It all looks so much different today, so neglected and so quiet. As a child I would help my mother clean the rooms. The house had its own life, each room with its own character; the doors being the eyes. Evenings the rooms were lit by gas lights, the flickering flames framing everything with its light. Only at night, when I had to extinguish the gas, the house became an unfriendly world, the master ordering that it was to be my job as the youngest in the household to turn light into dark. I was sixteen years old and my mother was no longer so young. It was my mother that was the first person in the household to be busy in the mornings, polishing the woodwork, cleaning the silver and in winter preparing the fireplaces. The master found that I should be the person that was the last in the house in the evening. He had his reasons and who was I as a servant to refuse his wishes? The only visitors today are the children from the village and then it is better when I am not seen, but what am I thinking, they cannot see me or can they?...
"Come on Margaret, three flights of stairs are not so hard to climb, we have done it before."
"I know, but each time it seems to be more stairs than the last ones. I just don't know why we always have to come here in the summer holidays. My mother told me to keep away from this old house, it is supposed to be dangerous and it wouldn't surprise me if it was haunted. Awwww, yuck!"
"You can be a real baby sometimes Mags, what's the problem now? Seen the ghost of the Christmas past?"
"Ha, ha, very funny. There was an enormous spider's web at the side of the staircase and I happened to put my hand into it."
"So, here we are at the beginning of the corridor. I think it's time to take a rest" said Julie.
Julie just did not know why, but the corridor fascinated her. Since she was a child she would sneak into the house at week-ends and walk through the corridor. The only reason she took Margaret with her today, was that it also frightened her just a little bit to go alone as she became older, but she decided to keep that for herself. There was actually no real reason for it, Julie convinced herself. She did not want to admit to Margaret that she always felt she was being watched when she was there. What really made her shiver was the door at the end of the corridor which was always closed. They had played around when they were younger and wanted to open the door to see what was beyond, but it was locked, the only door in the house that could not be opened.
Julie was right; she was being watched by me. I had been waiting for many years to be able to leave this house, this room, to find my peace at last. Since that day when it happened, I have had no rest, but now Julie was here and had reached the same age as myself. She came often; if only she did not bring that Margaret person with her.
"Come on Margaret, what are you standing there for?"
"I thought I heard something move in the locked room, the one at the end of the corridor."
Imagining things again Mags; just because it is locked it doesn't mean that there is anything behind the door."
"But it feels so cold Julie. Can't you feel that ice in the air everywhere? I am going home, today is just not the day to explore corridors with mysterious rooms, especially this one that is always locked. Look!"
Margaret put her hand on the door knob and it turned. The door creaked and moved slightly."
"No, wait a minute Margaret. Where are you going?"
"Forget it Julie, this place is just not healthy. I'm scared."
Julie tried to follow Margaret, not knowing whether she wanted to hold her back or join her, but was somehow frozen to the spot. Through the slit in the open door she heard the sound of a girl crying. A strange feeling pushed her onwards towards the door which was now opening wider on its own. She saw a girl of her own age with a baby in her arms. The girl was crying and the baby was silent.
When Margaret returned home alone, Julie's parents expected that their daughter would also soon arrive, but she did not. The police were called on the same day, but after a search of the house and the surroundings no trace of Julie was found. They carried out closer examinations and found the skeleton of a girl together with that of a new born baby. The girl was found to be approximately the same age as Julie when she disappeared, but after tests were carried out, it was obvious that these skeletons had been laying in a locked room for many years and that the girl had died giving birth.
"Where am I?" asked Julie.
I told her not to worry. She was now safe with me and I would tell her all about the house and why the door was always locked, but Julie just did not want to understand why she should stay in the house. I showed Julie how to walk through walls and that the locked door was no longer an obstacle for her. When Julie discovered that she could no longer leave the house, that she had also become that what I was, she just did not want to understand. She asked me about the baby and I told her that the master was the father and that both the baby and I died in childbirth.
Now I have been found and I can go to my mother. She died before my baby was born. Julie has taken my place in the house and until her bones are found in the locked room, she will have to wait until a girl of her age again visits the corridor.
Visual Aid #9: The Door