The house no birds fly over.
Katherine had always wanted a holiday to some place nice, but when her mother sent her and her sister, Alice to the train station that morning, she began to rethink it.
Sitting on the train, with her sisters constant chatting and energy that never wavered, she had wished several times by now that she were born a few months and a year earlier so she didn't make it onto the list for transfer.
Everyone from the age of 18 and under were placed on a list and were to be taken to safe houses in the countryside to avoid the war as best as possible.
And of course, as luck would have it, Katherine made it on. She was seventeen and pretty much a full time carer of her sister, Alice, who was twelve and rather pretty for her age, with light brown hair that always fell in her darker brown eyes. Her mother was kind but very busy, working in the makeshift hospitals dotted about London. She hardly had time for her children anymore.
The train came to a stop for the umpteenth time. It had been almost seven hours of nonstop travel, having changed trains three times and riding to the end of the line. Katherine began to question if the journey would ever end or if she'd be trapped on the train until the world ended.
She was quickly snapped out of this thought by Alice who was tapping her foot on the floor relentlessly.
"Would you stop that already!" Katherine snapped, a little harsher than she had meant to sound.
"Sorry." She stopped tapping her foot and started talking instead. "Kat, do you think we'll ever see mum and dad again?"
Katherine sighed at this question. She hated the thought of never being able to see her parents again.
"Don't be stupid. Of course we'll see them. The war won't last forever, Alice."
An hour passed by and they had finally reached their stop. A wooden platform just outside Danby; A small town in the North Yorkshire Moors.
The first thing Katherine noticed when stepping off the train onto the platform was how empty it was. There were a few grownups standing around, finding their assigned children and leaving just as fast as they arrived.
The second thing Katherine noticed, was how clean the air felt, away from the smoke of London. She had never left London before. In fact, the farthest she had travelled was from Soho to Highgate cemetery and that was when she was fifteen.
"Do you know who our guardians are, Kat?" Alice asked, half asleep.
She was nervous but had become rather good at hiding it. Not good enough for Katherine though.
"Relax, Alice. They won't leave without us, hopefully. Their name is 'Linden'"
Katherine read aloud from the tag on her suitcase. Her new guardians last name was Linden.
"I hope their nice." Alice took a seat on a small wooden bench by the old ticket booth.
A girl with blazing pink hair walks up to them, taking her seat next to Alice, who was half asleep already.
"Either of you with Linden?" Her voice was steady and her accent sounded funny to Kat's ears. She had never heard anyone from the North speak like this girl in front of her.
"Yeah, both." Kat managed to push the words out through a smile.
The girl just nodded and craned her neck round to look at them both.
"I'm Ebony by the way, but please, call me Ash."
Kat was slightly confused, Ebony and Ash sounded nothing alike. She began to wonder how she adopted that nickname, then Alice spoke up.
"I'm Alice and this is my sister, Katherine." She nudged Katherine's arm.
"Call me Kat."
She put her hand out for the girl to shake.
Ebony hesitantly shook it.
Not a moment later, a Young Woman, perhaps in her late twenties, walked over to the bench and tapped Katherine on her shoulder.
"Meadows and Jones?" The woman asked, her voice was scratchy, like she had been talking too much.
"Yep, that's us. I'm Katherine, this is my little sister, Alice."
"And I'm Ebony, call me Ash."
The woman acknowledged them for a silent minute before grabbing Alice's suitcase.
"My name is Natalie Linden. I will be your guardian for a while. It's lovely to meet you all."
A slight smile crept onto her lips that didn't quite reach her blue eyes.
As they walked down a slope towards Natalie's very expensive looking black electric car, Katherine started to notice more about her new guardian.
She had silky brown hair that reached just below the shoulders and wore nicely neat clothes. A brown knee length skirt with a white blouse that hung loosely to her body.
They climbed into the car and were soon enough on the open road that stretched along the moors.
"I hate the moors."
Katherine said as fear creeped through her. She had a sense of uneasiness at the shire vastness of the rolling fields.
"They scared me when i first moved here, but don't worry, you get used to the openness."
Natalie began to drawl on about her life with her husband and how much she missed him whilst he was away fighting.
Katherine reached down into her jacket pocket and held her dead, broken phone in her hands. She hadn't been able to use it for a few months now but the sense of it being with her was strangly comforting.
An hour later the car rolled down a long dirt driveway up to a big manor house surrounded by gardens that backed all the way up to the woodland beyond.
There was something that felt very off about that place. And, as the thought crossed her mind, she began to realise that it was extremely quiet.
Now, Katherine knew there was nothing wrong with a quiet house, nor even one in the middle of the moors. What was strange was that it was both peaceful, and loud.
Katherine remembered what her mother once told her, that all houses are like people, they have heart and history... and eyes.
This house was no different, but it's eyes were open, and watching them closely.
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