This house is very weird.
The first job it made me do was cooking, but that doesn’t surprise me: I knew I would have to cook once I accepted this job.
The second task it gave me was to train though, and while the third was to water the plants, the fourth task was to meditate.
What kind of jobs are these? But more importantly… why am I getting paid to train in a gym and meditate? I do not understand.
Once evening fell I cooked dinner for both myself and the children, but once again I didn’t see or hear them.
Going out into the garden it was possible to notice that the upstairs lights were on, so someone had to be there. But then I noticed another thing: all the lights in the house are on. All time. They never go off and it is impossible to turn them off because there are no switches either.
In the garden I also noticed another thing. One thing that should have killed me with fear … but that at that moment did not have any kind of effect on me.
The sky was black. Completely black. Moon, stars, clouds … there was nothing up there, and it was so dark outside that the house seemed to be the only thing in the world.
Such a thing should have made me scream in fear. I know because I know myself. Instead I remained calm and composed. I was not afraid of the total and unnatural darkness that I was seeing.
I slept in the servant’s house around 11pm; as soon as I put my head on the pillow I fell asleep, and I don’t remember dreaming anything … I only remember opening my eyes “a second later”, only to find myself at the dawn of the next day.
I took a shower, put on my suit (clean and perfumed), and finally… well, finally here I am.
I have just finished having breakfast, and theoretically the children too have done it. I didn’t hear them coming downstairs though, that means they’re still up there … so now I just have to do it. Yes, I can’t wait any longer. I must do it. I have to go up the stairs and see what’s up there.
My 25 minute break has just started. There is no better time to do it.
I take a deep breath and …
What’s this? Anxiety? A lot of anxiety. Well … I won’t get intimidated so easily.
I approach the atrium stairs, and in addition to anxiety I begin to feel something else … anguish? No, something worse. Fear.
I’m afraid to climb these stairs. But why? Am I afraid of being fired maybe? Hanna told me that the stairs are off limits … so yeah, I might get fired for this.
But I have no choice. This house is too strange. And it makes me feel strange too.
Hanna will understand me.
I put one foot on the first step and… oh my … Why is my leg so heavy? I trained too much yesterday. Not to mention all the dishes I cooked and the effort I put into working in the garden… God, I’m so tired. I should really rest.
I’m out of breath. I feel like I will puke very soon. I’m too tired.
But … but it’s just a flight of stairs! I can’t feel so tired after taking just one step!
I put one foot on the second step and… ouch, my knee! And the back too! Man, I really need a massage right now. The elbows, the fingers, the neck, even the eyelids… it all hurts!
But this is not normal.
No, it can’t be normal.
I try to climb a little more, and …
Oh my God … what am I doing? Hanna said it’s forbidden to be here! And now she will fire me! Yes, she will, because she is seeing me! It is clear that she is seeing me! There are cameras! And I’m sure that the person who moves things while I’m not looking is also spying on me right now, hidden who knows where!
I look around with concern: where is he? Who is in here?
But what if there really isn’t anyone here? What if this is actually a ghost house? What if Hanna was dead and is her spirit that moves things? Oh no … oh no what am I doing?
The heart is beating so strongly that it could stop at any moment.
I look up and … I don’t see anyone. There is nobody beyond the stairs. Yet I feel observed, as if something up there is watching me. Something invisible … the ghost! And it’s getting closer! I feel it!
HERE IT COMES!
I back away so fast that I fall to the ground.
Now I’m entirely in the hall again.
I scratch my head, then get up.
What … happened? Why did I fall down the stairs like a fool?
I touch my chest, but my heart seems to be beating at normal speed now; I touch my knees, but I don’t feel pain coming from there; I jump on the spot, but I don’t feel any kind of physical tiredness or discomfort.
Does this just mean that … I imagined everything? Even the ghost must have been a figment of my imagination, because now I do not perceive anything around me and more importantly I am no longer afraid.
Well, it’s clear that I can’t go up there, so I approach the front door of the house but unlike the others it does not open. It remains closed. And since there is neither a handle nor a button, the message that the house is letting me through is clear : I can’t leave.
But what if I want to go out? Is it possible that I really can’t? This is illegal! The house is practically kidnapping me! But now that I think about it … even if I went out, where could I go? This is practically the most isolated villa in the world, and I have no other places to go anyway.
There is no way out of here. And to be honest I don’t even want to go out. I have nowhere to go.
Ignoring the stairs leading to the upper floor, I walk towards the living room.
The TV is on, and there is the theme song for my favorite anime that invites me to sit on the sofa.
And I see no reason to refuse.