The Water Wraith

Mariam Naeem
8 min readOct 16, 2021

A Short Horror

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

The Water Wraith

By Mariam Naeem

This place is beautiful, she thought. Walking into a grand entrance that led to an even more stunning lobby area, Jana smiled as she stared around at the place that would be her home for the next week. A writer’s retreat. Perfect.

She never got the chance to do this. She was always swamped with work at the office and found it difficult to take even a weekend to herself, she was usually stuck working overtime because her caseload was generally quite heavy. Not this week though. This week she had been determined to take it for herself. She had a book that needed to be written, after all.

“So, this house is 450 years old and has surprisingly held up well over the years…There are twenty bedrooms, two drawing rooms, a dining room, ballroom, as well as multiple bathrooms and of course the kitchen quarters. This house has been part of the same family since it was built and has been beautifully maintained over the years. The owners wished to keep every original part of the building perfectly preserved…but the fact that they required an income from this stately home meant opening it to a select few of the public. That is how The Writer’s Retreat came into being here.”

“Wow!” Jana whispered. Next to her, a man dressed in black jeans and leather jacket let out a low whistle. Clearly impressed by what he was seeing, she thought. There were only five of them for this season of the Writer’s Retreat. She had learned they happened only four times a year and booking was exclusively only for writers and people who required time away to work in solitude and peace.

The mahogany flooring was shining brightly in the warm light, the fires all well-lit in the four fireplaces on either side, eight in total. The lobby was warm and inviting, and as their cheerful host Teddy Winters led them through to their rooms they all looked at each other with silly grins. This was a rare opportunity for any of them, it seemed.

Jana was the last person to be led to her room by Teddy. It was on the first floor after a dizzying climb on a long winding staircase right at the end of a long hallway covered with a rich red carpet. The walls were littered with portraits and landscape paintings, pictures of times…