From Scare Yourself Silly, an 826 Valencia workshop taught by Lisa Brown
The Balanced Dagger by Asha Fletcher-Irwin
The governess walked into the drawing room by the light of a candle. Miss Jackson was hardly the sort to be scared of lengthening and shortening shadows as she walked. The grand clock in the entrance halls could be heard even here on the East passage. Finally she reached the doorway and stretched out her hand. It looked oddly pale in the candlelight. As she turned the brass knob, Miss Jackson heard the first of twelve chimes that continued until the governess had gotten to Young Lady Anne’s chair.
“Hello?” called Miss Jackson. “Is anyone here?”
She heard it again, coming from the fanciest chair in the room, a gasping, rasping voice. It was a horrible sound. Miss Jackson moved towards the noise, the clock had stopped chiming or ticking now and the house was dead silent. From the pale light in front of her she saw the body of Lady Anne gasping for her last breath. She looked up at Miss Jackson, her eyes glossed over and demented. Her hand flew out and grabbed the hand of her governess.
“Don’t tell…” She gasped. Miss Jackson nodded. She couldn’t have spoken even if she had been able to find the word to answer the girl. “Don’t tell!” Her grasping tightened. Then as she mouthed the same thing again her grasp went limp entirely and she moved no more. Miss Jackson looked into the unseeing eyes. She was only thirteen. Still a girl.