Winter Season at MacKaylor Castle
By Jeff Baker
NOTE: The genre, location and object for this month’s Flash Fiction Draw Challenge were a Gothic Romance set in a mausoleum with a pair of goggles. And I’d been watching too much of a certain old soap opera which had gothic trappings. Happy Valentine’s Day!
“Hey! This works great! I can see everything clear as…watch it! Don’t trip over the gravestone!”
“Thanks!” Peter said. “Hey, how far are we anyway?”
“Not too far,” I said. “Glad I got these Nite-Sight goggles. They were a little pricy.”
“All the better to see me with my dear,” Pete said. “No moon and this cemetery is away from the highway and…hey! I think that’s it! Over there!”
A dark bulk loomed against the dark, cloudy sky.
“The McKaylor Mausoleum,” I breathed. “That thing’s over 200 years old.”
“Yeah…” Pete said. “You’re sure it’s empty?”
“Uh huh,” I said. “I don’t believe a word of what happened in 1884 but the family emptied the mausoleum anyway. My Dad took me in it when I was a kid.”
“Speaking of your Dad, how would he feel about the heir to the estate making out with the groundskeepers son?” Pete asked.
“Since he and I both have degrees in botany, we both have gainful careers, so he wouldn’t worry about any class stuff.” I said. Pete laughed.
Pete had grown up in MacKaylor’s Bay but I’d grown up in Boston, despite the town being named after my family. When my great-uncle contacted me and said he was naming me his heir and that I would inherit the castle I’d jumped at the chance. But the castle was a run-down Gothic pile and the family business was on its last legs. The good news was I’d met Pete and we’d fallen head over heels for one another.
“You really want to make out in the mausoleum?” Pete said.
“Sure! It’ll keep us out of sight and it hasn’t been occupied in a century. We’re not going to wake up Barnabas Collins,” I said with a grin.
Pete gave me a blank look. “The guy who was in Genesis?”
I sighed and drew him in for a kiss. By this time we were on the steps of the mausoleum. I fished my key out of my pocket and led him into the dark room, still kissing. I turned on the flashlight app and shone it around the room. In one corner was a cot.
“You bring guys here all the time?” Pete asked.
“No, one of the guys used to sleep here. He was a little weird. He went to South America, he won’t bother us.”
We walked over to the cot, still kissing. That was when we heard the THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, from under the stone floor.