Stories & Prompts,  Writing

A Walk in the Dark

Writing Exercise 2

Many years ago our Writing Group set this 20 minute exercise to describe A Walk in the Dark, while thinking about the senses. Thinking of sounds and smells is still valid and many of us forget to include these in our writing. I don’t like writing on the spot, but it is good practice. Give it a go – think of a place you know. This was my effort…

Hattie heard the bus pull away behind her and took comfort in the lighted telephone box at the top of the road. She looked for the moon, but it was covered by cloud and the lane was darker than usual. The last street light, by the Church, was flickering. She glanced over to her best friend’s house, but it was in darkness, the usual porch light was not turned on. She had been to Cinema Club at school; the film she had watched was a sad one and she wondered if that was why her jolly friend had not turned up. She liked a laugh. Hattie hoped she was alright as nobody appeared to be home.

She shivered as the nip in the autumn air caught her chest and she pulled her jacket zip right up. She was glad she had worn her black trousers. Tightly clasping her bag she set off towards the path of darkness which led to the comfort of her home. The lane was lined with trees and bushes, there were no pavements, so Hattie walked in the middle of the road avoiding stray branches which reached out in the shadows.

Before she could hear the gentle purring of the pumping station hidden in the dip of the hill, she could smell the stench as she screwed up her nose. Halfway, she thought as she reached it. The wind gently brushed the trees and teased her with crispy noises. She heard a thud coming from the ‘cut’, which by day was a quick way to the Sweet Shop, but by night, in the pitch black, it had a sinister air to it.

Hattie’s footsteps quickened while she kept looking behind her, stumbling on the acorns underfoot as she went, the beat of her heart matching the pace of her steps. Her nostrils flared as she could smell the purple plant outside the red bungalow, which reminded her of cat’s pee. The silence was loud in her ears as she walked faster and faster until she started to run up the hill, furtively looking around.

She turned the corner at the top of the hill and saw her house looming in the distance. It held central position where the lane forked into two, with an imposing six foot high wall all around the acre plot. Nearly there.

Her feet scrunched upon the gravel as she veered across the entrance to the little Caravan Park, then back onto the tarmac road. She slowed down as she was out of breath and her heart was pounding. Suddenly she let out a scream as she passed the paddock and Rufus the old donkey sneezed in the night and gave her a fright.

Hattie looked towards the house – home straight. Mum had put the outside light on, “Thanks Mum,” she mumbled to herself as she focused on the light and ran the last stretch and with a flick of the wrist on the cold iron ring, she opened the gate and let out a sigh of relief.

Images courtesy of satit_srihin & voraorn /

Email Me Yours – Feel free to email me your stories and I will put the best 2 on the site. Don’t forget it’s a 20 minute writing exercise, so don’t spend days honing a 3-pager. Just cut and paste your story into the message box on my Contact page.

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