Arriving just ahead of the ominous clouds and darkening skies, a car far fancier than ever seen in Townsley before rolled onto the village’s streets. With its emerald body sparkling under the last of the sun’s rays, it drew the attention of everyone it passed. Tinted windows only added to the mystery of who was behind the wheel.
The car eased slowly down Main Street and by the time the first drops of rain pelted the ground and turned dust to paste, everyone knew of the mysterious visitor. They watched, mesmerized and stunned, as the car took a sharp right turn and made its ascent up the hill toward Galloway House. The closer the car drew the more foreboding the enigmatic home appeared as the storm clouds settled over its slate roof and stripped away the details of its patterned bricks.
The car pulled to a stop and the villagers held their collective breath. The brake lights flicked off and they waited for the brave soul—or the fool—to reveal themselves. The driver’s side door eased open and something long and narrow and black advanced from the vehicle. Imaginations, along with the angle of the hill and limited sight from cloud cover, aided in the illusion that it was surely something sinister. Several people jumped when the object snapped open and then laughed nervously upon realizing it was just an umbrella. A black-panted leg was spotted briefly before lightning cracked blindingly across the sky.
So blinding that when everyone opened their eyes white spots floated lazily in their line of sight. After blinking them away, disappointment rippled through the villagers as they looked up the hill. The stranger was gone, no doubt already inside the house. With barely a glimpse, they had no idea if the person had been male or female, short or tall, but they would be the main topic at every dinner table that evening nonetheless. Theories and speculation would be tossed around. Embellishments would be added. By morning, the mysteries surrounding Galloway House would have many new chapters.