Knock at the Door

Once upon a time, there was a man called Arthur. Arthur was just a normal man who led a normal life. Until one day... Anyway, sorry am I rushing you? Let’s go back to where it all began...

It was January 2011. Everyone was in their small, grey council houses. They were ordinary people playing with their ordinary Christmas presents. Grey smoke poured out of dusty old chimneys. A couple of the street lamps had been smashed to smithereens, but there was one house that wasn’t like all the rest of them because this house was glazed red. It had a rich yellow door and a winding path. Inside was a neat, thoughtful man, who was sitting in an armchair feeling sorry for himself because he hadn’t had many Christmas presents. In the room were two, large, pine bookshelves. All the books were arranged in alphabetical order. There was also a large Victorian fireplace in which proudly stood a small and sturdy wood burner. It was burning logs like they were paper. He had one tiny shelf on which were three glass bottles covered in beautiful pearly shells. 

There suddenly came a brittle knock at the door. Arthur nervously edged along the freezing hallway with its glistening marble floor. When he finally reached the door, a flash of lightning struck in the distance. Slowly his trembling hand reached the handle. He gave it a brave twist. The hard oak door swung open. Somewhere in the area he heard a bloodcurdling scream. Arthur forced himself to look. What do you think he saw? A hooded man? A wicked witch? Well, to Arthur’s and to my surprise, there was nothing. Arthur ran frantically to the nearest neighbour! Why? Because he knew that something had knocked on his door. The neighbour had heard nothing so Arthur returned to his own house.

When he got back the yellow door was swaying to and fro in the wind. He cautiously crept up the cold hall. He started noticing that things were a tiny bit different in his house. There were muddy footprints on his glistening marble floor. At the end of the hall were a pair of stranger’s pink stilettos. He was feeling petrified. He reached out for the handle that led to his warm sitting room. It opened easily. He stepped in, not knowing if the culprit was still there. He stared at the mess. He gasped. One of his book shelves had toppled over, the books were strewn over the floor. Some pages were even ripped. On the other bookcase all the books had been switched out of alphabetical order. One of his ornamental bottles had fallen over and was smashed. The wood burner door was open, the handle broken off. 

He sat down in his arm chair, closed his eyes, for all his nightmares had come true.

Comments that people have made about this blog post

Comment 1 Comment by Mr Herring on 22 Feb 12 at 9:37pm | Quote this comment
I tell you what Iris, this is brilliant writing! I was absolutely gripped the whole way through! Well done on a fantastic short story - your use of adjectives and adverbs really brings the whole scene to life! Plus, I really want to know what happens next...
Comment 2 Comment by Mr Ryan on 23 Feb 12 at 11:49am | Quote this comment
Wow, Iris! This is a compelling read. You've used some very effective short sentences in the right places to make the reader stop-start and build up that tension and suspense - well done!

For future writing, my growing green comment would be to start exploring some more sentences that add extra details i.e. complex sentences. For example:

You wrote:
"Arthur nervously edged along the freezing hallway with its glistening marble floor."

But you could've written:
"Arthur, who had now suddenly been overcome by a chilling sweat, nervously edged along the freezing hallway with its glistening marble floor."

Can you see the difference? These extra details 'dropped in' like this can help build up the tension in your writing by giving the reader a clearer picture of how the character is feeling. Give it a try...
Comment 3 Comment by Jasmine H on 24 Feb 12 at 8:15am | Quote this comment
Cooooool, good work Iris.

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