How can I create suspense in this writing?
Stars… I look at them, dream of them… They are so close, and yet, so far… They sparkle like tiny fireflies on the dark canvas of the bluish sky. The horns of the half-moon have newly vanished out of sight from the horizon, leaving behind them tenebrous ash. It seems the moon is looking at me with its silver-shining beam. I suddenly remember my great-grandfather’s old telescope of which my mother told me about an epoch ago (I might be exaggerating). His death was very enigmatic. Nobody knew how he disappeared. Nobody saw his cadaver.
“Mum? Mum! Do you remember great-granddad’s telescope you told me about?”
“Yes,” she answers slowly while walking down the stairs. “Why?”
“I want it.”
She suddenly becomes very pale. “What for?”
“The moon?” I say.
“Ugh… Now, the moon. You just don’t stop wanting things, do you?”
“Just give it. What could happen?”
“I don’t know where it is.”
I don’t think she doesn’t know. I am going to find that telescope.
I am very bored. And I don’t have one of those fancy PlayStation thingies to entertain me with. So I decide to write.
I throw the pen aside. I look at the blank paper in front of me. I can’t write. Not now. I stare at the starry sky through the window. The moon is beaming down at me, gleaming beautifully among the stars. I let my mind drift away. When will this end?
I open the door. I hear hurried steps coming toward me. It’s Mum.
“Where do you think you’re going at this hour?!”
“I have a … a school affair. It won’t be long.” I say, trying to sound casual.
“School affair? Bill! Where are you, Bill? You hear that? Your son has a school affair at midnight!”
Dad approaches but doesn’t show any sign of objection. I didn’t see him return from work. He and mum exchange significant glances, and then he says:
“Well, if it’s all about school, go on. And don’t be late.”
“Thank you, Dad, for trusting me.” I say, glaring at my mother.
Standing on the threshold, I let the cool breeze welcome my face. Let’s hope that this night I won’t be late, or at least, the late.
I know I don’t have to be here, but I am. I look at the yellowish walls of the hall. There are portraits hanged on both sides of them. Portraits of old principles, maybe. I can feel their eyes upon me. It’s a weird sensation. Everything’s looking at me. I can smell rotten flesh and hear eerie whispers. Do I have to do this? My heart starts thumping madly like a drum. My hands are sweating. My feet feel cold. I can’t move a single muscle. Paralysed at the sight of the dark hallway, I decide to stride down as quickly as I can. Where is my torch? I reach my bag and grasp the torch. It’s the only thing that will light my path…, my destiny. Either dead or alive, I will find what’s on the other end of this hall. I throw a final glance at the stairs leading to the first floor. I never liked these stairs, anyway. Time to move.
I proceed. I hear the muffled echo of my footsteps. From time to time, I stop. And each time I put my feet on the floor, I feel my body get heavier. I start to shiver as I observe the light at the end of the hallway get lower. I move densely, hesitating on my decision. A layer of stress covers me up as I hear the worrying whispers get louder. Suddenly, my torch switches off. Either I am going to swoon, or my head is going to explode. After a state of unconsciousness, I gather myself and move vigorously forward. Destination is unknown, object is none. Just curiosity. “Curiosity kills,” Gran says. I look at my watch. It’s late. The whispers vanish. As I whiff, I feel queasy because of the vile odour. I decide to return. Maybe I’ll do this later.
Today’s a good day because Mum and Dad are invited to the neighbour’s wedding ceremony. I nagged to stay home. This was the perfect chance to find the telescope. But Jared and Arthur call me and tell me that they’d be glad to accompany me to the school’s mysterious basement, where I was yesterday. The same things happen. I hold my breath and accelerate my steps. We heed the creak of the wooden stale parquet. As we advance, we hear the creaks get louder. I notice a small brown shag adorned carpet and feel something underneath as I step on it. I take a step back, and halt.
“What?” Shouts Arthur.
“There is something underneath this.”
“Hey, you. Stop talking literary English. You’re getting on my nerves.”
“I do not think this is the right time for this.”
“Now figure out what he said.”
I lean to see what that is. I throw the carpet away and notice a square dusty trapdoor. It has two circular knobs attached to it. I try to open the trapdoor by these; my efforts are in vain.
I assemble all my forces and send them to my hands. After several times and tries the trapdoor crashes of a sudden…
“Aaaaaaaa!” And I fall… I fall in an endless abyss.
I can’t feel my body. I haven’t touched the floor yet, if there is one… Time flies, so do I…
The pain in my feet is excruciating. It is merely tolerable. I cannot open my eyes, trying to vanquish the pain. I smell the old, the dust and the mould. I hear annoying scary droplets… Water? Or blood!? What is the aftermath of my thoughts? Should I take this perilous course? Ah, what was I thinking…? What has happened to Jared and Arthur? Finally, I feel myself and try to get up. I cannot stand up. The ground is dragging me down. I am woozy; I see everything foggy. I squint at three arched ebony doors. When I get better, I see engravings on each one of them. Surprisingly, I notice leo on the first door. On the second one, I see mørk. And skjebne on the last door. What do these mean? These doors do look malevolent and vindictive… to me. Shall I open one of them? Or shall I go back? I look up. Oh, no, I don’t see the hole where I fell from! I have no choice. My fate is trapped between these doors. These malicious, spiteful and scary doors! I crawl like a lizard toward the first door, because, obviously, it carries my name on it. I reach my hand to the metallic doorknob and a cold gush sweeps through my body. I open the wooden door. The cold air envelopes my body. I hear loud, whispered, maniacal laughters and high-pitched shuddery intermittent moans. As I enter, I (try to) stand up. The gravity is normal, I suppose. The door slams begrudgingly and hard. I shiver, though ice has replaced my spine. A slimmer of blue light comes from behind. It divides into three. Blue atmospheric ghost lights… What are those? Will-o’-the-wisps? They resemble flickering lamps. They chant, and continuously pronounce leo. They move. Two of them disappear. I try to touch the last one–it disappears too, but appears a little farther from me. I chase it; it goes away. The ground is marshy. Am I walking on a bog? I take another step forward, and feel my feet sink. I try to take off my foot but it’s glued. The bog continues its swallowing process, and I, desperately, give up on my efforts and wait for a consequence.
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa, man,” I hear Arthur’s voice. It can’t be. “We’re gonna getcha.”
It really is he. And there’s Jared here.