An old cloak
You find an old cloak in your grandma’s wardrobe (or closet) that appears to be made out of shadows.
It is moving in a gentle unseen breeze.
Two elderly men in a nursing home exchange life stories during their time there.
They gradually come to realise they are not strangers to each other as they have previously thought.
Their paths have crossed before.
A stranger led you into this bazaar and then abandoned you there. What were you doing with them in the first place and why did they lead you there?
Can you describe your surroundings and how it feels to be standing there not knowing where you are or how to get out?
You can hear a bell tolling nearby, where is it coming from and what does it mean?
Imagine you are standing among the trees. What does the air around you feel like? Is there a breeze? What can you smell? What can you hear?
How would you describe the beams of light and the shadows without using the words light or sun?
Stretch your imagination and try to find unusual, highly descriptive words.
You are standing at the bottom of these stairs looking up.
Why have you come down them and what is waiting for you at the top?
Alternatively, what is behind you at the bottom?
Write about your situation without telling the reader exactly where you are or what is at the top of the stairs – or behind you. Use descriptive language to convey a picture that the reader can build up in their own mind. Make them use their imagination.
Use sparing language and make your reader feel the chill in their bones – whether it is the chill of air temperature or fear.
Remember; it is often what you cannot see that is the most vivid. Hitchcock used this to great effect. He rarely showed violence, he left you to imagine it. Think Psycho and the shower curtain scene.
Abandoned and decaying spaces fascinate us for all sorts of reasons. It might be the imagined history of the place or even knowledge of it before it fell into disrepair.
We can imagine the place is full of ghosts, but it will certainly be full of memories echoing down the corridors.
What does this space conjure up for you?