Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Price of Knowledge?

Here's what you're going to do:
You're going to write an unfinished story.
Around 1000 words that leads to a cliffhanger of some kind.
Then, next week, we'll pick up in part two --
Where someone else may write the end of your story.
You're writing, in a sense, to entice another writer to want to complete the second half of your tale. To answer the cliffhanger, to be the one who saves the day, solves the mystery.
The above was the challenge put forth by Chuck Wendig at his blog Terribleminds

The loud creak of the traffic worn floorboards caused him to wince at each of his surreptitious steps. Nevertheless, he glided to the back of the hall and paused at the base of the flaking white staircase.  A wan light,  spilled forth from the lone room at the staircase's summit.  Goosebumps raised  on his skin, while the hair on his body began to lift towards the light's source.  Soren breathed deeply, his steps quick and sure, as he ascended to the entry way.  He repeated the two questions he would be allotted, to himself over and over.  A half-snap caused him to flinch as his weight pressed down upon the top step.

Immediately, his gaze lifted from the worn landing, to the room just a few feet away.   He knocked on the door jamb and the light within the room began to pulsate at the rhythm of the knock.  Not for the first time, the thought of the price of knowledge he hoped to attain, crossed his mind.  His gaze found the source of the unnatural light and his mouth went dry, as he beheld the supple, naked form of the woman known simply as Mistress.

And although the weaselly proprietor at the bar on the edge of the docks had described the scene before him, shock still registered through his psyche, that the light filling the room, emanated from Mistress herself.  While, his last employ as the mussel in a brothel, allowed him to count many, the number of naked women he had seen.  Mistress attracted his attention in a manner unlike anything he had experienced.  His gaze fell to her round, plump breasts, which appeared incongruous with her taut, flat abdomen, and lent her a lascivious character.  The pale beauty of her face reminded him of the 'Fairy by Sophie Anderson'.

Rumor had it, that any man would gladly pay her price for knowledge, though none would disclose the sum of that price.  Whatever she charged, it obviously had not been invested in her surroundings.  The interior of the room appeared unimpressive, dominated by an aged dresser with bare patches accompanied by a chipped gold-enameled cast iron stand with an Oval Victorian Vanity Table Mirror perched atop it.  The bed she sat upon had seen better days, it's mattress warped and curved.  No linens wrapped nor draped its form but, the mattress looked pristine. Yet, she appeared almost regal, perched atop its rumpled surface.  She gave the impression, that she Reclined on furs and silks.  And her languid manner, combined with the pulsating light, relaxed him in a way he would not have thought possible.

"Do come in and be at ease." purred her voice into the silence.

 The voice's seductive quality, compelled his feet to move forward, its lilting French accent held a hint of a plea.

The moment his boot touched the shabby scatter rug at the entrance to the room, the visage of Mistress loomed large.  It dominated his entire vision, yet unfocused objects skittered to and fro at the edge of his vision.

"You have questions, yes?'  A brief pause, then she beckoned him closer to the bed.

From his perspective, he stood bedside already.  But, his mind longed to obey, so, he leaned as far forward as he possibly could.

"You know the price?'

Her eyelashes batted languorously.

Mistress's black, shiny, long-point nailed fingers moved to caress his face.  At the instance of their touch, he could once again see the entire room.  Only now, the room possessed double the floor space and every inch of walls, floor and ceiling held mirrors of all shapes and sizes.  As he shifted his gaze about the room, amazed that Triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal, and shard-like pieces now covered every surface.  He realized he no longer felt Mistress's prickly caress and instantly whipped his head back to the side, in her perceived direction.

The disbelief on his own visage stared back at him.  Accompanied by at least eight Mistress's legs that he could see, stepping forth from some of the largest mirror sections.


  1. Eeewwwww... This is terrific. Moves along, eerie, other worldly, with a sinister air, then wham! What place is this? Who really is The Mistress, or should I say 'what'? What price, this knowledge, and is it really worth it? So many questions. I am very anxious to get the answers. Love it.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I deleted this one because I accidentally published my comment twice. Sorry!

    2. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the praise. I always enjoy your stories. I hope to get to read most, if not all of the stories for the challenge tomorrow!