The sun was quickly lowering itself under the horizon and the evening was even more quickly growing cold. Geoffrey had yet to find or make out a shelter for the night and leaving himself vulnerable in the woods or one of the nearby fields was not a good idea. He walked on, vigilant of his surroundings, and continued to try to find a decent place to fall asleep for the night. Several moments passed before he noticed a bit of light past the trees ahead. He carefully approached the clearing and saw a very large house a couple hundred yards in front of him. Some of the windows had soft light glowing beyond them from lanterns still burning. He looked around the property trying to place himself and in search of a place to sleep.
Geoffrey huddled against a tree as the clouds finally gave overhead and let go of the water they were carrying. Thunder shook him and his tree. An odd, thumping sounded to his right and quickly grew louder. He looked to see a man riding horseback from the field, galloping to a barn Geoffrey was noticing for the first time. As the rider drew closer, he saw it was not a man but a woman. In fact, it appeared to be Abigail Greybriar. There were many rumors about her and even more about her house. Greybriar House must be where he had found himself. Lightning flashed as Abigail rushed from the barn to her house. Geoffrey thought he had seen someone standing in one of the upstairs windows looking down at Abigail, but they were gone with the flash of light. The rumors surrounding the Greybriars and their home creeped into his mind.
“I don’t put stock in it,” he muttered as he hurriedly directed himself to the barn.
The barn seemed small in the context of how large the Greybriar house was, but it was still a sizable barn. Geoffrey was sure to close the large door very softly so as not to cause the horses anxiety. They eyed him wearily from their stalls but remained quiet, seeming to simply be unsure of what to make of him. The rest of the barn was relatively empty. Loose hay covered the floor and there was a hay loft overhead housing bales, a few tools along with them. Riding gear hung on the walls and shelves kept numerous boots and blankets off the ground. He went to grab a couple of the horse blankets and saddle pads to make himself a pallet in the corner but a creaking sound behind him stopped him. He whipped around to see a strange man. He remained partly in the doorway, still holding the door open behind himself. The two men stared at each other for what felt to them like several slow minutes.
“Who’re you?” the strange man finally broke the silence.
“I’d ask you the same.” The man looked behind him, out at the rain, turned back to Geoffrey and closed the door behind him, taking a few tentative steps further into the barn.
“I don’t come lookin’ f’r trouble, I’s just wantin’ out of the rain. I’m movin’ up from down South and ran out of money a lil’ faster than expected.”
The man looked very anxious. He was wringing his hat repeatedly in his hands. Geoffrey relaxed a bit. He usually knew better than to trust a stranger, but he was grateful for the company considering the locale. He had been nervous to sleep here and this man seemed honest enough to him.
“Well, fine. Here.” Geoffrey reached back to grab a blanket and saddle pad then handed them over to the man.
The man visibly relaxed, “Oh, tha-“
The horses neighed loudly and shuffled in their stables. Geoffrey began to look behind him but was suddenly pinned to the floor by a pitchfork that had driven its way through his skull. The strange man fell back and away from him, crying out. Falling onto his back forced him to look upward. Standing on the edge of the hay loft, with a small scythe in hand, is a ghastly white, middle-aged woman clad in what looks like a nightgown. As he scrambled backwards the man watched the woman raise the arm holding the scythe. He got to his feet and threw himself against the door. The scythe flew into the door, inches away from his face.
He stumbled out the door of the barn slipping in the mud a few times. After getting a hold of himself, he rushed upon the Greybriar house and, despite himself, banged on the door until the moment it was thrust open by William Greybriar, Abigail and another man standing just behind him. He nearly punched William in the face.
“Check y’r barn!” the man shouted before pivoting and bolting away from the house and down the dirt road leading out of the property.