She was reliving the most beautiful dance she had ever attended. Marina lived in her memories. The images were vivid. She could almost touch the hands of her dance partner…when movements outside her house brought her back to reality. She could feel the footsteps of two strangers approaching along the path leading to the mansion’s entrance.
Marina hovered over the warped planks of the second floor of her house. Her long and torn gray dress trailed as she approached the windows… her fair skin had lost the beauty of her youth; a specter of what she once was. Marina kept her face hidden behind her tangled hair. She stopped and waited curiously for the intruders of the mansion.
We’ll have guests, she thought, watching the intruders approach. I wonder if they are coming to visit me.
Marina hovered by the window. Looking into the dark of night. For an instant, she saw the reflection of her face in the glass. She crouched down covering her head with both hands—afraid to see what she had become.
She imagined herself dancing in the middle of a ball. Her outfit was the most beautiful in the whole place. She was the envy of all. Men wanted her and she took advantage of her charms. Of course, all that was part of the past. Prior to…
The door to the haunted mansion was pushed open.
“Is this it?” said Malto, a young maiden. “It’s just an old and dirty house.”
“Be careful what you say,” Ruban said, a young man trying to conquer a maiden’s heart. “Someone may be listening to us.”
“You’re going to tell me you believe in that nonsense,” Malto said.
Shortly after the intruders entered the house, Marina closed the door. The two of them turned to look for the first time at the haunting specter of a woman.
Marina let out a bloodcurdling scream.
Malto turned to look at her companion. She grabbed his hand and felt Ruban’s stiffen fingers. He was frozen.
“What are you doing?” Malto said trying to figure out why Ruban wasn’t moving. “What have you done to him?”
Marina managed to keep one of the intruders under her spell. He looked young and stocky. She remembered one of the most delicious kisses she had ever experienced. She approached slowly. Floating until the stranger was within reach.
“Stop ignoring me,” Malto said.
Marina had forgotten about the other intruder. She turned to look at the young maiden. “I see you are as beautiful as I once was.”
“I’m not afraid of you,” Malto said. “Leave him alone.”
“You should be afraid…” Marina said, before attacking Malto with a scream.
The impact felt like an object had hit her in the shoulder. Malto fell to the ground.
“Stay right there,” Marina said before turning to look at Ruban.
“Don’t turn your back on me,” Malto said as she stood up.
She must be out of her mind, Marina thought. I do not have time for this.
Malto’s words helped Ruban snap out of his panicked state. He looked at the banshee and immediately pulled a crystal ball out of his bag.
Marina felt death when a flash of light from the crystal ball hit her. She instinctively fled through one of the walls of the house.
“That was close,” Ruban said.
“You had me worried,” Malto said.
“Now do you believe me?” he asked.
“Yes, let’s get out of this place.”
Marina escorted the intruders from a safe distance. She had to protect her home. She will be more careful when they return. They always return.