Prompt from the Writers group on newsvine.com.
There used to be laughter here. Hundreds of people would enter through the tall doors and step into my magnificent atrium, raindrops of chandelier light blinking on their sleek heads. Men dressed in black suits marched like penguins alongside peacock bright women in colors of garnet, emerald, royal blue, gold, and silver. The click of heels on my polished marble floors floated upwards and echoed merrily through the corridors, rhythms tapped out to the music of violins. The music sounded clearly, accompanied by the graceful movements of the dancers like autumn leaves falling from a tree. Nervous young men tried to engage beautiful girls in small talk, hopefully waiting for the courage to ask a dance. Conversation and the clinking of amber filled glasses filled my halls. In my spacious and ever reaching gardens, lovers would walk hand in hand. The fountains and roses entranced and filled the air with sweet perfume. Such music, such gaiety, such romance.
No longer. The days of blissful enjoyment have passed forever. My halls are no longer bright and airy. Dusty, dank, and damp are the rooms where air, light, and warmth used to sweep along the floors. Cobwebs were never heard of during the times of life and love. Now, grey clouds hang from the ceilings, the chandeliers, and the banisters. Where portraits once hung, blank spaces of peeling wallpaper are the only reminders of the thieves who penetrate through my once safe walls. Gone are the days of life. Gone are my joys, my pride. All that remains is an empty manor, no longer the talk of the town. All that remains are the ghostly strains of the last notes of the violin, plaintively calling to dancers who will never again lift their feet to the music. Gone, gone, gone.