28 September 2009

The House that Sunlight Forgot

Deep within the darkest of woods, a huge French chateau cast its shadow over the land and a lone figure waited within.

At dusk, an English family approached and the mother knew immediately that she’d made a grave mistake.

“Wow” said Accountant, “it’s massive!”

“BATS!” squealed Chickie as we got out of the car, pointing towards the third floor of our accommodation where a steady stream of winged silhouettes were firing from the roof.

Suddenly, I longed to curl up like a hedgehog and roll myself back across the Channel.

Arthritic trees contorted towards the fading light, their sad swooshing, the only reprieve in the quietest of quiets.

The spindly caretaker arose from the front steps, beckoning us inside.

Positioned beneath a stuffed moose, opposite the stuffed deer and to the right of the medieval weaponry, I smiled weakly at Madame Cadiet as she demonstrated the shutters. My eyes crept over the brass devil faces with their hollowed out eyes and horns.

“It smells like a church” whispered Accountant. His unexpected breath on my neck, the cause of a mild heart attack. Clutching my chest, I tippy toed further into the nightmare.

A complex labyrinth of bedrooms, bathrooms and corridors followed adorned with menacing little dolls, giant crucifixes and paintings of hangings. The third floor was cordoned off. Madame pointed upwards, barking “non” and shaking her head vigorously.

“Non?” I queried, keen for expansion.
“NON!” came the reply.

“Anything you need?” she asked upon leaving.
“My daddy” sprang to mind but I shook my head until she became just another shadow.

“I love this boo-ti-ful house mummy!”
“It’s the perfect haunted house!” added Accountant enthusiastically.
I glared at him. “What?” he squeaked, wide eyed and gormless, as only men can be.
“I’m not keen” I whispered without moving my lips so as not to alert Chickie to my distress.
“You don’t like it? Why?” Accountant boomed.
“Mummy?” Chickie’s bottom lip wobbled.

I glared at Accountant. He stared back, wide eyed and gormless.

Later, I sat down with the guest book, eager for reassurance that others had survived their holiday. Thank you to Claude from Belgium as, without him, I might never have known that Monsieur Litoux died in the house in 1983.

That night, lying rigid atop the 130 year old mattress and the kitchen knife I’d tucked underneath, I listened to the trees whispering about me outside the window.

Whilst Chickie and Accountant snored away the longest night of my life, I pondered whether it was the first time that all the occupants of a nine bedroom house had wedged into one bed. Then I pondered the padlocked third floor. And the padlocked cellar. And the wardrobe in our room, big enough to comfortably house a lion, a witch and a serial killer.

A day earlier than planned, Accountant drove his twitching wife back across the Channel, all curled up in her seat, just like a hedgehog.


Blogging To A Better Bonnie said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. You are so funny. In fact, I've become one of your "followers" (but not in the sinister way that sounds) so I don't miss any of your posts.

I'm new to the blogoshere, having just started my own last Thursday. I'm enjoying myself immensely. It's a great creative outlet for venting. I would love for you to check it out. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

Thank you. Bonnie from USA

You, Me and Chickie Pea said...

Hi Bonnie. Thank you so much for your comment, it was lovely to get! Didn't think anyone read my blog other than my mum! My husband can't even be bothered!

I've been checking out your blog and love your ocd tendencies (just like me). Very entertaining read!

Enjoy the blogging, it completely changed the direction of my life and I hope it brings great things for you too.

Only advice I would give is write loads (which you seem to be doing). I joined a local creative writing group which was brilliant too for constructive feedback.

Edit as well, read it all back and think about whether you need every word or can you cut it down? The tighter the writing, the quicker the pace.

Hope that helps! Thanks again for your comment and lovely to hear from you.