Black Mitten and the Haunted Nuts #4

Part 3

The door stood slightly ajar, held in place by a tangle of vines and leaves. Kali set her shoulder to the timber and shoved hard, opening the way enough to stroll through. She paused briefly to brush the much from her shoulder and then to sharpen her claws against the door jam. The rhythmic scrunching noise rattled about the crumbling hallway, but as she stopped, she heard another noise continue just too long to remain hidden by her scratching. In the gloom, her eyes grew giant and black as she tried to see the source of the sound, but nothing moved.

The main hall had been a grand, tall room, the full height of the house. A set of stairs flew up one wall to a sort of balcony that served as the first floor hallway and looked down into the marble splendour of the entrance. Hanging at the top of that chasm was a mass of ivy and creepers and crystal that used to be a fine chandelier, gone all to ruin. Here and there bits of old wealth could be spied on the walls, last traces being swallowed up by the return of the jungle outside.

The noise, for Kali was certain it had been there, had definitely come from somewhere above her. The fifth step of the staircase crumbled under her weight and she let out a fearsome and terrifying, not even slightly girly or scared shriek, clutched, claws first, for the next step and hauled herself up to the next floor. Once she had attained the balcony, she stood up straight, re-set her hat upon her head and hitched her sword-belt higher around her waist before looking around.

There were three sets of doors leading away from the balcony, two of them open and decaying, the third, a double set of doors at the back of the mansion, was both closed and pristine. The brass of the handles gleamed in the gloom and the warm walnut veneer was luscious and untouched by the world around it. The floor beneath it was littered by banana skins and the discarded, empty covers of cheap, trashy romance-pamphlets.

Kali reached out towards the handle of this door, but just before she touched it, she heard a crash from behind her and a “wooooooook” noise. She span about but saw only that the vine covered chandelier was swinging violently to-and-fro, slowing, slowing to a silent stop.


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One Response to Black Mitten and the Haunted Nuts #4

  1. Pingback: Black Mitten and the Haunted Nuts: 3 | Bear Cheek

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