1. The house, stamped white on slate sky. Behind the windows, all the rooms are filled with water. A drowned man in a dinner suit floats by.
2. The revolver lies on the pillow of an unmade bed. The revolver is not just an object. It is the man with the scar, his fear and impotence.
3. A hand on a door handle, hesitating, unmoving. The shot is a close-up; we can’t see if the door is open or closed.
4. An oblong mirror returns the gaze of an anxious woman. She hates the world. Her eyes are crystals.
5. A room on fire. A laughing man sits on a smouldering sofa.
6. A succession of corridors. We glide along them like ghosts.
7. Outside, there is a dark forest. The story will begin and end there. The beginning will mimic the end. The end has already happened.
8. “I’m sorry. Please leave me alone,” whispers a mouth tight with pain. Blue light reveals a knife in a drawer, a torn photograph.
9. The walls are bleeding. Blood collects at the feet of a naked woman. She’s standing up, eyes open, but she looks dead.
10. The curtains are closed, but this looks like a study. A shaft of light shows us a letter-opener. This is an invitation and a threat.
11. The corridors again. They link up, double back, double cross us, never end. Doors are closed or ajar. Music is playing. No one is there.
12. A bath fills with hot water. We expect to see blood. Someone has written the word MANNEQUIN on the steamed-up mirror.
13. A stone through a window. Flying glass, a cry of surprise or horror or delight. The moon is full. A blade of cloud slices it in two.
Enjoyed this imaginative writing. It would make for an interesting writing challenge amongst suitable friends to see who can disturb and creep the most.
That would be fun! The piece was inspired by the recent tv adaptation of And Then There Were None, which I had expected chocolate-box but turned out to be bleak, mesmerising and impressively empty.
Oh yes – I enjoyed that as well. Perfect with some Christmas drinking.