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This is a question The Dark

17,000 writes: Everything bad happens in the dark. Tell us your stories of noises and bumps in the night, power cuts, blindfolds and cinema fumbling.

(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 15:49)
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The strangest boreen in Ireland.
For those who are unfamiliar with the word, a boreen is a small country road. No paving or anything like that - more like a track. My family holidays more often than not consisted of trips to Clare where we would stay in a variety of damp holiday cottages situated along a boreen far from the nearest village.

One year the whole family went at the same time. Mum and Dad hired a cottage at one end of the lane and my aunts clubbed together to stay in another about half a mile further up the road, on the other side of the road. Halfway between the two, on our side of the road, was a ruined cottage with no roof, door or windows (you see these all over the place in Ireland) and that was it - no other houses or buildings for a couple of miles.

The boreen was kind of creepy even in daylight for no specific reason. Maybe it was the silence - it was the furthest out we had ever stayed. When we arrived the first night it was already pitch black and my uncle, who had picked up the keys earlier, was a bit jumpy after walking down on his own to let us in. He'd near shat himself when he walked into the bedroom and found himself face-to-face with a large statue of St Theresa smiling at him in the gloom. Now this was a man who was born and brought up in the wilds of Wales so it wasn't a townie reaction the dark. He was genuinely freaked out for no real reason.

A few days after we arrived, Dad pointed out that there was smoke coming out of the chimmney of the ruined cottage. We went up later and poked about but couldn't see any sign of a fire, recent or otherwise. My family all thinks of themselves as a bit fey and so no one was unduly freaked by this - there was just a bit of finger wiggling and making of ghostly noises. It was sort of intriguing but not really scarey. That said, Dad did tend to drive up and down to the other house, but that could have been laziness, so none of us, apart from my uncle, walked the road in darkness.

On one of the last nights of the holiday Mum, my sister and I spent the evening at the Aunts' house and were waiting for Dad to come and collect us. My uncle turned up in a friend's car, more than a bit worse for wear, and said that he and Dad had a few drinks in town and so Dad couldn't drive up. It late and so the only choice was for the three of us to walk down on our own in the dark.

As a cowardly teenager I did the only sensible thing and clung on to my Mum's arm for dear life as we walked along. My sister decided this was the best bet too so the three of started off down the road, all trying to talk naturally (none of us wanted to let on we were scared) but all walking far faster than normal. As we got nearer the ruined cottage the conversation trailed off and I had that panicky conviction that "something was about to happen" so I did the only thing possible and shut my eyes knowing that the other two wouldn't be able to tell in the dark. It turns out that on the other side of Mum, my sister came to the same conclusion and had decided that what ever it was, she didn't want to see it either. Thankfully, Mum was a bit braver than us or we would have ended up in a ditch.

All of a sudden Mum lurched into a run, dragging me and my sister along with her and didn't stop till we got home. Nothing was said as we ran, the adrenelin just kicked and we all legged it. Inside the door we could see that Mum was white as a sheet. According to what she said, the moon had come out behind us as we walked along and cast very clear shadows onto the road in front of us. The only problem was there were four not three.
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 13:27, 14 replies)
Gets a click for being spooky enough to give me goosebumps on a sunny day.
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 14:36, closed)
Nicely done
Well written, and frightened the hell out of me.

(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 15:38, closed)

(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 16:13, closed)
That's made me feel all weird! *click*
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 16:47, closed)
Who else was there? Why were there 4 shadows?
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 17:19, closed)
It's not a ghost story, it's an anecdote.
No-one can tell you why there were four shadows because they all legged it out of there.
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 18:54, closed)
Why tell a story if there are unresolved elements pertaining to the tale's climax?
(, Sun 26 Jul 2009, 19:23, closed)

(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 8:27, closed)
Well told story, great ending. Nothing else needed to be said. I have goosebumps!
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 13:59, closed)
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 0:47, closed)
Well told story. *Click*
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 11:30, closed)
Very good
Nicely written. Creepy and atmospheric. *Click*.

*looks over shoulder*
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 13:09, closed)
Now this one
deserves to be written as a short story, because it gives a nice chill and does it so simply.
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 21:07, closed)
Why, thank you all
Is it wrong to be pleased by the fact that I've scared people?
(, Mon 27 Jul 2009, 22:25, closed)

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