You’re about to meet one of the new generation of the Carver family, and her latest . . . friend.
The lake had always been a prominent feature in Andrea Carver’s life. Like many other children, she had spent summers there with her family. Over time, Carver’s Lake became a sanctuary for her. It was the place where she first discovered boys; where she learned to drive; where her first husband proposed; she grieved her mother’s passing; celebrated her divorce; where she often came when she needed calm. It was special.
The unfathomable depths of the lake were like a security blanket for her. The lake was a constant. Although it’s surface often altered, the lake body itself was unchanging. Deep, dark, and foreboding if one were seeing it for the first time, for Andrea, it was home. For Andrea, the lake was the keeper of her secrets.
She drove slowly along the gravel track to her house, eyes flitting from the route ahead to the lake on the right. It was a journey that Andrea knew well, and could do with her eyes closed. A smattering of trees lined both sides of the winding track, and every now and then, Andrea could see her beloved lake.
The full moon was reflected on the surface, the lake acting as a giant mirror and casting the moon’s glow back out into the surroundings. Viewed through the trees, this natural phenomenon made it seem to Andrea as though the track to the house was lit by a multitude of tiny lamps. It pleased her to drive the track knowing that at the end of it was her ancestral home, and complete access to Carver’s Lake.
She had hardly paid attention to Mitchell Boyd since turning off the main road and on to the access road to the lake. From the access road to the tiny, gravelled, winding track that led to the Carver holiday home, it was exactly fifteen miles.
Mitchell sat, uncomfortable with the silence, for the full length of the track to the house. At the best of times he hated travelling at night, but along this snaking trail he was terrified. To Mitchell Boyd, Carver’s Lake didn’t seem appealing at all at the moment, and he wished he’d refused Andrea’s offer and stayed in the city for the weekend. But he hadn’t because she had the bluest eyes he’d ever seen, and Mitchell Boyd was a sucker for a woman with beautiful eyes.
‘We’re here,’ she said as she turned off the engine. She removed the key, threw the door open, and jumped out of the car in what seemed like one fluid movement to Boyd. He sighed and got out of the car as well. He could see perfectly well that they had arrived at the Carver house.
In the moonlight, the building loomed before him like some kind of ugly monolith. The early Carvers had obviously lacked any sense of modesty. It was a large, ugly, three turreted monstrosity, which clearly proclaimed to other families living around the lake, that the Carver family believed themselves to be above and beyond the regular folk.
Although it had once been built predominantly of wood, time and circumstance had not been kind to the house, and the beautiful cedar had been replaced by heavy grey stone quarried from a nearby mountain. Andrea had explained the history of the house to Mitchell, as they had travelled the highway from the city. Viewing the house now, Mitchell thought he would have much preferred seeing it as it had once been, created from cedar wood. The grey stone seemed to give the building an ominous ambience.
He took his bag from the back seat and followed Andrea into the house. The five steps to the front porch creaked under his weight, and Mitchell thought they might give way. Andrea waited for him in the open doorway, her face beaming with an irrepressible smile.
‘Come on, Mitch. Hurry up. I want to show you around in here.’ She raced ahead of him. In the darkness, Mitchell lost sight of Andrea seconds after she stepped further into the house. She hadn’t bothered to turn on the lights.
. . . To be continued . . .