A stranger visits

The doorbell rang.
It was midnight.
The witching hour.
Who could it be?

The butler paused.
A glove hand on the door-knob.
He glanced at the clock.
Who was out so late?

On the doorstep she stood.
Stooped; and shivering.
A walking stick held tightly.
Lips tremble as she spoke.

I got lost walking.
On this night so cold.
I am hungry and tired.
Can I come in, out of the cold?

The butler hesitated.
For that split second.
Then he stepped aside.
To allow the stranger in.

The butler led the way.
To the kitchen they went.
The warmest room in the Manor.
And a hub of activity.

The cook fussed over her.
There was hot stew and bread.
A warm room for her to sleep in.
Such kindness shown to her.

But dawn came too soon.
She must leave now.
The house was still asleep.
Quietly she sneaked out.

She looked back at the Manor.
Partially hidden in the mist.
Fear clutched at her heart.
And the swirling mist claimed her.

By C.E. Pereira
(17-8-2017)