There she stood: Aunt Alberta. Looming ominously in in the doorway, a rotund shadow with a straw-like crop of greying hair, quivering and wafting atop her bulbous, perspiring forehead. To say she was overly fat would be a lie. To say she was beautiful would be an even bigger lie. In actual fact she just stood there like the unpleasantly mean spirited (and not a little badly dressed) blob that she was. Stretched around her grotesquely undesirable form was an ill-fitting, dirty, foul smelling tweed jacket, adorned in crumbs and stains of meals long since eaten.
Shuffling unceremoniously into the musty light seeping through a dirty window, Alberta’s rusting monocle glinted with a fading hope, held tightly in place by a ruddy cheek and a flaking brow. Raising a gnarled, creaking arm she summoned her majestic Great Bavarian owl, who had long since accepted its fate at the beck and call of it’s haggard owner. There was no escape.
Stroking a grimy finger down the owl’s razor sharp beak, she placed a pellet in it’s mouth that it gratefully wolfed down. Such treats were a rare occurrence. As Alberta leant in to closely inspect her pride and joy, an acrid, musty, stale smell forced the owl to turn it’s head pointedly away.
“Now then, my dear,” Alberta croaked and rumbled, the words tripping heavily past her stained teeth and pale, thin, cracked bloodied lips, “where are my tiddlywinks?”
There was a sizzling orange glow as she drew back on her once finely polished wooden pipe, weakly lighting up one side of a face that had become greying, pitted and scarred over her many long years. She breathed out a billow of smoke that drifted lazily upwards to pool and disappear on the yellowing ceiling.
Onwards she lumbered, vanishing back into shadow. Her crackling, ragged, unnatural laugh echoed through the lonely corridors of Saxby Hall.