Millie's Monster: Part One
The house looked spooky. Millie gazed at the ancient building; never had she seen a house so enormous. There must be a billion rooms in it! There were half a dozen windows in the front of the mansion alone. Millie wondered how big the house was on the inside. The spooky old place gave her chills, but there was something special about it. The house had been given to her mother, from great aunt Gerty. Millie had never met this aunt, but she was sure the lady must have been nice. Millie just wished it wasn’t in the Haunted Woods.
“Amelia, come grab your backpack!” Her mother called sternly. “The movers need to finish unloading the wagon, and it’s in the way!”
Millie broke her gaze on the top most window and went to retrieve her backpack. She followed her mother into the house, through the enormous double doors. The foyer was huge and richly decorated. Paintings hung on all the walls, with large blue tapestries hanging between them. All of them trimmed with gold along the tops. Off to the far right was a drawing room, to the left a very large kitchen. Millie made a move towards the kitchen only to be stopped by her mother.
“Millie, take your belongings to your room,” She motioned towards a large, fancy set of stairs, “Your room will be the first on the right.”
She hesitated; she wanted to see the large fancy kitchen first. A gentle poke to the shoulder from her mother sent her on her way. The stairs were monstrous up close. In all her eight years, Millie had never seen a stair case so big! She wondered if she could make it up them before she got tired. Slowly she started her climb. She pretended she was Hannah the brave, climbing Terror Mountain! Nothing would stop her from reaching the top. Just like Hannah!
When she finally reached the top, she was tired. She scanned the hall quickly, it was covered in old family photos. Each was hung up in hand carved Neovian frames. She located her room and was surprised at just how huge it was. A plush four poster bed was placed against the wall facing the door. Beside it was a large window with a cushioned seat built in. The window overlooked the court yard. Millie dropped her backpack at the door and turned her attention to her new closet.
“Wow!” She mumbled as she pushed open the doors and walked inside. It was completely empty, not even clothes hangers could be found.
She spied a bizarre spot on the wall, it was a spot easily hidden by a shoe rack or a compact dresser. She tapped a knuckle on the weird spot and heard a hollow thud sound. Carefully, she dug her nails into the weird spot in the wall, and pulled it open. It was a secret drawer! Not much was in it, except some old fashioned quill pens and an ancient looking diary. She took the diary out of its hiding place. It was a pretty little thing. Its bindings were a plum colour, trimmed with gold around the edges. It even had a cloth book-marker. She gently opened it and began reading. The diary had belonged to her great aunt Gerty. The nice aunt that had left them the house.
The first page was written in neat little letters. The letters were smudged here and there, great aunt Gerty must have been left-handed. The first page in Gerty’s diary told about how her father was building the house. Millie looked at the date and realized this diary was written sixty years ago. She continued to read; aunt Gerty noted that her father loved secret doors, and that he had built over fifteen into the house. She had taken delight in finding them all, and listed their locations throughout the house and garden.
“Amelia Hawthorne!” came the shrill voice of her nanny. “There you are, we’ve been calling you for ten minutes, now!”
Startled, Millie dropped the diary in front of her. She looked at her nanny and quickly snatched the diary back up and held it tight.
“Were you drawing again?” The Pink Xweetok asked, before she turned to leave. “Well, come along now, your mother wants you.”
When the nanny was out of sight, Millie stowed the diary back in its secret spot in her closet. She didn’t want anyone else to know about the secret passages. She had marked the place she had left off with the cloth marker. It had mentioned something about scary noises, and possibly a monster. She would read it later.
* * *
“There you are Millie!” Her mother chimed in happily, “It’s time for lunch!”
Millie looked around the kitchen. It was bigger than she had first thought. There was a fancy dining room on the far end of the kitchen, it had a huge sliding glass door that lead to the back garden. There was an island near the stove, simple and made of marble. Her mother had set out a sandwich for her, with a tasty looking cup of chocolate milk beside it. Millie made her way to the island and took a seat. Her mother hurried to the drawing room. She was still helping the moving crew.
Millie took a big bite out of her sandwich. She thought about what she had read so far in her great aunt’s old diary. Suddenly she heard a creak upstairs, followed by a deep groan. It sounded like it had come from one of the rooms above the kitchen. She just hoped it wasn’t her room. Finishing her lunch quickly, she made a dash for the stairs, only to bump into her mother again. Mrs. Hawthorne laughed at her daughter’s excitement for their new home and told her to go play somewhere, while she finished unpacking. Quick like a ninja, Millie went up the stairs and heard another creak. She followed the creaky noise to the room at the very end of the hallway. Slowly, Millie opened the door and peeked in.
Nothing was in the room, but the window was open. Peering around the room from the door way, she cautiously took a step inside. A creaking sound came from under the floorboard as she stepped further into the empty room. She made her way to the seated window and looked out it. It over looked the other half of the large garden. In the distance she could see a small cemetery. Curiosity overcame her, as she bolted from the room and back down the stairs. She made for the huge sliding glass doors in the kitchen, they led to the garden and through that to the cemetery! She was sure no one would care if she played outside for a while.
* * *
The Garden was bigger than she had expected. It had taken her ten minutes to figure out which direction the cemetery was from the sliding doors. The most annoying part was getting through a hedge maze. Millie was too short to see over the hedges. It was okay though, she had pretended to be Hannah again. Millie loved Hannah and her adventure stories. She made it to the cemetery finally! A large gate with a busted lock stood before her, beyond that tombstones and spooky feelings.
Millie spied a sepulcher in the very back of the cemetery. It was extremely old; vines crawled across it, and wild roses sat on both sides of it. Millie looked at it, and wondered it if had belonged to a relative lost to time. She was sure her father would know, he knew everything about everything. She turned and slowly began walking away, gazing around at the rest of the graves situated in the little plot of land. A grumbling moaning noise from somewhere startled her, making her decide to run back to the house instead of walk.
* * *
“Dad, I have a question,” Millie announced as they were eating dinner.
“Oh, what’s that dear?” Her father asked.
“Who does the tomb out back belong too?” She squeaked, hoping he would have the answer.
Her father thought for a moment, as he took a bite of his mashed potatoes. He scratched his chin and looked out the glass doors behind their dining table.
“That tomb has been there, since before the house was built,” He stated. “It was the start of the cemetery, outback. It’s actually not a part of our property.”
“So you don’t know who’s buried there?” She asked disappointedly.
Her father shook his head. For the rest of dinner, Millie sat quietly thinking about the tomb. She wondered if the diary was connected to it in a way. She had left off when aunt Gerty had mentioned a monster. She finished her dinner and decided it was time to get ready for bed.
* * *
Her new bed was comfy. The big pillows were perfect for leaning against while reading. She had spirited the diary out of its hiding spot again and was reading eagerly. Her aunt had written about hearing strange noises, odd bumps in the night out in the garden. Suddenly a thud came from outside, followed by an irritated moan. Millie dropped the diary and crept to the window, being careful not to upset the curtains in her window seat. She didn’t want her night light to show through and startle whatever was outside. She carefully peeked out the curtains, and saw nothing. Whatever was out there had gone quickly, perhaps it was just a Meepit. Millie was terrified of Meepits. Their huge eyes and teeth made her nervous.
She continued to read. Her aunt’s diary explained all the passages and how to find the doors. Millie decided that her first exploration would be of the passage hidden behind the fireplace in the second drawing room, in the east wing of the house. Her parents would still be unpacking, and her nanny would be helping them, she could slip away unnoticed. Her aunt’s diary assured her that she wouldn’t get lost, and where the end of the passage lead. It lead into a secret part of the garden, which had been built just for Gerty. Millie wanted to see it, she loved gardens very much. She slipped the diary into the drawer of her little bedside table and reached for her night light. A moan came from outside again. In the dark of her room, she felt like a ghost as she snuck back over to her window.
“Nothing is there,” She told herself as she looked out the window again. “Don’t be silly, it’s just the wind.”
She got back into bed and fell asleep.
To be continued…