Suddenly, after having walked as little as a few more steps, a large Gothic structure appeared before her. The architecture resembled a fairy tale model. That in this case lamentably, was more like something found in a horror story. Grim and inhospitable, the imposing structure defended by an overgrown garden, spoke of long neglect. Situated amongst the strangulating weeds, mossy statues of curvaceous goddesses whispered secrets of time past. Whilst centrally, an arid birdbath stained turquoise from the decay of time, stood lonely and forgotten. On the whole, one could only deduce human absence by the squalid state of things.
Large ageless trees posed as arboreal guardians, as its silhouetted branches danced upon the cracked time worn walls, to the wind’s song rustling through the leaves. A turret rose defiantly out of the roof of the two storey house. Embellished by carvings of zoomorphic beasts, a cluster of gargoyles and winged beings cast their mischievous gaze upon the onlooker. The visitor could not help but fear that, housed within the decrepit walls of this unwelcoming abode, a dark scene from Grimm brothers, wicked witch and all, awaited ready to pounce.
Venturing forward towards the entrance nevertheless, she pushed against the rusted lacework gate before her. It grunted as it opened reluctantly, the hinge barely able to submit through lack of use. Then, just at that moment, sounds, almost inaudible at first, seemed to emanate from somewhere within the house. Assuming the trees to be the perpetrators, she stood still so as to listen. Strangely, the birds complied by desisting from chatter, as did the forest, whose breathing had stilled.
Now a piano was vaguely audible. This compelled her to knock on the door, that, much to her surprise, opened on its own. Calling out she crept into a vestibule filled with an array of paintings and other exquisite objects. The brightness of the foyer defied the impending gloom of night’s approach. Growing ever louder, the music had a magnetic affect on the young visitor. In a state of increasing curiosity, she entered into a great hallway that seemed never-ending in grandeur. The lack of dust and decay contrasted sharply with the derelict appearance of the house’s exterior. Upon the walls, an eclectic collection of artworks were hanging; seascapes, still lives, and an odd assortment of unusually pleasing abstract water colours, reminiscent of Turner. It was all very warm and welcoming, suggesting the likelihood of tenancy.
“Hello!” she cried. But there was no response, so she continued down the passageway, pausing distractedly for long periods. The ceiling was laden with detailed carvings of cherubim, whose animated eyes followed her every step. These decorative surroundings embodied an aesthetic ideal. That for one obsessed in beauty, as she had long been, this was a veritable feast for the eyes. Leading her to wonder suddenly, whether this was a manifestation of an overactive imagination?
The House is an adult fairy tale rich in mystery and intrigue.
Here is a tale of a woman so absorbed with historical novels that her own reality ceases to offer any hope of romance and beauty.
Until one day this dreamy idealist finds herself in a mysterious forest. How she arrived there is unknown. Soon she encounters a dilapidated house, within whose ancient walls magical rooms that transport to parallel worlds lie in wait. There she is transmigrated to 18th century England, where our heroine interacts with an odd mix of characters whose dysfunctional lives become immediately apparent.
Her first tribulation involves a nefarious lord, an archetype of the monstrous characters one encounters in fairy tales. The ramification from this confrontation sets the tone for the narrative.
A magic portal finally enables escape from the austere Georgian dwelling. She is then spirited back to the enigmatic house, and a journey to Regency London follows, where a large cast of eccentric identities present themselves.
Late one night, following a long stay in Florence, a young, heart-broken poet arrives. His introduction to the beautiful time traveller offers promise of restoration and love. But there are several more obstacles ahead before her destiny in this curious adventure is made apparent.
In the end an unexpected twist is revealed. But like all good fairy tales, this surprising conclusion is pleasing, even though the means of getting there are dark, and at times sinister.
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16
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