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The Secret

by cajen


     Every now and then, I get flashbacks from that night. The night everything just kind of froze in time. My grandmother had a mirror that hung in the hallway, leading to her bedroom. Every time I passed it, it felt as if the mirror was watching me and everything that would take place in the house. The house had a creepy vibe to it from the beginning, but my grandmother had lived there for years and wouldn’t give it up for some weird superstition. I stayed the night with her one night because I was leaving for college soon.I had my own bedroom because when I was younger, I stayed with my grandmother every weekend or anytime I got the chance.

     As I laid in bed, I could hear my grandmother talking. It wasn’t like the sleeping talking talk, but more like she was having a conversation with someone. I found this rather weird because my grandfather had passed away just three years earlier. “Who could she be talking to?”, I thought to myself as I laid there, listening. I was awoken some time later to my grandmother’s ear piercing screams. I shot out of bed and ran into her room to find her on the floor, screaming and crying. “Grandma! Grandma! Grandma! What’s wrong?”. “You… need… to… go.”, she muttered in between breaths.

     As I looked at her, puzzled and concerned, she began to point behind me and was mumbling. I turned to find this woman. A woman with tortured eyes, bruises, she had a beat up look to her, like someone roughed her up. I couldn’t move or speak, I was just frozen by the sight of what was in front of me. I tried making sense of what was going on before my grandmother spoke, and these words have stuck with me since that night, “Please… He’s dead now. You can leave me alone and rest in peace. You can… rest now.” I just stood there, shocked, in disbelief. “Grandma, what are you talking about?” “Bethany, dear, your grandfather did a terrible thing.”

     She sat there for a couple more moments, silent, her eyes appeared glossed over, until she finally stood up. “Your grandfather was a kind, caring, gentle, patient, and empathetic man, but he did have a temper. He had an affair when we were young. She was head over heels for your grandfather. They had a fight one day and she demanded that he leave me and be with her. Although he was having an affair, your grandfather loved me very much. He stopped seeing her until she called the house one day and told me everything. She told me about the affair, how he was going to leave me, and that she was pregnant with his child.

     I just hung up the phone and cried. I cried until your grandfather got home and demanded an answer.” She stopped there and walked to the kitchen acting like nothing had just happened. She made some coffee, put us both a cup, and then sat down. She slowly and calmly drank her coffee, but I could see the fear and pain in her eyes. She took a deep breath and continued, “He said she wanted him to leave me for her and they could start a new life and family together. She promised a life I couldn’t give him full of love, laughs, strength, and everything he already had with me.

     She didn’t see it because she thought he was cheating because he was unhappy, but instead he was cheating because I just gave birth to your uncle and couldn’t do anything.” “So, why was she in your room.” She began crying, hard and ugly, as she continued the story. “She showed up to the house yelling, screaming, and banging on our front door. Your grandfather was home at the time and I was at work. She came in yelling, demanding he marry her because she couldn’t have the baby without a husband in the picture and when he denied and tried to get her to leave, she started screaming even more, destroying the house, and hitting your grandfather.”

     She just sat there, quietly, as if she was replaying the events in her head. I just sat there, in shock as to what could come out her mouth next. “Grandma, did he kill her?” She stopped and looked at me, but it felt like she was looking through me. “Your grandfather didn’t intend to-” And just like that.. She stopped talking, moving, or even living. She just collapsed and it seemed everything was happening in slow motion and in that moment.. My heart shattered just like that coffee cup did…

     I’ll never hear the end of that story, but I know how it is. We were in love, but he just couldn’t leave her. Jerry, you should have just left her and none of this would have happened. Kisses, Nancy.


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44 Reviews


Points: 2965
Reviews: 44

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Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:42 am
jster02 wrote a review...



Man, this is sad. You've done a good job evoking emotions in your reader, that's for sure. The suspense built quite nicely as well, so good job on that.

That said, there were a lot of confusing parts in the story. For starters, the scene with the ghost needs some work. What exactly happened to it? After Grandma starts telling her story there's no more mention of it. Even if it disappeared, you still need to tell us. And what does the mirror have to do with anything? Is that where the ghost came from? Sure, the reader might be able to make that connection on their own, but it helps to put in a line or two in case they don't.

She didn’t see it because she thought he was cheating because he was unhappy, but instead he was cheating because I just gave birth to your uncle and couldn’t do anything.


I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Why would not being able to do anything cause someone to cheat? It seems like an excuse Grandpa made up on the fly rather than the real reason. You may want to be a bit more specific, (unless this is just me missing something obvious, which happens from time to time).

She stopped talking, moving, or even living.


You don't need to say she stopped living, the reader should be able to figure that out without it being explicitly stated. You could say she stopped breathing instead, which should give the same amount of clarity.

One other thing I'd like to address: When writing dialogue, start a new paragraph whenever a new person starts talking. It helps the reader understand who's talking at any given moment. It's ok if the paragraphs are only a line or two thick, this isn't a english class.

Anyways, this is a pretty interesting read. I see that you're new around here, so welcome to YWS! Hope to see you around the site.
-Jster




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103 Reviews


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Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:10 am
deleted19 wrote a review...



This is a mysterious story. There's some cleanup required.

First off, let me mention something about quoted dialogue. When you have a character who is talking but they continue talking on in a new paragraph, you need to restore the quotation mark at the beginning of the new paragraph to show that this character is still talking.

Now onto the story. It is a mystery, yet some circumstances are left very unclear. First, it sounds like you were at your grandmother's place and you heard her scream. When you heard her scream you rushed into the room and saw a ghost of a woman. But then your grandmother starts explaining the story and there is no attention placed on the actual actions of the ghost.

Last thing: The conclusion to the story doesn't make sense. It sounds like maybe your grandmother died all of a sudden as she was telling you what happened. Could it have been that sudden? Maybe.

The final paragraph: Who is talking? Who is narrating? Who is the narrator talking about? The who, what, where, when and how is very absent in that last paragraph. You need to define who is talking by either quotation marks or something, and you should also tell us who Jerry is and who Nancy is and - who is this story being written for? There was no sense of this being a letter until the last sentence.

One last thing: the correct past tense form of "to lay" is "lay". as in "She lay back on the bed." The word "laid" implies something very very different.

Here is your straight and to the point review! Hope this helps.




cajen says...


It wasn't a letter. There was no action placed on the ghost because the ghost just appears. I ended it the way I did because it's Nancy (the ghost, who was also the mistress) talking. It's a weird way of her finally getting her peace. I had the grandmother die rather suddenly because I wanted my readers to imagine how the story would have ended. The ending is the ghost finishing off. She was basically telling the story through the granddaughter's view, but ended it as her final good bye basically.



deleted19 says...


I see it now! Thanks for clarifying. Good job!



cajen says...


Thanks and thank you for pointing out them points to me.




Beware of advice—even this.
— Carl Sandburg