Mini-story: A Dark Night

This was in response to a challenge to write a spooky story in 200 words or less. According to Libre Office, this is exactly 200 words.  It certainly helped me get more bang for my buck, verbage-wise!

 

Why is that bell ringing?

I wondered this as I walked along the dark, foggy street. It was late and I knew the people at home would be wondering.

I checked my phone again – no signal. Strange behaviour for a trusty device.

The bell continued to toll, deep and sonorous. It sounded like nothing modern.

My steps quickened as I dashed from pool to pool of light, cast by the yellowish streetlights. A chill went through me as I thought about the darkness that lay in the alleyways. No one else was around, and I suddenly realized that all the shop windows were dark as well.

Still the bell rang. An image came to mind, an old Buddhist temple in Japan. Though I tried to focus on the modern details around me, the pavement and the signs and the street lights, I couldn’t help but think of mossy stone walls and a festival honouring the dead.

I hurried on, wanting nothing more to get home. Then, as I passed one particular alleyway, I heard drums and dancing feet. The bells were loud enough to split my head…

…I ran off into the fog, turning my eyes away from lantern light.

 

 

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