a thing to you,' she replied, shaking her head. 'Like she'd care, she hardly ever sees me. But I'll find out anyway,' Roseanne said more to herself than to the maid. Helena walked away, looking really troubled now, but Roseanne didn't notice. She was going to find that house named Rose Red , find out its history and see for herself if it was really so supernatural.
First however, she had to go to school. Roseanne lived very close the Junior High and for that reason walked to school. Everyone always went to school in small groups, but Roseanne, not having any friends, had to go alone. The first hour she had Conversational English. Her teacher, Jane Vector, was quite nice to Roseanne most of the time. The bell rang and finally after ten minutes the class had settled down and Jane could start with her lesson. 'Today we have scheduled three presentations, Jack, Emily and Roseanne.' Roseanne already found this strange, she had not heard of any presentation coming and now it was her turn. 'Mrs Vector, I didn't know that we had presentations coming up. I didn't know I had to do it today,' Roseanne said horrified. 'Oops, we must have decided it when you were ill. Sorry, but we all forgot to tell you,' Sharon Perks said, with no note of pity in her voice. Sharon was very pretty and popular. She was always the one who started laughing first when Roseanne did something wrong. Mrs Vector looked like she didn't really know how to handle the situation. When all the laughing had died again, she finally replied. 'It is both your own fault, Sharon should have told you and you should have asked them if there was any homework. So Roseanne your presentation will be next week and you can ask the rest about the topic. I also think it is wise if you listen very carefully to the two others of today.' Roseanne didn't think this was fair, because even if she had asked she would have gotten no answer. However, she nodded in agreement. She was so angry, that once Jack stood in front of the class, the light bulb above his head burst into flames. The fire was quickly put out and no real harm was done, but Roseanne knew she had done it. Jack was also convinced that she had done it and of course he was right, but she wasn't going to admit it. Mrs Vector couldn't control the class anymore and soon the whole class was shouting 'Witch, witch, witch!' Roseanne was closed in, terrified and humiliated with tears running down her cheeks she fought her way out of the crowd around her and ran out of the classroom. However, she didn't head for the front doors, but to the library. There she got some odd looks, but she didn't care. All she wanted now were old documents of houses and families around 1900. And indeed she found it, it might not be what she expected, but it was what she needed. 'The diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My life at Rose Red'
It was eight o'clock in the morning. It was one day after the incident in the classroom. Roseanne was walking steadily through the streets of Seattle. Yesterday, she was for the rest of the day dismissed and had used that time to read her new source of information. Suddenly, she knew where the house 'Rose Red' was and was at the moment heading for it. She hadn't told anyone where she was going and why she had brought so much food with her. If possible, Roseanne would stay there for a night or two and tell her servants she was going to sleep with one of her school friends. She never told anything at home about what happened at school, because she knew it wouldn't make any difference. Finally after walking for nearly one and a half hour, she stood in front of the gates of Rose Red. They were locked, however. Some how Roseanne knew, that even with her own powers, she wouldn't be able to open them. This wasn't needed either, because all of a sudden the gates did open with no sound at all, as if they were still used daily. Roseanne walked in, now a bit doubting if this was the right thing to do. Behind her the gates closed again and there was no way back, the only place to go was into Rose Red. First Roseanne looked around to see in what surrounding she was standing. She stood on the road leading to the house, which ended in a roundabout around a field of grass. On both her left and right where trees and she could see at least two water fountains. On top of the house was a little stone-carved devil, which looked down at her grinning. There was also a little tower, with a beautiful stained-glass window with a red rose in it. The house itself further on looked very big and old, of course she had read about this and the rumour that Rose Red was building on its own in the diary. Roseanne just hoped she wouldn't be lost or killed in this big house like some others, because all she wanted was a few friendly words and no more glares.
Roseanne walked towards the front doors and opened them. She found herself in a great hallway, of which ended with two big stairs going up to the first floor. All the walls were covered with paintings, ornaments and cabinets. At once Roseanne loved the place. This was the most beautiful house she had ever seen and could imagine why Ellen never had wanted to leave this place. And may be she had indeed never left it. She walked to one of the stairs and climbed up to the first floor. She knew that her best chance probably was the tower. That was also where Ellen found back her disappeared daughter April and now Roseanne would go there to find Ellen. This might not be the place where Ellen disappeared, because that happened in a room named the Perspective Hallway, but Roseanne thought she might find her there. And after all, the tower had indeed been Ellen's favourite place in the house. While walking through the house, Roseanne noticed its enormity. It looked already massive from the outside, but on the inside it looked even bigger. Unending hallways, never ending stairs and more and more rooms. Finally after searching for what felt like ages, Roseanne had found the attic and as a result the stairway leading towards the tower. Still she hadn't seen or heard anything unusual, except for some of the rooms she went into. There was a Mirror Library, which was filled with books on the sides and mirrors in the floor and ceiling. She had also been in what she thought was the Perspective Hallway. In this room everything was upside-down and it looked like she was walking on the ceiling. Another thing she saw was the Solarium. It was in the middle of the construction of the house and noticed that all the plants in there were dried up. Roseanne also found the dollhouse, of which she knew had once been Aprils. In the diary, she had read that this dollhouse of Rose Red grew on its own, just like the real Rose Red and made a mental note to look at it later again to see if anything had changed. She as well found out that this house was full of hidden staircases. She could easily imagine someone getting lost in here and hoped it wouldn't happen to her. The tower was about two squared metres big and also two metres high. The stained glass red rose took nearly one side of the tower. Roseanne not really knowing what to do at this point sat down and hoped something would soon happen. When she looked down through a small window at the opposite of the red rose, she looked directly at the Solarium. However, all the plants had leaves now and didn't look dead whatsoever. It looked as if Rose Red had indeed come to live again.
Roseanne didn't have to wait long. After already five minutes it became very cold in the tower, even though it was a warm summer day. It was as if a cold gust of wind past through the tower. Then Roseanne saw them. Two transparent forms right in front of her, one of a woman and the other of a child with a withered arm, Ellen and April. Ellen sat down on the floor too, with April on her lap. Roseanne petrified with fright, couldn't move or say a word to this appearance. 'Please tell us your name,' Ellen said, in a voice, which sounded as if she was still alive. 'R-Roseanne Whitby,' she replied stuttering. 'Roseanne … it's like you were meant to come here one day,' Ellen said, 'Why did you come here?' Roseanne thought about this for a while and than answered. 'I have some paranormal gifts and I wanted to know if all the rumours and legends about this house were really true. I was also interested to see if I could find contact with you or someone else here and tell me about Rose Red. And I wanted to finally do something right and not be laughed at,' she ended in a bitter note. Ellen looked at her in a way that told Roseanne that she knew how it was to always be followed by whispers and laughed at behind your back. 'That's why I built this house. I wanted to break hearts as mine was broken, to hurt as I was hurt. Today I will guide you through the house that gave me as much pain as happiness. And to what you must believe of all the rumours? Just believe what you think is the right thing to believe in.' Roseanne struggled with these words for a few minutes. 'Is-is it alright if I stay here for a night?' Ellen looked as if she really saw her good for the first time now, at the same time she looked doubtful. 'You may stay, but only if you help Rose Red and me Otherwise Rose Red will make you pay in a way you can not imagine.' 'Deal,' Roseanne said and for the first time she was smiling.
The rest of the day Roseanne spent with Ellen and April walking through the house. Roseanne noticed that suddenly hallways changed structure and appearance behind her back and rooms disappeared and appeared everywhere. Once hallway, than ballroom. Once basement, now dungeon. In the afternoon Ellen, April, Roseanne and a new appearance named Sukeena sat in the Upper Logia. Sukeena had been Ellen's African handmaid. They had been friends and sisters. They had a good time there, talking about Rose Red and what the newest rumours where about things going on in Rose Red. April's dollhouse was put on the ground so she could play here. Roseanne noticed that the dollhouse in structure had changed. An entire new small wing had been added to the dollhouse and she knew Rose Red was alive and building once more.
The next day, Roseanne found out some new, a bit shocking, news. The ghosts of the ones, who were on the trip to find out Rose Red's supernatural powers, were also here. As well as the disappeared persons of Ellen's time. It was only now that Roseanne noticed actually how many people had already disappeared in this great mansion. She had some conversations with them and found out what had happened to them and their reason of being in Rose Red. It was for the first time in her life that she had spoken so much to other people. Too soon according to Roseanne the day passed and she knew it was now time for her to go to her own home. But she didn't want to go back to her normal life, back to all the misery and failing. This is where she belonged, here in Rose Red with her real friends. She submitted her doubts to Ellen. 'I don't want to go back! There is nothing to go back to, just an empty house and some damn school at which I'm the aiming point!' Roseanne explained angrily. 'Dear Rose, you must understand I don't have the power to do this. It is Rose Red who decides those things. However, there is one thing I can do, which my own grandson refused,' Ellen replied, trying to calm Roseanne down. 'But you must understand me, I feel home here. You are my only friends,' Roseanne said nearly crying now. 'All I can do for you is hand over this hammer and ask you to keep on building Rose Red till the heavens. Because sin is where it starts and sin is where it stops,' Ellen said, all of a sudden holding a gleaming hammer. 'Built Rose Red to the heavens…' Roseanne said in a hoarse whisper and took the hammer from Ellen. While she walked away to start building the new small wing, she had earlier seen at the dollhouse, Roseanne slowly dissolved into thin air to stay here forever with her the only friends she ever had.