This story was written collaboratively by students at Boroughbridge High School: Iris, Purwa, Summer, Abi and Joe.
The creaking gate sent waves of misery through my veins. Cold thoughts washed over my nervous body. I was terrified of what was to come. The manor loomed ominously overhead. Crows squawked. In the distance, wind howled through the rustling leaves. I took a step forward; something crunched underneath my feet. I peered under my shoe but nothing appeared, apart from the overgrown weeds and grass that I’d previously stepped on.
Glimpsing around the house, I spotted an ancient fountain that instead of spouting water, was covered in leaves and moss. Even though it was a pleasant day outside, I shivered due to a haunted feeling. I glanced back at the mansion to take it all in again. Multiple windows were smashed, and ivy coiled around the door frame. Paint peeled off the dark, unwashed walls of the manor and rusty doors creaked shrillily. A tiny dusty mouse squeaked, petrified in a cobwebbed corner of the dim entrance. The blood-red carpet was coated in dust along with the sepia portraits that lined the walls. Their eyes seemed to follow you. everywhere.
Strange sounds, that emitted a feeling of despair, rose from unseen corners. I walked into another room and I saw an old, battered diary covered in a blanket of dust. I opened it. ‘Friday 13th October 1823’ was written in red.
As I lifted my head, a Victorian doll with glassy blue eyes was staring at me, following my every move. Surely this wasn’t there before… surely.
No. It must have been a figment of my imagination. I walked back out into the cold corridor.
I crept into the kitchen, searching for food but all I could find a decomposed apple. I checked the cupboard but a few spiders crawled onto my hand. Sighing, I looked up. A familiar golden-haired doll smiled back. Wasn’t this the exact same doll I had seen before?
Confused and scared, I tiptoed upstairs, anxious of what might be ahead. I moved towards an open door. The bedcovers were torn, with red stains, spread around it. I opened an old closet door. A man with a face as pale as paper sat staring at me, the ghost of his last scream still etched upon his face.
“Where are you?” “I know you’re here!”
My heart beat faster than a rabbits as I dashed out, down the dusty stairs, along the cold corridor, out of what was left of the door. I ran under the looming trees, out of the gate, and far, far away from Darkwood Manor.