I hope the start of your weekend is fantastic! I’m taking a small break from my edits to bring you this flash from the past.
Here’s a short story I wrote way back in October of 2012. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
Yeah, I’m borrowing the title from Snoopy. He said I could. We’re close friends. Snoopy borrowed it from Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and now there is a contest every year called
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
The contest uses the infamous phrase to showcase the worst extremes of this “purple prose”. It only uses one sentence, where I thought it would be fun to write a story with that title. I kind of doubt it will be scary, but in honor of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would borrow the phrase and see what happens.
I was home alone with my little dog Sam. The wind was howling through the trees, it almost sounded like moaning. Of course, that was just my imagination. Usually, storms don’t bother me. In fact, I love them. But this one seemed different. There was a feeling in the air, it was heavy, like a smelly wet blanket covering the whole house. We had lost the electricity an hour ago. But I had plenty of candles lit. I hate the dark, things happen in the dark that doesn’t happen in the light.
It wasn’t raining, not yet anyway. But the wind was blowing and the trees outside were hitting the side of the house. A steady bang, bang, bang. It was driving me crazy. I made a mental note to have the trees next to the house trimmed… soon.
The thunder could be heard rumbling over the wind. Every now and then the lightning would light up the house. Because of that and the candles, there were odd shadows flickering on the walls and ceilings. It would be a great night for Halloween. But that holiday was still a few weeks away.
I sat on the couch with Sam as close to my side as he could get. I liked the company, even if it was in the shape of a small dog. At least we had each other, and I wasn’t completely alone. I felt foolish. A grown woman afraid of the dark, but I couldn’t help myself. It was just that kind of night.
I heard a soft creak, like a footstep when the wind and thunder were silent for a few seconds. It sounded like it was in the house! Sam and I just froze for a second, I felt the poor little guy shiver in fright. I have to admit it scared me too!
I gathered my courage together, picked up one of the candles and decided to take a look around the house. Yeah, stupid I know. I mean, in all the scary movies one sees, the girl always goes looking around the dark house on her own and meets up with the boogie man!
This wasn’t a movie. I would rather meet up with the boogie man on my terms then sit on the couch and await my doom. So off we went to search the house. Sam was close on my heels, I guess he wasn’t willing to be alone either.
We did a quick survey of the main floor and saw nothing unusual. So I decided to take a look upstairs. I slowly started to climb the stairs as the candle flickered at each step. I tried to listen to anything beyond the wind but heard nothing strange.
So step by slow step I continued upwards. We got to the landing and I stopped to give another listen. Nothing. I took a step forward and immediately heard a creak and I knew it wasn’t me that made it.
I decided to keep moving forward. I had to find out if someone else was in the house with me. It was either that or go hide somewhere and wait for the boogie man to find me! Neither option was the greatest. So taking my courage in hand once more I continued forward. I slowly walked down the hall. The first room I came to was the bathroom. Taking a quick look inside I knew no one was there, and yes, I looked in the shower too!
Poor little Sam was with me every step of the way. I made myself a promise that I would give Sam some extra special dog cookies once we were over this night! He deserved them for keeping me company on this scary night.
Taking a deep breath, I continued to the next room. My bedroom door was closed like usual. I grabbed the door handle and slowly turned it. As I opened the bedroom door I heard it give a small screech, I never noticed that it needed oiling until now.
As I opened the door all the way and stepped inside the wind picked up in force and pushed the outside tree against the side of the house. The bang that followed made my heart jump and my hand holding the candle shake.
I walked into the room and took a quick look around as Sam stayed in the doorway. I saw nothing out of the ordinary and even got enough courage to throw the closet door open and take a look. Nothing. Whew!
My heart slowed down just a bit and I left to check the last room. An extra bedroom. That door too is usually closed, but I noticed soon enough that it was open a crack. My heart started to beat fast once more. I stood just outside the door wondering if I shouldn’t just turn and run. I took a deep silent breath as I put my hand against the door to push it open.
I gave it a slow push and took a quick look. I didn’t see anything so I took a step inside…then all hell broke loose!
There was an awful howl as two gray and white bodies streaked past me out the door. Sam gave a loud bark and took after them. Sam was yapping excitedly as I ran into the hallway just in time to see my two devil cats running hell-bent down the hall with Sam nipping at their tails!
Both cats raced toward the stairs and when the first one hit the curve before the stairs the second one almost ran him over. As their paws scrambled for footing they bounded down the stairs with the now brave Sam close on their butts!
I started running after Sam as fast as I could without putting out my candle. I heard a loud crash downstairs and wondered what piece of furniture was a victim of their flight. Then I heard yapping and hissing and thought I better get down there quick!
Managing to get down the stairs without tripping in my haste, I entered the living room just as the lights came back on.
I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed the damage. I blew out my candle and yelled at Sam to hush! He had the two devil cats Notwen and Pouncer cornered on top of the TV stand. I just had to laugh. One, because I felt so relieved that there wasn’t a boogie man in the house! Two, because Sam was so much smaller than either cat and he acted so proud that he got them hissing and cornered!
It took me a few minutes to get the animals calmed. Afterward, I just sat on my couch and laughed at myself. But, after that day, I make sure I always have plenty of candles in every room in the house. You know, just in case.