Fiction Friday #150 – The Creeper

With the dawn of a new Friday, I have yet another Fiction Friday submission for the Write Anything blog. Like any other submission, this piece is unedited and is based off of the given prompt. The prompt for this week was “A child walks in to a resident haunted house and is transported to another time.”

When I first laid eyes on this prompt I thought it was kind of cool and had a basic idea of where I wanted the story to go. When I sat down to write it, however, I struggled. I quickly discovered that what I wanted to write would require far more writing than I was able to do in one sitting.

With the story taking shape, I was not pleased with it. In fact, I’m still not pleased with it and considered scrapping it completely and starting over. Instead, I trudged on through and continued to type.

I think I could tun this piece into something I would be happy with but I would need to transform the current 800 word story into something along the lines of 10,000 words. I think there is much that needs to be explained before I could end the story and it would require an increased storyline to create the full effect.


The Creeper

“Shhhh!” Molly hissed at her younger brother Tom. “Unless you want mom and dad to kill us, we have to get into old man Mullens house and find Bella and get back home before they notice she is missing.” Molly said commandingly to her brother. Both Molly and her eight year old brother Tom begged and pleaded with their parents for hours to bring home Bella from the pet shop in the mall. “The deal is simple, you both take care of this young pup or else” their father said sternly while wagging his index finger at them.

Things were going very well in the week they brought the new pup home. But just like any shiny new tool, the newness was wearing off and the curious animal was taking on to wandering. Tonight was especially bad, since Tom came in from playing in the yard and neglected to latch the door securely behind him. While he was in the kitchen gathering a snack, the pup must have wiggled the door open and went to investigate the neighborhood.

“Molly, we’ve looked everywhere. Are you sure Bella went into old man Mullens house?” tom asked in a shy whisper as Molly stared down at him with her dark eyes and annoyed features. “He has to have gone inside the old house. Look there, the window into the basement is pushed open” Molly said as she pointed out the dark portal into the house.

All of the neighborhood children claimed that old man Mullens house was haunted. The grown ups said that the widower Mullen died of old age, but the children knew it was The Creeper that got him. As he got older, he could no longer fight off the ghoul and one late night during summer vacation it claimed him.

“You left the door open, so you have to crawl down into the basement and see if Bella is down there”. The sudden sound of Molly’s voice startled Tom after a long and uncomfortable silence lapsed. Tom tried to keep his voice down but the words came out as a dull shriek. “NO! You’re bigger, you have a better chance if the Creeper is down there”. Molly just shook her head in protest, point her finger towards the open window and stamped her foot before Tom sulked off to what he surely felt was his impending doom.

With Molly standing just over his should urging him on, Tom climbed down through the broken window and hopped down onto the dusty earthen floor below. “If I scream, get help, and do it fast!” Tom whispered up through the window as Molly crouched down peering at him. “Just hurry up, there is nothing to be afraid of. The faster you find Bella down there, there faster we can get back home”. Molly was always the cool and collective one, perhaps it was the extra six years of ago.

“Bella, come here girl” Tom whispered towards the faint scratching sound at the far end of the basement. With the house laid dormant for almost a year, a thick coat of dust covered the windows high above and blocked out much of the fading sunlight. The room was much cooler than it was outside and the air reeked of dampness and pest feces.

With Tom’s call gone unanswered, the fearfully moved forward towards the faint scratching sound beyond. Again Tom called out in a hushed voice “Bella, come here girl. Its time to go home”. Still no answer. Tom moved forward, reluctantly dragging his feet against the damp earthen floor with every step.

When he reached the sound of the scraping, Tom was gaining confidence. “It’s okay girl, lets go home” he whispered as he bent and reached for the small form in the blackness. As he grasped the short furry body, it began to squirm and squeek violently. When he felt the smooth tail brush up against his bare wrist, his blood ran cold. “The Creeper!” Tom screamed as he dropped the large rat and broke into a run through the darkness.

With tears of terror in his eyes, Tom found himself lost in a maze of darkness. Limbs trembling and mind racing, his only thought was to get back to the window so that Molly could drag him out. A glint of light peeked through the darkness and Tom bolted for it. He dashed through the darkness, knocking over an old floor standing shelving unit. As the items crashed across the floor, more things began to scurry about in the darkness.

In a fit or terror, Tom bounded across the floor and stumbled through the litter freshly scattered amongst the floor. “Molly, help me please!” Tom called out before tripping and falling towards the glimmer of light. In an instant there was a flash and Tom found himself lying face down on the dirt. The moon shone bright above and all was quiet.

Tom sat up in the darkness, astonished and confused in an open field. Tears welled up in his eyes before curing up into a ball and sobbing. “Where am I? What am I going to do?” Tom whispered through the steady stream of tears running down his dusty cheeks.

Please visit the comment section, located at the head of this post, and leave me some feedback. I would greatly appreciate it!

Edit:
I have added a second piece of the story to help answer some of the questions left in the comments section. That piece is entitled The Creeper – Chapter 2

9 comments On Fiction Friday #150 – The Creeper

  • Hey Walt,

    this is a good set up. It has a genuine creepiness (pun intended) that makes for an unsettling atmosphere and the characters are believable. The pacing seems good, too. There is certainly a larger narrative here that might be worth revisiting.
    Like you, I struggled with this prompt, but found a way through it.

    • Adam,
      When I gave the prompt a little thought, I was kind of excited to get typing. I had a beginning (which is what I have posted) but the ending is what I was most excited about. When I began to tell the story I quickly realized that getting from the beginning to the end I envisioned would take far more storytelling than I planned for.

      The more plain it became that the end was out of reach, the more I began to try and chop down the story into a more manageable piece. I think that is the reason I wound up with so much narrative.

      If nothing else, this gives me a solid base to build the remainder of story.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Cool story Walt. I also think the narrative could be reduced to focus more on the strict storyline, but if you had more words you could use, it would be neat to see where this was going to go!

    Mike

    • Mike,
      Thanks for the comment. I think I’m going to build on this some more and see where it goes with some more dialog and a reduction in the narrative.

  • Spooky. I really liked the theme and the title. The basement scene was very descriptive and visual, building up the suspense. It was my favorite part. You left me wondering several things: Where did Tom end up and was that rat really the Creeper or the overactive imagination of a child?

    • Terry,
      In my mind, The Creeper was a tall tale created by children. When Tom encountered the rat, his mind went racing and he panicked, making the idea of the monster in the creepy old house a reality.

      I needed something to send Tom racing through the basement in a fit of sheer terror. I thought a rat would be a nice touch and bring some realism to the story.

      Where Tom ended up was what really had me excited about the story. The way I planned it was that Tom would stumble into some sort of rift and drop him into a strange place and time. The story is still a long way off from where I wanted it to go, but all the feedback so far has inspired me to continue on with it.

      I think I may write another unedited Fiction Friday style piece to take on the next chunk of the story and post that for everyone to read. With it, I hope to fill in some of the questions that lead into nothingness.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Great set-up. I know the feeling of it’s your now take care of it or else. And a big sister who makes you do the stuff she didn’t want to or was too scared to do. Nice description of the basement and I felt the hit to the head in the dark. Such a simple sentence, but so true. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

    • I’m glad the Older Sister vs Younger Brother dynamic worked out. I’m the oldest child in my family so I was just winging that part 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  • I’d like to thank everyone for the kind words. To help answer some of the questions listed above, and move one step closer to the ending I had in mind, I wrote up a second chapter to The Creeper.

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