Later in the night, a noise stirred Teddy awake in her new bed. It wasn't abrupt, the little girl did not jolt upright. Rather, she squirmed, eyes still resting, stretched her legs and rolled over. In her state of half-sleep, Teddy heard the sound. It was soft, rhythmic, almost soothing. The sound was so soft, in fact, that it was almost like it was supposed to be there, or even, that it had always been there.
But, as she listened, Teddy's curiosity pulled her from half-sleep to full-consciousness. Her eyes flipped open in the dark of the room, and for a moment, Teddy wondered where she was. But the day's events came back to her, and she felt herself secure in time and place.
But the noise. It seemed louder now, not so soft as before. She tensed. She felt the urge to simultaneously seek the source of the sound and hide her face securely under the covers. But the more she listened, the more certain she was that this noise was human.
Frozen in fear, Teddy stared into the darkness surrounding her, trying to follow the sound. Yes, it was decidedly human... A girl, Teddy thought. But not Grandma Rose. This sounded like a young girl, weeping quietly to herself, whimpering and sniffling miserably.
Teddy listened a moment longer, but she couldn't bear the rising fear in her heart. She thought about the face in the house. She imagined herself, lying in the upstairs bedroom, in the brain of the house. The thought soothed her fluttering heart, gave her courage to reach toward the lamp on the bedside table. There must be some logical explanation for this strange sound, Teddy thought.
She turned on the lamp, sat up and took in her surroundings. The weeping had stopped, but the sniffling did not. And then she saw her: a tall girl, standing in the shadows by the window.
And in that moment, all logic went out the window and Teddy was sure she was staring in the face of a ghost. She may have fled the room, sought comfort in her great-grandmother's bed for the night, dismissed the experience as purely supernatural, had the figure not spoken.
"Who are you? What are you doing here?" the girl said, looking just as frightened as Teddy.
Teddy couldn't produce words, she just stared at the girl, mouth open, eyes wide.
"Oh, they never tell me anything!" the girl wailed, seeming to take Teddy's silence for an answer.
She sounded like an irritable teenager. And the more Teddy stared, the more she realized that that's exactly what this girl was. Not a ghost, just a girl caught by surprise.
Finally finding her courage and her words again, Teddy said, "I'm visiting my Grandma Rose for the weekend. Who are you?"
The girl looked confused for a moment, then surprised, then annoyed again.
"They really never think to tell me anything, do they?" she said again, outrage mounting.
Teddy was more confused than ever, but she felt bad that they hadn't been introduced sooner. Why hadn't they even told her Teddy was coming?
"Who are you?" Teddy said.
The girl crossed her arms. "Who am I? Oh, you want to know, who am I?" she said bitterly. "You show up in my room and so rudely eavesdrop on me..."
"I'm sorry," Teddy said.
The girl seemed to simmer down. She stepped closer to Teddy and sat on the bed next to hers.
"I'm Isabelle. I'm a maid, though everyone says I'm not a very good one. I live here with Rose and that butler," she said softly. "Who are you?"
"I'm Theodora White, but you can call me Teddy. Everyone does."
Isabelle nodded. Up close, Teddy noticed her puffy, red eyes against her pale skin.
"Why were you crying?" Teddy said quietly, a near-whisper. She'd usually be embarrassed to ask such a question, but something about Isabelle made her think she wanted to talk about it.
Isabelle let out a heavy sigh and looked longingly toward the window.
"I'm waiting for a man to return," her face twisted with emotion, her voice caught in her throat. "And I fear he never will!"
She sobbed into her hands.
"Your dad?" Teddy guessed.
Isabelle scoffed through her tears, a strange combination that made her look crazed for a moment. She composed herself.
"No," she said firmly. "His name is John Danler and we're engaged to be married."
Fresh tears bloomed in her eyes and she planted her face in her hands.
"Oh. Well, how long's he been gone?"
Isabelle groaned and flopped facedown on the bed. "It feels like years. Decades, even!"
Teddy wasn't really sure what to say, but she was feeling sleepy again.
"I'm sorry," Teddy said. "He's got to be back soon, right?"
"I'll never stop waiting for him," Isabelle said.
YOU ARE READING
The Face in the HouseHorror
A twisted tale of death, love, and magic. Enter the mouth of the face in the house.... WATTPAD PICK: Stranger Summer Reads ☀️😈 Rose White's little old house is filled floor-to-ceiling with books, newspapers, and other fragments of a life spent shut...