The Pen

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The Pen is a story written by Kougyoku. It was published in 2010 in theme-free Issue 28 and can be found at, and


When James travels to town on business, he comes into contact with the Pen, a large mound in the churchyard that has a strange and worrying air about it.

Historical fiction set in the 19th Century. This is a Christmas ghost story about a young man and the unusual things he encounters in a strange town.

Themes include ghosts and horror.

Author's Notes[edit]

Anecdote time: I wrote this in the winter a couple of years ago. One night from that time always stays with me. It was a Sunday. I’d spent all day working on this story and writing about people being scared. At about 8 o’clock I left the house to go visit my parents. It was December, so it was dark outside and it had been snowing heavily all day. Let me tell you, in the town I was living at the time, you’ll see very little life on the streets if it’s late on a Sunday and the roads are thick with snow. So there I was, all alone, walking down this still, white street, where the only sound was the soft crunching of the snow under my boots. And then, it must have turned 8pm, because I could hear the clock in the church striking the hour, which was weird because I lived really far away from the church. The streets were so empty that night that the sound just carried. It was spooky. I’ll admit it. Just me and the snow and the church bells tolling. And then. I turned the corner and saw a woman in a white coat standing silently at the end of the street. She wasn’t moving, just standing quite still. And I was already tense because of the church bells and the quiet of the snow and the spending all day writing scary stories. And I know that this lady must just have been waiting for a friend to pick her up in their car. But she was so still, and so quiet, and the distant church bells were droning on. Sweet Jesus, my heart was going at 100 miles an hour as I walked past her.
And that was it. I got to my parents house with no trouble.
I never did find out who she was.


External Reviews[edit]