The thunder rumbled across the sky like the thoughts in my head. I haven’t seen my aunt in years. Aunt Marge was a great-aunt; she has lived many lifetimes.
The woman had money. She has been a widow seven times. Aunt Marge isn’t a black widow though; all of her husbands were railroad men who perished in unfortunate accidents.
All those husbands and no children, instead she helped to guide her sister’s children. Her sister was my grandmother, Evelyn.
Marge and Evelyn grew up in a little Victorian home on the island. Marge never left the island even during the harsh winters.
The island winters are full of arctic winds blasts and horrendous rain storms. The ferry ride over feels more like a spinning sea saw.
I never thought I would be so happy to see Charles. The man is a character right out of the Adam’s Family. Charles has no personality. The man doesn’t know how to smile. In retrospect he is a perfect employee for my aunt.
The drive is dark and quiet. I can’t even see the house nestled into the hillside. Aunt Marge must be trying to save on the electricity bill.
My aunt is waiting patiently at the door.
“You are 12 minutes late.”
“Hello, Aunt Marge,” I can’t control the weather or the ferry.
“Hilda has dinner in the kitchen.”
“Hilda must be new.”
“Don’t ask silly questions.”
After enjoying a warm meal and a warm fire I am suddenly tired. I can barely stand. My energy is gone and I feel weak. Hilda shows me to my room. This isn’t my normal room, but I am too exhausted to argue.
I lie down in bed. The thunder rages outside. I try to wake up, but I can’t. I feel someone watching me. I lift my eyelids to see a strange figure standing in the corner of my room.
I close my eyes again. I hear a noise and open my eyes. A man is standing over me. He grabs me. His sudden grasp gives me the strength to move. I push him down and fumble out the door.
I slam the door behind me and bolt down the stairs. The house is very dark. I can barely see in front of me. As I round the corner I see a flicker of light ahead. It is from the kitchen.
I run into the kitchen. Hilda is cutting vegetables by candlelight.
“Hilda, there is a strange man in my room!”
“He is not a strange man, dear.”
Hilda looked skeletal. Hilda lunged towards me and grabbed my wrists. I flung my arms in an upward motion freeing myself from her grasp. She grabs the knife and slices my hand.
I step through the back door and onto the deck. The deck hangs over the cliff. If I make it to the end I will reach the woods. The woods might be the only way to escape this madness.
The strange man steps in front of me. I turn around and Hilda is there with the knife. I kick Hilda hard. I turn and punch the man behind me.
He tackles me to the ground. I began to kick him repeatedly. Hilda reaches down and grabs my face.
“My goodness, child.”
I felt like a train wreck; I was at the end of my bed twisted up in the covers. From the look on Aunt Marge’s face, I was a mess.
“We are going into town for breakfast. You will find a dress from the closet and gloves in the top drawer of the dresser. You have 20 minutes to be washed up and downstairs.”
“Yes, Aunt Marge.”
I rolled over and looked at the ceiling. A dress and gloves for breakfast – did she think it was the 1950s? I felt a sting in my hand. I held it up. I had a deep, fresh cut across my skin. I sat up quickly in bed. Is this why Aunt Marge wanted me to put on gloves?