What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Dark Shadows: The Umbrella Killer" Part 1 by Destiny

"Dark Shadows: The Umbrella Killer" Part 1 by Destiny

It was a typical rainy day in the seaside town of Mowadeng. Most people and animals were hiding from the storm. Not many people knew this land existed nor the great secret, which it held, making it all the more safe for the people who lived there. There was a legend that was told as far back as I can recall of an underground city that lay beneath my beloved land. It was a city different from our own where human kind lived and was something of a tall tale for those in our home.

Two children were playing in the nursery of the mansion where we lived. Being the weather was such as it was, not much was stirring inside or out. I was contenting myself baking bread in the kitchen, minding my own business, when suddenly from the nursery came the most terrifying scream from a child that I have ever heard in my life. I turned quickly to go upstairs and found myself in sudden darkness. I felt around for the light switch on the wall, which I knew was behind me but found nothing. Feeling my way along the wall I found my way upstairs and into the room where my children were. I rummaged through the drawer and found a match and lit it.

Caleb, age 2, and Lilian, age 5, were huddled on the floor hugging each other still screaming when I entered. I bent down to hold them close and comfort them. Once they had calmed down, Lilian said in a creaky timid voice, "Mommy I saw a shadow of a man in the window. He was holding my jackalope in one hand and a knife in the other. Mommy I know it was my jackalope; it had to be and the bad man killed it." She began to cry.

It had really turned stormy and I knew there couldn't be anything outside on a night like this, no less a man as she had just told me. Both in there PJ’s and too scared to sleep in their own room, they climbed into my bed with me and I lay with them until they went off to sleep. Not quite able to bring myself to leave them yet, I lay there reading a letter from my grandmother that she had written too me before she died sharing what she remembered of my life before Mowadeng. This is a long story so I’ll tell it another time and on we go too what happens next.

The wind was howling something fierce. I’ve never heard such awful, scary sounds before on my island. The storm was like no other and it had been such a beautiful morning. It was something of a surprise to turn so quickly. I put my letter down, sure the babes were asleep now, and I stood up and walked out of the room. As I did, my candle light flickered and on the wall was a calendar with today’s date circled. I pondered this for a moment and recalled that in the legend of the underground city today's date marked the one and only day the city opened allowing the settlers from there to mingle and mix with my people. Could this have something to do with the man my child had claimed she'd seen?

Once I reached the downstairs, I curled up in the rocking chair by the fire and drifted off to sleep. Unsure of how much time had passed, I was suddenly brought to my feet by the shrieking of some sort of animal from outside. I peeked out my window, saw nothing and went back to my rocking chair. Suddenly a thunderous bang and a flash of light revealed the shadow of an umbrella with a body coming out from underneath it. I quickly got too my feet, wrapped myself in my shawl and headed for the front hall and out the big front door. Once outside, I sheltered myself with the tall tree that was just off the side of the steps. In the distance there was another scream but this wasn't an animal. This was definitely a person. “Who could it be,” I thought to myself as I swiftly headed in the direction of the noise. Running as fast as I could but carefully hiding behind each tree as I went, I realized quickly the noise was coming from inside of the stable.

Finally, I got too the stable door and tore it open but nothing was there and the screaming had stopped. I saw no point in staying there and was getting soaked too my skin from the rain. Turning to leave, I looked up above the door and saw hanging there my daughter’s jackalope. What on earth was going on? I was becoming more frightened as things were unfolding. I climbed up on the step stool, we used for milking the cows, and cut down the poor jackalope. Carefully getting back down to the ground, tucking the innocent animal under my coat for burial in the morning for the children, I ran back to the mansion. As I was running I kept sensing a strange presence behind me and looked back and saw nothing. Thinking it was way too dangerous to try for the house I swiftly turned for my little piece of safety in the sky and up I went. “Safe at last,” I thought, taking a deep breath and stopping only for a moment before turning around to look down at my land in a state of confusion. As I stood there looking down, I felt myself slip off the side and drop.

Falling down towards my beautiful land, I tried and failed to expand my wings. What was happening to me? I felt light headed and like I was slipping away into another world beyond myself. In front of me in the clouds was the perfect shape of the body under the umbrella but this time it had a face and I could see it as clear as day. Whispering on the wind, I heard a deep manly voice repeating, “This is your End."

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