We headed back as swiftly as we could, urging our bodies to change direction in flight. It wasn't easy, losing precious seconds in our movements. The air was still clean of anything and there wasn't indication of any movement inside. The lights hadn't changed and neither had the curtains upstairs. As if nothing happened, but the loud gunshot was too much to be ignored.
The dog was barking loudly, it's barks echoing in the distance. It looked up at us as we neared and stopped barking, looking sadly at us as if he wanted us to investigate. He stayed at my side as we walked around the house, thinking of what to do.
"We'll break it." Faith spoke as she forced the door open, the wood tearing around the lock.
The house was silent, even more then before. I didn't hear any specific noise from within. No heater, no clock. It was kind of strange. It felt eerily bleak in here. We saw an open door to the kitchen that was quite luxurious, the other side must be the living room as the only remaining door was the bathroom.
We walked into the living-room and down into the basement. The room was dark but we could see the girl in the bed. A heartbeat at least. She wasn't dead, but was she alright? We moved to her and shook her awake, she responded, if still somewhat dazed.
"Not me... Is he hurt?" She whispered it softly and sounded more aware than earlier.
"We don't know. Stay here." I whispered back.
She nodded and laid back into bed softly. She didn't make a noise, but I could feel her eyes on me as we left the room. Our steps made the floorboards creak slightly as we headed up again, this time we both headed upstairs, both wondering what had happened. There was a faint smell of something burning in there, perhaps a candle or something else.
And the sharp smell of gunpowder.
One door had some light coming from underneath it, flickering slightly. Candlelight. The door wasn't unlocked, now we had to make a choice. Make a lot of noise and barge in, or find another way. We didn't want to waste any more time.
We barged in.
The smell of gunpowder had covered another smell, the strong smell of blood. It's thick odor saluted us when we walked in and saw the big, and growing, puddle of blood on the floor. The man was dead.
He had shot himself.
Faith almost threw up as she saw his head dripping blood with hair and skin torn around the wound.
The bullet had passed right through. A hole in the support beam confirmed this.
Strange how some details immediately occur to you in situations of distress.
My eyes were drawn toward the burning candle and noticed a wire hanging above it, in the flame. A bottle with a clear liquid, smelling of alcohol, hung from the wire and would fall if the wire burned through. Also, another thread was bound to the bottle and the candle.
Soon this whole place would burn. And the girl with it if we didn't take her with us. Why did he do this?
I looked around again, there was no note or anything. The only thing that attracted my attention was a golden locket in his right hand. I picked it up as Faith still stood still, unable to move or breathe with disgust. I guess I was too intrigued by the why to be disgusted by the how. The locket was surprisingly heavy and didn't open when I pressed the button.
Something to figure out later.
I pointed to the bottle. "We have to go."
Faith nodded and allowed me to grab her hand. We ran off the stairs and went down into the basement. So little time.
The girl looked up as we headed into the room and looked surprised. "Danger?"
I nodded. "Fire."
She stood up, still naked and walked toward us. There wasn't a single piece of clothing around so I took one of the sheets and wrapped it around her before dragging her outside. A clash of glass upstairs as we headed out the front room was a sign of how close it was.
Flames burned the curtains inside. The floor must have had gaps between it as downstairs things started burning very quickly. We didn't linger and left immediately. I wanted to bring the dog but Faith told me to leave it. Neighbours would have known about the dog and it would have looked suspicious for us to take it. It wasn't chained to it's pen but it didn't look like the type of dog to run away.
I didn't want to leave him alone, but she had a point.
We raised up in the air quickly and moved back to the castle with the girl in between us, the sheets flapping in the wind. We hoped no one had seen us. Faith's face looked worried and deep in thought as she tried to figure out what was best to do. The dark girl wasn't a good person to have around the house. More risks. We didn't want that.
In my hand the locket burned almost as hotly as the fire it was saved from.
What did it all mean?