Writersverse #1

You may be wondering, what is Writersverse? It is the name of the writing group I am a part of which does speed writing every Thursday. Like the Spider-verse, each of us are given the same topics, (i.e. Spider-man) but then are given just a short amount of time to come up with our own original stories centered on the topics. I am pleased to say that I will be uploading my additions to our Writersverse so that you all can enjoy them too! -P.A.

Story #1

Time limit: 1 hour

Genre: Gothic

Theme: Humility

Prompt which must be in the story: Fire

The ancient grandfather clock sits against the blackened and creaking walls. Its deep booming voice sings out the time.

            Twelve deep thrumming clangs; the witching hour. 

            All is peaceful –tick- tick-

            All is calm –tock –tock-

            Upon the mantel rests a small chamberstick, its wax-filled flame illuminating a shadowed figure who passes by with urgency.

               “The Master has been shivering all night.” A woman’s voice whispered. Her voice carried a note of fear, “I have called for the doctor, but I fear he will not arrive in time.”

            Another figure, an old man whose wrinkles cast even darker shadows around his face, answered the woman, “I too fear the good Master will not live through the night. Bring me that chamberstick, I will watch over the Master until the doctor arrives.”

            The woman, dressed in a simple white gown, which under any other circumstances would have been too shameful to reveal, retrieved the chamberstick from the mantel.

            As she did so, her human ears, not so attuned to the realms which lie underneath her understanding missed an angry whisper and pop from the fire living under the mantel within the fireplace.

            “You chamberstick. You can not bring warmth to our Master’s bones,” The fire hissed and spat, “You are merely a bent piece of an iron gate, your usefulness has long since passed. Your flame is smaller than the kindling I am fed each morning, what use are you?”

            The fire paused to roar, “Bring the Master to me! I will heat his chilled body and rejuvenate his soul.”  

            The chamberstick was silent as the fire living under the mantel within the fireplace raged and popped.

            As the chamberstick was carried away in the shaking hands of the woman, he softly whispered, “My fire may be small, but I am needed and so I will go, until my usefulness is no more.”

            The chamberstick, placed in the hands of the old man, began the slow progression towards the Master’s room.

            Shuffle. Shuffle. Step.

            Shuffle. Shuffle. Step.

            The small flame inside the chamberstick shivering at the softly moving air currents and the shallow breathing of the old man.          

            “You there! chamberstick!” A hot-tempered voice called from down the hall, “You are the one that is going to help our Master see on this moonless night? The voice scoffed, “Your flame hardly illuminates one of my brass limbs!” The shrill vain voice echoed from the ornate girandole which hung upon the wall.

            “I should be the one to illumine our Master’s steps and guide the doctor at his bedside. Your dying flame will only cause the Master more hardship.” The girandole which hung upon the wall spit and spattered her wax about the floor in desperation to follow the old man.

            As the chamberstick and the old man passed by the girandole which hung upon the wall, the small chamberstick sighed, “My fire may be small, but I am needed and so I will go, until my usefulness is no more.”      

            The girandole let out a shriek at the words of the chamberstick, carelessly dropping one of her flames onto the heavily carpeted floor.

            The flame which fell from the girandole which hung upon the wall, sputtered and then grew, angrily consuming the hall of the Master and the fire living under the mantel within the fireplace.

            The old man, unaware of the commotion the great flames of destruction were causing, continued his journey to the bedroom of the Master.

             Shuffle. Shuffle. Step.

            Shuffle. Shuffle. Step.

            Arriving at the door, the old man gripped the carved doorknob in a quivering grip. He teetered and then pushed forward into the room which contained his sickened Master.

            “Master,” the old man creaked, “The doctor is on his way. Here is this chamberstick to illumine this horrid night and provide you with comfort.”

            The old man, held the small chamberstick aloft, its light reflecting off the pale, shivering completion of a well-groomed man in his late twenties.

            “Sebastian,” the Master groaned, “Place the chamberstick next to me, for my eyes are darkening and my skin repels even the smallest bit of warmth.”

            As the small chamberstick was placed upon the nightstand next to the Master’s bed, a great commotion drew the old man away from the Master and down the hall.

            A voice, full of malice and power roared to the small chamberstick, “I am the flame who fell from the girandole which hung upon the wall. I will consume all! Let me into where your Master is, I will burn the sickness from his bones and forever warm his body!”

            The small chamberstick shivered, “My fire may be small, but I am needed and so I will go, until my usefulness is no more.”     

            The flame who fell from the girandole which hung upon the wall laughed, “Your flame is dying even now, what can you do against my power?”

            Screams echoed down the hall, arousing the Master who weakly arose from his bed and stumbled. He grasped wildly in the air, his hand catching the small chamberstick bringing it down to the floor with him.

            Shivering and coughing, the master clutched the small chamberstick as the destruction from the flame who fell from the girandole which hung upon the wall encompassed all he owned.

With his last human breath, the Master closed his eyes and extinguished the chamberstick. 

In the glow of the raging fire, the small chamberstick softly whispered to the Master, “My fire may be small, but I was needed and so I went. Now my usefulness is no more.”      

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