Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Part of an English project for descriptive writing.
The raven-haired figure stared into the distance, trying to discern where the ocean met the skyline. It was sunset and the water ran red with the dying embers of the sun, which rolled along the horizon as if desperately seeking to stay afloat. He felt an odd sense of empathy with the scarlet orb; it sometimes felt as if he were being dragged down by the night.
Finally, he turned away from the cliff-edge and the scene of the drowning sun. By the time shadows had claimed the sky, his attention was elsewhere. More precisely, it was fixated on the looming manor ahead. Why am I here? he asked himself silently. The truth was... he had no idea. The house, deserted as it was, seemed to call out to him. It was almost similar to a magnetic force, pulling him inwards. It was eerie, this attraction, and strangely enough, foreboding.
But he continued, nevertheless. The rickety wooden planks which made the porch creaked under his booted feet. The sound was unnerving in the otherwise repressive quiet. Even the ocean waves seemed to have calmed with the tension as he approached. He tried the door, shaking the old-fashioned door handle and consequently startling himself as several panes of coloured but tarnished glass dislodged and shattered at his feet. Seeing that it was stuck - probably rusted shut - he braced himself and shoved hard against the water-swollen wood. There was a moment's resistance before the door yielded to the force of his strength. A protesting shriek of metal and splintering of wood pierced the tranquil night atmosphere. He all but fell into the hallway when the door eventually opened. The sound of his coughing and choking invaded the stillness of the house as a rush of disturbed air brought forth billowing clouds of dust. He cringed, tasting the stale oxygen.
He regained himself quickly, listening for any other sound besides the settling of dust. Nothing. A minute's more of waiting convinced him the he truly was alone, and that no one would suddenly accuse him of breaking and entering. Carefully, he stepped into the grand foyer of the manor, glancing about warily. His suspicions instantly evaporated when he registered the state of the place. No one, obviously, had been here in years.
It had been beautiful, once, he could tell. He could see that in the elegance of the arching beams which raced across the high domed ceiling. He could see it in the layout of broken - but once expensive - furniture. Trailing a finger along a dust coated surface, he could see warm mahogany wood shine out brightly in the surrounding grey gloom. Yes, he thought, it had definitely been beautiful. Once. Now, however, it was nothing of the sort. Now its opulence had faded to be replaced by a desolate, cold and shadowed aura. He shivered involuntarily, moving further into the dwelling of forgotten memories.
What had called him here? Nothing living, that was for sure. Again he shivered, taken by surprise by his own thoughts. Nothing living? The innocent words brought an unexplained chill to his skin and a hesitation to his step.
Suddenly, he froze mid-stride. Something caught and held his attention, and gripped him abruptly with an indefinable sense of fear. What was it? He took a deep breath, trying to steady shaken nerves - only to realise exactly what had filled him with the sensation of dread. A scent. So faint, drifting amid the tiny particles in the air, twining around his person. Just a scent, but it shook him to the core.
He began to back away from the inviting doorways and corridors. Suddenly, he was a lot less curious to discover the secrets of this manor. Let it keep its shadowed memories. He whirled urgently on his heel, directing all focus on the crumbling doorway. The air and the silence seemed oppressive and distasteful. He could smell mildew about the place, and could see it creeping up the walls. He could taste its tanginess cross his tongue with each nervous breath. Relief seeped reluctantly into his conscious, however, as fresh air began to ease his senses. Salt was on the breeze, and the sound of white crested waves hitting the cliff face.
And then, suddenly, the door seemed to slam shut of its own accord. A gasp escaped him as he stopped, shocked and admittedly afraid. But before he had the chance to recover his nerves and make the last few strides towards freedom, a voice spoke up in the darkness. His blood froze to crimson ice water, he was sure.
"Leaving...? Oh no, no. Not yet..." It was haunting, this voice, resounding in the deserted house; echoing through bare corridors; cutting deep into his being. However hard he tried, he could not find its owner. There was no figure concealed in the shadowed corners, he was certain. No one hiding behind moulding drapes. Yet someone - or something - had spoken.
Nothing living... His earlier phrasing returned to him without warning. Something had called him, he had felt. Oh gods, he prayed fervently. Nothing living -!
And then... darkness descended. The shadows took him mercifully, calling out with the voice of sweet oblivion.
Outside, the stars glittered serenely over the sea, sharing secrets. Silently they witnessed the occurrences of the night, never to whisper a word...