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Teddy awoke from a dead sleep. She was still in Grandma Rose's room, atop the floral bedspread and surrounded by a nest of ornate vintage garments. Much like the dead, she rose slowly, painfully, head heavy from a long slumber, muscles stiff from disuse. The gash on her knuckles pulsed angrily, the pain and the sticky dried blood was a harsh reminder of the previous night's encounter. She sat up on the bed, stretched and cracked her neck with a grimace. When she caught her reflection in the broken mirror, her grimace deepened.

She looked pale, paler than usual, and the skin around her eyes looked grey and sunken. Her hair was a mess and the strap of her dress was slipping off her shoulder. She looked like a prostitute after a long night of work, Teddy thought. In the vintage silk dress, however, at least she looked expensive. For an instant, the picture of the previous night's vision flashed before her eyes the girl in the mirror, so much like her but so, so different, the spider crawling from her parted lips she shuddered at the vision, her stomach somersaulting.

When Teddy first arrived at the house just days prior, the house was quiet, still, vacant. Now, all around her, the house on Thornewood Road radiated with life. She imagined Poole toiling with beakers in the basement, Snickers the Cat slinking through the stacks and piles in the hallway... and she imagined unseen beings, too. Beings with hidden eyes, always watching from the shadows. She could feel the eyes on her now. Something else lived in the house, she was sure now, something darker than the butler, more mysterious than the cat. Whatever it was, it wanted her to be afraid.

Despite her fear, Teddy stared at her reflection a moment longer, challenging whatever darkness she had encountered to show itself again. But it was just her in the mirror, looking tired, tense, and afraid. She tore her gaze away, frustrated.

She shook her head. This is my house, she thought.

"I have shit to do," she said aloud.

She stood, cradling her injured hand in the other. Covering herself in a black shawl, Teddy crept into the hallway. She knew she needed to cover the gash before anything else, and ideally, to disinfect it. She made her way through the maze toward the bathroom.

"Meow," Snickers called, slithering from nowhere. It would've startled her the day before.

Teddy slowed to a stop.

"Oh hey," she said, her casual tone amusing her. Just talking to a cat, nothing to see here. "Were you aware this house was haunted?"

Snickers cocked his head as if to say, "Why, whatever do you mean?" His whiskers wiggled with sarcasm.

Teddy smirked and continued through the threshold into the small washroom. The cat followed close behind.

As she rummaged through the medicine cabinet, she said, "You know what I mean. I saw something last night... and, smelled something, too."

"Meow," Snickers said.

Suddenly, she smelled it again, just momentarily, that pure sweet scent. In her mind, she saw it: golden, crystallized, sticky.

"Honey! Yes, it smelled just like honey," she exclaimed, turning to face the cat and shutting the cabinet behind her. "Where have you been all my life?"

Smiling, she reached down to pet Snickers, who promptly hissed and ran off, absorbing into the shadows.

"O-oh... sorry!" she called after him.

She bent over the sink to splash her face, but no amount of cold water could make her new life any less bizarre. She washed the blood off her hand, watched the stream flow pink down the drain.

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