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 I went home shortly before midnight. My parents were already asleep. I went to my room. Quickly I took off my clothes. For some unexplained for me reason I felt like something profaned me. Like the clothes I wore were covered with something disgusting. This feeling disappeared after I took a long hot shower and put on my gown of light material. I went to bed and close my eyes. It did not take long to sink into blissful sleep, devoid of sound or vision. I was calm and relaxed. People said: “Good things last a short time”. And definitely not wrong. When I opened my eyes, bright sunlight blinded me. Covering my face with my hands. Apparently my mother had pulled the curtains because I heard she called me to get up and get ready. I ask myself <Is it morning already?>. Like a moment ago I closed my eyes, but now it’s time for breakfast. I was little mystified, but I accepted it as a result of last night excitement.

 

I stood up and reluctantly took off my nightgown. I put most ordinary jeans and shirt. On my bare feet I put soft slippers. Then carefully combed my hair and then tied in a ponytail. Once I was ready I went downstairs and went into the kitchen. My mother had prepared a wonderful breakfast consisting of toast with butter, fruits, tea, coffee and juice. My father was reading the morning newspaper and from time to time by sipping hot coffee. I sat at the table opposite him. No one spoke. Everyone was busy with his own actions and thoughts. At one time my mother, absorbed in her thoughts, told me that I should help her in the family flower shop. She never looked at me. It’s like talking to herself. No opposed to it. Anyway, I had free time. And I loved going to the store. Flowers calming me. Its beauty captivated me with their color and their divine scent made me feel amazing. Of all flowers the most loved was the red rose. It sounds trite, but true. Not just because of their beauty and fragrance. For me they were an example of the dangers that may present beauty.

 

After breakfast each took on the job. My father was a lawyer in a small office. He moves before us for a meeting with a client. Shortly after, I and my mother went to the store. In the beginning was quiet. We had no clients and enable us to change the layout of some of the flowers. But not long after the customers began to stream one after another. I began to wonder whether there is a holiday or something. Thank God we had a huge greenhouse next to the store. Until now no such thing had happened. Maybe because our location was almost out of town. But that day we had a spectacular turnover. My mother was very excited. Not stop smiling when send or receive the customers. And I was too busy to have time to smile. I was grateful that at least we had lunch. For a moment even I started to get irritated by all this commotion. Of course, I had to deal with it as it continued until end of the day. But that wasn’t the most irritating. About half an hour before the end of the day, the phone rang. My mom answered. Then come to me, prepared a huge bouquet of red roses and handed it to me. Then I handed the sheet of paper with the address.  That was just great. I had to bring the bouquet in the client’s home. Would pay well. There was no point to resisting. So I took the flowers and left. I got into a taxi and it drove me to the address. I stayed numb when I found myself before a large iron gate with spikes. The house was huge and in the Gothic style. I heard about this place but I could not believe that someone lives there. I prayed this not to be a joke and I passed that way in the dark for nothing. I risked and rang the bell on the left side of the gate. A few minutes later came into place and the gate will open automatically. I walked slowly and haltingly. Then I went down the alley of huge stone slabs. It seemed odd that there was no light. Neither the driveway nor the building itself. With every stop my heart beat faster. This place scares me. However,  I continued forward. I reached half way, when something stirred behind the shrubbery. Instinctively I ran forward. I stood up in front of solid wood and iron. I pressed the bell. My heart was racing like crazy.

 

Several minutes later the door opened. On the threshold stood old man with blue eyes and graying hair that nearly missed the crown. He was wearing a black vest, white shirt and black wool pants. In simple terms: like butlers in the movies. He looked me up and down. I explained why I was there. He nodded slightly. Then from inside the building heard a voice. It was kind of soft and silvery as a beautiful melody. Say the words with a strange accent.

 

-What is it, Walter? – The voice belonged to a woman.

 

The old man turned slightly and answered. His voice was deep and quiet.

 

-The roses arrived, ma’am.

-Excellent.

 

The woman appeared before my eyes. She was just wonderful. She looked like a porcelain doll, which entailed the windows of expensive antique shops. There was a long dusty-blond hair attached to the tiara. Her eyes were blue and deep. Her skin was snow white and stood out against the long red dress, which she wore. She looked me straight in the eyes, but her expression did not express anything. I made the flowers of the butler, and he handed me the money. There were more than necessary, so I started to back part thereof. He said I should keep them. I felt awkward, but I got them in my pocket. I turned and walked to the gate. Despite the impenetrable darkness, I felt their eyes on me. It was eerie. Not lost and second and hurried to get out of there as soon as possible. I took a breath only when I came out on the street. I stopped taxi and lost in a seemingly endless stream of cars.

 

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I will not speak of another invention born from the mind of a writer. Everything you hear in this story is real. As I saw it. I don’t know whether you believe me. I dare not even to think about it or hope for it. The truth is that I just want to tell a story in which I played role without to want it. On these pages I want to pour all my heart, hoping that someone will understand.

 

Forgive me. I failed to introduce myself as it is right. But one more thing. Don’t be surprised if the names of the places that are included here are not mentioned. For me it was not particularly significant. The names are just a logo, I would bet on the nature of things. But to pass on the merits. My name is Christina Brighton. The events started to happening after my twentieth birthday. Soon you will understand everything.

 

I lived with my parents in an average town. Nothing different happened here that any other city. We had a small but very comfortable house on two floors. It was in one of the quieter neighborhoods. Right here is not happening anything interesting. So even the most insignificant drunk brawl turned into gossip. This to some extent imported a variety of our boring lives. On the other hand it was a little annoying.

 

Well, even as a little girl, I do not loved problems. I was always gentle and comply with rules that had decency. This made me a darling of teachers in primary and high school. On the other hand my classmates thought that I was too strange. Not that this was an obstacle. Actually I understand them well, although for most of the time I listened to their complains and if I can I gave them useful advice. But overall, I can’t say that I have many friends. The truth is that it was only one person whom I could call a friend. That was my former classmate Sally Williams. Nice girl with a great sense of humor. She was one of attractions of my humble neighborhood that really worth it. The other was “The Park of Statues”. Amazing place full of peace. Perhaps because almost nobody went there. I often isolate myself there to clean my thoughts or just to be able to concentrate on my work. Although I liked this place and consider it for my refuge, I must say that avoided staying there after sunset. All the statues there lost their daily beauty and turned in hostile and cold shadows of the pale moonlight. More that once I asked myself how can a thing to contain within itself both beauty and fear. I mean if you look at the light of day you’re feeling surrounded by angels but by night… Then those wonderful things fill you with fear.

 

Of course, I had not courage to go out at night alone. And I saw no point to doing it. But like everything in this world and this has changed. Not immediately, but little by little. Started at the moment that Sally and mutual friend Bly McLane wanted to go out to celebrate my birthday as we know. I agreed, but I must admit I do not like noisy celebrations. I do not really love any parties. And if I knew what would cause this day, I hardly will dare to step across the threshold of my home. But I did not know and I was relaxed.

 

So… The three of us went out to celebrate. We started with ice cream and entertainment in the fun-fair. During most of the time Sally was telling funny stories from out days at school. Bly listened to them with interest because he was curious. He was older than us with two years and for some reason had he was too mentoring. On the other hand he himself did not stop to flaunting with his skills in shooting. He thought that once succeeded to hitting the targets, this is a great achievement. There were moments when his excessive flaunting makes us laugh.

 

After the fun-fair we went to a little restaurant where we can enjoy on the wonderful dinner. It was nothing too fancy. The funny was that Sally can make so common place in the magnificent place and ordinary dinner – in wonderful feast. They are halcyon days. Too quiet I would say. But most people wanted this.

 

After dinner we went to the Park. There was deserted. High lights glowed and turned bright lanes in corridors. The statues stood on the green meadows. They looked like shadows. Sally walked past them, occasionally turning to face any of them. Grabbed her skirt and slight bowed. She behaved as if she was palace lady and met another nobleman. Even saying something like: <<Good evening, my lord! How are you today? >>. She laughed to tears. Make us to laugh too. But I must admit something. Despite her stupid behavior, I would never replace this friendship and for the most precious treasure. In her simplicity had a special charm.

 

But on the merits. As we walked along the avenue that led to the exit of the Park, I seemed that something stirred up one of the statues. I stopped for a moment to see better, but there was nothing. I thought it was just a play of light. So I went ahead with my companions.

 

But it wasn’t the play of light. There was someone… or something. He was a tall young man with gray-blue eyes and ebony-black hair, which gain magical glow of moonlight. He stood behind one of the statues and stared at us until we were lost in the darkness. He looked totally calm as if nothing in this world could disturb him. He was dressed in a rather unusual way. He wore thigh-length tunic in red color. Probably velvet. His shirt was of red silk. He wore a belt with gold leaf and red ruby on the buckle. His boots reaching just above knees. He had gloves in the same color as the tunic. This “ghost” seemed to come out from the pages of a book. But it was not. He was very real, even too much. Without even to twitch his face changed. The gray-blue eyes have become bright the color on red blood, but by his sculpted lips glistened long canine teeth were like from ivory. Without moving, he realized he was not alone. And so it was. But newcomer creature was covered in the deepest shade. Don’t issue sound. It was hard to tell whether it was fear or respect for this so-fine person. None of them spoke. I just stood and stared into the void of the night.

 

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November 2013

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