Chapter 8.1 – Day 3 – Eve
The torches in the house extinguished roughly a couple of hours ago. Yet, a part of me was probably afraid. I dreaded the idea that the imagery from that awful day would haunt me once more. The moonlight faintly shone through the door cracks and tinged the decrepit room with a sombre light, and the discomfort of the bed along with the stuffy room moored me from sleep.
I decided to walk around the manor a little while, in the dead of the night. It was difficult to see anything even after my eyes adjusted to the darkness, but thankfully the contours of the uneven walls helped to define my orientation. I was hoping to, at the very least, make my way to the kitchen for a glass of water before heading back to bed.
On my way over, however, I felt something at the bottom of my foot. Dark as it was, it could not be seen but the shape resembled a coat, or a vest of some sort. What was it doing on the floor? I took it with me so that I could put it away with the dirty laundry, and shuffled my way towards the kitchen, groping along the dark the whole way.
When I reached the kitchen, the place seemed to liven up. The kitchen was primarily made of ivory stone walls and countertops, which contrasted well against the dark coloured bowls. It’s like casting magic used to improve vision at night! But the gem catalyst for it would be far too expensive, so this was a cheaper (though still severely costly) alternative.
I managed to find a dark bowl and helped myself to some water from the kettle. As I replaced the insect-proof cover on the kettle’s spout, a small orange glint in the distance caught my eye. Someone was at the bath house. I didn’t think a strict curfew was enforced here, but just in case it was a robber of sorts I thought to sneak over and ascertain for myself.
I dropped the garment into the basket and made my way over, careful to walk slowly so the rustling grass did not expose me. It was eerily quiet and peaceful; the only audible sounds were crickets and leaves twisting in the wind. I finally made my way over before peeping at the doorway to find a head of golden hair braided to the side. Ah, it’s Francesca… Uh, was it?
I might be delusional for thinking so, but Francesca’s frame looked… sturdy. It was slender and firm like a woman’s, but for some reason it also felt like looking at Hank’s broad and bony shoulders when he was working. It was a lanky, unhealthy sort of look for a man; not as bad as Alnus, but it was that sort of androgynous, slightly muscular appearance which made a woman like her appear strong.
Ah, she reached for her braid and pulled it off to reveal a blonde buzzcut. Wait, it’s a WIG!? What the- Francesca had short hair?! Wait, wait. Calm down. There must be some reason as to why she was wearing a wig. Maybe her hair was burned or cut, and she had to hide it? I couldn’t tell from this distance, and there’s no reason to approach her any closer than I already had.
I should probably ask her about it tomorrow morning. For now, I think it was very inappropriate of me to creep around and peep at someone else bathing, no matter the reason. I decided to return to my room and sleep.