By Ismail Bin Abu

I lie dead, seen sleeping, wearing the only light in the room. After mistakenly thinking that I had been taken by Death, I lie still and quiet, hoping that I will soon be safe.

The darkness seems to rise, and every footstep I hear seems to make the sky fall down… yet there is no sky. I am sealed from the very mankind of this world. It seems the last of the sunlight had died and been taken over by the very darkness of the sudden night. Where am I? And who can I hear?

My senses are still alive. There’s no sign of any injury whatsoever, no fault in my breathing or any other organs, yet I hear no sudden breathing emitting from my mouth. Fear often has me hyperventilating, however I seem to be fine. What’s wrong with me?

This place is lingering with shadows. Darkness is constantly creeping in this neglected, lonely space. Empty. What’s to fear?

I try to get up, rising steady like a robot; my limbs seem to be stiffer than I remembered, my arms feel almost as if they’ve been stitched to my body; they lazily fall down as I reach towards…the sky?

Dark and depressing, I seem to be lost in my own darkness, my own nightmares. There is a sound, loud and repetitive, almost like a heart beat. Boo-boom, boo-boom, boo-boom. I look down; it seems that this place turns with my eyes, rotating along with my body.

I can hear voices, cries, and words being said, as if they were directed to me, yet I see no one. Wrapped in darkness, strange voices in my head. No one around except me. Where  am I? My legs, burning. Just what is going on? I attempt to move, but my body denies it. It seems that I am stuck. I am paralyzed. It is as if I have been constricted by the very darkness, pouring itself into my body, concealing my thoughts, my memories, and my movement.

Now still like a stone statue, I witness that the world I’m in is disappearing; I see darkness, only darkness. I feel the need to panic, yet the word makes no sense to me, as if I’ve heard of it but do not know it.

I just lie still, pretending everything that’s happening, right now, this very second, is alright. Like it’s another day, a normal day. Is this right?

Suddenly I realize where I am. The voices get louder… the world I was in has disappeared and I realize that I am not merely resting and alive, but lying in the ground, dead. Seen sleeping, I thought I was wearing the only light in this room. I was wrong.

The absence of flesh gives me a pale shine, and I realize that I am in the ground, the earth, the soil, where I am sleeping with death.

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About Miss Thomas

I am an English teacher at The City Academy, Hackney.

5 responses »

  1. Kasiah says:

    It’s a very good story but I’m confused. At the start it says that the character is dead yet he gets up. :S

  2. -BinAbu- says:

    I like the way I add a twist, many readers were confused.

  3. Katy Lay says:

    I like the way you used imagery very effectively and I think it’s a good gothic story 🙂

  4. Cagatay Colak says:

    Ismail Bin Abu’s short Gothic story explores the theme of madness using a variety of techniques and creative vocabulary.

    One aspect which Ismail has successfully described is the setting. In his short story the landscape is atmospheric and Bin Abu uses a variety of techniques such as personification to create this effect. This is exemplified when he writes “Darkness is constantly creeping in this neglected lonely place.”This description is successful because it creates a scary environment that makes it seem as if the very place is almost alive.

    Another excellent feature of Bin Abu’s story is the characterisation. To create interesting characters he uses a range of successful similes, and these contribute to the overall effect on the reader because they gives us the impression of what the character is feeling at a certain times during the story.

    In conclusion I would recommend this short novel those aged 11+ as it may be too frightening for younger readers.

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