Monday, 9 November 2009

Ghost Story - 4th Draft

Ok this is my fourth re-write and draft version of a Ghost Story with a Viking twist that has a word budget of 1000 words. All for the Ghost Story competition run by the Yorkshire magazine. Thankfully the deadline isn't till July but still the sooner I get it in tip top condition the sooner I can send it in and the sooner it can be at the top of the reading pile and haunt the judges dreams to make me a winner muwahahahaha! Not really but better sooner than later. So again I beg for FEEDBACK of ANY KIND! Whether you're telling me what you like or what you don't like. All feedback is useful and feedback is what I need to improve this story to its best. So please read and comment generously.

As Old as Houses -Ghost Story

“I wonder how old this place is.”
“Who cares it’s going to be gone after the weekend.”
“Yeah, there’s a notice about it in reception.”
“Oh. What a shame.”
“Why? It’s a dump.” Jenny muttered pointing at the mould covered and water soaked mattresses which lay scattered like decaying corpses amongst the trees concealing most of the old farm house walls. Staring at the tumbled pieces of brickwork, the roof with no tiles, not complete chimney stacks and the vandalism and graffiti all around, Sarah had to agree.
A wind blew down from the waving tree tops giving the girls intense shivers. Both hugged themselves for warmth and security.
“Come on, this place is boring.” Jenny complained.
Sarah cast one glance back at the house before racing after her friend who was already returning to the familiar lights of Storthes Hall student flats.


Before her was darkness. A black nothingness yet within it something was moving. Some entity was making a bang like claps of thunder repeatedly. The sound got louder and as it did so she could make out a faint red glow in the centre of her vision, weak but enough for a silhouette to be seen. Of a ship with a large square sail and a snarling beast head racing over the crests of black waves. Yet she could not move, she could not run away from what she saw.
A flash of lightening created the glisten of an axe blade coming down upon her from above and just before it would slice straight through her paralyzed body words were whispered into her ear.
I am here.” A single male voice which gave her such a feeling of weakness Sarah sat bolt upright in bed, freed from the nightmare at last. The image of a black raven flag still lingering in the shadows of her mind.


It was Sunday and Sarah was surprised to find she wasn’t the only one going along to see the sad downfall of the old farm house. She stood amongst the student mob kept behind the safety barriers now that the bulldozer was in position. It was just as the bulldozer driver was about to get in, alongside a big cheer and chatter from the small crowd, that someone pushed past her. The culprit ignored the barrier and ran towards the house, straight past the demolition team. Only when Sarah glared after them did she recognise the long jacket they wore.
“Hey! Jenny! Jenny!” She yelled trying to stop her friend, Jenny turned around just as she reached the old farms coal shed which was now visible due to the demolition team who had cleared all the vegetation. The friend’s eyes met, Jenny gave a wave, a big grin and then disappeared quickly inside the farmhouse. “Jenny! Jenny! What are you doing?” Sarah couldn’t understand this, Jenny was meant to be visiting at home in Doncaster. Why didn’t she tell me she was planning this kind of stunt? Sarah pondered anxious and confused.
People were starting to look at her with puzzlement and the demolition team were ignoring her shouting completely as the bulldozer driver turned on the engine. The rest of her cries were drowned out in a huge cruel cheer from the student crowd.
Sarah caught the attention of the nearest man in a yellow jacket and showed genuine fear as she explained how Jenny was inside. He halted the bulldozer and went to the house with Sarah much to the disappointment of the crowd who began booing and jeering.
“She’s in here I swear. She went right past you all. Jenny? Jenny can you hear me?” Sarah called into the dusty derelict building as her and the demolition foreman stood at the doorway. “Jenny? Please come out, you’re going to get into trouble.”
“I am here.” Jenny answered.
Sarah took her first steps inside, immediately feeling the coldness of the shadows.
“Are you sure she’s in here?” The foreman grunted, not satisfied.
“Yes, yes she is. Where are you Jenny?”
“I am here.”
“She’s through there.” Sarah began to go towards the dusty and cobwebbed doorway to the cellar believing her friend to be in there. “Are you in there Jenny?”
Again came the reply. “I am here.”
It sounded strongest and closest in the one room they had yet to enter. “She’s in the other room.”
“No she isn’t, there is no one there.” The foreman made a move to turn around and head back to the front door.
“No, I heard her, she is in there.” Sarah pushed past the Foreman, disbelieving him, claim towards the room. It was dark inside with bricked up windows but Sarah could see a darker form that wasn’t her subtle shadow, before a barren fireplace. She walked towards it thinking of Jenny. On her third step the wooden dirt and rubble covered floor groaned, something snapped underneath and the floorboards collapsed inwards. Sarah lost her balance with a wail and went down to the unknown.
The foreman came closer at the sound and shone his torch into the collapsed floor and stepped back in shock. In the dust flickering light was Sarah on all fours amongst broken timbers and dirt but right next to her was a skull, its fixed expression so serious it was almost glaring at them both. Beside its other bones was what looked like a well rusted axe head only giving the faintest shine as well as a large lump of wood that was not from the broken floor. Its lizards tongue, jagged teeth, and painted ruby red eyes still looked menacing after so many years at sea as well as spent in dark, damp conditions.
The foreman swore before he clicked open the channel on his radio. “Dan get the Police on the phone, the damned house is right on top of a grave. Until then this house stays up.”
Sarah heard those words again but no longer as Jenny. “I am here!”

The End

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