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Shadows

March 3, 2021

FREE WRITING

10
    As I exhale a cloud of air is released and disappears into the murkiness. My dry shivering hands grasp my arms searching for any source of heat. My cracked lips bleed down my chin. Keeping my eyes open wide, I stay alert for any sign that I am accompanied in the dark.

    The shadows are so dense I can't see anything more than a foot in front of my face. They tease me with their curling tendrils of tangible darkness. Noise can be heard all around me, the structure of this old house struggling to withstand the strong gusts of wind blowing outside.

    There was always something off in this place. A feeling that just didn't sit. It wasn't the rot you could see on the roof and scantlings, or the dust that has called multiple places home. There was a peculiar air to this house. I have always noticed it. Being left this house on the will of a deceased relative, I convinced myself to spend the night. That was a choice I would never bring about again. 

    Trying to relax, I extend my legs on the velvet mattress and push my head even deeper into the flat pillow. I grab the comforter and pull it up to my shoulders. On a lampstand right beside my head stood a portrait of my deceased great-grandfather, his eyes piercing into mine. A small sliver of white moonlight illuminated it. The look he held on his face was unidentifiable, a mix between stern and bitter. I reached for the portrait, uncovering my shivering arm, and faced it down. Quickly drawing my hand back, I had an odd feeling that maybe a shadow lurking in the darkness may snatch it, never to let go. 

    I tossed and turned trying to fall asleep and forget about my surroundings. When I found all of my attempts in vain, I turned back into he position I was in earlier.
Something was different, something changed. The feeling was undeniable, I knew what I felt. 
At first I didn't notice but after a few moments I realized what was off. 
The portrait of my great-grandfather was standing upright again. I quickly reached for the rusty oil lamp with quivering arms and lit it. The whole room lit up, the shadows danced along to the rhythm of the small leaping flame. At first it looked like the flame itself was attempting to escape this place. 

    The shadows morphed into different shapes and sizes, my eyes were tricking me. Every shadow I glanced at quickly morphed into some ghastly creature of my imagination. They danced on the poorly installed scarlet wallpaper. I swore that some of the shadows eyes lit up with the same red as the walls. I looked back at the portrait, now I could discern a slight smirk on his heavily aged face.
Panic rose inside my chest, my heart was pounding at an insane rate. I couldn't do anything, I couldn't run, hide, or even blink. I had lost complete control of my body. Limp, I stared at the shadows parading around my room. Maybe they bore evil grin that rose past their noses, or teeth that shone out complementing their horrible red eyes. 
My breath was moving so fast that my chest was almost vibrating. My whole body tensed, I struggled against the invisible ropes of fear holding me down. Sweat started to trickle down my fore head, adding to the blood dripping down my chin. Whether the sweat was only from the struggling or the fear, I would never know. Maybe it was from both. 

Slowly I gained control of my frozen body, but my eyes never left the same spot. While all the other shadows danced around, mimicking the flames frantic movements, one never moved. It stayed in the same place the whole time. It never flickered or showed any sign that it was just another shadow. The eyes glowed a deeper red than the walls, and it's grin was large. 
Hiya everyone! I originally started writing this around Halloween, and I planned to publish it on that day. Unfortunately I never finished it and kinda forgot about it. So, I decided to finish it even though it was winter, haha. I hope you enjoy!

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12 Comments
  • almost flora kane

    hey, i'm so sorry i never got to reviewing this piece. honestly, my life kind of exploded around that time. i'd love to make it up to you if you'd still like this piece reviewed, or another one in particular!


    6 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    I've submitted your review ;)


    6 months ago
  • Nyla

    This was so awesome!!! I love the creepy imagery from start to finish!! I left a review :)


    6 months ago
  • Lata.B

    Ok omg!! The details you have in this and the story is so cool! I'm terrible with title names, sorry!!
    I hope your having a wonderful day <3


    7 months ago
  • Starlitskies

    Woah! This is a great story! For title ideas, I agree with Lizzie R, you could brainstorm with the portrait in mind, because it's one of the major elements of your story.
    Re: Thank you for your sweet comment on my piece! And absolutely! I'll be more than glad to review. Is it this story that you had in mind? Lmk and I'll get to it as soon as I can.


    7 months ago
  • Draco Malfoy

    I love this piece!


    7 months ago
  • Lizzie R

    Re: Thank you so much :))


    7 months ago
  • Lizzie R

    I love this a lot! It's so gripping!! For a name maybe you could do something like Shadow Portrait or The Grin? I don't know, those are just ideas. I enjoyed this story though, good job!!


    7 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    i can definitely review this, it's pretty interesting! it might be a little bit before i can get to it since school is picking up for me, but i will get it to you soon!


    7 months ago
  • Deleted User

    re: oh your welcome! I hope I was marginally helpful!
    haha yes hopefully they wouldn't talk....


    7 months ago
  • Deleted User

    O my goodness this was so good! I honestly find it difficult to write creepy/horrot stories, but boy did you nail it!!! I loved the descriptions as well, they flowed so easily and did not seem forced or "heavy" I guess. Especially "I struggled against the invisible ropes of fear holding me down..." that was so good!!
    I am THE WORST at titles. so I don't have any ideas. Maybe something to do with the shadows or the portrait?


    7 months ago
  • •TheVictoriousOne•

    I unfortunately, can't think of any good story titles. Nonetheless, this story is soooooooo good! The details are all so perfect, I can literally picture it.


    7 months ago