Happy Friday all. It’s Fragment Friday, and this time, the excerpt is the first draft of one of the stories in my next collection. It is based loosely around the William Hughes Mearns poem entitled ‘Antigonish’. The poem begins:
“Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today I wish, I wish he’d go away…”
If you’d like to have a fragment of your work in progress, or your latest book featured here, shoot me a message using the contact form.
So here’s part of the upcoming story:
He continued to climb the stairs, but as he reached the third floor landing, he stopped. Above him, perhaps two or three floors above, Ben had heard a sound. It sounded like footsteps, only the shoes had been wrapped in blankets. The sound was more like shuffling than walking, but after a minute, the footsteps began to get closer. They were descending the stairs.
Ben backed into a corner, giving him sight of the stairs gong up and down. He turned his head to listen. The sound was definitely coming from above him. The muted footsteps now appeared to be walking across the landing of the floor above him.
Then they stopped. This time, he placed the plastic bags he was holding onto the floor and tilted his head. For several minutes, he stood that way, listening. Whatever had been moving around up there had stopped.
Picking his bags back up, Ben began to climb the stairs to the next floor. Each step was elongated. He moved in slow motion, as honey from a spoon; each step was placed carefully before moving on. He tried to see up to the floor above, but it was even harder from this position to see anything.
Finally he had climbed high enough to see the landing. It was empty. The dim light flickered on and off, throwing the landing into the pale blue of the ultraviolet lights for several seconds, then into heavy shadow, where the only source of light was coming from the landing above and the one below. There was enough light to see that he was alone on this landing. There were no signs that there had ever been someone there.
His skin had raised goose flesh and the hairs on his arms and neck were standing, but there was still nothing to see. He went to the rail and looked first down and then up at the stairs spiralling away from him. Still nothing.
When he finally shut the door to his flat, he locked it and slid a chain in place. He looked through the spy-hole in his door, but saw no one, just an empty landing.
The lifts needed sorting. If this continued, Ben had decided that he would call the police.
I’m beginning to get excited about revisiting these stories, to get them ready for publication. If you would like to see your work featured here, get in touch. Let me know what you think about basing a story on a poem. Ever tried it?