Needless to say, Kylie was utterly confused. And much more nervous than before.
So other inhabitants weren't exactly the unseen - yet they seemed to wish to remain so, but why?
She walked up two flights of stairs and then down one hall to the left. One hallway was full of doors; some were locked, some looked to be used for storage.
Finally she opened one door that looked much more promising. Inside, she stared in silent awe of what looked to be a small study filled with books and at the end towards the main wall was a desk and a large ornate mirror with two candle holders on the sides.
Seeing all these books made her think of home and her family.
Oh, Father, everyone," Kylie said with a sad sigh, "I wish I could see you all…"
Unexpectedly the mirror rippled like water, making her gasp in amazement. When it stopped she could see the cottage, where her father arriving with a haunted, miserable disposition.
Her brothers all looked mournful, thinking they may never see their youngest sister again. Morgana appeared just as sad but as soon as her family's back was turned she smiled maliciously.
"Why doesn't Andre call on me I'm twice as beautiful as her!" she'd heard her mutter.
This had Kylie feeling hurt and stunned. She was so immersed in watching the mirror that she doesn't hear the door creak open carefully as several eyes watch her intently.
A moment after, the image rippled again and the vision vanished like a wisp of smoke.
Kylie sighed and made her way towards the door but as she approached , she heard movement from behind - almost as if someone or something were rushing away. But when she stepped out of the room she saw no one else.
"H-hello?" she squeaked to the dark hallways, "I know you're there - here, somewhere! You can't hide in the shadows forever!"
There came no answer; that made it all the more frightening.
In the great hall the clock strikes seven. Kylie knew it must be time for supper, she went back to her room to wash up and found a new dress waiting for her on the chair. It was long flowing white one - possibly made of finely pressed silk.
She put it on, so as not to be appear ungrateful to the hospitality being shown to her - even if she didn't see anything else.
When Kylie came out she recalled that she doesn't know where the dining hall is. The castle was large, how will she get there without getting lost first?
And then she heard it. The sound… the chittering, squeaking and flapping of many wings from somewhere above. She glanced up front to see several glowing red eyes staring back at her - when her eyes adjusted carefully to the dark, she felt a chill of horror.
They were bats! And not just any bats, but the infamous Alpha bats - not many survived encounters with this dreadful species.
Kylie took a frightened step back but she could've swore a few of them flew past to block her way.
She whimpered fearfully, would they attack to devour her like all those stories she'd heard?
Yet they didn't nothing of the sort instead several fluttered around her and back up from down a hall. Back and forth, they must want her to follow them. And it didn't look as though she had much of a choice.
So, with great reluctance she followed the eerie little creatures down the hall until they lead her into a large dining room.
It had quite a long table with an old white mantel with various old candelabras holding dark candles that illuminated the room. Large dishes of food decorated the table - she assumed this was all meant for her.
Tentatively, she got into a chair to dine.
The bats in the meantime flew up on the ceiling a little apart from the table and watched her attentively like tiny sentries.
Kylie shivered. That was spooky. She leans back in her chair with a sigh of despair and closes her eyes.
That was when she heard the monster's voice speak to her, in her mind. "Good evening Kylie…"
And the young girl could not help being sadly terrified. She jumped, her azure eyes darting left and right - almost expecting the monster pop out and maul her. But he was nowhere in sight, only the alpha bats that watched her without blinking.
"W-where?" Kylie questioned apprehensively, "Where are you? I hear your voice but I cannot see you."
"I am on the castle grounds I'm speaking to you within your mind. Furthermore, I know you're in the dining room. Tell me, how do you like your accommodations? Do the gown and meal not please you?" The last part was said almost accusingly.
"Y-yes, they do." The maiden replied, looking very much confused.
"Perfect…" Now it sounded sly and satisfied, "Let it be known that if you need anything my servants and slaves shall attend you. Since you're going to stay for quite some time, I suppose you may also require some form of entertainment."
"Well…I do enjoy reading," Kylie nearly whispered, unable to tell whether he was up to something or trying to be hospitable.
"Do you now?"
"Not just that," Kylie answered earnestly, "Painting - though not too well."
"I'll be the judge of that."
"Look it's been quite a while since I've thought of my hobbies and interests
"For what reason?" he demanded.
"Well it began - Oh, I don't know, it's rather a long story…And I'm not so sure if I should."
To her utter shock, he said "Ah yes your family. The ones you've sacrificed yourself so much for yet you secretly longed to escape didn't you? You wanted to make something of yourself? To be more than just the daughter of a merchant."
"What are you saying?" Kylie gasped.
"Do you not remember?"
Kylie opened her mouth to retaliate but stopped because in some twisted way his words were true. Certainly she loved her family, including Morgana - even is she does not. But secretly, she had wanted much more than life had to offer; and it had nothing to nothing being rich or poor at all.
What sort of creature is this that knows most of her most intimate desires? What sort of dreadful game is he playing here with her?
To be continued…