The hole appeared suddenly one night while Shane and Amanda were preparing dinner. Amidst the sizzle of frying sausages and occasional clamoring of dishes, there was a crash and a rumble and a giant hole from what they could see when they went down to check.

“Son of a bitch,” Shane cussed.

“What happened?” Amanda asked in disbelief.

 

Officer (Kyle) Yates noticed the giant, deflated snowman in the front yard before checking the house numbers. This was the house. He hated those oversized, inflatable decorations about as much as he hated anything about the winter – the slick ass ice, the back breaking snow that starts out all glittering like diamonds but ends up black and bruised as half the sorry souls he comes across on this damned job, the nonstop marketing of Christmas that starts too soon, ends too late, and never leaves but maybe a moment to actually celebrate. But this house was different. Two story, cobble stone, attached double garage, tended garden beds carefully put to rest and little bushed tucked into neatly tied burlap sacks. Meticulous. Everything except that damn plastic puddle of a tacky, artificial snowman. He knocked on the door.

 

Amanda wanted to call the police, or the electric company, or someone to investigate the hole and explain what happened. Isn’t that what you do? Don’t you call someone when a five foot hole opens up inside your basement wall? But Shane was all hero, all action, all man in charge, got this covered. He went after his flashlight and headed towards the gaping mouth of darkness.

“There’s no need to call anyone. I’ll check it out, see if there’s any major damage and patch it up. By Monday it will be good as new. If there’s a busted pipe or foundation damage, we’ll call. But I’m not paying to have someone come out here to yank my chain, overcharge the landlord, and then spike up our rent. We have a good deal here. Landlords like quiet renters and I like quiet landlords. My dad did foundation work for fifty years, I grew up mixing cement.” Kyle insisted.

The darkness was almost absolute. Amanda thought she saw something like the faintest line of a tree root and two small yellowish-white glowing eyes a top it. “I think there’s something in there. Kyle, be careful.” And in he stepped. It was the last she ever saw of him.

 

(Unfinished, still a work in progress…)

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Chelsea Stickle

    I’m not sure if you mean that you’re adding more sections or if you’re going to edit down what you have. Here are my thoughts:

    I love this description: “the slick ass ice, the back breaking snow that starts out all glittering like diamonds but ends up black and bruised as half the sorry souls he comes across on this damned job, the nonstop marketing of Christmas that starts too soon, ends too late, and never leaves but maybe a moment to actually celebrate.” I mean, yes, 100%. The ice description is specific and so fucking true. As is the Christmas stuff.
    I like the premise of the hole just appearing one day. And how it’s more than just a hole. It swallows husbands.

    If you’re writing more sections, then I assume Officer Kyle gets involved. If you’re going for flash, you might have to cut down some of his section. If you’re going for a short story, there’s more wiggle room. I definitely want to know more about this hole, though.

  2. Rhyannon Brightwater

    Emily, I can hardly wait to find out why there is a hole, what’s in it and is Shane an idiot for thinking he can fix it. (my guess is, Yes)

  3. Trent

    Yeah – the way that there’s a “voice” for how the end-of-year is a kind of catastrophe~ How and why the cop dislikes it, that is.

    Almost as though that’s a metaphor – for how we allow “traditions” and such to be these voluminous things, that engulf us.

    I’m hoping there will be some kind of backstory to the hole – if it’s an urban legend, or something else that summons it…

    Cool story.

  4. Nancy Stohlman

    Emily!
    Love the way you start this story with so much momentum: The hole appeared suddenly one night while Shane and Amanda were preparing dinner. Amidst the sizzle of frying sausages and occasional clamoring of dishes, there was a crash and a rumble and a giant hole from what they could see when they went down to check.
    “Son of a bitch,” Shane cussed.
    “What happened?” Amanda asked in disbelief.

    SO I see that you are calling it unfinished (aren’t they all, really? hahaha). But I am interested in this last line as a last line, for sure. So tagging onto what Chelsea was saying above, you COULD use this last line and just change the rhythm of what came before–give it more beats to lead to this. OR if this is just the beginning of more adventure, then yes, keep going.

    Great start! woohoo! xoxo

  5. Dominique Christina

    Yes Emily yes yes yes. You know I love a good portal right? You’re a skilled writer. Your descriptions are punchy and perfect. The perplexity of a hole suddenly appearing…this yawping dark hole that emerges suddenly and without explanation, and the hubris of solution-oriented folks who can’t get their heads around the idea that there may not be a logical way to address this. Someone’s father worked on foundations for fifty years so they think they have the skill set to manage the problem but of course Amanda has a different set of knowing. She recognizes that there is what my grandmother called “the further” which essentially means, there’s what we know and understand and then there’s what stretches out further than that. The further. You gave us “the further.” If you never explain the origin story of the hole in the basement wall, I will accept it. Not everything has to make sense. What we know is, a man walked into it and was never seen again. Whether he died or was transported or ushered into another realm, all fodder for a story like this one. And of course, basements are perfect places for these kinds of things aren’t they? For that which is beneath our feet, and perhaps, beyond our understanding. I really liked this. Thank you.

  6. Karen Schauber

    Love this, Emily. For me, though, Kyle is a non-sequitur here. What I’d really like to know, is she going to follow him in? And what do they discover then? Does anyone notice they have disappeared, or is there a time differential; and do they ever return; without a moment elapsed. – (I look forward to the rest of this story curled up in a cabin beside a crackling fireplace during a mid-summer thunderstorm).

  7. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Em, “Me too” to what has already been said. I can’t wait to see what you do with this. Just a couple tiny questions: I was a little confused between Shane and Officer (Kyle). If Kyle is the officer– wouldn’t Amanda call him “Officer?” Maybe a clearer delineation– and another question, what happened to Shane. Is he already lost in the hole? Nonetheless, beautiful, smooth story telling and leaving us on the edge of our chairs to find out what is next. Will it be flash, or longer?

Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest