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The Mystery of Hunderstadt



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Old January 28th, 2011, 5:46 pm
BJMJOOO  Female.gif BJMJOOO is offline
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The Mystery of Hunderstadt

Here is my English assesment work! Please tell me what you think of it! I am only 13 so it probably won't be that good but I really really want to be an author when I'm older so any feedback would be great! It is also quite short.

Edit: I'm really sorry but the town isn't called Hunderstadt. I changed it to mean something different. It's actually called Todesstadt



January 15th 1811


A storm is raging outside. The wind and the rain hammering against the frail windows, desperate to break in. I hope they do not, there is already a draught in here, it keeps blowing out my candle, plunging me into sudden and unexpected darkness. It is very unsettling, trying to write in these conditions. I’m not afraid of the dark, of course, but the thunder echoes around the empty hallways, the lightening illuminates the ornaments on the mantelpiece, creating silhouettes that take the shape of human beings, and the smell of dust and decay is overpoweringly strong.
Below my window I know is a tiny village, though the mist and the rain obscures it from my vision. Those villagers are stranger than any being I have ever come across. As soon as I appeared in their square, wearing nothing more than a cloak for protection, and dragging my heavy bag and case with me, they disappeared, banging doors and shutters behind them as I passed. I now wonder why the editor sent me here, on this impossible assignment. I am to write an article about the deaths of the children of Todesstadt, and whether the supposed haunting of their great manor house, in which I am currently occupying, had anything to do with it. But how am I to accomplish this task if the civilians either fear me or are uncooperative. I am not yet 16, ‘nothing more than a child’ the editor told me when a handed in my application. What if the same fate befalls me as it did those poor children. I must be exhausted, it is one o’clock, of course the same won’t happen to me. There are no haunting, and the deaths must have been down to some childhood illness, or other. I must try to get some rest, though sleep will be difficult, what with the storm and the echoes. I must try though, or I will never have the energy to keep a straight head and get my task completed.



February 1st 1811


It has been nearly a month since I arrived at this dark place, and there has been no change in the weather conditions since I arrived. The wind is so icy that every time I venture outdoors my entire boy shakes and I feel so overcome by the cold that I have to dash back indoors. For that reason I have never got round to investigating the deaths of those children. Not that the men and women of Todesstadt will assist me in any way. I have been watching them closely through my chamber window, wearing my cloak indoors because of the cold, and I have never seen such peculiar behaviour. They stroll around in the pouring rain, and greet each other joyfully. Very strange behaviour people whose children perished not five years ago. They carry out these obscure acts until one of them spots me, then they all disappear, banging doors and shutters just as they did when I first arrived.
A couple of weeks ago, the strangest thing happened. Well not strange, and it was probably nothing, just my exhausted mind playing tricks on me. Nothing to do with the supposed haunting, because ghosts do not exist. I was peering out of the library window at the mountains when I saw a hooded figure. It was quite tall, about six feet, I would say, and was wearing a cloak of vibrant yellow and red. As I watched, it slowly started to turn around. I looked on, confused and in awe. Who or what was it? The thing, for I did not know whether it was a person, let alone a man or woman, was now facing in my direction. From my viewpoint, it looked nothing more than a cloak suspended in mid-air, for no limbs were visible at that moment. I wasn’t even sure whether or not it had a face. But then the music started. The sound was so enchanting; it seemed to clear my mind of all emotion, so that the only thing I could think about was that haunting melody. I had a sudden urge to follow it, to find the source, though I knew perfectly well that it was coming from that creature. But, though my mind was screaming at me not to do it, I found myself lifting up my heavy lantern, pulling open the door, and stepping outside. The creature started to move towards the gate, and my body followed it. We seemed to be walking for miles and my limbs were numb from carrying my lantern and from the bitter cold wind. Eventually we came to a clearing in the forest beyond the mountains, on the very same path I had come through on my journey to the town. It was pitch black by now, and I couldn’t see the creature anywhere. All I could hear was the music. Then, suddenly, it stopped. I peered around, desperately wanting it to begin again. I felt lost without it. Then, lifting my lantern higher, I heard a rustling noise. I turned round, in a panic, and ended up face-to-face with a snow white face, a wide, grinning smile, and a pair of red eyes. Those eyes! They were a brilliant crimson, and were gazing me with such a force that they seemed to bore down into my very soul. I backed away as the creature lifted up a white hand with long red fingernails, and surprisingly the thing didn’t follow me, it just stared at me. Then it lunged at me, swiping its sharp nails near my neck. I screamed and swung my lantern around at it. I felt it come into contact with the monster, but when I looked round to see if anything had happened to it, there was nothing there. I ran all the way back down to the house, back in through the library door, which I had strangely left open, and upstairs into my chamber. My legs and arms were numb from the cold and were shaking from fright. That night, in my sleep I could see those monstrous eyes. I’d wake yelling and covered in sweat.
I now begin to wonder whether it was my imagination that conjured up that creature, or whether it actually happened. I can remember everything so clearly, so it must have been real, mustn’t it? And if it did happen, is this the monster that is responsible for the deaths of those poor children?



7th April


I am now positive that the thing that I encountered in February was not a figment of my imagination. I ventured down into Todesstadt today, this time not wearing my cloak, having lost it when I was in the forest. This time, the people of Todesstadt were more welcoming than past times I have gone down there. I visited in the middle of the market, and the sellers were more than happy to sell me a good many things, including a new coat at a reasonable price, and some more food, for supplies at the house are becoming low. The only problem was that none of the traders spoke my language, but luckily the mayor was happy to assist me, and spoke nearly perfect English. When I questioned him about why there were no children in the village, his cheerful face fell and he hurried me away to a little hut on the outskirts of the town. We sat together in the bleak light of the candle which he was holding in silence, until the mayor started talking. This is what he told me;
‘My family have always lived here in Todesstadt. The weather was sunny and bright then. The village was full of the smiles and laughter of children until one day a new family moved to the big manor house. The family did things that angered the spirits of the forest; they cut the trees down and burnt huge acres of it, never planting any more. Then one day, they went too far. The large tree in the centre of the forest was sacred, and many spirits dwelled in that tree, the family were astounded by the quality of wood that grew in that tree. They didn’t heed our warnings about the spirits, they just cut it down and took all that they desired, then left, taking all their belongs, never to be seen again. But they left a curse behind. The spirits became angry, and pulled all their powers into one creature, a hideous creature, one that was sent to ruin our people’s lives. That creature was cloaked in death, and played a hideous melody that lured all our beloved children away. That’s why we fled when you arrived here wearing your cloak, we thought you were the monster. From the day that curse took place, no child has ever been born here in Todesstadt. Except one, a month ago, a young couple was blessed with a baby girl. We called her Nada, which means hope in Croatian, the country where the family comes from. This child has lived longer than any child has in this town, and has not succumbed to the terror of the song. We have heard it, but she has not followed it. She is special, all of us know it.’
At that point I intervened, and asked to see this child. The mayor led me to a hut on the other side of the town, furthest away from the forest. Inside was a modest living area, with a small table and battered old sofa. The young couple were sat together on the sofa cradling a tiny baby with a mop of jet black hair. She held out her starfish hands as I approached. I asked if I could hold her and see if there was anything different about her. The mayor translated for me, ‘Kan hun tage et kig på hende?’ he asked the mother, Alegria. She nodded and handed her daughter over to me. I held her up into the light and inspected her closely. I soon discovered why Nada hadn’t been affected by the creature’s song. When the mayor accidently dropped one of the plates onto the floor, everyone flinched but her. In fact she hardly noticed. ’Has she ever responded to loud noises?’ I asked her father, Mandib. He shook his head.
’I think she may be deaf.’ I told the mayor ’That is why she has not been responding. That would also be the reason why she cannot hear the monster’s melody.’ The mayor translated to the parents while I handed Nada back to her mother.
The mayor insisted on escorting me back to the manor house and when I suggested that the monster may have a weakness, he stopped still and smiled suddenly, like he was sharing a private secret with me. He told me that there had been a sort of experiment years ago, where the old mayor discovered that the monster either feared the odour of crushed wild garlic, or the leaves of a yew tree. I have decided that tonight I shall do a test of my own, to deduce whether these substances affect the creature. I shall wear cotton rags in my ears as a precaution. I believe I shall carry out my test at midnight, when I think the monster will be more active.


Ok, I am really getting into this. It may be longer than I thought!
Please leave feedback here


__________________
"When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy". They told me I didn't understand the assignment.
I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon



Last edited by BJMJOOO; April 26th, 2011 at 4:59 pm.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 4:16 pm
BJMJOOO  Female.gif BJMJOOO is offline
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Re: The Mystery of Hunderstadt

8th April 1811


Last night’s experiment was a success! At midnight, the mayor hid in the withered rhododendron bush while I stood in the middle of the lawn, anticipation building in my stomach. All the wires and pulleys were in place and eventually, the creature appeared, fully cloaked. The music started playing but this time, thanks to the cotton strips in my ears, it was almost undetectable. As the creature started to turn around towards the gate, the mayor pulled the first rope, a little canvas bag filled with ground wild garlic sailed down a thin wire placed above the creature’s head. It stumbled and took a few steps back, then continued its gradual tread towards the gate. I heard a quiet whizzing noise, then saw a dark shape fly along the second wire. This time, the canvas bag contained powdered yew leaves. The miniscule holes in the bag let a fine powder trickle down onto the beast’s head. It let out a sort of scream that was so shrill it penetrated my cotton earplugs. The creature disappeared in a whirl of smoke and dust, taking half of the grass beneath its feet with it. So obviously, the powdered yew leaves have some sort of effect on the monster. It may burn its skin or something. Maybe if I add a tiny drop of citric acid will help increase the effects of the reaction. I have also noticed that there are no yew trees in the forest where the thing lives, which is a sure sign that something irritates it about them. If those chemicals do deter the monster then I, with the help of the townspeople of Todesstadt, may be able to rid the town of the curse that befell it over 100 years ago. If I can get all the villagers to revolt against the thing then they may be free of the monster forever. I will go down to the town tomorrow and tell them my plan.


10th April 1811


Yesterday the mayor and I gathered all the residents of Todesstadt together in the town square to reveal to them our plot to destroy the monster. They seemed a bit wary at first, although when I mentioned all of the supporting factors they soon agreed. The plan was for all the persons to meet at the Dark Forest at one of the clock that evening. The rest of the day was spent preparing the yew leaves. Half of the village went down to the neighbouring village of Waldstadt, to collect as many yew leaves as they could carry. The other half had the task of pounding the leaves and adding the citric acid. The mayor was assembling the pulleys and wires while I stitched tiny canvas bags and filled them with the yew mixture. By midday we had over six dozen miniature sacks. The afternoon was spent filling pails of water with the yew concoction and transporting all of the buckets, sacks, wires and pulleys up to Dark Forest. I invited all the villagers back up to the manor house for dinner, then retired to my chamber to rest. At midnight I made my way down into the village, then up to the Dark Forest. The night was cool, not a gust of wind, perfect for our plan. When I arrived at the forest, most of the village were there, Allegra, Mandib and Nada were amongst them. The mayor was setting up all the wires and pulleys and the rest of the town were assembling the canvas bags into their required positions. At one of the clock, we went over the plan. We were to place Nada in the centre of the forest, protected by a circle of yew leaves, to attract the monster. When the monster turned around, the mayor would pull the rope that would release all of the canvas bags at once. The villagers would then come at the monster with the pails of yew concoction, until the beast had been driven away. Nada was placed into her position and the village gathered in their places or behind neighbouring trees and saplings. It was pitch black, so dark I could barely see Nada. We waited for around half an hour until eventually, we heard a rustling sound, and a shadow appeared. The tension was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. The tinkly fairground music started, but this time, because I was not the intended victim, it had no effect on me. Through the blackness, I could just make out the monster, it had just started to turn around. Suddenly I heard a warbled bird call. The signal! At that point, the mayor must have pulled the first rope, because I heard a metallic whizzing sound, then an ear-splitting screech that filled the night air. I, and the rest of the townsfolk grabbed our pails of liquid and marched towards the creature. As one, we tossed the buckets of yew mixture over it. There was a loud hissing noise as the creature dissappeared in a cloud of thick, navy smoke. Then the atmosphere erupted into a massive cheer, people were dancing and singing and the celebrations continued down into the village and into the town square. There was a party that lasted until dawn, with more dancing and singing. When I at last returned to the manor house, I collapsed onto my bed, exhausted by the night's efforts.


13th May 1821

It has been over a decade since the monster was banished from the village and I have returned with my husband and children to see how it has changed. It is no longer dark and stormy here and all the faces I have seen are not sad or worried, but happy and smiling. The square is filled with the laughter and singing of many children, and Elizabeth and Jane have made a good deal of friends already. The manor house has been cleared out, repainted and is being used as a hotel for the many travellers that pass through. We are staying with Nada and her family in their little hut on the outskits of the town, right next to the barrier of yew leaves that keep any dangerous spirits away from this flourishing and happy town.


Wow! I can't believe how long it is. My English teacher was amazed when I showed her it. Six pages on Word!! I got a 7b on it which is the highest I've ever got. I'm in Year 8 in England so I dunno what that means in other countries!


Please tell me what you thought of it here


__________________
"When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy". They told me I didn't understand the assignment.
I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon



Last edited by BJMJOOO; April 26th, 2011 at 4:56 pm.
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