Author Topic: The manor no one speaks of  (Read 28 times)

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PostMortemCreamPi

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on: 11:10:04 PM 11/09/18
(preface note: this is a rough draft with little edit put into it, I’m not sure if I’ll even make the second part . This was more of an exercise for me because I haven’t be able to sit down an write for 4 years.)
In my small home town there are old local legends that dates back centuries. I live in a village that I will only share as being somewhere in eastern-Europe. My town has been populated since the mid 15th century. We have many old legends that date back to superstitions of the time, that only grew and adapted in the times since they where first told. However none of them involved the old manor home that sat near the outskirts, that is none except those my Gran had always told me.
Growing up I had only passingly asked friends if they had heard the stories of the manor, yet none seemed to. Whenever the fall seasons rolled around, and we shared or listened to the local tales; the manor was never mentioned. This seemed weird to me as a youth, why did no one but my grandmother have stories to share about it? The manor was an old decrepit place that had seen no care from before the first world war, it was a perfect setting for stories. Yet none seemed to talk about it, none would even say who use to live in it, as if no one cared or knew.
A few months ago my grandmother passed away, and with her went any more tales of the old place she never told. It was that fall when my friends and I began to tell tales once more. This year I didn't hold back I shared any and all of the colourful tales I had been told by my Gran. My friends being shocked and intrigued by these tales; this only proved that none had heard them, in length before. That is when I made the suggestion we venture to the old abandoned place.
The manor was decrepit with a large iron gate that connected to a cobbled wall; it was topped with more iron fencing with barbed tops. Hanging loosely on it's hinges the gateway was ajar-ed. We sat for a moment, gazing through unto the manor before us. The pathway overgrown with grasses and weeds, with overhang from the trees to each side.  After a few moments of contemplation, the group had decided I would be the first to enter the grounds.
Walking along the path we could see more of the lands the gate encompassed; it was a fairly normal looking place with a few smaller homes, most likely for the servants from when it was inhabited. The manor itself was nothing to special, it only stood about two stories with more width to it than any other home that had been built in the area since. It was reminiscent of the older buildings on the main street, the ones that housed the libraries and city service buildings. Perhaps it was built for a mayor once, or even a country home for some wealthy individual long ago. As we gotten to the steps and stood in front of the door, I began to tell my friends some of the tales I grew up listening to.
They all sat there listening to my every word, they where entranced by tales they only heard from me briefly. I told them of the rumor that it had been used as a  hospital during the great wars by soldiers passing by. That the grounds held countless unmarked graves of those same soldiers that died of sickness or injury while here. How their spirits can be heard continuing the fight; spirits from both sides and both world wars confused and sticking to the small groups they knew in life.
I told them of the old man who once had residence in the manor from before even the first war; how he had lived here not interacting with the village unless he needed supplies. Even then when he needed supplies he would send a message down by carrier bird, for the town post had no telegraph of its own. Then a young man or woman would bring up the items and be met only with another note and payment for the supplies and trouble. How this old man had never asked for much, he seemed content to be on his own. This was the last known owner of the manor, according to what my grandmother had told me.
I then relaid stories of absolute fantasy, tales of nobles who settled in the area; stories of young squires becoming knights. Various tales that seemed to far fetched or glorious to have ever happened in our little part of the world. It was then that my friends had grown bored of the tales and wanted to see the interior for themselves. We attempted to open the door, but it was sealed as though locked from the inside. Walking along to the side of the building we noticed a window that had been shattered and open. Grabbing a small branch that had been laying around, I knocked out the rest of the glass to make an opening for us to squeeze through.
My friends became hesitant; either not wanting to enter in risk of getting injured, or succumbing to the fear of entering a place unknown. I hoisted myself into the place and began to mock my friends for being scared of a little old house. I was especially curious because I'd purposely left out any of the more interesting stories. After a few taunts, they came around and followed me into the dark sullen room.
When I finally turned around to look at where the window lead us, I noticed the room was large and filled with old cots and a few wire-framed bunks. It seemed that what my Gran had said about soldiers during the wars must have been true.  I nudged one of my friends without glancing over and remarked "Hey, who do you think use to sleep here? The Allies or the Axis?"
None of them seem'd to chuckle, I think they where too stunned at just the smallest bit of evidence for the stories they just heard. Walking around some of the overturned bunks I searched for any proof that soldiers actually had stayed here. Near one of the old wire bed frames there was an old military style footlocker. "Hey! You guys want to find out?" I shouted back to them as the slowly made their way to the corner I had wondered to.
"What makes you think anything would be left here?", John my closest friend since late elementary responded.
I recall just shaking off his remark as nerves, even after the decades a lot of the people here didn't like talking about the occupations. As I opened up the footlocker it had just a small amount of items; nothing special just old papers written in German. So it seemed that at one point this place had been occupied by the Axis powers. I continued to rifle through the footlocker to find anything worth mentioning.
"So what do you think this room was suppose to be?" John finally broke the silence. It was this that caused my to draw my attention unto the room itself and not its contents.
"Don't know maybe a dinning hall or ball room?" I chimed back after taking notice of the size of the room.
I don't recall much more of the conversation; many of the guys didn't seem to speak after we had entered. It was when we had entered the next room that all conversation had ceased. It was the entry hall, bare and hollow. The furniture that hadn't been taken was left in pieces scattered, with the largest pile near the old stone fireplace. Not only had the furniture been removed or smashed the walls where bear, the wallpaper that still clung was yellowed from age. The banisters of the staircase where cracked and broken; the chandelier laid in the center of the entry hall, rusted.
The front door was barred and nailed, as if braced for an assault that never seemed to come. From here there were two doors opposite the one side we had entered, they had swelled tight in their doorways. I headed over to the fire place, there was still unburnt pieces of tables and chairs; as if the occupants had left before needing to continue warming themselves.
It was around this time that John and the others made their way to the two doors. I could hear them jostling the knobs, trying to make the doors budge. After a few attempts they had stopped. When I turned around they seem to be waiting at the base of the stairs, each one hesitant to be the first to climb them. I decided that since I was the one who dragged us into this place I'd go first.
Slowly I went up, making sure I didn't step down to hard in case the wood had rotted. The upper landing was less barren, paintings and furniture where tossed haphazardly around. Old lounge chairs had been set around a small oval coffee table, with valuables set off to the sides as if the last people had been dividing winnings. Vase's and painting to large to have been worth gathering in the heat of the moment. From here the halls branched out, with more swollen doors.
At the end of the hall off to the left side, there was a door visibly ajar and eerily inviting. I had noticed that none of the other guys seemed to follow up the stairs. So alone, I continued to explore the upper areas; heading down the hall to the open room. It was a quaint little study, the desk was centered in the room. Behind it was shelves that at one point could have been full of books. Now they sat worn and toppled over where books that had probably been seen as "Verboten" had probably once stood. The desk itself had more papers scattered across the top. These documents where also in German, a language I could not read.
I decided to open the drawers, trying to find items of interest. When I stumbled upon an old journal tucked in the back of center drawer. It was written in Cyrillic, and despite the ageing and smudges was readable. It opened on the 24 of February 1743, it detailed the thoughts of someone who had recently purchased a new home. Lists of menial tasks and things to acquire; others entries seemed normal till the first of April. The writer of the journal, who I suspect was the man who had last owned the manor before the wars; was frantic.
He made claims of noises in the night, sounds of people wondering through his home. In entries throughout the month he began to grow disdain to the village. He suspected them of breaking into his home to steal his valuables. The journal entries that followed where ragged, either to shakily written or torn haphazardly out. I placed the book down, as I heard footsteps from the stairs. My friends where finally coming up to see what the upper floor had to offer.
However, no one came in the moments that followed. I grew furious, assuming the sound I heard was that of my friends leaving. Their steps echoing through the bare entry hall and up to the study on the floor above. I decided that it was time I left as well, the place was just an old husk with no real interest. Back at the entry I was not ready for what I would see.
One of the swollen doors had been opened, leading to another set of stairs these leading down to a cellar. A shoe, a single black converse was turned on its side near the open maw. Signs of a person being dragged lead from the bottom of the main stairs to the door. No sight of my friend other than the shoe, and from the door a raspy voice called. It called to me, simply saying "You, don't you want to join us?"
I had fled from the manor running back to the village, not  stopping till I had made it home. Later in the week I tried to contact my friends, but no one had seen them. Their parents eventually grew silent, after finding out I had dragged them to the manor. I became a social pariah till I moved away to a larger city. I still wonder what happened to my friends, and why everyone seemed to ignore their disappearance. Perhaps I will return to my home town, and return to that manor they dare not speak of.