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The Girl in The White Dress

by Bernhardt


Small boots sink into the muddy ground, each step creating boot shaped craters that gush with murky brown water seconds later. The boots stop in front of a large black beetle and the chubby face of a young boy appears above the insect. The boy laughs as the bug flies at his face and buzzes around his nose. It takes off in the direction of a large skeletal tree and the boy plops after it, attempting to catch it. The insect flies into a clearing with the boy laughing close behind. The boy suddenly stops and looks at the giant tree in front of him.

Attached to the giant white tree hangs a rickety swing consisting of two moldy ropes and a piece of driftwood. On the swing sits a girl in a shockingly pristine white dress. The boy looks at the scene with wonder and curiosity in his eyes. Nobody besides him and his mother live in these swamps. It was the first time he has ever seen someone close to his age. He calls out to the strange looking girl. She turns around, her silver hair flying from her back to her shoulder, and regards the boy with a surprised yet curious look.

After meeting the girl with the silver hair, the boy goes on to visit her almost daily. She never speaks, only nods and shakes her head to questions or smiles when she is victorious in one of the many games the boy teaches her. Games like noughts and crosses or hide and seek, games that the boy usually plays by himself. At the end of every visit the girl always tugs on the boy’s arm and notions deeper into the swamp with her head. He guesses that she wants to play more but he knows has to leave before his mother comes looking for him.

The boy quietly opens the door to a small wooden cabin and finds his mother preparing food in the kitchen. He starts slowly climbing the stairs to his room on the first floor when his mother suddenly calls out to him. She usually never talks to him so the boy almost falls down the stars when he hears her rough voice. He cautiously enters the kitchen.

“You’ve been coming home late recently you know that?”

Her flabby arms shake as she cleaves a piece of meat in two with a heavy thud. The boy nods.

“Make sure I don’t catch you up to no good or talking to nobody”

She wipes her bloodied hands on her apron and glares at the boy. He nods rigorously.

“Go to your room and stay there” she growls.

A few days later the boy is visiting the girl again. He is in the middle of teaching her how to make mud cakes. She stares intently at his hands as they mold and shape the mud into neat round cakes.

“Pretty cool huh?” he asks her.

She nods.

Suddenly they hear the cracking of sticks and heavy footsteps behind them. They both turn to see the large figure of the boy’s mother enter the clearing. She locks eyes with the boy.

“What are you doing way out here?”

She notices the girl in the pale dress next to her son.

“NO...GET AWAY FROM MY SON YOU MONSTER!” she shrieks, charging at the children.

The boy is terrified. The girl tugs his arm and he follows, too scared to think. They run deep into the swamp, his mother’s screams become more and more distant. He takes another step and sinks. Murky water fills his lungs and eyes. He tries to swim but rough hands grip his legs and pull him down. He looks down and sees a scaly creature in a pristine white dress sink its teeth into his leg before the world becomes black.


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17 Reviews


Points: 1060
Reviews: 17

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Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:13 pm
Rosewood wrote a review...



I'm a little late to review...

I always enjoy short horror stories, but they require an art. I love that your characters are believable, in the verbal sense and in their actions, and that the story doesn't say everything. Other than the punctuation Chaton15 pointed out, I only have one concern.

Small boots sink into the muddy ground, each step creating boot shaped craters that gush with murky brown water seconds later. The boots stop in front of a large black beetle and the chubby face of a young boy appears above the insect. The boy laughs as the bug flies at his face and buzzes around his nose. It takes off in the direction of a large skeletal tree and the boy plops after it, attempting to catch it. The insect flies into a clearing with the boy laughing close behind. The boy suddenly stops and looks at the giant tree in front of him.

Attached to the giant white tree hangs a rickety swing consisting of two moldy ropes and a piece of driftwood. On the swing sits a girl in a shockingly pristine white dress. The boy looks at the scene with wonder and curiosity in his eyes. Nobody besides him and his mother live in these swamps. It was the first time he has ever seen someone close to his age. He calls out to the strange looking girl. She turns around, her silver hair flying from her back to her shoulder, and regards the boy with a surprised yet curious look.


The story started off very descriptive in these two paragraphs, but then suddenly became much less so. I enjoy it either way, but since the story largely consists of the less descriptive writing, you may want adjust the first two paragraphs to match. Otherwise, it seems a little uneven.

Other than that, this was well written and conveyed the story neatly. I look forward to your work in the future and a late welcome to YWS!




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6 Reviews


Points: 68
Reviews: 6

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Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:45 pm
Chaton15 says...



Whoa...

Okay! Here to write another review! :)

First of all, the writing of this was very well done! It didn't feel rushed, and the choice of wording was excellent and descriptive. The ending was terrifying, and I like the subtlety in how you hinted who/what the girl in the white dress actually was, with her never speaking and consistently gesturing to the boy to come deeper into the swamp. O_o

The main errors I noticed were punctuation. In the conversation he has with his mother, I believe it would've been clearer like this:

"You've been coming home late recently, you know that?" (just a missing comma there ;D)

...

“Make sure I don’t catch you up to no good or talking to nobody." (just a missing end mark: period)

...

"Go to your room and stay there," she growls. (again, just a missing comma)

But I liked the indication that the boy's mother knew what dangers and creatures were out there, and how even though she could've been kinder about warning her son to stay away from them, she was still protective as a mother ought to be, although sadly it ended tragically, anyways. :(

I also enjoyed how it's in present tense. Not something you see everyday. :)

Good job!!!




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6 Reviews


Points: 68
Reviews: 6

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Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:45 pm
Chaton15 wrote a review...



Whoa...

Okay! Here to write another review! :)

First of all, the writing of this was very well done! It didn't feel rushed, and the choice of wording was excellent and descriptive. The ending was terrifying, and I like the subtlety in how you hinted who/what the girl in the white dress actually was, with her never speaking and consistently gesturing to the boy to come deeper into the swamp. O_o

The main errors I noticed were punctuation. In the conversation he has with his mother, I believe it would've been clearer like this:

"You've been coming home late recently, you know that?" (just a missing comma there ;D)

...

“Make sure I don’t catch you up to no good or talking to nobody." (just a missing end mark: period)

...

"Go to your room and stay there," she growls. (again, just a missing comma)

But I liked the indication that the boy's mother knew what dangers and creatures were out there, and how even though she could've been kinder about warning her son to stay away from them, she was still protective as a mother ought to be, although sadly it ended tragically, anyways. :(

I also enjoyed how it's in present tense. Not something you see everyday. :)

Good job!!!




Bernhardt says...


Thank you so much for reviewing!
I always end up making small punctuation mistakes like that so thanks for correcting them. I love how you were able to realize everything I was trying to do with the story. You really nailed it!
Thanks!



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Points: 337
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Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:14 am
Karawsome77 says...



hi! I'm new here and I'm doing a quick review.
Well, that was surprising! I really liked how I had no idea the girl was a monster! Great job on that! It explains why the mom doesn't want him to talk to anybody. However, I don't really understand the boot thing at the start. It's pretty confusing.
Overall it was a GREAT story! Hope to hear more from you!

Karawsome




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Points: 337
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Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:14 am
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Karawsome77 wrote a review...



hi! I'm new here and I'm doing a quick review.
Well, that was surprising! I really liked how I had no idea the girl was a monster! Great job on that! It explains why the mom doesn't want him to talk to anybody. However, I don't really understand the boot thing at the start. It's pretty confusing.
Overall it was a GREAT story! Hope to hear more from you!

Karawsome




Bernhardt says...


Thank you for the review! I'm also new here.
I'm glad to hear the ending surprised you and thanks for the feedback on the boot part.
Appreciate it.



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Reviews: 52

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Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:24 am
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brotherGeo wrote a review...



Hello comrade!
Wow what a good story, short and sweet. Well written and the words flow easily, good stuff. You displayed the characters well and the eeriness of the swamp was evident throughout the text. the few bits of dialogue were great it was all that was needed to get a pretty thorough understanding of them. the boys ignorance and curiosity and the mothers gruffness were excellent additions.

Small boots sink into the muddy ground, each step creating boot shaped craters that gush with murky brown water seconds later.


Excellent first sentence, it really sets the scene of a swamp.

It takes off in the direction of a large skeletal tree and the boy plops after it, attempting to catch it.


Plods would be more fitting than plops.

At the end of every visit the girl always tugs on the boy’s arm and notions deeper into the swamp with her head. He guesses that she wants to play more but he knows has to leave before his mother comes looking for him.


lucky the boy is obedient enough to return home otherwise this could've ended a lot quicker.

the girl tugs his arm and he follows, too scared to think. They run deep into the swamp, his mother’s screams become more and more distant. He takes another step and sinks. Murky water fills his lungs and eyes. He tries to swim but rough hands grip his legs and pull him down. He looks down and sees a scaly creature in a pristine white dress sink its teeth into his leg before the world becomes black.


great ending, i was expecting something like this but you displayed it far better than i imagined.

Overall a great short story. there were very few grammatical errors and the story was easy to read. A nice short to read when living near a swamp if i do say so myself. I hope to see more of you stuff in future.
Keep writing!
-brotherGeo




Bernhardt says...


Thank you so much for taking the time to review!
I really appreciate the kind words and comments you made. Also totally agree that 'plods' is much more fitting and just sounds better.
Thanks again!




I have writer's block. I can't write. It is the will of the gods. Now, I must alphabetize my spice rack.
— Neil Gaiman