Prologue for Gothic Horror Story
|The House On Willow's Creek
My black crow quill scribbles out these lines reluctantly, the ink flowing out over the parchment in symbolic futility; for no language, written or spoken, can capture the true horror of what I have experienced. It can only give a dim impression, one falling far short of the ineffable reality.
Just as shadows on the wall only convey a dark reflection, a silent mockery of the living breathing beings who cast them; so my words like shadow puppets act upon the pages of my tale, giving only a semblance of life, of experience, but not their true substance.
Even this vague resemblance is horrific enough to give me pause, and make me seriously doubt the wisdom of committing my thoughts to paper. My mind has not yet fully recovered -- I doubt it ever will. A merciful numbness has settled over me; like a child shielding his eyes from shadows in the dark, I dare not see, nor face, a reality so unwholesome and dismal. To dwell upon it could only invite madness.
I stare at the candle, its form, once firm and graceful has been oddly distorted over time, its substance devoured by the enveloping heat of the flames. Its essence slowly burned away, dripping over the sides and coagulating like blood in dried, streaking droplets."
My mind lingers in meditative contemplation of candle and flame, by their crude resemblance to body and soul... both consuming what they must to survive until some unknown hand reaches out of eternity and rudely snuffs them out.
I watch the flame with fascination as it ebbs and flows eerily over the candles blackened wick. From the open window comes a chilling breeze. The flames dance and flutter; struggling to remain alight, just as fate's orchestra makes a man struggle upon the unrelenting stage of his life.
But I have forestalled the dreaded task too long. No matter how much I would like to forget the tragic events at Willow Creek. My story must be told if only to relieve the terrible burden of guilt that weighs so heavily upon my weary shoulders and causes me to suffer such deep bitter pangs of grief and deep regret. I must gird myself, strengthen my resolve and dredge up those painful memories, set pen to parchment and write.
Word Count, 559