Friday, September 19, 2008

The invitation

The prompt on Sunday Scribblings this week is Invitation

Many years ago he attended a school reunion. It must have been at least sixty years back. In the few years since finishing their education they had all changed beyond belief and he'd realised that they had little in common. That was the last time he saw most of them as so many had moved away. In recent years he had payed his respects at the funerals of most of those that stayed behind.

A few days ago he received an invitation. It was from a long lost friend. A friend from his child hood. The pleasure of his company was requested at a get-together of members of the town’s youth club from the nineteen twenties. He thought it odd as most of the members would be gone by now. Many of them had long since disappeared, and surely, most of them would have passed on to the next life.

On the appointed morning he put on his best suit. He doesn’t have many occasions to wear it nowadays. He set off down the road, invitation in hand, to the village hall. When he arrived it seemed to be deserted. He pushed on the door and to his surprise it opened. He stepped inside and through the gloom he could just make out the figures of ten or so people standing motionless and alone. He felt a strange chill in the air. Slowly and as one, ten heads turned to face him. Ten gaunt expressionless faces. One by one he recognised them. But all of them passed away years ago. He remembered going to the burials of most of them. One by one they stretched their arms out toward him. He turned back toward the door through which he entered, but it was not there. Nothing was there. Nothing but a swirling mist surrounded him. His friends slowly formed a circle around him, their hands beckoning as they closed in.


He was never seen again.
'

27 comments:

  1. Nice twist! Or not so nice depending on how you look at it... Your well-written stories always entertain!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This gave me chills. Even though I sensed a errie twist coming up you totally caught me off guard. Very nice.(Thanks for commenting on my story).

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. By the time I reached the part where he entered the deserted hall...I was holding my breath. My kind of story. Nice job.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is it strange that this story made me happy? To go where your wanted and be greeted by those you have called friend? Sounds like a good way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  6. :)
    well written :)

    i think friendship is the one of the relationships that has the ability to swallow you whole..and you know, nobody regrets it :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good twist on this. Spooky! And it reminds me that I'm right to not bother with invitations for reunions.

    ReplyDelete
  8. delightful read! it kinda gave me chills.
    but, when you really think about it, to be greeted by loved ones and friends when you cross over to the next life is way better than finding yourself cold and alone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. what a delightful premise... i am thinking it could have been a really beautiful story had created a story line in which he entered a party in full swing attended by not few but all of the dearly departed,, and they commenced to having the most amazing time together,, only to finish up with him deciding to join them,, instead of go back to his old life,, where nearly everyone he had known and loved was no more....

    i know... i probably shouldn't have ,,, but i did...

    who knows,, maybe this can be used as fodder for a whole new creation....

    ReplyDelete
  10. I suspected he was dead, but that mysterious ending was a good twist.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great story , the twist was awesome. . .

    ReplyDelete
  12. I saw the ending, but was still surprised. Very nice use of the prompt. BJ

    ReplyDelete
  13. That was way too cool scary. Scary I like. Smooth reading too, I just like to make fast pics in my head. Thanks now for the sequel, when.. shoulda called it more. I love what you have done to your site. Very organized. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Would have made a nice Twilight Zone episode... I could picture the hands reaching! Nice spooky tale.

    ReplyDelete
  15. very interesting take on the prompt..I think I guessed the end a bit when I read sixty years..but then wordplay was very good

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a wonderful chill I have in my bones now Keith! I like reading your stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I enjoyed this.
    You deftly presented that dreaded nightmare when you unwittingly go to your own funeral! damn!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've got goosebumps! I enjoyed your inventive approach to this prompt.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi keith, I was just starting to think I'd read this before, then the twist - a dead good story!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Chilling! I held my breath during the entire story! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Getting ready for Halloween Keith? I wrote a similar story sometime back And so it ends .. The header is a big give away though.. meant to rename it.. but never got around to it!
    And here is this week's take on the prompt
    Birthday Invite

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gave me chills. Reading your posts, I knew there would be a twist but could not guess this one.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This twist reminded me of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." Here, I sense the man's isolation and am almost prepared for the group that meets him. One editing suggestion: At the end of the story, I was a little confused by the wording: ". . . their hands beckoning as they closed in. No one ever saw him again." Here "no one" seems to refer to those in the group beckoning to him. But the story overall takes me to that place where we consider the ending of our own lives. Nice writing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Bluebethley, thankyou for your constructive comment. I have altered the final line thereby making the ending clearer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This was a lovely story, and I thought it was very sweet and not at all spooky (hopefully you weren't intending it to be spooky). I think a nice invitation just before I go and walking into the arms of all my friends would be an excellent exit.

    ReplyDelete

COMMENTS ARE CURRENTLY TAKING ABOUT 30 SECONDS TO PUBLISH. Patience is a virtue!

Dear WORDPRESS friends. If you are having difficulty posting please 'Comment as' either:-

a) Name/URL
b) Anonymous with your name included in your comment.

Thank you!