Fiction Friday: [Galloway House Pt. 7]

Welcome to Part 7 of Galloway House. If you have missed any of the previous installments, you can find them here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6. And as always, thanks for reading!]

By the time Joseph Strunk began his ascent up the hill, he had worked himself up into a near panic. Convinced that his heart thumped harder and louder with each step he took, he worried it would burst from his chest before he made it to Galloway House.

Lightning continued to soundlessly flash across the sky, but thunder had taken its leave. The silence oozed ear-cloggingly thick and unnerved him more than the darkness. Almost more than the mission itself.

The lantern swung gently from his tight, sweat-slicked grip, sending shadows dancing long and eerie all around him. His other hand cradled the package tucked securely under his arm.

Up ahead, lights flickered from front windows, highlighting the intricate details of the lace curtains. Filled with anxiety, the beauty of it all was lost on him. Beauty was not on the list of reasons that candles filled the room.

Reaching the front door, Joseph was certain the knocking in his chest was louder than the sound of his knuckles against the wood. Light cracked at the edges and grew in the darkness as the door eased open. And despite a centuries-long feud between the families, a Strunk was once again face to face with a Galloway.  

Fiction Friday: [Galloway House Pt. 6]

[Welcome to Part 6 of Galloway House. If you have missed any of the previous installments you can find them here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5. And as always...thanks for reading!]

While Joseph Strunk planted kisses on the foreheads of his family, Kate Winstead lit the last of the candles she had painstakingly placed around the massive sitting room. Rose-hued wood and delicate, yet lush fabrics filled the room. The sight of a hundred flickering open flames amongst it all was both terrifying and beautiful.

The ancient grandfather clock ticked in the corner and seemed to boom louder with each passing second. Decades older than Kate, it not only served as the oldest heirloom in the home, it was also the keeper of the family’s history. She delicately ran her fingers over its intricate carvings, trailing over the detailed faces of Townsley’s past residents. Some expressions carved stoic and focused, others fashioned with eyes and mouths gaped in horror. Suns and moons, water and fire. To an untrained eye the images would appear random, haphazardly placed. But for Kate, each image came together as a reminder of why she was here and what she had to do.

She picked up a worn, centuries-old leather diary off of an ottoman draped and fitted in silk bouclé. Kate had referenced the book when setting the candles and she once again pored over the pages of Edith Galloway Masterson’s diary to check her work. The consequence of even one candle out of place was a price too high to imagine. One that the entire world would have to pay.

Despite the lump in her throat and the irregular pounding in her chest, Kate was satisfied that she had done all she could to prepare for the evening. Now the time had come for her to wait on the final piece to arrive. A piece never to be touched by Galloway hands.

Wandering over to the window, Kate pulled back the lacy curtain. She peered out into the darkness and although it was a bit early, worry set in and crawled uneasily up her spine. The harder she tried to push the questions out of her mind, the stronger they fought for the spotlight. What if the Strunk offspring refused to believe in the old traditions? Or worse, what if the Strunk lineage died out altogether and there was no one left to help complete the task? What if Kate had traveled all of this way only to fail her family? To fail the world?

Then she saw it. The tiniest hint of orange glowing in the distance. She watched as it bobbed its way toward where the driveway met Main Street and sighed with relief as it grew larger and brighter, ascending the hill toward Galloway House.

[Read Part 7 of Galloway House here.]

Fiction Friday: Galloway House Pt. 5

[Welcome to Part 5 of Galloway House. If you have missed any of the previous installments you can find them here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. And as always...thanks for reading!]

A deep ebony silk crept its way through the thick, gray clouds. It slipped in like evening turning to night, but it was too early for stars to twinkle in the sky. The occasional lightning strike highlighted the waves and curves of stubborn clouds and with canceled plans and early dinners, it also highlighted the streets rendered empty below.

With each curious whisper slipped from assuming lips, the darkness dug its way deeper through the village. Then it wove its way into every resident of Townsley. The weight of it bore down on them thick and sluggish until, all at once, everyone in the village slipped into a cavernous sleep.

All but two.

For Kate Winstead and Joseph Strunk it was time to get to work.