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Something for Hallowe`en

by Ellenna 

Posted: 31 October 2003
Word Count: 787
Summary: first attempt at a short story..Scare me to death please with all my faux pas..it's the only way i can learn.Before anyone says anything Max is a pretty useless but lovely dog..

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Sara heard the uncertain rhythmic pattern of the wind rattling the catch on her window, long before she opened her eyes; then as if staving off the moment between dream and sleep she slowly blinked in the darkened room. Rolling over on her right side she squinted at the clock...1.30. Oh why was this time so familiar to her? For the last few nights she had been waking up at the same time.

Pulling back the duvet she levered herself up and sat for a second on the edge of the bed then made her way over to the open window. The muslin curtain billowed out just a little more as she reached for the catch and as a chink appeared to the outside,she caught sight of a movement below her on the grass.

The silver moon bathed the round lawn and a dark moving shadow became more pronounced in the unearthly light...Sara stared and made out the shape of a man moving across the lawn. He suddenly stopped and looked up. She felt caught like a rabbit in the glare of headlights and her heart pounded. Had he seen her? Her movements slowed as she retreated and stood a few feet from the window. She was trying to gain control over her thoughts and her pounding pulse. Who was he? had she locked the door? oh, why hadn't the dog barked? Sara slowly moved toward the window again but this time no one was there .Her sense of unease increased.

Quietly, she opened her bedroom door pausing slightly before descending the stairs. There lay Max ,her spaniel , deep in sleep. He lifted his head drowsily as he felt her presence and she stroked his muzzle and went into the kitchen. Still not putting any lights on she reached for a glass and drank some water. She called Max to come with her and they went back to the bedroom where he lay at the foot of her bed.

Sara pulled the duvet up around her and stared towards the darkness of the ceiling before succombing to the warmth and to sleep once more.

The following morning she walked with Max to where she thought she had seen the figure. There were no obvious footmarks but then something caught her eye. There in the grass lay something small and white. She stooped to pick it up. It appeared to be made of ivory and was rectangular with a silver clasp. She unfastened it and it opened up into a fan shape and there on four of the five leaves was written Charles Mansel next to a list of various dances dated 31st November 1903.. but on the fifth sheet of Ivory was written Sara 1.30 a.m. Hallowe'en 2003....

Sara felt a deep sense of horror and shock and quickly looked round before walking back into the house. Max looked slightly cheated out of a walk but willingly kept at her heels until the door was closed where he took his place by the cooker and gave a doleful look before curling up. She turned the kettle on while she fingered the object. She had seen one before that had belonged to her grandmother. A very beautiful object that told of the times when functional things were made with such care. But what could all this mean and who had written her name on there?What had she been subliminally aware of in the early hours. Her sense of dread mounted.Tonight was Hallowe'en.

She made some tea but a grey film settled in her cup as it grew cold. Sara sat staring blankly into space. Max slunk over to her before collapsing with his nose across her insteps..

She dozed and must have looked at the clock a dozen times before the fluorescent green hands showed 1.30. She hardly dared breathe and all her senses were heightened as she strained her eyes in the dark and listened for any sound. Max stirred as she made her way to the window. Tonight she had kept it closed. She focussed hard through the muslin and there again was the dark shadow making its way across lawn. All the nerve endings in her scalp tingled but with one deft movement she flung the window open and shouted in a strangulated voice "Who are you! What are you doing here?" Her words seemed to hit a flat void and there was silence.Max twitched slightly in his sleep. The figure vanished. Sara looked down at her hand still clutching the ivory dance card and as she stared words began to appear in a sprawling script on the thin leaf of ivory "Sara at last I have found you and can now rest"... Charles.

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Comments by other Members

Jumbo at 00:04 on 01 November 2003  Report this post

This is great stuff, full of atmosphere and emotion - and a useless dog! But it needs taking further. I want to know what's going on. I'm tempted to say 'You can't leave me (us) like this'.

A couple of typo things - there's a site where you need sight. You also need to check for the double periods '..' Or is this a style thing? Not sure. But you also need to check for upper-case letters at the start of (what appear to be) sentences.

Nice writing. Part TWO, please



Ellenna at 09:51 on 01 November 2003  Report this post
John thanks so much for your encouraging comments. I know I have an odd way of writing.. I am trying to stop using ellipses...duhh!! I reckon the use of double full stops is an awful compromise.. although this is the longest piece I have ever written I was appalled at how often I unconsciously use them. I would like to develop this idea and am glad in a way that it made you want more.That has to be a good sign :)

Thank you again...great to get your feedback.


Ioannou at 16:54 on 01 November 2003  Report this post
Ellie, like John I want more! Like this! Maybe also a night in between the first sighting and the calling out? To build up more fear and frustration...? Love, Maria.

bluesky3d at 11:53 on 02 November 2003  Report this post
you have a real talent. Your poetry informs you prose and the story works well. Do write more - perhaps it is even the start of a novel? who knows... it would be fun finding out!
Andrew :o)

Ellenna at 18:44 on 02 November 2003  Report this post
Andrew, thanks for that .. and rest assured you will be the first to know if it becomes a novel :)

Ellie ...

Dee at 16:31 on 03 November 2003  Report this post
Hi Ellie,

I have to say I agree with John. I was deeply immersed in this when it ended, leaving me feeling slightly cheated. Don't get me wrong... I was enjoying it very much but I had the same sense you feel when you get to the end of a book and find someone has removed the last page. Can you develop it more?

ps... I love elipses...

Ellenna at 17:26 on 03 November 2003  Report this post
Thanks Dee.. well,I think I will have to now :) glad you were immersed...

Tim Darwin at 15:25 on 28 November 2003  Report this post
You don't really need me to add to the consensus here--I want more! I think it's great, but what a trick (or-treat) teaser you are!

A few small jars (maybe just me, please ignore if not useful) in phrases that felt a bit tired, e.g. "silver moon bathed," "unearthly light," but these are tiny quibbles. The main point is, don't be afraid to let rip! Or in this story, do I mean, R.I.P.?

Good luck, hope to see more of this one

Tim (<--BIG fan of Halloween)

Nell at 17:14 on 28 November 2003  Report this post
Hi Ellie,

I don't how I missed your fiction debut - maybe I saw the title and thought it was poetry. I'm so glad you've taken the plunge though, and this is a tantalizing start. You have so many comments already that there's not much I can add, except to say PLEASE DON'T STOP THERE!

Best, Nell.

Account Closed at 10:13 on 30 November 2003  Report this post
Ellena, a lovely story and I agree that the end could be built up more – increasing the time scale would give more suspense – even one day in between would build up Sara’s jitteriness and ours too!

Ellenna at 20:27 on 02 December 2003  Report this post
Tim, Nell and Elspeth... thank you all so much for your encouraging comments..this was really a spontaneous last minute idea for Hallowe'en but who knows maybe I will try something for Christmas( Tim :) i might need a few jars first though)..I am very grateful and yes there is part of me which is naughtily pleased you all feel left hanging lol...but will try to fill the Christmas stocking right to the top!..Thank you all.its really made me feel like carrying on...


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