Tag Archive | HauntedHouse

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

Haunted House 20: Girl Talk

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

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Mélanie sat with the wealth of clothes on her bed – her bed, her room – and was unsurprised when they began to carefully hang themselves.  “I don’t suppose you do alterations, do you?” she asked the air. The clothes would fit her, mostly, but the very nce trousers would look nicer if they weren’t cinched in three inches with a belt.

The hanger tilted side to side thoughtfully.

“Maybe?  Sort of? Requires you to talk and you’re not a big fan of talking?” Mélane guessed.  She had no idea if the house could talk and, if it could, why it didn’t.

But on the last option, the hanger started tilting forward as if nodding.   Continue reading

Haunted House 19: Wardrobe

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: In the Henhouse

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“You said…”  Mélanie washed the eggs slowly.  “You said that I had two assignments?  I suppose that I should do those before morning is over…?”

“Oh!  Thank you for reminding me.  Yes. When you’re done with those eggs, we can go upstairs and I can show you where to find the best clothes.  And then perhaps I’ll go out and do a little trading and give you some more time to yourself. Would you like that?”

“I…. I think I would be a little confused by that.  But I would not dislike it, sir.” She finished the eggs and set them on a tea towel that appeared next to the sink.  “Thank you, House. so… five outfits?” Continue reading

Haunted House 18 – In the Henhouse

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

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Mélanie froze. Oh, dear wasn’t the sort of phrase that normally led to angry owners, but there had been that one…

That had been a long time ago.  And that was not Jasper. “Oh dear, sir?” she breathed, as quietly as she could and still hope to be heard.

“Be careful, Mélanie, but come around to the side of me, if you wish.  Just be ready to duck…. ha.”

Those were not particularly calming instructions, but Mélanie did as she was told, of course, slipping to one side of Jasper to look at the chicken pen.  Hutch? No, the little building to the right was the hutch. But she didn’t know what the pen was called.

Whatever its name, the pen was one of the tidiest parts of the whole yard – nice, big, several roosting places, a mesh roof overhead.  Which made the thing sitting in the middle of the pen even more confusing. Continue reading

The Haunted House 17: The Yard

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

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Jasper was still watching her.  It took Mélanie a moment to remember what the last thing she’d said had been.  Oh. Fun.

It wasn’t going to be too fun if the house ate her, was it?

She would have to worry about that later.  Hopefully, the house wasn’t telepathic.

Hopefully, her boss wasn’t telepathic.

“I’d like it if you had fun,” he admitted.  “That’s a better result than I hope for, but this life, I enjoy it.”

She wanted to see the yard, to do anything to move away from this sort of uncomfortable conversation.  Mélanie finished her food in three bites. “Can I clear your plate?”

“You can.  Eager to see the chickens and the horses?” Continue reading