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Ike

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  1. Add a paragraph of two and let's see where we go. Sorry for the late start this year. So busy.

     

    Amy walked along the sidewalk toward home. It was getting darker earlier and earlier and it was now dusk when she got out of school for the day. The crisp autumn air swept the dry brown leaves around in artistic wisps. The houses were decorated for Halloween. Amy could smell the pumpkins and looked forward to carving her own when she got home. She took a shortcut through the woods. It was only a block and it was still just light enough to see in the forest. The young girl listened to the creaking of the trees and watched the eerie shadows rock back and forth as the sun's dying light filtered through the branches. Birds flitted from tree to tree. Or were they birds? Their wings were a funny shape.

     

    Amy got the feeling that something was watching her. Probably just her imagination, right? Distracted, she tripped over a root and she and her books went flying. She got up, dusted herself off and started to pick up her books, but the feeling of a presence continued to grow . . .

  2. Hmmm, no, I do not believe that I lurked. Rik (a/k/a Firefly) told me about the site before I really knew much at all about D.a.r.k. It was almost four years ago now, at a time when DarkMatters was about 6 months old, had just passed the 10,000 post mark (now over 150K posts), and I was the 175th (of almost 17,000) members. I think I am far more of a lurker now then I was back then. :(

     

    - Ike

    p.s. Well, except perhaps around Halloween. :Just_Cuz_21:

    • Like! 1
  3. GoGo:

     

    It depends a lot on the cats. Some cats are very territorial, others not so much. I have heard that orange cats are very territorial, but I have no idea if this is true. We got our cats together. They were littermates, so they have always gotten along well. My sister had a single cat (male) and recently got a pair of kittens (female), which were littermates. She kept the kittens in the bathroom/walk-in closet (quite large) for a couple of months and slowly introduced them to the older cat. Over the last couple of months they have learned to tolerate each other and even play a bit. As noted above, best to confine new cat(s) to a small area and slowly introduce them. You may consider getting a pair of kittens who are littermates. Not to seem morbid, but a 14-year-old cat is pretty old.

     

    Best of luck!

     

    - Ike

    p.s. If you get kittens, you *must* post pics. They are adorable!

  4. Julian found a crowbar and headed back up the stairs, his flickering light barely providing sufficient light by which to see. He was unsure that he really wanted to find that for which he thought he was looking. Once back in the kitchen, he hurried down the hall and up the stairs to the upper story. He had always thought that there was something odd about the walls on this floor, but never bothered to investigate, thinking it merely some oddity of building from this era. Now he carefully measure the walls and indeed they were thicker than nomal, about 8 inches thick.

     

    With trepidation, he jammed the crowbar into a seam in the wall and pried the plaster back. Dried and brittle bones fell out through the small hole he had made. As he pulled more of the wall down, more and more bones cascaded from within the wall. He stopped to look at a large piece of plaster that he had dislodged from shoulder height and saw scratch marks along the inside of the plaster, as if the victims were still alive when they had been sealed into their tombs.

     

    Julian had managed to rip out most of the upper walls when he heard the sound of the clock striking the quarter hour . . .

  5. Julian inched down the stairs, with each one creaking beneath his weight. After six steps, the staircase turned left and descended again. What little light illuminated the kitchen was now gone and the small candle was the only source of illumination. After another six steps, the staircase again turned left. After a final six steps, Julian came to the bottom of the stair and he felt packed dirt beneath his feet. The dank smell was almost overpowering. He scanned what he could see of the basement with his sputtering candle. The room was approximately twenty feet on a side, and made of cinder-blocks. There was a large table in the center with chains and manacles on the corners. The manacles were covered with a deep red stain. As Julian backed away from the horrible sight, he tripped over something lying on the floor. Looking down, the light of the candle illuminated a human hand. It grasped a small peice of parchment between the thumb and forefinger.

     

    Not wanting to touch it, but fearing that it may be his only way out, Julian took the small scrap of parchment, which revealed a verse:

    Travelers from far and wide,

    Checked in to get some rest.

    The owners used the walls to hide,

    The remains of every guest.

     

    Julian remembered someone saying that the house was used as a guest house at one time and that rumors had circulated about the proprietors. He wished that he had paid more attention to the rumors, rather then shrugging them off as exagerations. At that moment, he heard the clock above striking the half hour . . .

  6. As the two arrived in the kitchen, Julian realized that the sound of the odd man's cane tapping was that of the seconds ticking away on a clock. Julian wrenched his mind back to the riddle he had found in the keyhole and ran over it in his mind. After long moments he finally said to himself "Mirror!" As the strangely-dressed man approached the sink with a crystal goblet in his hand, Julian's eye's fell on the mirror on the shelf. In it, he saw his own reflection but the space where the loudly-attired gentleman stood was empty.

     

    Julian thought back to stories he had been told as a child about different monsters and remembered that vampires did not have reflections. His mind raced as to how to fend off a vampire, looking furtively around the kitchen. Just as the man came toward him with the filled goblet, Julian's eyes fell upon the string of garlic cloves hanging on the back of a nearby chair. Grabbing the cloves, he shoved them into the vampire's face. The vampire let out an inhuman scream and recoiled, dropping the glass, which shattered on the floor, spraying its bloody contents across the floor.

     

    The vampire seemed to fade and spread out until it became a vapor and drifted out through a crack in the window. Breathing heavily, Julian looked down at the bloody floor and notice the outline of a trapdoor that was previously hidden. Feeling for a latch, Julian eventually swung the door up. A set of wooden stairs descended into the gaping maw of darkness. Julian grabbed a lit candle from the counter and began descending the stairs as he heard the clock strike the quarter hour . . .

  7. Julian's heart seemed to pound more heavily against his ribcage as he listened to these prophetic words. His palms were sweaty and the hairs on the back of his neck were standing up. As the earlier version of himself disappeared, Julian looked over to the grandfather clock. The hands read 11:05 and the disk behind idicated that it was post meridian. Looking below, he saw an effigy of himself hanging where the weights should be. The effigy's small eyes opened and looked at Julian imploringly. He could feel the noose tighten around his own neck. Looking frantically, he saw a keyhole to open the case, but no key was within. Instead, there was a rolled-up piece of parchment protruding from the keyhole. Julian took the small piece of parchment and unrolled it to reveal a riddle.

     

    When you look at me you see yourself.

    To harm me is a bad omen.

    Today I sit upon a shelf.

    I'm no friend to self-conscious women.

     

    Thinking desperately, Julian hoped that this would lead him to the key and not merely on a scavenger hunt through the house.

  8. Each tolling of the clock seemed to rip a part of his soul from Julian's body. When it struck for the eleventh time, Julian thought that it would kill him but it stopped. He lay there panting, barely able to move, and knew that if the clock made it to twelve, he would not survive. For long moments he simply attempted to gather his breath. When he was finally able to get up, he knew instinctively that he had to figure out what had brought him to this place and that the clock was figuratively, and quite literally, running.

     

    Looking down, he saw the object over which he had tripped. It was a child's wooden rocking horse. He thought that it was strange to find it outside of the kitchen. He picked it up and carried it back to the living room. As he entered the familiar room, with the unfamiliar furniture and decorations, he noticed a small child sitting by the fireplace staring into the flames. At the sound of Julian's entrance the boy turned around . . .

  9. Thanks, GoGo, you big tease. With a 14-month old running about and an endless list of house-related projects, there are no naps for me. :)

     

    Relaxing, doing nothing, and naps are really important. Most people seem to think that if they are not DOING something, they are just wasting time. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Down time is really important to recharging and refocusing. Enjoy them while you can!

     

    - Ike

  10. "Probably just a roach," Julian mused to himself. Although he was not completely convinced this time. "Probably George ate the last of the pumpkin pie and left crumbs around that attracted roaches," he tried to convince himself. He headed back toward his room in the dark, feeling his way along as he waited for his vision to re-adjust to the darkness.

     

    Julian was thinking back to the remnants of his dream as he wandered down the hallway and it took him a little while to figure out that something was very wrong. He should have reached the door to his room by now. He stood for a moment with his eyes closed to help with his low-light vision and when he opened them he could see a lot better, but was far more confused. He seemed to be in the right hall, but the wrong time. Listening, he could hear the sounds of a grandfather clock in the living room, but they did not have a grandfather clock. The walls were covered with old pictures and the wall paper that they had removed when they moved in . . . except that it was in far better shape, as if recently put up. As he walked back to the kitchen, he was greeted with fifty-year-old appliances.

     

    What was going on?

 
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