Ambrose entered the foyer.
Servants in black and white uniforms drifted past him, intent on their busy work. Servants he once knew.
“Home. I’m home.”
He glanced around, searching for the ball of light, but it was nowhere in sight. “So. I have to hunt you down, huh?”
Ambrose walked towards the ballroom.
The servants behind him talked in fuzzy, scratched up voices. He couldn’t understand a word they were saying, so he ignored them.
He entered the ballroom and stopped short.
His father stood in the middle of the room, dressed in the clothes he’d died in. But nothing was torn. There was no blood.
Silver light radiated from him
This isn’t real. It can’t be real.
He smiled. “You’re here.” His voice sounded like it was coming from a far away place. But it was his voice. “Ambrose.”
Doesn’t matter if it’s real or not. I can’t face him. I can’t. Not after what I did to him. He turned to escape.
His father stood in front of him. “Son.”
“Please. Don’t. Don’t look at me.” Ambrose hid his face behind his hands.
Balmy air breathed down his bare hands. “You don’t have to be afraid. Lower your hands.”
Ambrose shook his head.
“Look at me, son.”
“I can’t. I can’t. It hurts.”
“It wasn’t your fault.”
Ambrose’s throat tightened.
“What happened to me. My death. What you did, it wasn’t your fault. That vampire is the one who—”
“I can’t blame her.” Ambrose lowered his hands. “Yes, she changed me. But I did nothing to stop myself from biting you. I gave in so fast. I saw the fear in your eyes and I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. I’m sorry.”
“It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the manner of my death. But, Ambrose, I have come to terms with it. The pain and the anger is gone. I’m glad you came back. I’ll be able to move on.”
“Mother. Is she…is she still here?”
His father smiled. Love shined bright in his eyes. “Yes. She’s been waiting for me.” His smile grew. “And she’s been waiting for your return. You stayed away for so long.”
“I’m sorry. I just couldn’t come back. I wasn’t ready. Where is she?”
“She’s in her room, fetching something for you.”
“What is it?”
“Is this real? Are you really here? Am I hallucinating?”
“No. This house may not be real, but I am. The servants out there are. Your mother is real too.”
Ambrose lowered his gaze. “Is she mad at me?”
His father didn’t reply.
Ambrose looked up. “Is…”
His father was gone.
The ball of prismatic light hovered in his place.