"No, thank you," you reply blankly.
The undertaker gives you a worried look. "Your appetite isn't very strong today. Is something wrong?"
"I just have a headache. Don't worry about it," you say, standing up and walking away.
I've been here forever.
And yet, it feels so strange.
Old but strong grey walls keep the almost-ancient, supposedly abandoned manor up. The simplicity of this mansion is absolutely boring, but it's subtle, and makes everything peaceful. You look walk around the house, keeping track of your steps, listening to the loud, crisp echoes they make.
You stop, and stare at a brown door, painted like all the others.
This was mother's bedroom.
You open the door and step inside, inhaling the scent.
You lie down on the bed and look at the plain white ceiling.
You blink and, for a moment, it seems to turn into a wild array of colors.
Shaking your head, you get up from the bed, walking to the window and opening the curtains.
Plain green fields cover the landscape, with not a single human- or anything else- in sight. It's isolated. Perfect for hiding out.
And yet, it feels so strange. Unusual.
But it can't.
Because you've been here forever.
"Can I come in?"
The undertaker walks in, holding a glass filled with a clear liquid.
"You're dizzy, right? Drink this. It'll make you feel better."
"I'm fine, really," you assure. "Besides, shouldn't you be in London? You always have work there, right?"
"I don't want to leave you alone here. Besides, you're not going to listen to me?" He asks sarcastically.
You force out a small chuckle and hold out your hand. "Fine. I'll drink it."
The frown on his face automatically turning into a smile, the undertaker gives you the glass. You bring it closer to your lips, to take a sip.
In a blur, the window explodes.
And so does your glass.
You jump up, pushing the shards of glass off of your dress.
"Are you alright?!" The undertaker flips you around, looking for injuries.
"I'm fine, I didn't get cut," you reply, bending down to pick up shards of glass. "What in the world was that?"
The undertaker rips out a butter knife lodged in the wall.
"Oh god, a butter knife flew through the window!" You cry, laughing. "Oh look, it's even polished!"
"My, my," he mutters, an obvious frown on his face. "He's rather clingy."
"Nobody, nobody," the undertaker smiles, taking your hands. "Come on, I'll take you to your bedroom. You should sleep more, if you're dizzy."
Uncertain, you follow along.
Walking down the halls with your hand lodged firmly in the undertaker's grip, you look out the windows at the blue sky, dotted with clouds, complimenting the green scenery.
Suddenly, a black shadow crosses one of them.
You're slightly surprised, but you decide to take no note of it.
"There you go, off to bed," the undertaker smiles, tucking you in.
"Can you stop doing this? I'm nearly as old as you are, and I don't need you to treat me like a child," you complain.
"Huh? I don't think I'm treating you like a child at all. I'm treating you like a treasure. You're something I had never even dreamed of holding in my arms before."
You laugh. "Well, thank you for treating me like an object."
The undertaker chuckles as well, kisses you on the forehead and walks to the door.
"No matter what, stay in your room."
"Why?" You ask him.
"I have something to deal with. Sleep well," he smiles at you, leaving the room.
You could have sworn, in the moments before he left, there was malice in his eyes.
Closing your eyes, you try to think of nothing and just rest.
Of course, you hid your suspicions when the butter knife flew through the window. It doesn't matter, right? The undertaker'll take care of it.
He's always taken care of everything, because you're just that special to him.
"I had never even dreamed of holding you--"
"What am I to you? A toy? A prize?"
You jerk up violently, breathing quickly and supporting your dizzy head with your hand.
Who said that? I don't remember that, even though it sounds so recent.
Why is everything so hazy?
You shift around your mattress uncomfortably, flinching when you notice something hard beneath your arm. You lift it, finding a crystal-clear diamond ring.
A lonely, rare jewel, covered and hidden by the garbage around it.
And yet, it was made by that filth.
It's incredible how when you combine so much worthlessness and negativity together, you end up with something that every single being wants.
Truly a sight to behold.
You slip on the ring, waving it around, letting it shine in the light. Suddenly, you notice blood running down from the ring.
Realizing the tip of the diamond has cut your finger, you lick off the blood, but keep the ring on anyway.
Stepping off of the bed, you notice a black rose on the floor, followed by a trail of pedals leading to the door.
"No matter what, stay in your room."
Still, fueled by curiosity, you walk to the door and open it slightly, revealing a continued trail of black pedals. Looking both directions to make sure the hall is empty, you put on a coat and slip out of your room, following the rose fragments.
The trail goes on, turning corners before stopping at a door.
Following the trail, you didn't realize that you had just walked all the way to the other side of the mansion.
You open the door slowly, resulting in a quiet squeak. It's dark, but the continuous trail of pedals continue to visibly line the steps going all the way down into the pitch black abyss.
You hesitate for a moment- you're not scared of the dark, of course, considering that you've had demons tear your legs off to prevent you from getting away, but you're scared because if the undertaker finds you exploring, he'll probably scold you.
Of course, being scolded by the somebody you love is more miserable than anything.
Still, you descend into the darkness anyway.
At the bottom of the basement, you notice another black rose in full bloom. You notice your finger starts to bleed from the diamond's tip again, but this time a drop of blood drops onto the rose, dying it a bright red.
You flinch and fall to your knees, gripping your head in pain.
"Go to this address, he'll help you."
Escape. Run away from the monsters.
What a nightmare.
"I'll protect you, everything'll be fine from now on."
"I have some business in London, so I'll be working there from now on."
It's boring here.
I think I'll go to London too.
No. I've never been to London before.
I've been working as a maid for the past few years; it's tedious and humiliating, but also interesting and peaceful.
No. I've never worked for humans before.
I got hired by Queen Victoria. She's shorter than I thought, but very kind.
No. I've never worked for human royalty.
Wow. The queen's short?
I went to a ball today.
I also died for a week.
No. I've been safe at home.
I have another demon on my tail. I'm helping his bratty little master with work.
We're going to see the undertaker. They seem tense against each other.
None of this ever happened--
...hypnosis... safe... medicine...
I woke up back here.
Scurrying and clashing against one another, the memories quickly flood back. You panic, breathing quickly, trying to hurry, stand up and dash out of the basement.
"Welcome back to reality, My Lady."
You halt, and look behind in terror.
"Since when did you start looking at me with a face like that? It's saddening, you know."
"W-who are... you?" You manage to stutter out.
"He really did a good job erasing your memories, huh?"
"I'm confused. You don't mean--"
"I like that little thing I had custom-made for you," the dark figure smiles in the shadows. "A point sixty-six carat diamond with a smooth, sharp cut, the white gold ring with a delicate, detailed design..."
He steps in closer, revealing his appearance. He bends down and holds a gloved hand out to you.
"...it suits a princess extremely well, doesn't it?"
You stare at the demon, surprised. Cautiously, you lift your hand up to his.
His smile disappears and he looks at you curiously. "What is it?"
"You seem familiar and all, but I can't trust you. I don't know who you are, or how you got into here, but I'd appreciate it if you left. I'm going back up now, if you excuse me."
"If I wanted your soul, I surely would've taken it by now. Why would I have taken the time to lure you in?"
"Who knows?" You reply, standing up by yourself, regaining your composure and brushing off your dress. "Maybe you're just strange. I'm going back to my room."
You turn your back to the demon and take a step up, only to be stopped by two arms being wrapped around your waist.
"The young master would scold me for doing something embarrassing like this, but please, don't go," he whispers into your back.
Annoyed, you sigh and turn around.
"I've had to deal with sweet, deadly words like these all my life. You aren't an exception, even though you are unusually persistent. And you're right, I'm rather amused by the fact that I can unwillingly get a demon to bow down to me like this. Fine, then. I'll play along."
You take the demon's hand and he takes you all the way to the end of the pitch black basement, revealing a door.
"Everything is revealed behind this door, milady."
You place your hand on the handle, sensing the painfully obvious smell of death beyond that wooden door.
"By the way, demon, what's your name?"
"As my master implies, my name is Sebastian," he smiles innocently.
"Alright then, Sebastian," you say, pushing the door open. "Let's go in."
You're both met with a horrid-smelling breeze. You make a sound, and the waves of your voice bounce off of the walls several times, showing the massive size of the chamber.
"Please wait, Milady. I shall turn on the lights."
In a flash, the candles around the room, revealing--
Your eyes widen in disgust. Horror.
Below your mansion lies a town-sized secret chamber, filled with thousands of sewed-up, rotting corpses all hanging from hooks.
That's not what scares you, though.
What does is the fact that all of the corpses are sewed together into giant humanoid shapes, possibly a hundred corpses for every humanoid monster.
You've seen these things before.
This time, though, they're bigger.
Suddenly, all the memories flood back to you, causing you to curl up on the ground, shaking and holding your head in shock, screaming.
Sebastian wraps his coat around you, lifting you up. "If I hadn't prevented you from drinking that glass of hypnotic drugs, you would be in even more agony right now."
You continue to shake around, your breathing extremely inconsistent. Sebastian lifts up your hand and checks your ring. "The remaining bit of medicine on this ring should be able to get you back to normal," he mutters. He squeezes you slightly. "Hang in there. It'll be fine soon."
Calming down, you stop shaking and pull the coat tightly around you, breathing heavily.
"I was wrong. It was the undertaker who was behind this, right?"
Sebastian nods, stands up and sets you down.
Giving the masses of bizarre dolls another glance, you feel your eyes tearing up.
You bury yourself into Sebastian, crying softly.
"I'm sorry for being an idiot," you whimper. "I caused you and Ciel all this trouble."
Although surprised, he quickly hugs you back.
"But..." you look up at him, smiling through your tears.
"Thank you for saving me."