Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hidden in the Candlelight #AtoZchallenge



(excerpt from Our Beautiful Child, "Our Beautiful Child and other stories")

     The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon. As tonight’s music flows freely amongst them, these soulless souls seem to sing, seem to radiate a little, one or two smile, tension dispels. And all of them seem happier than when they arrived.
     As the sun sets, Rona sways between the tables, lighting candles. Shadows hover on the walls, looming over the room; a slight menace, a slight disquiet prevailing. In the furthest corner, away from both the bar and the entrance, a candle refuses to be lit. A chill hangs on the air, right at that spot. Rona relights to candle; it flickers as though a child is blowing it out. It’s gone, leaving a thin flume of smoke in its place.
     She shivers, noticing the draught for the first time. She looks around, peering into the dark corner, uneasiness creeping across her skin. For a second, in the gloom, she sees the face of a man. He’s looking intently at the table, his head moving slightly from side to side as though he’s reading. But there’s nothing on the table, nothing in his hands. Indeed, the more she looks, the more indistinct the outline of his body becomes.
     Suddenly, he looks up. He looks straight at her; his eyes wild and frightened. But not at her; past her, as though she’s stepped in front of his actual target. The stare is ice cold. Rona feels as though she’s being strangled. And then, he disappears. Leaving her gasping for breath and shivering. His energy burns a little longer; the spot where he sat is outlined with a silvery glow.


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37 comments:

  1. Your description of her encounter was truly creepy and intense. It left me imagining that she was going to find a way to contact the ghost and solve his murder for him...

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. Thanks Clarabelle. My publisher would probably want me to tell you this is an excerpt from my most recent book. Links are on the left <--------- ;-)

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  2. I love how creepy this story is - you've managed to capture the atmosphere perfectly.

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  3. Love this! You really know how to do creepy well!

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  4. quite a twist, but i liked it

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  5. Oo-er! That was the best ghostly few paragraphs I've read in a long time.

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    1. Thanks Liz. It took my breath away when I read it again too!

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  6. Spooky - a lost soul in a dark corner. I'm sure I wouldn't want to meet him at the table.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Most of the souls I created in this world are pretty harmless... Oh, except one... ;-)

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  7. love the boathouse atmosphere as you describe it. A chill in the air.

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    1. Based on a real place which used to feel just like that - I haven't been inside for a long time. I need to go back - I walk past it quite a lot with my dog!

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  8. A place for a collection of misfits. I have a similar place I call the Roadhouse Blues in my latest MS. It attracts all the degenerates.

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    1. Every town needs one. My misfits are just lost and searching for something - yours might be a little less lawful, perhaps?

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  9. Gah!! scary stuff. The Boathouse is a place I would not like to turn up.

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    1. Actually, in the series of novellas it features in, it's a source of comfort :-)

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  10. Oh, I like this! You really created a really spooky atmosphere! Brilliant.

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  11. Creepy and atmospheric!! I like it.

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    1. Sometimes I have to write in broad daylight only :-)

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  12. I felt that chill. Great stuff.

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  13. That's some really nice writing. I was totally sucked in.

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  14. "Yeah, hello. I'd like to book a table at the Boathouse. Yes, 5:30 is fine. But, no, no, no... I don't want the one in the corner where the candle won't light. Ok, thanks. Yes, if you can seat us next to Mr. Manilow, that would be great. Baz and I haven't talked in ages."

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    1. Lol, yes, I imagine that table would always been available at short notice!!

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  15. That's a helluvan excerpt! That has all the feels and creepys and questions a girl could ask for in a book! Well done.

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  16. This makes me want to read the collection again. Love the Boathouse and its various misfits!

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Please comment - I love a good chat!