The Unfinished Story.....
The Unfinished Story.....3 mins 263 3 mins 263
The website had listed a new contest and no matter how much I tried to resist it, my fingers itched to write yet another short story. The topic listed was “Haunted”. It was not the genre I typically wrote, my stories tended more towards mystery and romance, but it was a challenge I was willing to take up.
So here I was, on a rainy Sunday evening, at my favorite writing corner, next to the large window overlooking the garden. The flowers would have been in full bloom but the unexpected rains had torn their petals asunder and left them hanging haplessly. I could hear my beautiful wife sing as she went on with her Sunday dusting ritual. This palatial ancestral house with its many rooms, arched windows, and grand staircases was my pride and joy and only my queen had permission to clean it. I did not believe in letting servants befoul their hallowed halls.
I started to plan my story. The central character would be a boy named Neil. He would be investigating paranormal activity at the house on the haunted hill. A little cliched, but it was a good setting for a spooky horror story. I started to write.
“ Neil pushed the door, which swung open smoothly. He almost expected a ghost or a scary face to pop out at him from behind the door, but nothing happened. Shrugging, he made his way into the hall. The house had huge cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, every visible surface was covered with dust and a musty smell permeated the air. Doors were leading off from the hall and he decided to go through the first one on his right. As he went in, a scary sight greeted him and he could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand up. The armchair placed near the fireplace, with its back facing Neil, was moving all by itself. To and fro, to and fro it went, noiselessly, as if in a vacuum. A force beyond him propelled his feet forward urging him to peep and see what was on the chair. Neil took a step and then another and nervously clenching his fists, peeped over the back…..”
I stopped here. Now why did the armchair remind me of my mother, I wondered. Was it because I had unconsciously scripted the chair in the story on my mother’s armchair which was sitting behind me near the fireplace? Or because it reminded me of the way she would rock the armchair as she sat doing her knitting. To and fro, to and fro. Sheesh.. that was an irritating sound. And the way she continuously droned on and on about how worthless I was, how I could not hold a job, and why she could never consider me a worthy inheritor of this majestic house. A good blow to the head with the silver candle holder had stopped her tirade for good. I had dumped her in one of the secret rooms I had discovered, and allowed her to enjoy her beautiful house for eternity. I was now the rightful owner and no one dared called me unworthy anymore.
I had gone out into the world and married a beautiful woman, who had possibly fallen more in love with this house than with me. But who cared? I was well fed, all my needs were met and my house was in good order. That was all that mattered to me. Sighing, I decided to get back to Neil and his ghostly armchair when a piercing scream rent the air. Ahhhh... I sighed again, louder this time. It looked like my wife had stumbled into the secret room and seen something she was not supposed to see and was now screaming her voice hoarse. I looked at the unfinished story and stood up. It would have to wait. First I had a wife to silence.