The moon was full and high in the sky as I walked down the deserted street, the only sound the soft crunch of my footsteps on the cobblestones. I wrapped my cloak tighter around myself, trying to shake off the feeling of unease that seemed to hang in the air like a thick fog.
As I turned the corner, I saw it - the old, crumbling mansion that had long been abandoned by all but the bravest (or perhaps the most foolish) of souls. It was said to be haunted, the ghosts of its former occupants still lingering within its walls.
I hesitated for a moment, wondering if I should turn back. But my curiosity - and, if I'm being honest, a dash of foolishness - won out, and I found myself approaching the mansion's front gates.
The iron was cold under my fingertips as I pushed them open, the sound of the creaking hinges echoing through the still night air. I stepped onto the property, the grass tall and overgrown beneath my feet.
As I made my way up the path, the feeling of unease only grew. The windows of the mansion were dark and empty, and I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched.
I reached the front door and hesitated once more, my hand hovering over the doorknob. But before I could turn back, the door swung open with a creak, inviting me inside.
I stepped into the foyer, my eyes adjusting to the dim light. Dust covered every surface, and cobwebs hung from the ceiling. I made my way cautiously through the halls, each step feeling like it took me further into the heart of the mansion - and closer to whatever ghosts or horrors may lay within.
As I turned a corner, I saw it - a figure standing at the end of the hallway, shrouded in darkness. I froze, my heart pounding in my chest. But as I watched, the figure began to move towards me, its footsteps echoing through the empty mansion.
I couldn't run - my legs felt like they were rooted to the spot. And so I stood there, as the figure approached, until it was close enough for me to make out the details of its face.
It was a woman, her face pale and gaunt. She wore a tattered dress, and her long hair was matted and tangled. And as she reached out a hand towards me, I saw the hatred and rage in her eyes.
I stumbled back, my breath coming in short gasps. But before I could turn and run, the woman spoke.
"Why have you disturbed my rest?" she hissed. "You are not welcome here."
And with that, she disappeared into the darkness, leaving me alone in the haunted mansion.
I didn't stay a moment longer. I turned and fled, the sound of the woman's voice still ringing in my ears as I ran out into the safety of the night. I vowed never to return to that place again, the memory of the gothic mansion and its ghostly inhabitant forever etched into my mind.