A tremendous thunderclap trembled the foundations of the old house, punctuating Stephen's resolute proclamation. Genevieve raced to the parlor window drawing aside the dusty curtains. Everywhere she looked, the world was shrouded in a white veil like some unholy fog, snow so thick she could not see past the porch to the road beyond. Another flash of lightning illuminated the pale world a ghostly alabaster, irritable thunder chasing at its heels.
"The weather conspires to keep you here this evening."
An anxious jolt ran down Miss Genevieve's spine as her host's proximity registered, his voice a hoarse murmur in her ear.
"Never before have I seen thunder, lightning and snow appear simultaneously."
"You may be hard pressed to find many who have. The storm does not appear to be clearing. I think it best you stay until morning."
Such was her overwhelming dread, for a brief moment Miss Genevieve considered taking her chances with the elements rather than spend another hour in the house with the vengeful ghost. It was foolish, she would be unable to navigate in the storm and would most assuredly wander off the road likely dying of exposure in a matter of hours. This was the safest and most practical plan, but she couldn't help but wonder if the blizzard which trapped her wasn't so much happenstance as it was the devices of the merciless woman in black.They swiftly came to the conclusion Miss Genevieve should sleep in the drawing room with Stephen rather than occupying one of the many vacant upstairs bedrooms. Propriety was the least of her worries after the unnerving experience of being touched by a presence who should have been nothing more than a pile of bones and dust. They fetched clean bedding and Genevieve had just transformed the couch into a suitable bed when a monstrous bolt of lightning cracked through the atmosphere, so close the room's air sizzled with electricity. Thunder's violent roar raced swiftly through the abode and its inhabitants, the storm projecting its power as the house's electricity finally succumbed to the tempest's will. Genevieve stood frozen on the threadbare oriental rug, consumed by the ruthless darkness. As the thunder grumbled off into the distance, she swore she heard a woman's sinister cackle fading with the thunder into the bowels of the gloomy home.