Chapter 4

Jan 1st, 2018
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  1. The heavy door swung open on ungreased hinges, its movement punctuated by the noisome squeak of poorly-moving parts. After fumbling around with the wall adjoining the door, you click on a stiff switch. A low hum of electric is audible for a brief moment before the circuitry transforms the mysterious energy into visible light. Incandescent bulbs in the ceiling bring light to the main hall, the main showpiece a large chandelier a few steps forward and overhead. Despite the dust, it was still a magnificent sight as the crystalline glass casing twinkled with refracted luminescence. This effect was magnified as the light reflected off the floor. Dark and light grey tiles were arranged uniformly in a checkered pattern, suspended fleck opalescent flecks capturing and twinkling in the light. White marble columns connected the floor to the ceiling in regular intervals and parallel rows, black veins suspended in the bleached stone provided movement for the eyes to follow. A plush red carpet, edged by black, provided a natural path from the entrance to between the pillars and up the central staircase. The stone steps started from a wide base, before slowly narrowing towards the landing. A matching chandelier placed over the landing brought emphasis to where the stairs diverged perpendicularly to the second floor. A twin pair of lustrous black oak wood railings flanked the stairway before diverging as the pathway did to ring the hall. Both the second and first floor reflected matching passageways punctuating the walls, white molding along the floor and openings contrasting against the red walls. Standing over the first landing of the was a magnificent portrait depicting the first patriarch of the Carter clan, his stern gaze forever fixed upon those who stood in the hall he founded.
  2. “The servant living quarters are on the first floor in the left wing, with the right wing housing the workshops and kitchen. Naturally, my quarters and facilities are located on the second floor.” You eye the portrait, frowning slightly to yourself. Given the state of general decadence your ancestral home languished in, you felt more than a little rightfully-placed sense of shame and guilt at its waning. Shaking off the dark thoughts, you lead Rarity towards the previously outlined living quarters, noting with some humor the way she glanced longingly at the staircase and the elevated status that the physical elevation signified. Her hooves clicked loudly against the stone flooring, though aside from the both of you, the house was completely silent and still.
  3. After transitioning out of the main hall, the stone gave yielded to carpet underfoot. The pallor of dust was more noticeable here as it was clear that these quarters have long since been deserted. Rows of doorways indicated that there was once quite a distinguished number of servants, serving as a glum reminder to how far the clan has fallen. The relative silence was then broken by inquiry from Rarity as she looked up at you. “Where is everyone?” she asked, looking at the different doors for emphasis before distastefully brushing clear a patch on the carpet. “Or are you completely alone?”
  4. “It sounds much worse when you put it like that,” you say drily, before opening a door at the end of the hall and flipping on the room’s respective switch. “Though, essentially, yes, I am— present company notwithstanding, of course.” You quickly look over the fully-furnished room, satisfied that it contained all the essentials. Or at least, the essentials for a human servant, though it should still be sufficient for its new tenant.
  5. It was a simply-designed room, rectangular with a second partition that led to the bathing area. The bed stood against the center of the opposite wall facing the entrant’s view, the armoire separating it from the corner. Along the adjacent, left-hand wall stood a desk with chair, a piece of old, yellowed parchment accented by a dry inkwell and feather-quill, long unused. The source of the room’s illumination stood to the right, where an electric lamp in the corner provided what its neighboring window could not. A chair sat next to the lamp, while a small table with a smaller electric lamp upon it provided a night light next to the bed. Over it all, a thick layer of dust hung heavy— something which the refined unicorn was quick to take affront with.
  6. “I absolutely cannot live in these conditions,” Rarity protested, stubbornly stamping her hoof into the carpeted floor. “This is absolutely abominable. And,” she added, in harsh exaggeration, “This is hardly better than that awful pen you took me from!”
  7. You frown, knowing full well that she was exaggerating. But you take offense from it, nonetheless. “Quiet,” you order, “Yes you will. Besides, my own situation is hardly better.” You remove the leash from her bit, before your hands fumble clumsily and unfamiliarly at the buckles keeping the rest of the restraints on. Her tail swishes vigorously with annoyance as she grumbles impatient consent to the removal of the clinking fetters. “If it is that much of a problem, then you’ll have to fix it up yourself. And then get to the rest of the house.”
  8. “Surely you jest,” she retorts, throwing her mane to stretch her neck before stretching her forelegs and shoulders. “A lady like myself, doing servant work! This shall not do— I will not stand for this!”
  9. “This is your home too, you know. So some cleaning up is really just the beginning of it. Besides,” you threaten, not keen on debating this now, “that is why you are here and not still in that slave market I found you. If you would much prefer that to your current state of affairs, then I will see about refunding my coin shortly. Now go wash up,” you command her. “Necessities and hot water are still there, at least. I shall see about us going to town for acquiring any others you may be missing. But for now, I will be in the kitchen so join me when you are done.” You motion towards the other part of the room, before leaving and closing the door on her sputtered protests.
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