The Ebonstone Tower
W. R. Frady
The Spectral Dancers
Edna had just sat back on the living room sofa, preparing to indulge her self in the juicy plot of her latest “Harlequin” romance novel. In many ways she was thankful to have the house to herself for the evening. It had been at least a couple of months or longer since she was able to have some quality alone time. With a moderate smile of satisfaction, she took a sip of her iced tea. She glanced around for a moment allowing the tranquility wash over her. The silence was all at once calm and inviting, seducing her to give in to its gentle embrace. As if to answer its call, she opened her book and began reading.
Within moments she was enraptured in the story that unfolded in the pages before her. Time seemed to lose all meaning as the paths of the many characters in her story intertwined with each other, lulling her farther into their solemn depths. A loud creak pulled her back to reality with a start. Though she knew it to be the old house settling, the sound never failed to raise the hair on the back of her neck.
Edna took the momentary distraction to reach for her tea, however, she stopped as her eyes caught a movement at the top of the stairs. At first all she could see was the thick blanket of shadows that seemed to cover the top of the staircase like an ebony shroud. “There isn’t supposed to be anyone else here!” She said aloud, just feeling better about hearing her own voice. As if to answer, a couple dressed in the casual attire of the Victorian Era materialized from the shadows. Together they waltzed down the stairs onto the landing. A chill run down Edna’s spine as she watched, unable to move.
The dancing apparitions stepped from the landing into the living room floor, continuing to dance to a beat only they could hear. Edna lowered her book, without even knowing that she had done so, to watch the peculiar spectacle that played out before her. They soon were dancing along the darkened hallway that separated the dining room from the stairwell, making their way toward the back door. Not even stopping to acknowledge the existence of such an obstacle, the phantasmal dancers passed straight through the oaken doorway.
Edna rose as though she could not control her own feet and walked briskly to the kitchen window. To her amazement they continued their waltz as they descended the back porch steps and began crossing the backyard. They danced their way into the edge of the woods only to fade into the shadows from which they had come. Edna walked back to the living room, bewildered at what had just taken place before her.