Writing Greenwood Tree – and more

Posts tagged “halloween

Coffin Hop Divertissement 3

As part of the 2013 Coffin Hop

CoffinHop2013Anthology_zps2bb2ac51

This anthology is available for purchase here; all proceeds go to the charity LitWorld.org to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world and is a first collection of stories from the annual Coffin Hop online horror extravaganza.

All the links to the Coffin Hop participants can be found here – do pop along to see what they’re up to!

2) Flash Fiction Competition run by Lost World Press:

 For those keen to flex those scribbling muscles, why not try out  the Flash Fiction competition on Lost World Press (with Amazon voucher for prizes!) : Flash Fiction Halloween 750 max, all things Halloween in Speculative manner (full details on the site) Happy Spooking ! Don’t forget to hop along to all the others taking part in the Coffin Hop (links on the site)

As we wind down towards the witching hour, (and the end of the Giveaway!) here is another bit of nonsense in celebration of the Coffin Hop

2013chscarygoodfunrt

Artwork by Red Tash

The Door

A quiet tap at the door.

He had been waiting for close on half an hour, and at last it came.

Just ‘tap-tap’.

The first time he looked, he had caught sight of a movement at the end of the corridor, just tucking away round the corner.

The time after that, a whisper of air, playing about his shoulders, caused him to jump back inside and slam the door shut. Now it was locked, and remained so.

He should have left well alone.

He had been warned about opening the secret room. Still, he had persisted, deciding it would make the perfect study. The workmen had refused to work there after dark. There had been accidents and delays – nothing too serious, but . . .

Once the work was done, he had congratulated himself on his decision – the view from the window was entrancing, and the comfort within quite seductive.

His enjoyment lasted barely a week.

Now, his evenings alone were never quiet. He sought increasingly any excuse to be out of the house, but one cannot forever be trading on friends and acquaintances, and other pursuits, the theatre and suchlike, were either too far or too costly.

That morning, Cook had handed in her notice. Reason? She was not to be put upon. She was not to stay in a house where there were such goings on.

The other domestics were not live-in. So he was the only one there, come evening. Supposedly, the only one.

The sound came again. Not so much tap-tap this time, more of a soft thud, as of a large dog’s paw, pressed urgently against the door panel, in that way dogs have when they wish to be let out – or in. Unmistakable sound that, of claws. Was it a dog, then? Had he been terrifying himself witless because some stray had somehow managed to get in?  Should he open the door, show it the way out into the garden, give it some food?

Scratch, scratch, thud, thud, tap, tap. Now the door is trembling slightly in its frame.

That is no dog, he is certain. At least, not only a dog.

‘Who’s there?’ he calls out. He considers, as he speaks, that this was a mistake. Were they burglars, trying to find their way in, then he would have been better employed in not giving away his presence, but in escaping by means of the window . . . which refuses to budge. Some enthusiastic over painting, the damp, or age, whatever the reason, it is stuck fast. He is a virtual prisoner.

On the tapping and thudding continues, at times lesser, at other times greater, till it seems the door must surely burst open. On and on at intervals throughout the night . . .

When the housekeeper knocks on the door in the morning, she is answered with a scream and the sound of breaking glass.

They find him unconscious in the garden with the wonderful view, badly cut and bruised. Months of feverish babbling follow as he makes a slow and painful recovery.

The study has been bricked up since then, and a For Sale sign put up in the front.


Coffin Hop Divertissement 2

Update:

Giveaway plus a Flash Fiction Writing Competition (with Amazon gift vouchers for prizes!)

1) Giveaway  ! Going live at midnight (click here  to enter or on image below) : one prize of a free e-copy of the following anthology:

CoffinHop2013Anthology_zps2bb2ac51

This anthology is available for purchase here; all proceeds go to the charity LitWorld.org to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world and is a first collection of stories from the annual Coffin Hop online horror extravaganza.

All the links to the Coffin Hop participants can be found here – do pop along to see what they’re up to!

2) Flash Fiction Competition run by Lost World Press:

 For those keen to flex those scribbling muscles, why not try out  the Flash Fiction competition on Lost World Press (with Amazon voucher for prizes!) : Flash Fiction Halloween 750 max, all things Halloween in Speculative manner (full details on the site) Happy Spooking ! Don’t forget to hop along to all the others taking part in the Coffin Hop (links on the site)

Here instead: a little bit of nonsense in celebration of the Coffin Hop

2013chscarygoodfunrt

Artwork by Red Tash

The Mist

 

He opened the door a crack and peered out. The snow had not quite melted away, and still streaked the muddy earth. He peered and strained and finally poked his head out. He paused to sniff the air, looked over the ground and finally relaxed. One step forward. The light was grey and uninviting, but clear enough. He might after all be able to take a turn about in the fresh air. A few more paces however, and he stopped, groaned, and rushed back indoors. Before he had moved two feet forward, he found what he had been dreading : the prints in the muddy slush.

He locked the door, and checked through the windows, one after the other. Now he saw clearly what his mind had forbidden him : a clear set of prints, trailing around the house – nothing to show where they came from, nothing to show where they disappeared to. It was the third day now, and each time, a little closer to the house.

He had tried to fight it off at first, walking down almost as far as the village, when the pattering behind him started. Whirling round, expecting – he knew not what – he had found . . . nothing. And again. And again. He pursued when perhaps he should have retreated, but the pattering had increased, grown louder, closer, close enough for him to hear panting – and each time he turned to face an empty horizon, devoid of life.

He returned to the house very quickly, and stayed within, peering out, listening, listening, then as no more was heard, and time drew a veil, he shrugged his shoulders and decided he had imagined it. Overwork, over study . . .he retired early to bed.

Sleep was however denied him. A restlessness in the early hours prompted him to wander about the room, until looking briefly out of the window, he saw, or thought he saw, a trail of white mist curling its way across the land directly in front of the house.

Intrigued, he watched, as it rolled and heaved past, gathering itself up, hurling itself forward – one could almost imagine there were legs and heads forming from those clouds.

Then the howling began. Far off at first, moving increasingly nearer. At the best of times disturbing – but the incident of the afternoon comes back to him tenfold, and he creeps back to bed there to spend a wakeful night until towards dawn, the howling fades away and he is permitted oblivion.

On waking, he has little or no recollection, it is only on realising he needs supplies form the village that he steps out – and sees the trail of prints around the house.

The pattering begins again as he walks down to the village. He will not be deterred this time . . . he will not be . . . he will not .  . .A few minutes later he finds himself back in the entrance hall to the house, trembling, shaking, pressing against the door of this virtual dungeon. Fear holds him fast and will not let him go.

The same again the third day – it is by some fierce combination of necessity, courage and outrage that he makes it as far as the bridge leading to the village.

He does not return that night to the house. The misty wraiths continue their noiseless tread around it, leaving behind yet more paw-prints, this time close up against the walls.

The villagers find him in a state of collapse in the street – muddied, for he has fallen more than once, his clothes torn (by thorns?), there are scratch marks even on his hands and neck – a puzzle, this, as it is clear enough countryside, there are no thickets for him to get caught up in.

He is at first incoherent, and it takes a few brandies to give him speech – on discovering the name of the house he has left, several of the older residents purse their lips. ‘The House of Wolves,’ mutters one of them.

Eventually, a small party of them accompany the visitor back to his ill-chosen winter abode. They find the paw-prints, this time on the inside of the door, leading through the entire house, as if hunting something out . . .

The visitor packs his bags and returns to town, vowing never to visit the countryside again. He still sleeps but fitfully, and cannot abide two things : the sound of dogs and the sight of mist.


Coffin Hop Divertissement

Update:

Giveaway plus a Flash Fiction Writing Competition (with Amazon gift vouchers for prizes!)

1) Giveaway  ! Going live at midnight (click here  to enter or on image below) : one prize of a free e-copy of the following anthology:

CoffinHop2013Anthology_zps2bb2ac51

This anthology is available for purchase here; all proceeds go to the charity LitWorld.org to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world and is a first collection of stories from the annual Coffin Hop online horror extravaganza.

All the links to the Coffin Hop participants can be found here – do pop along to see what they’re up to!

2) Flash Fiction Competition run by Lost World Press:

 For those keen to flex those scribbling muscles, why not try out  the Flash Fiction competition on Lost World Press (with Amazon voucher for prizes!) : Flash Fiction Halloween 750 max, all things Halloween in Speculative manner (full details on the site) Happy Spooking ! Don’t forget to hop along to all the others taking part in the Coffin Hop (links on the site)

Here instead: a little bit of nonsense in celebration of the Coffin Hop

2013chscarygoodfunrt

Artwork by Red Tash

‘Evenin’, Gladys.’

‘Evenin’, Penny.’ (Purl one, cast two)

‘Coming along nicely, ain’t it. (Purl two, cast one)

‘I see young Tommasina’s nearly finished three already.’

‘Never one to hang about is our Tommy.’ (Cast one, purl three)

‘Our Mabel’s sorted out the business with the daddy-long-legs, by the way.’

‘Mmhmm. ‘ (Cast two, purl two)

‘Oh, look who’s arrived….’

‘Ah. Him. On His own, is He?’

‘Hang on – just peeking – no, got a couple of lady guests with Him.’

‘Ah.’ (Cast two, purl one)

‘Oh, – there’s more of them.’

‘A party.’ *Sigh* (Cast two, purl one)’Can’t remember the last time he had one of those ….’

‘Nor me, neither.’

‘It’ll be an all-nighter by the looks of things.’

‘What’s he doing now?’

‘Offering wine. Food. The usual.’(Cast one, purl three)

‘Maybe that’s why the manservant was in earlier, polishing up the goblets, setting the cutlery straight.’

‘Don’t miss a thing, do you.’

’I don’t.’

‘Proper little gossip, you are.’

‘That’s me.’ (Purl  two, cast one)

‘They’re getting sleepy already.’

‘That manservant – he’s never around in the evening, is he?’

‘No, never.Oh look , one of them’s dropped off.  (And purl three, cast two)

‘And that one in blue, as well.’

‘Works fast, doesn’t it.’

‘Indeed.’ (Cast two, purl  one)

‘Are they all asleep now ?’

‘They are.’

‘Has he drunk yet?’

‘He’s just about to, I think.’

(Cast one, purl three, cast two, purl one, cast one, purl three…)

‘Where’s he gone now?’

‘To feed the Children.’

‘Oh yes, of course. Got so used to the howling, I’d forgotten why.’

‘T’is gone midnight.’

‘Yes, yes, nearly done.’

‘You know He likes it all finished before dawn.’

‘Yes, yes, don’t fuss.’ (Cast one, purl three) ‘There – finished.’

One by one the spiders swung down to spread out and admire their handiwork, while outside the Children of the Night continued their demand for nourishment.

The candles burned low.

Come dawn  the late guests were barely visible beneath the thick coating of cobwebs. Deep in the bowels of the Castle, a faint squeal could be heard, as a lid was lowered.

‘That manservant – still hasn’t oiled the hinges on the thing.’

‘Getting rather lax, ain’t he.’

‘I wonder the Count keeps him.’

‘I’ve heard, good servants are hard to come by these days …’