My imagination has come to life!
This picture looks exactly like how I had
imagined Hayden’s house in The Dead Game.
The door began to drift open on its own. A long, dark
hallway came into view. Rare masterpieces lined both walls, starkly
illuminated against the muted walls by bright spotlights suspended from
Entering the house, the deafening silence felt alive
and heavy—as if someone was there with them waiting, but not yet
willing to reveal himself. A cold draft hit them. In the translucent
stream of air, Todd could see shadowy forms fighting against each other,
struggling to break free. “Are those vampires caught in the wind?” Todd
was beginning to regret his decision to enter the house without
sufficient back-up. “Did you notice those strange forms floating in the
He continued, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Not hearing a response from Sam, he tried to downplay his concern. “It
could have been just an illusion.”
When Sam still didn’t
respond, Todd turned around and found him standing as still as a statue,
eyeing the flow of air with trepidation. “Sam? Are you still with me?”
Sam didn’t answer or move a muscle. Todd knew that he had to continue
on with the search—with or without Sam. He called out Hayden’s name, his
voice echoing down the empty corridor. Still no one answered.
He followed the faintly lit hallway until its end, where it opened onto a
huge oval-shaped ballroom. He stood in the center of the room in the
bright light cast by the enormous crystal chandelier. The light
reflecting from the hanging crystals shot colorful prisms of light
across the multitude of artwork all around him. Hundreds of statues by
eminent artists were scattered about the shiny marble floor. The walls
were decorated with priceless paintings in massive frames. As he
wandered through the ballroom, he recognized Rembrandts, Picassos, and
even Renoirs, filling every available space on the gilded walls. At the
back of the room, he noticed a circular staircase with carved gold
railings, leading up through the ceiling to the floor above.
“There are no other rooms on the main floor, so we might as well check upstairs,” suggested Sam.
Surprised to hear Sam’s voice, Todd spun around to find him
standing right behind him. Todd nodded his head in agreement, even
though he suspected that this was what Hayden expected them to do next.
It was almost if Hayden had put out a sign that read: “Stupid human
vampires! Come up my staircase at your own risk!”
They began to climb the stairs. The air turned colder and more frigid.
Now, Todd thought, let the games begin.