Here we go again folks. Don't forget, you don't have to have entered to vote!

No 1.
3 (33.3%)
No 2.
1 (11.1%)
No 3.
0 (0%)
No 4.
0 (0%)
No 5.
4 (44.4%)
No 6.
1 (11.1%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Voting closed: November 03, 2006, 02:01:56 AM

Author Topic: Challenge No 18. Vote for your favourite story.  (Read 3705 times)

Offline Angeleyes

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Challenge No 18. Vote for your favourite story.
« on: October 31, 2006, 02:01:56 AM »
No 1.

Gerald knew the moment the door closed behind him, that something was terribly wrong...
Maybe it was the long smear of blood that stretched from the doormat to the end of the walkway. Or perhaps it was the fragments of yellowing teeth lying along the bottom of the wall. He walked on, his feet smacking loudly on the cold tiled floor, occasionally sticking to rapidly clotting blood and peeling off with an audible shlurp.
Call this a Themed takeaway? He had seen better Halloween decorations at MacDonalds. The blood was so obviously tomato sauce, and the teeth were little more than chopped up french-fries thrown about the place. And what on earth had they done with the hamburgers?
He walked up to the counter and placed his order.
‘Teeth with that sir?’ asked the spotty youth behind the till, a couple of links of savaloys dangling around his neck
‘Large’ said Gerald.
The youth grinned at him, showing off a pair of long white canines.
‘Just a squirt.’
‘Anything vomit-coloured’
Gerald paid for his order and took a seat at one of the tables. There were a few other people there – a family with a pair of kids wearing monster masks, a biker with an axe sticking out of his back. A ghost.
He stood up and went to the gents. Long wisps of grey cobweb brushed against him – not part of the decorations, the management had just not got round to dusting the place since the last time he’d been here – or the time before, for that matter. Five minutes later and he was back in his seat, nursing a Sprite.
Gerald hadn’t gone to the trouble of dressing up. He didn’t need to. This was the one day of the year when he did not look out of place, did not care about the hundred eyes boring into the hump on his back, or focusing on the empty eye socket, or the missing arm. No, Gerald could stretch out, sit back and relax with a burger and fries. And feel like just one of the crowd.

No 2.

Gerald knew the moment the door closed behind him that something was terribly wrong.  There was no handle on the inside and he was enveloped in the darkest dark.  He reached out slowly and made immediate contact with the claustrophobic proximity of the walls.  Gerald slumped to the ground as his chest tightened, constricting his breathing to shallow gasps.

   “Don't panic.  Think of open spaces” said a voice in his head as sweat glazed his skin.  He shut his eyes and after a moment or two he saw a wide, wind-swept bay reaching into the distance.  A lone sailing yacht rocked between the crests of each wave as it headed towards a whitewashed lighthouse.  Gerald was standing on a high sand dune; the ocean breeze blew the smell of seaweed and ozone into his face.  He turned from the beach and ran down the steep side of the dune towards a clump of tamarisk.  Beyond the trees lay the flat sward of a cricket ground where Gerald heard the ‘thwock’ of leather against willow, followed by the sound of subdued clapping.  As he approached the gabled pavilion he looked across at the wicket just as a white-clad youth hit out at the ball with a mighty swing.  Everyone shielded their eyes in an attempt to follow its trajectory across the sun-drenched sky, as it flew out over the boundary.

The applause was drowned out by a terrifyingly loud noise which exploded behind Gerald and forced him to cover his ears.  Spinning round he found himself staring at the side of a large wicker basket; an enormous striped balloon towered above him.  An arm with its sleeve rolled up appeared over the edge and a hand grabbed Gerald hoisting him into the basket just as the burner above their heads burst into life again.  The ground dropped away as the balloon drifted into a dome of pale blue sky.  Up and up they rose towards the dazzling sun. 

Gerald screwed up his eyes and tried to look into the bright light.
   “Excellent hiding place Gerry.  Now you must join the rest of us seekers, we still haven’t found Milly or Tim.  Come on.”  It was his cousin Jonathan.  Gerald rubbed his eyes, rose to his feet and walked out of the cupboard.

No 3.

Gerald knew the moment the door closed behind him, that something was terribly wrong.
The man in the black suit said he sold doors, but he’d arrived in a car, large enough for one door perhaps. Gerald suspected a real door salesman would use van and carry several.
   Gerald moved to the window and arched his head round the curtain to see if the black Mercedes was still there, over the road.  There were definitely no doors inside it.  Instead there sat at least two men, wearing the same dark suits and probably armed.  Then he noticed the man in the passenger seat reach into the glove compartment.
   He ducked, scared for his life.  He thought he was going to die.
   He started to run towards the back door, but quickly recoiled, knowing that if these guys were serious, they would have the back door covered.  His phone was in the hall but he was too afraid to go out there.  As he frantically looked around for some kind of escape, everything seemed to taunt poor Gerald.  There, on the wall, was his poster Jim Morrison from the Doors.
   After a few more moments, he took a breath and began concocting a plan.  He kept some string in the drawer of his computer desk.  He could tie that to the handle of the front door so that he could open it without being near it.  Then he could use the poker from the fireplace as a weapon.  He was getting excited.  He might not die after all.
   After tying the string to the handle and gathering up a poker, a lamp and a set of darts he also found in the drawer, he risked his life to glance out the window.
   The man was coming back.  Gerald got into position and the door knocked.  He yanked the string as hard as he could.  The door flew open, its glass shattering against the wall and its handle falling to the floor.
   The man in the suit poked his head through the doorway and said,  “Excuse me sir, could I borrow your loo.  We’ve just had our sandwiches and I must empty my bowels before we get on with our door-to-door door selling.”
   Just then, outside, a large van (“Dawes Doors”) pulled up behind the Mercedes and the man said, “Looks like you’re going to need a new door after all”.

No 4.

Gerald knew the moment the door closed behind him, that something was terribly wrong. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and tingled with that warning signal that he knew only too well.
   “So you decided to tempt your fate did you? You foolish amateur”
   Gerald turned towards the large staircase that winded upwards and around to the second floor. There at the top stood Valesco, a twisted and grotesque look on his wrinkled face showed his contempt for the minor operative sent to cease his plans.
   “You will not be allowed to carry on Valesco, I have to stop you” Gerald hoped his words carried some weight, but he knew Valesco was right to call him an amateur; he was much too junior to be placed on such an important case.
“You cannot stop me boy! Spluttered Valesco “Don’t you know I could kill you at any second?” This was no idle threat, he was certainly capable of killing a man without giving him a second thought, he had done so on many occasions. But even as this thought spun around Gerald’s mind, he could see the old man staggering. For the first time he did not look so frightening, he was just a bitter and twisted old man who, it seemed, had come to the end of his life. At that moment Valesco’s legs gave way momentarily, he half fell and only managed to stay standing by clutching the ornate oak banister by his side. He tried to right himself but had precious little energy. Looking towards Gerald he managed to speak
               “Has it come to this, that I must die this way, in front of a mere boy? I was a great man once, I was respected. My reputation will live on forever.” Gerald almost felt sorry for him and at one point thought of helping him, as he would have done for any elderly person he might meet, but the feeling soon passed as he remembered the deaths and destruction caused by this monster.
   “You will only be remembered with hatred Valesco. No-one will grieve your passing”
   “You little…” It was too late, Valesco had no more strength. His grip on the banister weakened and slowly he fell forward and down the staircase - his momentum gathering speed as he went. Finally his body rested by Gerald’s feet.
                He was dead.

No 5.

Gerald knew the moment the door closed behind him, that something was terribly wrong. That his wife hadn’t come to meet him at the airport was not strange as he’d wanted to surprise her by returning earlier than planned and so she didn’t expect him until tomorrow. The hall was empty, the telephone table and even the telephone gone. There were light squares on the wall where pictures had been removed and a patch of carpet lighter than the rest where there had been a chest of drawers.

With a heart that was beginning to beat faster than it had for many a year he went forward into the living room and turned on the light to find a totally empty room. Everything gone! Panic was beginning to set in as he quickly looked into the kitchen and then turn quickly to bound up the stairs. Every room in the house was empty, all the furniture gone; the only things remaining were the curtains and the carpets.

What the hell was going on! He’d spoken to his wife on the phone only two nights ago to tell her he’d be home in the next few days. Everything had seemed to be fine; she’d even said she was looking forward to having him home all the time. He’d spent the best part of the last ten years working in Nigeria, and other places that ensured he got paid the highest possible rate, so that he could retire early and they could take things easy.

His breathing became heavier and the pain in his chest registered with his brain just as the world began to spin round before him. As he collapsed to the floor his mind was screaming, “No! Not this, not now.”

Outside a car pulled into the driveway and parked outside the front door. A woman stepped out of the car with a soft smile upon her face feeling rather pleased with herself. The move to the country cottage she’d found in Gerald’s favourite Yorkshire village had been completed before he got home. He would be so surprised and so pleased!

No 6.

Gerald knew the moment the door closed behind him, that something was terribly wrong. When the lights went out, it confirmed his fear.

“Tom, just OPEN the door,” he shouted and banged.

“Ha, ha, ha! Why don’t you try with that basketball, Gerry?”

“Tom, this is no joke. Just open the door before I…”

“Before you bring the door down with your bare hands, hey,” Tom giggled.

“You can’t do this to me knowing my problem, Tom.” Gerald said, trying to find his way to the window. That would make it easy.

His head began to twirl and his eyes were closing. His breath was becoming heavy. Fumbling and groping, he managed to reach the window. Within seconds he found the particular equipment.
“Gerry, why don’t you try the Kung-fu kick and bring the door crashing…?”

At that point, Tom heard something sliding against the wall and seconds later, he heard a sharp collision sound. As he squint his eyes unsure of the events, he heard a glass shattering. ‘My God! The lamp and the tabletop’ he thought. Tom knew his trick had turned into a disaster. He dropped the juggling balls he was playing with and reached for the door.

He turned the key and rushed inside.

“Gerry, are you alright?” Tom tried to focus, but in the faint light of a computer screen, he could only see the shadow of Gerry sprawled on the floor. He ran out, to turn on the mains for that room.

He knew Gerry suffered from both claustrophobia and nyctophobia. He would have opened the door within minutes. However, he did not expect something to happen so soon.

Tom’s heart was beating wildly. His forehead was beady. His eyes welled up and he just could not cope with the fear of finding Gerry hurt. He walked back slowly.

He entered the room feeling like a heel.

“YOU trickster, come closer. I saved my kung-fu kick especially for you!” Gerry called.

With tears of relief rolling down, Tom ran to Gerry and hugged.

“Are you okay, Gerry? Noth…Nothing happened here?” He looked around surprised.

“Thanks to the UPS and the computer!” Gerry laughed as he stirred the mouse and clicked a ‘play’ button.

Tom heard the lamp falling again, “screeechh! bbaanngg! ssccaatterr!”

Their mother heard it just as she entered the house. She dashed upstairs shouting, “BOYS, STOP YOUR FIGHT!”

Upstairs, the boys smiled.
May all your dreams come true.

Whether you think you can, or think you can't....you're right!
-Henry Ford.


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Re: Challenge No 18. Vote for your favourite story.
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2006, 03:54:49 AM »
Well done all. they are all great. ;D