Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ever-Increasing Darkness: Two

Jill D'Estrange drove for what seemed like an age, through and ever-darkening landscape, her mind awhirl. It had happened, the inevitable ruin of the family finances. Yet she would not - could not - bring herself to part with the castle and estate. At last, a plan began to form in her mind. It was insane, but it might just work. At Cheltenham, she had been part of the gymnastics team, as well as learning a few skills from one of the girls there. She had learned to pick locks and scale almost sheer surfaces, and that was more than enough. Just a few miles away was Tonn Hall. If she could break into the house and lift a few of the art treasures which the wealthy and vulgar owner had stockpiled there, it might produce just enough to see her through another winter.

She drove through the night, a grim expression on Shutting off the car engine, she left the vehicle and scaled the wall, listening out for dogs. Hearing no sound except the beating of her own heart, Jill pressed on through the estate. The rain soaked her to the skin, but she ignored it, thinking only of the dilapidated old manor house she would lose of this failed. Prison or some poky flat, each would be worse than death to her. Reaching the house, she saw a light on, and moved forward cautiously, sizing up the place.

Pausing in a flower-bed, and thus showing that she was no sort of thief, Jill sneaked a look into the house.
What she saw appalled her. A young woman was strapped to an altar, while oddly-robed figures chanted. A knife was lifted, and Jill tried to scream, only to find that power had deserted her. She could only watch helplessly, as the knife buried itself in the victim's chest. Only then did the power of action return to her.
And Jill knew exactly what to do with it, taking to her heels. As the sprinted through the woods, she heard an explosion behind her. Running as though all the fiends of hell were after her, Jill scrambled back over the wall, leaving a trainer behind her, before driving back to the house. She had one thing on her mind. She had to speak to her friend, the friend who had taught her so much - Sylvia Vaughan.

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