Part of an ongoing serial story
Niko followed silently behind Mrs. Stone, but his mind was agitated. He turned over her few words in his mind, much like a jackdaw would look for jewels among pebbles. What did she mean by saying only a fortunate few are welcomed here? Hadn’t he decided on his own to take Bruiser’s dare? No one invited him! Rather than get another beating, or worse, make his mother worry, he’d decided to just get it over a knock on the door of the strange old house. He didn’t really believe the stories that said people had gone in and never come out again. Did he?
Mrs. Stone turned in mid-stride, as if jerked around by Niko’s doubts and said, rather sharply, “I’ll not have you fretting, boy, for this house is a harmless as she comes. No one is ever held against their will. You are free to come and go as you will.”
‘B-b-but why am I h-h-here?” Niko managed to stutter.
“Well, I don’t know,” she said crisply, shaking out her skirts and turning to go on. “The house hasn’t told me yet. This way please.”
After a few more corridors (Niko had lost count) they stopped in front of a big black oak door with Niko’s name on it!!! This is too weird! I am outta here first chance.
Mrs. Stone swung the door wide onto a teen-aged boy’s Fantasy Island. Game consoles with comfortable swivel chairs, the best bluetooth head sets, game controllers and joysticks, mouse pads and and webcams. And one of his favorite games was already loaded and ready to play. He barely noticed the large bed and easy chair in the corner, but he did take note of the door and windows opposite their entry point. They didn’t appear to be locked.
“Well?” Mrs. Stone smiled.
Niko shifted uncomfortably. “I’m going to have tell my mom where I am. Then I’ll come back. For a while. To see.”
“So we’ll see you at dinner then,” said Mrs Stone, nodding her approval. “Just knock on the door and someone will answer and bring you to the dining room. You’ll get to meet the others then.” She turned backed and added, “Oh, and give my love to your mother, please. She was such a sweetheart during her stay here. Always looking out for other people. I expect she still is.”