Status gothic

A little tale which I posted in my Facebook status over two weeks in 2008

Mike Lynch was working late into the watches of the night, when he heard a knock at the door.

Mike Lynch paused to listen to the soughing of the wind in the ancient pines.  The season was early spring – no time for travellers in these mountains.

Mike Lynch shook his head, returning his attention to the brown, water-stained leaves of the heavy volume before him.

Mike Lynch lost himself in reflections: the book’s pages, so frail and brittle, had been bound long centuries before the stone walls of this house had been raised.

Mike Lynch was startled by three more knocks, each as clear and distinct as the tolling of a great bell.  Not without testiness, he called aloud: “Maynard!  The door!”

Mike Lynch immediately regretted the abrupt tone with which he had called for Maynard.  His family’s ancient, wrinkled retainer would have long since retired for the evening.

Mike Lynch descended the cold staircase, the beams of his lantern playing fitfully across the stones, his own shadow dancing to freakish heights above.

Mike Lynch lifted the heavy crossbar away from the dark cleats.  The night air sighed bitterly in the gap as he slowly opened the door.

Mike Lynch paused on the threshhold.  He raised his lantern.

Mike Lynch saw the ground before him, carpeted with brown needles, and the strange stillness of the empty pine forest.

Mike Lynch called out.  The sound of the wind was now faint and far overheard, but his voice sounded curiously muffled as it was swallowed up by the silence.

Mike Lynch felt a rush, as if great wings were beating somewhere behind him.  He turned and caught a glimpse of a dark figure disappearing into the doorway.

Mike Lynch  – or the spirit which had once gone by that name – awoke from the deep swoon into which he had fallen. A light appeared in the tower high above.

Mike Lynch could remember nothing, apart from a terrible hunger to be back within the walls, to return to that world of warmth and light.

Mike Lynch knocked on the door. [FIN]


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