The House On The Hill

Behind a thriving, dense of organised pines, stood an elevated land mass, that carried a house submerged in crystals.
It was pinned to the earth, circled by penetrating rays, and its doors gripped in bronze; smoothened at the edges by the purest form of silver. The house shone in the day.

At night, it drew to itself enough light to light up two cities, every corner of the house hosted a bulb. Its halls bubbled with people.

Every new day presented a new reason to host a curious crowd. They flocked in by their numbers hand-picked by the host from her vast collection of confreres.

Every visitor encountered a front hall, twelve feet wide and twenty-two feet long. Its decor indicated an embracing splash of colour, coupled with a trail of paintings. The passageway segregated midway with one arm leading to the back hall; a spot highly favoured by art lovers.

The back hall had a white wall that sampled an extensive collection of drawings, sculptures and paintings. Each piece presented a delicate mix of genius and creativity – stroke after stroke, covering shapes in forms of circles, squares and everything in between.

The artworks rose to clash with the gigantic snowy ceiling, which preserved clusters of chandeliers. Its brightness flowed downwards to unveil a living mixling of woodwork, cotton and leather. It looked too fragile to sit on but then, so was everything else.

In the hall, classical tunes produced by the symphonies sneaked out to the ends of the neighbourhood, announcing its presence. An enamoured mix of cedar, jasmine and rose filled the air, sealing the nose holes of each occupant; close enough to mask the savoury aroma that sprung from the diner.

Two butlers were rooted at the door post with a tray of ‘welcoming-wine.’ They seemed not to weary or tire, only wore smiling masks.

A night like this was one of the few times, guests showcased in detail their finesse in fashion and jewellery. Swamped with music, food and drink, they partied all night and before the sun came out, the halls were cleared.

The host voiced her thoughts by the structure she erected. Little was known about her.

The mansion was split into sectors. Entry into any of the sectors was based on the personal preference of the host. While the halls held the largest crowd mostly acquaintances and associates, the private rooms contained a smaller number of people who at least knew each other on a first name basis but the host rarely sat there either.

The intellectuals who snubbed the folly of the common minded man, flowered in the library. Her library held more books than the town’s library.

She sat in her room with close-knit family and a long-time friend. At intervals, she walked out to greet her guests but always came back almost immediately. This was the only place she felt at home, surrounded by a group of people she had known her entire life.
They lounged in her wealth and drowned in luxury. They could have kissed her feet if she let them. They stayed longer than the guests, but soon enough returned to their mundane worlds.

Just outside her room, a corridor flowed into an unlit region that seized a room. It appeared disconnected from the mansion. No one noticed its lack of light, for it stood all by itself, away from the glitter.

No one neared the area either. It was reasonable to assume, no one knew of its existence except the host. But not even she could go close. It was as though all the darkness in the house was squashed against the large, fractured door that shut the room from reality.

The door shutting the room was riddled with cracks and holes. Its handle limped with rust that crawled out from inside the ring hole right down to the floor. Just beneath the door, stood open a  crack, which ushered in a tipoff of a pungent odour- it smelled like a coalition of rotten eggs and piled urine- strong enough to scare any living thing. Nothing lived there, not sunlight, not fresh air, nothing!

A peep through another rapture exposed a reddish beam that settled on one corner of the room. The stench as stiff as it was couldn’t hide the bones heaped at the corner. The grave should have been a better resting ground. Whatever other calamities that were hidden in the darkness remained unknown. And regardless of who stepped into that mansion, no one ever gained entry into that room.

It was unknown if the host wallowed in secret despair. Yet, everyday people marvelled at the erected miracle.

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