Thursday, February 10, 2011

Some actual writing !

So - I tried to to write a drabble today. The first draft came in at around 500 words instead of the required 100. Still - for the first thing I've written for ages, not too bad an effort. It needs redrafting - but here it is, just to prove I did it !


I know what you’re thinking.

I’m not insane.

She’d asked me to scrape off the old wall-paper to help the renovations. It was a old house, and it needed some attention. Insulation. Double-glazing. Keep out the cold – keep the little guy from getting sick.

Sure, I’d said. I like the simple hands-on monotony – kinda zen-like.

It was slow work – taking me well into the late night. It was downstairs though – I didn’t disturb her, or the toddler, with the gentle splash of sponge into bucket or the grind of the scraper in my rubber-gloved hand.

The first thing I noticed were the numbers. Penciled into the drywall, hidden under the layers of garish wall paper. But there’s nothing usual about that. Measurements. Tallies of construction material perhaps. How long to cut the wallpaper. How wide the next piece of dry-wall needs to be. Practical.


But then the other things crept in, revealed piecemeal as the sodden paper sloughed away.

The symbols.

Circles. Triangles. Spidery stars – slanted hexagons – spirals.

Interlocking and eldritch.

But they were only shapes, right ? In pencil. I mean – that’s normal. Right ?

Perhaps a child. All those years ago – when the house was new. A son or daughter. Whiling away the long stretches of tedium, while dad is busy papering. And dad doesn’t mind – it’s all going to be hidden soon anyway. Hidden away. Under the paper.

That’s normal.

So I didn’t pay it any particular mind.

I carried on. Heaven help me, I carried on. Spash and scape.



By the time I noticed that the symbols had given way to language, to words, spiked with harsh consonants and coughing vowels, I guess it was too late.

I had read them. And then I couldn’t stop reading them.

And then I was saying them. Echoing the words with lips and tongue, the words rolling in my mind like a broken body down a cliff face – all snap and hiss and whispered, mangled scream.

And though I tried, heaven help me – I tried, I couldn’t stop saying them.
And when I finally did stop, stopped those terrible words – that abominable alien litany, and opened my stinging eyes – I could see them.

The things behind the walls.

Not the walls of the house, you understand. The walls of this world. This universe. This dimension. This reality.

All hooks, claws. Faceted eyes. Snapping maws. Sniewy quivering limbs and tongues.


Scraping against the walls. Trying to get in.

And in those last patches of uncleared wall, hidden only beneath a few breaths of glue and paper – traced in unearthly curving lines of pencil – I knew there was a door.

Did I start the fire ? You already know.

It had to be done.

I wasn’t thinking straight. I was so desperate, so out of my mind with terror. It wasn’t till the house was well ablaze that I remembered.

I tried to go in.

Look at me. Can’t you see the skin crafts I’ve suffered through ? I tried.

I’m sorry. I wish I’d gotten them out first. I wasn’t thinking straight.

I’m so sorry.

I know I deserve to be in here for that. I have to pay. There’s no need for the padding on the walls though.

I’m not insane.

And it doesn’t hide them. Heaven help me – I wish it did. I can still see them. Pressed against the walls.

Writhing. Undulating. Scraping against the barrier between us and them.

Trying to get in.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Nice. Next time you write something like this you should submit it to then before putting it on your blog. They pay cold hard paypal $US for fiction of this calibre :-)