We never go to that place. It is just on the outskirts of town, and was far grander in its day I’m told, but it has fallen to decay.
“A castle in our little town!” some would say in wonder, but never enough wonder to open its doors or go inside.
I thought it looked more like an abandoned church than a castle, but I am no architect. I am not that visual or that precise.
I don’t believe in ghosts either, not really, but I’m not willing to take the chance. They say a whole household – family and servants – died there one night without blood loss, without sign of illness, without any reason that any could tell.
“It’s a portal to hell,” the doctor apparently said, crossing himself and backing out having taken in the view. I wouldn’t have thought a doctor would think that way, being a man of science. I suspect he didn’t really believe that, but like me, he wasn’t taking any chances.
I’ve heard no funeral directors would attend, and no grave diggers ever tilled soil to lay the unfortunates to rest. I suspect, therefore, that their skeletons still linger there, sitting in their chairs at the dining table, or slumped across the benches of the serving quarters below. Of course, none of us know, we dare not enter, in case the mysterious captures us also. For who can know how long a time the hand of death may linger in such a place?
That place, that place of death and mystery, that castle on the outskirts of a town which is aptly named Redemption. I hope the inhabitants found some comfort in the name, but for me it speaks of an irony too sharp to contemplate for long.
“We’ll burn it down!” they sometimes say, late in the night when they are in their cups and too drunk to be wary. But by morning they are sobered and more careful.
Fire might purify or it may spread the contagion across the town entire. Better to keep it contained. Keep it quiet and let its ghosts alone. That place.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2017