GOTHIC FICTION - YOUNG AUTHOR CHARLIE GOODMAN

Suddenly, I heard it. It was coming from the other side of the passage. Or was it? The distant yet familiar ghastly soundtrack of fear. The audible cacophony of noise, layers of memories embedding my ears and haunting me once more. The light envelops my eyes…

I awake from my flea-ridden bed feeling a sense of perpetual fatigue. The same thoughts had clouded my mind upon my slumber last night and manifested into a horrifying nightmare. The hooded man for whom I bore witness under the light of the moon, possessed a visage resembling my own, and was covered head to toe in crimson blood. I shook my head vigorously, hoping to erase these disturbing memories from my mind.

Merely standing up was more of an arduous task than I expected, and I curse my peripheral vision for once more making my stomach churn by revealing to me the dilapidated windows, bearing an extensive array of rancid fungi. I turn swiftly to face the dank, cobblestone wall, and spot columns upon columns of tally charts, “Am I not the first here, why am I here?” I think to myself.

Looking at the heavily reinforced door on the opposite end of the room, I suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to laugh uproariously, which I fail to suppress. I continue for a remarkable 10 minutes, before I collapse to my knees and hunger takes it’s hold, “I’M NOT CRAZY! I’M NOT CRAZY! I’M NOT CRAZY!” I repeat to myself over and over, as an attempt to reconcile with my inner demons.

All of a sudden, I feel a withered hand perch on my shoulder, I turn around, but beheld only my own rugged countenance in the smashed mirror. Retreating back to my derelict bed, I consider letting hunger and thirst take their toll and whisk my life away, as I watch the small droplets of water fall through the ceiling cracks, knowing they will not sustain me.

Before I can conduct anymore introspection, I drift off into a deep sleep and behold the hooded nightmare once more, he approaches me with malicious intent, even more crimson than before, and strikes with a knife deep into my chest, I suddenly feel a whisper within my ear, “Do you remember now?”.

With a gasp I’m snapped back to reality, and notice an identical knife embedded within my real chest. Memories flood back to me, and I realise, I’m a former entrepreneur turned murderer. I’m in prison. Those tally charts are…mine! My eyes began to flutter uncontrollably, and I embrace my dreadful sins.

Suddenly, I heard it. Again. The distant yet familiar ghastly soundtrack of fear. The audible cacophony of noise, layers of memories embedding my ears and haunting me once more. The light envelops my eyes…