Development on my first novel is progressing fast. I haven’t decided on a title yet (perhaps The Big Dark Building) but I have actually finished the rough draft, something I haven’t done before. I think what helped me complete this phase of the project was my creating such a tense and terrifying atmosphere that the only way to relieve it was to keep writing until I reached the end of the story. Now the next step is to expand the story further by working in additional paragraphs to describe the abandoned building’s dark interior and to help build suspense. An excerpt:
Slowly I approached the door and pulled it open to enter the yawning darkness of the vast auditorium. I shone my light around and illuminated rows and rows of empty, dusty seats facing the stage where the chain link fence still hung in front to protect the audience from the Jai Alai action. I began to feel a sense of accomplishment after all. This was what I wanted to see, these remnants of the past and how they stood the test of time. From what I saw here, time has done much to preserve the contents of this building. Now satisfied with achieving my mission objective, I shone the light around the auditorium one last time and then suddenly screamed at the sight of two glowing eyes staring at me from the floor near the stage. I quickly turned my flashlight away as I recoiled from the sudden shock but when I shone my light again, the eyes were gone.
What the hell was that? Too scared to move, I sunk into one of the chairs, continuing to shine my light around the dark auditorium during my desperate search for the answer. Then it dawned on me. Maybe it was just a cat or a raccoon, or maybe some unknown creature of the night…
No, I corrected myself. It’s definitely a cat. There’s a family of them that live near the adjacent train station. Maybe this is where they go during the day.
Feeling better, I let out of a sigh of relief, ashamed that I allowed myself to react like that. Good thing no one saw me.
What was that?
My ears picked up a sound of what sounded like a door slamming from somewhere in the building. Was I not the only one here? And then I heard something more terrifying than what I just heard.
I quickly switched off my light and was consumed alive by the darkness. I sat still, holding my breath, listening to the footsteps become louder and louder. I began to sense there was someone else in the building. Then I heard some loud banging followed by a steady creaking from below the mezzanine. I could tell by the sound that there were some doors opening at this very moment. Wait a minute? Weren’t those doors locked when I tried opening them? Then how-?
My discussion was quickly silenced when I heard louder footsteps that seemed to suggest there was someone in the auditorium below. I held my breath as I listened. As I continued hearing the footsteps, something new arose that just didn’t make sense.
Footsteps? In pitch black darkness?
As my anxiety began to build, I began squeezing my flashlight as if seeking some stress relief. Suddenly my light switched on as if my thumb pressed down a little too hard. Before I knew it I lifted my flashlight and began shining it around. Instantly the footsteps stopped. I sat there in my chair, trembling with fear. My wrist held the flashlight straight so it shone directly at the stage and I noticed I was too scared to move. Why did I even decide to come here in the first place? What good did it do me to break into an abandoned building alone?
Suddenly my flashlight caught a glimpse of something flying towards me. I screamed as the unknown object sailed over my head and landed on the floor behind my seat. Ever so slowly I turned around, shining my flashlight behind me to see what it was.
It was a Halloween mask of a skull.