The Castle Karlstadt – Excerpt 16
Father Michael and the Doctor came charging in to the room, but it was all settled, Bruno sat brooding but said nothing more. The girl ran to me and buried her head in my shoulder, sobbing, it had been a close call and I think she realised what I had saved her from.
The girl, once I had succeeded in calming her down, told me that her name was Karina and she had lived in the castle forever, or as long a time as that was. I asked her what she did for food, she looked at me and smiled and said that the castle provided for her. I told her I didn’t understand, She explained, ‘I get up in the morning, there is a meal waiting, I want a snack at lunch time, it is waiting for me and the same at dinner,’ I didn’t comprehend it, but the girl didn’t seem simple, far from it, she seemed bright.
So! where do’s it come from, this food, it can’t just appear?’ ‘Well! when I was little, we had servants,’ she stated, ‘But after the fire, when I was the only one left, I thought it might be the Gypsies who were bringing me food, but now I honestly don’t know, it just appears.’
I accepted her explanation, but made a mental note, that there was at least one other person living somewhere in the castle. As to Karina herself, I found her absolutely captivating, she had raven black hair, blue eyes, a cute nose and lovely even white teeth, when she smiled, which she did often. She had no education, at least not in the normal sense, but she was far from stupid, nor was she naïve, just the opposite.
(C) Damian Grange 2019