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Charley

Charley

A Story by HoWiE
"

This horror was based on a nightmare I used to suffer as a kid and it freaked me out a little having to write it down so you'd better read it! Lol.

"
     The rambling gorse snagged and pulled at the frayed hems of his jeans as he stole across the plain. The sky was dishwater grey; the air smelled of iron and was muggy in prelude of a storm that threatened. Charley Barnes swung the leash round his shoulders and cupped a hand to his mouth, calling out into the distance. A few moments later Richelieu barked. Twirling the leash in his hand and striking out at the gorse, Charley grinned and ventured off in the direction of it. The moment the Weimaraner had seen that hare, he was gone, bounding over the rolling ground and out of sight. That was the problem with Richelieu, a beautiful dog, sleek and silvery as a bullet but about as bright. He had charged off across the waste ground in pursuit, his great pink tongue lolling madly out of the side of his mouth; the hare had out distanced him within moments.
     Richelieu! Charley sat on a smooth flat rock and stared out over the bleak landscape. It was getting late, not that Mum would be overly worried, he was nine now and had permission to stay out until eight. Richelieu! Rish! Here boy!
     He sighed and gathered up a handful of small stones to toss at a rust pitted sign that clung to a thin wire fence some feet away. The first stone found its mark with a stark metallic clang, the second and third missed.
     Richelieu!
     Hey!
     Charley jumped, spilling stones onto the flat rock, as the voice startled him.
     Thats my sign, why are you throwing stones at it?
     Charley turned to see three boys, climbing up the gentle slope; they were older than him by a few years. One, obviously the leader, stood in front of him, red faced and puffing, overweight and with piggy eyes.
     I said thats my sign, why are you throwing stones at it?
     There was no way that this was his sign, it said something about derelict ground and had the word Warning in white upon a blue background.
     Oh, Charley said, feeling his pulse quicken, Im sorry, I didnt know.
     Well now you know, the piggy-eyed kid said, scowling.
     I was looking for my dog, Charley added quickly to change the tack of the conversation and avoid a possible confrontation.
     What dog? Another said, a gangly youth with buck-teeth and zits.
     My dog, Richelieu he-
     What? Richelieu? What sort of name is that for a dog? The piggy-eyed kid said.
     Charley just shrugged and smiled nervously, he was chasing rabbits.
     Oh wait the third boy said adjusting his denim jacket, I think I saw your dog, what does it look like?
     Its a Weimaraner.
     Yeah but what does it look like? The piggy-eyed kid said irritably.
     Well, hes about this big, Charley said indicating Richelieus height with his hands, a silver coat and blue eyes. Hes wearing a red collar.
     The boys looked at each other briefly. Yeah I seen it. It was over there, the boy said pointing into the waste ground.
     Yeah, lets go look for it, the piggy-eyed kid said.
     Reluctantly, Charley shuffled off the rock and joined the three boys as they clambered over the thin wire fence. The buck-toothed kid clapped a hand on his shoulders grinning, dont worry well find your lost dog.
     Well, hes not really lost, Charley explained, hes just run off, he does that a lot.
     There he is! Shouted the boy in the denim jacket pointing and running forwards.
     Come on, come on!
     Charley had seen nothing and although not entirely convinced that the boy had seen anything at all, followed on regardless. The ground was uneven here and home to rough-edged rubble, half-sunken debris and hidden trip hazards. Charley picked his way through it, stumbling and slipping on the difficult terrain. They came to a hollow in the ground where a narrow concrete pipe was set into the earth. He went down here
     Kneeling, Charley peered down. The pipe angled down into the earth dank, cold and musty smelling. What down the pipe? His voiced sounded hollow and bounced back around his ears.
     Yeah, I seen him go in? The denim jacketed boy said.
     Yeah I saw him too, the piggy-eyed kid added.
     Charley frowned, the pipe was certainly big enough for Richelieu to fit into, but why would he?
     I dont think hes in there, he said finally.
     Yeah he is, the buck-toothed kid said nodding eagerly, he chased a rabbit right in.
     Charley stared into the blackness.
     Have a closer look, the piggy-eyed kid said from behind. He definitely went in.
     Charley leaned closer. There was a scuffling from behind him and suddenly two pairs of hands thrust him forward. The boy threw out his hands out to stop himself but could find no purchase on the smooth concrete. White light exploded in front of his eyes as the top of his head crashed into the pipes rim.
     Get him in, get him in! One of the boys shouted, laughing.
     Charley struggled but with both of his arms out in front of him couldnt pull them back, the pipe was so narrow. He plunged downwards into the cold darkness. The boys grabbed his legs and heaved. Charley screamed as panic and claustrophobia assailed him, he felt himself sliding down further into the pipe, the blood rushing to his head and his hands slipping on the wet concrete. Muffled laughter drifted down the pipe after him.
     His toes caught the lip of the pipe and he clung there upside down as the boys whooped and jeered. He screamed again, terrified. The laughter and voices drifted away, becoming fainter until all that he could hear was his pulse rushing in his ears and the echoing of his panicked gasps. Please please He whimpered.
     Charley tried to force his elbows out to the sides but to no avail, the cold concrete pressed in on his shoulders making any form of movement impossible. Tears spilled down his cheeks as he fought to breathe against the crushing tightness of the pipe and with an unparalleled horror he realised that his toes were beginning to ache.
     Before long his feet began to shake with the exertion as he clung there by his toes. He cried out as crippling pain lanced through his legs as his calves began to cramp. Water trickled down the side of his face and unnameable things seemed to scurry and crawl in the blackness. Finally his toes gave way and with a howl of terror Charley slid further down the pipe.
     Cold blackness enclosed him, suffocating and total. Charleys breath came in ragged gasps as he slithered to a halt where the pipe narrowed further, jamming him completely. Suspended in the choking darkness, unmoving, unable to breathe freely, upside down and with no hope of rescue, Charley screamed and screamed and screamed

     As the search for missing nine year Charley Barnes enters it twelfth day, a Police spokesman said that they were very concerned for the boys safety and that the chances of finding Charley alive were starting to fade


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Grudge

© 2008 HoWiE



Author's Note

HoWiE
Oh shit I'm having a panic attack haha!!

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Featured Review

What's so great about all your stories, Howie, is that the reader always gets pulled right in, identifying with the protagonist from the get go. Great short story; horrible nightmare! I'm not usually claustrophobic, but I'm still having trouble catching my breath ten minutes later! As usual, your descriptions are vivid, the accompanying image and music ideal. The boy gang needs to get their commeuppance in a sequel... and that dumb-as-a-door-nail dog is no Lassie (of Timmy's-down-the-well fame) and needs to go through some dog training before getting a chance at another owner!

Posted 10 Years Ago


8 of 8 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Woah, I've got goosebumps.

I don't usually have nightmares, but I can imagine this would be the worst thing my mind could offer me. When it comes to tight spaces, I'm a total wreck.

Definitely going to be reading more stuff of yours...

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Omg that was... incredible. you need to submit that to my Vengance raptured so that i can feature it. Its really beyond freaky. to have that dream... maybe it wasn't a dream, perhaps a preminition of sorts? a ghost calling out to be heard? but perhaps not. just... wow... That was truely worth the read

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very nicely told. I think if I would have had this nightmare....I would never sleep again. It's odd what comes to us in our darkest of dreams. I really enjoyed this peice and it had me hooked til the end. I am very amazed...well not that much after reading your last story. Very Very wow. I can't even explain it, it's like the worse death ever...no way to get out, no escape...perfect. You know what, I'll prolly have this nightmare tonight...Thankyou very good job.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

ok you are definetly going to give me a nightmare tonite. that was extremely spooky and had me pulled in and suspended in midair..lol..i loved it..

carla

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wow I'm jealous. lol such a great plot, so well and thouroughly written. awesome awesome piece!


Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Charley left me in tears for the child and his tormenter. This is a story, I wish I had written. It kept me sitting on the edge of my seat until I had finished, so hoping that someone would come. I half expected the Charley' dog to be the hero of the piece. You show a great talent and need to be looking for a publisher. I don't know how many more of these stories you have stored on your computer, but I know for sure that this story would be great in a short story collection. This story was amazingly frightening and full of suspense to the last word written.

Author: Nancy Lee Shrader
www.freewebs.com/booksbynancyleeshrader/


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Awesome job with this one. I had a hard time breathing through most of it. Great scare, because it feels so real. I'm just sorry you had to dream this.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Amazing how cruel people can be and how scary our nightmares are.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree entirely with Chantal, you most certainly pull the reader right in! I was right there with Charly, watching the story unfold from the shadows. The way you write is absolutely amazing, describitve and entertaining. Amazing.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think that people get so accustomed to the "but he was saved just in the nick of time" ending, that this sort of story is apt to push people's guts down into their toes.. if you get my meaning.. I could see Charlie in my head.. all fresh faced, maybe a little small for his age.. and I could see the evil kids who pushed him.. gafawing like a couple of jackals as their victim plunged down the pipe, and through lack of intelligence, or feeling, not really being aware of the painful horrible end they've subjected another human being to.. Two lovely little sociopaths on their way to becoming headline news one day.. The media loves a good psycho.. doesn't it?

On a side note, I've had dreams where I was stuck in cupboards, or I'd fallen down a chimney for some reason, and the opening at the bottom only came up to my knees.. I could see freedom, but could not contort my own rigid bones into a shape that would allow me to get out.. Ick ick ick.. I think I'm going to go for a walk, take a few deep breaths.. and watch Bambi.. Okay, I'll probably be watching Dawn Of The Dead.. but.. thats kinda like Bambi.. Isn't it?? I dunno, I've never seen it.. :P

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 22, 2008

Author

HoWiE
HoWiE

Plymouth,, Devon, United Kingdom



About
Well, I'm back - it only took 5 years to get over my writer's block! Now 44, older, wiser and currently studying a teaching degree having left the Armed Forces 3 years ago. The writing is slow g.. more..

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