Edith Crawley sat, perfectly frozen, to the seat of her car. Her fingers gripped the steering wheel with fierce determination, knuckles pale white with the effort.
Her blonde hair had become uncoiled in the panic and tumbled down her back. Her breath came in short gasps, causing her chest the rise and fall abruptly. Slowly her eyelids fluttered as a sign as her mind slowly awakening.
Behind her a twig snapped with a painfully loud noise and Edith nearly threw herself from the ruined car in terror.
Her hands unclasped suddenly and, in a moment, she was sobbing her heart out, hands clutched to her loudly beating chest. She had fled her home without a second thought, speeding across the fields in terror. The only thing to stop her had been the tree that had got in her way.
Her leg was cut. Not badly. But the force of the crash had thrown her forwards, causing her to fall into the hand brake sharply.
Edith was too scared to move. To run. To scream.
She sniffed loudly and finally took in her surroundings. Empty fields for miles around.
That was a blessing at least.
The only horrid reminder of the nightmare that she had escaped was a terrible severed hand that had been caught and ripped off by the rain guards on the bonnet of the car. It's skin was wrinkled and grey which was slowly, tauntingly, dripped with blood.
With a shuddering breath Edith tired to fee herself from the mangled car but instead tumbled from the seat and fell with a bump on the hard grass, skirts caught around her knees and head carelessly thrown back a the darkness of the cold night consumed her.
It was dark when Miss O'Brien woke up.
Soft strands of the morning sun hung loosely through the window, not giving enough light to easily see by and making the room appear dreamlike.
Her head pounded and she stumbled as she tired to stand.
Her little servant's room was a mess. The drawers of her wardrobe had been pulled out, clothes scattered everywhere in disarray. Her old battered suitcase lay in the middle of her unmade bed, half packed.
For a moment the room swayed before her and she struggled to remember what had happened. Gracelessly she sat back down on the floor in a heap of dusty black skirts. How long had she been here? Asleep? Or unconscious? And how had no one noticed?
Through the grey light she squinted at her little clock.
The house was deadly quiet all around her.
Sarah struggled to keep a wave of dizziness overcoming her and brought an unsteady head to her painfully head. It came away black with dried blood, stark in contrast to the pale ivory of her skin. With difficulty she pulled herself up and stared into her little mirror that hung at an odd angle on the plain wall as if it had been brutally knocked.
Her normally perfectly styled curls hung limp and bloody against her forehead and her strict bun wasn't even a bun. Sarah blinked at her reflection uncomprehending who she saw. There was blood splattered across her face, tiny droplets covered her cheek, nose and forehead. But no cut. No broken skin.
Wincing she looked over the rest of the damage.
For Gods sakes, she was so much stronger than this!
Why couldn't she remember?
Her dress was ripped at the hem and she was missing a shoe. The sole of her cream stocking was bloody but after a quick inspection Sarah deduced with a painful sigh that the blood wasn't hers.
She stood once more and the room swam before her.
Clutching the cold metal bedpost for support Sarah regarded her destroy room once more and took in a detail she had not before: the door was barricaded shut with her wooden chair under the handle.
With numb soft footsteps Sarah pushed the brown suitcase from the unkempt sheets and fell on to the bed, ignoring the painful noise as the bag hit wooden floor.
She was asleep before she even considered the danger.
Around her the house held its breath. There was a deadly silence in the cold halls that had once been filled with music and chatter and life.
Daisy lay on the cold kitchen floor, breath coming in quiet shaky gasps. Her pink gown was stained with red blood, blossoming from her arm and legs. It hurt to move. Slowly she blinked the tears from her eyes that threatened to spill again and stared at the ceiling in disbelief.
Her good hand closed around the shaft of the kitchen knife she grabbed as she fell. The steel felt good against her cold fingers, comforting.
How much time had passed?
How long had she been like this?
Flies buzzed around the unfinished food on the preparation table. Green mould lay across the bread in mockery of her and Daisy turned her head away and wished quickly she hadn't. On the servants stairs Jane lay dead. Well, half of Jane lay anyway. Daisy let slip a slight sob of terror and fearfully clutched the blade harder.
A low growl came from the stairs.
Jane's eyes flashed as life tore back into them, grey eyes, dead eyes.
Daisy squeaked in terror and tried to shuffled away from the mangled corpse of her once friend, sobbing hysterically. Her legs were a dead weight against the floor, holding her down. But fear made her strong and Daisy dragged herself away from the oncoming devil and threw herself into the little pantry, locking the door behind her.
The room stank of rotting food.
She was so alone.
Tears fell unhindered from her eyes now.
Was she the only one left?
With a shaking hand she brushed the tangled hair from her face. Her skin was moist and hot, painful. Her head ached so. Shakily she pulled up her skirts to check the damage done to her legs and immediately wished she hadn't.
Terrible red bite marks ran down the flesh, blood splattered her coarse grey stockings and...Daisy forced herself to bit back the bile that rose in her throat...there was a toe missing from her left foot.
Knock, knock, knock...
The banging on the door she lent against terrified her.
"Who is it?" Daisy cried out foolishly.
Only a low growl answered her.
She suddenly became very aware of a sharp pain in her fingers; the steel blade of her knife was sinking into her dying flesh. The pain seemed to clear her mind and her escape route became clear.
Her whisper was lost in the darkness.
She calming ran the cool blade across her exposed skin.
Daisy lay dead before dawn broke over Downton Abbey.
Home of the dead.