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Nayomie Heathcote, 13 Apr '13

Walking up the winding garden path would have been intimidating for anyone else, but for her, it felt like home. The trees writhed and twisted together in the stormy night. Appearing black until the intermittent flashes of lightning briefly bleached them. She carried on up the gravel path. She closed her eyes as she walked and felt the wind swirl around her. It was lovely.

She approached the house with no fear or caution; what could hurt her now?

She stepped through the door way and her eyes snapped open. She glanced around the room. It was exactly the same as when she left. Someone crossed the corridor to the stairs. She froze. They continued, uninterrupted and seemingly unaware. She walked through to the kitchen. The work tops were the same. She went to run her hand over the smooth surface but thought better of it. Before it was too late.

The rain pattered against the patio doors as she looked out into the garden. There was a small play house painted purple at the bottom of the garden. She had fond memories of playing in there. She heard a noise behind her and turned sharply.

“What are you doing here?”

“I'm sorry. I-”

“You shouldn't have come.”

“I had to.”

“Why?” his face contorting into an expression she didn't recognise. Anger? Resentment.

“I can't... settle until I do.”

“I cast thee-”

“That shit doesn't work.”

“Oh.”

“You're being selfish.”

“And you aren't?”

“If I go down there, I can leave. You won't have to suffer me again. Is that really selfish?”

“I guess not.”

“Good.”

She turned to face the staircase with a door in the side. She passed through the door and slowly descended the stairs.

And there it was.

She had come to face this and all of a sudden, an unexpected wave of peace filled her body. The blood stained concrete. The faded chalk outline where she once lay. They were comforting. She felt warm. She hadn't felt warm in such a long time. And then she left.

She left and never looked back.

Comments · 2

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  • Nayomie Heathcote said...

    So this is my debut burrst. It's a short story I quite like and have continued liking since I wrote it a month or so ago (always a good sign). Very happy for constructive criticism and tips. Glad to be here!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Welcome to Burrst Nayomie, I really enjoyed your debut. The scene was really well set and atmospheric.

    As critique I would say there's a lot left unsaid about the relationship between the characters and the events surrounding the death. That may be intentional, and as the reader you do start to guess at connections and causes, but when I'd finished I still felt unsure about the conclusions I'd drawn. In fact I'm still curious to know the back story!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Edward Coles - Jordan said...

    Oh wow, I really like the imagery - particularly in the first paragraph. It's also perfectly dark for my tastes too!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Shirley Golden said...

    An intriguing piece, which I really enjoyed. I did want to know more! There were a couple of words I'd be tempted to remove. In the opening paragraph, 'in the stormy night' as your descriptions of the trees and lightning says it all. Also, 'briefly' because 'flashes' implies this. But these are minor points. I love the chalk outline and how much it gives the reader without having to state that she must have been murdered.

    • Posted 5 years ago