Due to both being in a slight rush and miserably failing at writing the article I’d planned for today, I thought that – instead- I’d share a vaguely Lovecraftian experimental horror story that I wrote last August.
This was part of a short-lived project where I’d planned to write a collection of descriptive stories using a second-person perspective. You can read another story from this failed project here. Anyway, enjoy 🙂
The Tower Of Lost Souls
By C. A. Brown
As the wind kicks up a shower of golden leaves and the fog clears slightly, you stumble forward into what feels like a ice-cold gnarled stone wall. Pushing back from it, you get to your feet and look upwards.
A vast, unsteady tower stretches up into the deep grey clouds above you. For a second, it almost reminds you of part of an old castle that you saw in a magazine once. But, you think, castles aren’t supposed to be that tall.
Trying to get your bearings, you look around but you can see nothing but pitted grey stone walls and the dense fog you encountered over an hour ago. It’s almost as if you and the tower are trapped in a bubble of some kind or another, walled in by the dense cloud-like fog.
You walk slowly along the wall, looking for a door of any kind, but there isn’t one. In fact, as you look closer at the stones, you realise that they aren’t even individual bricks. The whole tower is made from nothing but one giant lump of stone with an intricate series of grooves and pits carved into the side of it. Worst of all, you realise as you look up at the tower once again, there are no windows whatsoever.
What you initially thought were medieval arrow-slits are, even in the dim half-light, obviously nothing more than deep grooves in the side of the tower. Slowly, you start to wonder why anyone would have gone to all of this trouble.
Was a mad sculptor abandoned here many centuries ago? Did a huddled band of peasants have to fool a fearsome army into thinking that they were in control of a giant city? The answer, you suspect, is lost somewhere in the mist.
Feeling a chill run down your spine, you decide to circle the tower and see if there’s anything more on the other side. With every step, you can feel the dead leaves beneath your feet crunching loudly and hear the wind wailing mournfully in the distance. The fog remains beside you, like another equally strange and opaque wall.
As you take another step, you head a loud crack beneath your right foot. Flinching back, you drop to the ground and brush the leaves away, fearful that you have trodden on the bones of another unfortunate traveller. But, as you brush more leaves away, you see nothing there. Not even a single, solitary twig on the bare brown earth below you. Shivering, you get to your feet, take a deep breath and keep walking.
After what feels like five minutes, you stop. By now, you must have reached the other side of the tower – right? But, as you look upon the stone wall beside you, you realise that there aren’t any points of reference. The wall just looks the same as the one you first saw when you emerged from the fog. For all you know, you could have circled the tower and be back exactly where you started.
Hearing the wind howl again, your mind latches onto a plan. Reaching down, you take the shoe off of your left foot and lean it against the tower. Like a breadcrumb in a labyrinth, you hope that it will give you some impression of where you have been.
Despite the brittle carpet of leaves, the ground still feels cold against your bare foot as you keep walking, only stopping to catch your breath and look at the walls of stone and fog around you, constantly checking for your shoe. It is nowhere to be seen. So, you keep walking.
Finally, after what seems like twenty minutes, you spot something amongst the leaves in front of you. It looks familiar. Leaning down, you pick it up and realise that it is your shoe. How did it get from the wall to over here? Did someone move it? Is there anyone there?
Sighing, you raise your leg and slide your foot back into your shoe. Only to stop suddenly. There’s something in there. Almost dropping your shoe, you recoil in horror and sit down on the crunchy leaves. For what feels like ten minutes, you just stare at your shoe until you finally take a deep breath and reach for it.
Holding it at arms’ length, you shake it slightly and what looks like a small marble falls to the bottom to it. Reaching in, you grab it. It feels cold against the inside of your fist. Slowly, you open your fingers and take another look and, to your horror, you realise that it isn’t a marble….
Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll write a proper article (or a review) for tomorrow.