BLACK and WHITE
It was autumn; the sky coloured a murky grey with the persistent threat of snow, and a cool mist that covered the scene acting as a blanket; it draped across the tree filled path The path ahead being covered as it was, made it impossible to see further than a few feet.
A black car rolled up the cobbled driveway, the hum of its engine the only sound in the crisp morning air. Its dim lights were trying to break through the mist, without success. In the back a girl about the age of eighteen sat slouched, her eyes focused on the small droplets of water that cascaded down the car window; as the ice, that coated the car like a thin layer of frosting, melted from the heat of the car. One knee up, right arm wrapped around it to keep it in place as the car rumbled over more bumpy pieces of the road she sat there, unmoving.
Sitting next to her was a tall man dressed in a clean black suit, hair oiled back. He made no move for conversation and neither did the girl. There was little of interest to talk about; nothing of happy news anyway.
The car slowed to a halt, the man looked towards the girl, unblinking.
"We are here, Natsuki-sama."
She made no move, but her eyes did survey her surroundings. The outside grass was long and unkempt, any features of what supposedly was once the garden were falling apart, or had already given way to the elements and crumbled.
She waited as the driver stopped the engine and stepped out, making his way over to Natsuki's door opening it for her.
The air was crisp, cold and felt damp. She lifted her rucksack out of the car and slung it haphazardly onto her shoulder.
Her eyes were drawn to the most intriguing factor; the manor house.
"It is a wonder. Is it not Natsuki-sama?"
"It's a bloody shit hole, that's what it is." And in truth she was right, the manor was not the prettiest of things, to put it basically it looked as though it was falling apart at the seams. Its huge grey structure stretched across your vision, refusing to let your eyes wonder from anywhere but the structure before you.
The man sighed, his eyes cast down. "Nether the less Natsuki-sama. This is your new home."
"If that is wanna call this." She spat.
Once more the man shook his head, sighing softly. Slowly he strove over to the manor doors which were looming over him huge and black like the gates of hell. The ominous presence they gave off had him nervously swallow and clear his throat. He pulled up his tie and put on his best business smile.
Then he knocked.
They echoed throughout the manor grounds. Natsuki shuffled her feet, the atmosphere getting to her slightly. She moved closer to the car; the lingering warmth was a comfort.
All eyes went to the massive doors, they creaked open as if they had not been opened in years. The great black doors squeaked in protest, as if in pain. An elderly man poked his head out the door. His weepy light blue eyes observed them, with what could be perceived to be contempt.
"What?" The curt and blunt question was spat out, making the man's eyes widen slightly.
"Ah-" he cleared his throat. "I believe you are expecting us?" He turned and gestured for Natsuki to come forward. His eyes reeked of urgency. Slowly Natsuki made her way over; her eyes shifting as she came closer.
An arm shot out, grabbing hers and pulling her forward.
"This.. is Kuga Natsuki." The smile plastered onto his face seemed as if he was a plastic toy. "I have come to.. uh.. Leave her in the care of Madam Kuga. I believe that you have been informed about this."
The elderly mans eyes raked over Natsuki, narrow and terse. "I see.. we heard something of the sort.. Come in."
Natsuki was pushed through the twin doors of 'hell', her feet scuffing on the carpet, a deep, rich red almost like blood. It contrasted beautifully with the black flooring shimmering and blinking in the dull grey light like a sea at night. Pillars of dark marble, engraved with markings of a most exotic kind stood, lining the carpet and rooting the manor almost painfully to the ground.
Natsuki's hand went up as if possessed, her fingers tracing the markings on said pillars with wonder and rapture, for she had not thought such beautiful craftsmanship would exist in this seemingly rundown manor. The butler tapped the floor with his cane, and with their attention nodded his head in a following gesture. He led them into a large room illuminated by a grey light shining through the ghostly misted windows. Sofa's and chairs were littered around, lining the perimeter of the room, a large stately fireplace was included in a far wall, embers still glowing softly, but they did not spend much light or heat for that matter.
Portraits of old, oil licked faces were hung proudly on the grey walls. a loud tick-tock thrummed through the air breaking the silence as the grandfather clock atop the staircase made it's presence known.
A slight cold was in the air, like a dim shadow that crept across your shoulder.
The elderly man shuffled ahead of the party, he was dressed in a old black suite and his back was bent over slightly no doubt due to years of hard work. In one hand he had a cane that tapped on the floor in time with the grandfather clocks dull sound.
The elderly man trembled as he climbed the stairs to the upper levels of the mansion, however help was not offered by either of the followers, nor was there sound made by them other than their footsteps and the old mans cane, clicking along with the grandfather clock. As they climbed the marble staircase, Natsuki turned her head to get a full feel for the sheer size of the Kuga mansion.
Was there seriously only going to be her and another small handful of others living here?
The staircase split to both, the left and the right , but they turned to the latter direction and kept the steady pace of the elderly man.
At the top the stairway broke off into a hallway with dozens of other hallways leading off which no doubt lead to many other hallways. It was apparently like a labyrinth made of black marble.
They walked down the seemingly endless hallways, turning here and there until they came to a worn, tired door, which seemed to be straight out of a palace with it's gold handles, the dark frame and the stunning features that adorned it. It still stood proud after many years of use, it seemed.
The elderly man placed his hand on the handle and it slipped open as if butter was on it's hinges and without a squeak of protest nor a groan of displeasure as one would have expected.
The man turned and bowed to them, all nodded back to him slight and curt. He then bowed once more and left.
The room he had led them to was a study, Victorian style; an ebony desk with a dark leather chair sat at the top of a small flight of stairs. Papers were slipping off it on to the dark floor, book shelves and portraits lined the walls.
There was a fireplace as well, decorated with carvings of wolves for they represented the Kuga's Family symbol. It blazed and crackled in the room, illuminating dark shadows of the chairs placed before it. There was a coffee table of the same old wooden ebony, it held a small cup of steaming liquid.
And in the chair directly in front of the fire was a small elderly woman, eyeing the both of them.
"M-Mistress Kuga, I must tell you what an honour it is." He bowed, head low.
The woman rose from her chair, at ninety-three years of age you could clearly see that the time had been taking it's toll on her. From the bent back and the old, wrinkled face Natsuki could tell that this woman definitely did not smile much. Like the elderly man she possessed a cane, this one however was much more extravagant. It's handle was made so that it resembled the family symbol, being a golden wolf's head while an also golden snake wrapped itself around the main part of the cane right down to the floor.
Her eyes were sharp, a pale green colour and cold, the type that drew your attention like a flickering flame despite their colour. A pair of spectacles balanced on her curved nose, her hair was short and curled.
She slowly stepped closer to them, all the while observing them. She stared Natsuki dead in the eyes and Natsuki had to keep herself from shuffling her feet, the intensity of her eyes unnerving. Her body tensed, she had to keep herself from flinching, as the woman's old, wrinkly hand came up and gripped her cheek, her nails digging slightly into her cheek like the talons of an eagle.
"Hmm? I see so you took more after your mother after all, but you have the green eyes of a Kuga; a little dark in colour though."
She released her and Natsuki stepped back rubbing the nail indents on her cheeks. And turned towards the man.
"I see you have brought her as I have asked, but where are her things? Do not tell me that everything she has is in that rucksack of hers?"
"N-no I- we have all her things outside in the car, I have done as you asked." The man could not help but think the old woman's eyes unnerving as well it seemed.
"Good." The old woman once again turned to Natsuki and rasped, "I suppose they told you why you were summoned here.
"Somewhat.." Natsuki shrugged. "You want me to inherit this manor."
The elderly woman sighed, both hands resting on the cane's handle while she slowly nodded. "Your father is not worthy to step foot - let alone live - in this mansion. I do not blame your mother for leaving him."
The girl sneered at the thought of her deadbeat father for even in the eyes of his own family, of whom he boasted about oh so often, did not want him.
"You are one of the last of the Kuga's, your bloodline has been tied to this place for generations and I will not allow it to be taken from us." The old woman sighed again and continued. "Your father is the son of my brother.. the poor man must be turning in his grave when seeing what his son has become. This mansion has always belonged to the eldest in the line of the Kuga family, so when my brother died I inherited it. Now your father should become the new master of the house, but as unworthy as that man is I have decided to skip his generation." The elderly woman put a bony hand on Natsuki's shoulder, the hairs on her arms prickling as she shivered at the hold.
"My dear your mother is gone, you have little to no money. That is why you were sent here, it is an act of kindness on my part. Be grateful I do no have to do this. The inheritance is not the reason you are here. That is a matter for later."
Natsuki gaped at the elderly woman. "So I'm here.. Because I'm here?"
"Child you are practically an orphan. You have no money to your name, and few qualifications. I do not doubt that you are smart but my dear girl you are here because you are family." The woman sighed. "Come I have someone you must meet."
Once again they drifted through the marble labyrinth. Room after room, it was a wonder the old woman who lead them did not get the slightest bit worn out.
As they got closer to their destination, Natsuki could hear faint music echoing throughout the corridor. It was a hauntingly beautiful melody created by a piano, drawing you in closer and closer until it got a hold of you like a shimmering fishing hook, glimmering in the deep waters, like a silver whisper. A siren of the deep black sea, its beautiful sound calling, begging for death.
The corridor opened up into a much wider hall with several plain, black doors lining the walls. The light became colder freezing Natsuki's bones, crawling up them like a million tiny insects, covering them piece by piece... They crept close, the door seemed to swell, looming over them. Her hands became clammy, trembling slightly and her stomach dropped as all the muscles in it clenched - like a death grip.
She could taste a kind of acidy taste in her mouth, making her tongue feel like it had broken off and was just floating in her mouth. She swallowed trying to get feeling back into her mouth.
Nerves crawled up her spine and she shivered, their footsteps echoing off the walls, everlasting. It seemed like in those old movies, where the character is in this creepy, old house where the floorboards creek with every step, but in this case the creaking was replaced by the echoing, for there was no hardwood floor, just the heavy black marble. That sound was stuck in her head, bouncing around in there and thundering like a heavy storm in the dead of the night, making her skin crawl and her hair stand on end
The door in front of the three of them was taller than all other doors they have seen thus far in the manor, but it also was thinner and unlike them it also was white.
The elderly woman shuffled forwards, placed a bony hand on the elegant door handle and the door clicked open, allowing the music that had been kept inside to pour out like opening Pandora's box, and wash over them like a refreshing wave of ocean water.
The room was huge but pretty much blank, large French windows letting in the cold light from outside, which made the black marble flooring shimmer softly when it was not obscured by the shadows of the white grilles for they cut up the lighting, creating a fitting pattern of long shadows.
The shimmering black marble floor seemed to ice over at the parts where the light touched and glinted off the surface, like a deep frozen lake on a moonless night.
And there was the piano, sitting directly in the middle of the room. It's stark black surface which seemed as if a it had risen from the ground itself, like a tombstone, polished so that the light reflected off of it, creating the illusion of it glowing softly.
An ornate ceiling stretched up in a dome like feature, the paint starting to peel off as it's colours were already darkening but the painting they formed still visible and beautiful.
Finally Natsuki could feel the age of the house, she could see the cracks in the black marble and the way the light shone upon it allowed a thin sheet of dust to be seen.
But what drew Natsuki's eyes the most was the figure seated at said piano. Despite the chill of the house that hadn't worn off once while she was shown around, the figure wore a light summer dress of the purest white. It made her look detached from the world, yet somehow it fit to the mood in the room.
It was not easy to explain, but it simply fit - maybe it was the serene expression on the figures face that made it seem so? Oh and what a face it was, so beautiful while so pale it blended with the dress she wore, it seemed almost unhealthy.
But Natsuki found something odd, it was the fact that the girls eyes were devoid of emotion, simply blank.. it did not help matters, that the eyes were quite unique, for when does one ever see eyes the same colour as the rising of the sun, albeit duller and not quite as bright.
It seemed almost.. demonic.. the way it all contrasted but at the same time complimented itself.
Natsuki's breath was cut short but the mixture of emotions that surged though her, and exploded like a firework, bouncing around her ribcage, making it impossible to draw even the slightest breath.
But it all bubbled up and under one word.
This girl, with eyes that reflected the deepest voids of hell. This girl, who's whole aura screamed tainted beauty.
It scared her.
L: So~ did you like it? :D
S: No :P
L: Don't be such a poopy face sheep -.-
S: ...if I say 'I am not a poopy face' you will disagree, and we'll go on and on with the 'yes' and 'no'. So I'm just gonna say nothing to that.
L: ...fine (spoil sport -.-). but we are such meanie faces aren't we~ we stopped it riiiiiight on a cliff hanger :3
S: My idea. Although I myself hate cliff-hangers. I am a hypocrite. Sue me.
L: I kinda like them.. even when they make me go 'NUUUUUUUU :O'
S: wow, I was just honestly trying to remember what reaction I have when I read a story with cliff-hangers. Cannot even remember.. my brain is just total mush today.
L: ikr guys listen to this "..eyes that freplected the deepest.." She wrote that while we were going over and rewriting some bits. What the hell does freplected even mean?
S: It doesn't mean anything, it was a freaking' typo. And leabe my typos alone D:
...Leave* Just wrap it up, my brain is serious mush, as you can tell. starting to make typos on easy stuff…. I need to go slaughter something.
L: Its hard to b u isn't it.
S: Totally, I need to deal with you. That's hard as hell.
L: oh hush u we went over this its our FRIENDSHIP ANNIVERSARY TODAY! one year u love me!
S: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just couldn't get rid of you until now.
L: (She loves me) :D I will never let gooooo~
S: I know, so I am stuck with you. Well, I guess it could be worse.
...nothing worse comes to mind right now, but whatever.
L: XD love u sheep~ but lets wrap this up for the first chapter.
S: Yup. I hope you enjoyed it and... what the hell, no ones gonna read this long*ss notice, so who cares what we write in here?
Just try to review and tell us what you liked, or disliked, so that we could work on those parts.
L: REVIEWS = COOKIES XD