Monday October 24th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the horror.

Hmm, if I'd been planning ahead we could totally be doing a theme week leading up to Halloween. Maybe it's not too late? I guess we'll see.

We needed leeks and potatoes for this evening's dinner (leek and potato soup, in case that wasn't obvious) so after lunch I brought Max with me to the garden to get the leeks and then to the root house by Kat's parents house to get the already harvested potatoes.

Kat's mom was doing some work outside and it didn't take Max long to decide that he'd rather hang out with her than go to soccer with me.

So I had a few extra hours of time to myself this afternoon.

Most of which, of course, I spent with Miles.

Because two kids, you guys.


A foul stench lingers here. They will tell you that its source is unknown. They will tell you that it is safe here, that you are in no danger while you remain on these grounds. They will tell you not to listen to the gossips and rumormongers and conspiracy theorists. They will tell you that it is only your imagination. That the source left this place a long, long time ago.

They are wrong.

The sort of horror that happened here never fully moves on. It is never forgotten. It never forgets.

Why do you think new owners must be found for this property so often? Not so long ago it was changing hands on a monthly basis. It was almost as though once they began to know the property, to hear its nightly whispers, to see its ghosts, they chose to flee.

Perhaps that is why the sale price goes down with every transaction? It certainly reeks of desperation, I would say.

It seems now, though, that some sort of stability has taken hold. The most recent purchaser has held on to the property for nearly a year. I suspect that has something to do with him or her or whoever not actually residing here. I should think that not having to sleep in that house would alleviate most of the concerns one might have with owning it.

The grounds have become overgrown though. A caretaker was hired but he lasted about as long as the previous owners. In fact, he hasn't been seen around town since he quite loudly and publicly quit his position a few weeks after he was hired.

I'm sure he's just moved away. Nothing untoward happened to him or his dog. I mean, why would it?

Only the stench lingers here. Nothing more.



Greg said...

I like how your days have the flexibility to adapt like that; I seem to have a much tighter schedule most of the time. And I'm sure that spending time with Miles instead of Max was time well spent! The soup sounds delicious, too. I had leeks too, last night, but with chorizo and polpettini ai pollo.
Theme week? OK, I shall dig out Ernest and David and see what they're up to :)
Hmm, this reads like a voice-over at the start of a horror movie, perhaps an old Twilight Zone Episode? The small details are great: the falling sale price, the absent new owner, the lingering smell of... something. I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes us!
Posting twice, sorry, but hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Greg said...

The horror
Ernest Derby stared off into the distance after Father Ignatz finished speaking, and when David opened his mouth to speak Ernest lifted a hand and laid it on David's arm. David remained quiet, waiting, and the hubbub of the car seemed slightly distant to all of them, as though Ernest's contemplation was somehow enveloping them all in a bubble. The seconds turned into minutes, and both the other men sipped their water.
"It's unworthy of me to ask for more details," said Ernest at last, "so please, Father, leave the holes in my reasoning where they are. But the gentleman confessing must be a military man, and one stationed at the Landscombe barracks."
Puzzlement creased the Father's face, and David failed to suppress a smirk.
"I am sure I provided no such detail," said Ignatz. He flushed. "It would have been-"
"He does this to us all," said David, interrupting. "You tell him you're wearing blue socks and he tells you that must have choked on your toast that morning, and somehow he's always right."
Ernest smiled faintly. "I am sure you've never choked on your toast, David," he said. "Forgive me Father, I was thinking aloud rather. Few other than military men subscribe to The Sabre and I did assume that only such a person would recognise cutting from it. The Landscombe barracks were a gift to the government by my grandfather and when they were renovated a decade later a mistake was made by the carpenters so that the doors were all two inches too short. My grandfather was outraged and wanted to replace them all, at his own expense, but was eventually discouraged by the Prime Minister of the time."
"Stanley Brabben?"
"Indeed." Ernest's sigh was the only commentary on that public figure he chose to give. "But still, a military man, probably recently deceased himself, in a position to influence events around Lord Campion. That means it was Simon Whiteharbour -- no Father, don't confirm or deny -- and that means that the suspicions of certain people in certain places are probably correct. Did the confessee perhaps entrust something into your care, Father? Something red, most likely?"
Father Ignatz's face was an interesting shade of purple and his eyes were bulging, but he nodded and his hand dipped inside his robes. It emerged holding a stub of a red candle.
"Oh dear," said Ernest. "David, would you be so kind as to examine it?"
David held his hand out and accepted the candle from Father Ignatz. "Really Ernest," he said. "I need some space, some quiet. We should return to our car-"
"Indeed, and we shall. But for the moment, could you perhaps be more cursory and less thorough?"
"As you wish!" David's free hand moved through the air over the candle stub, somehow seeming to travel much further than there was space for, and the candle shimmered briefly as though caught in a heat haze. "Ah. This has been used in a summoning ritual," said David. He frowned, and then dropped the stub on the table. "It's still live."
"What does that mean?" Father Ignatz looked from one man to the other.
"We're in danger." David was rising to his feet, pulling a clean white handkerchief from his pocket. "I must deal with this now."
"That candle was probably used to summon the Horror that killed Lord Campion and his men," said Ernest, also rising. "I sincerely hope that when David says it's live he doesn't mean that the Horror might still be able to find it."

Marc said...

Greg - ah yes, the forced theme week. Well done, sir :)

Glad you enjoyed my opening. Reading it over again now I feel like it has its flaws, but it worked well to get things started. And, if I recall correctly, I enjoyed the rest of the week a great deal more than I did my beginning. So there's that.

Regardless, it was worth it to bring about a week's worth of writing about Ernest and David :D

Fantastic opening/continuation, and that ending is a top notch cliffhanger leading us into the remainder of the week. Lovely details, as always, really bring things to life.

I look forward to reading the rest of this portion of their tale!