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Chapter 1 (The Dark Ones)

by KatjaDawn

     I was just about to pack up and go home for the night when my office phone rang. Though the sun had already gone down, I knew I couldn't just ignore it. Duty called. 

     "My name is Mary Coleman," a woman spoke slowly, seeming unsure of what to say. "I'm calling about my home, in Hurricane, West Virginia. I know your company is based in Ohio, but I'm desperate."

     "Good evening Mrs. Coleman. I'm Adah Price, the owner of Price Paranormal Investigations. I've heard a bit of your story already, it seems you're going viral," I recalled seeing her story on the news several times in the last few weeks. I hadn't meant for my last remark to come off as harsh, though I'm sure it did. I was just far too used to cases like hers turning out to be fakes invented for attention. 

     "Uhm, well, you see..." she was struggling to speak, nervousness seemed to get the best of her. "It's serious. My daughter, she's struggling through this right now. I just thought if I went to the media somebody would be able to tell me what the hell is going on in my home."

     I sighed and mentally prepared myself for prolonging the almost finished work day. "Okay Mrs. Coleman, I'll see what I can do. Can you tell me everything you remember about the occurrences?" I already had my pen and paper out and ready to take notes. Though I had heard her story on the news several times, I needed her to tell me. 

     "Okay," her voice became quieter than before and she stumbled with her words. "It began with my daughter, Lacey. Nightmares mostly. They were sudden, out of the blue. She would wake up screaming her lungs out, though she has refused to speak about the dreams. Then..." she paused for a few seconds before continuing. "She started getting marks, scratches mostly..." her voice cracked with emotion. "Well, I saw it happen again several days later. Out of nowhere, th- they just appeared, one by one. And from there, it progressed into door slamming, lights going out. I've seen with my own eyes things that shouldn't even be possible!" her voice was raised now as she got herself worked up. 

     "I'm sorry to hear that you and your daughter are going through this Mrs. Coleman. But I must ask, you did say 'one by one', correct? How many were there?" 

     "Three, both times. Does that mean anything to you?" her voice sounded desperate.

     I stopped to tap the tip of the pen against my mouth, a nervous tic that often accompanied my thought process. "Sets of three, that's definitely something to start with. May I ask, why did you keep this part of the story out of the news?"

     She sighed. "To protect my daughter. This is hard enough for her, I didn't want her to be known for this. Of course, it's too late. Her closest friend no longer visits her. I much regret that decision..." her tone sounded genuine. "I involved the police, psychologists, even my family. Not one person has been able to tell me what is going on."

     Perhaps I was mistaken to assume that this wouldn't amount into a case. In fact, this sounded legit. Could this be the one? "Mrs. Coleman, How soon can you visit our office?" I asked, eager to get to work. 

     "Tomorrow morning, if you're free."

     "Alright, I'll be in as early as six, so feel free to stop by anytime after. We can talk more about this in person. I sincerely hope we can help you and your daughter out."

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933 Reviews

Points: 4306
Reviews: 933

Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:01 am
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Iggy wrote a review...

Hey there! Curious to see where this is going. :)

a woman spoke slow, seemingly unsure

I feel that slow should be slowly and seemingly should be seeming. "A woman spoke slowly, seeming unsure" sounds a lot better, in my opinion.

I know you're company


Nightmare's mostly.


Intriguing! This definitely puts me in the mood to rewatch The Conjuring, or something similar to paranormal activity. This is definitely something up my alley, so I am curious to see how you will continue this story.

First off, if you're going to write this story through multiple perspectives, then you're going to have to state that at the beginning of each chapter. Most people do that by starting the chapter with the person's name, such as Mary for chapter one and Julie for the second, or etc. I assumed (as I'm sure others did/will as well) that this was a continuation of the protagonist from the prologue, until I started reading what Mrs. Coleman had to say, and then it became clear that this character was different. Please edit your chapters so that is more clear to your readers.

Second, be sure to proofread your chapters before posting them. This chapter had a few common grammatical errors that could've been corrected beforehand, so that the readers would be forced to focus on the plot itself, instead of pointing out the nitpicks. That's good if you want feedback on your grammar, but not good if you want feedback on your writing skills themselves. There's a lot of apostrophe misuse here, so do some proofreading beforehand.

Finally, great plot so far. I am enjoying this and I like the mention of the "they come in threes" trope you included here. This is getting interesting and I am excited to read more. :)

I hope this helps. xx

KatjaDawn says...

Hey Iggy, another thank you for taking the time to review my work. I apreciate your suggestions, and I made some of the changes reccommended. As for the POV changes, I chose to use a separate character in the prologue, (Lacey) to give a small bit of incite into the incident the family is going through, but the main character is introduced into the first chapter, and will remain the main character. I'm still new to writing actual stories, so this is a huge learning experience for me. It's really awesome to have help and reviews, so thank you again! :D

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404 Reviews

Points: 336
Reviews: 404

Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:27 am
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Eros wrote a review...

Hey, there, Katjadawn!!

This is Eros here, with a review for you!

So... This story is indeed, going to be interesting. I would like to begin the review with Stating the summary of the chapter, just to make clear what all I understood in the story. Another point behind writing the summary is that, misunderstood parts can be corrected by you.

So... The story starts with the evening set, and you, named Adah Price, the owner of a paranormal investigation company, gets a call from a client, Mrs. Mary Coleman. She tells about the paranoid activities that occur in her house--about which you already know because of the viral news in media, but you still needed to hear it from her. Obviously, the media people sometimes adds a few things of their own, and also there are possibilities that the person is hiding some things from media-----Like Mrs. Coleman did hide, about her daughter and the nightmare. Then they have that conversation and she ia given the time after 6 to come and visit your office.

Now, here there are many questions unanswered and that is what is Making me curious to read the next parts. Pleeease do let me know when you publish the next parts.

The questions unanswered are,

"How old is Mrs. Coleman's daughter?"

"How severe are the scratches on her body?"

And, "How old is Mrs. Coleman too?"

And other general things, like what will happen next, how will you wittily conquer the ghosts...are they really ghosts or just another case where someone is doing things, Making fake ghost like activities...?
Lots of curiosity.

Loved the whole chapter. Do not forget to let me know when you publish the next parts.

Keep writing such awesome stuffs and we would love to keep reading them and reviewing them!

Have a great day/night!

With love,
From Eros.

KatjaDawn says...

Hi Eros! Thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate that. You have it right so far. Thank you for specifically saying your unanswered questons. It gives me a good basis for what questions I should be answering throughout the chapters (hopefully in a timely fashion). It's awesome to have encouragement and everyone's reviews are so helpful! I'm still new to story-writing (I stick to poetry more-so, but jumped out of my comfort zone) so I have a lot to learn. I'll definitely let you know, thanks again so much!! :)

Eros says...

Saaaaaame!!!! I also generally write either poetries or short stories. I have jumped out of comfort zone and tried to write novel. I have discarded many many many novels, and left them incomplete. But I have started another one now, keeping into consideration that Romamce is my strength. This time I have resolved to complete it. ANYHOW.
It's always always good to get out of the comfort zone and try something new.
Loved your chapter, keep writing and do tag me.

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
— Abraham Heschel