The classes that I take whilst completing my media and communication degree at university really seem to be testing my creativity. For this particular class I was asked to write the first chapter of a horror novel- honestly I just had so much fun writing it, I just had to share it! Hope you enjoy reading it 🙂
Somerset Park was a town that didn’t live up to its name. The town wasn’t sunny and cheerful like its name implied; instead the irony behind its name was almost humorous with its constant icy temperature and eerie atmosphere. It’s fauna was arranged in such a way that it enveloped the entire town creating an almost marquee like feature which prevented any sunlight from seeping through. To a visitor this might even have seemed beautiful with its almost mystical qualities. The trees were bent and twisted around the town as if they were performing an act in their own Cirque-Du-Solei. But no one new ever visited Somerset Park, no one new ever came in and no one old ever left.
The people of the town could be described as peculiar folk, it almost as if they were plucked out from the 1900s as if they were berries and placed in a basket that is the 21st century. The town only really came alive at night; its residents emerged from their antique homes and wondered about seemingly unaffected by the howling of the wind. The sound of the wind in Somerset Park was worth mentioning, each ferocious gust sounded like a Halloween themed orchestra that never changed its tune. The leaves of the dancers rustled eerily in tune with the orchestra and every once in awhile you could hear what sounded like a cry for help so faint that it was easy to dismiss it as a figment of your imagination. Maybe it was, no one else seemed to be bothered by it.
I cannot wait to get out of this place, Saarah thought to herself as she stood impatiently in the middle of the town square. Sure, she had never actually left Somerset but something inside her knew that she didn’t really belong here. The entire town to her always seemed like a mystery that she could never solve, something wasn’t right about this place, and the older she got the harder it was for her to ignore.
Her family life was quite normal. It wasn’t as if her parents didn’t love her, nevertheless there was always a sinking feeling she had that there was more that meets the eye. Her parents were almost identical looking, strikingly beautiful with pale skin and deep red lips, their eyes so black and shiny that they almost looked red. Saarah’s own appearance was quite similar, although she definitely had more colour on her skin, maybe that was because they never went out in the sun. The thing that struck her most about them though, was that in the last 17 years they had never seemed to age, throughout the 17 years that Saarah had spent growing up, not one wrinkle had crept through their porcelain skin. To be fair though she couldn’t really remember what they looked like when she was a toddler, they weren’t the type of family that took a lot of pictures; in fact there was not one family album in the house. At the entrance of their home, there was a portrait of two people who had a striking resemblance to her caregivers, but surely it wasn’t. The two people in the painting looked as if they had been drawn straight out of a novel in the 1900s, but no one could live that long, could they?
The only saving grace she had growing up in Somerset Park was her brother, Sebastian, not any more though, in the last two years he too had become increasingly distant, he was no longer the carefree teenager he used to be. She still remembered the night that it had all changed; he had come home one stormy night looking pale and frightened, as if he had seen a ghost. Her parents had immediately taken him upstairs to the one room in the entire house that for as long as she could remember, they had always been forbidden to enter and had emerged after an hour or so looking as if nothing had happened, from that day on, everything about Sebastian changed, his usual attire of bright, graphic t shirts were traded in for plain black ones, in fact that was all he wore now, black. It seemed to be the unofficial colour of the town. Since that day, although Sebastian seemed cool and confident most of the time, once in while Saarah still saw the look of terror that remained in his eyes, like a scar that remained on someone after an incalculably traumatising accident.
Focus. Don’t let your mind wander, Saarah scolded herself; she was here for a reason. Earlier that day she had found a note in her locker that she was sure was her induction into the ‘cool kids club’ after years of admiring them from afar, her time had finally come. They had finally noticed her. All the years she had spent doing their homework and trying to make eye contact with them while walking down the school halls had finally paid off, they wanted to be her friend. The note itself was pretty cryptic, a plain white piece of paper with the words ‘Graveyard, midnight’ scrawled on it in perfect calligraphy. Sure, it seemed like an odd place to meet but they were popular for a reason right, they did things that normal people would find odd.
As Saarah made her way through the town square she couldn’t let go of the feeling that she was being watched. Every couple of minutes she felt a presence behind her, one that seemed so close she could almost feel its icy cold breath exhaling on the back of her neck. She turned around for what felt like the millionth time since she had set off from her house, but there was no one there. The only people she could see were a significant distance from her, she caught the eye of Sebastian who was talking to a friend across the street, he looked at her knowingly. Something was not right.
Too late to back out now, you’re here, she thought as she approached the ancient castle like doors that stood as the entrance to the town’s graveyard, she entered cautiously. It was 11.58 two minutes until her life would change forever. She couldn’t help but feel uneasy as she looked around, how could a place seem so full yet so empty at the same time? Each tombstone was neatly arranged in almost soldier like format, each with varying levels of upkeep; some looked like they had been there for centuries and as a result were close to crumbling as no one ever visited since their loved ones had too passed on, and in the other extreme there were new and smooth marble with clear writing as fresh floral tributes laid by the mourners they left behind.
She heard a rustle of trees to her left and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up as straight as a ruler. She turned to face the noise, there was a figure standing there caped all in black from head to toe, all she could see were there eyes as red as blood staring directly at her through the bushes gesturing at her to follow. She knew what she had to do. She followed.
Walking through the graveyard she realised that she was following the figure to the abandoned section, not that she spent that much time hanging out at the town graveyard but in the handful of times she had visited she had never seen anyone around there, the metal fence created a wall and behind it lied an old abandoned tomb that seemed like It had just ripped straight out of a horror movie. As they approached closer and closer she managed to get a better view of her pied piper. She couldn’t tell if the figure was male or female, the gigantic cape it had on did well to hide any clues towards their gender, however as the figure turned once more to make sure she was still following, Saarah managed to catch a glimpse of their face.
It was a face she recognised but at the same time had never seen before, almost creature like, their red eyes pierced through her and immediately she felt uneasy. This better be worth it, Saarah thought to herself. The crippling fear she felt only faded when she reminded herself that this was most probably just these kids way of testing her, seeing if she was brave enough to follow them, confident enough to belong. She was. I am.
After what seemed like hours they finally reached the entrance to the tomb. 11.59, she was right on time. In all the anticipation she had created whilst walking through the graveyard, Saarah hadn’t noticed that the creature like figure that she had followed here had now disappeared as if by magic. The entrance to the tomb was open; the force of the wind pushed her towards the ancient, ghostly looking door, howling while doing so like a pack of wolves howling at the full moon. It was too late to back out now, taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, she stepped into the tomb.
The door slammed shut behind her, there was a reason no one ever went near this tomb, it looked as if had been there for centuries, so old that the bodies that once laid there had decomposed leaving only bones behind. Spiders had made this place their home, cobwebs were apparently their décor of choice, with each unique masterpiece laid around the tomb as if they were paintings in a luxurious house. It was only then that she spotted the man standing in the middle of the tomb eyeing her with an almost childlike interest. The contrast between his white marble skin and deep red eyes was almost majestic, with his dark black shoulder length hair pasted so near to his skin that it looked like it had been painted on. He wore a cape too, but unlike the creature-human she had followed here, the cape he wore was red and flowed 4 feet behind him like a bride in a wedding dress. As he opened his mouth to speak, it dawned on Saarah that she should have listened to her instincts, something wasn’t right about this place, what had she gotten herself into, how fast could she get away from here. She looked down at her watch. Midnight. He spoke.
“Welcome Saarah, We have been expecting you”.