What Pegman Saw : At night in the theatre

The valley sides are sharp as a sword blow, snow blowing like smoke in the cutting wind. The hills are stripped to black, the trees dark ribs cresting a spine of rock.

Hideo locks the door, clicks one light switch, then the next, the theatre sinking to darkness, leaving only the stage lit.

Their flesh is heavy with frost, strings of sinew holding together slack joints. They yearn for heat to melt the armour from their backs, the swords from their hands. 

Footsteps behind the curtain. ‘Who’s there?’ Hideo’s own voice sounds brittle in his ears.

Something touches his hand, like old meat kept frozen too long. His palm tingles from the cold.

‘We’re closed. Next performance tomorrow.’

The sound of metal hushing against metal. The smell of blood.

The pool of heat expands across the floor as they gather around.


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. Pop along and join in, do.

Don’t ask where this little piece of horror came from. I found the destroyed theatre, looked at sites about Noh theatre, where I not only found some very disturbing demon masks but this line ‘Japanese religion fears the spirits of those who died violently or in the grip of rage’ and of course, my brain mixed this idea with the theatre, with dead Samurai warriors lost in the snowcapped hills …




22 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : At night in the theatre

  1. Oh my… I’m first to comment… oh my… what do I say?

    Your story is atmospheric, Lynn, for sure. I am not one hundred percent sure what happened, but I feel with the ghostly tone I am meant to be unsure, like Hideo (excellent Japanese name – I used it in a competition winning story about teleportation I wrote in 2012 – but that IS another story).

    Some great turns of phrase, none of which felt out of place or forced. At. ALL.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kelvin! I think there was really too much story for the word count with this one – I really wanted to convey the angry spirits returning, rows of helmets lit from above by the stage lights. Perhaps a longer version is needed. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Penny. I should perhaps try a longer version at some point, as it’s hard to build atmosphere for a horror / ghost story in so few words. Thank you so much for the kind comment 🙂


  2. eerie – but fit photo you chose so well.
    (and your post forgot to mention the location this week – I am just getting online and I can easily go look it up – and plan to – but just FYI)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The imagery and tension in this little story are way bigger than 150 words. Have you ever considered writing a longer horror story?

    In other news, for some reason when I try to comment on your blog via my phone, they don’t go through. No idea why, but this time I realized right way my comment didn’t go through so I could fix it when I got home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone else told me they have problems with comments from their phone. Not sure why or what I can do about it – sorry for the inconvenience.
      Thanks for the kind comment, Karen. I haven’t really written much in the way of horror, though my WIP has horror elements I would say – certainly, I attempt to be horrifying! Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, I probably shouldn’t have attempted horror in so few words – tricky to build an atmosphere in such a short space. Fun to try though. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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