What ho, comrades all! So, I'm writing a little story for a little writing contest, and I wanted your opinions and constructive criticism. It's actually a dream I had a while ago; I just tweaked it a little. Also, do you have any ideas for titles? I can't think of one.
P.S. Oh and I forgot to mention- this is just the first part. I decided to post the story in two parts, as the whole thing might be kinda long for one post. I'll post the second part tomorrow or the next day.
I love castles. And graveyards. They both represent the same things to me; both remnants of a by-gone age, monuments of once-living people. They both have an air of mourning, of grand quietness, of remembrance.
Initially, when I was informed that I would be staying with Uncle Remus instead of Uncle Peregrin and his children, I was disappointed. Uncle Peregrin owned a castle. But I couldn’t stay with him while my parents were away because he was on vacation in Greece. Uncle Remus was willing to let me stay with him, and since he was my only option, I had to reconcile myself to staying only in his old country house and not in a castle. However, I was told that there was an old military graveyard near his house. I agreed to let that be the compensation.
But for the first few days of my stay I had no time for exploring. My uncle was a bachelor; consequently his house was a disaster. You wouldn’t have thought he had planned on my visit, and from the way he ignored me and spent his time away from the house, I couldn’t figure out why he had agreed to let me stay with him. But his absences turned out for the best, since I spent the first four days pulling the house apart in an attempt to make it habitable. He may have been able to live in a nearly destroyed house, but I couldn’t.
The fifth morning of my stay dawned bright and sunny. Up till now it had been dull and cloudy, and I felt that I couldn’t waste a day like this cleaning. I was disappointed and fed up with the creaky old house and the creaky old uncle who was never there. I packed myself a lunch and a book, and felt ready to finally do some real exploring.
It was November, and the hills and trees about the house had looked desolate and lonely, but the sun had dried up the puddles and changed the land from winter back to autumn. The land was frosty and the trees looked mysterious without their leaves. It was the perfect atmosphere in which to find a graveyard.
I didn’t know where the graveyard was; when I had asked him, Uncle had told me vaguely that it was ‘north’. But I must have only gone a mile from the house when I saw an old moss covered stone wall peeking through the bare trees. As I drew closer the trees revealed a high arched gate, and peering through this I could see the familiar solemn gravestones. The archway was hideously ugly, with a gargoyle of death perched atop the archway, leering mischievously at me. I didn’t want to pass under the arch to get to the graveyard; I had an uncomfortable feeling that the gargoyle would know I was there if I did. I jumped over the wall.
Inside the graveyard was deadly quiet. I always say, if you want somewhere to read or study in undisturbed silence, a graveyard was the place to go; and this one was no exception. As I walked about, studying the gravestones, I felt almost as though I was wrongly disturbing the eternal quiet and the bodies resting beneath still ground. The graveyard must have been either very old, or not well-tended, for the stones were crumbling and the inscriptions were for the most part worn away. A few of the more readable ones merely stated the name and age of the body beneath it. The names were very odd, I thought. Shalamanzar, Abimalek, and Hepsiba, were some of the more legible ones; even though the gravestone said their bodies weren’t at the actual graves because they couldn’t be found. Every so often a little carving of a knight or crossed swords was engraved on a stone; but this was the only sign that the burial ground was a military one.
It wasn’t a very large graveyard, and eventually it dead-ended in a high ivy-covered wall. Now, I have a natural suspicion of ivy-covered walls; in all the books they always seem to be hiding something behind them. I pulled back the ivy - but there was no hidden door. Nothing daunted, I kicked the wall and punched it, trying to loosen the stones to see what lay behind the wall. I finally threw my whole body against the crumbling stones. I felt the wall suddenly give way, and with a rush and a crash it fell apart, carrying me with its avalanche to the other side. As the dust settled, I sat up groaning – then yelped and jumped a foot in the air. I was staring straight into the open mouth of a dragon.