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Thread: Abode of a Stranger

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    North Carolina.

    Abode of a Stranger

    Another short story i just wrote. Had a sudden burst of inspiration and didnt wanna lose it, so here we are.

    Abode of a Stranger.

    I glanced down the road, in the shadow of the monstrous trees. Nothing; no cars for miles, or buildings for that matter. I had driven to this remote spot a couple of days ago for a campout, when I came back for my car it was gone, so here I am, trying to reach civilization in this forsaken place. As I got farther and father down the road, the forest got thicker and thicker, and things seemed to go back in time even. The road gradually transformed into dirt from tar, then a barely visible path. The trees were blocking almost all sunlight, and I was beginning to lose all hope in finding someone today, when I made out the faint outline of a shack in the distance. Over joyed, I broke into a run, eager to see if someone lived there.

    As I neared the shack, it became apparent that something had attacked it, at one point. The sides of the building had huge gashes in the wood, I couldn’t even fathom what kind of beast could have made them. I began to have second thoughts about coming here, but as I was desperate, I continued to the shack. As I got closer, my senses were assaulted by rotting wood, and a few other smells I couldn’t quite decipher…

    The ground around the shack was devoid of all living things, no grass, no plants, no ants, nothing. The shack tilted to one side, obviously old. I stood in front of the porch, about to look and see if someone was here, when the door was thrown open with such a force that the building shook. The man that stood in the doorway was tall, yet his arms were small, disproportional to his legs, which were extremely lengthy. His face was obscured by a frayed white beard, and dark thick glasses covered his eyes. He also wore a worn brown cap atop his head. He seemed to be staring at me, but I couldn’t tell through his glasses. “Excuse me sir?” I asked; tentative. He responded with a grunt, seemingly acknowledging me. “Could I spend the night here? I seemed to ha—“ I was cut short by another grunt, the man nodded his head and held the door open for me, motioning me inside.

    As I stepped into the shack, again I was assaulted by smells, the smell of decay thick in the building. As I walked through this narrow hallway, my feet sank into the rotting wood a little with each step. I stumbled upon what I guessed was the dining room, and took a seat at one of the two chairs at a table. The man was right behind me apparently, as he strode into the room instantly after me. His small arms working quickly over a fire, pouring some sludgy liquid into a bowl. “Uh… sir you don’t have to—“ again I was cut off by a grunt, it seemed somewhat angry. I thought it impolite to refuse his cooking, so I decided to hold my tongue.

    The soup was horrible to say the least. It tasted of wood and iron, mixed with some sort of mold. I quickly excused myself, and left to my room. As I was walking through the hallway, I noticed a small latch on the floor. The latch was bouncing up and down as if being hit from inside. I glanced behind me, the man nowhere in sight. I slowly walked towards the latch and bent down. Just as I was about to open it, I noticed that someone was breathing on my neck. I slowly turned my head, to see the man standing over me, slightly bent down. “Sorry sir, I thought I saw something” the man continued to stare at me, not even a grunt. I slowly walked to the empty room, still feeling the burning stare of the man on my back. I shut the door quickly.

    I started preparing for bed almost immediately, eager to get out of this strange house. I lay down in the bed, springs digging into my back. But sleep came quickly after a day like this, and I almost instantly fell into a deep sleep.

    Click Click Click Click
    I woke up in the dead of night, hearing a clicking sound underneath me. Click click click click, there it was again! Despite the strange man, I decided to investigate. I tentatively put one foot on the floor beside my bed, feeling the rotting wood between my toes. Click click click click, I opened the door slowly, expecting to see the man standing there, staring at me. But all was dark, and I continued into the hallway. Click click click click, I stepped over the latch on the floor, and looked in the other room, which I guessed the man would be sleeping in. The bed was empty, not even disturbed. Click click click click I looked in the kitchen as well, no sign of the man. My eyes wandered down to the latch on the floor.

    I looked around one last time, then got on my knees and undid the latch. I opened the slab of wood slowly, revealing a ladder leading to a large dome shaped room. From what I could see, the man was not down here either. I hurried down the ladder, into the dome room. It was here that I discovered the clicking noise, the open window hitting the shack in the breeze. Why would he go through the window? I wondered silently. I latched the window, stopping the incessant clicking. That’s when I noticed the table to one side of the room. I walked towards it, no longer tentative. On the table was a mask, a mask of the mans face. Next to the mask was the mans outfit, including his cap and a frayed white beard. I slowly began to realize what was going on. “What…what is he…?” I said to myself slowly. My train of thought was interrupted by an incessant clicking coming from behind me.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    From the outset there are two fundamental problems. The first was the sin of breaking tense. Your reader used to have great trouble with tenses in English- there are more than 10 and they can be quite confusing. In your story your narrative awkwardly shifts between present progressive tense and past tense. Staying in tense is part of writing elegantly; not only does it define when an action happened or when an idea is occuring, it is literally the fundamental context of how ideas are expressed. Totally worth studying.

    The second thing your reader noticed is that the writing isn't very expositional. Your reader is told what action happened as opposed to being shown. Writing like that can be rather disengaging.

    To be fair these are difficult points that some people never feel the need to address. Your reader admires your creativity and your ability to be inspired and dedicated- those are amazing qualities to have. You have wonderful potential to become an amazing writer, you just need to build up your skillset and you'll be on your way.

    Keep writing and posting your stories.

    Last edited by Jack of Hearts; 12-24-2010 at 04:06 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    North Carolina.
    Much apreciated, i'l try and adress these points in future writings.

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