The Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: All Star Story Writers

Chapter 12 (v.1) - AN UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER

Submitted: October 13, 2016

Reads: 166

Comments: 4

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Submitted: October 13, 2016

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At three am, Hugh slowly opened the door, all was deathly quiet and pitch black as he began to make his way along the corridor towards Scott's room, carefully inching his way forward. In the darkness he stumbled into what felt like a chair which toppled over with a thud. His heart nearly jumped out of his chest, causing beads of perspiration to trickle down his face and spine. He stood perfectly still, listening intently to see if the noise had disturbed anyone, but all was quiet.

By now his eyes had adjusted to the darkness, enabling him to see just enough to make out shadowy obstacles to avoid. He picked up the overturned chair and proceeded gingerly along the corridor.

Out of nowhere, strange, luminous shapes suddenly appeared, floating around before him and dazzling his eyes. He blinked hard, trying desperately to clear the images from his sight, but there was no denying what he could now plainly see. Ghostly apparitions flashed eerily around him becoming brighter and brighter, gathering momentum and sending an icy chill through his body, making him shiver uncontrollably.

He stood absolutely terrified, watching the ghostly performance being played out before him. He could hear ghostly whispers, as they swished all around him, their presence almost tangible. He desperately wanted to turn and run for his life, back to the safety of his room, but was so petrified he could not move, and stood rooted to the spot in the grip of paralysing fear.

From somewhere deep inside him a voice told him not to be afraid. He swallowed hard and tried to moisten his parched lips before repeating over and over ‘I am not afraid’. Slowly his racing heart and violent trembling steadied, and as his terror subsided, so the ghostly apparitions began to fade until, once again, he found himself completely alone in the darkness.

A lifetime of self-discipline and determination kicked in, and his resolve to continue took over as he crept slowly along the corridor towards Scott’s room. He was aware of his damp, sweaty hands and stood for a moment before attempting to turn the door handle, rubbing his palms against the fleecy material of his track suit. With grim determination he turned the handle, opening the door just enough to allow his body to slide through, before creeping across the room, as slowly and silently as a cat, waiting for the moment to pounce on its prey.

Scott was sound asleep, a bright ray of moonlight lit up his face through a chink in the curtains. Hugh inched towards his bedside, now so close he could hear his slow rhythmic breathing.

Moonlight glistened on Scott’s short blond hair giving Hugh the perfect opportunity to carry out his task. Hovering over his sleeping form, Hugh took a small pair of scissors from his pocket, ready to snip off a tiny sample, when Scott snorted loudly, turned over sharply in his sleep, missing Hugh’s extended arm by a millimetre.

Hugh instinctively curled into a ball beside the bed, and waited. When the sound of Scott’s slow breathing resumed, he seized the moment, and quickly snipped off a few strands and crept from the room, gently closing the door behind him.

Out in the silent darkness he leaned against the corridor wall, stealing himself for the walk back to his room, inhaling and exhaling deeply to calm his mind and body. I’m almost there.

After straightening up, squaring his shoulders and lifting his chest, he set off, prepared to face and overcome what might lie ahead, but miraculously passed through without further incident.

Back in his room he carefully put the strands of hair inside a small plastic bag then lay down on his bed, but sleep would not come. His ghostly experience had disturbed him greatly.

Did I imagine it?

He could recall everything he had seen and heard in graphic detail, and was certain he hadn’t imagined it. But there was no disputing that a strong coincidence had occurred.

The apparitions had appeared as my fear heightened, but had disappeared the moment my courage and nerve returned.

He dared not share his experience with anyone, as they would wonder why he had been creeping around in the dead of night. However, he was now curious to find out if there had been any similar ghostly sightings in the past, and decided to ask some questions when the time was right.

As dawn broke he took a shower. He was due to attend his first royal engagement with Eemay and needed to calm down from his frantic night, before meeting her at the agreed time. He studied his reflection in the tall mirror. The feeling of immense relief at having successfully completed his mission had softened his features, and as night had turned to day, so the disturbing ghostly experience started to fade from his mind. Despite his sleepless night, he didn’t look any the worse for it, and was excited at the prospect of accompanying Eemay to the Charity Lunch, his first royal engagement with her. Afterwards, he planned to make another visit to Vilelet's Workshop to deliver the DNA sample, and put plans into place.

At the agreed time he set off to meet Eemay, confident that the tides had now turned in his favour.


© Copyright 2020 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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