There’s a crumbling mansion in the Red City that overlooks the marina with sixteen eyes of fractured glass. Although weary from old age, it watches for thieves with unwavering paranoia. It has known the taste of many who have sought its riches over the years, and expects that another will arrive any day now.
There are eight ceiling fans in the mansion, although there used to be ten. Every night, those that remain drop down from above with a near-simultaneous crash; the floor is dimpled from decades of this ritual. Their sharp blades twist until at right angles with their rotund bodies, forming five arachnid-like legs. Then they patrol the battered halls and hungry kitchens with a slow, staccato gait. They spear and eat any rodents or geckos they come across, but larger beasts sometimes give them trouble.
They take orders from an old chandelier wrought from peacock crystal, too massive to escape through the ballroom’s doors, yet too beautiful not to obey. Its chains and wires have grown roots that span the foundation, allowing it to serve as the manor’s central nervous system. These days it manages everything, from keeping the fireplace clean to changing records on the phonograph. Only the bathrooms remain beyond its control, for their treasonous pipeworks have been incorporated into a much larger organism.
When daylight comes, the fans flatten and return to their magnetic stems. There they whirl and whisper, churning the tropical air while dreaming of two-legged prey.