Stepping out of the room she limped through the corridor and to the hall to only gasp seeing a young lady sitting on a chair motionlessly with a vibrant smile on her face staring her way.
She opened her mouth to only close it again after realizing she wasn't real.
She was a mannequin. Her hair tied in two partitions with red ribbons at the ends. Even with all the marks and stitches on her pale skin she was eye catching, her eye the color of liquid sapphire and as she stared at the lady she saw the eye move so very slightly making her stagger back out of fright.
Not wanting to stay in the house a second more she headed towards the main door to only find it locked. The windows had iron bars and she worried that if she tried to break the door it would only alert him. Moreover the house was located in midst of the forest, she didn't know how far she would be able to make it with her current status.
Remembering there was a window that had no bars when she last visited, she went up the stairs not before hearing Mr. Weaver in the kitchen with a loud sound.
Reaching the room and locking it, she went straight to the window and opened it without wasting time. Jumping from this height seemed absurd but what other option did she have?
Stepping on the edge she was about to jump when a hand stopped her by the shoulder making her shriek out of fright. She twirled around and in an effort of getting away from the man, her feet tripping, closing her eyes as she fell backwards in slow motion out of the window to be caught in time.
"Katie, stop! It's me," she heard a familiar voice while her vision cleared due to the sudden panic.
"E-Elliot?" she called out with shakily.
"I'm here. Are you alright?" Elliot asked assessing her face, "You're hurt," he said noticing her wrist and the stain on her dress.
When he went to look at it, she pulled her hand back shaking her head in the process. She had a frightened expression and he didn't know if she was shivering due to fear or cold.
Finding her had become difficult as it seemed that the house was on a spell, a bad spirit hindering their vision. Though they had found her in less than a day's time span she looked shaken and hurt.
Elliot took out his coat before putting it around her.
"Elliot, Mr. Weaver he-"
"You don't have to worry about him. He's dead," he said and looked at Katie who stood still before a look of relief crossed her features.
Elliot was about to ask a question but he left it as it was because now was not the time to talk about it. Putting on a smile he guided her down the house to see Alexander with the old man who was lying cold on the ground. Sylvia, Oliver the Lord's second in command and Mathias who was part of the council were also present in the room.
The guards who had accompanied them pulled out the mannequins one by one out of the house. Loading them into the wide cart to provide them proper burial in the cemetery.
Seeing Katie with Elliot, now safe in their care Alexander spoke,
"Sylvia, take Katie to the mansion and tend to her wounds," Katie looked at Alexander to lower her eyes not saying a word she followed the woman.
As they left Katie noticed that the mannequin that was sitting on the chair wasn't there anymore. The guards had taken her to the cart as well, she thought to herself.
The sky was lighter in shade as they got into the carriage, breaking the darkness to bring out life.
Once the carriage left with the two guards accompanying Sylvia and Katie, Oliver turned to look at Alexander waiting dutifully for his words as his Lord wore a dark, grim expression now.
"Do you think he committed suicide?" Elliot asked poking his shoe to the side of the dead man before they got out of the house, "He was psychotic to begin with to pull such a thing."
The guards had begun pouring oil in and around the house, preparing to burn the entire place which would lead to a clean ground.
"It isn't suicide but murder," Alexander said walking in the room and looking at the objects around them.
"But there wasn't anyone in the house apart from him and Miss Katherine," Oliver stated adjusting his round glasses on his nose.
"It is not necessary that a murder should be triggered with a living form. Even with the charm stone it took us time to find Katie's location and look at this," the Valerian Lord said opening his palm to reveal the doll made of sticks.
"Voodoo doll," Mathias said looking at it.
"That's right," Alexander confirmed, "To have a voodoo doll in possession only means two things. One, he knew a witch that is highly unlikable. Or two he was being controlled."
The Valerian Lord walked towards the empty chair, as he trailed his fingers over it he stopped suddenly before turning to them.
"Oliver, have the family members of the bodies notified and have them buried in the cemetery by evening. Take all the guardsmen for it," Alexander ordered and the man nodded before calling the men to prepare to leave.
"I'll be taking my leave as well, Lord Alexander," Mathias said seeing the second in command leave, "Would you want me to report today's event?"
"Yes, have them recorded in the council book. It would be troublesome if people made stories after all their tongue don't stay still," the Valerian lord said dismissing the council member.
"Of course, I shall take my leave then. Sir Elliot," he tipped his black hat to both the men before going his way.