Chapter Two

Rose lay on the sofa and watched the fire dancing over the logs. She was warm now and comfortable. The sofa was very plush and comfy. Looking at it, Rose considered whether the Doctor could bring the TARDIS into the room and she could take the sofa for her room if no one was in the house.

That's what worried her. There seemed to be no electricity in the house and the firelight didn't go very far. If there was someone creeping up on her with an ax, she wouldn't be able to see them until it was too late. She kept getting up and going to the doorway to make sure but she didn't know how much good that would do if someone was standing just behind it.

Her eyes flicked over to the window when she heard a distant rumbling.

"Bugger, now thunder and lighting will be added to the storm," she muttered. "I'm glad we found this house and we didn't have to go back to the TARDIS in this storm. Leave it to the Doctor to find a planet and land on the day a major storm hits. Not to mention finding a house that might have an ax murderer."

She shook her head. Thinking about a possible ax murderer was giving her the creeps and making things worse. She wished she had gone with the Doctor. At least if something happened, she would have been able to protect him and vice versa. Sitting here, she was on her own until he came back to her.

She tried not to think about that and concentrated on the fire instead while the wind rattled the window glass.

Meanwhile, the Doctor had found the stairs and was slowly going up them. Each step he took made the steps squeak but the sound was masked by the storm. He paused a moment and groaned when he suddenly heard the sound of thunder.

"Great, I find a planet so Rose and I can have a nice picnic and I manage to land during the planet's first ever monsoon season," he muttered.

Guilt pricked at his mind while he climbed the stairs. He didn't care about himself but he hoped that Rose wouldn't catch pneumonia from their time out in the storm. He made a mental note to give her a check-up in the med bay when they got back to the TARDIS; just to be sure she was alright. He hated to see her shiver, especially since she usually went with him blindly wherever he chose to go. He hated that the people he loved down through the years ended up getting hurt or suffered because of him.

He shook his head, banishing the melancholy thought to the back of his mind. Rose was safe and warm and out of the storm so he could focus on finding out if the house was truly vacant. He noticed that the house didn't seem to be broken down, dusty or dirty. There was a slight layer of dust but not enough to indicate the house had been vacant for years.

He stopped near the top when he noticed two more portraits hanging by the stairs. It was the same man and woman, only with different clothes on. The man had a proud look on his face but the woman still had the same sickly, depressed look. He stared at the woman a moment wondering who she was. From the portrait she looked like she had never been in good health, but that was just his mind fleshing in the details. He had never seen them before so they weren't famous, at least not famous in a universal sense. After a moment he gave up imagining who the woman might have been and what life she might have led and continued up the stairs.

When he reached the top he was at the beginning of a long corridor with closed doors on either side. One door near the back grabbed his attention because he swore he saw light coming from the crack under door. He put his hand in front of the flame of his candle, cupping it slightly so the light would be dimmed. He looked again and his suspicions were confirmed. There was light coming from a crack under the door. Someone was here.

He started to go towards it when his finely tuned hearing detected the slight squeaking of the stairs through the storm. He spun around and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Rose's face illuminated in the candle she held her in hand. She was halfway down the stairs.

"Sorry, I got bored and the house is creepy. I thought I might be able to help," she said. "Didn't mean to scare ya."

The Doctor was happy for the company. He was used to Rose being at his side the majority of the time and he also thought the house was a bit creepy. Besides, it would be better and safer if they confronted the owners of the house together. He put his finger to his lips and beckoned to her. Rose came up the steps, pausing to look at the portraits for a several seconds before joining him. The Doctor pointed to the light under the door.

"There is someone here," Rose said softly.

"Think so," the Doctor said softly.

"They don't hear us?"

"The storm is loud, probably hard to hear us through it. I barely heard the squeaks as you came up the stairs. We go together towards the door. I'll knock on it and explain what we're doing here to whoever's in there."

Rose nodded and she walked with them while they walked down the corridor. There was carpeting on the wooden floor but it was threadbare and the purple color had faded with age.

When they reached the door, Rose was shocked when they heard faint crying coming from inside the room. The Doctor paused a moment, leaned forward and put his ear to the door. Rose could tell from the weeping that it was a woman but she wondered if the woman was alone or if there was a man with her who might get pissed off when he realized there were strangers in his house.

The Doctor leaned back up, looked at Rose and shrugged before he knocked on the door. To Rose's amazement, the weeping didn't let up and in fact she thought it sounded like it had increased. The Doctor knocked again, louder this time.

"Miss?" he said loudly. "I'm sorry to disturb you but my friend and I got caught in the storm and we needed shelter. We hope it'd be alright if we could stay the night? Could you please open the door?"

"She's still crying," Rose said when they got no response.

"I hate to barge in on her but if she's weeping something must be wrong. I tried to be polite but…"

He tried to open the door but it was locked. He used his screwdriver to open it and told Rose softly to go behind him and be prepared if someone tried to attack them. Rose nodded and got behind him, holding the candlestick with both hands. The Doctor slowly turned the knob and opened the door enough to stick his head inside.

"Oh my…" he said when he put his head in the room.

"Doctor, what's…"

Rose didn't finish his question because the Doctor threw open the door and went in. Rose followed him and she froze when she saw the woman. The room was completely empty and the woman was kneeling on the floor with her back to them. She was dressed in a plain white dress that looked Elizabethan from the back and she was rocking back and forth while she sobbed uncontrollably. What was even more disturbing was the wall in front of her had blood streaks all over it and I KILLED HIM was written in blood on the wall in front of the woman's head.

"Miss? Madam?" the Doctor said, moving slowly towards the woman. "I'm the Doctor. I can help you if you'll let me. What's wrong?"

Rose followed him and stopped when the Doctor came up beside the woman and knelt down beside him. He was looking at something under the woman's head with shock and horror on his face and he quickly stood up.

"What is it?" Rose said.

"Careful," the Doctor said when Rose moved past him to see what he saw.

She froze when she saw the woman's arms and hands. She was clutching a dagger in her right hand and there was blood on the blade running down the hilt onto her hand and from there down her arm onto the sleeve of her dress. From her vantage point, the dress did look Elizabethan which struck Rose as odd but she remembered they were on another planet and perhaps Elizabethan dresses were in style here. Her heart went out to the woman who was still sobbing uncontrollably as she rocked back and forth. She didn't seem to notice them so Rose knelt down and asked her name. The woman didn't answer her and sobbed harder.

"Did you write this?" Rose said, pointing to the wall. "Did you kill someone?"

The Doctor knelt down beside her but the woman continued to be lost in her grief and despair. Then suddenly he realized something.

"Rose," he said.


"Remember when we saw a light under the door?"


"There are two candles in the room, mine and yours. Do you see any other candles or any sources of light? Because what is lighting this room besides our candles?"

Rose looked around but the only candles in the room were the two they brought inside. There was no extra candles, lanterns, torches, electric lights, nothing. But they saw a light coming from underneath the door. Suddenly, Rose was very nervous.

"No lights and she's acting like we're not here," Rose said softly. "You don't think…"

"I saw her before and you did as well. She's the woman from the portrait. There's another portrait of her in the dining room and she's wearing a dress like this one in that portrait."

Despite her fear, Rose reached out and touched the woman's back and she gasped when the woman vanished the moment she did it. The extra light faded and the room was lit only by the two candles.

"Um…Doctor, maybe we should get out of here," Rose said.

"Yes, I think that's a good idea," the Doctor said. "Come with me. We'll go back to the fireplace and figure out what's going on here."

Rose meant get out of the house and back to the TARDIS but the storm was raging and she knew they were trapped in the house for the moment. She swallowed hard, hoping that if the woman had been a ghost, she had been a benign one and she went somewhere where she wouldn't do anything to them. The Doctor beckoned to her and Rose took her candle and left the room with him.

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