Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Beneath the Stained Glass: A Tale of Marysville


Previous part

As I crossed the threshold into Marysville, the familiar embrace of childhood nostalgia wrapped around me like a warm blanket. The town was a hive of activity, buzzing with the preparations for the annual Christmas Market, a tradition that had always set my heart racing with excitement as a child. The square brimmed with makeshift stalls, each a trove of treasures waiting to be discovered by bargain-hunting citizens and wide-eyed kids alike. My memories were sweetened by the thought of candied apples, fluffy marshmallows, and the legendary pies baked by Mrs. Croft, whose recipe was whispered to be touched by magic itself.

Strolling down the central street, adorned with festive cheer, I caught a glimpse of something that stopped me in my tracks—a piece of pastry that looked exactly as I remembered it. Mrs. Croft’s Pie? It was impossible, wasn't it? Mrs. Croft had been a fixture of my childhood, and her pies were legendary. Compelled by curiosity and a craving I hadn’t felt in years, I entered the quaint café.

The warmth of the interior was matched by the welcome from a young woman with sparkling green eyes. As I settled at a table, she caught the direction of my gaze and chimed, " The pie has caught your eye, I see." My surprise at its presence after so many years spilled into our conversation, and upon my inquiry, I learned of Mrs. Croft's passing. A tinge of sorrow crept in, yet there was comfort in knowing her craft lived on as her secrets passed to her daughter who now baked with the same love and mystical touch.

As the green eyed fairy placed the steaming coffee and a generous slice of the pie before me, her curiosity bubbled forth, questioning the purpose of my visit. In my reply, I skirted around the true nature of my adventures, instead invoking the sweet, nostalgic pull of Christmas memories and a desire to revisit the castle ruins—a site that had once been the playground of my imagination and the rumors of secret brotherhoods and midnight rituals.

Her response jolted me from my reverie. The castle that had loomed so large and menacing in my childhood, the source of countless dares and sleepless nights, had shed its cloak of shadows. The once-abandoned relic was now reborn as a luxurious hotel, its halls no longer filled with the echoes of clandestine gatherings but with the laughter and chatter of guests. The news left me adrift in a sea of emotions; the raw edge of anticipation that had accompanied thoughts of tiptoeing through its forbidden corridors was dulled. Where once there stood a bastion of the unknown, there was now a welcoming entrance, ready to receive a guest in place of an intrepid explorer. Yet, even as this new reality settled in, the allure of the castle’s whispered secrets beckoned me still, promising that even behind the refurbished facades, the heart of mystery continued to beat.

Savoring the last morsel of Mrs. Croft's pie, a flavor that bridged past and present, I left the café behind and walked toward the castle. The giant building that once was the source if my nightmares now twinkled invitingly with Christmas adornments, its silhouette softened by the merry lights.

Upon entering the grand lobby, I approached the reception where the clerk was busily arranging room keys. He glanced up, and our eyes met—an instant of recognition flickering in his. "May I assist you with a booking, sir?" he inquired, his tone professional yet warm.

"Yes, I'd like a room for the night," I responded, presenting my card for identification. As he registered my details, his demeanor shifted from courteous to intrigued. "Ah, you're a native of Marysville, aren't you? Your name rings a bell." I nodded, confirming my roots in this town.

His eyes brightened with the spark of an idea. "Sir, given your connection to our town, it would be our honor to offer you something special." There was a pause, a breath of suspense, before he continued. "We have a tower suite available—it's not just any room, but a special place that embodies the castle's history. The furnishings are originals, restored with care. The bed itself was once the master's own. It’s a living piece of history."

The surprise must have shown on my face, as the clerk smiled knowingly, pleased with the effect of his revelation. "Of course, there's no extra charge for this upgrade. It's part of our hospitality for those with ties to the castle's legacy."

The offer was as unexpected as it was irresistible, so I accepted with a grateful nod and got the key to the suite in my hand.

As I walked toward the tower suite, anticipation quickened my steps. The castle's transformation was complete, but perhaps, within the walls of this special room, I would find the spirit of the past still lingering, a silent companion to my solitary exploration.

The room exuded a sense of grandeur and luxury. A huge gothic bed, crowned with plush bedding and ornate pillows, stood like a throne of dreams. A grandfather clock ticked a steady rhythm, and a vase of lilies-of-the-valley was filling the air with the floral scent of spring. How could they get those flowers in the middle of winter? The room's centerpiece, a grand stained glass window, painted the walls with colored light. A cozy sitting area invited me to ponder over the bottles that seemed to contain more than mere liquor.

The sense of bygone splendor was overwhelming. Every corner whispered of ancient secrets, and the grandeur of the room was a living homage to the castle's illustrious past. My gaze wandered, absorbing each detail until it landed upon an old bookcase nestled in the shadow. It was an impressive collection of old books.

Compelled by an unseen force, I found myself drawn to the shelves, my fingers tracing the leather-bound spines as I read the titles. There, amidst the chronicles and memoirs, was a history of Marysville. With reverence, I drew the tome from its place, feeling the weight of the town's story in my hands. Flipping through the pages, my pulse quickened, each word, each image, anchoring me deeper into the narrative of the town I thought I knew.

Then, as if destined by the fates, a peculiar title caught my eye—“The Brotherhood of the Luna Moth.” A chill ran down my spine, for this was not just any legend; it was the one that had fueled my childhood adventures and haunted my dreams. The cover seemed to pulse under my touch, an invitation to uncover the truths that lay dormant within its pages. With bated breath, I opened to the first chapter, and as I did, the air in the room seemed to grow charged with anticipation. This was no ordinary evening; it was the beginning of an adventure that promised to bridge the gap between the whispered myths of Marysville and the tangible, pulsating heartbeat of its reality.

The Tower Suit is decorated with:

VARONIS - Sombre Skybox

Death Row Designs:
DRD, Mystic Bastion, bastion Bed

[ zerkalo ]:
[ zerkalo ] Emilia Bed

Apple Fall:
West Village Eleanora Bedside Table - Chalkboard
Apple Fall Oxford Wingback Chair
Apple Fall Carter Lamp - Black
Apple Fall Whisky Decanter
Apple Fall Argentinian Malbec
Apple Fall Wine Glasses
Apple Fall Harrogate Grandfather Clock

Fancy Decor:
Fancy Decor: Spencer Lamp
Fancy Decor: Rameau Side Table (black)
Fancy Decor: Printemps Mirror (antique silver)

NOMAD // Lily of the Valley Vase
NOMAD // Icicles Horizontal C

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