Falling Forward

This is for Starfree's first story contest, so here goes nothing!

If you want to join (which you totally should), here is the link:


Chapter 6

Ominous Shadows, Secret Passages, and Other Cliche Elements of Mysterious Horror Stories

After we got off the bus and walked a whopping FIVE MILES to get home, the mansion is empty. Aunt Patricia's car is not in the driveway, when she should be home from work by now. Needless to say, I am incredibly unnerved because of everything we had been through today.

I freeze at the front door.

"Just go in!" August shoves me forward.

With trembling hands I turn the knob. The door opens with its familiar creaking.

"See?" August says smugly. "Nothing to be afraid of."

But I'm not so sure of that. The house is colder than usual. All of the lights are off. The only thing that makes me shrug it off is that August isn't the least bit frightened. Though I'm not exactly comforted by the fact that after all that just happened, he walked in, kicked off his shoes, and is now halfway done with a new container of cookie dough ice cream.


"What?! Robo-Eli promised us ice cream, and failed to deliver. I'm hungry!"

"Maybe if it wasn't so dark in here, you could tell that I was rolling my eyes."

Speaking of which, the darkness was starting to creep me out a bit. So carefully I head over to the living room, where there is a floor-to-ceiling window about fifteen feet high.

I yank the curtains back and the room is bathed in a silvery glow as storm clouds start to roll in. The silhouettes of the trees are cast onto the floor and they start to sway in the wind.

Um...horror movie, much?

I start to pace around the room, trying to make sense of everything. With little success, I might add.

Back and forth, back and forth. I go around the room until I am dizzy. I stumble over to the couch.

"Ugh. Auguuust," I moan, more to myself than to him. As I sit down, I hurl a pillow at the wall.

Courtesy of my brilliance, the pillow misses the wall entirely and hits the bookshelf, knocking books at improbable angles and otherwise displacing them onto the floor. One even managed to fall into the fireplace, which is a whole foot taller than my head.

Blech, I gag. I suppose this means I have to get up now.

But of course I did. I wouldn't want to make ashes of Aunt Patricia's book next time she lights a fire.

Dragging my feet, I slam each of the angled books back onto the shelf, clicking themselves into place. When I get there, I step inside, my shoes spewing up ash and dust. Sneezing like crazy, I bend over to pick up the book.

And that's when I notice there is a loose brick a few feet off the floor. Casually I shove it back into place, then press my forehead to the left wall of the fireplace and start retching and gagging from all of the particles collecting in my lungs. My eyes are watering so I pinch them closed.

I hear a groaning from inside the wall. It is the sound of stones grinding together.

My eyes snap open just in time to see the wall parting open in front of me and I am falling forward into darkness.

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