The Black MansionThe difference between love and lust is infatuation.
Posted on 13/08/2021
17 min. read
She was instantly hooked on Mia.
Chapter No I: The Liaison
Amber was happy. It was August 1969. She had got a job as a waitress at a popular discotheque and loved it. She would use the money to finally do the things she wanted to do. She wasn’t the type of girl who needed a relationship. She needed nobody.
On this particular day, she had got a day off. She never liked dressing in the club’s scanty uniform (It consisted of braces covering her nipples, short hot-pants and black high-heels.), so today she was wearing bell-bottom trousers, an open long-sleeved shirt, her favourite bandana, and casual baby-blue strap high heels. She felt good, she felt sexy, she felt ready to conquer the world. Amber liked to go to second-hand shops, browse and buy to her heart’s content. After having raided a couple of shops, she would then sit at down at a café, smoke a cigarette and settle down to a book and some tea. It would be no different this time, except it was.
She went to a small crack-in-the wall café that had been there for at least half a century and had been modernized over the years. She sat down and ordered some Darjeeling tea. She liked to smoke Camel Blue, so she pulled out a cigarette and lit it. She wanted to know how the story in The Stranger would continue. She read and sipped her tea. She thoroughly enjoyed novels that were slightly mystic and surreal in nature.
Amber was about to light another cigarette, when she noticed a girl standing in front of her. The girl asked: “Do you have a light, perhaps? I lost mine last night.” Amber obliged. The girl asked her: “What’s a girl like you doing here, all by yourself?” Amber answered that she was relaxing after a harrowing shopping raid. The girl said that her name was Mia and further inquired what had been bought on this raid. Amber told Mia that she had bought this and that, clothes for summer and the fall. Amber liked the look of Mia. She had a kind face with loving features. The sort of girl who would listen to you while lusciously smoking a cigarette while throwing you a seducing glance every now and again. Mia had short shoulder-high hair, dark brown and elegant eyes complemented by sharp features and high cheek-bones. Slavic in descent, perhaps. Her figure was that of a modern Venus. Slender torso with an ample bosom and wide hips, clad in a white shirt, open to the middle of her chest. Her trousers were bell-bottom, like Amber’s own and were only bell-shaped at the ankles. She was wearing black high-heeled boots which glistened in the sun. Amber asked whether Mia was warm? She replied that it was fine, she had got used to wearing long boots in summer. The bandana on her head, bearing the words Lust and Love in Russian, kept her cool, she said. Mia suddenly bent down, kissing Amber on the cheek and whispered in her ear “Here’s my number, I like people who read Albert Camus.” And then she left. Quite intrigued, Amber noticed that Mia had slipped her a black card with two items on it: A winged unicorn in rose-gold surrounded by a laurel wreath and an L.A. telephone number in a psychedelic rose-gold font. “Hm!”, she thought and closed her book.
Chapter No II: The White Mansion
A week had elapsed. Amber had called Mia and asked her if she would like to meet for a drink. Mia had accepted and told her to come to an address that was on the end of an ocean road, on a hill. Amber had never ventured there but knew that someone eccentric and rich lived there. She got dressed. This time a long-sleeved black tight top, a sailor’s cap as worn by French girls, a tight, long pair of trousers and some black satin high heel-boots. She got into her car and drove to to the address. It was a cold, dark autumn night and she draped a small white fur collar around herself. It didn’t help. She would be at the address in five minutes.
Like a white ghost, a huge gothic mansion loomed out of the dark. The house was not well-lit but made an imposing impression. As she drew closer in her Mustang, she noticed that the front-door and the drive in front of it was the only well-lit part of the house. A black iron gate was barring her way. Mia’s voice said: “I’ve been expecting you, my darling! Come in!” The black gate opened to a vast drive. A black Ferrari decorated with red wings was parked next to a white Lotus, decorated the exact same way. Amber parked her Mustang next to the exotics and walked up to the front door. It was a large wooden construction. The knocker and handles were rose-gold. The knocker was a winged unicorn. Amber used it. She liked Mia and was deeply attracted to her. She wanted to be with her. After a wait that felt like an aeon, the door opened and there she was. Mia stood in the door way. She was wearing a black satin dress and black strap heels. She looked mesmerizing. “Missed me?”, Mia asked with a twinkle in her eye and took Amber by the hand. Mia had a spring in her step. As Amber was led through the mansion’s halls, she had a strange feeling. It was one of fear and anticipation. The halls of the mansion were dimly lit and the light of the lamps reflected on the stainless marble walls. Mia led her through a white double-door, as high as the front door.
They came into a warmly lit parlour adorned with golden reliefs all over and Mia sat her down on a white silken sofa. She turned around. “What do you want to drink?”, twinkling her eyes, Mia asked. She asked what Mia was having. Mia giggled a little. “Well, I’m having a Vodka Martini, how’s that?” Amber said that would be just fine. “Great!”, Mia beamed. “Did you have a long drive?” She replied that it was quite pleasant although a bit eerie. Mia explained that her father and her father’s father had owned this mansion and that she was the only member of her family left alive and thus this mansion had come to her. “I grew up here, how about you?” Amber explained that she had grown up with her parents in a home not unlike the mansion they were sitting in right now and had moved to a different city to get away from her parents whom she loved dearly but wanted to leave behind to make her own way in the world. “Unresolved traumas?” Amber nodded. Mia’s expression changed from one of glee to that of loving concern. “You want to tell me more?”, she asked. Amber explained. She talked for almost an hour. Mia listened attentively and never once did something else, except sip her cocktail every now and again. After Amber had finished her tale, Mia stretched out her hand and stroked Amber’s cheek. Mia’s hand felt warm. “You shouldn’t let yourself get involved with people who clearly do not deserve you.”, Mia said. Amber smiled. “And you?”, Amber asked. “Most people cannot handle me. You’re the first person with whom I it feels like I’ve known you all my life and can tell you anything.”, Mia confessed. Amber said: “Show me.” They kissed. She could feel Mia’s warm lips on her own. Her warm breath, her slender body leaning on her own. Amber was instantly hooked. She wanted to go on kissing her.
In that moment, an inhuman scream filled the old house. It echoed from wall to wall. It sounded like a man being burned alive. Instantly, Mia had a terrified expression on her face. She was scared. Amber could feel fear pulsating through Mia’s body. She jumped up and said: “You had better go. It is getting late.” She accompanied Amber to the door. She didn’t say goodbye, she just ushered her out and closed the heavy oak front door quickly. Amber got into her car. While she was starting the engine, she looked up. She could see Mia standing in a window alone and scared, tears filling her eyes. She briefly looked at the other windows of the house. No! It could not be! She must imagining things. In the second window on the third floor, there stood a man, watching her. He was wearing the uniform of a confederate general. His skin was burnt in parts of his face and his arms. The uniform looked old and as if it too had been burnt in a fire. Mia had said she was living alone in that house. Amber switched on the engine and left. Never to return.
Chapter No III: The Tears
Three weeks had elapsed since Amber had been at the white mansion. She had been very sad and thought back to the kiss with Mia often. She wanted her as she had never wanted anyone before. She would think about Mia all day and night and hadn’t slept a lot. Mia had awakened the feeling that she could love again, a feeling of safety and freedom only those have felt who have truly been in love. It was no more. It’s place had been taken by a feeling of pain and resentment. She had grudgingly decided to move on and had gone out. She had gone to a bar around the corner from her flat and dressed up in a simple black dress and high heels. She didn’t like to use make-up but had gone to the trouble of putting it on for that night. She did want to forget Mia and had started a mission to drink herself to death that night. She didn’t want to meet anyone but she was a lonely girl so she forced herself to stand at the bar and down a couple of white Russians. They were good.
She was looking at an advertisement poster above the bar when she felt someone tap her on the shoulder. She didn’t feel it at first. Her mind had got to preoccupied with the scantily-clad lady sitting atop a bottle of Budweiser beer, gesturing seductively. On the second tap, she felt it and turned.
It was Mia. She looked horrible. She was wearing a worn-out leather jacket, dirty raw-leather high-heeled boots and her hair was matted, her makeup streaming down her face. She looked pitiable and manic at the same time. The expression on her face was that of pure horror. Like she had been through something the terror of which only she understood.
Without thinking twice, Amber fell into Mia’s arms and kissed her like she wanted to relive the moment they had shared at the white mansion and it was the last thing she would ever do. She grabbed Mia’s waist and pulled her towards herself. She could feel Mia’s body tremble and hot tears streaming down her cheeks. She loved this girl and wanted to protect her from whatever it was that was haunting her.
Five minutes later, after having cleaned Mia up and buying her a beer, they were sitting opposite each other. Mia had her jacket draped around her shoulders, still shaking, but calm. Amber had lit herself a cigarette. “So, what happened?”, she asked, mustering Mia. Mia looked up, her eyes glistening with tears. “Did you see my grandfather in the window when you left?”, Mia asked. “That was your grandfather?”, Amber retorted. Mia nodded. “My grandfather was a general on the confederate side in the civil war. He married one of his prisoners from the North. When he caught her in bed with another woman in his tent, he set it alight but got trapped in it. My grandmother shot him. He was still alive when he burned to death. The mansion was his family’s house. After my grandmother told his parents that their son had died in the war, they left the house to her. The child they had shortly before is my mother. Out of revenge and hatred my grandfather’s ghost drove my parents into insanity and they killed themselves four years ago. Ever since, I have been living in the house by myself and with him. When we kissed, he screamed because that love between two women killed him. He doesn’t want his granddaughter to love another woman. He has been trying to drive me mad as he did my mother. I came looking for you all the time but you were never home. I missed you so much. Amber, I want to be with you.”, Mia finished. “Why didn’t you call or at least explained this to me?”, Amber asked. “I didn’t know what to tell you and I was scared, I thought I was loosing my mind. I didn’t want you to think you were about to date a crazy girl.”, Mia replied, crying even harder. Amber suddenly grabbed Mia’s hand: “Look, you’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met, that kiss with you was divine. Call it stupid but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. I want to love you and be with you until the end of time.”
Chapter No IV: The Cross
Two weeks after this conversation, Amber was lying in her own bed in her flat, naked, with Mia. She was smoking a cigarette. Mia was lying next to her, also nude, and sleeping. She had cuddled up to Amber with the ghost of a smile on her lips. Amber was happy. She loved Mia and they had moved into her small flat to live together. This is what she always wanted. True, deep, passionate love with someone whom she adored. An iron confederate cross was lying on her bed-side table. The general had made his peace.