Disclaimer (added 3/7/10): I DO NOT OWN ROSE RED, ITS CONCEPT, ITS IDEAS, ITS LOGOS, NOR ITS CHARACTERS. THEY BELONG TO STEPHEN KING. THANK YOU.
"What's this?" I murmured to myself, pushing over the walls down the hallway. As I ran my hands along the patterened wallpaper, I noticed that my arm was soon bending towards me at a difficult angle. As I turned my head down to look at it, I stumbled backwards as I knocked my head atop the ceiling. "What the -- ?!" I muttered, shaking my head. I looked around to see the room had grown substantially smaller from where it started. I looked around, turning and turning. The walls had gotten closer, the ceiling lower. Had I grown? Was I like Alice? I looked for the small mushroom that read, "Eat me" along the wooden floor to no success.
I reached up and placed my palms along the ceiling. The cold wood felt nice along my skin, cooling me down through my muscles. I had walked throughout the house and still had no idea how it worked. I was sure that if I turned around there'd be a door. Or Ellen.
I shuddered at that thought. The dead woman that used to own this house. Oh, the horrors I'd heard from the group. Steve, seeing her when he was little whilst she held a fan and a hammer asking him to built. Emery, down the hall, walking gracefully, as if floating in air above the ground. Cathy, screaming in the halls as John brushed past her briskly towards the front door. The tricks this house had!
I turned on my heels, feeling my heart start its bu-bumping as I trotted back down the way I'd came. Soon I was at the end of the hall, a sort of intersection in front of me. I turned right and walked a way before coming to a reddish-brown wooden door. I felt drawn to its golden knob, slender and long, fitted for fingers rather than a palm. I exhaled sharply, seeing my breath as a white cloud in the air. Had it suddenly gotten colder here?
I glanced behind me to make sure there wasn't any woman dressed in a white gown with a rose embroidered fan before turning and opening the door. It creaked lowly before swinging open. I heard the thunk echo in the room and down the second hallway. I stared into the room. A long wall to the left, a shorter one on the right that turned suddenly. The wall straight across held a window with dusty white shutters. I stepped inside, walking along the cream-colored walls. From my waist down was wallpaper, a yellowish-cream with a blue strip along the top with the occasional small pink rose and vines. I turned right and followed this hall until I found myself at a dead-end. But, knowing the minds of Ellen, Sukeena and Rose herself, I turned to my resources and knowledge. I began to press my hands along the walls, feeling for creases or crevices. Any slight movement would be helpful.
Soon I was pressing all of my weight along one wall, the shorter one. I probably looked like I was attempting vertical push-ups. Giving up, I stood and sighed. I shook my head and wiped my hands. Just as I turned to leave I heard the creaking groan of the house. The sudden movement of it settling half an inch deeper into the ground made everything shake. I heard glass chink along the outer wall, chandeliers most likely. I held my hands out to prevent myself from falling, my feet apart. Once the shaking stopped, another low groan rumbling through the house, I stood. I heard my heart pounding loudly. I'm sure Ellen was enjoying this, somewhere up in her high Tower watching down on me.
I glanced back towards the dead-end wall to see that the rectangular shape of a door had been separated from the actual wall, pushing open slowly. I heard the sound of wind whistling softly on the other side. I approached the door, feeling almost sick and like I would faint. I place my hand along the wallpapered door and pushed it open. It creaked as did the other doors and led into a dark room. I stepped inside, instantly breathing in the smell of dust and wood. As I walked along the floorboards I heard the sound of sawing wood and the pounding of hammers. Dust coated everything. The once-shiny-and-polished dresser in the corner, the two sawhorses with a large blank of pine lined acrossed it. Even the round chandelier above that was long ago burnt out.
Cobwebs dangled from the ceiling, catching dust in its tendrils and swaying in the wind. I saw particles floating around in the stale air, highlighted by the sun pouring in through the boarded-up window to the left of me. I walked over to the wall, peering out through the cracks and spaces of the wood into the outside world. I saw trees and greenery. Where was I? Somewhere near the garden, I suspected, as I could see dead flowers as well. The front of the property had no flowers planted there whatsoever. And there had been a fountain blocking any view, should I be on the first floor. But judging by the angle of the treetops, I suspected I wasn't.
I could have been on the tenth floor and not have known it. Such as the ways of Rose Red's tricks and whatnot. I turned my attention back to the room, looking around. The streaks of light on the ground only provided so much help. Everything else was left in the dark shadows that gave me chills. I shuddered as a sudden breeze brushed through the room, whipping my hair around. I glanced over as I saw something shine in the present light. I stepped to the side, into the shadows, as watched as the glistening object bounced around. I fell silent, holding my breath.
As the light bounced on the object, I heard the soft footsteps of someone step forward. I noticed the faint outline of the person approach. I swallowed as silently as I could, closing my eyes for a moment. As I opened them, the outline was no longer there. Just as I was about to let out a sigh of relief, I looked over to see the woman standing next to me, looking out of the boarded window. Light shone on her face, which was a mix between blue and black, pocked and sagging. Her eyes were hollow and deep, and I could see her lips were pulled into a frown. I'm sure she would have been lovely earlier, but now ...
I could see the cloth of her white dress, tattered and old. Almost yellow now. She sighed, turning her head to the side, opposite of me, thankfully. As she turned and began to walk off towards the shadows, her dress draping along the ground, I heard her humming a soft song. Then, just as she was disappearing into the air, I heard her murmur a name. A name so familiar and kind, it made my heart stop.