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A Dark Tale: What I Did Not Dare

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Old 08-28-2015, 05:44 AM
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Default A Dark Tale: What I Did Not Dare


A short story I wrote for my website a few months ago.

What I Did Not Dare

Written by Benjamin Andrew

The raging thunderstorm has released its pounding rain upon the roof of my Inn for countless hours. I am uncertain of how long I have waited here in my room, peering out through the old, wavy-glass window. While the gusts of wind wail over the foothills, I begin to remember that it was on a menacing night such as this that I did what I did not dare. However, this act was a specific kind of amusement. It was something most fellows would call odd. Perhaps that is an understatement; morbid is more fitting.

Few hardly ever travel through this baleful valley, because of the odious occurrences that endure. I long to be fortunate enough to even have a single visitor. Now, as lightning brightens the Inn’s grounds for a brief moment, I see somebody hurrying to the front porch. Might this be a weary traveler? My heart nearly leaps out of my ribcage, while I become filled with immense joy! This is going to be quite a thrilling evening – I must welcome the guest!

Silently descending the stairway to greet my new visitor, I begin to approach him with a grin. His eyeballs bulge out from his sockets while he gapes towards me. I tell him to make himself comfortable while I prepare his room, but he begins slyly reaching for the door. No! This won’t do! I hurriedly pull him away and lock it. “Now, now. You mustn’t be journeying through this dark and strengthening tempest. I must insist that you stay here until dawn.”

How could this guest try to leave on such short notice? Why, this night has only begun! Nervously eyeing me, he nods in agreement. I do not trust him, so I say, “Forgive me – I can be rather forgetful sometimes. The preparations for your room have already been taken care of. If you will, please follow me.” I can sense he is still apprehensive, so while I lead the way, I glance over my shoulder every so often, so that I can assure myself that he won’t try to leave me again.

Finally, upon reaching his room, I hold out his key in the palm of my cold, shriveled hand. Quickly snatching it from me he steps into his room and slams the door shut. I hear it lock. Why is he so fearful of me? Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t matter, for I know I will see him again tonight. Nevertheless, I have to remain patient. Skulking down the hallway and into my room, I too, shut my door and lock it.

Extinguishing all of the flickering flames from their wicks, I smile, knowing the dastardly deeds I am about to undertake. Noiselessly tiptoeing over to my closet, I take a lengthy rope off of the shelf and hold it tightly in one of my withered hands. Now prowling over to the wall, I push it open, entering my passageway of which I have not crept through in years.

Closing the piece of the wall back in place, I step onward. The excitement is looming; it feels as if it has been centuries. The cobwebs drape over the timbering, lightly brushing over the top of my head. The time is drawing near and I can only hope that I do not disrupt the guest from his sleep. Pushing open the secretive wall, I enter, feeling utter delight! Watching as he lies restfully in bed, I lurk over to the bedside.

Right before I carry on the wondrous acts I am about to commit, I pause for a moment; maybe I should wait until he awakens and then, I’ll surprise him! Knowing that it could be hours before he awakens, I decide to lounge around in a chair. In anticipation, I stare upon him, becoming anxious. He turns on his side, now facing me and all at once, his eyelids open! In a frightened manner, he sits upwards, probably wondering if I’m in the room with him.

A sudden flash of lightning reveals my presence. I can’t help but leer at him while he becomes mummified in absolute horror. “Shhhhhh. Hush.” I say to him. “There’s no need to worry – the merriment has already begun!” He predictably dashes out from his bed and bolts towards his door. “Panicking has never done well to anyone, now has it?” I tell him. Scurrying over, I shove him down, and rapidly tie him up with the rope.

The guest’s screams were blaring and quite frankly, bothersome. I decided I had to do away with that racket, so I stuffed an old piece of cloth in his mouth. His shrieks were muffled as I dragged him away, into my concealed tunnels within the walls. What I did to him in the darkness was indeed, what I did not dare.

http://spookinite.com/More_Spookines..._Not_Dare.html


Last edited by Benjamin Andrew; 09-15-2015 at 04:07 AM..
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Benjamin Andrew View Post
The raging thunderstorm has released its pounding rain upon the roof of my Inn for countless hours. I am uncertain of how long I have waited here in my room, peering out through the old, wavy-glass window. While the gusts of wind wail over the foothills, I begin to remember that it was on a menacing night such as this that I did what I did not dare. However, this act was a specific kind of amusement. It was something most fellows would call odd. Perhaps that is an understatement; morbid is more fitting.
Nothing here particularly sticks out. Feels like my eyes are just moving over the words, but getting little to nothing out of them. Might be a severe lack of sleep on my part, however.

Few hardly ever travel through this baleful valley, because of the odious occurrences that endure. I long to be fortunate enough to even have a single visitor. Now, as lightning brightens the Inn’s grounds for a brief moment, I see somebody hurrying to the front porch. Might this be a weary traveler? My heart nearly leaps out of my ribcage, while I become filled with immense joy! This is going to be quite a thrilling evening – I must welcome the guest!
"Odious" seems a bit pretentious and unfitting of the tone, though that may just be from my own experiences with the word. I'd replace "Hurrying" with something more dramatic, but nothing of any use comes to mind. I'd also replace "brightens" with "illuminates".

Silently descending the stairway to greet my new visitor, I begin to approach him with a grin. His eyeballs bulge out from his sockets while he gapes towards me. I tell him to make himself comfortable while I prepare his room, but he begins slyly reaching for the door. No! This won’t do! I hurriedly pull him away and lock it. “Now, now. You mustn’t be journeying through this dark and strengthening tempest. I insist that you stay here until dawn.”
"His eyeballs bulge out from his sockets while he gapes towards me." seems a bit much. After this, would he really reach for the door slyly? Sly seems like a descriptor of someone in control, with a clear plan. I'd put "I must insist" rather than "I insist" - can't really put a finger on why.

How could this guest try to leave on such short notice? Why, this night has only begun! Nervously eyeing me, he nods in agreement. I do not trust him, so I say, “Forgive me – I can be rather forgetful sometimes. The preparations for your room have already been taken care of. If you will, please follow me.” I can sense he is still apprehensive, so while I lead the way, I glance over my shoulder every so often, so that I can assure myself that he won’t try to leave me again.
I'd go with "the night" rather than "this night".

Finally, upon reaching his room, I hold out his key in the palm of my cold, shriveled hand. Quickly snatching it from me he steps into his room and slams the door shut. I hear it lock. Why is he so fearful of me? Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t matter, for I know I will see him again tonight. Nevertheless, I have to remain patient. Skulking down the hallway and into my room, I, as well, shut my door and lock it.
Not sure if someone would willingly describe their hand as "cold" and "shriveled". If this is true to character, keep it. If not, consider a fix. Rest seems fine.

Extinguishing all of the flickering flames from their wicks, I smile, knowing the dastardly deeds I am about to undertake. Noiselessly tiptoeing over to my closet, I take a lengthy rope off of the shelf and hold it tightly in one of my mangled hands. Now prowling over to the wall, I push it open, entering my passageway of which I have not crept through in years.
My professor would tell me here, "Don't tell them that he hasn't crept through them in years, show them!" It works, but could be improved upon with a bit of creativity. Here the hands are described as mangled, whilst earlier they were merely described as cold and shriveled.

Closing the piece of the wall back in place, I step onward. The excitement is looming; it feels as if it has been centuries. The cobwebs drape over the timbering, lightly brushing over the top of my head. The time is drawing near and I can only hope that I do not disrupt the guest from his sleep. Pushing open the secretive wall, I enter, feeling utter delight! Watching as he lies restfully in bed, I lurk over to the bedside.
Good. Only thing I could find that's even slightly iffy is another mention of him stepping/moving, but there is no real need to change it.

Right before I carry on the wondrous acts I am about to commit, I pause for a moment; maybe I should wait until he awakens and then, I’ll surprise him! Knowing that it could be hours before he awakens, I decide to lounge around in a chair. Anticipatingly, I stare upon him, becoming anxious. He turns on his side, now facing me and all at once, his eyelids open! In a frightened manner, he sits upwards, probably wondering if I’m in the room with him.
I wouldn't use "wondrous" - personally, I'd re-phrase the entire clause to put something that sounds better. Also, "In anticipation" would be better than "Anticipatingly", I think.

"In a frightened manner, he sits upwards, probably wondering if I’m in the room with him." I'd think that his reaction would be a bit more frightened than that. "bolted upward" or something like that would help, but you use it to good effect in the next paragraph. /shrug

A sudden flash of lightning reveals my presence. I can’t help but leer at him while he becomes mummified in absolute horror. “Shhhhhh. Hush.” I say to him. “There’s no need to worry – the merriment has already begun!” He predictably dashes out from his bed and bolts towards his door. “Panicking has never done well to anyone, now has it?” I tell him. Scurrying over, I shove him down, and rapidly tie him up with the rope.
"Ask" rather than tell, or something else if you think it fits. Being that he doesn't expect an answer, I'd put something more along the lines of "I said" (but something more exciting, of course). Also, how did he tie him up so easily?

The guest’s screams were blaring and quite frankly, bothersome. I decided I had to do away with that racket, so I stuffed an old piece of cloth in his mouth. His shrieks were muffled as I dragged him away, into my concealed tunnels within the walls. What I did to him in the darkness was indeed, what I did not dare.
Didn't like the use and italics of "bothersome". Doesn't have the appropriate weight to live up to the set up that you give it.


Overall, not bad. Certainly not your best, but still enjoyable.

If you have any questions/problems about what I've said here, please do let me know.
http://spookinite.com/More_Spookines..._Not_Dare.html[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:50 PM
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Hi Benamin.

This begins with a question. What didn't he do? Then he does to the guest what he didn't do in the past but the question is never answered. So, what did he do? Is there more coming that answers the question?

I like the style, although some of it seems a little formal in the choice of words. "gapes" bothered a little until I thought of "gazes."

I guess you've written a cliff hanger and I'm a willing reader who wants to find out.

Have a nice writing day.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:30 PM
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Damn! This started so well for me. You seemed to channel some of the old masters with your style: Lovecraft, Capote, Russell. Yes there was some pretentiousness, but, for me that made the atmosphere.

Until the traveler arrived, I was engrossed by your tale.

Then something went a little awry. Your style and mood changed and you began rush the story through. You lost that grandiose voice you had began so well with and replaced it with a mundane sequence of events. Such a shame!

And I feel ripped off at the end. There is no denouement - just 'fade to black'.

If you could capture the style and flow of your starting few paras, this could be immense. Either way, there is a great well of talent there Ben. Just be patient and tap into it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:27 AM
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I am going to reply to all of your remarks and critiques. I have been rather busy though, my grandfather has Alzheimer's. I just would like you all to know that I wasn't being petty or spiteful by not replying.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:43 PM
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Icon1 Thank You.

Thank you for reading and commenting. Much appreciated!

Nothing here particularly sticks out. Feels like my eyes are just moving over the words, but getting little to nothing out of them. Might be a severe lack of sleep on my part, however.

I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that. You seem somewhat tired.

"Odious" seems a bit pretentious and unfitting of the tone, though that may just be from my own experiences with the word. I'd replace "Hurrying" with something more dramatic, but nothing of any use comes to mind. I'd also replace "brightens" with "illuminates".

I don't think "odious" is pretentious. If I removed the word, it would ruin the narrator's character. I don't see anything wrong with "hurrying" either, but that's simply my own taste in writing. I'll consider using "illuminates".

"His eyeballs bulge out from his sockets while he gapes towards me." seems a bit much. After this, would he really reach for the door slyly? Sly seems like a descriptor of someone in control, with a clear plan. I'd put "I must insist" rather than "I insist" - can't really put a finger on why.

The visitor is "slyly" reaching for the door because he isn't sure if the caretaker is unpredictable. It is pretty obvious that the visitor knows something is definitely wrong with him.

I like, "I must insist". I'll use that instead, thanks.

I'd go with "the night" rather than "this night".

I'm sorry, but this is completely irrelevant. "The night" could be any "night". "This Night" states that something will begin on the very night the story is told.

Not sure if someone would willingly describe their hand as "cold" and "shriveled". If this is true to character, keep it. If not, consider a fix. Rest seems fine.

Yes, it is true to the character. He is a rather malevolent being with grim desires. I'll keep it.

My professor would tell me here, "Don't tell them that he hasn't crept through them in years, show them!" It works, but could be improved upon with a bit of creativity. Here the hands are described as mangled, whilst earlier they were merely described as cold and shriveled.

I'll say "withered" instead of "mangled". I know there needs to be a bit of clarity there.

I think it is alright if the narrator says he hasn't crept through his tunnels in years. If you read the beginning part, he said, "While the gusts of wind wail over the foothills, I begin to remember that it was on a menacing night such as this that I did what I did not dare." This insinuates that he did "what he did not dare" a while back. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for him to say that he hasn't crept through his tunnels in years.

Good. Only thing I could find that's even slightly iffy is another mention of him stepping/moving, but there is no real need to change it.

Yes, there is nothing I will change here.

I wouldn't use "wondrous" - personally, I'd re-phrase the entire clause to put something that sounds better. Also, "In anticipation" would be better than "Anticipatingly", I think.

I'm going to keep "wondrous". Yes, I like, "In anticipation".

"In a frightened manner, he sits upwards, probably wondering if I’m in the room with him." I'd think that his reaction would be a bit more frightened than that. "bolted upward" or something like that would help, but you use it to good effect in the next paragraph. /shrug

I don't see anything wrong with the way I word that.

"Ask" rather than tell, or something else if you think it fits. Being that he doesn't expect an answer, I'd put something more along the lines of "I said" (but something more exciting, of course). Also, how did he tie him up so easily?

Again, here, I don't see anything that needs to be changed.

He tied him up so fast because he simply can.

Didn't like the use and italics of "bothersome". Doesn't have the appropriate weight to live up to the set up that you give it.

I think you are wrong here. But that's all I'm going to say.

Overall, not bad. Certainly not your best, but still enjoyable.

I'm afraid I can't agree with you. This is probably one of my best works. A lot of people have told me that.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wrc View Post
Hi Benamin.

This begins with a question. What didn't he do? Then he does to the guest what he didn't do in the past but the question is never answered. So, what did he do? Is there more coming that answers the question?

I like the style, although some of it seems a little formal in the choice of words. "gapes" bothered a little until I thought of "gazes."

I guess you've written a cliff hanger and I'm a willing reader who wants to find out.

Have a nice writing day.
Thank you for reading and commenting.

Actually, you have it all wrong. He did, what he did not dare. This is what he said in the beginning of the story: "While the gusts of wind wail over the foothills, I begin to remember that it was on a menacing night such as this that I did what I did not dare."

As far as "gapes" goes, I think I am going to keep it. Thank you for the suggestion though.

Yes, I suppose you could call this a "cliff hanger".
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
Damn! This started so well for me. You seemed to channel some of the old masters with your style: Lovecraft, Capote, Russell. Yes there was some pretentiousness, but, for me that made the atmosphere.

Until the traveler arrived, I was engrossed by your tale.

Then something went a little awry. Your style and mood changed and you began rush the story through. You lost that grandiose voice you had began so well with and replaced it with a mundane sequence of events. Such a shame!

And I feel ripped off at the end. There is no denouement - just 'fade to black'.

If you could capture the style and flow of your starting few paras, this could be immense. Either way, there is a great well of talent there Ben. Just be patient and tap into it.
Thank you for reading and commenting.

I know a few people have thought some parts in the story were "pretentious", but to me, it is purely formal English. I don't know how this is going to get through people's heads. In my opinion, most books today have a casual style of writing. It is the very reason I read books from the 1800's and early 1900's. I've tried to adapt that style because I love it.

In regard to the change of mood and flow, it is simply my style of writing. If you find it irritating, then my stories are not the stories for you. Of course the story will begin slow; the caretaker of the Inn is clearly in a depressed state, and he longs for a visitor to come. When the new visitor arrives, he abruptly becomes gleeful and his madness insidiously seeps through. Thus, the narration changes. After all, it is written in present tense.

The ending is supposed to be that way. As Lovecraft said, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:36 PM
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BA, am really loving your style of writing! Everything I've read so far, I 'get'. It's very dark but yet enticing.

Can't offer any helpful advice but suspect you don't need or want it anyway.

Great work!

Last edited by BluebellCharm; 09-14-2015 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:44 AM
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I really liked the pace and flow of this story, it built up well for me. I particularly like the descriptions of the visitor - "His eyeballs bulge out from his sockets while he gapes towards me." and "while he becomes mummified in absolute horror." - they made me giggle.

I would perhaps change the "as well" to "too" in - "Skulking down the hallway and into my room, I, as well, shut my door and lock it." just to make it read easier.

Also the ending did bring to mind an imminent rape, not sure if that is just me though!
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kjjoyner View Post
I really liked the pace and flow of this story, it built up well for me. I particularly like the descriptions of the visitor - "His eyeballs bulge out from his sockets while he gapes towards me." and "while he becomes mummified in absolute horror." - they made me giggle.

I would perhaps change the "as well" to "too" in - "Skulking down the hallway and into my room, I, as well, shut my door and lock it." just to make it read easier.

Also the ending did bring to mind an imminent rape, not sure if that is just me though!
I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

Lol - "imminent rape". I don't know why, but I laughed as soon as I read those very words! My old brother has made a similar remark. That's not really what I intended on him doing, but I'll never say for sure what he did After all, Lovecraft did say: The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

Yes, I'll change "as well" to "too". Thank you for pointing that out.
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BluebellCharm View Post
BA, am really loving your style of writing! Everything I've read so far, I 'get'. It's very dark but yet enticing.

Can't offer any helpful advice but suspect you don't need or want it anyway.

Great work!
I'm glad you like it. Thank you for those compliments!
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