Story Number One. Written at the end of a long day, but the important part is that I wrote it.
This is a first draft. 272 words, so something would have to go. I'm not even sure they're the kind of thing the contest is looking, but it's the kind of thing I write. That being said, I welcome any and all feedback. I've got pretty tough skin at this point, from offering up lots of writing for critique over the years, so don't be afraid (ha ha) to tell me what you think. My nervousness about posting my fiction is in no way related to my ability to take feedback. I swear.
Here's the link to the contest: David Wellington's Fear Project
Anyone read anything from David Wellington? Probably I should look into that...
Here's the story. It doesn't have a title, so we'll call it Story Number One.
Story Number One
The sitting room closed in as the afternoon wore on. The setting sun cast long shadows from the Victorian brick-a-brac that surrounded us, shadows like ghosts, startling in their lack of substance. The air of mourning, in honor of my dearly beloved Uncle, took on a tinge of terror in the gloom, but I could not bring myself to light the lamp, if that was not what Aunt Vivian, his widow, wanted. Relief when she rang the bell – a light, perhaps! - gave way when a sallow man silently delivered another pot of tea. I could barely see Vivian's face. I no longer knew what to say; we'd exhausted common conversational ground some hours back. Tea splashed onto my saucer as I poured just shy of my cup. “What?” I said, too loudly, for I knew she hadn't said a word. The silence continued, a thing in itself, joining what were now mere memories of shadows, for the room was black as a coffin. Yet a porcelain devil on the fireplace mantel was a clear in my mind as it glowed, and I focused on that. No one reached for a candle; no one struck a match. At last, the room was black as a coffin. The wings of my chair seemed to fold in more tightly and my breathing quickened. I heard her sigh, directly behind my chair. I had neither seen nor heard her move. Then her fingers were on my shoulder, her breath in my ear. “You think you want a light, my dear, but I shall show you – the best things are kept in the dark.”
PS - For those who like story history, this is where this story came from: I got the idea for this story from something Eric told me yesterday about being at a friend's house and no one turning on lights, even though it got darker and darker. I've always been afraid of the dark, mostly when I'm alone, but sometimes I get freaked out even when I'm with other people, which is embarrassing. And I find Victorian decorating to be inherently terror-inducing, and houses themselves, to some extent, especially those belonging to others. But not your house. Your house is fine. Not a bit scary.
Week Eleven: Creative - Write Every Day