That evening, Gabriel's guests gathered in the dining room for supper. Their host was absent and they began a light babble of small talk. Jacob surprised himself by holding a ten minute long conversation with Edna Hawte about his job as an accountant. She proved herself a sharp financier. Jacob had noticed the Colonel was … Continue reading Chapter Thirteen – Heaven.
Moving through the house slowly and carefully, looking out for the signs which told him where he was, Jacob went looking for Gabriel. He was nowhere inside, not even in the kitchen, where a young man dressed in an apron had waved a knife at Jacob until he'd gone away. Eventually wandering outside, Jacob strolled … Continue reading Chapter Twelve – Honest Men.
Lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling, Jacob thought about God. His parents hadn't brought him up to believe in 'things that weren't there', as his father had put it. When Jacob was seven, this same man had been diagnosed with pulmonary heart disease. He'd died ranting about how cures that didn't exist being … Continue reading Chapter Eleven – Blasphemers.
"We need to talk about Gabriel," Jacob sat down in an armchair and rubbed his fingers down the bridge of his nose. Ilse and Pilgrim watched him sceptically. They had seated themselves already, cocktail glasses placed in front of them on a small table. They'd been served earlier by one of Gabriel's household staff, who … Continue reading Chapter Ten – The Stars.
"Good morning Jacob," Gabriel said when Jacob entered the dining room, "sorry, you've missed breakfast. We didn't want to disturb your sleep. Especially after I woke you up at midnight last night. I really can't say sorry enough for that." "Yes, yes," Jacob looked around the room, which was empty apart from Gabriel, "where are … Continue reading Chapter Nine – The Sun.
Returning to his room, Jacob felt immensely tired. As he entered the bedroom, his eyes began to feel heavy. Lying down on the bed, he shut his eyes. Sleep came quickly. Jacob dreamed. In his dream, he was in a place of immense darkness. He was standing on some sort of walkway, which stretched off … Continue reading Chapter Eight – The Devil.
Jacob was woken by the distant sound of music. Blinking tiredly, he checked his watch, which he'd placed on the bedside table. It was midnight. They'd dined early and turned in at ten o'clock. Gabriel had returned to his guests with none of his usual enthusiasm and energy, and a pall had hung over them … Continue reading Chapter Seven – The Heathen.
It was getting dark outside and Gabriel had not yet returned. Jacob had retired to one of the house's many sitting rooms to escape the increasingly angry stares he'd been receiving from Ilse as the evening progressed. The rest of the guests had kept up their apparently incessant chatter. Staring out of the window, Jacob … Continue reading Chapter Six – The Faithful.
Returning to the dining room, Ilse, Florence and Jacob found the rest of the house's occupants seated around the long table. Gabriel looked up as they came in and waved them over enthusiastically. "Join us you three," he said, "Lily has agreed to perform a seance for us." Jacob and Florence exchanged glances. Ilse ignored … Continue reading Chapter Five – The Dead.
"This is the ballroom," Ilse said, opening a door and ushering Jacob in. Having forgiven him for the previous night's rudeness, Ilse had decided to give Jacob a tour of the house. Initially reluctant, Jacob had realised that if he was going to survive in this place, he was going to have to learn to … Continue reading Chapter Four – The Quick.