Relative

Relative

A Story by Novel Minded_75
"

This work is based upon the short film, "No Escape", created by a fellow Writer's Cafe member, 3X3MPLER I tried submitting it on his page for the contest, but found I have to add it here first.

"

11 July 2017

                            Relative

 

Voices. An infinite cacophony of voices. Unrelenting. Crushing. Damning. And the darkness, blasphemous. Until piercing light shattered it into a chorus of revelation. The young man, despite the obvious disorientation, bolted from the prone position he found himself in. He took a quick assessment of his surroundings and realized that he was still in the forest, yet somehow, it had been transformed. Whether through his own perception, or something sinister, he could not discern.

The trees appeared to have altered their shape, appearing more twisted and demonic; their dark limbs overlapping one another. He noticed that even the roots themselves, had found a path to the surface and had become an instrument of imprisoning this hapless soul.

“Hello? Is there someone there?” he called out in the silence.

He did not expect an answer, as he recalled having seen no other living soul in the surrounding vicinity. But, there was the mystery of the voices he had heard just before succumbing to unconsciousness. Where were the owners of those voices? And, if his memory was honest, had they not belonged to children? But what children would be alone here? Where were the parents of those children? It seemed a great enigma to him.

He felt his strength return and began anew his trek through the ominous woods, ever vigilant; hoping for any sign that might present itself, thus proving that he had indeed heard the voice of children and not only imagined them.

Continuing down the path through the forest, he was not certain, yet he had the distinct premonition that he could make out the telltale proclamation of someone following close behind. He decided that he would not allow any potential pursuer to get close enough to render any bodily harm to his person, and so he abruptly turned to face the culprit, and puzzlement followed in his wake. There was no one, nothing that would even hint that he was being followed. And suddenly, a harmony of giggling could be heard. Then just as swiftly, utter silence.

Earlier, he recalled the sounds of nature around him, but now, it seemed as if nature itself was absent from this place. Although, the sun was sinking behind the distant hills, there was an unnatural pall that had befallen this place. A chill ran down his spine and the hairs on the back of his neck prickled, alerting him that he was in some dire peril that he could not yet determine. And then, he remembered screaming before blackness had claimed him. He did a quick inspection of his arms, legs, chest, and face, and even reached around to feel his back, yet oddly, there was no indication that he had been molested in any way. Still, he was at a loss as to what had taken place, but remained ever adamant to exit this foreboding locale.

He called out again, and then one more time with the same result, save for the giggling. No giggling children were present and he surmised that his mind and the solitude of this place had allowed his psyche to enact tricks upon his sanity.

He continued down the path and warily took in his surroundings; praying not to detect anything out of the ordinary. He walked for another uneventful ten minutes, and sighed with relief as he saw a clearing up ahead, knowing that this was in fact the golden road to salvation. Feeling confident, he began sprinting toward the exit where he knew his vehicle was parked. He almost could not believe it when he was enveloped by the rapturous sunshine flowing from the heavens above. It enveloped him, overcame him. Tears flowed freely down his cheeks, such was the goodness and purity of the warmth with which he had been blessed, and earnestly he submitted to its loving embrace. He stood there for what seemed like an eternity, denying it nothing. And then, he opened his eyes.

Before him, his vehicle shimmered with an ethereal luminescence, and it was this revelation that suddenly stole all of his euphoria away. He remembered the sun setting behind him not so long ago. Yet there was light here. The beleaguered young man turned cautiously and surveyed the utter darkness of the forested area behind him. In his earnest to exit the eerie wood, it had never occurred to him that the area in which he now stood, could never have naturally produced such luminosity. He was suddenly very afraid.

He reached into his pockets and felt his keys. They did nothing to alleviate his sense of dread. He walked over to the driver’s side of his vehicle and unlocked the door, and got inside. The car roared to life and the sound was orgasmic. He turned on the headlights, put it into drive, and peeled away from the peculiar region; never once looking back. He had made it, and laughed despite himself, yet here he was, free, and that was something to celebrate! He turned on the radio and waited for the station to stream his favorite tunes. There was only static. Disappointed, he switched off the absent broadcast, and gave the road before him his undivided attention.

His mind was troubled however, and he could not shake the verity that something strange had undeniably befallen him in those portentous woodlands. The loss of consciousness he had experienced could not simply be elucidated. The conundrum permeated his mind with a myriad of uncertainties that he found could not be dismissed so easily. If not children, where had the voices come from? Were they, in fact, even real? He had never been deemed a religious man amongst his collective circle of friends, yet the concept of angels miraculously found their way into his imagination. However, if angels were affiliated with holiness, then why the darkness and fear? He had experienced something there was no doubt, nevertheless he was adamant that no angelic entities had been at work this day.

He saw the exit ahead that would take him onto the highway that would eventually lead him to his residence. He breathed a little easier now, and even more so as he turned into his driveway. He parked the vehicle on the left side of his dual garage which he shared with his fiancé. She was still at work and would be gone until later that night he knew. This was his time to catch up on any episodes of a bevy of ghost stories and horror documentaries that he had allowed to fall into lethargic procrastination. His girlfriend held no love for anything paranormal. She had no inclination for such nonsense, and so he was forced to watch them when she was not around. He shared her disbelief, but he had to admit to himself, that sometimes the evidence found was intriguing. Given the peculiarity of today’s events, the man decided that any such entertainment would have to wait.

He called his mother to inform her that he had arrived home safely, yet all he got was the recording. He left her a message to come by later, although he had already made plans that he was going to lie down upstairs for about an hour. He resolved to tell his mother everything that had befallen him this day when they had the chance to speak later that evening. He left the doors locked, as he knew that his mother had a key, this having been his parents’ home before his father had passed away. After his death, his mother had left it to her only living child because she had lost the heart to live there for personal reasons.

He started up the stairs toward the master bedroom when he felt a disturbingly familiar chill run down his spine; the hairs on the back of his neck standing at attention. Closing his eyes, he swallowed hard, and turned slowly around. He opened his eyes and saw…absolutely nothing. Confused, the man rubbed his eyes and peered again down the staircase. The absence of everything greeted him in perfect silence. Now, fear was not the primary obstacle that he had to overcome, but it was anger. What the hell was going on?! Why was he the conduit for such strange phenomena today? It was all an enigma that would have to be dealt with in the morning he concluded as he continued up the staircase. If he would have turned around at that very moment, he would have noticed the two figures at the foot of the stairs.

He stopped in the hallway next to a room whose door was latched securely. He said nothing, only placed his right hand upon the door, and then continued down the hallway into his bedroom.

His bed could not have been more welcoming! He surrendered himself to the blissful oblivion of silk and satin and drifted off to sweet dreams. Or they would have been, had not something murdered their inception. He sat upright in his bed, straining to make out anything that should not be there. And there it was, so very near. He felt the chill of the grave as someone whispered in his ear.

“You cannot escape us.”

He screamed in sheer terror and moved to switch on the lamp on his nightstand, but found that he was quite immobilized by something unseen.

“The others thought they could run and hide, but we showed them that we were smarter. It was a fun game, but sadly, it has lost its charm.”

“We? The young man asked incredulously, sweat beading all over his body suddenly. Who are you? What are you doing in my home? What do you want from me?!”

The response was ethereal, belonging to another world.

“We have called the forest home since our eyes last saw anything. What were you doing in there?”

The young man was too terrified to answer, yet understood that he must.

“I am truly sorry. I haven’t been there for many years now. I went there to pay my respects to those who were once lost there.”

“You are not allowed! No one is allowed! Not after what happened to us!”

And then, the young man had perfect clarity. He pleaded with the voices in the darkness to reveal themselves to him. He would have fainted from his fear, but somehow his expectations would never have allowed him to do so. Suddenly, he cried out in pain as two sets of hands grabbed his arms and shoved him down onto the mattress. It felt as though those hands were made of both fire and ice. They burned and froze all at once!


Suddenly, the intruding personas appeared, but only in a ghastly transparency, yet still distinguishable to the young man. He could hardly fathom this unbelievable revelation. These were the two sisters who had been murdered thirteen years ago!


The two ghostly forms of the long deceased sisters leaned over and just looked at him with eyes that were no longer there. He decided that they were resolving what to say concerning his recognition of their true identities. He was suddenly filled with the insight that the place he had lost consciousness around dusk was the site where they had both been robbed of their young lives. Would that he had thought of such at that moment, but alas, such was the way of supernatural incidents.

Suddenly, a woman’s voice resonated in the stillness of the house.

“The sins of the father are not the only sins of a family. We have come to collect our reparations.”


The man wanted to call out; to shout out a warning, but found himself unable to do so, as he felt his heart begin to seize.

Both girls turned their heads around to look at him, never turning at the hips, as their bodies remained facing forward.

“We swear that she will not see the dawn. We never did like mother much anyway.”

He tried futilely to call to them one final time before he departed this life, as they began walking toward the staircase. A staircase that lead to one last retribution. 


© 2017 Novel Minded_75



Author's Note

Novel Minded_75
I invite all critique and advice

My Review

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Featured Review

Trying to review this again. I can't remember exactly what I had written before my browser crashed, but I'll try.

Technical things first. You use the word "alter" twice in the first two paragraphs. Having an uncommon word used so close together can trip up the reader. Then in the second paragraph, there doesn't need to be a comma after themselves. There could be some typos I missed, but I didn't notice any in my read through.

Something I used to do was use a lot of fancy/uncommon words and describe things in roundabout ways because I thought it would making my writing seem more sophisticated. But, as someone on this site recently reminded me, exposition waters down intensity/action and just generally takes too long. So describe what you need to, but don't use too many fancy words or the reader will start to gloss over them. More is less. The same applies in intense moments. Especially then. Be direct.

Another thing to watch out for: dialogue. The dialogue at the end of the story, while it gets the point across, doesn't sound like something someone would actually say. It's one thing coming from the apparitions, but another from the young man.

Even though I have all these suggestions, don't think your story is bad. I enjoyed reading it. The environment added a lot to the suspense/thriller aspects. The ending, especially, was chilling and frightful.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Novel Minded_75

1 Year Ago

Thank you, Clifford for being direct and honest: that I can always appreciate. Making mistakes and h.. read more
Clifford

1 Year Ago

It's great that you have that mindset. It shows that you care enough about your writing to want to m.. read more



Reviews

Your writing held my attention. I found it easy reading and I was not put off by the 'fancy' words. I know modern writing is supposed to be straight forward with short sentences, and direct. But I do like writing that is a bit imaginative with creative words, and even ambiguous. I was dying to know who the voices belonged to ... but slightly disappointed with the ending, but the suspense was good, and I'd like to know more about the staircase that lead to one more retribution.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Novel Minded_75

1 Year Ago

Thank you for the review, Astri! I appreciate it :)
I wrote this for a contest after watching.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

1 Year Ago

So, I see, you had to 'stick to the story'. But you had a paragraph mentioning your mother so I was .. read more
Novel Minded_75

1 Year Ago

I wrote it imagining that the father had murdered them and the mother had covered it up over the yea.. read more
Trying to review this again. I can't remember exactly what I had written before my browser crashed, but I'll try.

Technical things first. You use the word "alter" twice in the first two paragraphs. Having an uncommon word used so close together can trip up the reader. Then in the second paragraph, there doesn't need to be a comma after themselves. There could be some typos I missed, but I didn't notice any in my read through.

Something I used to do was use a lot of fancy/uncommon words and describe things in roundabout ways because I thought it would making my writing seem more sophisticated. But, as someone on this site recently reminded me, exposition waters down intensity/action and just generally takes too long. So describe what you need to, but don't use too many fancy words or the reader will start to gloss over them. More is less. The same applies in intense moments. Especially then. Be direct.

Another thing to watch out for: dialogue. The dialogue at the end of the story, while it gets the point across, doesn't sound like something someone would actually say. It's one thing coming from the apparitions, but another from the young man.

Even though I have all these suggestions, don't think your story is bad. I enjoyed reading it. The environment added a lot to the suspense/thriller aspects. The ending, especially, was chilling and frightful.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Novel Minded_75

1 Year Ago

Thank you, Clifford for being direct and honest: that I can always appreciate. Making mistakes and h.. read more
Clifford

1 Year Ago

It's great that you have that mindset. It shows that you care enough about your writing to want to m.. read more

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Added on July 13, 2017
Last Updated on July 17, 2017
Tags: horror, ghosts, paranormal

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Novel Minded_75
Novel Minded_75

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Currently writing a story I created back in 1988. Still original since its inception, which I hope will be a breath of fresh air in the horrid attempt of reboots and unimaginative works these days i.. more..

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