Weekend Writing Warriors – Melissa Goes Down the Stairs


Welcome again to another round of Weekend Writing Warriors. A great place to meet new writers and get your name out there in the writing world. The winter is winding down and while it makes many of you happy, I’m the opposite simply because that means I have to stow away my skis and snowshoes. Although, this winter has been VERY COLD and I can’t believe that I once thought about moving to northern Canada – guess I won’t be doing that!

Ah well, I’m continuing to share eights from my YA horror, The Burning Night. Thanks so much to all those that commented on my previous post and hope to see your helpful comments this week. In this eight, Melissa has located her sisters’ slippers by a stairwell leading to a basement. Wanting to locate her sister, Melissa goes down the stairs.

Here’s the eight:


    I gaped at the flight of wooden steps, but there was no way I was going to let my bare feet touch all that dust, so I ignored the sign and kept my flip-flops on. I let my foot sink onto the first creaky stair, hoping it wouldn’t break as I bit my lip. Once I knew it was stable enough, I stuck the other foot onto the next stair and gingerly descended into the basement. The stairs squeaked with every step and an ozone-like tang from below almost turned me crossed-eyed. As I came to the bottom of the staircase, I spotted Ashley watching TV and sitting cross-legged on a large lime green sofa in front of a dry wall. A gray line spanned across it a foot above her head. She looked up from the TV screen and stared at me incredulously.  “Didn’t you see the sign?”


In case you are wondering, Ashley is referring to the sign upstairs that asks that everyone take off their shoes/slippers before going into the basement. Too bad, she doesn’t know what lies ahead. I know what many of you are thinking: Don’t do it Melissa! And you’re so right. I’ll continue this next week. This is a first draft, and I’m working on editing so I will take your suggestions into consideration. Thanks for stopping by and have a great Sunday!

*One note: For those of you who are new to my snippets, Melissa and her sister are staying at a country house in upstate New York, rented by their parents for a few days. Melissa’s parents have left them alone in the house, while they go out for the evening in the local town.

I’m also participating in Facebook’s Snippet Sunday.


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36 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – Melissa Goes Down the Stairs

  1. I probably wouldn’t go barefoot down a wooden staircase either, lol. Nice 8. 🙂

  2. Frank, your descriptions are so great! I’m still picturing my parents’ house before my friend’s husband worked down and did a lot of cleaning.

  3. Good description and foreshadowing of danger ahead. Good eight!

    • That’s what I was hoping to accomplish. I’m kind of weak with narrative, but it’s a working progress.

  4. Ooh, the girl obviously likes her privacy. Good description of descending the stairs.

    • which girl are you referring to? If it’s Ashley, she wants to watch TV and the only one is in the basement. Glad you liked it.

  5. Ashley’s line is just perfect, Frank. She obviously isn’t as sensitive to the weirdness as her sister!

    • No, she doesn’t notice anything (yet!) I think it’s better when characters think differently about situations…it creates tension.

  6. I’m glad she kept her flip flops on! I could really picture the basement, great description…

  7. I like the way you used the senses in your description: squeaky stair, ozone-like tang, lime green sofa. You really took me into the scene.

  8. But of course nobody pays any attention to stupid signs like that! 🙂
    Really makes me wonder, what’s with the footwear ban, and what’s going to happen?

  9. You’ve made me really curious about what’s going on and what’s going to happen! Excellent snippet. 🙂

    • Well thank you Dianne. I’ll be sharing more over the next month, so you’ll see exactly what happens.

  10. elainecsc2013

    Nice foreshadowing.

  11. I loved your use of details.

  12. I like the tension relief at the end. Not what I expected to read! I think that’s important in horror stories, to ease up every now and again…and you do that well, Frank. Good 8! 🙂

    • Thanks Teresa. Yes, there needs to be a balance in horror stories. This is a little break for them and they’ll need it for what they’re going to face later.

  13. I would have kept my shoes, too. Those stairs sound like a death-trap. Love the line about the stench almost turning her cross-eyed. It’s funny and worrisome at the same time.

    • The basement is meant to be unpleasant for Melissa. This took a lot of work before I could get it right.

  14. Dang, this would be a perfect read by the fireplace on a blizzardy winter night 😀

    • I agree, but you might change your mind about the fireplace when you see what happens to the girls later in the story.

  15. Don’t take those shoes off!

  16. I lived in a house with steps like that. They weren’t dusty, but I hated going down to the basement, mostly because of the steps.

    • I think most people who live in houses hate going down the steps to their basement. This was meant to add to the fear that Melissa is experiencing.

  17. Ashley’s banter with her sister is so spot on…my teens were always challenging each other.

    • I’m glad I got that dead on. I’m sure your kids would’ve done that, too. Hope you’ll like the next eight.

  18. I was drawn right into this and surprised that Ashley was down there, unharmed. Still, there’s a definite sense of foreboding. Looking forward to the next instalment!

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