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Some would call it narcissistic. Others egomaniacal. Myself, I didn't really know what to think. As the door of the mansion creaked open, and my eyes adjusted to the lugubrious darkness of the hallway, the first thing I saw was the life-sized statue of her. My eyes shifted between the statue and the lady herself, who was holding the door open with the same pose of elegant detachment as the marble sculpture behind her.

And then, as I entered the building - with, I must add, some hesitation - I found myself being glared at by the dozens of paintings that hung on every available wall. And every one of them was of her. My head panned slowly around as I took in the assembled multitude with growing unease. In every one of them, her eyes seemed to fix on the cubbys where spiders wandered by day, but now were highlighted in the shadows cast by sporadic lightning.

The door groaned to a close behind me, shutting out the night and the storm. I turned to face her, but she was no longer there. Instead, I found myself staring face-to-face at the largest of the paintings. Her portrait, merely beautiful by day, took life from the night and all her features sprang from cold to warm, and, when you looked into the eyes, almost firey.

A sound to my left startled me, and when I looked, she was there, by another door, her gaze drawing me towards her. It was at that moment I think that I noticed for the first time the tiniest protrusions of white at the corners of her lips as she smiled; her teeth must have caught the light for a moment, and in that instant I understood. And where I had been apprehensive before, I was suddenly mortally afraid.

The door through which I had so foolishly entered was firmly locked, but it was framed on either side with full-height gothic windows, on which the storm was still drumming furiously. I glanced back at my erstwhile hostess, before making my descision and diving head first through the ornate glass panels.

I ran as fast as I could across the barren front yard of the house, leaving a trail of blood from the glass as I went - if it was blood she wanted, then she could at least have that much. I just count myself lucky that the first vampire I met was a novice.

Spudley Strikes Again

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The following comments are for "Escape"
by Spudley

Great escape
I very much enjoyed reading your piece. It was very engulfing. What I also adore about your writing is the use of commas, and asides, within your sentences. You also have great grammar, which I always notice in a piece. You have done this extremely well in this piece!!

examples "And then, as I entered the building - with, I must add, some hesitation - I found myself being glared at by the dozens of paintings that hung on every available wall"


"The door through which I had so foolishly entered was firmly locked, but it was framed on either side with full-height gothic windows, on which the storm was still drumming furiously"

Thank you.

( Posted by: EverybodyElsesGirl [Member] On: July 7, 2004 )

I love this! Very witty and enjoyable. It held my attention.

( Posted by: arc [Member] On: July 8, 2004 )

really cool
I really liked this. It doesn't feel fair to have a winner among such good entries.


( Posted by: simone183 [Member] On: July 8, 2004 )

There is a tinge of excitement here (a sumptuous bite, I could say), building up, as such, at the end was a witty conclusion to an unexpected twist. Drat! Freaking fanged-acolyte!

Evocative piece. Worth the read.

( Posted by: Idomis [Member] On: July 8, 2004 )

Lots of votes.
Well, it looks like the contest is drawing to a close, so I'll take this moment to say thank you to everyone who voted, commented, and especially to Jess, Bart and Chris for three great stories. :-)

I don't think I've ever written about a vampire before; in fact, I tend to agree with Pen about it being a bit of a cliche. But that was what the starter sentences inspired in me, so that was what I had to write.

The twist at the end with her being a novice was my attempt to deliberately break the cliche. Well, it seems to have worked, anyway.

(And Pen, you're right - we did get a bit longer to write than usual. But ironically, I actually got it done fairly quickly this time)

EverybodyElsesGirl - I don't write in the first person as often as I should, but when I do I often use this sort of style often. I've only got one other first person story on ("The Bath"), but it is very similar in style in that respect.

Anyway, thank you to all. It was fun. :-)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: July 10, 2004 )

Well done Spud!
Loved this Spud...coming from the land of Jack The Ripper and a treasure trove of haunted castles, this tale felt quite at home. I did feel sorry for the poor vampire though, being a novice and having to go without her supper that night...I guess it's back to the drawing board for her...better luck next time dearie!

( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: July 11, 2004 )

Picture of a vampire
Great set-up. I loved the various images adorning the place. This one probably creeped me out the most, and I actually exclaimed when confronted with all those pictures. Having said that it lost a little mystique when he said she was a vampire and then she was a novice. It didn't seem that way to me at all. What novice would have a mansion for her vanity? Also vampire was better left implied. But overall I really liked the feel and flavor here and give it a solid thumbs up.

( Posted by: Malthis [Member] On: July 11, 2004 )

Late Critique: Spud
It was the final line that got me. My feeling is that while your competitors came up with slightly less expected ways to treat the proscribed subject, I liked your structure most of all. You seem to have a firmer grasp of your narrative, which flows nicely from beginning to end and so, much like a well told joke, your entry covers it's bases succinctly and ends with a satisfying punch.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: July 13, 2004 )

What A Turn...
Of events...

The victim got away...

I thought that never happened unless the victim was the hero/heroine...

I liked the paintings all being her...

But the statue of her was a dead (pun intended) give away...

Thanks for the great story... and except for the cubby line you had to use the others were very well buried in the story... (that was a hard one to work in, I still don't know how I would have addressed that one...)

( Posted by: daprdan [Member] On: July 14, 2004 )

Cute! I remember fondly my first victim and how I screwed that one up....

but perhaps I've said too much?

This was a nice little read. It's hard to tell a good story in few words, but you've got it down to a science.

( Posted by: Cher [Member] On: July 18, 2004 )

Spudley, this one actually disappointed me a bit. It ran a bit cliché for my tastes. However, it was well written, so I can't be too hard on it, really. I thought your language was fluid and had a very nice sense of flow about it, but it just didn't really strike me about the face with excitement.

( Posted by: the Co.konspirator [Member] On: July 22, 2004 )

That was great too.
Hi! The twist in the end was nice. I liked your story too. I feel your's is different from that of Jess. and you hold your ground firmly. My rating [ 10/10 ].

Keep up the good work.



( Posted by: G.S.VASUKUMAR [Member] On: July 25, 2004 )

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