Tag Archive | HauntedHouse

Haunted House 29 – Teamwork

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Trouble

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The wagon rumbled on.  Mélanie stared at her Owner and tried to decipher something from his expression.  His eyes were closed. Sometimes he muttered into the gag, but it was nothing that made any sense.  Sometimes his eyes fluttered open, but he didn’t look at her.

Possibly, he was still drugged enough that he thought he’d imagined her there.  Possibly, he was drugged enough that he was seeing pink elephants and purple unicorns and hadn’t seen her at all.

She didn’t know.  So she waited and listened and hoped, held her breath with a Working sitting right on the tip of her tongue in case there was enough of a distraction, praying that Jasper would trust her and let her do what she had to or that, if his plan was already in action, her plan wouldn’t interfere with his in any bad manner.

She hadn’t been walking that long, had she?  She resisted the urge to look up, to twist around to look bout between the brutes’ feet.  Even if she could see the road without getting noticed, she didn’t know the area well enough to recognize any landmarks. She thought, though, that they ought to be almost there.

A groan from Jasper almost made her jump – it was loud, pained, distressed.  She bit her tongue and held still. Continue reading

Haunted House 28 – Trouble

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Turnabout

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Mélanie held her breath as the woman tried to slow down the horses.  Did she need another Working? Did she need a weapon? The last time she’d tried defending herself properly – well, that had ended up with her in this situation, if she was looking at the big picture.  

“Damnit…”  The smaller woman muttered.  “I left something back in town, I’m sure of it.”

“What?”  The bigger woman asked through a yawn.  Yawning was good. Yawning meant that the nothing to worry about, just rest part of Mélanie’s Working was getting through to at least one of them.  “What made you think about that now? We’ve been on the road for an hour, haven’t we?”

“I don’t know.  I just – you know, sometimes I get this sense?”

“Your spider sense.  I remember. You’re not a spider though.  At all. You’re sort of…”

Mélanie mouthed a curse.  Of course the awful woman with have some sort of magic power against being tampered with.  It couldn’t just go smoothly, could it? Continue reading

Haunted House 27 – Turnabout

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Unlikely Allies

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Mélanie caught her breath as the two horses provided the distraction she so badly needed. Bless these beasts. She spat out the Workings she needed as quietly as she had ever managed to speak and as quickly as she’d ever strung words together, the sounds of the two brutes shouting at the horses and the sounds of the jangling harness covering over not one but five Workings.

She leaned against the side of the horse nearer her, hoping that he wouldn’t get annoyed and push her off.  Her light-footed Working was starting to fail her. She had to get back into the wagon or be left behind. And her invisibility Working was probably in need of some touching up, too. Continue reading

Haunted House 26 – Unlikely Allies

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Finding Him

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The poor horses were sad.  Mélanie couldn’t really blame them.

She patted the horse on the nose, reassuring it, and it turned back to the road before the two buffoons noticed what it was doing.  She had just a moment to time this right. The horse seemed to stumble, tripping on thin air, slowing the wagon down to a near-stop.

Mélanie mentally promised the horse all the apples she could find for it, and sugar cubes, and the best currying of its life, all as she hopped up into the wagon.  There was Jasper – drugged, from the looks of it, his eyes open but not tracking – well, not that she could tell if he was tracking her, anyway; she was still invisible – his hands tied behind his back, a heavy canvas gag over his mouth, his feet bound. Continue reading

Haunted House 25: Finding Him

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: What If?

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Mélanie knew, in a sense, that a Kept could tell where, loosely, their Keeper was.  That is: they could usually get a sense of “how far away” and “in what direction?”

She herself had used that ability to steal a few minutes of rest when her previous owners had left her alone, but it had never been a very strong connection.  Once, in a peaceful moment when they hadn’t been ordered to silence, another Kept – an older one, and one that had worn thin with years of bad Owners – had told her that the stronger the connection between the Keeper and the Kept, the less the Kept fought the bond and the orders, the more that they would be able to tell where their Keeper was.

Jasper had only Owned her for a day and a half.  He had been kind to her, yes, friendly and considerate, but that couldn’t had formed that strong of a Bond yet.  She closed her eyes and hoped it would be enough.

The trick was to not be thinking of anything except your Keeper.  That required not thinking about what had happened to him, or that she was out on her own for the first time in a very long time, or-

She shook herself.  Jasper. The crooked smile he got when he talked about his previous Kept.  The way he was careful to introduce her to the house. The way that it felt when he gave her an order.  The way it felt when he was happy with her, or when he touched her. The way it felt when he’d left for the day. Continue reading

Haunted House – an interlude

This comes after/in time with What If and is a bonus interlude written to Thnidu’s commissioned request for more.


Alone, the house checked her doors — all closed and locked, the kitchen and front doors ready to open at a moment’s notice.

She checked her security, all of the Workings and traps woven around the remains of the front garden and side lanai.  She considered the fence and determined it to be holding firm.

And then… she waited.  Alone, without people of meat and bone yo interact with, the house tended to settle in to a much slower pace — glacial, a former tenant had teased her, but glaciers moved slower, lives longer, than even houses.  

She could focus on a single thought, a single emotion, for hours, days, weeks when alone.

Now, she considered her newest tenant.  She tolerated Jasper, found him a little ridiculous but not unpleasant.

She was finding she was fond of Mélanie.

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Haunted House 24: What If?

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Magpie

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The brandy cup kept refilling.  The piles of “loot” seemed never-ending, almost as if the house was bringing more in from somewhere else. And every box and pile needed careful sorting. Mélanie had several boxes full of things and had come up with several more categories – including “sex toys” and “things to tie people up with, ack” – by the time she thought to look out the window again.

The moon was up; the sun was down.  Mélanie swallowed.

“House? House, have you been trying to distract me?”  That would explain why there kept being more and more boxes.

A trunk thumped down in front of her and opened up.  Silk came whisking out – a dress. A dress worthy of a queen, or at least a Contessa.  

“You are trying to distract me.  Are you worried?” Continue reading

Haunted House 23: Magpie

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Tap Twice for Yes

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She and the house were talking – one-sided but it was still something of a conversation – up in Mélanie’s bedroom when she realized that the sun was starting to set.

I’ll be back by dark with all luck, Jasper had told her.  She looked out the (now very clean) window and wondered how long it would be until true dark.

A plate bumped gently at her arm and she jumped.  “Oh!” The plate was full of what looked like a very tasty meal.  “Thank you. You didn’t have to do that, you know!”

The plate started dancing out her bedroom door and down the stairs.  She followed the plate – there were so many halls she hadn’t gone down yet, but I’m going to ask you to only go places inside the house that I have shown you, he’d said, and he might have phrased it as a request, but she was not unwise enough to think that it wasn’t an order.

She’d cleaned the dining room, his bedroom, and her bedroom.  The kitchen was already sparkling clean; she had a feeling that was where the house spent most of its – her – energy?  Time? It was hard to figure out what, exactly was going on when the house very clearly didn’t want to tell her. Continue reading

Haunted House 22 – Tap Twice For Yes

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Assignment

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Mélanie waited until she was sure Jasper was gone, watching from the window while he got the horses in harness and set out.  She waited until the gate made a distinctive noise, clanging shut. Then she waited until her tea jostled her elbow.

“I’m… I guess I’m not alone, am I?”  She smiled; she didn’t want the house to feel like she didn’t want to be around it.  

Even if she wasn’t a hundred percent sure that the house wasn’t going to eat her.

“Dust cloth?” she asked.  “And something to clean windows with?”

The cupboard doors moved a little, seeming uncertain. Continue reading

Haunted House 21: Assignment

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Girl Talk

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She couldn’t put off the other thing forever, so eventually, once she and the house had finished putting her clothes away and she’d changed into something that seemed comfortable and cute – and made her look like a starlet pretending to be Rosie the Riveter – Mélanie went back down to the kitchen table.

She found a pen  – an old ballpoint click pen – and a pad of paper waiting for her. “Thank you,” she told the house, and began writing.

She had been with the slavers for three markets, so she had seen both their holding area and their market pens.  She knew what their feeding schedule was and when they got in new food shipments. She knew when, approximately, they put everyone on lockdown for the night. Continue reading