The building … it was a mansion, a home …

I found it difficult to navigate. To get to certain floors you had to first go up, then down, then up a flight again. None of the stairwells were straight up or down. The walls of the place were mostly an off-white with wooden doors. The only floors with any real signifigance in this game were three and five. Five was my room, and it contained everything I, whoever I was, owned.

I was a mother – no, a step mother. There were two boys, not mine, but my husband’s. He was there, but I don’t think he was dead. I was constantly in fear when my husband wasn’t home. The boys were not my own, and I was the second wife, and younger than their mother.

I think they felt I was an embarassment to the family. The boys were 18 and 15, or somewhere around there. They never called me mother, except when their father was around or they were saying it sarcastically. They knew that they frightened me, and they’d tease and torment me when my husband was gone.

I was constantly searching the mansion. It was such an interesting piece of architecture, and that’s why I loved it. The boys thought I loved it because it had a secret. If it did, I didn’t care for it. All I wanted to see was every room at least once.

There was something preventing me from this, though. On the fifth floor, which contained my room, there was a locked door the size of a cupboard. I’d drawn up plans of the entire house from what I’d seen, and, if I were correct, this door should lead to the third floor, which I’d yet to see the main room of.

Perhaps it’s a ballroom, I’d think, and he’ll take me dancing . . . I would stand in front of the small brown door and think of all the things that could be behind it.

I closed my eyes and saw the stairs leading down, down to the third floor. Wait! What’s this? The stairs don’t reach the floor, there’s a five foot drop to the floor . . . if you can call it a floor, it’s not yet finished. But they’re working on it! Wonderful. I can see that it’s supposed to be a wooden floor, large, open ceiling – so it is a ballroom! Or a music hall, at least. The windows in front have just been installed . . . yes, there they are putting in the final touches to the beatiful stained glass . . .

I see my husband standing there, along with another woman. They’re admiring the new glass just as I am …

It all happened so fast. I didn’t know how to react. I shrieked as the pane fell from the workman’s hand and onto the woman. So that’s how his wife died . . .

Someone’s calling my name . . . I turn to see the younger of the two boys, the one who knew his mother less and me more. He didn’t love me, but he didn’t not care for me.

Yes, I’m alright, son, just having a bit of a daydream. As I said this, the elder son came, carrying a key. A bit of paper attatched to it was painted with the design of a setting sun.
He handed it to me, and he said, “This key is to the room that our father wished to give to our mother.” He said the final word with bitter hatred and shoved the key into my hand. He guided his younger sibling away, and left me there.

I turned over the key in my hand several times, and finally pressed it into the lock. The stairs were just as beautiful in the vision – the walls were painted in a panning view of a sunset. I looked at the signature on the paintings, and they were by my husband’s first wife. I continued down, and reached the unfinished bottom of the stairs. Everything was left as it was before . . . the floor unfinished, the glass covered . . . there was dim light coming in through one small hole in the window where a pane of coloured glass was missing. It also made the room quite chill. I jumped to the unfinished floor and walked across support beams toward the window.

Her blood was still there.

“This room was her design,” the elder son said, still on the stairs. “In fact, the entire house was. She always had grand designs in her head, and she married my father to be able to afford them. Ten years ago, and I still remember it as if it were yesterday . . .”

“I . . . know what happened,” I said. “I’m sorry you had to see it . . .” In the vision I’d had, there was a young boy next to me.

I shook my head, trying to clear my mind. I looked up again, at the outside of the building.

I walked inside, back to work again. The designs to the headquarts, they had told me, were based on that of a mansion design by the founder’s mother.

Well, that explains why the third floor isn’t finished.

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