Writing Exercise #6

We continue our countdown to Halloween with more spooky exercises.  Flex your scary-powerful writing muscles on this one:

You heard a noise down stairs! You are going to investigate. Tell me about the trip down these stairs. See if you can make my skin crawl with anticipation at what you’ll find below. . .

Author: Stephen Hise

Stephen Hise is the Evil Mastermind and founder of Indies Unlimited. Hise is an independent author and an avid supporter of the indie author movement. Learn more about Stephen at his website or his Amazon author page.

6 thoughts on “Writing Exercise #6”

  1. I inched the door open. A thin sliver of light invaded my kitchen. The black and white tiles gleamed in the semi darkness. Square black winking eyes mocking my unrest. Slowly I applied upward pressure on the doorknob to keep the hinges from creaking as I increased the opening between myself and the basement. Light cascaded into the kitchen now. The pistol in my hand didn't reassure me. It's weight was ridiculous in my tired hand. Knowing I heard what I heard I squinted dumbfounded into the silent stairwell. If I could hear them then surely they would hear me rack a round into the chamber. I stepped into the stairwell while simultaneously chambering a round. 'CHI-CHINK' The noise seemed deafening. The stairs narrowed and the light began to move. My shadow was swaying, something had disturbed the hanging bulb in the basement. I took a second step, a third step and another. Gaining resolve I made it to the landing. All that was left was for me to burst from the shadows. Sweat dripped from my chin and my hand trembled. I thumbed off the safety and turned to take the landing and the last three stairs in a single bound. My bare foot slipped on the loose carpeting where the dogs sleep sometimes. As I fell into the room I saw the figure crouched in the corner. The gun shuddered in my hand before I hit the ground. The room lit up as if enveloped in fire. Blinded by the momentary flash, I was left with that image burned into my retinas. I closed my eyes as tightly as I could but the image wouldn't go away. My son hiding in the corner from his father coming down the stairs. He had failed to sneak back into the house after sneaking out. He wouldn't ever do that again. In an instant I knew what I had done.

    It was the second shot that made her scream, the first one just woke her, Her husband was gone. She ran to her son's room. He was gone too. The door to the basement was open and light danced across the kitchen floor. She clutched her robe to her chest and stood there a moment breathing. She grabbed the knob and lifted upwards to keep the hinges from sqeaking as she opened it the rest of the way.

  2. If you're alone in the house and hear a noise downstairs, DON'T investigate!! Save it for a horror script. How often had I heard that warning?

    It was only 3am this morning when the first noise woke me. I jumped back under the warm duvet and waited for my fate. Safely under wraps, I wracked my brain for possible safety maneuvers. Halloween was near. Would a demon devour me with its fiery dragon breath, or was it a bunch of pesky fox squirrels? My crash helmet wasn’t handy, but rabid animals made a little more sense.

    If it was an intruder, I'd be half tempted to ‘cock’ a virtual, less-than-lethal shotgun within their earshot and point the slime toward a few things…"Please, take that TV so I can replace it." But they'd probably leave after realizing there's nothing valuable. I’d sneak outside, puncture their getaway tires and call police.

    If I had my wits about me, that’s what I would have done. Instead, I donned slippers and flew downstairs with a flashlight poised for defense. Midflight, my nerves betrayed me as an eerie glow lit the lower reaches of the stair landing. Mist leaked out from under the studio door and snaked its way upward. With the first yowl my quaking legs betrayed me. I collapsed, paralyzed with fright but afraid to call out. Then the stairs began to quake. I crawled back upstairs hand over fist, headed straight ahead out the back door, and took up residence on the deck swing overnight. At dawn I tried to open my bedroom window a crack. But I was locked out. And the mist was still rising…

  3. She tiptoed down through the shadows, one step at a time. The darkness played along the walls, creating faces among the scrawls. Ahead the blackness loomed, thick and foreboding. Her breath caught still in her throat, she balanced her arms, pressing her palm against one of the cold walls. Why was she doing this again? She swallowed, but it stuck in her throat.

    Suddenly, a noise pierced the silence. An icy chill flew up her neck, setting all of the hairs on end. She stopped. Her heart fluttered in her chest. Coughing, she noticed her breath was the only warmth in the inch in front of her face. Something moved, but the darkness prevented her from seeing ahead any further than a handspan. What was it?

    Again, a sharp noise. It lurked behind the door at the base of the stairs. High-pitched, like the cry of a child. The cry of a child in pain.

    She froze. That was enough! She didn't care if Jacob the cat was in there. She would wait in the warm living room until her husband came home. There was no way she was opening that door! Regaining the use of her feet, she sped up the stairs, two at a time.

    Behind her, at the bottom of the stairs, a little chuckle, barely audible but definitely there, played around behind the door.

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