Assignments from the Protagonize Editor's Desk

A challenge to assign fellow Protagonizers to write one chapter stories on a designated first line. The writer uses the given title as the first words in the story. Then that writer calls out a different writer and gives that writer the next opening line such as ...
RiverTalker: It was a dark and story night ...

A challenge to assign fellow Protagonizers to write one chapter stories on a designated first line.  The writer uses the given title as the first words in the story.  Then that writer calls out a different writer and gives that writer the next opening line such as ... 

RiverTalker: It was a dark and story night ...

It was a dark and stormy night ... when I first met the Ghost of Canterbury.

Seeking shelter from the cold rain, I walked up the old stone steps, the grey granite blackened by years of London ash and smoke.  But in the night rain, the wet places reflected the streetlights and the flashes of lightning, the dry places merely had the look of old.

Behind me towered those heavy doors of ancient timbers, somehow holy by their sheer weight and age, somehow made ominous by the black, medieval, ironware that held it together.  As probably with all passers-by, I could not resist the temptation to grasp the old iron and give the door a pull.  I expected nothing, but instead, almost to my horror, the door moved.

"This cannot be.  Not at this hour."  But it was. 

Inside I found nothing but echoes and darkness.  The only sound was the sound of thunder echoing down from the roof; the only light was the momentary lightning flashes as they passed through the stained glass windows.  It felt like a land called Lonely.

Then far distant at the altar, a lit candle appeared.  With the candle came the sound of footsteps, metered footsteps, slow and steady.  I thought of calling out, but then I chose not to be so bold.  For who was I to inquire of this unseen soul.  I was the stranger, the intruder, the uninvited one.

Down the long aisle, the pathway of kings and bishops through these many years, came the candle and the footsteps.  Closer and closer, the apparition floated through the night air.  At times, in the moments of lightning, I thought I could see the visage of this silent someone.  But then again, no.

The flicker of the candle now approached, the footsteps becoming less filled with echo.  And where there ought to have been substance of this approaching soul, there instead was but the ether of empty nothing. 

I watched and tried to breathe the candle come to me.  And it did.  Then it paused to pay a moment's reverence and respect before drifting away to other rooms of darkness.

The storm finally died away, but not my heart-stopping moments with the Ghost of Canterbury.

 

 

The End

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