• Published 24th Jul 2012
  • 2,990 Views, 107 Comments

The Witch - DavidReinold

A young man attempts to unravel the mystery that is Twilight Sparkle.

  • ...

Cantamen Primum - Bibliotheca Hieme (VIII Pars - Domus Usher)

It is late in the evening. A chill runs through my bones as I look up at the dilapidated house before me. My faithful windbreaker is wrapped tight around my shoulders and my breath draws jet patterns in the frigid air. I retrieve the small manila envelope from my inner pocket and remove the contents, to make sure I have the details right.

A small and tightly folded letter drops out. I open it up and re-read it silently to myself.

Heath Kenbroth,

The moment you read this, put the enclosed item around your neck. Just do it. It's for your own good.

I clutch a carved piece of wood tied to a length of twine that hangs around my neck. I'm doing good so far.

Meet me tonight at 9pm, on the site of the dilapidated house. You know the one - 'The House of Usher' they call it. Come alone. When you arrive, knock three times, pause, then two times, another pause, then three again, so I know it's you. I have need of your assistance, and if you join me tonight, I can give you answers to any and all of your questions.

PS - Do not fret for your job. Come sun-up tomorrow, you will still have it, I promise.

-Twilight Sparkle

I can't say I'm not worried for my job, but the way things are panning out, there are bigger concerns in my life. I reread it again. I can give you answers... Answers to what, though? And, come to think of it, how does she know I need answers? Not that it matters now. I'll know in a moment or so.

The next thing that bothers me, though, is that we are meeting at the House of Usher. Since the fire ten years ago, it's just been a cesspool prone to invasion by drug addicts. Certainly not the sort of place I'd expect Twilight Sparkle to hang around. But then, let's be fair, she's already not the person I thought she was.

The premises are still as black and charred as the day the neighborhood had watched it burn. The upper floor has collapsed upon the main floor, and shingles litter the grassy turf. Somebody might have cleaned it up, except...well, this town is rather superstitious.

I should have mentioned - it's called the House of Usher for a reason.

The former owner of the house was an obsessive collector of Edgar Allan Poe. On his bookshelves were countless printings of different Poe stories in more languages than a person could learn in three lifetimes. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a copy of every printing in the history of Poe's works.

But then came the day. The day when that punk threw a crude Molotov through the window. The house burned, its blaze shooting up and burning a hole in the night sky. The entire neighborhood had gathered to gawk and gaze at the horrific spectacle. The collector's screams could be heard from the upstairs window as he no doubt met his untimely and undesirable end. When the fire department had finally arrived and put out the flames, his house was in shambles. The only thing that stood was his bookshelf full of Poe.

And of course, in a town as superstitious as ours, you can imagine the ghost stories that would crop up. To keep their spirits up, people would joke how it 'fell, like Poe's House of Usher'. Eventually, the house itself became known as The House of Usher. Nobody touches it. Nobody except the druggies and the drinkers have the courage to come anywhere near it.

Oh, and me. I'm none of the above and I have no problem with The House of Usher.

I'm not one to believe in ghost stories, and I don't get a chill from this House of Usher. All I get is a slight wave of confusion when I look through the front door and see a light on inside. I blink a few times, and look back at the door. The lights are still on.

That shouldn't be possible, though. I circle the house once. Twice. The entire first floor is visible, and there are no lights. So why is there a light on behind the door.?

I now inspect the door. It's not a trick - there's a room in there! A proper, lit room with all the furnishings of a real home! My confusion has surpassed my ability to be surprised now, and I find myself just rolling with it. I knock on the door three times, then twice, then three times as Twilight instructed. Before long, the door creaks open, and I am invited inside by a now rather familiar pale hand and purple sleeve.

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