Living with Fear

This was based on a story prompt by my good friend, Sharmistha, on her post, Who Was That? Check out her blog and write your own version if you wish.

I walked out onto the crushed gravel of the driveway, the only light coming from a window high up on the third floor. It was my bedroom, and the only inhabited room in the whole dreary pile. The rest of the manor, with its long corridors and sepulchral parlors was in the hands of another, at least during the night. It was a place where fear was as plentiful as the dark through which it flowed.

The mist was rising up off the lake, slowly taking the grounds for its own. I could feel its chilling caress as it flowed past me. My heart was pounding and my knees were shaking, but I swung the flashlight beam around, looking for the reason I had come. But the fog diffused the light and I could see nothing but the white mist.

Never look out your window after dark. That was my rule, which I obeyed faithfully for all those months I had lived alone in that gloomy mansion. But that night, as I drew the curtains fully closed, I happened to glance out and saw the flicker of a light below in the courtyard: not the bright beam of a flashlight from a lost hiker or a deliveryman, but the dim flicker of a lantern that had no place in the present age.

Never let the fear master you. That was my other rule, and so I ventured out to investigate, against the cries of common sense. I felt my neck prickle with premonition and I looked quickly back at the house. My eyes were drawn irresistibly to the roof and I saw it, the dark, cloaked figure looking down at me, so black that I saw its silhouette clearly, even against the night sky.

It could only be he, the long-dead master of the estate that I had usurped. For a moment, my will failed me and I ran inside, barring the door with futile bolts of steel.

Later, in my room I sat in dread anticipation by the glowing embers on the hearth. I had broken his truce and I did not know what would come. The darkness closed around me, pressing on me, until I did not dare move to build up the fire or find refuge in bed.

I heard the door creak softly and then a soft, almost inaudible whine as it opened, slowly but inexorably.

I tried to control my rapid breathing. Never let fear master you, my mind screamed, but the words were lost in the whirling shriek of the blood rushing in my ears. The floorboards creaked, one by one, coming ever closer. I heard that quiet tread, back and forth, just out of sight. I needed to build up the fire, but I could not move. Just as the panic overcame my senses and darkness began to cloud my eyes, I groped for a piece of wood and pushed it forward onto the embers.

The fire flared up and I heard a hiss from the darkness next to my chair. Then my mind slipped into darkness.

I awoke, still in the armchair, with a sliver of daylight slipping between the heavy curtains. When I pulled them open, I found blackened footprints leading to and from the door. Whatever had made them had paced back and forth in a circle, just outside the light of the fire.

From that day on, I never looked outside after dark and I kept the fire built high, especially on foggy nights.

Advertisements

About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

14 responses to “Living with Fear

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and criticisms.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Eve In Korea

My Adventures As An ESL Teacher In South Korea

Luna's Writing Journal

A Place for my Fiction

Bikurgurl

I'm just a gurl in the world

Here's To Being Human

Living life as a human

The Moving Quill

Writing & Blogging by Shailaja V

jenacidebybibliophile

Book Reviewer and Blogger

yuxianadventure

kitten loves the world

Strolling South America

10 countries, 675 days, 38,540km

It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

Reflections Of Life's Journey

Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author

Commendable Soap

"...the manufacture of stories... a business safe and commendable as making soap..." Willa Cather, 1920

BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)

Total Time Waste

A Humor Blog!

Claire Fuller

Writing and art

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

The Found Girl's Bookblog

A lost girl found by good books

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

Learning how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress

wordsandotherthings.wordpress.com/

she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!

obBLOGato

a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side

SightsnBytes

A.K.A. Ted White

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Life in Kawagoe

Japanese daily sight

The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writng, and More

Mondays Finish the Story

This is a flash fiction site where you finish the story!

Sketches By Boze

An ongoing exploration of faith, culture, myth, life, art. An advocate for all who are trapped in nightmares.

Tiffys World

A diary type blog following the life of a Forensic Science Student

San Diego Professional Writer's Group

A San Diego based critique group for professional and aspiring writers

Five Years to Mediocrity

chasing kitties, crashing scooters, and learning spanish, one anxiety attack at a time

athingirldotcom

never judge a girl by her weight

The Discerning Christian

Philosophy, Christianity, Social Justice

€merald Wake ©

❤ The art marked by the Pain ❤

Fiction et al

Navigating the modern business of book publishing

Yarnspinnerr

Just Fiction and other things that seem fictitious.

The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Marina Kanavaki

Art Towards a Happy Day

%d bloggers like this: