Sora had not stopped by Riku’s room to apologize. Riku was not going to apologize to Sora. Kairi was getting a little worried. They hadn’t argued like this in years. Though, the last time was over their teacher, Lulu. Did they have a thing for older women?
“Sorry, milady.” Constance had sent up Harriet to be her lady companion, which involved things like helping Kairi get ready for dinner. And getting ready for dinner was a process. Harriet was currently brushing her hair to prepare her for hair curlers that night. Powders and paints were spread out on the table. “Just an hour or so more….”
“HOUR!” Kairi yelled. “I am NOT going to have my hair fussed over for an hour.”
“I’m sorry Miss Harriet, but just brush the darn thing”
“Thank you, Milady.” A smile lit up Harriet’s face, reflected in the mirror.
“And call me Kairi.”
“But, Milady! It’s rather…bold to address you by your first name.”
“I don’t care. I HATE being ‘Miladied”
“You have spunk” Harriet muttered. “I’ll have to get you a wig though, Miss Kairi. Your hair’s too short.”
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Sora jumped from the shock of the noise and slumped over to the door. He opened the door to a tall butler with brown hair and green eyes. Who was he? Sora hadn’t seen him earlier.
“My name is Kenneth Anderson” he said. “Mistress Hatchaway sent me to be your valet.”
“I have a Valet?” Sora asked. “Why?”
“To help you prepare for dinner sir.” Sora gave a big smile. He hadn’t had a sit down dinner in a long time. Not since the night he left Destiny Islands anyway.
“Really? Great! Uh, how exactly DO you prepare me for dinner?”
“Sir, let me help you….” Kenneth grinned
Riku’s room, while not anything to sneeze at, was of significantly lower class than Sora’s. The wood was of a lower quality, the rugs were domestic instead of Persian, and the view was of the graveyard you could barely see through the vines covering the tombstones. Riku rested his forehead against the window, feeling the cold glass against his skin. Why? Was he really going insane? It was probably just the heat, like Constance said. The sky was turning a dark gray, a storm was coming, like that night. Tomorrow. If he didn’t see anything tonight or tomorrow, it would just be a temporary thing…. Yeah right. The way things looked right now he was probably going mad. Did Darkness leave behind such a strong residue? Enough to drive a person mad? Riku turned at the knock on his door. Curious, he tentatively opened up the door to see a medium sized dark skinned man there holding something over his arm.
“Sah, my name is Rolly Crump. I am your valet this evening’” Riku blinked. Why would Constance send a Valet?
“Er, my name is Riku. Come and take a seat.”
“No, sah, I’m here to help you get dressed.” He lifted whatever it was on his arm to reveal... Great. Another suit.
“Just come in.”
Constance fixed her own hair in front of a giant mirror. She used the pins the Marquis left her to fix her bun. Dinner would be a good time to test how everything was going. It had only been a few hours, but Marc had reported an argument between Riku and Sora. Though the report had only been in passing. He had actually come to ask her to ask Riku not to stomp so much in the halls. He had set a mirror askew. Constance smiled at her reflection, and at the coming storm. Even in such a rainy place like New Orleans storms were just so much fun.
She was the last to arrive in the hall. Riku and Sora were on opposite sides of the room, while Kairi just gazed out the window. The storm had arrived, drenching the outside with its torrential downpour. The servants were probably going to steal some of the ghost stories from the library tonight. They had until the end of dinner.
“Dinner, ladies and gentlemen, is served” said Wesley, he was the perfect valet. Kairi turned around, in a resplendent blue dress, trimmed with lace and with a black velvet choker on her neck. Harriet did nice work.
“Wesley, if anyone comes seeking shelter, let them in.” Wesley nodded at his mistress' request and then led them all to the dining room. He pulled out seats for herself and Kairi, while Riku and Sora sat down themselves. Kenneth then proceeded with the first course, duck soup. George’s favorite. He found it in the Orient when he was exploring before his planned wedding to Emily. At a knocking during the beginning of the tentative conversation, Wesley left. He then hurried back quickly and whispered in her ear.
“There is a woman at the door, demanding shelter for her and her pet.”
“Let her in.”
“But, Miss Hatchaway, you…. may disagree with her.”
“What is she, a Lady of the Night? I said let her in.” Wesley withdrew, with her guests following their exchange.
“I’m sorry; it appears we will be having another guest this evening.” She apologized, her face coloring slightly. Wesley returned quickly.
“Ladies and Gentleman, Madame Leota and her pet raven Claude.”
Madame Leota was a woman of medium height with a pale face and jet black hair that was, unfortunately, not very well kept. She moved in a twitchy manner and watched everyone in the room, her eyes falling a lot on Riku.
“Shh” she whispered to her pet raven. “I’m sure it’s here too.” The raven cawed. “Don’t be lippy like that.” She responded. Everyone cleared away from the table a bit. “Thank you, Miss Hatchaway, for letting me stay here tonight.” She addressed Constance.
“How… how do you know I’m Constance Hatchaway?” Constance asked. Riku sensed slight shock under her commanding demeanor.
“Why, Miss Hatchaway, I am a gypsy seer. I know that which is untold, and that which the dead whisper in my ear.” Riku noticed Constance’s face pale ever so slightly. Why? He glanced at Sora and Kairi. Sora kept on giving puppy dog looks to Constance, and giving a wary eye to Madame Leota. Kairi watched Madame Leota in utter fascination.
“Can...Can you really talk to the dead?” Kairi asked tentatively.
“Is there anyone you would like me to contact?” Madame Leota nodded with an off-putting smile.
“My… my grandmother.”
“Then, Miss Hatchaway, this will be my payment for staying here. I will perform séances for you and your guests.”
“Staying here….how long will you be here?” Constance asked. Riku frowned. She had been so willing to accept them into her house, why push Madame Leota out?
“Miss Hatchaway, as long as I am not an excessive burden or stay here longer than 2 weeks or if I am unable to move on, Southern Hospitality forbids you from tossing me into the street like so much
rubbish. As it is, my wagon broke down. I need a special axle.”
“Wesley! Set a place for Madame Leota then.” Constance gave a curt nod. The seat was next to Riku. As soon as she sat down (without Wesley’s help) she grabbed Riku’s left wrist and looked intently at the inside. Riku counted the places trying to stave off the uncomfortable feeling.
“He’s a possibility.” She muttered.
The rest of dinner was uneventful, and each departed to their rooms to get ready. As Riku trudged back to his room, he ran over the semi unexceptional evening. While this Madame Leota HAD shown up and seemed….odd…. Nothing else had happened yet. It WAS just a temporary madness. Riku loosened his tie and continued to walk through the intricate hallways of the Mansion.
Riku turned quickly, looking for the sound’s source. CLANG There it was again! Not his imagination that time, Riku was sure of it. As the clinking and clanking continued, echoed by the empty hall, Riku finally managed to pin down the source. He wasn’t pleased. Riku stood in front of a suit of armor that seemed to be slightly moving. Riku gently touched the statue and when it did not attack, he turned in relief then held down a gasp. The hallway next to him stretched into eternity. Riku looked more intently. The walls continued to stretch, as the end of the hall faded into darkness. He was near the outside of the mansion, The hall shouldn’t stretch out that far, and even if it did there should a window or something. Wait! There WAS a light. Riku was not scared of the Darkness, he had once learned how to control it, but the aura of the hallway was making him feel Claustrophobic. Riku watched intently as the light came into view. Riku stared as he watched a candelabra float down the hallway.
Kairi was the last to arrive to the Séance that evening. As she walked into the room set aside for Madame Leota, she smelled smoky incense and saw deep blue hanging covering the walls. Everyone had gathered around a small table with a crystal ball on it. She missed her grandmother, and tonight was the first time she could talk to her since…. Whatever happened at her last home. It was still a blank spot in her memory. But she had been so young anyway.
“Welcome, Kairi. Are you in the proper mood?” Madame Leota asked. “Riku is my assistant this evening.”
“WHAT!” Riku shouted. She obviously hadn’t told him before hand. “You never said anything at dinner about an assistant, PERIOD. Let alone me.”
“I’m curious about what you saw.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The hallway.” Riku scowled in response. What hallway was Madame Leota talking about? There were so many here in Gracey Manor. “Just grab the incense if you please.” Riku did so, though obviously very reluctantly. She lit the incense and several candles on the table and began to gaze into her ball while reciting something.
“Serpents, and spiders, tail of a rat,
Call in the spirits, where-ever they're at!
Rap on a table, it's time to respond,
Send us a message, from regions beyond! “
There was an odd “whoo” and a green spirit came rustling through the room. Sora watched in open fascination while both Riku and Constance tried to find the projector.
“Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween,
Awaken the spirits with your tambourine!”
“Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond,
Let there be music, from regions beyond!”
“Wizards and witches, where-ever you dwell,
Give us a hint, by ringing a bell! “
The green spirit appeared to settle in Madame Leota and she looked out.
“Connie?” The voice was hoarse and deep. Every syllable echoed weariness.
“Ambrose?” Constance responded. Kairi was a little put out. They were supposed to be talking to HER grandmother.
“CONNIE! I’ve been waiting for you.” Constance humphed. “I loved you, I did. You taught me so much. About how C” Sora had been creeped out and when Madame Leota was not sounding like Madame Leota he had jerked in surprise, bumping the table. The upseted table had pitched her backward and she now lay briefly on the floor. She got up slowly, shaking her head.
“What happened” she muttered. She looked at the expressions on everyone’s faces. Constance wore an inscrutable mask, Sora looked disappointed, Kairi was mad, and Riku flitted in between curiosity, anger, fear and worry. Claude the raven cawed “Shh, Claude. You can tell me later.” She sat back down and looked up at the people surrounding her. “I’m sorry. I will try to contact the spirits again tomorrow.”
“Don’t bother” Constance said. “It was a… treat to hear Ambrose again.”
“Who’s Ambrose?” Sora asked.
“My first husband” Constance said sadly. “he died in a farming accident. He was… no, it’s too gruesome for tonight. Good Night, Madame Leota. I shall make sure to see you tomorrow.” Taking their cue from Constance, everyone went back to their beds.
YES! Since i had it beated it survived the laptop debacle being saved as a separte file and sent through e-mail.
okay, Keep in mind this takes place in New Orleans, 1879 or so.
I think everyone in here is named after Imagineers except Constance, and SRK
That's right, Leota is named after an Imagineer!
Also, there is a one sentece reference to a future character, can you pick it up? (Choc, Do NOT say anything)
Disney gets everything.