New Short Story Series
Recently, when I was supposed to be writing a paper, I wrote a short story instead (oops). As a whole, it is untitled as of yet, but each part will have its own title/chapter name. There was no planning involved, and every subsequent part will be the same; impulsive, mildly creepy, and maybe a little supernatural. Since it’s spontaneous and there’s no planning involved, it will continue on until I think it’s come to an obvious conclusion. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! You can expect part two Thursday of next week.
Part One: The Shop
It’s a humid summer morning, and you decide to go for a walk to get some fresh air. You walk down your favorite street, lined with coffee shops and small, home run businesses. Sunlight glitters through the leaves of nearby trees, and you are content.
You walk on, passing families and couples enjoying the weather. Somewhere, a dog barks in the distance, and a train whistle echoes from a nearby tunnel. Soon, you come to a shop you’ve never seen before: “Barbarus’ Antique Shop.”
You walk in, and are instantly engulphed in mahogany china cabinets, vintage coke bottles, glittering chandeliers. You move through the rooms, picking up this and that, soon passing close to a steep staircase, dimly lit by a single lightbulb.
You descend, brushing cobwebs out of your way as you go. You pause at the bottom; to your left, rusted lawn ornaments display their ghastly grins to you. To your right, tin signs line a hallway leading into further darkness. You opt for the hallway; the lawn ornaments make you uncomfortable.
Down the hall, past the signs, you emerge into a low-ceilinged room. Nothing is here, save a scuffed writing desk with a “please do not sit” sign hanging from frayed rope from the back of the chair, and a bookshelf lined with musty volumes, many of the titled spines faded from age and use.
You walk to the bookshelf, run your fingers over the worn cloth spines. You stop on one with the title intact, barely a trace of wear: “Oddities and Curiosities,” engraved in gold. You seem to forget your manners, pull out the chair from the writing desk, sit down.
You flip through the book and are confronted with images that make you slightly uneasy: bearded children, a man swallowing a snake, a strange lion-bear hybrid. Further on, conjoined twins, eyeballs in a strange liquid, a woman with a crystal ball where her heart should be.
You hear a sound from behind you, something like windchimes if they were underwater. You look, squinting into the darkness, but no one is there. You keep reading, footsteps approach – you turn, see nothing, go back to your book. The next page, a three-story building, painted in deep midnight blue, ebony sheets covering the windows.
You’re growing tired. More footsteps, more chimes. Why are you so tired? Something smells sweet, then darkness.
You wake up in the grass of a nearby park, groggy, as though you had drunk Nyquil. Mothers steer their children away from you, wary of this strange person sleeping in the park at 2 pm. Is it 2 pm? You don’t actually know.
You go to pull your phone from your pocket to check the time, and it’s gone, but your wallet is there. You open it, and all that’s missing is the photo of your children. Panic seeps into the cracks of your mind. You shoot up, and run towards the antique shop.