~Everybody in the small, summery town of BirdWhistle knew the MacQuoids. At least, they knew who they were allowed to know.

They knew Carol MacQuoid, with her glossy, chestnut perm. They knew Chester MacQuoid, the sticky businessman who rolled in money. They knew Karen and Paul MacQuoid, the 'oh-so-perfect' twins with their shining, platinum hair like spun gold. They were allowed to know them...

...but not Eleanor MacQuoid.~

Eleanor's eyes flitted open, only to be greeted with a spider, slowly weaving a silky web in the corner of her ceiling. She sat up and rubbed her eyes, reaching out to flick on the rickety lamp beside her bed. Of course, she thought, sourly, my bed would probably be viewed as a dishcloth in Karen's eyes.

The lamp flickered, and Eleanor climbed up to her feet, feeling giddy.

She surveyed her door, and sure enough, just inside it, her breakfast was waiting for her: a slice of stale bread and a glass of water, most likely from the dog's bowl. She sighed and picked the bread up, turning it in her hand. Disgusting. She made herself comfortable by leaning against her door. She was about to take a reluctant bite of the bread before the door gave a jarring creak and she fell backwards.


Her head thumped and then rested on the plush, red carpet. She clambered onto her feet, breath hitching in her throat. This... this was what it was like outside her room! Her bare feet sunk into the dreamy richness below her. She listened carefully, nervously looking around her, expecting to be launched back in at any moment. Nothing. She stumbled forwards, completely in awe of her surroundings. Of her own home. Running her hand on the pristine walls of the mansion, she made her way downstairs. She took her time, soaking in the wonderful scenery.

But in a blink of an eye, her blood rang cold.

She heard the slow creaking of the master bedroom upstairs, then, a shrill voice trilling, "Karen? Paul? Is that you, dearie?"

Heart in her throat, she bolted down the last of the stairs and tried to find the front door.

"Where is it...? Where is it...?!" She growled, under her breath.

How ironic it was to get lost in your own home!

Eventually, Eleanor found the house keys, placed neatly on a shelf besides the coat hanger and she snatched at them like a vulture attacking it's prey. The key dug into the palm of her hand but she had no time to worry about that.

A few more tantalising footsteps upstairs.

Eleanor fumbled with the keys, desperately trying to jam it into the keyhole in a blind panic.

Thump, thump, thump.

She shoved the key in and twisted it, almost putting her whole body's weight on it. She wasn't very heavy.

Thump, thump, creaaaak.

Silence. Eleanor froze, face white with fear.


That set Eleanor's heart pounding again. Adrenaline coursed through her veins and she gave up on fumbling with the key. Instead, she took a step back and unleashed her full weight onto the half-opened door.

"Wretched door!" She painted, when it burst open with a sickening crack.

Eleanor bolted out the door. And the last thing she saw, was her mother's hideous face, beet red, and screaming with rage.

Log on next week to get the next instalment!...