Saki effectively uses elements creating suspense in the short story, "The Open Window." The reader learns within the first few lines that the protagonist of the story, Framton Nuttel, has fragile nerves for which he is seeking a cure. This information provides the reader with a sense of concern regarding Framton. In addition, Vera, the antagonist, is twice referred to as "self-possessed." A tone of suspense is set by providing the reader with this information early in the story. There is some apprehension at the meeting of these two characters.
When Vera discovers that Framton has never met her aunt, the reader sees a change in Vera's description. The author then refers to her as a "child." Suspense is again created around this sudden change in Vera's manner as she goes from being "self-possessed" to being a "child." Vera goes on to tell the story of her aunt's "great tragedy" that took place "three years ago to a day." Again, the reader is persuaded to become concerned with poor Framton's bad luck to arrive exactly three years after Mrs. Sappleton's "great tragedy."
Another element creating suspense is the repeated mention of the window. Vera says, "You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon." She then explains that her aunt's husband and brothers left through the window and never returned. The window is mentioned again when Vera shares that her aunt keeps the window open as if she expects their return. When Mrs. Sappleton finally appears, she mentions the window by saying, "I hope you don't mind the open window." Finally, as she talks with Framton, Mrs. Sappleton continues to glance at the open window. The reader's attention is continually pulled back to the window. As a result, suspense is created regarding what will happen with the window. The suspense reaches a climax when Mrs. Sappleton announces the return of her husband and brothers, and Framton turns to see the figures approaching the window.