Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Run

Wordsmiths Unlimited puts forth a challenge each month to write a story based on a picture. (My challenge is to get the picture to post. I'll fight with Blogger later.) Go check the incredible stories posted this month.

The Run

"No, you run through first."

"But I thought of this place."

"Yeah, means you go first."

"We'll go together."

"Yeah, ok."

Even though we had an agreement and counted to three, I ran first; full out. My legs extended as far they could go, as quickly as they could go. I ran to the end of the chapel and ducked through the doorway. I turned to see Sam midway through the building. His legs, shorter than mine, were moving at a slower pace.

Seeing him behind me, I pushed through the small opening between the double doors leading back out to the open field. I laid down on the broken steps outside. Part of the field was encroaching on the steps, pushing up through the broken stones. From the where I lay between the top step and the next step down, the field stretched before me, then the trees an acre or so beyond, and peaking through the trees was the sun.

The old church was enclosed by natural boundaries. A river was at the left. The field and forest started at the right and merged at front. From the back, where we came was a trail through a wood leading back to our houses.

All the kids came here to play. The fields were overgrown and uncared for like the church. What lay beyond the trees was Indian country. Our folks promised any child a sound lashing who ventured into the forest.

Sam emerged a second later. I expected him to lie next to me, but he didn't. I could feel Sam standing behind me and hear his breathing, labored. I turned to look at him. Sam's face was pale and sweaty.

"Are you ok?"

No answer.

I stood up and moved Sam into a sitting position. Studying his face I realized Sam was afraid. Sam was never afraid and seeing him so, I felt the beginning of fear creep up my spine.

I tried to ask him questions about what he saw, but Sam wouldn't answer. His face grew paler even though his breathing became less shallow. Then I saw it, a small claw sticking out from the back of his head. Sam's thick hair covered much of the claw which could have been the reason I didn't see it at first. In honesty, I was too afraid to do much of survey of Sam. My attention was focused on the chapel. I expected something to come out to explain the fear before my eyes.

I knew now I needed to get Sam home, but doing so meant going back into the chapel. I tried to be logical. I played here a thousand times. All the kids did. The fear had gripped my spine now and no amount of reasoning would shake it.

I grabbed Sam's hand and pulled him up gathering what little courage I could. I didn't tell Sam what we were going to do but I knew he knew anyway. The run was only thirty feet. Should not take us more than a minute.

We held hands fast, took a breath, and ran, right into a flurry of black wings.


This Girl I Used to Know said...

Oh, very nice. Creepy too!

For me... it might have been more scary if it ended with "and ran" because then I wouldn't know what was in there. With the black wings, I'm thinking noting worse than some bats.

Still, lovely stuff. Very well done.

Chelle said...

Thanks! Great feedback. I will remember your words next I write.

Kingfisher said...

I liked the ending, which wasn't really an ending. The best horror stories leave you wondering whether the hero(es) make it or end up as a puddle.

I was really confused by the claw in the head thing. I thought he was possessed at first? A changeling? A demon? After reading it again, I decided the only thing there was bats.

I might use a little more "kid" dialogue to express mood and place.

A little tweaking and this makes a great humor/horror story seen through the eyes of an adult's memory.

Thanks for joining us, and Great Job!

the only daughter said...

I enjoyed the story as well.

There was some repetition that bogged it down a bit for me. Not major but some. I agree about more dialogue of the kid variety.

Overall, very nice.

Chelle said...

Kingfisher - thank you for the suggestions. I see your points and agree with you when I reread. I love getting this kind of feedback. Only helps me work harder next time.

Chelle said...

only daughter - you also make excellent suggestions that I see when I go back and read. Thank you!

Hyperion said...

This is the best story ever written!

of course, if it were up to me, I'd have you change every single word to pig-latin, but other than that, greatest story ever!


Sea Hag said...

I liked this story, I think that the picture definitely lends itself to a creepy place that kids want to play in. The only thing that I had a small problem with was the claw-out-of-the-head thing, because I thought a claw was coming out of the kid's scalp. Ew! Other than that, I liked it.