The gravel crackled and rustled underneath the tires of the taxicab as Lindsey arrived at the sprawling estate. Ciara had been fairly secretive about her family history but, as Lindsey took in the ivy covered stone, the perfect children’s toy house growing larger and larger as they rolled in past the sprawling green lawn. The house had an air of history, Lindsey gently clawed at her thigh thinking of what was waiting inside. The driver picked up Lindsey’s suitcase and thanked her for her generous tip, glad this particular American stereotype happened to be true.
Lindsey knocked on the door and was surprised to be met by a tall blonde austere looking woman. She seemed to been keenly attentive to detail, not a hair out of place in her neatly twisted bun. Her crisp white blouse freshly pressed with a high collar, tucked into a herringbone skirt with a matching jacket on top. She wore a yellow gold chain that held an antique looking key. Her thick heeled black shoes were clearly polished, she had an air about her that made Lindsey feel the need to watch her grammar for fear of being humiliated in front of a class she had long since passed.
“Miss Ciara’s guest I presume?” Her proper English accent perfectly complimenting her immaculate diction made Lindsey shrink back slightly. She was grateful to be meeting Ciara and that the large estate would provide ample distance from this cold woman. Though there was no more than a few years between them she was certainly intimidated. Lindsey nodded timidly, trying to hide just how taken aback she was. “My name is Miss Holdsworth, I am the caretaker for this estate and I assist Miss Ciara with whatever she may require. I’ve prepared you room for you upstairs, Miss Ciara has left some instructions for you. I’ll take your bag.” The confident woman, uncharacteristically shaken, hurried in as the door shut behind her and walked into the bedroom upstairs.
Lindsey set her purse on the bed as she took in the sprawling bedroom before her. The bed was covered in a deep green velvet duvet, sprinkled with down pillows just begging for her to collapse into. All of the furniture was clearly many generations older than her, a matching deep mahogany almost too perfect to touch. A small white card was tented on the bed with her name in an intricate calligraphy. Next to it, a small parcel with a ribbon neatly tied into a bow. She began to read-
Welcome to my home, I’m so ecstatic to finally have you here. I’m sure you’ve had a long journey but, I hope you agree that it is very important for us to have an accurate baseline for your stay here. We would not want our tests tainted by your stay here in any way. Please get dressed for your exam in the attire provided, Miss Holdsworth will retrieve you at precisely 11:30 to escort you to the exam room.
Great, another interaction with Miss Holdsworth. A glance over at the clock and she realized there were only 3 minutes left for her to get ready. She tugged at the bow and lifted the lid and stared at the unmistakable teal of a hospital gown. She pulled it out of the box and found the single tie behind the neck. She gulped as she realized what was going to happen. She peeled her skintight skirt suit off of her travel weary body and slipped on the gown. The first goosebumps were just starting to form as the breeze tickled her rear when she heard the rap of knuckles on the door. Oh god, oh god, oh god. The door opened and Miss Holdsworth turned wordlessly and walked down the hall as Lindsey followed.