Peter and Sallie weren’t asleep, when the sun peeped into their room early in the morning promising a fine day. They were just lying in bed dreaming about three most important days of their family life. They were really excited before going on a honeymoon trip. A week had passed already since they married.
The day was absolutely perfect to add to their joyful mood. The sky was as clear as a bell and the sun was shining very brightly and made the fresh dew on the grass glitter and play lots of colours. The light breeze refreshed the air and made rich green trees wave their leaves reluctant-ly. The night thunderstorm filled the air with ozone and disposed of the heat of the previous days.
Sallie was the first to get up. She’s in her mid-twenties, but looks much younger because of her fresh, big, blue eyes, the kind of catch the light.
She’s got on oval rosy face with mischie-vous dimples. Her penciled eyebrows make her eyes stand out in her face. Her luxuriant long fair hair shines when the sun is out, she often wears it loose, but it never looks disheveled, even in the morning. She’s willowy, with round shoulders, thin waist and slender legs. It was her capti-vating smile that initially attracted Peter. Peter is her husband now. They’d been dating for a year before he asked her to marry him.
Peter is also a very handsome man in his early thirties. He’s physically fit, but a bit clum-sy. He’s got black curly hair making him look very romantic. He’s hazel-eyed with sunburn complexion, straight Greek nose and bushy eyebrows. Peter’s pleasant appearance adds to his great personality. He’s affectionate, balanced, genuine and reliable.
Peter and Sallie make a really beautiful couple. They share the same interests and thoughts. They enjoy new and interesting activities and traveling.
Although they were both very lively and adventurous, they decided to find a calm place for the honeymoon trip to enjoy each other’s company. That’s why they chose a small old hotel near the lake in a remote part of the country. They had packed their baggage on the previous day, so they were ready to go there as soon as they woke up.
They took their car and left for the hotel. It was a four hours’ and a half drive.
The hotel looked ancient and gorgeous outside. It was a two-storied building, made of stone. Its walls were covered with ivy, but the garden around looked wild as if it hadn’t been taken care of for many years.
They came into the hotel. It was very cosy and the furniture seemed to be antique. There were pictures hanging on the walls. They were reproductions of world-famous Bosch’s paint-ings. They made this place rather mysterious because of their originality. People in his pictures
looked frightening. They are almost all alike like from the reproduction line. Besides, there are some strange unpleasant creatures that embody people’s vice. Sallie and Peter decided that the owner of the hotel was a clever person, since he chose these pictures to adorn the hall.
An older man was standing at the reception counter. He turned out to be head of the hotel, his name was Mr. Brook. He was a widower and lived there alone. He looked rather anxious and pensive, though wore a friendly look. He wasn’t tall. Had grey hair and winkled face.
- Hello. Can I help you? – asked he in a complaisant tone.
- Hello. We’d like to have a room for newlyweds for two nights. Do you have one?
- Sure. Here are your keys, room number 24. Welcome to our hotel. Have a nice time. You are our only guests.
- Thank you, - answered Sallie and Peter, thinking it was rather strange.
Sallie and Peter went upstairs, found their room and could enjoy their life. Their apart-ment wasn’t big, but it was furnished tastefully. There was a big double bed with a canopy in the middle of the room, two bedside tables on its both sides, two armchairs in opposite corners and rosy silk curtains.
The happy couple quickly got a shower couldn’t keep from irresistible temptation to bathe in the lake. The water was amazing, it was warm like fresh milk and transparent, so that they could see the bottom and fish swimming slowly.
When the day started turning into the night, Sallie and Peter left for their room. They went to bed and started discussing the day, but they fell asleep soon in spite of the great excite-ment.
All of a sudden some strange noises woke Sallie up. It seemed to her that somebody was walking in the passage. It surprised her because they were the only guests in the hotel. The noise was coming nearer and nearer. She got up and peeped into the hall. It was rather dark there be-cause some lamps weren’t working.
Sallie strained her eyes and noticed the movement of the door in the opposite side of the hall. She took a step forward it. It was unexpectedly cold in the hall. She overcame her reluc-tance and moved toward the door. When Sallie was walking, the creaks behind the door didn’t vanish. They grew louder, echoing everywhere and around. She reached the door, opened it and came upon a young woman having a white wedding dress on and standing dumb as a stone. The woman raised her eyes to look at Sallie. The white woman looked nettled and even angry, her eyes were jet-black. Fear struck Sallie and she screamed. The woman forced a smile and stretched her hands out. Sallie was beside herself because of the fear. Screaming without a sound she made herself run, but her legs didn’t obey her. She fell down and couldn’t rise. Sallie felt a kind of spell the woman cast. She felt unusual weakness and fainted.
Sallie recovered when Peter was calling her name. She was lying on the bed and it was already dawn.
-What’s wrong? I found you fainted lying in the hall, - asked Peter in a worried tone.
- I don’t know… I just woke up at night because I heard some sounds… I saw a woman, the white woman wearing a wedding dress.
- What are you talking about? There isn’t any woman here except you.
- I know, but I saw her.
Sallie retold him what had happened in the night. At first, he thought she had lost her wits, but she looked quite self-possessed that he believed her. They decided not to stay there any longer. They started packing their baggage to leave this horrid place as soon as possible. Sudden-ly there was a knock at the door. Sallie’s heart sank. Peter consoled her, plucked up his courage and opened the door. Mr. Brook was standing there. He was as white as a sheet.
- May I come in? – asked he in a hoarse voice.
- Yes, come in, - they asked.
He came to tell them, that there is a ghost in the hotel. He saw it that night too.
- Every small hotel has a ghost, I think, because people come and go. Twenty years ago I had newlyweds as guests. They looked so happy, but an awful tragedy happened. The groom got drunk and started flirting with other women. Evidently, the bride was angry with him. They started quarrelling and … she fell down the stairs. It was an ac-cident, he didn’t want to kill her. She broke her neck and died immediately. The man felt really remorseful, but he couldn’t change anything. I decided not to let newly-weds stay here. But I had had very few guests since then, so I changed my mind and let you in. I think, it was a great mistake. It must be your presence that made the soul of the dead woman arise. And now I have some more bad news for you. It’ll be very difficult to leave the hotel. The ghost locked all the exits and there are bars on all the windows that can’t be broken easily.
Sallie and Peter looked at each other and understood that they got into a terrible mischief.
- And what shall we do now? – asked Sallie.
- Calm down first of all. We’ll think of the solution, - answered Peter.
- Yes, we mustn’t give up. She’s alone and we are three, - added Mr. Brook, trying to console Sallie.
- Is there an emergency exit?
- Yes, I’ve forgotten about it. It’s in the basement. I don’t know if it’s locked or not.
- Ok, then we can try to reach it. And now we should find something iron, because it’s considered to drive off ghosts, - suggested Peter, who was always ready with a plan.
- Candlesticks are made of pure iron. We can take them, - said Mr. Brook.
- Great. There are four candlesticks there. Take them and let’s go.