Clarey Kensington, a bright seventeen year old girl from Minnesota, stood on the front porch of the so-called Tennessee Timberwell Boarding School. She held her hand to her eyes as a shade from the sun, and looked up at the strange decor that stood vigil above the entrance. A welded iron circle here, a trident there.
Her Lexus CT was parked crookedly on the dirt driveway. She should have gotten gas fifteen miles ago, when she saw her tank was low. Now she was trapped, unless she could find some way to get fuel. Hers appeared to be the only car at the residence.
“Is this where I’m supposed to be?” She frowned in confusion, but knocked on the door. It was a small wooden house, and the only indication that this was the right place was a rusted sign that hung on a long stake by the road. The place reminded her of ashes from a campfire. Her frown turned to a polite smile as an old woman opened the dark wooden door. The old woman peered at her with dark brown eyes.
“Little lovely, what’s your name?” She said, and spoke to someone in the house: “Harold, a girl is here!” Her voice was the color of warm brass and thick with accent.
“I’m, uh, Clarey,” the northern girl managed. “Is this Timberwell?”
“Sure is. Oh honey, it’s swelterin’ out there. Won’t you come in?” The woman asked.
Clarey accepted and followed to the kitchen, where she sat down on one of two metal chairs in the same fashion as the decor outside. “What’s your name, miss?” She inquired.
The old woman laughed and said, “It’s been a while since anyone’s called me that, but I like it. You can call me Miss Maisie.”
Maisie… The name was nice, like a wheat field in September.