I dont want to be all cliche and say the usual “this is my first post ever!” so I will just post a story I wrote for my english class. The assignment was to write an American Gothic story (ex: sleepy hollow). I am very proud of it. here it is:
A small town in Vermont was where Charles Hansberry resided with his two younger brothers, Mark and Edgar. Charles was unusually tall, towering above everyone at about 6 and a half feet. His hair was long and golden; it shined in the morning sun, as if the sun had given him some of its light to store in his hair. His hair all flowed together, in synchronization. It looked like one wide tail rather than a thousand strands of auriferous hair. He was known to be very articulate, unlike his two brothers; as he was one of the few in the town who received a good education. He and his brothers hunted game for the townspeople of Willow Heights, earning a wealthy salary and respect from the townsfolk.
Willow Heights was located far away from any other towns among the burgeoning amber mountains and many small tributaries that all dribbled back into the ocean. The town was so remote that it seemed as if the settlers there had just picked a completely random spot in the middle of the forest. There was one long dirt road that went all the way through it. The church was at one end of the road and on the other end there was a small bridge. This bridge was in definite need of repair. Every time someone would walk across the bridge it would make the loudest, most unbearable noise possible, almost to the point where you wouldn’t want to cross it. The bridge would feel even the slightest tiptoe and still screech. The sound is something I could not describe due to the boundaries of the English language, and no one could ever pinpoint the exact origin of it. It was like the slow, murky water underneath it was crying out for help but kept on flowing on.
The noisy bridge was always one of the main subjects of the weekly Willow Heights town meetings (of which Charles was the leader) but was never resolved because no one wanted to fix it. It wasn’t because the townsfolk were lazy, but that the bridge gave everyone an eerie feeling. Charles’ two brothers Mark and Edgar were exactly alike and always followed him around. Many of the village people joked about Charles having three shadows: Mark, Edgar, and his own.
Charles’ two brothers were both abnormally short but very strong, and had a cylindrical quality to them. It seemed as if they were both stakes ready to be driven into the ground by a gargantuan, intangible mallet. This cylindricality caused them to have a rather odd way of running. They would both waddle when they reached a certain speed and looked like two little penguins sprinting from a ferocious polar bear. Both Mark and Edgar had a shiny, flat forehead that seemed to stop abruptly right at their bald heads. The only t race of hair on Edgar and Mark was their unibrows which were long, furry, and similar to a poisonous caterpillar that you find high up on the branch of a tree. One characteristic that was different between Charles’ two brothers was their eyes. Mark’s were so brown that they looked red sometimes and Edgar’s were so blue that they looked silver in the right light.
All of the Hansberrys were excellent sportsmen. After hunting together so many times they developed special signals to beckon to one another when it was necessary. The three of them were a perfectly streamlined team, never once running into each other or missing a shot. Their only weakness was that if one of them was separated from the group, each man wouldn’t know what to do because they relied so heavily on one another. This had only happened once when the three brothers were on a grizzly bear hunt and caused Edgar to lose the tip of his middle toe.
Each of the three men loved the outdoors and the overall tranquility of the forest. On Sundays, they would all go out to Digitus Rock, which was a long, smooth rock that extended out over a cliff and looked like a finger attempting to touch the sun. The three brothers would run single file to the farthest part of the rock, sit down Indian style, and meditate in the cold, refreshing breeze. All of them would let out a single breath 5 times each minute in harmony. This ritual was said to enhance their hunting ability but no one other than the brothers noticed the difference.
The view from the rock was immaculate and pristine. You could see all of Willow Heights and the immense forest extending past it. The trees were a light chartreuse color with hints of amber on the tips of them. They swayed to and fro in synchrony. The sound of little birds chirping permeated the air and was carried throughout the forest so every living animal could hear it. Fallen leaves on the ground were a sign that Fall had just arrived. Charles always wondered why the dead leaves were always so pretty and not as horrid as most dead things looked. &nb sp;
Most of the villagers said that if you looked up at the rock at a certain time of night you could see and hear a mysterious being howling at the moon. Its howl was one of pain, anguish, and hatred and he would only howl once and then run away into the night almost hovering above the ground. This creature was known as the Xagamortis. Although the stories were very believable, the men who told them were not. The story was written off as just another legend in Willow Heights history.
The three brothers were sent out on a hunting trip to catch some red-tailed deer. These deer were very rare but the brothers were confident as they walked single file out into the forest with Charles leading and Mark and Edgar waddling close behind. They took one of their trails deep into the forest. As they progressed deeper and deeper in, the trees became more and more dark and less light was able to poke through the rough canopies. Still, the brothers ran single file, with their heads bobbing up and down, confident as ever.
They headed to a part of the forest that was known to be where the red-tailed deer lived; this secret was passed down from generations of hunters and wasn’t told to anyone else. The red-tailed deer were very brutal and bloodthirsty, which is a rare trait for deer. This was the first time that the three brothers had been to this section of the forest, but they weren’t scared one bit.
As soon as they reached their destination, they all stopped at once and lowered their chests toward the ground, so no animal could spot them. They slowly ran to their own spot behind a tree and sat. All they could do at this point was sit and wait for an unsuspecting deer to creep up, not knowing that it was about to be killed. They did this for almost three hours until they heard a noise coming from a far off bush. Mark and Edgar had this astonishing talent of being able to tell what kind of animal it was and how big it was all by just hearing its footsteps. They tilted their ears to the ground, listened, and then signaled Charles. Charles’ eyes lit up when he received this signal and slowly moved toward the bush. He noticed a peculiar whistling. It was the wind.
Charles distorted his body so he could see over the bush and still creep down close to the ground. His neck protruded out of his abdomen like a branch from a tree. He then signaled to his two brothers and they both moved around opposite sides of the bush. All at once, they jumped out from behind the bush and stabbed the creature like a big machine programmed to stab with the slightest precision. The animal, which was finally identified by Charles as a red tailed deer, twisted around, writhing with pain. The deer made a tremendous effort to try to break free from the grip of the peaked bayonets but was unsuccessful. Each twist from the deer just made the brothers push harder against it with their weapons. Eventually it stopped moving, quickly dying.
After every kill, the three brothers would celebrate by doing a little jig. They would dance in a circle around the slain animal while rotating their bodies clockwise. This would give them good luck on the next hunt. Charles realized that Mark was a little slow while doing the dance and looked a little nauseous. Scared that this would ruin their luck, he asked what was wrong. Mark just said nothing and tightened up, completing the dance with Edgar and Charles.
They marched on through the dense forest and it gradually got darker. Charles had the deer swung over his back, but it didn’t slow him down at all. The average length of the brothers’ camping trip was usually about 1 and half days, so they were used to camping out over night. The men brought along little meticulously packed sacks filled with certain camping tools they would need, always remembering to never bring anything that they wouldn’t use. The contents of each man’s bag included a thin but effective blanket for warmth, a small pillow loaded with goose feathers, and a couple of sharp carving knives.
Mark felt a little drowsy, as if a spell had been cast over him. The others figured that it was just because he was tired. Charles picked the spot where they would sleep and they set up camp. Charles told Edgar to start up a fire for them and he did. The aurous embers blew around in the cold wind. They reminded Charles of the campfires where the town elders would tell ghost stories to the little children. By this time Mark had already fallen asleep and Edgar’s eyes developed a heavy quality to them. Charles watched the silhouettes of the rigid trees sway back and forth and realized that they had lost their leaves rather quickly. His stomach grumbled and he started having the same symptoms that Mark had. He just fell asleep thinking that he would be fine the next day.
Mark woke up in the middle of the night, tossing and turning in pain. Edgar was already awake and told Mark that he was feeling bad also. Mark looked up at the dark, monotonous silhouette of the trees and watched them move back and forth. He blinked his weighted eyes and opened them as Edgar talked about feeling very ill. His blurred vision could barely make out the silhouette which looked like someone very tall, standing over him. The silhouette, swaying slowly with the trees, appeared to be listening.
No one has seen the three brothers ever since that night, but the town hasn’t changed much since they went missing. New hunters were hired and the townsfolk just figured that the men got lost and starved to death. A small search party was sent out to find the men but they came back empty-handed. A few townsmen have told stories about four creatures howling up on Digitus Rock late at night, although the stories were very believable, the men who told them were not.