‘Years since anyone has lived here.’
The cobwebs and thick carpet of dust, moss and dirt reinforced Daisy’s words. Wind blew in through broken windows, daylight entered where once the roof had blocked its path.
Outside the crumbling walls the thundering sound of the surf crashing against the foot of the cliffs resounded.
‘They found his body hanging from that window.’ Daisy pointed up to the top floor opening. ‘Driven mad by the sound of the sea below, so they say.’
A sea mist floated over the ruin, a damp sheen delivered onto every surface, including my skin.
‘At night, when a storm blows through the walls, the howling sounds like a madman wailing.’
Something scuttled along the ground and disappeared into a crack in the brickwork, a glimpse of brown-pink tail vanishing.
‘Is that why you came here, Daisy?’ I asked. ‘Did you come to find the madman?’
A gust of wind blew the mist away, bright sunlight painted dancing shadows.
I stood alone in the broken down house, listening, yearning to hear Daisy’s voice on the breeze.
The newspaper I held blew from my hands. The wind pinned it to the wall, the headline stared at me.
‘POLICE FEAR FOR MISSING LOCAL GIRL’
‘Did you find the madman, Daisy? Or did he find you?’