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An Invite to Hollingdrake Hall

Photo copyright: Rochelle
Photo copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Approaching the house that was to become her home again Karen swore that she would put things right. Today she would start reversing the wrongs that had occoured. The recent history of Hollingdrake Hall had stopped most people from visiting what had once been a beautiful house.

Experimenting with alchemy, her father had developed a potion which changed him. He had then altered his name from Mandrake to Ekardnam. For fifty years he mercilessly controlled the family business – until the day lightning struck his car. The lightning reverted him to Mandrake. Whilst Karen sat taking tea with her mother – until Nerak screamed.

A Tea Break for a Writer
A Tea Break for a Writer
This Post Has 61 Comments
    1. I was drifting somewhat with this story; which ended in a way that I had not intended. Hopefully I will find an opportunity to redraft the story for another prompt picture. Thank you for your feedback, it is appreciated.

          1. It’s probably 40+ years since I last read it, so I don’t recall every detail. There was just something about the tone of your story that made me think of it, as well as some of GK Chesterton’s stories.

          2. I now read a synopsis of the Monkeys Paw. It appears to be a mix of a moral story with a good dollop of horror. Fascinating. It reminds me of telling stories around a open fire at night in the ghostly style of Ireland.

          3. Thanks Michael. You’ve put into words what I was trying to say. Your story conjured up that kind of atmosphere for me – not easy when there’s a tight word limit.

    1. I am so pleased to be reminded about HP Lovecraft. Hollingdrake Hall is unaffected by the potion. Only humans are reversed! I did start this story with a totally different end and genre in mind !

    1. Thank you Rochelle, I did mean Nerak. I started this story intending to write about the house in The Secret Garden by Burnett. But the horror genre took over my tale.

    1. It was spooky how the story just grew, it was supposed to be a nice description of a happy old house, but turned into a horror story. But having seen a photo of the house I am not surprised at the change of genre.

  1. This was very clever, Michael…a bit too clever for my humble brain and it took me 3 readings to cotton onto the name reversals, but that was a great idea.
    BTW, your heading should read: “An Invite.”
    Hope you have a great week and I look forward to next week’s encounter.
    xx Rowena

      1. It was a great idea and it did work.
        I know what you mean about the word limit. Some weeks it’s been very difficult to cut it back.

  2. An interesting story but there’s a stark shift between the two paragraphs that kind of broke concentration for me. The first paragraph had kind of a gothic horror feel and then I wasn’t sure about the second paragraph. I think I would have liked it more if those final 53 words had been used to talk about the wrongs Karen wanted to correct.

  3. I am not too quick, and had to read it a second time to catch Nerak…ouf!! scary stuff and sounds like trailor pitch to a scary movie. I love it when my muse takes over and turns a story to another bend.

    1. Hi Athling – the name Nerak is the name Karen reversed. The father having lost his role has been replaced by his daughter – the replacement has been arranged by her mother! I really need more words to complete this story. Sorry for the name reversal thing. Mike

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