Had this rattling around for a while now, and I finally took 30 min to commit some of the basic introduction to page. Let me know where I can improve, and whether the story draws you in. I did intend for it to be slightly ambiguous!


Dusk brought us Giants; crooning an old song of Marattacus Red.

I yanked the covers to my chin, knocking my notebook to the floor in the process as the window above my head rattled and the lamp on my nightstand, whose light I’d been sketching by, tipped and shattered against the marble floor.

Sami darted out of the bed to my right, spluttering madly; his a dark mop of hair splayed in every-which direction.

“Martin? Whuzz–goin’-on?” he asked blearily; a sentiment echoed by cries of the children lodged in rooms around us.

“I guess they’re back,” I reply grimly. “What else could it be?” Sami groaned, leaning across the nightstand separating our beds for a better look out the window. “Still can’t see nothing, though. Probably better that way, I guess.” He added.

He had a point. Five terrible times we’d heard the creatures, five instances of distant stomps away and reverbating, meaningless chants, and not once had they made themselves visible behind the mountain range that enclosed our little building. For us, the fifty or so children trapped inside Dumas House, the idea of what lurked behind the peaks was festered in our heads. But Sami was right, better in our heads and behind those hills than the reverse.

The door to our room abruptly flung open, and in stormed an auburn-haired boy even smaller than Sami.

“D’ja’ see them?” he demanded red-cheeked, shouldering Sami back into bed in a mad rush for the window. “I saw a hand, I think– a biggun’. I was telling John but he didn’t believe me. If you look–there, just there–”

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“Shut up Hamish,” interrupted Sami, “you didn’t see anything, the mountains are too tall–”

“I did so! I think some of the east-side girls did also, I think they were screaming and crying much, much more than they did last time.”

“Why d’you say that?” I ask, pushing myself into a sitting position.

“Matron Rebecca was running like crazy, I saw her.” said Hamish importantly. He was still peering outside with a fixed expression on his face. He was on the younger side in House Dumas, couldn’t be much more than ten. All the other kids his age were usually curled up under their covers, hand pressed against their ears with eyes fixed shut. But here Hamish was, proudly staring outside with a puffed chest.

Sami got out of bed and stood beside Hamish. “Now Is it just me, or is it getting louder?”

The reverberations that had shaken the room had been steadily ramping up in intensity, to the point that dust and cobwebs now drifted from the rafters like silk caught in a breeze.

I touched my feet to the floor, wincing at the cold shock of stone on my soles. Sami and Hamish were still muttering to each other, poorly disguising the trembles in their voices. A lower voice rang out, and the boys nearly jumped.

“Hamish, Matron Rebecca wants all the kids back in their rooms,”

I turned to see a tall black boy with heavy lids framed in the open doorway. A couple of years older than me, fifteen or sixteen maybe.

“Hi, John.” said Sami. “We reckon they’re getting louder back there.”

“I reckon we may as well try and go back to bed,” said John shortly. “they usually stop any time now.”

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“Matron Rebecca tell you it like that John?” I asked, feeling a twinge of annoyance at his overbearing tone.

His eyes flashed. “Just get back in your beds. Hamish, come on.” I watched as the boy obediently followed John’s retreating footsteps, nodding lamely at us on his way out.

True to John’s words, the stomps and shakes began to fade minutes after. “Why’d you say that?” said Sami curiously, brushing the remaining dust from his hair.

“Why not?” I replied, hiding my red face by making to clear the brushing the broken glass off the floor. “We’re all equals here, aren’t we? Can’t take that from us, too…”

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