The sun shone in his face as Jason woke up the next morning. He reluctantly opened his eyes to the room he had found in the back of the house. No one had claimed it because they completely over looked the hidden door concealing a secret flight of spiral stairs that led to the room. At first it wasn’t much to look at, most of the furniture was draped in white sheets and the rest was covered in thick dust. The walls were faded as was the carpet. The bed however was a brilliant shade of claret lined with black lace. There was a portrait of the girl the statue resembled on the far wall just above the mantle of the fireplace.
She had golden blond hair and a bit of a pale face. She had a slim waist but very lengthy in height, still short compared to him but taller then most girls. Her eyes were green but the center was golden brown and one was slightly darker then the other. Despite her smile she seemed kind of sad and lonely reaching out to the people who would look at this picture and say ‘Won’t you love me?’ She also held in her hand the cards and in the other hand she held a scepter that was silver and gold with four rings of light at the end; each was a different color.
“That is the scepter of the halo sisters lost for hundreds of years within this estate.” Quinn appeared in the room next to the covered sofa. “It seems you have found the room of lady autumn. Strange I could never find it and if I had I’m sure the house would have attacked me as it did your friend last night.”
Jason quickly burst out of the sheets in shock, ignoring that last statement. “How long were you there?” he asked exhausted. Quinn shrugged and pulled off the drapes. Underneath, the furniture was the same color red as the bed; even the wooden desk and shelves were the same claret color.
He was still in the clothes he wore when he arrived, he must have collapsed when he found the room. There was a ruckus downstairs as the men below scampered throughout the house setting up their equipment, while not interfering with the items and objects that were originally located there.
They heard Billy shout at them to find out where the doctor had gone, and several began to explore the house in search for where they went. Quinn snorted at their vain effort while igniting the hearth to warm the room. Jason halfheartedly bounded down the spiral staircase and cracked open the door.
“There you are!” and a hand slipped through the crack and pulled the door wider and yanked Jason out. The grunt called down the hallway “I found him!”
Billy strolled up the hallway and gestured for his men to lift some equipment. Jason saw that it was medical equipment as the men carried the heavy objects to them.
“I’m sure these will suffice for your equipment and I assume that the room behind you will serve as a suitable place for an office?” He mildly asked. He was tired, Jason could tell, most likely from keeping an eye out for more plants. There were dark circles around his eyes too, and they seemed to drift between in and out of reality. He didn’t even wait for a response he told his men to set up the equipment and return to their post.
About thirty minutes later everything was in place and everything was settling down. No one was in any need of medical help so Jason decided to explore the house a little.
He started in the lobby with the statue and wondered where the halo scepter might be. Then he left down the corridor behind the statue following the vines back to its source. He noted that the deeper he went down the hallway the more it looked like a jungle. Roots hung from the ceiling and covered the floors and walls until it was completely gone from view. Then he found that it source was coming from above he went back to the main room and went up to the second floor and began his search again. He came to a door and tried to open it. It wouldn’t budge so he began to shove the door still no success so finally he focused his energy and kicked the door in half revealing branches of an oak tree.
Jason crawled into the garden and quickly saw that he was standing on a tree branch. The garden was three stories tall, so there was room for trees and the down stairs door was lost within the roots in the down stairs corridor. He heard birds chirp and sing all around him and bent down and felt the moss that covered the branches like a thick carpet. There were animals everywhere, but mostly exotic birds that he never seen before. Even butterflies and bee’s darted around to flowers and plants growing where ever they could manage.
He nearly fell off the branch as he stared in complete surprise. Once he got himself steady, Jason followed the branch to its base and climbed down to the floor. Vines hung from the trees and roses managed to grow up, twisting themselves with the vines to form columns of roses. There were chunks of stone slabs in various sections apparently there was a walkway once many distant years ago when this place had seen better days. A small stream flowed through the garden seemingly coming from no where and disappearing past the tree roots and vines on the wall.
Jason followed the remnants of what was left of the path way; leading him into the middle of the garden.
He had only seen pictures of the rain forest where full grown adults circled around one tree and was size of ants in comparison but this tree dwarfed those ten fold. Bits and pieces of a water fountain surrounded the tree and that what formed the streams.
Jason slightly wondered how much the water bill must cost but then abandoned the thought and wondered how long since anyone, with exception of Quinn, had lived in this house.
He trailed the outskirts of the tree and came across a golem made of rock. It stood there in front of the tree with its axe in hand as if someone was coming to chop it down. Jason wouldn’t have even noticed it was a golem until it turned its head and watched his every move.
“HOLY!” then he covered his mouth; it startled him. The golem shuttered and began to shake off the moss growing on its legs and back. He then just stared at it and it stared back at him. They both examined each other, when both realized the other was not a threat then went about their business. The golem sat down onto the grass and started to sharpen the blade of its axe. Jason watched for awhile before turning his attention to the tree.
He started to approach it when the axe swung out and cut him off from it. He quickly turned to the golem who shook his head no. Jason backed off a bit and the axe lowered in response.
He sighed and sat down across from the golem who then watched him. Jason adjusted his position after awhile and the golem emulated his new position. He then changed his position again and the golem mimicked him again. Jason just stared at it then began thinking what to do.
“Why is there a tree in the middle of the house?” he asked it. It sat still in response. He sighed again and thought up another question “Do you know what happened to the previous owners of the house?” The golem nodded its head. Jason sat up he broke the ice between them. “Can’t you talk?” The golem shook his head. “But you can understand me?” He continued.
This was interesting to him, this place he had found that housed a rock golem that somehow was alive, or at least could move and understand him. “What about the scepter do you know where that is?” he didn’t really actually care for the halo scepter, but he thought of what Quinn told him this morning and remembered that it was lost somewhere.
The golem shifted uneasy ready to pounce if necessary. Jason was indifferent to it, then he got up and looked around. He then realized he forgotten where he came in and had no idea how to get out. He turned to the golem and jolted; it was standing directly behind him and looked down on him with the axe at the ready. Jason took as step back from it wanting to keep as much distance between him and the blade of the axe possible.
“Do you know where the door out of here is?” the golem began to walk away its own weight slowing it down. Jason hesitantly followed it away from the tree.
The farther into the garden, the darker it whole place got and Jason could swear that there was an anaconda slithering from tree to tree. Finally the golem stopped and shoved the plants away revealing a door and it forced it open and removed the vines and roots blocking the other side.
“Um… thanks?” and the golem trudged away to the tree. Jason took a moment to see where he was this time and went left to see where that would lead him.
After an hour of going down corridor after corridor he finally found where the rest of the people were. When they saw him they rushed him to his room; someone got attacked by a vase.
“Where the hell have you been at?” the guy asked holding his arm; it was dislocated. Jason didn’t respond, but shoved the guys arm and it snapped into place. The guy screamed in pain “Why did you do that for?!?”
Jason shrugged “it was dislocated, wasn’t it? So now it’s fixed.” The guy cursed as he stormed out of the room rubbing his shoulder delicately.
The rest of the day passed by quickly and dinner was brought up to his room. Nothing grand just a bowl of chili and a couple dinner rolls. He ate while watching Billy boss around his men through the window. Then he felt intensely tired and went to bed.
He dreamed that night; He was in the entry way, but the statue of the girl was gone. He looked around, but he couldn’t find it anywhere. Then he heard a laugh behind him, He quickly turned around but nothing was there.
“Over here," the voice said teasingly it sounded distant and yet like it was coming from right in front of him. He stepped toward one of the staircases. Quinn appeared on the second floor.
“The lady has been expecting you.” His voice also sounded distant despite standing right there. Jason looked at him confused and walked up the stairs.
Quinn turned and walked down the hallway and Jason pursued him. As they walked there was a dull thumping noise behind them. Jason stopped and the thumping stopped along with him. Quinn looked at him with curiosity.
“Well come along now, don’t keep her waiting.” Quinn gestured to the door on the left. He stepped forward and the thump was heard again.
Jason scanned the hallway there was only a dark shadow on the far wall where they had just came from. Quinn then became impatient and ushered him in quickly. The door slammed shut behind them and immediately it locked itself.
Jason turned around in a snap reaction to the door and saw that Quinn had disappeared along with the door; in their place was a wall with pictures hanging from it.
“Come closer,” he girl’s voice said not quite as distant but still echoed a bit. It was coming from a door along the left wall. He approached the door and placed his hand on the handle; it was cold as ice.
Then an axe chopped through the middle of the door shattering it into millions of splintered wood slivers revealing the stone golem. It readied its axe posing to swing again this time at him. The axe sliced the air as the blade crashed into the floor where Jason was standing only a few moments before.
Jason scrambled away from the golem and ran to another door and opened it in a paniced frenzy. On the other side was a winged knight with a lance. It shoved him aside and raised its lance at the golem threateningly. The golem stopped and sheathed the axe and slumped away with something like a disappointed look on its face. The knight turned around and walked through the door back to the other side.
As it passed Jason heard it say “Return to your sleeping quarters. She wishes not to be disturbed.” The door swiftly closed behind it without a sound.
Jason woke up to the pitch black darkness of the house somewhere around one or two o’clock AM. He awoke abruptly with a jolt scattering the remnants of the dream into oblivion.
There was some shuffling outside the room; someone was unsuccessfully trying to hush their footsteps.
Jason snuck out of the bed and tip-toed over to the staircase, where the door was located at. The door creaked open as he swung it out and peered into corridor. It was pitch black and bared no sign of anything having pass by recently.
He was about to close the door when a flicker of light was seen on the far wall located on the left side of the corridor. He heard it come closer with clumsier footfalls and whoever it was, he didn’t even bother of thinking of muffling his voice.
Billy came around the corner and flashed a flashlight into Jasons face. The light blinded him for a moment until his eyes adjusted to the sudden light. Billy lowered the light and leaned up against the wall.
“Prone to sleepwalking?” he asked the doctor suspiciously. Jason shook his head in response and jerked his head in the other direction. Billy raised the flashlight down the hallway to the far end and crept by taking out a gun and held it ready.
Jason followed silently behind constantly checking the hallway behind them to see if something else in this house comes their way. The darkness was like thick smog filling the corridor and concealing its mysteries.
It was deadly quiet. Not even one mouse scurried by. The silence seemed to thicken as the guys crept forward. Their imagination running wild with each step; wondering what exactly were they going to find at this late hour in this blinding darkness.
They finally reached the corner of the corridor when Billy stopped cold. Jason didn’t see him stop and ran right into him. Billy jumped and swung out the flashlight hitting Jason in the head with it. He returned it by jabbing him in the gut. Billy coughed harshly and slid to the floor.
“What was that for!” he practically yelled. Jason covered his mouth and hushed him peering around the corner to see if they had disturbed anyone. Nothing even stirred in response.
“Those who have a busy day on the morrow should be confined to their beds” Quinn appeared behind them holding the same candle holder as before.
Both men jumped at the sound of his voice like two small children who just smashed a family heirloom and their mother just found it. Quinn stepped around them to face them, swatting the flashlight down as Billy shined it into his eyes.
Billy glared spitefully at the house keeper, he just ignored it and returned with the comment “If you want another incident to happen by all means stay up and explore to your hearts content.”
Billy froze in fear as the sound of something slithering across the floor approached them. He raised the flashlight his hand trembling dreading the entity behind him. Slowly turning about the light came across a leaf from a potted plant along the wall. The light immediately subsided and Billy was gone.
Jason turned to Quinn. Both just stared at the empty space that was where Billy had stood. Neither said a word to each other and they turned away and went about their ways. Jason figured that whatever passed by earlier was gone by now and went back to his room.
When he was safely inside the room he let out a sigh. He now only wanted to get some sleep for who knows what will happen tomorrow. He sluggishly trudged up the spiral staircase.
The whole room was completely rearranged that anybody at first glance would mistake it for someone else’s room. The furniture was no longer claret but mauve and they were a different style. The couch was now under the window and was made with cherry wood. It seemed kind of plain compared to the previous furniture and it wasn’t quite as impressive, maybe it was just the color.
Jason didn’t even notice, he crawled into the bed and began to plan out what he was going to do the next day and where to begin.