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English Extension

Stimulus Four

Souvenirs he stood in front of his bathroom mirror. turning on the faucet, he made his sponge damp. he began blending a white powder into his cheeks. he puts in green contacts to compliment his face. he begins to cover the almost pitch-black bags under his eyes with a fair concealer. he finishes by applying a pink blush to the top of his cheeks. after setting the products on his face he washes his hands and heads to the kitchen to prepare dinner. he looked at his prized weaponry collection and notices a stain on his favourite dagger. he picks it up and washes it thoroughly, removing the evidence of the night before. he selects a knife from the block and begins to start slicing various vegetables to prepare for his broth.

Heather, Heather, pretty soft leather, he began to hum, he always found he worked faster when composing music in his head. his lips curl up into a smile as he imagines how the events of tonight will play. he usually enjoyed the chase, but tonight, he didn’t have time for nor was he wasn’t interested in the hunt. he left the enormous black pot to boil on the stove while he began to clean up his bench. he checked the clock on his wall. it read 6:30pm she was almost here.

She looked at her reflection in the mirror, her mousey pitch-black hair reaches just above her shoulders straightened, it took her an hour but not a single hair was out of place, her room, however, was a different story, articles of clothing were strewn about the floor. She tucked in her white buttoned-up shirt into a black mini skirt. She did not expect it to be formal dinner. She finished up her makeup routine by applying mascara in attempt to lengthen her eyelashes. Taking one last glimpse at the mirror, she decided she was good to go, there was no turning back now. This moment bought back her mother’s words, if he doesn’t like you at your ugliest, he never really loved you at your prettiest. The clock read 4:00pm, she didn’t want to be late, she quickly ensures all the lights are off in her modernised room and she locked up her apartment.

After more than two hours on the road, she found herself at the front of a vast oak wood door as she rang the doorbell. She was 5 minutes early. She stares in awe at the huge door and began to contemplate waiting to ring the doorbell. At least until their proposed meeting time. However, the chilly winter air got the best of her as her hands betrayed her and pressed the button, after a couple minutes, the door opened to reveal a man. This was not the man she imagined she would be meeting, he was taller, much taller than he looked in his profile picture and his hair, silky and a shade of dark brown, he was dressed in a tight black button up top. She is hit with the aroma of the food and feels as if the doors of heaven have been opened to reveal an angel.

Heather, come on in, the food still has a while to go, feel free to look around while you wait, She smiles at him, as she steps inside the mansion, she takes in the extravagance of the dated hallway, the walls dressed in portraits of what she presumed was generations of his family. He welcomes her into his living room and offers her a seat on the couch as he rushes back to the kitchen in order to prepare dinner. She notes the open shoe cupboard and notices there is only one pair. She sits down on his white leather 2-seater couch and her eyes gaze to the stone fireplace. The mantel is decorated with various bone sculptures which she suspects are made of the animals he has hunted. He lived deep in the forest, there was too little a chance he would drive more than two and a half hours to the nearest supermarket. She began to wonder where he grew his vegetables and found his meat, she couldn’t recall seeing anywhere to farm vegetables.

Her legs are crossed, she begins to fidget with her hands as she looks up at the ceiling. Her mind begins to drift away from reality as she begins to fabricate scenarios of how tonight will unfold. Taking a deep breath, the smell of hot soup brings her back to reality. She gets up to analyse the bones on the mantle of his fireplace, she picks up the one in the middle and examines it, putting it down carefully and, to avoid suspicion, in the exact spot she found it. She does the same to various other pieces of his collection. Each piece looks more disturbingly sinister than the next, she shakes her head. His choice of artwork should not represent his personality. She mentally scolds herself for judging before getting to know him.

She walks out of the living room to see if he might need any help in preparing dinner. While she never believed she was a great or even mediocre chef, she could boil water without burning it. The mansion was huge, but she was sure she could find her way to the kitchen. She continues walking along the long, narrow hallway admiring the architecture of the mansion and wondered how much a place like this would cost. She reaches the end of the hallway and is met with two huge white doors complimented with gold specks and handles, she stares in awe of the design before turning the door handle and entering the room.

The only response is the sound of a faint hum from another room. As she reaches for the light switch, it’s clear she is in the wrong room. Her curiosity becomes her as she turns the light on, as her eyes take a minute to adjust to the brightness of the room, she begins to shiver. The room was decorated with white flowers and the walls had portraits of a woman and her family. The father of the two children seemed familiar to her, it was the man who had invited her into his home. In front of them, two children stand, smiling, a reflection of their innocence. She turns her head to the middle of the room where a marble white coffin stands, she walks up to it and tries to open the lid. What was once a faint hum increasingly becomes louder. … how sweet it will seem, once more just to dream, in the moonlight, my honey I know that with the dawn you will be gone, but tonight you belong to her face turned as white as snow, her eyes, frozen wide open.

Trying to remember how to breathe, she stands there, not sure what to do about what stood before her. The woman that she saw in the portrait, now lying lifeless inside the wooden box. Her blond hair scattered, stained with the colour of crimson. Her emerald eyes open staring at the high ceiling of the room. Her clothes, a beautiful lace wedding dress, which was tainted with now dried blood. She stared at the stiff corpse, unsure of what to do until she hears an ear-deafening shriek. As if she was pulled back into the real world, she takes a deep breath and hopes he did not hear her. She hastily puts the lid back on the coffin and hurries out of the room, closing the door behind her. Quickly she walks back to the living room where she was left but instead finds herself hitting an object, she looks up and is met with a dark figure holding a large kitchen knife drenched in a deep scarlet. She stands there frozen, meeting his eyes before hearing a scream that pierced her ears.

Two children are playing in the sandpit at the far back of the house near the edge of the fence overlooking the forest. The boy, dressed in denim overalls and a dirty white t-shirt, the other, a girl, wearing a red polka dot dress that reaches just above her knees, her auburn hair tied up in two ponytails on each side of her head. Playing silently, they hear a scream come from the inside of the house.

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I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.

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