Power Cut In A Basement, Destination Unknown – AutoCrit Writing Challenge

I thought I’d join in with the Destination Unknown AutoCrit writing challenge again this month, once again we were given the first and last words then it was up to us to create an (approx.) 1,000 word story using them (…the only other thing was there needed to be some sort of spooky element this time around, perfect for Halloween). So, here is mine…

Power Cut In A Basement, Destination Unknown - AutoCrit writing challenge title image

Let me tell you why I’m famous, Madison started singing into a crowded bar. It was a Friday night, Brianna arrived with a couple of others from work, she went up to the bar with her friend Jess to get a drink, something without alcohol since she was driving.

When Brianna got up to leave later that evening, she grabbed her jacket and headed out onto the street outside. The person who’d been singing was leaving at just the same time. Could it be, she wondered, thinking about it now her voice did sound familiar and not just from earlier. Stopping in her tracks she spun round, sure enough there in front of her stood Madison Houghton. She hadn’t realised it was her earlier on.

“Brianna?” Madison said, instantly recognising her.

“Hey” Brianna replied, “thought I recognised you.”

“It’s been a while, how long have you been back?”

“Oh just a few weeks.”

“Come back to mine, we can have a proper catch up,” Madison suggested after they’d got chatting.

“Okay, I’ll meet you there, my car’s round the corner. Where is it you’re living now?”

“A few streets over,” she gave her the address.

“See you in a bit,” she walked off in the direction of her car., sending a message to her boyfriend Jack on the way, ‘going to be home late, bumped into an old friend xx’

On the way to her car it had began spitting with rain, by the time she got to Madison’s it was coming down in heavy spots, she made a dive for it to the front door. Madison soon answered, she’d arrived back a few minutes before. Not long after they got inside, thunder started rumbling overhead.

Armed with a glass of wine each they’d end up going down to the basement to sift through old memories, the no alcohol rule had clearly gone out the window now, she’d have to be getting a cab home later.

“Do you remember this?” Madison laughed, picking up an old notebook full of scribbles and doodles from their teenage years.

Without warning the room descended into darkness.

“What the?” Brianna said.

“Must be a power cut.” Madison peered out of the window, “no street lights either,” she commented.

Swaying trees reflected onto the far wall of the basement casting an eerie glow about the place, the only light was a small amount from The Moon coming in through the window, coming and going with the movement of the clouds, the rain had stopped a while ago.

“Have you got your phone?” Madison asked, “I left my bag upstairs”

“Here, in my pocket.” Brianna reached for it, the screen lit up as she unlocked it, she switched the torch on, “maybe we should go back up,” she suggested but before Madison had chance to reply the front door slammed shut on the floor above, the sound reverberated through the house. Brianna jumped at the noise and Madison froze, waiting for another noise. Footsteps, one, two, three, the third hit the creaky floorboard under the carpet right by the living room door.

Brianna shivered even though it wasn’t cold, “whose there?” she shouted out, moving closer to the stairs, shining the torch up towards the top.

“Madison you home?” a guys voice shouted.

“Kyle!” she yelled, relief evident in her voice that it was her brother and not some intruder, “we’re down here” she shouted up to him.

Brianna moved her phone away again as he appeared at the top of the basement steps, the torch on his phone now shining down onto the steps, ‘What’re you doing down here? It’s spooky down here in the dark,’ he went down the stairs towards them.

‘Well the lights were working when we came down,’ his sister said.

“Brianna?” he said when he finally noticed her.

“Hi,” she said to Kyle.

“What’re you doing here anyway? Thought you were some intruder coming in like that.” Madison admonished him.

“Sorry didn’t think, to be honest I wasn’t sure if you’d be back yet, I’ve got a key you know,” he’d often crash there if he was in town.

“Yeah but then I wasn’t sure I’d even locked the door. Let’s go back up, hopefully the power will be on again soon” Madison started up the stairs, Brianna and Kyle followed.

“Didn’t know you were back,” Kyle said to Brianna on the way back up.

“Came back a few weeks ago, new job,” she said to him.

Madison made sure to switch off the light when they got back to the top of the stairs, they went through to the lounge. It wasn’t long before it came back on, electrical devices around the house beeped, talked and made the various noises they make when they get interrupted from their impromptu technological slumber.

“If I’d known you were in town, you could have come to the bar tonight,” Madison said to him.

“Oh yeah, how did it go?”

“It was great yeah,” Madison got up to get them fresh drinks.

“She’s really good,” Brianna said.

“First time you’ve heard her sing?”

“Properly, like this.”

“So are you back for good now then or is it a flying visit?”

“Well I’ve got a new job so looks like I’m staying around here for now.”

“Rob will be pleased.”

“Oh come off it, that was a long time ago.”

“He still talks about you sometimes.”


“Yeah really.” Rob was an old friend of Kyle’s.

“You coming back?” Brianna shouted to Madison, “your brother is annoying me already.”

“Why what’s he saying?”

“Rob this, Rob that.”

“What happened between the two of you anyway?”

“Not you as well.”

“Come on, I’m curious, you two split up then the next minute you’re heading off to this big job up country.”

“Yeah well, it’s old history and I’ve moved on now.”

As the evening wore on Brianna took a moment to check her phone, a message popped up on it, the name it was from was more of a nickname than an actual name. Nicknames are a funny thing.

I’m pleased with what I ended up with here, my showing versus telling seems to have improved as well – last time I got a score of 64 and this time it was 38 (the lower the score the better, obviously). My overall score on AutoCrit was nearly 10% higher than the last one too so I’m pleased with that! If you’d like to read my entry for the previous challenge you can find it here – Under The Hatch.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tick this box to agree to your data being saved for the purpose of submitting this comment. Please see the Privacy Policy for more information