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The Sundial

by mim


Me again - with yet another short story that doesn't really fit into any particular category. If you think it should go somewhere else please tell me!

There’s something about that Sundial. It just stands in all its majestic glory yet it has something about it, something magical. Something only old things possess, it’s a feeling, a tingle, a shiver but nothing more. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it but ever since that arrived everything is different. The house itself seems to have aged into something more real, more old yet more now.

It’s strange. I walk around the house and I can sense something different. I have a feeling I am being watched. A bit like the house has opened its eyes and it’s watching me walk around its regal halls. There is something here that wasn’t here before. I feel so much older yet insignificant here now. I feel like an object of disdain as I stroll around my house in jeans and a T-shirt. I can almost hear the suppressed gasps and I’m sure in bed at night I feel fingers pointing at me. I know I am the only person in this house but I’m sure I’m not the only presence.

It sounds strange I know, but this can’t be just a feeling. At night I can hear footsteps above me and every so often, when I feel brave, I wander out of my warn bed into the cold air of the attic to see if I can catch a glimpse of the unknown roaming around my house.

This isn’t my imagination running wild on me - I know that whatever it is, it’s definitely real. I don’t feel alone anymore but I know that either it, or me, are no longer welcome in this house. I don’t want my house over run by forces and presences of the Unknown.

No one has been to the house since these have arrived. The phone has never rung, the doorbell has never sounded even the doors don’t creak anymore. There is something supernatural here but I’m not sure what it is or what it wants.

There it is again – that noise. I can hear them, I can practically feel them above me. I drag myself towards the staircase and I know that it is not my imagination playing tricks as I see the doorknob turn on the master bedroom door. As I walk up the stairs I feel all the more unwelcome and almost as if I am an intruder in my own home. I cautiously open the door, continuously praying that I’m only seeing things. But my prayers are in vain. As I let my door swing open – there it is. The window is wide open, the curtains blowing in the gales and the soft patter of rain hitting the floorboards as if in an act of obeisance to the Sundial, which seems suddenly taller, stronger, almost frightening.

I hear faint laughter from behind me. I swiftly turn around and what I see shocks me no, – what scares me more than anything is the fact that I can’t see myself, I gaze in stupefied horror as I observe a couple sitting on my window sill in what appears to be Victorian Dress. They’re looking straight at me but they don’t see me.

He hairs on the back of my neck begin to tingle and stand on edge as a shiver travels through my body, racking my very bones. I can feel myself fading away and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I see a truly terrifying image of my face just slowly disappearing as if I’m being rubbed out of the canvas of life and in my place stands the Sundial, no longer majestic glory but in Sadistic victory as it watches me realise that I don’t belong hear anymore. I realise that it’s no longer my time but ‘it’s’ time. It’s taking over not only my body and my mind, but my only dwelling place and I can do nothing. I am powerless against its’ forces.

I’m not there anymore – I’m nowhere. I’m just a voice haunting the halls of my house hoping to return to my bed or be able it feel the wind on my lost forever face. But oh’ no, the Sundial keeps stopping away me, preventing me from regaining the life I once had and forcing me into this menial existence of nothingness. I’m that feeling you get when you’re alone in the dark, I’m the creak on the stairs in the middle of the night, I’m the noise you thought you heard. And all this is due to the object I once loved almost more than my beautiful house – the Sundial. I wish I has never, ever, thought of buying it.


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Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:06 pm
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Here for a very short review!! Hope it helps you
My critiques first:

I have a feeling I am being watched

I guess putting a that between feeling and I can make it better.
I hear faint laughter from behind me. I swiftly turn around and what I see shocks me no, – what scares me more than anything is the fact that I can’t see myself, I gaze in stupefied horror as I observe a couple sitting on my window sill in what appears to be Victorian Dress.

There is some problem about the punctuation. Maybe put a comma before no. That will make it better, I guess.
He hairs on the back of my neck begin to tingle and stand on edge as a shiver travels through my body, racking my very bones.

It's the hairs, I guess.
I am powerless against its’ forces.

It will be 'it's' not 'its''
I wish I has never, ever, thought of buying it.

Has will be had
The ending needs some work. There is no clarity in the ending, something that ppl expects the end to be. And yes, you can work more on that victorian couple. It seems to be something. If I try to relate between the three- I do have an idea that the Sundial initially belonged to the Victorian couple or something like that and then they attacked the person...Just give some clarification.
Talking about the genre, it can fall under 'horror' or supernatural. It suits under them, I guess.
Except the ending, I loved your story. It had an awesome creepy feeling in it that kept me reading till the end. You ave a great writing style
Overall, a very good job.
Keep writing!
~Forever




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Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:16 am
VioletFantasy wrote a review...



Hello!
Again, I am over a decade late on this review, but I hope it can still help! I really liked this story. I have recently gotten into the horror genre so this was right up my alley. The story had me edge the whole time. This is definitely the spookiest story that I’ve read on YWS so far. Now, onto the specifics.

“ It’s strange. I walk around the house and I can sense something different. I have a feeling I am being watched. A bit like the house has opened its eyes and it’s watching me walk around its regal halls. There is something here that wasn’t here before. I feel so much older yet insignificant here now. I feel like an object of disdain as I stroll around my house in jeans and a T-shirt. I can almost hear the suppressed gasps and I’m sure in bed at night I feel fingers pointing at me. I know I am the only person in this house but I’m sure I’m not the only presence.”

This is by far my favorite paragraph. The imagery sends chills up your spine and made me look around my room to make sure there wasn’t anything lurking in the corners. I like how you really go into detail about how the main character feels. The character is easy to relate to because of your use of detail.

I found a couple of spelling/grammar mistakes, so I’ll go over those next. The first one is in this sentence: “ I just can’t seem to put my finger on it but ever since that arrived everything is different.” It could use a comma between arrived and everything.

Next: “ The phone has never rung, the doorbell has never sounded even the doors don’t creak anymore.“ This sentence could also use a comma between sounded and even.

This is the last one that I found: “ He hairs on the back of my neck begin to tingle and stand on edge as a shiver travels through my body, racking my very bones.” “He” needs to be replaced with “The”.

Overall, this was an amazing story! I would definitely put it in the horror genre. It was very exciting and had all of the key requirements of a good short story. Good job!!
VioletFantasy




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Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:27 pm
veeren wrote a review...



Hm.




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Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:35 am
Jiggity says...



Yes, this was very well done. Quite good in fact, although I'll agree that the Victorian couple, ruined it. You could do so much more with this, but overall it was well written.

Nicely done.




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Thu Nov 25, 2004 6:40 pm
Nate wrote a review...



I really liked it up to the end; your descriptions of the house and doors that don't creak anymore are very well done. It definitely instills a sense of dread into the reader. But, the ending needs to be worked on. Once the Victorian Couple appears it's like, "That's it?" It's much better to play with shadows rather than just have them outright appear. I also didn't really get the entire thing about the Sundial, although I assume it was haunted. Definitely an original idea (I'm pretty sure nobody has written about haunted sundials before), but the last paragraph needs to be worked on.

Grammatically wise, you need to proofread this. For instance, "He" at the beginning of the last paragraph needs to be changed to "The." Also, there's a "hear" in the last paragraph when it should be "here." In the first paragraph:
" Something only old things possess, it’s a feeling, a tingle, a shiver but nothing more."
Should be changed to:
" Something only old things possess; a feeling, a tingle, a shiver but nothing more."

"...I’m sure in bed at night I feel fingers pointing at me." is confusing. I think all you need to say here is "...I can feel fingers pointing at me while I sleep."

Also, be careful with its and it's. The former is used as the plural usage and as the possesive usage. "It's" is only used when you want to say "it is."

Overall, though, I liked it. Once again, I really liked the story since your descriptions are done very well and the first paragraph really grabbed my attention. But that last portion of it needs to be worked on.





Very well; I hear; I admit, but I have a voice too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced.
— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness