Thursday photo prompt – Gate – #writephoto

Sue’s photo prompt this week…


The Gate

Every day we walked to and from school past this gate. Large, foreboding, and always locked.

The walls surrounding the house were of a high stone variety, offering no more glimpses of what was inside, so we would peer through that wrought iron clad entrance, imagining who lived there, and why we never saw them.

The garden appeared unkempt, but someone definitely tended to parts of it, so we knew someone lived there. Grass overgrown, hedges taking over, but stray branches clipped to leave a clear path.

One morning as we trod our regular path, something appeared different.

The perpetually locked gate was… open!

My friends and I stood at the open mouthed entrance temptation so strong to go in, but a fear much greater as to what we’d find inside.

We decided to err on the side of caution. Our parents were always harping on at us about safety, stranger danger and sticking to the paths we knew, so we turned towards school and made off in that direction.

I couldn’t help it, I had to turn back, just once, to glance at the, for once, clear view of the grey mansion that rose up at the end of the path. My eyes were drawn to a window upstairs.

I stopped.

Someone was looking back at me.

A small figure, a child, with what appeared to be blonde curls stood at the window, staring out at me.

I called to my friends to come and see, but when they turned to look, the figure was gone.

We went off to school, but my mind kept wandering back to that figure at the window.

On our way home that evening, the gate was closed tight. I peered through and looked up at the window where I had previously seen the figure but the curtains were drawn tight.

Over the next few months, we noticed that the gate remained steadfastly shut, and the gardens were more unkempt than usual. The path was no longer visible. Those curtains never opened again.

Then, one day, as we neared the gate, there appeared to be a hive of activity surrounding it. Men bustling in and out with boxes, and furniture. Large gardening machinery was digging through the forest that the garden had become.

I overheard mum and dad talking over dinner that evening.

“”I can’t believe anyone would want to live there,” Mum was saying. “what with all the rumours and stories attached to that place.”

“Nothing but rumours Claire,” Dad replied “The Smythes left ages ago, after all that nasty business with their little boy, poor child. I imagine the memories were too much to bear.”

“But what about the ghost! I’ve heard so many people talk about the face they see at the window, when no one is meant to be living there. I know Old Jim still went there to tidy the garden up a bit, out of loyalty to the family, and he pooh poohed the idea, but after he passed away, they can’t get anyone to tend to it. Pauline’s boy went for the job, and he said he got chased out by something, and when he looked back all he saw were these two little eyes looking back at him from an upstairs window, the eyes of a little boy. Apparently Little James, rest his soul, loved old Jim. I heard he was named after him too!”

“Oh stop your nonsense Claire! There is no ghost, the place was just going to rack and ruin, Poor Old Jim couldn’t cope with looking after such a big property. It’s a good thing the house is sold now, hopefully the new owners can restore it to its former glory. Now you keep your nose out of others business, and stop filling our boy’s head with silly stories.” With a shake of his newspaper, Dad signalled the end of the conversation.

I excused myself from the table and went to my room…

So who exactly was that who I saw at the window….?



29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Photo prompt round-up – Gate – #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo
  2. Hugh's Views and News
    Sep 19, 2016 @ 17:13:18

    Spinetingling, Ritu. Would make a great opening to a novel.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. calmkate
    Sep 19, 2016 @ 08:42:20

    Delightful, very well written so I had to read on!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. coffeewriteblog
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 20:57:21

    Wow that kept me very intrigued I loved it 😀
    creepy and fascinating at the same time I’m glad I came across 🙂

    Liked by 2 people


  5. ladyleemanila
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 16:18:34

    Reblogged this on ladyleemanila and commented:

    a spooky tale from Ritu…

    Liked by 2 people


  6. TanGental
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 15:55:39


    Liked by 2 people


  7. Sue Vincent
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 15:35:30

    Reblogged this on Sue Vincent – Daily Echo.



  8. wwwpalfitness
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 15:01:25

    Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. dornahainds
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 14:13:53


    Liked by 2 people


  10. willowdot21
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 13:41:45

    Very interesting!!

    Liked by 2 people


  11. Southern by Design
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 12:41:15

    Love this! At first I thought you were writing about a personal experience…creepy! 😉

    Liked by 2 people


  12. Erika Kind
    Sep 18, 2016 @ 11:55:35

    Sis, I love such stories! Wow, you gave me shivers….. Fantastic how you gave the explanation piece by piece through the conversation…. Great!!!

    Liked by 2 people


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