Monday, October 29, 2007

The Stairs, Part 5 (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 Fifth Stair

Oh Mrs. Brennan you don't mind if I don't call you by your first name do you mis-sus mis-sus Brennan so many things they tell you that I ignored too so don't feel bad I don't blame you but it really makes things easy with stuff like not fixing the burned bulb in the lamppost and bushes too close to the door and the windows and getting lazy with lots of things like letting the dog out messing with your IPod while doggy picks at a dead cardinal and you looked pretty surprised to see me you really played that up nice and made me believe enough to want to stop but let's not get mad now because I brought the duct tape and you really can't kick on the back seat floor with the blanket over you but you can I guess a little if you want but you stop except when it gets nasty bumpy and I should slow down on the ruts and rocks but I have to get behind the old cottage quick and slam the door rough wrestling you over my shoulder kicking kicking and swaaaying but don't worry I got it and DAMN

Paulie looked down at the brown drips on the fifth stair where his nose bled.

The bruise from the knee hit was gone, but the lingering ache pissed him off.

The air was changing at the top of the stairs. Pressure surged and churned violent. Entire regions of weather shifted from the north, and it felt like the ground wanted to trade places with the sky.

Shadow branches from the hickory tree groped for Paulie's neck. The scissor patterns piled and scattered, piled and scattered with the surging wind.

It made him think of his heart pounding.

It made him think of bones tangled in mass graves.

And the hickory fingers pumped like arteries blown bare.

On to Part 6.
Back to Part 4.


mermaid said...

This is so vivid. With each descent down and into the past, Paulie's mind is revealing so much more.

Jaye Wells said...

The closer we get to the bottom, the more I'm expecting something to jump out at me from the dark.

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

Cool. We're so close to the end I can taste it. I liked the image (sensation?) of the ground trading places with the sky.

You know it's going to get even worse when there's mention of duct tape!

SzélsőFa said...

You made tree-branches feel frightening to me, at least while I was reading. Very creepy indeed. Very nicely described.

(I think Ello was right.)

On a completely side note: if you happen to have time, please check the results of the #8.
Surprise coming on your way!

Vesper said...

Shadow branches groped for Paulie's neck.
Very very good, Jason! I'm descending with Paulie and I'm not so sure that I want to do it...

Ello said...

Oh I am so there! I can't wait to know what happens and yet I think I know and it will be bad and yet I must know...

You are an evil genius dragging this out so long.

The Anti-Wife said...

This is extremely well written and very creepy.

Church Lady said...

I've been waiting for this all weekend, and you only posted half. Where's the other half, dammit!


favorite phrase: ground trading places with the sky

Shesawriter said...

This is my favorite line:

" felt like the ground wanted to trade places with the sky."

I know exactly what you mean! That's one of those AHA phrases. Great job, Jason!

Anonymous said...

Mermaid, it was an interesting challenge for myself. A static scene with only the character's thoughts to move the story.

Jaye, boo!

Electric Orchid Hunter, duct tape, yes. The greatest invention ever turned to evil purposes. ;)

Szelsofa, the tree branches are key. That's there for a reason.

Vesper, yeah, I can feel that too. Ooh boy, do I have to go? I don't think I wanna.

Ello, we're in the rush to the end now! I've never posted a series end so quickly. You must be having an effect on me. :)

Anti-Wife, thanks! The pressure is really on for me to deliver.

Church Lady, just changing it up to keep it fresh. I went right into the thoughts this time.

Shesawriter, I liked that line too. I thought of it when I imagined how lakes "turn" in the fall. The cold air chills the surface of the water, which suddenly falls and switches places with the water down deep. The whole thing churns up and becomes dark and muddy.

angel said...

wow... sounds so lame- but this was incredible!
i am a little late but i'm going to read the rest right now!