The first part

For Six Sentence Stories.



When I gave up my own pub, I offered my services as a relief manager, standing in for absentee landlords and one such mission was to keep the ale flowing at a venerable hostelry known as The Revenant, a centuries-old building of which I was told little before being handed the keys, except that under no circumstances should I enter the vault beyond the cellar.

On my first evening, I unlocked the door and took up my position behind the bar awaiting a thirsty hoard then after a minute or so the door creaked open and the locals began filing in; some sat at tables, some on stools, others just stood motionless all in total silence, all staring in my direction.

One by one they walked to the bar, pointed to a drink, paid their dues then walked away again, emotionless, silent, something they repeated several times until I rang the closing bell and they filed out again without having uttered a word. 

I was freaked out I have to say, and I decided then and there that I’d be walking away at sunrise but being one whose curiosity is peeked when advised against doing something, I simply had to take a look at what lay behind the door in the cellar.

Using the light on my phone I walked through the door, and found myself in an arched stone vault, then suddenly my light went out plunging me into darkness, only to come on again to reveal a silent hoard of Locals each of whom stared straight into my eyes.

The light flickered several times and they mysteriously disappeared leaving me frightened, alone and desperate to leave, but when I tried opening the door it was jammed so there was nothing else for it but to run through the mouth of a tunnel which faced me in the hope I’d find a way out, I ran and I ran and then…..

to be continued


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Many years ago I was the manager of a wine store in Royal Tunbridge Wells. From the street, you walked down some steps into a vault where the walls were fitted with shelves laden with bottles. At the far end was my counter and behind me, a tunnel which I was told went on for several miles. I never ventured very far for fear of what I might find!

I didn’t photograph the shop, but I found a sketch of how the entrance looked centuries ago. I did, however, take a picture of the tunnel entrance!

If you are interested I wrote about it in a chapter of My Chequered Career which you can find HERE



Thanks to Carrie for hosting

42 thoughts on “The first part

  1. Denise Dec 15, 2022 / 14:06

    Now that I’ve read chapter 20, I have to go back and read the rest. This is verrry interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank Hubeny Dec 15, 2022 / 15:54

    Nice build up to being locked in the vault. At least there is a tunnel that might offer some hope of a way out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spira Dec 15, 2022 / 17:51

    Keith…now I’ve got to visit that place just for the tunnel!
    Intrigued to read Chapter II.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christine Goodnough Dec 15, 2022 / 19:00

    Shudder! Seeing as you know French, the name might have given you a clue.
    My claustrophobia kicked in just seeing that photo. No way would I ever venture down there!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. clark Dec 15, 2022 / 20:20

    Surely one of the most alluring aspects of writing stories and fiction, the serial story! That, I suspect, surprises you not. (I followed the link back in time, a fragment of a parchment map… lol

    I’m fond of saying, surely the opportunity to write stories (and read that of others of like-mind) beats the heck out of most anything available on the television…

    excellent Six


    • Keith's Ramblings Dec 16, 2022 / 14:24

      I haven’t attempted a serial story for many a year, I only hope haven’t lost the magic touch. I sometimes wish some of my fellow bloggers could turn their pieces into TV dramas…


      • clark Dec 17, 2022 / 11:25

        hey! we’re old*

        Maybe we need to do a radio-play thing with some of these Six Serials. Early in the Doctrine blog years I tried an internet radio thing… but I suspect the ‘podcast’ has since supplanted it.

        anyways What would it take… a simple (in setting and cast size) Six Sentence Serial… maybe a Narrator/Announcer …. and,
        …damn! forgot my age demographic again! someone with the requisite technical skills to make this idea fun (instead of a frustrating reminder that, technologically-speaking, many of us are the wrong side of, ‘No! that’s easy to do, just download and swipe and send it out’)

        I should push away from the keyboard now lol

        * sure, not ‘our parents old’ but old enough to believe their stories about radio and the Land of Before TV…


  6. The Sicilian Storyteller Dec 16, 2022 / 10:59

    Yikes! Can’t wait for Part 2! The name of the place alone gave me the shivers . If you saw the movie you know what I mean. Good one, Keith!


    • Keith's Ramblings Dec 17, 2022 / 10:16

      I’m pleased to hear it Nancy, thank you. I’d actually forgotten the movie until you mentioned it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Liz H Dec 17, 2022 / 04:49

    What’s that I see up ahead in the tunnel’s gloom? Could it be a Cask of Amontillado?

    Liked by 1 person

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