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E - Everyone

The mansion

by Avi

My father woke me up last night to tell me there is an earthquake. He was killed in an earthquake two years ago.

There indeed was one.

It was a damp, drizzly July morning when my mother and I, the sole occupants of the building, were compelled to leave the house in a dilapidated condition. We wolfed down the remnants of snacks brought to us by the rescue team.

An officer marched past us, saying to mother, “We need people like you who use their wit and presence of mind to get out of danger. To save not only their life, but also of others.”

Mother’s eyes glowed as she took the comment. But it was momentary. Her face was expressionless, hiding the fact that her heart was beating wildly against her chest. Her body language displayed no signs of nervousness. But her eyes were cold.

We got on a car. The car belched and after narrowly missing a pole rattled down the cemented road, bounced over a ditch and the debris, the rescue team and the road, all disappeared in a cloud of dust.

Since our ‘was’ a government flat, we got as our compensation another house, though smaller. But sufficient.

Mother and the officer talked in near whispers. The officer wore a serene expression while the other was presumably frightened.

Curiosity got the better of me. I approached them. The conversation, however ended.

“Thank you, sir,” mother was saying, closing the door behind the officer.

“What is it?” I calmly asked, reading her face. I couldn’t make out what the officer must have said. Not even a clue I had.

But looking at the lines on her forehead, I was made to believe it was something serious.

“Just thinking of the loss.”

I knew there was more and waited for it to escape her mouth.

She closed her eyes. A tear escaped her left eye. She suddenly became conscious.

“The officer said not to go to the park behind our house at night. Ghosts, they say, reign in the premises. For taking precautions, the area is under police surveillance. Yet two small ones have died the most excruciating deaths.”

She broke into sobs as if I had decided to go there. In vain, did I try to console her.

Anguish and pain lengthen the night.

We were restless despite our best efforts to sleep.

I watched the dawn blossom into light. At first, everything was dark, then gradually objects began to take concrete shape. The darkness was lifted like the rising of a veil and over the top of a peepal tree, the sky was streaked with crimson.

It was like this for some time, while everything became vivid and more distinguishable.

There was a thud.

The window sacrificed itself for the sake of our protection and broke into innumerable pieces. An unwelcomed ball entered through the broken glass and touched my feet.

Instead of being angry, I was overwhelmed with bliss. The ball helped me make a new friend.

“Sorry about your window,” the boy said.

“It’s ok, friend,” I replied, not knowing what else to speak. I smiled benevolently at him and he returned that smile.

He looked a normal guy until you came up too close and saw the mischievousness in his eyes. A large part of his brain was especially devoted to mischief. I was introduced by him to all the pranks in the world that I could think of, some beyond my imagination.

It was a cold morning, unusually so for July. As we sat on the benches, a silence ensued between us. His eyes were wandering. I knew they were on the lookout for trouble. Mine looked hesitating, I guess. I wanted to ask something but didn’t know howsoever.

Finally breaking the silence, I said, pointing at the restricted are, “Have you ever gone to that park at night?”

I anticipated the answer to be in the affirmative. It had to be. He was the mastermind of naughtiness.

“Well, no. Actually, I tried once but since I had no one in my gang, I failed. The security is too tight.”

A dumb despair spread over my face. My last and only hope was shattered.

I turned to go back, expecting him to call me. He did not. So I retired to my new house.

Mother was looking as beautiful as ever. Her golden- brown hair were all tied up and neatly plaited. Her rosy coloured cheeks shined on her bisque skin. Her emerald eyes were a sight to behold.

I regretted, at once, to betray her. To intentionally go in the mouth of danger. I resisted the temptation.

I gave up on this idea. Ideas are funny little things. They don’t work unless you do.

In my room, wherever I casted my gaze outside the window, I could sense a frightening silence. No soul wandered out in the dark. All lights were switched off. Lights of my room twinkled defiance at the starry night.

I could not see any ghost. But I could feel a devilish presence.

Footsteps ascended my room. There was a knock on the window. The ceiling fan echoed. The door was slowly pushed ajar. I saw a hand outside my window. Sweat began to gather on my forehead. Someone entered the room.

I was my mother!

“Good night, love,” she said, scaring the life out of me.

Smiles were exchanged and she quietly left the room.

Opening the window, I found my friend hanging there.

“Let’s go,” he whispered, although it was not really a whisper.

“Where?” I said, feigning innocence.

“You know where.”

My mind raced; several different thoughts clashed.

“C’mon” I finally said.

I followed my friend for the time being. He kept walking and I kept following. Not just was he walking, but also tiptoeing, running and hiding at the presence of any shadow.

It was either a coincidence or sheer luck that the cops were having a break.

The park was not unlike others, with scattered benches and old trees swaying their arms.

Which stupid person says that the park is haunted. I cannot see ghosts. Maybe I’m blind. Ha!

Aha! I could at last spot something unusual. A mansion.

“What do you say?” my friend asked, as if reading my mind.

I nodded in approval; half scared, half excited.

Pushing the heavy gates, we stepped inside the premises. I could feel the unevenness of the old, cobbled path beneath me. The grass was of a dull grey colour as if it had lost the will to live and stopped growing altogether.

The moon shone bright white, in the cloudless sky. It was the only source of light that could be seen for miles. The air was cold and numb and with every breath I drew a misty, chilly exhale.

As the house drew nearer everything around us became quieter and more distant. The trees murmuring couldn’t be heard and there were no leaves on the ground, just some aged, concrete steps and a doorway that stood in front of us.

From the outside, the mansion was tall, made from large, dark grey stones that had a rough texture. Climber plants grew up in the house winding around it. The windows rattled vigorously form the howling wind, as though they were about to fall from their frames.

Fortunately, the door was ajar and perhaps, someone was already in there.

The hallway was dull and smelt of dust mixed with old age. In less than a second we were in a deep, unfathomable darkness. I heard footsteps coming nearer. We clutched each other fast. We were debating whether to stand there or run, and tarried in indecision a moment too long: I turned to flee but suddenly someone seized us.

“Don’t get scared. I am like your mother,” a lady said.

I looked around, and there was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. But there was something weird about her. She looked very ghostlike, and was floating in the air. In fact, it seemed that she was the air.

“I feel very lonely here. Could you spend one night with me? I am not a ghost. Oh those stupid rumours.”

I was too shocked to answer her question at first. I tried to open my mouth, but no words dared to exit. My friend abruptly spoke up, “Yeah, just one night. I am really tired, friend.”

I was left with no choice.

Night was pressing darkly. I was inclined to go home. But my friend was asleep. Leaving him would be nothing less than betrayal. Taking him along would look rude to the lady.

Thousand ideas struggled for space in my mind. This state of mind was soon provoked. I heard a demoniac laughter followed by the sound of water, or maybe blood, pouring. A shrill cry echoed outside.

Bats suddenly filled the room. Their screeching sound was too much to bear. Their eyes were red and their intentions black.

They flew wildly inside the closed confines of the room and covered my friend. So many of them!

My friend was unseen for some time. Rather, a bunch of black bats could be seen sucking his blood.

I made some futile attempts to shoo them away. When they left his body, the sight baffled me. It was the last thing I wanted to see.

His skin was as pale as ever. His face was – ew! Words can’t describe how he looked. Blood oozed from his mouth and trickled down the inside of his left sleeve. His right shoe was untied and he nearly tripped on it.

Before we could exchange words, icy fingers gripped my arm in the darkness.

The lady cropped up.

Her nails started growing bigger and longer, her body got enlarged, her skin became more hairy, and she transformed into a wolf. There could have been no one as intimidating as she. Absolutely no one.

She charged at us with full energy. She howled. We ran. She called her mates. Wolves!

They appeared from nowhere. Hundreds of them. They covered us from all sides. Did not leave even an inch to escape.

Imagine yourself in a situation like that. Hundreds of murderous eyes staring at you. Hundreds of paws ready to strike. Hundreds of wolves ready to eat you. And you are helpless. Totally without help. There is no cloud with a silver lining.

I crept close to my wounded friend. “What to do,” his eyes said. I kept quiet for answers, I had none.

“Aooooooo,” the animals howled in perfect unison.

My heart beat raced, minute drops of perspiration started on the edges of my hair and my body quivered with fear.

They made a sudden leap. I closed my eyes and remembered nothing after that.

Opening my eyes after a long interval, I found myself lying on a bed wearing clean clothes.

Was I at home? What happened to my friend? What exactly transpired? Does mother know about this?

“Take some rest,” a man said to me. With a white vest and a stethoscope hanging around his neck, he looked a doctor to me.

“We couldn’t save your partner ....... I haven’t told your mum yet,” he said calmly, suppressing the anger that was building in him.

Guilt gnawed upon me. My mate’s death proved me wrong in every way. For misleading someone. What was I going to tell mother?

“I’ll tell her,” I said.

“What had happened, may I ask?”

I didn’t answer his question. The silence said that I was too scared to share the experience.

After much persuading, he let me go.

It was four in the morning when I got out of the ward.

I tiptoed inside my house. Fortunately, mother was asleep. Whether or not she knew, I didn’t think it was prudent to talk to her at that time. So I went directly to my bedroom and acted as if I was sleeping.

It was nearly ten in the morning when my mother rushed in, along with a newspaper in hand.

“Your friend passed away,” she said, showing me the latest news.

“I know,” I muttered under my breath.

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Points: 0
Reviews: 2

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:45 am
LittleTooArrogant wrote a review...

let's get to it now won't we?

Since our ‘was’ a government flat, we got as our compensation another house, though smaller. But sufficient.

"our" should be here "ours".

The officer wore a serene expression while the other was presumably frightened.

"The other" makes it sound like there is another officer, when I assume that in this case you're talking about the mother.

It's kinda late here where I am at the moment so I can't comment on every detail separately now, but my suggestion to you is that take to heart the teaching: "Show don't tell".
As I was reading through this prologue I sometimes felt like you were telling me what things were like rather than "showing" me.

This link might prove useful: ... l-writing/
It has some examples to illustrate what it means.

Other advise: While using a varied vocabulary is good and useful in writing to keep things crisp and interesting you shouldn't over do it. You seem to have a habit of using so-called "big" words in places where they seem a tad bit off. For example: "I smiled benevolently at him..."
This sounds weird as I read it. Considering the context of their meeting maybe something like "I gave him a forgiving smile" or something along those lines?

Otherwise: It was an interesting prologue. The story has promise and I hope to see more of it.

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Avi says...

Thank you little too arrogantly

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Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 pm
poisonjupiter13 says...

OMG!! this is such a good story. Please write more like these. It's amazing!!

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Avi says...

Thank you

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109 Reviews

Points: 11267
Reviews: 109

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:54 pm
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silvermoon17 wrote a review...

While not trying to sound harsh, this story looses grip on reality pretty fast. Aye, I know hooks are important- but exposition is just as important. You can’t just take about ghosts, dead deeds and other stuff without explaining any of it. And the action, oh my, try using some more for hooks, some less for character development and some more for antagonists/protagonists/conflicts. The words kept flying away from the page, and although I really like the way you unfurled tension, (I’m not sure if it’s me or some personality disorder I have) but the words kept stumbling on each other, as well as the plots and dialogue. The only advice I can give you, is to read and analyze your world as you’d write a description.
The sparrows are flying again*

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562 Reviews

Points: 14535
Reviews: 562

Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:34 pm
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...

Hello, FlamingPhoenix here with a review for you on this lovely day and to help get your work out the green room.

Now there was quit a few things I saw that I will be happy to go through and correct for you. And before I start I just want to let you no that they were small mistakes that everyone dose, and if further on in the review I sound harsh in anyway just no I did not mean to.

Okay with that said let's start.

Here is the first thing I saw.

To save not only their life, but also of others.”

So just so you no the word in bold is what I would like to talk about. Now everything is right, but when I read this it felt like it didn't need the comma after like. I think it will flow better if it was taken out.

Here is the next one.
We got on a car.

Now as I'm sure you can already see the word in bold need to be changed into an in.

Next one.
The conversation, however ended.

When I read this I felt like there should be a comma after however, giving this line a lot more emotion.

Onto the next one.
In vain, did I try to console her.

Now there is nothing wrong with this sentence, but it does sound like it's a question, so it should have a question mark at the end instead of a full-stop.

Right here we go.
Finally breaking the silence, I said, pointing at the restricted are,

This here is just a small spelling mistake I catch myself doing all the time. So I do believe you meant to say area?

Here is the next one.
A dumb despair spread over my face.

When I read this sentence, it didn't quit flow right. So when I took out the A it flowed a little better, so maybe you might want to take the A out. And change the D in dumb to a capital.

Onto the next.
Her golden-brown hair were all tied up and neatly plaited.

The were needs to be changed into a was. Something that happens to all us writers when we are in a groove.

Here is another one.
Her rosy colored cheeks shined on her bisque skin.

Now the words are spelt right, but it is a connected word so it needs this - between them.

Next one.
In my room, wherever I casted my gaze outside the window, I could sense a frightening silence.

The word in bold should just be cast, it will flow better.

Her rosy coloured cheeks shined on her bisque skin.

The word in bold is just spelt wrong you spell it like this. Colored.

Here is the next one.
I was my mother!

This is just a small typo. The I needs a T to make it well it.

Onto the next one.
Good night, love,” she said, scaring the life out of me.

The words in bold are spelt right, but they are one word.

Right here is another one.
The grass was of a dull grey colour as if it had lost the will to live and stopped growing altogether.

This one is the same as the last, though it's just spelt like this. Color.

Yet another one.
The air was cold and numb and with every breath I drew a misty, chilly exhale.

You need a comma after breath.

Here is another one.
The windows rattled vigorously form the howling wind,

The word in bold just needs to be changed to from.

In less than a second we were in a deep, unfathomable darkness.

First a comma should be after second, it will help with the flow. And the next thing is that you don't need A before deep.

Onto the next one.
We were debating whether to stand there or run,

You don't need the comma after run, the rest of the sentence works better with out it.

Here is another one.
Oh those stupid rumours.”

the first word in bold needs a comma in front of it, it will help with the flow. The next one is another silly spelling mistake, or typo. But you spell it like this. Rumors.

Almost done.
Thousand ideas struggled for space in my mind.

An 'a' would work nicely before the thousand in this sentence.

Here is another one.
I heard a demoniac laughter followed by the sound of water,

Now this is really good, but I feel like it needs a little more to it. Maybe consider changing it to this 'a burst of demoniac laughter' I think this will make it sound a little more spooky.

Onto the next.
her skin became more hairy, and she transformed into a wolf.

Now the words in bold are fine, but I think this word 'hairier,' will fit the sentence better.

Last one!!
My heart beat raced,

Now the words in bold are spelt right, but they are one word.

Well that was everything from me, sorry it took so long
And might I just say I loved reading your story, it was really well written and I just loved the plot and putting all the peaces together it was all really well done, and i had a lot of fun reading it.
I loved the description you put in here. It made me feel like I was part of the story, one of the people watching and waiting to see what will happen.
Another thing that was really well done, was the emotion you put into your words, that along with the plot was what kept me reading.
I also formed quit the connection with the characters while I was reading, and that is always a good thing.
And how I've read the whole story I get what the name means, so that's really cool.

I'm really glad I had the chance to come read and review your work, you are an amazing writer and I can't wait to see what you will write next, I do hope you will post again on YWS soon. Have a great day or night.

Your friend
Reviewing with a fiery passion.

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Avi says...

Thank you all for your reviews. Will try to improve

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Avi says...

My real profile is %u2018uni%u2019 . There was some problem due to which I had to log out and make a new one. Check out for my original profile and follow me:)

I'm glad I could help you! And I followed you!

Act in the valley so that you need not fear those who stand on the hill.
— Danish proverb