Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Tales: No. 68

The night felt like a dream to me but the dread I experienced on that path was all too real. Ahead of me stood the shadowed house, its sinister presence looming over the subdued landscape, oblivious to the surly clouds that roiled around the malevolent tower. As evil as it looked outside, it was knowing what the tower sheltered that caused fear to grip my stomach in its icy hands. He was there…and I was the only one who could end his madness.
.
I shakily moved on, slowly putting one reluctant foot in front of the other…sealing my fate as surely as if I’d taken a knife to my own throat. What did I think I was doing? I could not possibly win. How could I hope to defeat one whose sole goal in life has been to inflict endless misery on the innocent? Yet, it was for these same innocents that I had to try. If we were ever to be free again...if we were ever to breathe air no longer tainted by the dark fog of despair, I had to go on.
.
The large front door swung slowly open as I drew near. Seeing a stark shadow outlined by the putrid yellow glow from inside, I understood he’d come down from his tower to welcome me personally. I took a breath, and muttered to myself, “Fine! I don’t need to deal with your groveling minions. This is between you and me now.”
.
“Well,” came the silky drawl as I slowed to a halt, “It’s you they sent in the end, is it?”
.
I tilted up my chin and defiantly met the hard gaze that washed disdainfully over me.
.
“I suppose I should have known it would be you,” he continued in the same soft tone. “Indeed, we have a history, you and I, do we not?”
.
His mouth turned up in a rictus of a smile. It was a horrible thing to see, this travesty that lacked all warmth and humanity. I had not known such a smile was possible before he’d introduced terror into my life
.
Abruptly, the fearsome figure bowed at the waist and swept an arm backward into the room. “Do come in, my dear”, was the grand invitation. “Make yourself at home”.
.
I had no choice. Though I wished nothing more than to flee, I knew I must enter the foul domain...live's depended on it. I stepped across the doorway with more confidence than I actually felt, managing to repress a shudder when the door closed gently, but resolutely, behind me.
.
It seemed the feeble farce of civility had lost its charm for my host. The eyes that met mine now were empty and cold, the face assuming its impenetrable mask once again.
.
Silence stretched on interminably before he continued, the same cold softness of his tone chilling me to the core. “Now, remind me again how old you are, my plucky girl”, he purred cruelly. “Ten? Eleven?”
.
Anger and humiliation threatened to choke me. “I’m not...” I began, but quickly coughed to hide my pathetic attempt at a response. “I’m not a child! I’m thirteen, almost fourteen,” I managed to get out more firmly this time.
.
Another silence greeted my words, until at last my adversary deigned to answer.
.
“Thirteen, going on fourteen, you say, “ he mumbled, looking to me for affirmation.
.
Unable to speak, I jerked my head in the approximation of a nod
.
“And when exactly will you turn fourteen, dear one?” he drawled, clearly enjoying the fear I was not altogether able to hide at his oily words.
.
“My birthday’s next month,” I responded in a voice that came out more shrilly than I’d intended. “I’ll be fourteen then”.
.
The dark figure turned away from me. When it seemed he had forgotten I was there, the force of his hatred came round to me once more. Again, the mouth twisted up in an odious line, and I knew with certainty what he was going to say before the words were spoken aloud.
.
“Whatever makes you think I will let you live to see another birthday?” came the expected response, breathed out in the quietest and most measured of tones.
.
I could no more stop the tremor his voice sent through me than I could erase the twisted past that had brought us both to this defining moment in time. I opened my mouth to speak, but what, after all, could I say?
.
Instead, I stood silent in the face of evil personified, and waited to see where we went from here…

Possibly to be continued...
.
( 755 words)
.

I'm not sure why all my tales are creepy lately, but I'm liking it immensely! The spooky photo prompt, aided by the fact that it was cold, gray and rainy this morning made this an obvious piece to pen. I've been thinking I would like to try writing for teenagers/young adults, and this story strikes me as having possible appeal to the Harry Potter crowd. I'll have to do some research...
.
Unfortunately, the meme's word limitation of 777 forced my story to an abrupt end. I very much enjoyed the exercise, however, and may continue it next week if the prompt seems conducive.
.
For more Thursday Tales, do stop by Leo's page and check out the entries...
.
.
The wonderful photo this week was provided by Thomas Neilsen at Deviant Art...
.

12 comments:

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Lynette,
I had just settled into this wonderful, gripping tale, when it ended...........

I do hope that your inspiration continues!!
Great idea Lynette..

Best Wishes, Eileen

foszae said...

okay, i understand about word count. but you really must continue this at some other prompt...

Lynette Killam said...

Thanks, Jules and Eileen...I may have found my niche...:)

Jyoti Mishra said...

well crafted, fantastically written and it was captivating.

Will definitely read next part.

Regards

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh for goodness sakes... I'd just got gripped into it all...and it ended!

LOL
Thanks for visiting me I'll be back to read if and when you post a bit more.

Katy Cameron said...

Hey now, no fair on the ending there!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh you must keep going - we need to know what happens! So well written, Lynette - you have found your niche indeed. This would TOTALLY appeal to young teens.

adrielleroyale said...

Oooh suspense! Do finish the story please!! :)

Isabel said...

looking forward to seeing what comes next

The Fool said...

Good start of a story, Looking to read more.

unikorna said...

You are my kinda people, I am so happy I discovered your blog. Kisses.

Pat said...

Chilling and creepy and I loved it, Lynette. She is a brave girl to go to that scary house to face her "demons," and, I hope, to exorcize them. I'm looking forward to the next installment!