Okay, this came to my mind one day after dwelling on the tone set in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." I didn't actually copy it all that well, but this sludge is what I got instead. Would you be ever so kind as to read it?
The night was misty, the white fog coating the out of doors with a solid, desolate sheet of solitude and loneliness. An old man sits in his rocking chair, gently mo0ving with the subtle creak of wood on aging wood. The chair is nearly as old as the bespectacled man who sits in it. His hair was as white as the mist outside of his fogged window pane, but thin and dissipating as chills on a warm day. His chin lay on his chest, head drooped down, the letter that he had been writing forgotten on the table beside him. A soft, low, crackling fire was the only sign of life in the room besides the rise and fall of the old man's chest.
As the firing shifted and took different forms, the shadows in the room did also, rising and falling, forming into beasts with claws of darkness. The fire did give light to the small room and warmth to the man, but did no justice to penetrate the shadows of the dark and fog outside. Suddenly, there was a rapping on the door, lightly as if two sticks were tapped together. Even as he aged, this sound was enough to rouse the old man. He picked up his sagging and wrinkled face, and in a thing voice called out quietly.
"Who's there?" A gust of wind was his only response at first. Then, a bone chilling voice came, it seemed, from everywhere.
"It is I, the traveler." The old man seemed to shake at the voice, but responded calmly enough.
"I have no room for travelers, here." The wind whipped again, the eerie voice coming again in response.
"Very well" but the tone was not one of grudging finality, but one of warned aggravation. The man waited tensely a few moments, wanting to be assured the voice was gone. Once confident it would not return he laid his head back on his chest, falling into a light doze. The fire, still flickering, dimmed a bit just before another rapping came at the door, a bit louder than the first. Once again, the old man, roused from his sleep, called out.
"Who's there?" The voice that returned his call was thin and raspy.
"It is I, the gatherer." The old man let out a wheezing breath tainted with a hint of shock.
"I have nothing for anyone to gather, here." The whipping of the wind was his only response at first, but the rasp eventually returned.
"Very well." The old man shifted uncomfortably at the repeated phrase, but even as the chills crept through his body, the voice did not return. The fire dimmed, the light no longer reaching all corners of the room, but a pale circle around the man and the desk beside him. Just as the old man put his head down to rest, another rapping came by the door, a loud thumping. The old man started, a pounding starting in his fragile hear.
"Who's there?" His thin voice called, with an unhidden tremor in it. The voice that returned the call was higher pitched, but held a hint of menace behind the sugar coating.
"It is I, the trader." The old man trembled.
"I have nothing to trade, here." The voice was silent, but the space was not as prolonged as the first two.
"Very well" it replied, leaving only the swooping gusts of wind to meet the man's ears as the fire dimmed to nothing more than pale glows and flickers, leaving enough illumination for the man to see by. With aging, thin fingers, the man carefully penned a few more lines of the letter. He prepared to dip the quill back in the ink, when a pounding occurred on the door. With a shaking voice, the man called out.
"Who's there?" His eyes darted to the menacing shadows that suddenly seemed to fill the room. The man yanked the quilt he had atop his legs closer to him as he felt an unearthly chill take hold of him.
"It is I, the messenger." The deep voice called with baritone hints to it. The old man carefully set the quill down with his quivering hands, taking care not to spill the ink.
"I have no need for a message, here" The voice, this one, was very silent for a few long moments. To the man they seemed each an eternity long, but the voice responded reluctantly eventually.
"Very well." And with this, the fire dimmed to only faint enough light to prove there was ever a fire present, not just darkness and never ending cold. Before the shaking man could regain his composure, a thunderous booming came, and door trembled as if it were about to fall in. The old man who called out, and attempts of hiding the fear in his voice instantly vanishing.
"Who's there?" The voice that responded was deeper than all of the rest, if possible, and if death held a sound, the voice captured it perfectly in its guttural drawl.
"It is I, the taker.' The old man shook, his body threatening to come apart at its aging seams with the violent shudders.
"No, I have nothing to be taken, here." Rather than the response the man was dreading, it had another message. Though it was not the same message, this one was not any more favorable, rather, more chilling and ominous than the rest.
"Oh, but you do. It is something a traveler could have borrowed, something that can be gathered, could be traded, or received a message. It is something I am now here to take, considering you have refused the other most generous offers from those before me. And, you should have taken to those offers." The old man closed his eyes, since the fire no longer offered comfort.
"What is that?" There was a deep chuckle, like Satan's demons scraping nails down a black earthen chalkboard.
The man's eyes opened bold wide for a moment before he fell back on the chair, completely stilled from the tremors that had moments ago filled his entire frame. The fire blinked out completely with a gust of wind that was suddenly within the tiny house. And then, all that was left, was what began this tale.
The fog, the dark, the chill and mist, the creak of wood on aging wood. This only things that were absent was the glow of a fire and the rise and fall of an old man's chest.
R&R please! (This isnt meant to be horror, truly. More of just… something to give you a few chills up your spine.)