The Keeper (Part 8)

It had been a week since Lucifer had left, and Mona increasingly felt lonely in that giant, mysterious house. Just like he’d said, she soon discovered that the house did indeed give her what she wanted, such as food and music, or open up doors that lead to a beautiful library the likes of which she’d never seen. But she could only wander the hallways so many time, go to the library so many times, peek into grand bedrooms wondering which one belonged to the owner of the house so many times. Eventually, she had seen as much as she could without ever wondering when she’d ever get out from within its walls.

‘If only this place had a garden!’ Mona mumbled with much anger. She couldn’t take much more of being locked up indoors. She wanted to breathe fresh air, catch a glimpse of the blue sky, touch green grass with her own hand, and feel the wind caress her cheeks and whisper in her ears.

Just like that, she dropped to the floor and cried at the cruelty. Why had papa dear traded her life for his? Had he not loved her? Had Mona not done enough to see that in his old age, he was taken good care off? ‘Why, Papa? Why?’ She sniffled into her palms. ‘I can’t take much more of this solitude if I have nothing to do with my time.’

‘What would you like, dear Mona? You only have to express your desire and it will be so.’ Lucifer’s voice vibrated around her as if the walls themselves had leant him their voice. She looked around, was he behind her again? But there were indeed no one around her.

She caught a glimpse of her reflection on a large picture frame. Haggard, tired, and hallow. However, she also caught a glimpse of something else, something peculiar. It could have passed for Lucifer’s reflection, as if he were standing right beside her. Only, he wasn’t. Mona stared, thinking her eyes were playing a cruel trick, and there was that curious smile on his face. Just as if he’d read her mind again.

‘What do you desire, Mona?’ his voice shook the walls around her again, while the shadow of the reflection continued smiling. ‘May I go back home?’ she asked.

Lucifer looked glum. ‘I am sorry my dear, but this is now your home. I only wish you would except that.’

Mona shook her head and felt tears streak her cheeks. ‘How can I, Lucifer? How can I call this home? Last I knew, I was standing in the subway awaiting my train, going to my home, to my little room in my father’s home where I’ve lived all my life. I don’t even know how I got here, or why? Or whether you are even real?’

Her face softened, her eyes pleaded. ‘Won’t you tell me why? Help me understand? I have so many questions.’

He nodded, ever so slightly. ‘You may ask me whatever you wish over a meal upon my return. I must go now.’ Just like a mirage, his reflection vanished in a slight ripple and Mona knelt staring at herself, drained.

She looked around, spotting a broom stood against the wall in front of her. Not that she had noticed it earlier. ‘What shall I do now, Mr Broom?’ she sighed and rose to her feet. Walking ahead down the corridor. ‘The Library, please,’she mumbled, and ahead of her, a door appeared. Suddenly, Mona stopped and turned around and stared down the corridor behind her. Was it just her, or had the broom moved closer to her?

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