The red evening light from the summer sun gave the dark blue mansion a purple glow and made the yellowish light coming from the slender, two story tall windows above the main entrance stand out even more.
Francine watched the building as it stood not far out into the sea like a collection of rectangles. It had existed seemingly forever since even her grandparents had known it since they were kids. No bridge led to it. You had to go by boat to reach it even though it was close enough to the small beach for a simple bridge to be built.
A line of dark green algae marked the edge of high water on the darker grey foundation below a lighter blue line which marked the ground floor. Wide grey steps descended into the sea in front of the recessed, glass double front doors. There were stone balconies on the first and second floor at the sides, plants growing down them in lush green. The flat roofs were marked by the same lighter blue. At the back she had seen a glass house when she had a boat ride further out into sea, as well as a small landing for boats.
She tucked the long blond strand of hair the wind had blown in her face back behind her ear and looked at the rectangle tower, two stories higher than the top floor with windows all around at the top and wondered what the view would be like from up there.
The ones who lived there were very reclusive. There was not a single day that she had been sitting here at the rocks and saw anyone at a window or one of the balconies. Supplies were delivered by boat at the back by a local grocery shop and when she asked the owner he said they had never seen anyone waiting for them either. They just delivered the goods, putting them under cover on the landing where they’d find the money and a list of supplies for the next week, then leave again. He said he thought about trying to open the steel door at the back, but never actually dared to do it. He felt something terrible would happen if he did.
While asking others she didn’t get any better answers. No one knew who lived there or how many for sure, but there were enough rumours mentioning an eccentric millionaire, a mad professor, or a genius criminal.
Francine leaned back, staring up at the first faint light of the stars, listening to the gentle sounds of the wind blowing and the sea caressing the sand and rocks. Her thin white dress danced around her suntanned arms and legs in the wind, making her think again about standing on top of that tower, feeling the cool sea wind blow through her hair and imagine herself as a bird floating on it.
She took a deep breath through her nose, then sat up straight at once. She was going to do it. This mystery had been going on long enough. Tomorrow she would take the row boat, go to the mansion and knock on the front door. While everyone would just stare from afar, she would be the one to actually meet the owner. Or Staff. Whoever lived there anyway.
She hopped lightly from the rock, landing in the warm sand with her bare feet and walked over to her bicycle. Looking back at the mansion one more time and giving it a grin, she called out ‘See you tomorrow!’ at it before cycling with determination back home.
Inspired by Jean Giraud (Moebius)
Great tips from Jean, annotated by William Stout: 18 tips for comic artists. Not just for them, but for writers too since we have to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.