No. The United States didn’t have nobility. She was a former colony to a once mighty kingdom. The United States rebelled and she won her right to self govern and chose to throw away the thoughts of Monarchy, knights, and nobility. At least on the surface.
In truth, this country had only filled the noble void with the wealthy. For example: The sons and daughters of the wealthy were more likely to become officers in the military, just like nobles in the age of Empire. Not convincing you? Then what about this mansion? It was made for the lap of luxury. Not at the request of a noble. It was simply made that way for anyone that had the money to buy it.
Even though it was made in the style of a plantation, it wasn’t Colonial Era, nor was it Pre-Confederate. This multi-million dollar house was made around the 1980s with almost no expense spared. Imagine, if you please, walking through the front door. Inside you see the twin staircases going up to the second floor. Strait up to the ceiling, looking down between the stairs is a very large chandelier. You can go right and eventually find the indoor pool.
Or you can go into the large room off to the left of the entrance with a beautiful stone fireplace that goes all the way to the ceiling about thirty feet up. The novelties of this house don’t end there. With enough searching you can find a spiral staircase, the three car garage, library, bar, maid’s quarters, and did I mention the stonework?
Wow. That stonemason took over a year to complete all the work on the house. Apart from the 30+ ft tall fireplace there is one other section of stonework that is even grander. In the back of the house is an outdoor eating area with a fireplace for cooking up barbeque. All made with stone.
“Fiona. We are heading out now.” Came an old motherly voice. She was the lady of the house. She and her husband were leaving for some social event in D.C. for the next two days.
I stopped my current chore of cleaning the bar area and moved towards the front door. I opened the door as the elderly couple reached the bottom of the staircase. They were an example of America’s own nobility. “I hope you enjoy your flight, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson.” Their limo was waiting outside for them. The driver had opened the door for them in the back. “Thank you Fiona. Watch over the house while we are gone.”
“Certainly, Mrs. Nelson.”
They both got settled in the back of the limo while the driver shut the car door and returned to the driver’s seat. I returned inside to finish dusting the bar. Me and the four maids, sorry. The four other maids and myself continued about our chores in our master’s absence. Master Nelson’s new books were sorted for the library and his personal study, the chemical and PH levels in the pool were proper.
The day proved to be uneventful… Until the flock of wild turkeys showed up and took residence out behind the house in the BBQ area. I rounded up the other girls and the five of us chased the birds away with mops, brooms and anything else we could come up with to overcome the fowl situation.
After cleaning the messes left by the turkeys on the back patio, I called it a day and dismissed the other maids. Even though the living space on the third floor was for maids, I was the only one that lived on site. The masters of the house said they could take tomorrow off but wanted me to keep an eye on things while everyone was gone.
That was a bummer but I didn’t have family or know anyone in Maryland so there wasn’t much for me to do anyways. If nothing else, I could swim in the indoor pool, read books, make myself a drink at the bar, soak in one of the three master bathrooms, yeah who needs a day off from a job like this? Especially since a storm was coming in an hour or two. I could already see the nasty looking black clouds far off in the distance. Better to stay in for the night.
I did a final check around most of the house, put my maid uniform in the wash and got into something more comfortable then took the elevator up to the third floor. The was load wouldn’t be done for another 20 minutes so I passed the time by watching some of the Rock’s old Youtube videos before…
The roar of thunder came with a crash and I jolted up from the bed. Huh, I must have dozed off.
I reached over for the lamp on the end table but it wasn’t there. I rolled over to the other side of the bed, but I couldn’t quite make it to the other side. My bed in the maid’s quarters was only a full. This was at least a queen size. My confusion only grew after crawling over to the other side and finding the switch for the lamp. This was one of the main three main bedrooms on the second floor.
My clothes had been changed. I had thrown on a flannel shirt and shorts when washing my uniform. Now, I was wearing a beautiful white dress. It looked like something a princess would wear! Warning sirens were sounding throughout my mind as I quickly got out of the bed. The rest of the house was lit up outside the bedroom. I moved quietly towards the library but stopped as a figure turned the corner and stood in my way.
He was a man of about five-foot-nine. Black hair with a streak down the left side that was dyed green, and was wearing a butler’s uniform. It didn’t look like a costume. No, what he wore was professional. “Ah I see milady was awoken from her slumber.”
“What are you doing here?!” I blurted out. It would have been more appropriate to ask “How?”. All doors into the house had been locked and so were the windows. “I am here to attend to your every need, Milady Fiona.” With a white gloved hand raised to his heart, he gave a bow to me. I don’t know how but he had a charm of subservience. Not that I was going to fall for it.
“You are trespassing, get out at once! Master and Mistress Nelson have no butlers in their employ.” But the individual didn’t even flinch. “No, madam. I am not here to serve them. Only you.” He completely ignored my demands to leave. “Now would you like me to draw you a bath? Or perhaps you desire an evening snack? I do believe there is still have good quality Ceylon leaves in the kitchen for tea.”
I was about to tell him I would have neither bath nor food until he was gone but something caught my eye. A black, hairless tail flicked out from behind the butler. At its end was an upside down club shape forming a point. I slowly backed away from him. No. No no no. This couldn’t have been happening. It had to be a dream!
Master Nelson had been an Army officer graduate. I had cleaned the glass case where the sword was displayed countless times. I wouldn’t be able to get past him… But there were more ways to the library than one. I ran down the staircase to the second floor and ran through the center threshold between the twin stairs, passed by the bar and went for the master’s study. The dress was surprisingly easy to move in. But by the time I moved up the spiral staircase, the monster was already there giving me a curt bow. “If milady wishes to study then I shall prepare her favorite tea.”
Nope nope nope nope run for the door. Gotta get out of the house. I ran out of the library, back down those stairs under the chandelier. But by the time I made it half way between the end of the stairs to the door, I felt the flapping of large wings. The demonic creature swooped in beside me. “Impertinent of me it may be but I must insist milady does not to go out in this storm!”
I couldn’t help but stumble backwards and in turn, fall down. Looking up at him, I could now see that his wings were like a bat’s. He really was a monster. At this point there was no holding back the tears. The realization finally set in that I would die because of this eldritch minion of evil. And dressing up as butler was this creature’s idea of a sick joke.
His wings retracted and he walked a few paces towards me before kneeling. “Why does milady fear me? I could never hurt you.” He held out a handkerchief and gently wiped at my eyes. In spite of everything my instincts told me, I felt that he was sincere.
Then came another startle as he reached in and grabbed a hold of me. In one quick motion, he proved how much stronger than me he was by lifting me to my feet. “I apologize for such brazen behavior. I humbly beg your forgiveness.”
I just looked at him in bewilderment. “Why are you doing this?” For a quick moment he looked at me then his eyes darted away quickly to avoid eye contact. “Well, Milady gets embarrassed when she falls down and I wanted to help her back on her feet and-” What he said was true. It is embarrassing to fall over even when no one is around but it wasn’t the desired answer.
“No I mean why are you treating me like a mistress? I‘m just a maid.” He got down on one knee and held my hand. This seemed too much like a marriage proposal and I couldn’t help but blush.
“Milady is diligent in her work for the Nelson home. I am here to reward and relieve you of that burden. Let me attend to the chores and your needs until the other maids return from their day off.” He stared intently up at me and for the first time I noticed his eyes. They were the color of topaz, they had a golden shine that somehow reminded me of the beautiful Hope Diamond.
I couldn’t say no to those eyes. Not when they burned with such sincerity. “Then I henceforth accept your services…” Wait, what do I call him? “Incubus, ma’am.”
“Very well, Incubus. Can you go prepare a bath for me?”
He kissed her hand that he was still holding. “It would be my delight, milady Fiona.” Demonic butler stood up and was quite enthusiastic as he proceeded up the stairs to the bedroom I had found myself sleeping in. “I shall call on you when it is ready.”
“I will be looking for a book in the library until then.” I called out to him while moving towards the spiral staircase. I once again turned my attention to the sword in the display case. The thought of using it to try to fight him had gone as soon as it came. I somehow trusted him even though I really shouldn’t have. Then the phone in the library started ringing. Went over to pick it up.
“Hello. Nelson residence. May I ask who is calling?” I didn’t even look at the caller I.D.
“Fiona, we are just calling to check up on things…” That was master Nelson on the phone. “Not that we don’t trust you. Has your guest arrived yet?” What did he mean by that? “Yes. Someone is here calling himself Incubus.” There was a brief pause on the phone before he responded. “Yes I suppose he would call himself by that. I hope he didn’t startle you with his… deformities.”
“Well it did at first but I’m over it now.” There was some commotion in the background from their social gathering so Mr. Nelson tried to make it quick. “Listen I can’t talk over the phone right now. There is a note under the lamp in my private study that has more information on him. Take care Fiona.”
“Good bye sir.” We both stopped the call at the same time.
Back down the spiral staircase I went to make my way towards the private study. Sure enough there was a note on the desk under the lamp. It read,
You must have met our guest by know. Please don’t be startled by his wings, tail or eyes. He was once as human as you and I believe it or not. He needed a place to stay for a day so he should be gone by the time the other maids return. Do try to keep his visit off the record. No one needs to know about him.
P.S. He may be a little eccentric but he means well.
Well then. I guess he isn’t a danger after all.
“Lady Fiona, where are you? The bath is ready.” Came the familiar voice.