Weekend Writing Warriors: Ashley Where For Art Thou?


Do you write? Have a story in progress that you want to share with the world? Weekend Writing Warriors is just the place for that. 8 sentences from your writing published/unpublished every Sunday. Thanks for stopping by my blog to read my post. I was originally going to skip out on this, but decided what the heck! Many thanks as well to everyone who provided constructive feedback. I don’t know how I could’ve made errors like that, but your honesty was appreciated.

Today, I’m continuing from my last eight of my YA horror short story, The Burning Night. I’m happy to say I finished the first draft last week (now for the editing). So far, the house is giving Melissa the creeps and now she’s trying to locate her younger sister, Ashley. She tries to call her name, but doesn’t get a response and now she’s worried. Here’s the eight, and hopefully I get this one right:

I called my sister’s name again, but she didn’t reply. Subzero fear twisted around my heart, then suddenly I heard laughter of an audience resonating from below. Looking ahead, I noticed a light coming from a stairwell. As I followed it, I saw Ashley’s slippers on top of a red mat by the edge of the stairwell. A sign was mounted on the wall above her slippers, written in black paint which read: LEAVE SHOES/SLIPPERS HERE BEFORE YOU GO IN THE BASEMENT.

My head flinched back slightly as I wondered why a homeowner would care if someone went into their basement with shoes on. The decayed stairs were gritty and dusty, making me turn up my nose.

            “Ashley, you actually went down those steps in your bare feet,” I muttered.

Now the sign might seem strange, but later in the story you’ll see why it’s there. As many of you know, Ashley will regret this, but don’t spoil it for those that haven’t read it. I’d love to get your feedback on this, and I shall do the same for you in return. 

I’m happy to say I’ll continue with this next week. Now that winter is coming to a close, I won’t be skiing every weekend (I’m gonna miss that). For those that read the earlier snippets of this story, I intend to share those scenes again. I’ve edited them and would love your feedback on it. Have a good Sunday everyone!

*I’m going to be out on a snowshoeing trip all day, so I won’t be able to read and comment on posts until late this evening. I’ll do my very best to get to everyone and I appreciate your patience.


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34 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Ashley Where For Art Thou?

  1. I can totally understand why she is thinking about the shoes sign, pretty unusual.

  2. Yeah, that sign isn’t right. Something not so nice is waiting in the basement, I’ll bet! Great tension, Frank!

  3. Spooky. I got the impression (before I read on beyond your snippet) that Ashley would live to regret whatever is going on down there.

  4. Eerie and fraught with suspense! Makes me want to continue reading, for sure.

  5. And that’s why I don’t read horror … ya know she is going to take off her shoes and she’s gonna go down there and that it is a BIG mistake. Nicely done.

  6. Good job, Frank. Subzero fear! Just right. Super eight.

    • I’m glad. I got that from a book which helps romance writers – ironic that it helps with horror in this situation.

  7. Nice snippet. I love the “I can’t believe you did that” big sister attitude.

  8. What a weird sign…and just because of it, I’d want to do the opposite. Nice tension-building here!

    • I would too, but when you see what happens to them later, you’ll be saying, “Shoulda kept your shoes on!”

  9. Great snippet, Frank–I can see those rickety stairs.My parents have steps like that in their old house.

  10. Karen Michelle Nutt

    Loved the intriguing snippet. Made we want to follow Melissa and find out why Ashely continued down the steps. Congrats on finishing the draft and good luck on the editing!

    • Thanks Karen, I’m glad I’ve finished it, too. Hopefully by sharing it on W.W.W. I can get some good feedback. Of course I want seek an editor, but I don’t know where to begin with that.

  11. That sign would certainly make me wonder about a lot of things! Great snippet!

  12. Nice pacing! I felt like I was along on a little adventure. My curiosity is piqued, Frank. Good job!

  13. burnsmillie

    This story has me cringing, cause I know what lies ahead. For once be a rebellious teenager and keep your shoes on!

    • You seem to be the only one that really hates seeing Melissa and Ashley suffer what they did later on. I’m glad you remember it, it’s creepy but the readers would like to read it I’m sure. Hope this story doesn’t make you afraid to walk around your house barefoot (LOL).

  14. I remember this story! My first reaction was, “Don’t do it, Melissa! Go get some asbestos socks!”

    You’ve entered R.L. Stine Territory, Frank—creepy and compulsively readable! 😀

    • I figured that’s what you would say. I was saying that myself. You’ll see more next week. Thanks for mentioning R.L. Stine – I used to love reading his books.

  15. Your excerpt makes me think: “Don’t go down into that basement!” I like subzero fear.

    IMHO: You might try something I’ve recently become aware of to make the scene stronger. Rather than write: “I heard laughter,” make it more immediate by writing “Laughter resonated from below.” Instead of “I noticed,” write: “Up ahead, light came from a stairwell.”

    Try it and see if it works for you.

  16. Ooh, I remember the bit you’re referring to. Suddenly things make sense…

    It’s funny how people will obey signs, isn’t it? Except ‘stay off the grass’ signs. I like the red mat, it makes the sign seem so much more official.

    The line “my head flinched back” reads oddly to me, though. People flinch, not their body parts, usually.

    • Thanks for the comments. I’ve used your suggestion. Yes, having that sign there is the puppet master’s way of making sure the victim has no shoes to protect their feet.

  17. Snowshoeing instead of skiing this weekend, I take it. Rather strange–where are their parents?

    • The parents are enjoying a night out in the local town. They’ve left Melissa in charge. Yes, this weekend was snowshoeing instead of skiing. The season is winding down now.

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