Monday, October 15, 2007

The Stairs, Part 2 (suspense/horror)

(A story in honor of Halloween. As the days of October shorten, a young man descends with the sunset shadows down seven cellar stairs. If you're just joining us, you can go back to Part 1.)

On the Second Stair

Spokes and tires rumbled up the dirt road overgrown. Paulie disappeared before a passing car saw him. Six o'clock was close.

Wind sizzled in the dried leaves, and autumn's moods were blowing. Back and forth. Unsettled.

Paulie reached for the storm doors. He stood and waited for the wind to change again.

It happened. Bits of red sun poked through the continents of clouds. Because the day was older than yesterday, the steep shadow from the Hickory tree now claimed the second stair.

He stepped down one.

He stepped down one more and went no farther.

He closed his eyes as the anxious sky smeared out the sun again.

Mornings loved the mornings smelling your hair when you passed and walking in that slow extra way sorry yes sorry I'm paying attention homework yes I mean no I mean I tried to do my homework but I okay I'll go to the board if you want I'll go and the smirking kid in front doesn't know you hand me the chalk and I touch my finger to your finger natural like and I and I can't make the numbers in my brain because your skin isn’t real I can see through it or sink into it and disappear I could disappear in the round smooth skin you want me you don't want me to see I can't you know I can't stop touching your neck slick and sliding neck is climbing your neck is faster your neck oooh and your neck is going it's going it's STOP YELLING I know it's dinner time Jesus I know I'm coming

6:02 p.m.

Paulie's breaths fluttered as he stumbled back up the two steps. If the sun were out, the shadow would have passed to the third stair.

The storm door banged closed, and fat, sticky raindrops splattered him from the charcoal sky.

On to Part 3.


SzélsőFa said...

It's getting creepier by every step. I hope when total darkness attacks it will shed some light on the story, too.


anne said...

The second step seems to elicit slightly less scary thoughts than the first...
I'm intrigued.

Bernita said...

"Because the day was older than yesterday" - yum.
Like those layers.

Angela said...

"Autumns moods were blowing" - love that. And "because the day was older than yesterday."

I also like trying to figure out the mystery contained within the thoughts.

Jaye Wells said...

I'm starting to form theories about what's going on. You give us just enough for suspense and intrigue, but not enough to be able to have any idea of what's going on. Can't wait to see what's coming.

Ello said...

I think, like Jaye, I have some interesting ideas about where you are going to take this, although one might be a huge red herring. But I got confused - He reaches for the storm doors, then I know he is walking down two stairs and stops and it sounds like he goes back up two steps when the storm door (which I am visualizing behind him) bangs closed and he starts getting wet. I realize now that he must have stepped past the storm door and is back outside but you don't say that and it is implied. OK - I understand now. Never mind.

Verilion said...

I guess you are going to take us down step by step. This thought is chilling, what will he find down there? And the italics, what story are they trying to tell us. Great stuff Jason.

mermaid said...

A boy in love/lust with his teacher. Then he was punished. Jesus says NO WAY. Who has he become?

"and autumn's moods were blowing. Back and forth. Unsettled."

Again, I love the way man and nature reflect each other.

Church Lady said...

Oh, this is good!
I just want to push him down faster...hehehee!

Anonymous said...

Szelsofa, darkness shedding light...a great way to put it! I think you're precisely correct.

Anne, ...slightly less scary thoughts. I'll try to remedy that. ;)

Bernita, thanks for peeling them! It makes it fun to put them there.

Angela, the thoughts are definitely the key. I hope you enjoy the little journey.

Jaye, this is one my usual mad scientist experiments. A relatively static scene and time with only a stream of consciousness to move the story. So far it's working, I think, but the pressure is on!

Ello, one thing I'm learning from this piece is how strange not going straight down a flight of stairs is. Because it's such an unusual action, I'm fighting against confusion. Sorry about that. I'm trying to add more for clarity.

Verilion, step by step, in both ways. Physically and mentally. Also, you get to go down with him in the photos.

Mermaid, who has he become. Ah yes, that is the question. Perhaps he'll tell us. =)

Church Lady, I just had an image of a SNL skit. Shove. Thump thump thump. Groan. :)

Vesper said...

How very interesting, Jason. I like it and can't wait to see what follows. You have some very beautiful images in there - powerful writing. And the thoughts - yes, you captured the normal incoherence of them. Very good!

The Anti-Wife said...

Looking forward to the third step!

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

The bark on hickory trees scares me. Such a suitable tree for this story. Still can't figure out what the hell is going on, but I'll be patient...

Anonymous said...

Vesper, thanks for the kind words. :) Look for the next installment Friday.

Anti-Wife, soon, very soon.

Electric Orchid, no use spoiling the suspense this early. ;) The next piece will start painting a picture, I promise!

ybonesy said...

The size of each one of these, wordwise, is completely readable. Now on to part 3. (See, I waited until I could do two at once before reading the second one. Tricky me.)

angel said...

i am loving this!!!

Anonymous said...

Ybonesy, size is such an important element in blogging. Long fiction can be a tough sell.

Angel, thanks. :)