The Mansion and the Architect

They first toured the house in late autumn, a woman of middle age gave the tour.
She dressed elegantly and had a powerful demeanor.
“This is the main hall. Notice the cascading stairs and balcony of the second
floor.” She held her hands against the thick violet curtains hanging from the second floor.
“The mansion itself was designed by a brilliant architect named Drakel, a native
to the Holy Roman Empire. As you can very well tell he put much time and energy into
it.” She said looking up at the painted dome ceiling as they walked up the main staircase.
They started down the hall, the couple smiled.
“The art work, all chosen by the architect himself tells a lot about the man, most
of it is very dark." The man put his hand down on an ebony sphere on the upstairs column
as they reached the top of the stairs.
“This one is my favorite” She spoke quietly and reserved.
They looked at it together with a blank expression not knowing what to think or
believe, an oil painting of a muddy brown canyon with contrasting gold and blue flames
burning heat, a gruesome beast with tentacles, reptilian scales and insect wings stared
directly into them with a finger pointing directly into flames.
The man faked an awkward smile to the realtor as the wife passed indifferently.
He gazed down the balcony as the chandelier flickered. He was taken aback by a statue of
a knight in the fashion of Arthurian legend standing on the first floor he hadn’t noticed as
they came through. He shook his head in disbelief, quite shocking. He started to think of
his father passing, a great man.
The realtor passed placing a hand on the man's shoulder.

“Let’s move on.”
The realtor walked them out. They stood under a waning twilight in the autumn
breeze.
“It is really quite an offer, fortunately for you the interests are down and this is
truly the best time to buy.” She held out her hand and they left.
It was a cold windy afternoon not two weeks later when they pulled up with their
things.
The gable peaked high, towering over the huge double doors, we stood on the
lawn scattered with untended gardens and fallen leaves. The mansion, with its stone
façade loomed down at the earth, the windows staring, lined with hanging plants and ivy.
“Well, we are here.” he said.
The wife looked around at some sculptures and a fountain. Her gaze fell beyond
the property at a high elm tree in the distance poking branches over jagged rolling
mountain tops in the distance past the hills.
The first few weeks they spent getting settled in and becoming familiar with the
house.
They discovered a garden bower out back, where on the days when the sun came
out, they enjoyed spending their days. It started to feel like home.
They kissed arms around each other under the hanging ivy and wildflowers.
“I feel so at peace, we have entered a new world.”
They laughed.
“Gabriel.”
One day before the winter solstice the man was walking through the wrapping

halls on the second floor for no particular reason and he noticed a door, it was locked. He
went for the handle and tried again. Not given a key he grew frustrated.
He called the realtor later that day. She assured him she had no idea. Three
mornings later a package laid rest on the front doorstep. It had no postage, just a small
brown box with a ribbon tied around. He opened it on the stairs, a skeleton key wrapped
in cotton and silk with a note and in calligraphy saying only two words: "THANK YOU".
He put it with the other keys in the pocket and threw out the box.
He walked up the hall and reached for the key and grabbed the handle, it slid open
unexpectedly and he stood still looking around in silence, the door was somehow already
unlocked.
He crept into the pitch black.
He reached for a light, wondering what is this room.
A library with a great wide window staring out distant at the mountains, he
walked passed the piano touching the keys, he browsed the shelves various titles then sat
at the desk.
He looked in the drawers, the top had a few pencils and pens and a notebook.
He sat at the desk and read a while, it turned out to be journals of the architect, Drakel.
Not thinking much of it he put them away and turned out the light, and started to
feel groggy as he walked back down the hall toward his bed.
They laid awake a while, talking about nothing.
When the rain started to pick up and a storm began hitting the roof like galloping
horses.
The lights blacked out and a quick chill ran up their spines.

“What was that?”
“It sounded like footsteps…”
He went to check out the sound telling her to hold tight, he walked out the hall
and the darkness swelled in silence and despair. Creaking noises on the wood from the
mansion a melody began to flow to his ears. As he passed, shine of the moon outdoors
landed on the knight and the painting lit up, it was all he could see for a frozen moment in
time.
A soft elegant Aeonian mode, flowing from the library, and he knew it.
He stared at the ebony sphere on the column.
In the dark in the dungeon, the background of the flames lit wildly.
He knew.
His arms and feet in chains in the form on an X his body felt weak.
Insane sounds of insect wings and flashing movements of shadow flickered on the
stone wall.
“Adramelech has fed”