The remarkable progress of Luke’s work over the past 10 days is fascinating, looking in his sketchbooks/paintings you can see his progression very clearly throughout his pad of paintings, a hesitant beginning but as confidence has grown throughout the patterns become stronger and more definite. The depth of the paint showing off spirals of colour and blends of silver and gold metallics. Pictures used with permission from L Margetts check out his Instagram here
Source: Progress of an Artist
Mrs Phelps looked on at the girls they were doing well although Lucy was a hard nut to crack her blind terror and determination meant that it was difficult to break the shell of her psyche but Amelia on the other hand submitted straight away, the men were as she expected their fight or flight instinct being coloured by their desire to protect their fellow team mates regardless of their emotional distance normally. She could see the cracks in the emotional bonds which held their team together, although the men were trying in some sense to save the women the ‘team’ as it were was no more, it became as if four random people had been brought together in a horrible situation.
They begun to cling to each other, both Henry and David stuck unable to move. “We must think of something” they both whispered simultaneously and then jumped apart in an attempt to gain composure, they looked around the room again checking to see if there was any kind of escape route, but there was nothing, “Wait!” Henry said “the phone…it laughed at us but surely we can use it to call for help?” David looked down at the phone as if it were some kind of bomb waiting to explode “Ugh i guess so, anythings worth a try.” After a minute or so Henry broke his stare, he snatched up the receiver on the table clasping it to his ear opened his mouth and stopped.
The girls were still separate in the large room they had stumbled into after the bust in the hallway, Lucy unable to gain any sense from Amelia who was still fully under the influence of the gem, has begun to wander unsuccessfully round to find some way of escape. Amelia looked withdrawn, eyes blank and skin pale she was staring at her hands with a look of disbelief, she had been like it for about 15 minutes now. Not that Lucy had seen as the lighting had not exactly helped the situation although her eyes had started to adjust to the low light and was starting to see some shapes more clearly. They continued to feel their way round their respective sides of the room Lucy looking for a way out and Amelia exploring the warped environment she had entered under the influence of the mind controlled state she was in.
In fact it was not literally mind control it was a fuge state which was caused by her shock during the team building exercise.
Henry stood still a look of utter terror on his face, David stared at Henry with a look of confusion he had not heard the noise he had only witnessed the reaction as Henry put the receiver to his ear. “What happened?” asked David, who really wasn’t sure whether he wanted to know the answer to the question. “That voice…I heard it again…it just laughed again and called me a fool..” Henry looked crestfallen what were they to do if they couldn’t call for help? David was reeling with confusion with all the problems he could see how the team would manage to pull this together, maybe they weren’t as good as they thought they were after all.
This is of course what the consultants wanted them to think, its obvious that in a universe where every ending is a happy one they would manage to sort everything out and rescue the girls…but this is not that kind of universe.
Lucy began to wonder how long they had been stuck in this room, she cast an eye round the room to see what Amelia was doing, she was kneeling down still staring around the room as she had been when Lucy last looked. Lucy fumbled for her phone maybe that would give her a clue? The handset just went blank when she pressed the power button. ‘bugger’ she muttered ‘I wonder how that happened’ she thought to herself she was sure it had full charge when she had left the house that afternoon, it seemed odd that the power had drained to quickly, she could always check tomorrow when the team building was over. Then she heard a scream she flinched and swirled round to see Amelia standing covered in blood but looking around there was no one else there.
I have started a new horror story which is currently being serialised on this blog (admittedly 4 parts in already) Please give it a go and leave feedback on the writing style etc i cherish peoples input and opinions, I was inspired by a trip to my favourite coffee shop, mochas always make me think of dark mysterious things so i set about writing this story. I hope you enjoy!!!
The rain had stopped but the wind still howled through the trees and the many large fireplaces throughout the house. It made it cold for the team as they changed into their dry clothes (no warmer but at least not wet anymore) they had barely spoken since they were all picked up from the office 4 hours or so previously. The usual nod of ‘hello’ and the odd ‘so how was your weekend?’; although they worked together they didn’t socialise together, which outsiders might find odd but it is not uncommon.
It had been easy to decide the room arrangements, as none of them were connected romantically it was girls in one guys in the other. Even with this segregation there was still unease whilst they were changing for dinner.
The girls the usual hair, clothes and make up routine; the guys sat on their respective beds glued to their smartphones (despite the lack of wifi it seemed there was some 3g reception floating round.
The rooms themselves were high-ceilinged with pale green paint (at least thats what it looked like) it could just be dust and age for all anyones guess.
One thing they did collectively feel was that something was not right. Although of course none of them knew this through not having spoken to each other.
Amelia checked her email on her smart phone she was surprised to get the signal working, nothing exciting came, a couple of funny videos from her family and a boring meeting she was due to be having this week. She checked Facebook her last status update was “off to ‘team building’ exercise…” 3 people had liked it, she wondered if they had been sincere when they had pressed that ‘like’ button.
Lucy was feeling very unsettled and she wouldn’t mind admitting it just not here and not now. The room was uninviting and lacked warmth in any form; she was sure she had seen a cockroach scuttle by at some point and they were apparently going to eat here? She felt the need to say something at least, the silence was deafening as every creak and moan between here and the front door rang through the house in waves. Although conversation had been limited (as it always was, after the incident everyone got on with their own jobs) she was sure some kind of pleasantries should be exchanged as she turned to speak to Amelia she picked up her phone.
“So are you looking forward to tonight?” Lucy ploughed on anyway as she could bare the silence no more. Amelia slightly startled at Lucy’s sudden outburst she was momentary disorientated; “Umm i guess so, i always look forward to a challenge, the fact that i don’t know what we will be doing adds to the excitement, how about you?”. Lucy slightly shocked by such a frank response she stammered “Umm uh yes, challenges are great…” she trailed off feeling slightly out of her depth. They lapsed back into silence both slightly relieved that the moment was over. “I suppose we should go downstairs soon” Amelia said trying not to sound too bossy, “I thought they were meant to be coming to get us?” Lucy chimed in “at least we wouldn’t get lost on the way then”. “Unfortunately i don’t think thats an option in this house” Amelia replied “I suppose we just head back the way we came and hope there is some signage?” Lucy begrudgingly agreed and they set off down the hall way together.
Henry was watching the afternoons rugby scores which he had missed due to being dragged to Ikea (an existential nightmare in itself) apparently necessary due to the dog eating some bathroom soft furnishings, why she could not shop in Sainsburys or something similar like everyone else was anyones guess. He was not intimidated by the imposing nature of the house or by the thought of a mystery evening ahead, although he didn’t mind admitting he was curious. The gothic house was a nice touch he thought though added atmosphere to the ‘mystery’ they were supposed to be solving. He was however quite peeved about being made cold and wet when the taxi sped off, he was going to complain about that to someone, he didn’t appreciate having to change before dinner but hey-ho. Looking over at David who was similarly peering at the smart phone screen although Henry was unsure as to what was so interesting. “Hey David, do you think we should head down soon?”
David looked up from his phone “sorry? I was miles away” he looked down at the images splayed across his screen and closed them quickly. He has been trying with little success to stay calm, he didn’t feel comfortable here, even though he knew this was inevitable (the place was not designed to be plush and welcoming) he hadn’t heard Henry calling over to him although the noise had startled him. Henry repeated himself. “oh uh yes Henry i suppose we should” he flailed around gathering his things together. As the manager of the team some people may be wondering how this is possible, but the truth is David was a good manager, just not under pressure.
They had expected to see the girls walking down at the same time, both of them were quite sure they had heard two sets of foot steps walking past their door just now. They paused a minute to get their bearings, the dimly lit hall way was hard to navigate they stayed close to the edges so they could try and maintain a straight line direction back towards the stairs they can climbed earlier.
It looked menacing in the candle light. Sat at the end of the hall way was a small table with a bust on-top. It was no one recognisable, the poor lighting coupled with dust and cobwebs tarnished the bronze work. Amelia and Lucy were entranced by the jewel sat between the eyes, they gravitated towards it to get a closer look.
To be continued in fourth part.
They all traipsed upstairs, wet and covered in mud.
Amelia Dawson cursed the decision to have a ‘team building’ exercise, but management insisted after the ‘magical’ consultant had said that they needed to work together better; she thought they worked well together but what was she to know? If she had her way they would have been doing something far less bizarre than spending a night solving a mystery in some gothic mansion in the countryside.
Henry Gibbon winced as he started up the stairs, his old rugby injury had been playing him up since the weather changed the day before. The bag he had packed for this weekend was starting to feel rather heavy despite the lack of things in there. His thoughts turned to the ‘team building’ he had been roped into by work, it was frustrating to think that the consultants had concerns with the way they worked, he understood that there may be room for improvement but would rather it be less extreme than this. Still he hoped there would be a warm bed at least to get some sleep in.
Lucy Peppermint followed the two in front of her, lost in the architecture of the building and its dramatic gothic interior; the wall hangings were floor to ceiling and the gargoyles glared menacingly from the rafters. Oddly she was quite looking forward to this evening, although it was not anything she would normally do but recently she had taken the decision to try new things; she only hoped that this wasn’t a step too far.
David Large brought up the rear of the party as the manager of the team he felt it best to hang back to see how they respond to the start of the exercise, although little did they know that it had started the moment the consultants had arrived. Watching them had been interesting, and no doubt there would be changes after this ‘team building’ but the result was anyones guess at that moment.
Mrs Phelps watched them climb the stairs with interest, the weather had been unfortunately appropriate in adding to the atmosphere for this evening. The wheels had been set in motion the task started now.
You may be wondering what the hell is going on by now? The gothic mansion, the team building, the mystery solving. Well to give you some background; the bedraggled team we have been following this short while are involved in a lengthly human experiment designed to ascertain the affect of stress on a team and whether it can be rebuilt in the face of disaster. Why you ask yourself would anyone do this? Large corporations need good teams, good teams have ups and downs and its the way they handle the downs that can make or break them. So the hypothesis is to see if ‘shocking’ a team who are trying to solve a problem can be brought together more effectively with the addition of an extra much larger problem.
Why are they in a gothic mansion you ask? Well 2 reasons, one why not? and two it adds atmosphere to the task at hand. Imagination can do two thirds of the work in increasing the intensity of the experience.
The house itself is largely staged, although the building is several hundred years old most of the contents is not. The weather does its own thing but seems to be inclined to be stormy the night of most ‘exercises’ making the whole process so much easier (difficult for something to be imposing and intimidating with sunny glades all around you).
Enough has been said now, until next time.
This is not a post, as you might think, about the drink Mint Mocha Choc Chip from Coffee #1 although it is most delicious and i will be having another. No this post is about the darkness and the mystery that is conjured by the taste and smell of the rich liquid passing through your lips.
So now down to business.
It was a dark and stormy night (typically English weather nothing out of the ordinary) as they pulled up the long drive way to the imposing gothic house. A well timed bolt of lightening brought the passengers back to reality with a jolt now very aware of the electrically charged air around the car they were sat in. As they all piled out the driver threw their things at them and sped off into the distance. Somewhat dismayed the group gathered up their now wet and muddy possessions and knocked on the predictably huge wooden door.
The door creaked open just an inch and the group were faced with a small elderly woman (clearly a housekeeper in the clique way she would be) “Yes?” she said peering out into the darkness of the night. “We are here to stay the night? Party of four under Dawson”. There was some thought about this and muttering from a different voice “Oh yes, come on in you must be drenched by now”, in truth they were, they were tired their patience was waining and in truth most of them wanted dinner, bath and bed. Although they knew this was not on the cards.
They stumbled in one by one trying not to get mud on the sweeping rugs festooned across the large wooden hallway floor, but it was inevitable, although the elderly woman seemed un-phased by the trail of mud and rain going across her immaculate hallway floor.
Once gathered in a line the woman addressed them. “Welcome to the Mochanheim Hall, you will be staying here one night, dinner is at 7:30pm and breakfast will be served at 8am sharp. Does anyone have any questions?” she looked at the bedraggled group, two men, two women possibly early thirties but it was difficult to tell these days, they looked as if they all wanted to be at home in their beds safe from the raging weather outside not in an unnerving gothic mansion in the middle of nowhere with lightening bolts landing randomly about the place. “No? Ok then you will all be on the first floor, there are two rooms you can decide your own sleeping arrangements” she pursed her lips whilst fixing them with a steely stare, she wondered if they knew yet.
To be continued in 3 parts.