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The Barn - A Short Story (Gothic)

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Suddenly, I awoke to whisperings surrounding me in the silent night. As my eyes shot open, all I could see was the shining stars far above in the eternal, all-consuming void of darkness. As the soft smell of a summer’s night sunk into my veins, I realised that I was stranded.

Where am I?

With blurred vision and cold, clammy skin, I attempted to collect my thoughts as I stood up and searched around me, searching and searching for an answer as to where I was. Looking around me, I found myself alone on a lonely, long stretch of road, lit with a singular, flickering fluorescent light. The air around me was close and the moon above shone down onto me with a blinding judgement.

How did I get here?

Realising my solitude, my soul sank into a pit of oblivion, suddenly screeching for a sight of safety. But there was no such sight. With my thoughts racing and my chest tightening, I limped down the road, realising that it was seemingly endless. Even in the distance, I could see no light along the eternal road into darkness, all but the soft, shimmering light of the moon reigning from above.

What is this place?

As thousands of toxic, tormenting thoughts rushed into my tortured mind, my vision blurred ever more and, behind my ears, I could hear the pumping of blood gush and gush through my veins. My legs screamed to run, but I realised that there was nowhere to run. On both sides of the road, thick, towering trees trapped me in this torment.

What is happening?

Why can’t I remember anything? Where am I? Who am I?

As the whistling wind blew and rustled the leaves of the ancient ancestors, my racing thoughts came to a sudden halt with my vision narrowing to see into the darkness of the woods, waiting to hear any slithering sound. As the hairs on my arms raised and a serpentine shiver ran down my back like electricity scraping across my skin, the deafening silence screeched into my soul and made my ears bleed. Waiting, waiting, waiting, no sound could be heard except for the soft blowing of the whistling wind.


Knowing I needed to move, I crept along the side of the road like silent prey hoping to escape my demise. Yet, as I stepped along the lonely, long road, I felt a warm drip run down the side of my face.

What the fuck is that?

Placing my hand on my head, I felt the harrowing heat of gushing blood. I looked at my hand and was shocked to see the seeping stains of violent red running down my hand and into the cracks of my palms.

What the fuck? How did that happen?

With a sweat overcoming me and a sickly shiver twisting my terrified soul, I felt my heartbeat against my chest like the sound of a war drum, drumming, drumming away into the valley of death.

This can’t be real. Am I dreaming?

The air around me went cold and my body went numb as the shining stars seemed to fade and the solid shine of the silent saviour of the night retreated behind thickening clouds. Looking down at my clothes, I realised my shirt had been torn to shreds. Under the shreds, claw-like scrapes covered my skin, bleeding down my body and covering me in a blanket of blood.

How the actual fuck?

The leaves behind me rustled as the wind blew, a whisper whistling into my ear. Jolting my head around, I turned to see two red, sharp, serpentine-like eyes stare directly into my soul. Without a thought entering my mind, I ran into the consuming darkness of the woods, panting and panting with my heart heaving and soul scraping for survival. Bashing through bark, bristles and branches, I heard the screeches of the foul, demonic creature tail behind me, following my every footstep through the woods. Struggling to see through the void of the night, only aided by a minuscule of light from the moon seeping through the clouds and branches, I ran and ran and ran for the very first slither of light that I could see, far in the distance beyond the void but glistening with warmth.

This can’t be real. This can’t be real. This can’t be real.

With sweat dripping down my bruised and bashed face and onto my blood bathed body, my heart pounded and pounded, my soul shrieking from every footstep in the void and the spirit-crushing screams from behind.

That’s it. Nearly there. Please, God.

A few hundred metres ahead, I could see the slither of warmth widen. I was getting closer, yet the screams became louder. Looking behind me briefly, I could see not just one pair of eyes, but hundreds.

Please, God. Please. I beg of you.

As the knifing wind cut through my soul, I could hear the whisperings of the wood whistle in my ear, louder, louder and louder, encroaching their way into my skull and suffocating my soul. My ears began to bleed. My legs began to shake. My vision began to blur.

Thank God.

Through thick, tough trunks and branches, I ran and fell into a wide, wild field, barren of crops and dead of any life. Once again, the still moonlight shone around me, ruling from the safety of the stars.

Thank God.

The screeches, screams and wild whisperings settled. Finally, I could breathe once more, savouring every breath of the soft midnight air. Searching and searching for safety across the barren field, in the distance I could see the flicker of warmth that shone afar: a decayed, deathly barn shining through the mist. As I came closer to the barn, I could hear the crackling of candles from within. With nowhere else to go and no other hope left, I opened the creaky, damp and dying wooden door to a stark barn, void of any livestock or life.

This is a nightmare, surely?

Walking into the barn, the air turned tormentingly stale. Despite the warm sight of candles, the room was sour and sharp, with a cold, consuming chill sending a shiver down my spine.

Am I safe?

As the wind blew through the cracks of the barn and the whistling whispers of the night surrounded me, the candles blew out and consumed the room into darkness.


The door slammed shut behind me and a serpentine shape shoved me onto the solid stone floor. The screeches and screams crept their way back into the barn and surrounded me, with wild, wicked whispering working their way into my bleeding ears. In the distance, thunder roared and the wind shook the barn. Looking behind me, ahead of me, to the sides of me, I realised I was surrounded by devilish, red eyes, slowly, slowly crawling towards me in the void. In front of me, a fire blazed in the air, lighting the decaying wood aflame and blinding my eyes. Out of the fire, a deathly slender and serpentine figure emerged, with its red, piercing eyes polluting my soul.

“Am–am I g–going to die?” I whimpered.

As the figure approached, it flashed its bloodied teeth, cackling, whispering and screeching all at once. Its red, flaming eyes widened and widened, enclosing in on my soul and mind, till all I could see was its devilish gaze in the void.

“No,” it screamed. “You, my child, are already dead.”

- N.L.B. 13/07/2021