Monday, 28 October 2013

Write...Edit...Publish Blogfest—Haunted...The Adventure






Hide And Go Seek


Copyright ©2013 Jenny Brigalow


It was raining. The world outside the window seemed grey. And the world inside the window seemed greyer still. Grace sighed and picked up her book. But she couldn't concentrate. She felt a familiar pool of frustration build in her chest. If she were in a character in the book, she'd be playing hide and seek in a mansion house filled with quirky old furniture  and cracked oil paintings. Instead, she was curled up on her bed in a crumbling old Queenslander. Alone. There was no one to play with. No one to go on great and wonderful adventures with. It wasn't fair.

She tried to escape back into her book. But she couldn't.  She was too cross. Too fed up. Life was so dull. How she longed to find a better world. A world filled with magical creatures. Fauns and unicorns! To say nothing of talking beavers. And while she knew that at twelve she was way too old to believe in fairies she was loath to put them away entirely. I mean, how could there be so many books written about magical stuff, if it didn't exist? It didn't really make sense.

It seemed that this ‘Other world’ was there. She just had to find it. And then it occurred to her that  maybe it was her fault. Perhaps her very doubt was blocking her from finding the way. "I do believe in fairies," she whispered to herself.  The words felt like a kind of charm.

Grace sat up and put her book down. In her mind's eye she pictured the spare bedroom. The Guest Room as her mum called it. It was pretty ordinary room really. The furniture not much better than the rest of the junk spread around the place. But there was one significant factor. The wardrobe. But this was no ordinary wardrobe. It was huge. Too big really. It's bulk hogged about a quarter of the available space.  And ,it was kind of old! It's timber was pretty, almost red. And there was a big mottled mirror on the front.

She stood up, the book falling unnoticed to the floor. Excitement trickled down Grace's spine like melted ice cream.  How could she have been so stupid! It had been here all the time, right under her nose. She raced to the door, skipped through the kitchen and headed up the corridor. The spare room was the last on the left. With her heart fluttering like a trapped bird in her chest, she turned the handle and stepped into the room.

It smelled the same, of damp and lavender polish. Grace looked at herself in the mirror. Was it her imagination or was she a bit different? Kind of smoky? A bit unsubstantial. It must be a sign. With trembling hands, she grasped the small round knob and pulled. The door swung open without so much as a grumble.

Grace hesitated, suddenly unsure. The wardrobe was dark and musty. And it smelled like moth balls. Clothes hung limply from wire hangers. She watched them nervously, half expecting the empty sleeves to reach out and grab her.

But then she pulled herself together. People who had adventures where brave and fearless. Before she could wimp out, Grace grabbed the side of the doorway and pulled herself up. For a moment she perched at the edge. She could hear her own breath hiss in and out of her mouth. "I do believe in fairies," she said. Her voice echoed as if the sound where carrying for a long, long way. She pulled herself upright  and took a small step forward.

When the door slammed shut behind her she let out a small squeal of fright. She turned and pushed on the door. But it wouldn't move.  Her fingers scrabbled frantically to find the knob. But of course, there wasn't one. Not on the inside.

Around  her, the clothes began to stir. As if a wind were blowing. Something soft brushed past her cheek. And then took a hold of her pony tail. Grace froze. She couldn't speak. But in her mind the words ran around like a rat in trap. "I don't believe in fairies." But it was too late. The adventure had begun.
Word count 715
Comments and critique welcome.
Write...Edit...Publish is Denise Covey's brainchild. I'm so happy to be a part of this blog fest. Thanks Denise for this awesome opportunity.

Please click on the image above to get to more stories!

54 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the snippet. It made me think along the same vein as CS Lewis "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe."
    Thanks,
    Gina

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    1. Hi Gina, I guess there are some stories that just stay with you for ever. CS Lewis was one of my childhood favorites. I'm still looking for that wardrobe.

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  2. Ooh, the wind and then the pony tail grabbing...so cool! Great scene.

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    1. Hi Raquel, LOL. I don't have to worry, I've got short hair. You on the other hand ...

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  3. Be careful what you wish for, right?

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    1. Absolutely Roland! Thanks for dropping by.

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  4. Jenny, I was about to say that I, too, (want to) believe in fairies... when I reached the end and, suddenly wasn't that sure anymore... Excellent, scary, thrilling ending for a great story.

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    1. Hi Vesper (lovely name by the way), thanks for that! Must say I still believe in fairies, but will be very cautious when ferreting around in wardrobes in the future. Have a fun blog hop!

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  5. Hi Jenny! Excellent story! I was thinking of a Narnia-type adventure when reading this. I love the way it starts of wistfully, then builds up, then the ending, kapow! Yes, do be careful what you wish for. I love the sensory imagery in the ending.

    Thank you so much for posting for the WEP blogfest. What an honour to have you on board, along with the excellent roll call this month. I hope you didn't find this too scarifying of an experience and that you will join in the fun again.

    Denise

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  6. Hi Denise, I've just had a brush with your Death! Must say I am so enjoying this. Never done a blog hop before, it's such a refreshingly different side to things. I'm gonna do some more. You'll be sick of the sight of me! Not sure if I'll sleep well tonight. Best Halloween ever. Stay safe people.

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  7. Hi Jenny.
    I like the way you set the scene.
    Nice build up of tension from Grace's initial boredom up until the moment that she steps into the wardrobe... oooh... *shivers*
    And there are a hundred little sensory details along the way...

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

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    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for the words. Poor Grace, I'm beginning to feel bad about her unhappy state. Still, you know what they say about curiosity ....

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  8. I agree- it started out dull and mundane and steadily built in tension and suspense. Nice job!

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  9. Oh, I want more! Grace reminded me of myself at the age, reading books and wanting to escape this world to go into a magical world or fairies and unicorns.

    I loved the ending, how fairies aren't as cheery and beautiful as we believe they are, but I wish it hadn't ended. lol

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    1. I guess Chrys, that you I must have been very alike as kids. Trouble is, I haven't quite given away my dreams of discovering something magic. What about you? Lovely to meet you.

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  10. Ooh creepy stuff! I like how she changes her mind at the very end, but it's too late.

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    1. Hi Laura, glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping by and Happy Halloween!

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  11. love this, you absolutely got my attention - blessings and Happy Halloween!

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    1. Thanks Claudia and Happy Halloween to you too!

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  12. Love your line about the melted icecream. This was all very wonderfully creepy. :)

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    1. Hi Raquel. Do you remember how sad you were as a kid if your icecream melted before you could eat it? And what about when you drop it on the ground? Tragic! Thanks for dropping by and Happy Halloween.

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  13. Ohhh! Scary! Wonderfully written Jenny!

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  14. This really evokes The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for me! But then there's also a sinister quality that beckons the child to 'play' in the first place. I hope she's in for the type of adventure in which she is a magical victor!

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    1. Hi Suze, thanks for dropping by. Yes there is definitely a strong influence from TLTWATW here! Some books stay with you for a life time. Have a Happy Halloween.

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  15. That was fun! I especially enjoyed the Narnia and Neverland allusions. The twist at the end is wonderful.

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    1. Hi! Lovely to see you again. Glad you enjoyed it. Who doesn't secretly want to visit Narnia? Have a Happy Halloween.

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    2. Thanks for following, Jenny. I'd be happy to return the favor but don't see a button anywhere. I did add your link to my page. Happy November!

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  16. An astute warning to be careful that you wish for. That was fun Jenny.

    ......dhole

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    1. Hi Donna, you are so so right. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  17. Yay for adventure, but scary all the same. This was a fun piece.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Glad you could stop by Shannon. Must say this piece was fun to write. Happy Halloween!

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  18. Great build up and loved the ending. Thank you for your words on mine.

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    1. Great to meet you. I would love to be a poet like you. Glad you enjoyed the story.

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  19. A wonderful set up! I would love to read more and find out if the world of her dreams is really as wonderful as she wants it to be!

    Well done,
    Jen

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  20. A Witch in the Wardrobe (Narnia) extravaganza in the offing, perchance, or strangled by her own hair tangled in a hanger? ;)

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    1. LOL. Strangled by a witch by her own pony tail perchance? Great to meet you!

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  21. Poor Grace. By the sound of it, things might get a little rough. I like Grace's determination to enjoy the unknown, until she gets there, that is.

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    1. Must say I'm beginning to feel bad about Grace. Might have to do something about that!

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  22. A twist on one of my favorite stories. So scary. We don't know if the adventure is for good or bad. Well written.
    Nancy

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    1. Thanks. It's been a great hop hasn't it?

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  23. Fun piece, I like the open ending. Is it in her imagination, or is there something magical - or sinister - afoot? I love stories with strong, young female characters.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write something really different from my usual stuff. Short and sweet.

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  24. Someone looking for adventure, sounds like they've found it, wonder if they'll want it!

    Trick or Treat and Happy Halloween!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Yolanda. It's been a fun Halloween although I've had some creepy dreams after reading all these great spooky stories.

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  25. A twist on the classic magical wardrobe - again be careful what you wish for. Good story.

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    1. Hi Sal, must confess that built- in wardrobes just don't have the same scope for imagination! Great to meet you.

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  26. Saturday November 2nd, 2013

    Dear Jenny,

    Nice to meet you! Welcome to WEP!

    Lovely story. You have proven that there is still a lot to be done with magical furniture and believing in faeries. C.S.Lewis does not have a patent/copyright on old-fashioned wardrobes. You just have to dare to do it differently. And you have succeeded well.

    I would love to read more. This is just the beginning?

    Best wishes,
    Anna
    Anna's WEP-Challenge for October: Haunting

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    1. Hi Anna, it's lovely to meet you too. It's kinda like sitting around an imaginary camp fire isn't it? Glad you enjoyed the snippet. I didn't write this is with any intent to make it longer, but a few people have expressed interest in the fate of Grace, so perhaps I should give it some thought!

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  27. Hi Jenny. Just coming around for a second reading as i try to choose a winner. I hope you will continue the story - perhaps for November's SHARING. I do hope you'll participate again. And thank you again for being such a great commenter! I see you everywhere! D

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    1. Hi Denise, you are always welcome. I've so enjoyed this blog hop. I do plan to participate again. Great experience. The sheer scope of talent out their is just breathtaking. What a wonderful world!

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  28. Perfect story. And I LOVE the cover for The Children Of The Mist. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa. I love the cover too. Not that I can claim any credit for it of course. Just lucky, I guess.

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