You've chosen a path so lets see where it takes the girls! ( you can find the first part of the story here)
"Mockingbird Lane (cont'd)"
"C'mon, lets go up to that one on the left, the porch light is on so they may be waiting up for visitors."
Samantha led the way up the cobbled pathway that wound up the hill, through the rose garden. The light gave off a welcoming glow from the large wrap around porch that dominated the front of the house. In the irratic flashes of light from the storm the square tower would be briefly illuminated and the wind caused a loose set of shutters somewhere on the second floor to bang irratically against the side of the house, making Linda jump.
As her gaze roamed the garden they passed through she wondered how they go the roses to bloom this late in the season. The large blooms looked black in the rain but a flash of lightning revealed them to be a deep red. The porch light reflected off of small carved markers in each bed. She couldn't quite make out what they said and leaned closer to read one just as Samantha knocked on the front door.
I'll check those out on the way back to the car, she thought and hurried up to her friend just as she was lifting her arm to knock again.
"Give them a moment to answer." Linda told her, grabbing her arm to stop her from knocking just as it swung silently inward.
The girls looked down into the wrinkled face of a very old, very short woman. She was dressed in an old fashioned ankle gown, and even with her hair piled into a bun on top of her head she must barely have been four feet tall. The old eyes appraised them from behind a pair of thick round spectacles and slowly a smile spread, changing the web of wrinkles that covered her face.
"Hi. Sorry to intru-"
"Come in out of the rain my dears, you'll catch your death." She turned and began walking down the front hallway of the house, leaving the girls standing on the front porch staring after her.
They looked at each other then looked down the hallway, after the woman.
"Maybe we should go to the-" Linda began.
"Come along dears tea is waiting in the parlor." The woman called back to them and disappeared into a room on the left.
Linda looked at Samantha and gestured back to the car. Samantha shrugged and stepped into the hallway after the woman. Linda groaned and stepped in after her.
The hallway was dark, most of the illumination coming from the porch light behind them. Bowing to her ingrained sense of etiquette Linda reluctantly closed the door behind them to keep the cold night air out, cutting off that small bit of light. The hallway was oppressively dark, but as their eyes adjusted they noticed that there were old fashioned lamps hung from the walls with shutters on them letting of dull glows. The lamps only gave off enough light to allow them not to trip over the few pieces of furniture that lined the hallway. Picture frames lined the walls but it was too dim to see what they showed clearly. When they got about halfway down they came to the door they had thought the woman had gone in. There was a very faint glow around the door frame. Linda stopped Samantha as she reached for the door handle.
"This is really creepy. Maybe we should just go back and try the other house."
"Oh quit being a sissy, it's just a little old lady who isn't used to visitors trying to make us comfortable in the rain." Samantha pulled the door open and stepped into the parlor.
Linda gulped and followed her.
The room was softly lit by a flickering fire in the large hearth. Classic scrolled sofa's and old fashioned arm chairs were placed around the central rug close enough to the fire to share it's warmth as well as it's light. The woman was sitting in an arm chair facing the door. The firelight deepened the shadows in her wrinkles making her face seem almost a mask, and her glasses reflected as if they were two round mirrors where her eyes should be.
"Sit and I'll pour the tea." She gestured to the sofa across from her and lifted the teapot from the side table next to her. "Not often we get visitors anymore in our little town. Used to have people dropping in on us all the time, but lately it's been almost downright lonely"
As the girls sat she handed them both delicate cups and saucers filled with a hot liquid that smelled wonderful. They sat and sipped their tea politely while glancing around the room. It seemed to have dropped right out of another century. The slightly worn feel of the furniture gave the feeling that the furnishing were original. Samantha cleared her throat.
"Thank you so much for your hospitality. We were actually on our way to a Bed and Breakfast that is supposed to be not far from here but we took a wrong turn I think. I'm Samantha and this is Linda. I'm sorry but we didn't catch your name?"
"Oh I'm Miss Ashworth. Every one around here knows me. Family's been here for ages. This house was the first building in the town. Quite a nice little town we have here on Mockingbird Lane. Despite those riff-raff that built the house next door. Digging up my rose garden and howling at all hours. It simply is not done in polite society."
The neighbors must have a dog, Linda thought.
Now drink up that tea so you don't catch a chill from that rain. You poor girls are soaked through." As the girls dutifully sipped the tea on command, the grin sipped it's way up her face again.
"This is really very good, what kind of tea is this?" Linda asked.
"Why it's elderberry, deary. I make it myself. A very old family recipe." The little woman began to giggle softly to herself and rock in her chair. The giggle quickly grew in volume and the rocking increased in intesity.
The last thing Linda saw before the world went black was Miss Ashworth laughing and rocking in her chair, the round lenses of her glasses reflecting the fire light like her eyes were windows into the flames of hades.
Linda opened up her eyes and stared at the darkness. Wait, it had just been dark. She closed her eyes again and took stock.
We were going to that Bed and Breakfast Samantha found out in the country. We took a wrong turn or something and we stopped to ask for directions. There was all those roses, and that lady. What was her name? Miss Ashworth, yeah. We had some tea, then what happened? And where is Samantha?
She opened her eyes and sat up on the bed. The musty smell of little used rooms filled her nose. As the soft coverlet that had been wrapped around her fell away she noticed something important. Her clothes were gone. She looked around the room for some clue as to where they had gone and noticed an old fashioned dress, in blue, similar to what Miss Ashworth had been wearing, laid out on a chair near the bed. The small lamp on the table next to the chair was the only source of light in the room and it seemed to indicate that the dress was intended for her. After a slightly more thorough search of the room failed to turn up her clothes, Linda quickly slid the dress on and buttoned it up.
Once she was dressed the other questions reared their heads once again. What had happened to her, and where was Samantha?
Time for you to choose again! Leave a comment letting me know which choice you want-
Will Linda stay in her room and wait to see what happens?
Will Linda venture out of the room to find Samantha?
You have till wed to tell me what is going to happen next!