And so it came to pass that the Lych Mistress and her faithful knight Gerald Paul should leave their humble abode in Kings Mountain and travel west - high up the Appalachian slopes to take a dwelling in the fair township of Hendersonville.
They toiled tirelessly to assemble their possessions, of which there were many. The Mistress herself oversaw the containment of their many precious tomes of wisdom, works of art, her splendid finery and, most importantly, her many pairs of lovely slippers. Valiant knight Gerald Paul applied himself most dutifully to the preservation of their prized crockery, their fine foods and spices as well as their arsenal of weapons that would not have been out of place at a royal armory.
The morning of the great migration dawned clear and bright, yet pleasantly cool. The laborers engaged by knight Gerald Paul arrived on time, and the Lych Mistress rejoiced, for - while powerful and mighty - she took no pleasure in carrying heavy trunks and caskets. The carriage hired for the great move from the merchants of U-Haul was seventeen feet in length and splendid indeed.
But lo! Once the strong men of moving persuasion started transferring the precious cargo onto the carriage, the Lych Mistress realized that the carriage did not possess a portal that opened into another dimension, making it impossible to fit everything in.
"Blast and damnation!" quoth she, "I swear by my red satin peep-toe pumps, the villains did not know who they were dealing with. For they have swindled us into accepting a carriage reserved for mere mortals!"
"The sun is high and the road ahead is long and treacherous, Mistress," said the glorious knight Gerald Paul, "We must be away and struggle on with the vehicle we have. We cannot retain this carriage past sundown, but we shall engage another to make up for the inter-dimensional portal deficiency."
And so they went on: the impressive caravan comprising the large cargo carriage; the knight Gerald Paul's personal equipage, in which he also transported their two mighty hounds; and the Lych Mistress's landau carrying the Mistress herself and her three faithful felines.
They ascended into the mountains, their vehicles straining under their heavy loads. The hounds were accustomed to travel and faced the journey calmly. The felines, however, proved more challenging, driving the Mistress weary with their anxiety and occasional vomiting.
Finally, they approached the glorious castle secluded deep in the woods atop the steep peak. Birdsong and bubbling of a mountain creek greeted them as they arrived. Alas, the Lych Mistress could not rejoice with the rest of her party, for the guardian who was supposed to greet them at the castle gates and present her with the key, was not there. None of the travelers possesed the power to unlock closed gateways, and so they waited, attempting to contain and sooth the raging travel-weary beasts.
At last, the guardian had arrived, although clealry improperly trained, for she did not observe the due ceremony in presenting the Mistress with the key to her castle. The Mistress was so overjoyed to be let through the gates, that she allowed the guardian to depart alive and unscathed.
After letting the beasts roam free and explore their new dwelling (which pacified them greatly), the party labored hard to transfer the priceless artifacts belonging to the Lych Mistress and her brave knight Gerald Paul into the castle. And while some of the weighty trunks were deposited in the dungeon instead of the great hall, and some were left in the owners' private quarters instead of the kitchens, the work proceeded swiftly, and the large vehicle was empty well before sundown.
The mighty moving men had to depart, for their contract was signed in mere ink and not their blood (an oversight on brave Sir Gerald Paul's part, for their souls did not belong to the Lych Mistress and they could not be driven to load and unload another collection of cargo). The Mistress herself and the valiant knight Gerald Paul traveled back into the foothills to engage another carriage - a smaller one this time - to bring back the remainder of their possessions that were left behind due to the inter-dimensional portal error.
It was well past sundown when they arrived at their old foresaken dwelling.
"It is late," said the Lych Mistress, "And the time is short before powers of the night take hold. Some of them are my allies, but just as many are my enemies, thus we must make haste, sir!"
"Worry not, fair and thrice-glorious Mistress," said Sir Gerald Paul, "Our remaining possessions her are but few, and it shall take us but an hour at most to conduct this transaction."
"What smokest thou?!" the Mistress cried incredulously, "Have you forgotten the room full of stands filled with trunks and chests and caskets to the ceiling? Have you forgotten my personal scribe that produces the scrolls filled with my wisdom in a blink of an eye? Have you forgotten our magical world-window?"
The glorious and valiant Sir Gerald Paul was abashed, "In truth, oh Mistress, I have forgotten those things. Please do forgive me, for we must labor together on the task at hand, and it is formidable indeed."
And so they toiled in harship and dust and packing tape, the glorious Lych Mistress scuffing her delicate hands on the coarse cardboard and using her magnificent strength not to slay enemies but to carry heavy cargo, like a mere serf.
Many hours passed and darkness descended upon them. And once the moving carriage was filled to the brim as was the Mistress's personal landau, it became clear that once again their complex calculations were wrong, as there were still some possessions left behind. The Mistress became grieved for she was weary, but she soldiered on to complete what part of the task could be completed.
At one hour past midnight the hatches were shut and locked and the Lych Mistress and her faithful knight Gerald Paul readied themselves for another journey.
"You must summon what you can of your strength, Mistress, for as I ride the large moving carriage, you must navigage the mountain paths alone in your equipage. Be wary, for the road that was treacherous by day will be doubly so by night. May the powers of the dark that are allied with you be of assistance, and may those that are not stay out of sight."
And so they boarded their vehicles and drove courageously off into the night.
To be continued...
P.S. To those who have no idea what this is all about, let me know - I'll explain separately. To my writer friends - especially my fantasy and horror writer friends: as far as I'm concerned, this is all entirely your fault. :-)