#writephoto: Spiral

This is a microfiction piece in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.



The stair went on forever, winding round and round, higher and higher, but the small window, the winking square of daylight came no closer. He stopped, to ease the fire in the muscles of his legs, and to scratch a mark on the stone with the edge of a coin. He climbed again, searching the walls, anxiety heavy and dull in the pit of his stomach. Round and round again. And the mark appeared. The bright, new scratched cross. He wanted to weep. The light laughed and he threw the coin, aiming for the window. The coin twisted and glinted once, twice, then disappeared. He couldn’t even tell if he had aimed true.

There was only one choice—up or down. He turned and peered back down the winding stairwell. Darkness rose to meet him, thick, impenetrable and suffocating. One by one, the stairs were swallowed by the rising shadows, and from the shifting depths came the sound of the pit, the moaning and the mad chuckling, following him. With a cry he turned back again, cursing the winking, laughing window and the light of a day he would never see, to climb the never-ending stair.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

36 thoughts on “#writephoto: Spiral”

  1. Great write. The fear of going back down…to me much scarier than continuing to climb, even without the chuckling shadows. I love the description of the disappearing coin, and also how we come to realize that the first line is not hyperbole.

    1. Doesn’t have to be a spiral staircase, does it? What about a dentist’s drill? An underground train? And I won’t even try to imagine a speleologist’s nightmare!

  2. Very creepy, Jane! Going up isn’t a problem for me but going down most definitely is… been stuck many a time on castle stairs on the downward journey, physically unable to make myself move. Very unpleasant experience.

    1. Those staircases must have been the very devil to fight on. They look picturesque and all that but I hate not being able to see what’s round the corner.
      By the way, you’ve gone off my WP radar altogether now. Your avatar is a black and white pattern and I have to approve your comments as if you’re an alien.

      1. That’s because I’ve decided to come out… I really am an alien! Ssshhhh… don’t tell every one, they’re not yet ready. 😂😂😂

  3. Great story! Such a dark tale, like being trapped in a nightmare. Loved how you captured the decision to keep going or to face going down too, such a conundrum. Well done. KL ❤

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s