Darling Daughters

Chapter One

The manner fell silent.

For once the manner had stopped creaking, the wind daren’t rattle the shutters. The house had stopped living; it had fallen silent in mourning. The manner hadn’t always been this way. After all, the house had seen some truly revolutionary dinner parties. The house had played host to family gatherings and celebrations; it had seen births, christenings, communions, confirmations, after parties, birthdays, weddings and deaths. The reason for its last gathering.

The old Manner itself had begun to mourn the late, the great, Archibald Joseph Darling. The man who had bonded with the house, loving its creaks and murmurs. Archie had danced the fine line between creative genius and madness all of his life, but it was he who had exposed the house’s true personality. This was the very first house to be built on this land. Having replaced the original building after its burning down around 150 or so years ago it was returned to its former glory, and then some.

This house was the foundations for the town. A beautiful little place in New England called Grimeston, not too far from Stars Hollow. The house was made truly spectacular by Archie; after all it was his inheritance. Before Archie the gardens had been plain and simple, until he designed and sculpted a stunning water feature in the centre of the back garden with neatly encouraged tangled ivy and beautiful roses trained along the borders of the garden. The house had never looked so bright and alive.

The front garden, in its prime had pastel pink tulips lining the borders, standing to loving attention in the spring, beside the soft blush of the roses. Up the beautiful beige stone steps lead to a door, a few paces to the left a beautiful porch swing rested quietly, the doors grand though not too imposing lead into a beautiful foyer that was decorated with fresh light carvings into the wood panelling, trailing the old ivy and roses. The beautifully heavy furniture had been rested in the living room as though it had been placed effortlessly with the sweeping of a feather.

The dining room was grand and graceful; it had maintained its air of grandeur. While the manner house was neither exceptionally large or small it had its own fluidity and everything had its own place. The office was nice and warm and inviting, the bookshelves packed full of books, the old world desk, it was the kind of place Archie could relax in while working on his next idea.

The kitchen was the most modern room of the house. It was every bit as unique and quirky as you would expect of Archie. It was a lovely blend of high tech modern with an old world antique twist. The kitchen as quirky as it was, couldn’t have been much quirkier than it was, the room had its own bedroom attached. A guest room of its own; it was unused, this room, in all of Archie’s life time never housed the children that he had dreamed of. Archie had always wanted a family of his own but had never found it. That is not to say he didn’t love his brother’s children or their children, he loved them a lot. Through the limitation of distance, he always had done his best to help where he could.

Up the stairs to the second bedroom was just as grand in design as the rest of the house, even if it had become more of a storage area. The master bedroom however was nothing short of the word, beautiful. The old world antiques had spread like wildfire through the house, that old slightly magical wonder seemed to radiate through every room. But in the master bedroom the soft blues and greens complimented the dark rich woods. It was a calm peaceful room.

This beautiful house had become the stunning town feature, much to Archie’s delight as he had forged his relationships within the town. He had even offered to design the new town gazebo after it rather mysteriously burned down one summer when Archie had found himself with an abundance of time and creative ideas. The gazebo was stunning once it had been finished, not long after that Archie found himself being beloved within the town. That was until his health had started to fade, he quickly became withdrawn and sullen.

Archie in his ill health had taken his bedroom to be his sanctuary. He eventually died in the room he had groomed to perfection, in the house he had loved in the town he had come to love and become beloved.

The manner house, empty in its mourning quickly took hold of the darkness of abandonment and the thick layers of dust continued to build. The over growing garden accelerated into disrepair.

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