Day 89 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Only describe the setting. Nothing else.
Erin: There wasn’t much to see. The fog had overtaken the entire beach. There were so many water droplets in the air that the water in the lake had disappeared. There was a little of the walkway that peeked out and formed a gradient into gray. Without my eyes getting anywhere my ears started looking for my body of water. The waves crashing music made the fog seem to disappear. The ghost waves projected into the fog, in that I saw beauty.
Shannon: The shop looked flimsy from the outside, as if one poke could topple the whole place over. Every side of the building was trailed with bright green moss intertwined with dark vines. It looked as if the small structure was in the process of being swallowed by the Earth.
The windows had a film of fog, making it impossible to see anything but a yellow glow of light hiding inside. The paint was chipping off the door and the handle had an aged shine that was overpowered by rust.
Inside the first thing you see is the randomly pattered fabric-draped-ceiling. The atmosphere was so alive with color on the inside for its misleading exterior. Each shelf was covered in antiques that begged to be admired for their intricacies, and the lighting was just dull enough to need a closer look.
Start with where we are and continue with that place and end with that place?
The wrought iron fence dripped with gauzy spider webs and played host to several enormous hairy spiders that were big enough to swallow you whole. Beside the intricate gate stood headstones that popped out of the hard earth and bones scattered about on the frost-bitten grass. A lone, bony hand reached out from before a knocked-over memorial that was scratched so badly you couldn’t decipher its meaning. On the other side of the winding driveway was the expansive field that stretched to the forest beyond the house.
Resting on the dry dirt were dozens of ghostly shapes dressed in alabaster fabric, catching the grey sunshine as they fluttered in the light breeze. Around them, pumpkins sat up on haystacks and actors lazed about in partial costumes waiting for the final rollcall. Two vampires basked in the cloudy sunshine as a green-wigged witch and overly hairy werewolf gossiped in high-pitched voices. When the shrieked in joy, the vampires glared daggers at them before returning to the exhausting job at hand; waiting around.
Lying along the sides of the pavement were strings of twinkle lights, un-cracked glow sticks and stones that had been submerged in glow-in-the-dark paint. They were there to light the safe path to the castle for trick-or-treaters, as well as to remind the actors where they were allowed to reside while in character; no one liked a haunted house where the characters didn’t know their limits. As the walk wound its way around a tree, a small congregation of battery-operated spiders descended randomly throughout the testing period to ensure the controls were working correctly. Visitors would be terrified by the lifelike gelatinous, fuzzy creatures as they dropped on their heads.
At the front of the house, which had been covered in cobwebs and glow-goo, the modern lanterns had been replaced with flickering flames held in opaque glass jars. On the front step sat a scarecrow that had been partially devoured by mice and the little vermin popped out of the figure’s chest when anyone stepped on the welcome mat. Though the door stood partially ajar, there would always be someone to address any concerns and welcome guests graciously into the old mansion.
To the right stood a podium covered in blood, or perhaps a non-toxic equivalent that wouldn’t stain the antique wood, that was basked in the orange glow of a symphony of battery-operated candles that flickered from above. When the moon had risen and the time was right a host dressed as a zombie or witch would lead the visitors to the right, into the parlour, which doubled as the monster’s game room on this horrific evening.
The far walls were lined with tomes that could have been there for centuries, chairs covered in tattered white cloth were placed around a card table where fingers replaced chips and a full-size pool table was spread under spider-infested chandeliers. Cues were left lying across the table, made of human bones, and the billiard balls held the petrified organs of lost souls. Hanging from the mantle were a few bloody severed heads that glowed in the light from the fireplace. Without appearing too awkward, a werewolf was snoozing in a ball in the corner, though no one was certain if it was just an actor or something else entirely.
In the next room was the dining table, complete with corpse in a cut-your-own-food dinner party; a large assortment of tools was spread out along the table for guests to dismember the corpse with. Each seat held a glass of blood, salad of newt eyes and griffon feathers, and placards for the monster that was to sit in each chair. The entire set of fancy cutlery that matched the home had been put away and replaced with plastic tableware to not harm any monsters with silver allergies.
Back into the foyer, the group would go, and up to the second floor. The carved railings were free of Halloween fun but bats flew overhead, squealing with delight at the fresh blood. Across the hall were rooms that held the vampire son and werewolf daughter; the two of them were playing on their phones in the daughter’s room with full costumes on. The girl’s hair was light auburn and matched the fuzzy that covered every bare body part, which included her midriff as she wanted to go out with her friends. Black slicked-back hair and stark white skin made up most of the boy’s costume. His teeth were likely sitting in his room so he was able to speak properly.
The vampire’s room was covered in candle glow with very little in way of furniture; an exquisite four-poster bed took up the majority of the space, leaving room for a small dresser, dressing table complete with trick mirror and a chair for reading by. All light streaming through the windows was blocked out with heavy curtains that stirred up the dust motes when they moved.
In the daughter’s room, there were piles of dead animals, copious jars proclaiming “hair wax” but were really beans and the like, and sets of weights in a corner. Other than that, the room was pristine with an intricate bedframe and gauzy window-dressings. The two kids ignored the adults rushing through the building, ensuring everything was perfect as they typed away.
The final room on the second floor was a sitting room complete with gorgeous antique piano whose music sounded throughout the entire house. Dim lighting made the skeleton sitting on the bench appear almost real, and the ghostly apparition projected onto a pane of glass seem solid. Though the piano stood silent and still, its hollow tunes would continue to echo through the centuries to come. On the far side of the room, a closet door stood slightly ajar, where an insane murder would rush out of and chase the audience down the back staircase. As soon as he came out, the ghost would disappear and the skeleton would pretend to be a pile of bones.
Down the stairs, cobwebs draped in thick curtains and lights flickered hauntingly. There wasn’t much room to begin with, so getting throngs of people in costume through was going to be an interesting scenario. But once out of the staircase the path opened into the kitchen where a witch was stirring a giant cauldron of sickly green sludge. She was mumbling her lines and checking her cheat-sheet as she stirred, cackling manically. Along the walls were jars of gross things like frog legs and chicken embryos in front of glowing panels that would add to the creep factor. Heads spilled out of a potato sack next to the door with spiders crawling about them.
The tour would end back in the foyer with candy and adult treats galore served in creepy cups and pumpkin bowls. Though the house turned into a Halloween attraction only three nights every year, no patron would be able to forget its horror.
Created to Write:
The double doors open into a dimly lit hallway of cells. There are four along the two concrete walls, with a shorter concrete wall on the far end. The floor is tinted red and brown, dirt cutting into a few cracks, and trails of dry blood streaking to some of the cell doors. The cells are made of iron bars, with a similar door locked with a pad. The lights are flickering in the hallway ceiling. Inside the cells, there are rags of clothes on the ground, red along the lower part of the bars, and more grime collects within them than in the hall.
But what was truly horrifying, is who Heather saw inside the cells.