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Candles in the Dark

by Valkyria


Annabeth stood in front of the mirror, lit the candles, and lined them on the counter, next to her notepad. It was silent, except for her breathing. She saw the lower half of her face reflected in the mirror.

“Alright. Time to see if you are real too,” she said aloud. Annabeth opened her notepad and wrote “Bloody Mary” on the top of an empty page, next to “Nessie.” She’d have to wait until she travelled to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster.

Annabeth took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Bloody Mary.”

Silence.

“Bloody Mary…”

A candle flickered.

“Bloody Mary.”

She opened her eyes.

A sudden wind blasted from behind her and blew out the candles. Annabeth was left in pitch black for a few seconds -breath caught in her throat- until the candles lit again, one after the other. But instead of her face in the mirror, Annabeth saw someone else.

Bloody Mary stared at her through the mirror.

Annabeth dropped her notepad, staring at the woman with wide eyes. Bloody Mary’s sunken eyes blinked once, then she raised her pale hand and placed it on the mirror. She smiled through closed lips, and blood dripped from her cracked lips. Bloody Mary opened her mouth-

“Oh my god, it’s you!” exclaimed Annabeth. Bloody Mary paused.

“Oh, that’s great!” continued Annabeth. She picked up her notepad and smoothed the pages’ crinkles. She scribbled down “Real” underneath the heading. “My mom tried to summon you when she was little. Do you remember her? She told me she thought she saw you, but she said it was probably her own reflection.”

“I-uh-maybe,” said Bloody Mary, looking very confused.

“That’s all right,” said Annabeth. “I’ve always wanted to meet you. My name’s Annabeth.”

She offered her hand. Bloody Mary stared at it.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She put her hand down. “Unless you can come through the mirror?”

“Well, yes...I-uh-Wait, what’s going on?” said Bloody Mary. “How aren’t you scared of me?”

“I’ve dedicated my life to finding the real monsters behind the legends,” said Annabeth. She wrote: Can come through mirrors. “One question, what are you?”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry, that was insensitive.” Annabeth dragged over the bench and sat on the towels. “Who were you? Were you someone before you became Bloody Mary? Or were you always Bloody Mary?”

Bloody Mary eyed her critically before sitting down herself on a chair Annabeth couldn’t see.

“It won’t come to any surprise to you, I suppose, but I was once the queen of England,” said Bloody Mary. “I was the most powerful woman in the world.”

“I don’t mean to interrupt, but-” Someone knocked on the door.

“Is everything okay in there?” asked her mother. Bloody Mary rolled her eyes.

“I’m talking to Bloody Mary, Mom,” said Annabeth. She glared at the spirit.

“That’s nice, dear, but can you continue your conversation somewhere else, please? I need to shower.”

“Will do,” said Annabeth. “Er, Bloody Mary-”

“I prefer Your Majesty,” said Bloody Mary, folding her arms.

Annabeth rolled her eyes. “There’s a big mirror in my room. Can you go there?”

“Of course I can,” said Bloody Mary, looking salty. “My whole thing isn’t only appearing in bathrooms, you know!”

Annabeth wanted to say it was, but she didn’t answer. Satisfied with her silence, Bloody Mary disappeared.

Annabeth met her mother at the door.

“The bathroom is now open,” she said. Her mom smiled.

“Thank you. Does Bloody Mary remember me?” she asked.

“I think so,” said Annabeth. “She was Queen Mary, so that part of the legend is true.”

“I knew it,” said her mother. “Have fun!” She walked in and closed the door. Annabeth heard the water turn on as she walked to her room.

Bloody Mary was waiting for her when Annabeth came in.

“Oh, you’re not in your mirror,” said Annabeth.

“You didn’t believe me?” asked Bloody Mary. She was sitting at the desk in the corner.

“I did, I just didn’t expect you to come out.” Annabeth walked closer to the woman and sat on the bed.

She does look like the portrait of Mary 1, thought Annabeth. Bloody Mary was tall, too.

“How come you speak English?” Annabeth asked her.

“I’ve always spoken English, girl,” said Bloody Mary. “Even before my death.”

“Modern English, I mean.”

“Child, do you know how many girls and older people have summoned me this past century?” said Bloody Mary crossly. “I have to keep with the times.” She looked at the pictures hanging on the wall. “What are those ghastly creatures next to you?”

Annabeth grinned. “The tall one on the left is Bigfoot. He’s really shy, but he’s a sweetheart. I met him when my parents and I went camping in Ohio. The other one is the chupacabra. I caught it trying to attack the farm animals in Mexico. If you’ll look to your other right, that’s a drawing of Dracula with my family from six months ago. He used to be our neighbor.”

Bloody Mary squinted at the dark image. Next to Annabeth’s father, there was an old, pale man wearing a black coat. He was hunched over.

“What happened to him?”

Annabeth twirled her hair. “Well, uh-” She glanced out the window. “You see that small mound below the oak tree. That’s his, uh, dust. It was an accident, I swear!”

“You’re a very odd girl,” said Bloody Mary.

“That’s what Dracula said.”

“I hate to admit it, Annabeth, but I enjoyed your company very much,” said Bloody Mary. “You’re the first person to not be terrified. I’m glad I didn’t kill you.”

“Thanks, I guess,” said Annabeth. She took out her camera. “Hey, before you go, can we take a picture. For memories.”

“I suppose so, yes,” said Bloody Mary. After they took the picture, Bloody Mary positioned herself in front of the mirror.

“Goodbye, your majesty,” said Annabeth.

“Goodbye, Annabeth. Maybe I’ll see you around,” said Bloody Mary. The mirror started shimmering like water, and she stepped through. Annabeth waved to her one last time before Bloody Mary disappeared in a red smoke.

*Excerpt of a larger work


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118 Reviews


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Wed May 18, 2022 4:38 pm
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Coffeeboyjay wrote a review...



Hi there Valkyria

1. What did I like the most in the story Valkyria is that “Child, do you know how many girls and older people have summoned me this past century?” said Bloody Mary crossly. “I have to keep with the times.” She looked at the pictures hanging on the wall. “What are those ghastly creatures next to you?”

Annabeth grinned. “The tall one on the left is Bigfoot. He’s really shy, but he’s a sweetheart. I met him when my parents and I went camping in Ohio. The other one is the chupacabra. I caught it trying to attack the farm animals in Mexico. If you’ll look to your other right, that’s a drawing of Dracula with my family from six months ago. He used to be our neighbor.” Valkyria what made you wanna come up with a story like this must be interesting because while i'm is Bloody Mary killing children and everything what a story Valkyria

2. What do I think needs to be improved Valkyria is to keep going to chapter to chapter with this one Valkyria and you wanna know why because you remember what i said about the story on how it must be interesting yea i love story like this i could read this all day Valkyria if i wanted to

3. what do I think the story will continue Valkyria is we need some new interesting things in this story like come up with something good for the next other chapters for this story like what i'm saying is find something new that we won't know about Valkyria

Have fun writing!

Jay"




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Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:28 pm
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SpunkyMonkey wrote a review...



I really enjoyed this story. Looking at the title I expected some kind of ghost story, and was suprised at how it came out! I really liked how Bloody Mary acted around Annabeth. Annabeth seems like a really strong character that can be used in other stories. Maybe you can use her in other stories? Also, how did you come up with Annabeth's name?




Valkyria says...


Thank you! Annabeth came from Google, meaning curious. And then I realized Annabeth is a main character in Percy Jackson, which is ironic considering her character.
And I do plan to use her again. I am writing another story centered around her, and then I am going to write a novel with her as the main character!



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Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:00 am
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MaxaM wrote a review...



Hello man! I'm MaxaM and I'm here for a quick review!
I really don't have much to criticize in the most known and negative sense of the word, so instead, I'll comment on the things I enjoyed.
First of all, Annabeth has pretty strong characterization, and even though I only know her from this story, I felt like I got a good glimpse into who she is, but not just enough to be surprised if another face of her character showed in another tale, if I had to put in one sentence: I felt like she is a good character with potential for exploration, and by the way, if you already wrote any other stories with her as the MC I would be glad if you could tell me the titles.
The narration was also pretty good and fluid and it felt really natural, also the dialogues were funny and enjoyable, and overall I think the tale was pretty well told.
All in all, this is a great short story that I really enjoyed, and I hope to see more of you in the future.
I hope this helped!




Valkyria says...


Thank you so much! This is the first story that Annabeth is the main character in, so I do plan to give her more stories in the future.



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Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:27 pm
rida says...



It was a really nice short story, I just had one question though, if Bloody Mary has been summoned by a lot of people around the world, how come she doesn’t know about other monsters




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Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:26 pm
rida says...



It was a really nice short story, I just had one question though, if Bloody Mary has been summoned by a lot of people around the world, how come she doesn’t know about other monsters




Valkyria says...


Thank you. To answer your question, Bloody Mary can only come appear through mirrors. She wouldn%u2019t know about other monsters.



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Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:25 pm
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Inaya705 wrote a review...



Hi! I am here to give a review.
First, I really enjoyed reading the story, the humor of the story made me laugh. The information were perfectly written, it was not too much or less. The dialogues were also consistent.
I found no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. The story was beautifully written. And I hope to read more stories in the future.




Valkyria says...


Thanks for the review!



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Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:18 pm
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Lezuli wrote a review...



Hello there! I'm here for a review.
I would like to start out by saying that I totally loved this story. The way it started out as kindof a horror vibe and than switched to a girl who loved monsters and cryptids instead of being afraid of them was very nicely done. I also really liked Annabeth as a narrator, she has a very fun way of telling the story.
I noticed no grammatical errors, so good job on that. The one thing I would suggest is perhaps a bit more description of Bloody Mary. So far we only have her sunken eyes and cracked lips (Unless the physical description of Bloody Mary is common knowledge that I don't have).
And that's all I've got for you. I do hope we can read some more of this story later!




Valkyria says...


Thanks for the review! This story was a final project for an assignment, and I added more description and depth to Bloody Mary. I do plan to continue this series, so stay tuned!



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Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:41 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey! Silverquill here, with a review!

Okay, first off, this piece is so freakin cute. I love the vibes it has, with the various cryptids and Annabeth, who isn't afraid of them. The little moments where Annabeth was so excited were so funny and overall just so... wholesome. Anyways.

One thing I will commend you on is your brilliant author's voice. It's very stunning and consistent, and has a sort of no-nonsense tone to it. It reminds me of all the best parts of middle grade fiction. You have such wry wit when writing dialogue, and it comes through when you narrate as well. It's so fun, and engaging, and... yeah. It really hooked me into this piece.

I also just love this concept. It's very clever, and I could see a whole series about Annabeth and her search to determine if these cryptids are real or not, as well as befriending a few on the way. It's a perfect idea, and I totally think it would sell.

For the most part, your grammar was fine. I did, however, notice a few hiccups.

“How aren’t you scared of me?”


This wasn't really grammar, per se, but it does read slightly awkwardly. I'd suggest changing it to something like "Why aren't you scared of me?" or "How are you not scared of me?"

“Goodbye, your majesty,” said Annabeth.


Previously in the piece, you capitalized Your Majesty. Consistent capitalization is important. I'd recommend you capitalize Your Majesty, rather than making the other one lowercase.

“Hey, before you go, can we take a picture. For memories.”


Since "can we take a picture" is a question, it should end with a question mark instead of a period.

Other than that, spectacular piece! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. I noticed that at the bottom you said that it's an excerpt of a larger work, and by all means, I'd love to read more if you have it. Of course, no pressure!




Valkyria says...


Thanks for the review! I can%u2019t believe I forgot that question mark :)




You sound like you're becoming emotionally involved with the custard.
— Nikki Morgan