On the 4th of October 2021, Loreto Bray held its first Writers Club meeting. Over the last number of weeks students have worked on a variety of pieces from various prompts. Last week they worked on Halloween themed pieces and students wrote plenty of spooktacular
poems and stories. We are very excited to be able to share a few samples of our work with you in our first collection of submissions. We hope you enjoy reading!
As the leaves turn brown
And Samhain is nigh
The moon shines dull
A sinner in the sky
The Jack O Lantern smiles
Like he has seen your soul
Does he know what you’ve done?
Has he heard your cries at night?
The footsteps behind, are like a ghost,
Like a ghoul,
Your shadow follows like a stalker in the night
But it’s only a shadow ,it can’t hurt you
The old house could tell a story,
So could the blood on the walls
Her scream is an echo
A heartbeat in your head
As Samhain is nigh
And the air is foul with fear and terror
As the dead are free to roam the night
And the corpse lies in waiting
A shiver runs down the spine
Have the deeds of the past finally caught up?
Or has the devil come for your soul?
I stare at the bricks crumbling in front.
The cracks mirroring my nerves.
Each piece once formed a home,
Now it’s a series of nothing.
The chills scurry through the holes,
brushing the innocence away.
The dustpan frowns at me.
There’s no time left to play.
No more creaking door I say.
No more hiding under the stairs.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
As my freedom hugs the air.
I was always a curious child. My dad could barely control me as a baby. I crawled around sucking my grubby little fingers where they didn’t belong. I wish I could say I grew out of that habit, but I didn’t. I meddled in everything; trespassing in abandoned buildings, snooping in manila folders in old cabinets, messing with my friends’ relationships. It’s probably why I don’t have any friends anymore, why I didn’t have anyone to go in with me.
I’m sorry, I’m rambling aren’t I. I’ll skip the background, that’s not important. I should tell you about the house, right? Okay, well it looked normal. It had been at the end of my lane, just a bit further away than would be usual, but that’s it. It was the same as my own childhood home; same white paint, same deep red door, same slated roof, same boring yard, same everything. It was normal, so I can’t tell you why we were afraid of it. Everyone in my neighborhood stayed away from it. We even called it the “Old House” although it must have been built at the same time as the rest of the estate. The kids used to play chicken, seeing how close you could get to the house before gettng too scared and running back. My parents always stopped me from playing. They were scared of the house too. I used to be annoyed that they wouldn’t let me play but now,,, I wish I could thank them.
I went back to my childhood home to wake my parents. On the way in, I didn’t even notice the house, my eyes were clouded with tears. They were young. Only fifty five or so. It should not have happened. There wasn’t a body to say goodbye to, they couldn’t find them; all they found was blood. You can imagine how distraught I was.
About halfway through the wake, I needed to step out. I sat on the curb by myself. I didn’t have any more tears to cry. I blankly gazed at the pitch-black sky. I don’t think I was out there for long before I noticed it. There was no one out on the street which made the movement of the fabric all the more obvious. I was so entranced by its gentle flowing in the wind that I didn’t even release what it was for a moment. My mother’s scarf, tied to the rusted gate, flowing gracefully, taunting me with its ethereal movement. The closer I got the more wrong the scarf looked. It was torn at the edge, a jagged cut contrasting the solid pink colour. When I got within a few feet of the gate I saw the spatter of blood dotted across the fabric. At this, I froze. Standing there I wondered, is this where they died, so close to where I grew up? Was this put here to lure me closer? Was this some sick attempt at a joke? Should I call the police? I did turn back then. I put my back to the house, and I swear I was going to go back to the wake. I wasn’t going to go into the house, but I saw the sign for demolition. That the house my parents could be in was going to be destroyed at six a.m. that morning and I couldn’t leave. I jumped over the gate that had rusted shut, grabbed my mother’s scarf, and went in.
The door wasn’t locked, it squeaked open with barely any force needed. While the outside of the house looked normal and well kept, the inside was anything but. The hallway had been overtaken by a sickly green moss that seemed to dig into every surface it touched, causing craters and dents in the floors and walls.
Insects roamed the hall, making it look as though the walls themselves were moving in an attempt to swallow me deeper. There were holes in the ceiling, but they let in no light, instead they shone a darkness that seemed to spread further into the hall, drenching it in an eerie shade of black. I walked into the hallway, trying to avoid the putrid moss, afraid it would clutch me in its hold if it managed to touch me. The front door closed behind me, but I didn’t care. I was too focused on the doors leading to each room or more accurately the lack of doors. Every single door had been torn off its hinges. Most doorways were covered in violent scratches, huge gashes left in the wall that had been filled with that moss. The actual doors were left in no better shape. They lay on what was left of the floor in the rooms, equally torn and scratched to the point that most people wouldn’t see them as more than rotten pieces of wood.
Each room that I saw was somehow worse than the last. The sitting room had been covered in deep red fungi that breathed in unison, sucking in the stale air of the house, and spitting out their infectious spores. The kitchen was a mess of jagged pieces of metal sinks and stone countertops. It looked as if the entire room had been sucked into its centre before being thrown out again in a fit of rage, creating a dangerous weapon out of what should be the heart of a home. The bathroom was flooded, the remaining half of the door pressed against the entrance in order to act as a dam. The water was dark and murky like looking into a bog. I thought that if I was to fall in, I may be dragged into its depths forever. I didn’t try to go up the stairs. The darkness of the upper floor followed me throughout the house and I did not want to find out what it wanted.
I missed the door under the stairs the first time I walked past it to the kitchen. Or maybe it wasn’t there the first time. It was a dark grey door that probably started a white colour, although there was no way of knowing. The moss surrounded the door, but didn’t touch it, staying at least an inch away from even the rusted hinges. The door handle seemed to be the only thing in the house that wasn’t rottng or decaying. It shined a gold that seemed out of place compared to its surroundings, an oasis of light in a desert of dilapidation. I wasn’t going to touch it with my bare hands after the filth of the rest of the house. I wrapped my mother’s scarf around my hand and clasped the doorknob. It was cold to the touch. The cold spread through my entire body as I pulled the door open. It scraped against the floorboards, creating a harsh screeching that only made me more afraid. The door revealed another staircase. It stretched before me leading deeper into the house. The basement was dark but not the suffocating darkness of the upstairs level. The stairs were worn and old, but not falling apart like the rest of the house. It seemed safer than the ground floor. So I crept down those stairs into the belly of the house.
I found concrete walls and bin bags. The bags lined the walls, perched against every available space other than the end of the stairs. They were bulging, every one of them seemed to be bursting at the seams. A single door stood at the opposite end of the room. It was as deep a red as the front door, but the lack of light gave it a darker appearance. I walked towards it, but my foot caught on one of the stray bags. It shifted with me as I fell, accompanying my own thud with a cacophonous sound. It sounded like the glass, clanking together and shattering under its own weight. I wish I could say I didn’t open the bag, but I was curious. I tore through the thin layer of plastic too quickly, I was unable to stop what flowed out, teeth. Human teeth. Thousands of them poured out of the bag onto my legs and the floor below. They were an array of colours, from rotten brown and pale yellow to unnatural shining white. I tried to move, to stand and run, to get away from the mass of teeth; but they tripped me up and forced me back down to be among them. I scuttled back until I hit something solid. I sat there for what felt like hours. Staring at both the teeth and the sea of other black bin bags that surrounded them.
Eventually, I tried to stand once more. My back grazed against something behind me. I turned to see that blood red door. I should have been afraid but I wasn’t. I felt entranced by the door. By the thin layer of paint that covered the intricate carvings I hadn’t noticed from the stairs. By the handle made of a metal that I didn’t recognise. By the strange warmth of that handle when I reached up and turned it.
I don’t remember anything after that, I swear. I don’t remember the room beyond the door. I don’t remember the man you say I talked to. I don’t remember how I got that knife. I don’t remember anything. You have to believe me. I swear I’m not a killer. I was just curious