Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: A Recipe for Terror
By Richard Adams
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An original screenplay
The opening Scene:
It’s dark; almost pitch black, except for just a tiny spot of light to the right and across the room at about eye level. Adjusting to the little light in the room, there are streams of silvery moonlight that separate the sheer curtains and spread like ribbons across the room and at the foot of the oversized queen bed; there’s an ornate rod iron canopy with gentle flowing bows of white chiffon carefully and gracefully draped over each corner. Looking back across the room, a flat screen monitor is emitting a beam of pure light every second, precisely piercing through the darkness of the room and giving an impression the entire room is pulsating, beating steadily, like a heart beat. A single pixel of pure light just above the date and time displaces the absolute darkness; again and again it beats, 12.4.2010, 02:28:55, 56, 57, 58, and so on.
Moving from the monitor screen to the right, the pulsating light reveals the objects of a lady’s affection particularly placed around the room. Fine porcelain boxes and the finery of a woman’s room, silk and chiffon, delicate flower arrangements in crystal vases precariously perched on short piles of printed fine linen and open journals. There are exquisite crystal vials of expensive French perfumes, open make-up pallets and fluffy brushes poking up like cat tails from cobalt blue glasses and rows of gilded picture frames embracing fond memories of loved ones. Beside the head of the bed, tucked into the corner of the room where French doors open out to the balcony, there’s an overstuffed arm chair and ottoman heaped with throw pillows and an end table covered with piles of papers and letters from Abby’s childhood sweetheart and fiancé, Rocco.
The beaming moonlight forms luminous ribbon-like bands across the floor, and through the tall double pained windows behind the headboard, cottony mounds of glistening white snow sparkle like diamonds on the Sahara, but sheer chiffon and lace curtains mute the brilliant light and resist the cold winter night.
There is not the slightest hint of a chill inside, as the only sign of life here is the slow methodical rise and her gradual descending breath, as Abby sleeps restfully among the plentiful mountain of satin and feather bedding.
Suddenly, Abby shudders as she gasps for breath; a deep horrifying groan breaks the silence of her peaceful repose. Startled by something interrupting her sleep, she rises up in a panic! Her shaking hands tightly clutching the sheets below her chin, her breath is heavy and she feels like electricity has settled in her throat as she opens her eyes and looks round the room, expecting to see something terrible there. Relieved, she realizes it was a dream or a nightmare, and falls back into the warmth of her down covering to resume her dreamy place. Some times goes by, only minutes or maybe just a few seconds. When she stirs again as fear grips her, she jolts back to a sitting position, silently gazing through the darkness of her room. Something is wrong, terribly wrong, and somehow she knows that Rocco is in serious danger; what could it be and why is this happening?
She sat there thinking about the horrific images that flashed before her mind’s eye. What caused her to leap in fear? She could hardly believe it, massive explosions and huge fire plumes reminiscent of those from 911 in New York City back in 2001. People were running and screaming, slapping at the flames surrounding them, then falling to the ground and rolling in agony. The feeling of fear was overwhelming her as she wept and shook under its grip. This is terrible, and something that has never happened to her before.
She stayed there for a long time it seemed, concentrating on getting those horrifying images out of her mind, trying to get relaxed and maybe go back to sleep; she slipped in and out of awareness and finally dropped off when…
• ROGR (Abby’s PC): Good morning, Abby, a slightly baritone male voice comes from what seems like every corner of the room, but there’s no response.
There’s some movement in the jumble of blankets and pillows as Abby’s breath quickly rises and restfully falls off. Her willowy hand appears and brushes away the fine auburn hair obstructing her blurred vision as she sleepily replies; “Is it morning already?”
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