This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I could see the sea of green stretched out in front of me on the tired, weary road. It was completely silent, it felt as if this part of the world was entirely empty of humankind. The wheels on the car were even quiet, unlike the whole trip here, as if to say the car itself knew something didn't feel right.
"Mother?" I asked, peering through the rear view mirror. The expression on her face just screamed she knew what I was about to ask.
"Are we going the right direction?"
I don't honestly believe she had one ounce of a clue as to where we were. She bought us a house in Seattle, Washington that was the most affordable for her in such a hurry. The house was instantly my mother's once she said she was interested. It felt too easy...the house felt practically handed to her, like no one else wanted it.
As I glanced back towards the road, I looked into the mirror to see my mother trying to figure out the directions with her map and my little brother Sammy staring off into space. I began drifting off into the green wonder that surfaces this place. I tried counting every tree I saw, maybe one hundred...two hundred...I was engulfed by what appeared to be green goblins. My mother started staring at her phone she was now using for directions. She wasn't used to modern day technology. She mumbled curses at the phone, forcibly pushing buttons to make it work. She looked like a baby discovering flavors for the first time, her eyes wide like marbles.
We drove for a little more than five minutes and then I heard my mother say, "That's it!" She continues pointing towards the house, "Stop the car!"
I park the car in front of the house. It gave me chills just looking at it. It was huge, a little too big to fit our three-person family. It had a garden in the backyard that looked like the flowers were survivors of a horrible storm. The house seemed very taken over by sadness. The paint on the house was chipped and gray. The windows looked foggy and dust appeared to fill its corners. The steps entering the house were broken like someone had taken a hammer and smashed them so no one would enter. The atmosphere was very uncomfortable, as I was exiting the car all I could think was this isn't a family home, this is a madhouse.
My mother's wide, so enthusiastic smile started to become seldom and forced at the corners slightly. My brother Sammy looked blank, not really showing disgust or happiness... just a plain look that was very unreadable. My mother turned to face us, as we stood on the curb of the street suitcases in hand, and said "Well, welcome home boys!". I could tell she was faking her excitement, but I felt no need to comment. I felt the need to go back into the car and drive away.
Sammy had found the bathroom and started playing with the faucets, turning them on and off, running through the house playing with the light switches. Some worked and some fizzled with flashes then shut off. Sammy was nine years old and had the curiosity of a cat. He was very fascinated with things and how they worked. He found things that were normally described as "disturbing" or "terrifying" to be very interesting. This concerned me, unlike my mother. I just found it strange... and dangerous.
As I walked through the quiet halls I soon found the place I would call my room. It was small, I didn't mind, I don't have many things. I've kept mostly everything from Ohio, the place I would always call home, at least it used to be. The room had a large, tall window to the right side. It was larger than a normal sized window, most likely because of the houses old structure, I couldn't imagine how old it was.
When I looked out, my eyes felt like they were struck open...and frozen in the moment. There were large trees stretched up to the sky that resembled giants. There was a sickening feeling I got at the fog that appeared to cast over it. The trees looked as if they would go on forever in the distance. There was a barbed wire around the width of it as a way of saying, "You can't enter here". However, that wire seemed old and in some places it deteriorated and someone, who was small enough, may be able to get through.
As I continued gazing upon the unsettling forest I saw a blonde pigtailed girl being pulled by the hand towards it. The blonde pigtailed girl was being pulled by a young girl, with brown hair, that was most likely around the same age as her. She looked, by the way the blonde pigtailed girl was being pulled, like she had the power of ten hulks combined. I didn't know what was happening or why they were even there in the first place. I hadn't seen anyone for miles back, where did they come from?
The window made it hard to hear as it made sound stay outside instead of in my ears. I tried opening the window but it wouldn't budge no matter how hard I tried to open it. I could faintly understand what they were saying as I pressed myself closer against the window.
"C'mon! I want to see" I heard the brown haired girl say, still pulling the blonde pigtailed girl.
"No! Stop!" The blonde pigtailed girl yelled and pulled at the brown haired girls arm to go back from where they came. Tears were streaming down her face like a waterfall, but the brown haired girl didn't seem to be fazed at all by the tears. Almost like she was used to them.
"I want to go home!" the blonde pigtailed girl shouted and the brown haired girl stopped pulling and the blonde pigtailed girl flew back onto the floor.
"Mama said no Elizabeth, you can't go in there" the blonde pigtailed said, wiping the tears that had fallen from her eyes that now stained her face.
Sisters I thought, as I watched the event unfold. I didn't know what to do. Should I stop her? But, what would I have been stopping her from? A part of me wanted to go tell those girls to go home and stop fighting each other, but another part of me...maybe more wicked or sick...wanted to see what would happen if she went inside. Curiosity always kills the cat.
The brown haired girl, whose name I now know as Elizabeth ignored her sister’s pleas and commands. She looked as if she were in a trance and her mind was controlling her movement. It was like an invisible puppeteer was moving her closer towards the open part of the fence. She slowly reached her hand toward the entrance to the mysterious darkness and a scream escaped her innocent lips.
Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.
Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Karissa, author of Elements Of Engagement, an otherwise dark and twisted tale of love and workplace intrigue, very 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to be sure, her writing style being very graphic ad otherwise sexually-charged, hence the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' reference, and as for her use of g...
Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...
Bradley Darewood: I really really really liked this. I just voted for you!The voice is flawless-- I can't write men as well as you do and I have a penis. Maybe I'm narcissistic but I particularly enjoyed the moment where he muses about how artists would do better in such a solitary job. But my favorite moment ...
Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...
Ben Gauger: Kudos to Bryan Laesch, author of Remnants of Chaos:Chaotic Omens for his use of the Gothic style of writing and in addition the footnotes and endnotes at the end of each chapter, a welcome accompaniment to be sure, though his use of grammar could use a little improving, but his use of punctuation...
gunter1987: I just want to say here that this is my first review, but I really wanted to review this story. I apologize if I don't write English to well, I am French.Reading through the many science fiction stories posted here and other places in the world, I started to see a few linking themes: heavy-hande...
E_W_Hemmings: First of all, sorry this review took so long: I've had science mocks recently and then when I came to read this, I made notes to put in the review like I usually do... but then I deleted them. Well done me. As a result, this review is a bit more general than most reviews I write, but hey ho, let'...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."