Company: Chapter 1 -The Dark Alley

dark-alley

Zac’s POV

The sun painted the sky with the mellow shades of yellow, pink and orange as I hurriedly cycled down the lane. It was late, I realized as I saw the dark hue of blue in the sky merge with pink from my periphery. I was supposed to meet Ben by early evening. He was going to be angry. Although, what scared me was my mother’s rage when she returned home and found out that I’d been sneaking out in her absence.

The first few stars had appeared in the evening sky and the sun had almost set. My legs were sore from paddling and beads of sweat were trickling down my back but I kept going. Finally, I reached the alley behind which Ben lived in his van and I slowed down to find the turn which would take me to Ben’s lair.

“Where are you off to, kid?”

Oh, no. Nobody could know that I’ve been meeting Ben. Especially in this neighborhood where people know who Ben is.

I turned around to find an old ragpicker bending down to pick up garbage bags, his shadowed eyes fixated on me.

“Nowhere”, I replied hastily. “I mean…it’s such a pleasant evening. I’ve been cycling and wandering around. My mom will call me when dinner is ready.”

“It is a pleasant evening, indeed. But this isn’t a pleasant place to cycle around, boy.”

It was true. People called this place the Dark Alley for a reason. It was filled with an aura of gloom and everything and everyone I’d seen here spoke of a wickedness that I’d never known. That is, everyone except Ben and I couldn’t keep him waiting while I chattered with this man.

“You’re right. I guess I should just go back home via the main road. It’s getting late,  anyway.”

“You’d better go soon, boy. This alley is a dark place and its darkness can consume even the brightest light. And you are just a lad. An innocent young lad.”

The man was freaking me out, with his dark shadowed eyes which had lost the light in them and his eerie way of speaking as if he was born to narrate horror stories. I really wanted to lose sight of him immediately and so, I nodded in agreement and turned my bike around to face the main road. I cycled till I reached the end of the alley and swerved right around the corner to a stop.  I hid behind one of the old buildings of the alley and peered around to see if the man had gone but he was still there, picking up bags and looking toward the main road. Was he looking for me? No. He must be looking for some garbage van.

 “What are you doing, lurking around here, at this time?”

I whirled around to see who it was. Phew! It was just Ben. I was glad to see him but he didn’t seem too happy to see me. “I…I had come to meet you but the ragpicker stopped me on my way, saying this alley is a dark place and I shouldn’t be here.”

“Which is why you should have come at the usual time and not at 8 o’clock in the evening.”

“What’s wrong? Aren’t you happy to see me, here?”

“No, Zac! My uncle comes back around this time and he’d kill me if he came to know that I’ve been meeting you.”

“So you want me to leave?”

“Yeah…I mean, you should leave before he comes back.”

I was beginning to lose my temper, now. I’d got detention in school for not completing homework and that resulted in the delay but I still came to meet Ben because he said that we’re best friends, which was what I’d begun to think. So, why was he behaving like this, now? Heck, I hadn’t even told mom about our friendship just because he’d told me not to. Cycling from home to this place and back again was tiring and I had to do it every day to meet him. Well, I’d got no problem with doing it but I would’ve been happier had he responded happily to my arrival.

He must have seen my face change colors because he looked at me apologetically and said,”Hey, I’m glad that you come and meet me every day but I want this to continue. It won’t if anyone comes to know about it. Are you getting me?”

“Yeah.”

My fists relaxed a little and that’s when I realize that I’d been pressing my fingers so tightly that they’d created indentations on my palm. Ben took my hand and squeezed it firmly. He looked at me, directly in the eyes, and said,”I’ll meet you tomorrow, right here.” I waved him bye and cycled back home.

I knew he was right. Nobody must know about our friendship.

Nobody.

Zac’s Mom’s POV

Being a businessman’s secretary and managing his deals wasn’t a tireless job and my sore feet and throbbing head proved this fact every day. Even walking up to the elevator had become a difficult job but I reached it just as Mrs. Cooper joined me. Oh, for God’s sake! Not her!

“Hello, there! Ms. Andrews, so nice to see you!”

I wished I could say the same.

“Hi, Mrs. Cooper”, I said just as the elevator doors closed.

And what awaited me was a long elevator ride with Mrs. Cooper while she went on and on about her husband, her sister and perhaps, her whole family.

“Well, I just came back from my sister’s house. You know, it’s near the Arch Lynn Supermarket. We spent the day together. Oh, it was such fun! But I guess, today was another tiring day of work for you.”

“Yes, Mrs. Cooper. I’ll ask Zac to massage my feet and order some food once I reach home.”

“Oh, but Zac’s not home! I’d seen him cycling to the Dark Alley or rather, the neighborhood with the Dark Alley. You see, my sister’s place is near the gardens and the supermarket, so I take the main road near the Alley to reach there and that is when I saw him. Zac.”

Had she gone crazy? What the hell will Zac be doing in a place like the Alley? She must have seen someone else.

“I think you must have seen some other kid.”

“No, Ms. Andrews. it was Zac. I assure you. Oh, there comes my floor. Will see you soon. And do tell me when Zac returns.”

And with that she left, leaving me in the old elevator, feeling as empty as I’ve ever felt.  Zac was at home and I was worrying for nothing, I told myself. But somehow, I couldn’t convince myself. Finally, my floor arrived and as soon as the elevator door opened, I jumped out and rang my doorbell. Was Mrs.Cooper saying the truth? Was he home? Will he open the door?

(To be continued…)


Image credits: Google Images

Hey! So this was my first shot at writing a short story and I’d really appreciate if you guys can take out some of your precious time to comment down below if you liked it or if you have some writing advice to offer.

Will Zac reach home in time? Who is Ben and why has he prevented Zac from telling his mom about him? Is Zac in bad company?

Read the next chapter to find out!


This is the first chapter in the Company series. The series consists of :

Company: Chapter 1 -The Dark Alley

Company: Chapter 2- The Dark Truth


57 Comments Add yours

  1. Pia Majumdar says:

    Goddamnit just open the door, man…..m hyped for next part Rachel πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The fruit of patience is always sweet! πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you liked it and thank you for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pia Majumdar says:

        always πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Riya Singh says:

    Waiting for your next post! ✌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and your wait shall be ended soon!😁

      Like

  3. megannlouise says:

    Wow! I love what you did with the different points of view! Keep up the good work!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. MANISHA SINGH says:

    Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. MANISHA SINGH says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  5. anikesh choudhary says:

    A great piece…It kept me engrossed the whole time! Waiting for the next chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your time!

      Like

  6. She says:

    An interesting start. You have some great ideas. I am really interested what gave you the idea to write this in two points of view. I like it. Did you play with mixing the order up, and why did you decide on introducing what Zac was doing meeting Ben first?

    An intriguing read! Good work.

    Like

    1. Thank you…Well, I’d thought that writing it in two points of view would keep the reader interested and while I began writing, introducing Zac and Ben’s meeting first just popped up as an idea with the flow of constructing the plot.
      Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.

      Like

  7. seejaystark says:

    Great work! It holds my attention.
    Since you asked for advice, I’ll offer you some;
    I think I’ve noticed a few instances of switching between past and present tense. This is an easy thing to overlook (I’m guilty of it quite often).
    When I first started writing, it was suggested to me to keep story pieces between 500 and 1,000 words, especially if it’s going to be a chaptered adventure. If you check my site (SeeJayStark.com) you’ll see my chapters are broken up into 3 to 6 parts each. This is a personal decision, though. There is absolutely nothing wrong with longer posts, but I have found that it’s easier to keep people’s attention for shorter posts.
    Honestly, I was upset when I received that advice because I thought it was silly, but I started writing that way and found it easier. It meant I could write in snippets and schedule posts for weeks in advance to keep a steady stream of posts over a few weeks.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your story so far! I’m looking forward to understanding the mystery of the alley and Ben!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks a lot for your advice.
      You are right, the past and present tense thing, really is a bug sometimes and I overlook it quite often…I’ll make sure I work on that.
      And about the length of the post, I had been thinking that my posts were getting lengthy so thanks for the reminder. Honestly, after speaking to you, it feels like writing the story in snippets and scheduling it in that order is quite convenient.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story so far and I hope you like the next chapter, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. seejaystark says:

        I’ve had a chance to read the second part and it is equally as good! Great work! I’ll be waiting for the next piece πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for reading! Your wait shall be ended soon. πŸ™‚

        Like

  8. MANISHA SINGH says:

    Intriguing…A great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. MANISHA SINGH says:

        You’re welcome☺

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Kaycee says:

    Nice!! Great

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sann says:

    Rachel you are so talented! I was hooked onto this story! Good news? I won’t have to wait for d second partπŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sann! Haha! Yeah, that sure is an advantage for you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. floatinggold says:

    I promise, I will read this tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, sure. Take your time. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. floatinggold says:

    The ending was very suspenseful. Well done.
    I’d recommend you add the link to the next chapter at the bottom of this post. It would be easier to just keep on reading.
    I’m curious as to what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the advice. I’ll add the link ASAP. I’m glad that you found it suspenseful! Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The Pensieve says:

    Nice! I really liked this chapter and the cliffhanger that followed. A fantastic first attempt if you ask me. Just a few suggestions though:-

    1. Don’t swap the tenses in between. It confuses the reader. Like you started with a past tense, but the rest was all present tense.

    2. Writing ‘Zac’s POV’ or ‘Zac’s mother’s POV’ is not actually necessary.πŸ˜… Let the reader figure it out. Or instead, you can just write ‘Zac/ Zac’s Mom’

    Apart from that, there were a few errors here and there. But a great job overall! Keep blogging! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I admit I really need to work on the tenses…Yeah, letting the reader figure out whose POV it is, is actually a good idea. I’ll keep that in mind. I’ll work on the errors, too. Thank you for reading. You’ve been a great help! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  14. The Pensieve says:

    You are welcome! Glad that I could be of help! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s really good. You have me curious πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am glad☺

      Like

  16. Tom Burton says:

    Lovely chapter! You really immerse the reader into the scene. Great cliffhanger! Looking forward to the next part. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. And for your kind words. It means a lot to me.☺

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Natalie Swift says:

    This was such a well-written piece!
    I simply loved your descriptions and your pacing of the story was perfect ❀
    On my way to reading the next part, Rachel!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! It really means a lot to me.☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Natalie Swift says:

        You’re welcome, Rachel!
        It was my pleasure ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Loving the double point of views to this. Very well written and looking forward to reading the next chapter!! ❀ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading, Jane!β™₯️

      Liked by 1 person

  19. rue202 says:

    This is an interesting start. You certainly write the tension well around the end. Hope that Zac will have made it home before the mother opens the door. I am thinking that Ben may have met the mother before, or that the mother knows something about him – just speculating on why Ben does not want Zac’s mother to know about their friendship. This is very good.
    Definitely reading the next chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an interesting take on the story about Ben! It’s so cool reading your speculations about the story…Thank you so much for reading and appreciating!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rue202 says:

        You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. That’s so intriguing! It hooked me till the end! I’m sprinting to read the next part…πŸš΅πŸ‡πŸš΅πŸ˜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Hey! Thanks for reading, Bhavya! I’m glad you found it intriguing. And thanks for finding the time to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Chetna says:

    Good job!! Indeed it grabs the attention in no time. Well it is really worth paying attention to πŸ˜πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you, Chetna. I’m glad you feel that way! Also, thanks for passing by!

      Like

  22. Good Job Rashi…Will take inspiration from you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you so much, Pantho. That makes me happy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hehe you’re welcome Rashi πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  23. floatinggold says:

    As soon as I started reading this, I knew it sounded familiar.
    it’s a re-post. I’ve read that before. It just goes to show the credit you deserve for crafting a memorable story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Yes, it’s a re-post. I’d been running out of ideas so I re-posted some of my previous post.
      I’m so glad you remembered it, Goldie! You have no idea how happy this makes me feel! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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