Georgia horror story of a woman invited to the home of her new suitor – a home with terrifying secrets. Written by Alex Soderstrom.
Driving up the windy path to the home of Mr. Danvers, Grace was awestruck by the sight of pure American beauty, something she had rarely glimpsed in her lifetime. Willow trees, mixed among the towering pines, hung over the road, which lead to the white columns of Robert’s antebellum dwelling. This went far beyond anything Margaret Mitchell could have captured in any number of words or pages. Her host awaited her on the front porch, ready to welcome her in the home and present her with a cold glass of sweet tea as smoothly as he had his invitation for dinner. Grace felt as if she was entering an island of nobility and she was about to isolate herself from the world. To Grace, this was not a terrifying notion. She had chosen to not tell her naturally intrusive cousin where she was going this evening. After the whirlwind of change she had brought upon herself by leaving a man she did not love and a Ohio town that had been her only home, Grace needed her own space. If Robert Danvers wanted to enter into that space too, she did not mind.
Her arm hooked around his, their feet moved in step as they took a stroll across the expanse of green grass that was Robert Danvers’s backyard, rows of towering pines acting as natural boundaries of the green square behind the antebellum home. A gentle breeze carried the swooning words of Ray Charles from the record player on the back deck to the ears of the pair. Robert talked about his family’s origins in France and the perilous trip they had made to the New World over two hundred years ago before settling in here in Georgia. As she listened to him talk, Grace could see his bright eyes twinkling, as if they were the first stars to come out amidst the setting sun. The crickets and cicadas began playing the background for Mr. Charles and the pure wonder of a southern evening came to life.
Much better than Ohio, Grace decided mentally, grateful for the first time since leaving that she had found a new home, with a new beautiful face.
“I buy them from Europe,” Robert smiled. “They are beautiful pieces.”
“Quite beautiful,” Grace agreed.
“True beauty is a fleeting thing,” Robert commented. “It is so tough to preserve it.”
Grace silently nodded, still admiring the beauty of the statues. Robert indicated an open spot at the edge of the pond, between two statues.
“I have a spot for you right here, Grace. Come help me with the food and we will dine in style.”
Grace was all too happy to accompany her gentleman back across the lawn, her head swirling from the unexpected majesty of the evening. Upon entering the home, Robert excused himself to enter the cellar and grab a bottle of wine. After he had descended, Grace seized the opportunity and used the restroom. As she washed her hands, a loud thump resounded from outside the square little room she occupied. Grace exited and slowly approached the door to the cellar.
“Robert,” she called, “are you alright?”
Receiving no response, Grace pulled the cellar door open, revealing the figure of Robert Danvers, which soon collapsed on the floor, blood flowing freely from the back of his head.
Grace’s hand instinctively went to her mouth, which began uttering moans of terror and confusion. Another figure stepped out of the darkness of the cellar stairs and stood over Robert’s body. It was a woman, her appearance as tattered and crazed as her face. Her hands gripped a shovel, covered with splotches of blood. Large sections of her body were badly burned and other parts were covered in hardening bronze.
“Oh God, no!” Grace screamed, paralyzed. “Please, no!”
“Why are you screaming?” the woman hissed. “Did he not have a spot on the lawn for you?”
Grace slowly backed away, her head beginning to spin again, this time with images of the impossibly realistic faces of the sculptures she had seen. Sick realization began making her stomach contort and her brain was fearfully urging her legs to run.
As she began to break into a sprint out of the white – columned home, Grace heard the woman’s screams echoing behind her.
“There is always a spot on the lawn! He always finds you a spot!”