The Cook Book

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The witch took her favourite cook book out and began turning the heavy yellow pages. She wasn’t sure what to make, something to poison the neighbourhood kids or a light snack for herself?

‘Ah, mashed monster stew!’ she crackled, ‘that’s perfect for this stormy night!’

 

(Inspired from; https://first50.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/the-cookbook/ with thanks).

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Gone #ThreeLineTales

three line tales week 90: New York subway

On the wrong train! Was in hurry just got on the 1st 1 it’s full of strange people who keep staring at me it’s dead quiet no 1 is doing anything. Should get off at the next stop but scared 2.  

(Inspired from; https://only100words.xyz/2017/10/19/three-line-tales-week-90 with thanks).

The Hanging Tree #FridayFictoneers

I’d always admired the old tree because of it’s size and odd shape, but the dark history that was attached to it always made me shiver. People had been hung for their crimes on the thick lowest branch. The rope cuts could still be seen between the knots. Every Halloween people came to ‘see’ ghostly figures hanging down and ‘hear’ the moans of the lost. I though, only had to look out of my bedroom window to see those souls and though I’d tried to get use to them I couldn’t.

 

(Inspired from; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/10/18/13-october-2017/ with thanks).

The Monster of Depression

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The Depression monster was lurking in the corner again. She tried to shrug it off but she could still hear it’s whispering voice. She paused frowning over the questions Depression was raising then pressed on. Yet the doubts still swirled in her head and she was forced to stop. The Depression monster laughed and rushed forward, crushing her hopes. Tears wet her face and she turned away. Abandoning the half painted canvas, she went to the sofa and lay there. Depression consumed her, filling her with a hopelessness and darkness that weighted too much to escape from.

The Window #TwitteringTales

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It was her only source of comfort in the dank basement but it also showed her a view of an outside world she could never be a part of again.

(Inspired from; https://katmyrman.com/2017/10/17/twittering-tale-44-17-october-2017/ with thanks).

Yellow Day

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It was an overcast morning. The sky was blanketed with heavy strange orange-yellow-grey glowing clouds. Watching them from my study window, I could tell it was going to rain soon. I had been so engrossed in my work on my latest historical book for the last two hours that I hadn’t bothered to turn on the overhead lights or even to look up from my computer screen. If I had done maybe I would have noticed the odd clouds sooner or maybe I wouldn’t have noticed them at all.

Standing up from my chair, slowly so that my old body could take the movement and weight. I hobbled over to the window, leaving my walking stick by my desk. My view changed and I saw those yellow-orange-grey clouds above the roofs of houses and tree tops. Everything looked damp as it had rained before but I’d not noticed. A light wind was blowing the tree branches and the fallen leaves about in a lazy manner. Beside from that everything else looked still.

I frowned at the sky and wonder what was with those clouds. I’d never seen such a strange color. It was if they had been tinted by washed out sunlight or some poisonous toxin. They give off a depressing doom feeling, not like in a horror movie but more a tragic play. Little flecks of rain began to fall, like tiny snowflakes, almost invisible.

A chill went over my skin, rising the flesh in knobbly bumps. Feeling the stiffness growing in my legs, I moved and walked around my small study. The two walls either side were lined with bookcases, holding God only knew how many books. My desk was in the middle and the closed door in the wall opposite the window. Reaching the desk, I lent on it, feeling the aches I had come to know so well ebbing into my limbs.

The phone rang. The shrill crying breaking through my thoughts and pain. I answered it with a shaking hand and breathed deeply down the line.

‘Dad? It’s Emerald. Are you okay?’ my daughter’s voice echoed over the phone.

‘Yes,’ I answered, ‘just the arthritis again. I was sat too long,’ I replied.

Emerald tutted loudly as I shuffled over and sank into my chair. She was daughter number four and always the one who’d been most concerned about me out of the six. I could picture her rolling those sparkling green eyes which my late wife, Pearl, had named her after and fretting with her angel blonde hair. In the background, there were voices; the TV and her two children playing.

‘Listen. Please don’t go outside today,’ she pressed.

‘It does look little odd out there…’ I cut in, eyeing the window and the clouds.

‘The news said it was sand the hurricane winds are bring over from the Sahara. That’s why everything looks so orange-yellow and the air tastes strange,’ Emerald explained as if she was talking to a child.

‘Well, I guess they know more about this then I do. I didn’t have any plans to go out anyway,’ I added.

‘Do you need anything, dad? Do you have enough bottled water and food?’

I glanced around the study as if it could tell me.

‘I’ll go to the shops as soon as I’ve dropped the kids at school and get you somethings,’ Emerald spoke.

‘I guess that would be good of you, sweetheart.’

‘Okay. See you soon. I love you dad, bye.’

‘Bye, Emerald.’

We hung up and after a few seconds of staring at the phone, I got up and went to the window again. This time I took my stick and lent on it. Easing some of the pressure. I opened the window little and looked harder outside. What I thought had been rain before was actually bits of sand and Emerald hadn’t been wrong about the smell. It was hot and dry, like a beach only without the salty sea.

I had been to Egypt once with my parents when I was a child and as that memory came back to me, I decided that there were similarities between today and what it had been like there. I didn’t want to think about that anymore though, so I went back to my desk and found some news stories about storm.

After reading them, I put the PC to sleep and went downstairs, using the chair lift, I hated so much to get there. In the living room, I turned on the TV and opened the curtains. The same sky that had been upstairs greeted me. I turned on the two lamps then watched the news reports. I dozed off for a bit, feeling calm and warm in my favorite chair.

When Emerald arrived, she brought the storm in with her. I must have fully fallen asleep because the heavy rain beating down like fists and the whipping wind hadn’t disturbed me. It was Emerald’s voice shouting out to me above all of that and the creeping autumn cold, like Death’s fingers wrapping around my throat that woke me.

‘Dad? Dad? where are you?’

‘In here, pet,’ I answered.

There was a rustle of bags then she stuck her head around the door.

‘I’m fine,’ I waved her off then began to get up.

Emerald had made a second trip to her car and back to into the kitchen by the time I made it up and in there. She was already unpacking things and placing important items within easy reach.

‘It’s getting worse out there and everyone has gone crazy!’ Emerald said.

I nodded and pulled out a chair to sit down.

‘I got you some more soup and noddles. Theses dried fruits were on offer and two small loafs of bread. I’ll put one in the freezer for you.’

‘Your mother hated frozen bread,’ I muttered.

‘She also hated to be without a loaf,’ Emerald shot back then smiled at me, ‘do you want some tea and lunch?’

‘Yes. That would be nice.’

‘I asked Ruby and Sapphire to check in with you later. If they can’t drop in they’ll phone. Okay?’ Emerald asked.

I nodded, my thoughts going straight to daughters number two and five. It had been a week since I’d seen and spoken to Ruby and three days since Sapphire had called me. One of their birthdays was coming up soon, but I couldn’t remember which. Emerald would know. She had taken over her mother’s place in fussing over me and her sisters.

‘That’s all sorted now. Kettle on and cups, soup in and bread.’ Emerald said to herself.

‘Have you heard from Jade? Didn’t she go to the Sahara?’ I spoke out as the idea came to me. I hadn’t seen my oldest daughter in five years now since my wife’s funeral.

‘I think she did…’ Emerald paused then shrugged, ‘and it’s been a month now. I sent her a few emails and tried to call but she says signal is bad in that part of Australia.’

‘Or maybe that was Topaz,’ I thought aloud.

My third daughter, who lived in America with her husband and five children. They had come to visit two months ago.

‘Well, it wouldn’t have been Opal!’ Emerald came in with as she set two mugs of tea and a plate of toast on the table, ‘I went to see her the other day and she’s doing a lot better now. The doctors said she should be able to go home soon. Though to what I don’t know!’

I picked up my mug with a slight nod of my head. Opal’s life had been nothing but hell. The youngest of my girls she had set herself on a different path from the rest of them and became a drug addict and prostitute. I had written a book about her and it had done quiet well.

‘Maybe, she could move back in with you?’

I shook my head, ‘I like my space and my peace and quiet.’

‘But I worry about you. This house is too big for just you and you need someone to look after you more then ever now,’ Emerald pressed.

This was a conversation I was tried of and I had found it was best just to ignore the topic every time it was brought up. I drink my tea and ate my soup. Emerald filled the silence with chatter about her kids, husband, other family members. I sat in my other thoughts, often looking at the storm building up behind the kitchen window.

When my daughter left, I went back to the living room and put the gas fire on. It was too cold to sit without some warmth. I found a big book to read on Greek myths and legends and with the news on to keep me company and the storm trying to get my attention with it’s rage, I lost myself for awhile.

I must have fallen asleep because I woke slowly into a darken room. Blinking away the dim glow of the lamps, I looked about and checked I was still in the living room. The book was in my lap, the news was still on though the time had changed dramatically and outside I couldn’t see the storm because it was early evening and the rain was too splattered on the glass.

My body groaned and creaked with stiffness and pain, as I got up and went over to the fire place. Turning up the heat, I went around felt the radiators which were all on and warm. I went upstairs, struggled to put on another jumper over my first but managed to do it then went back downstairs. I made myself a large mug of tea and debated what to have for dinner.

Life has to go on in some way, storm or no storm.

 

(Inspired from; http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/orange-sky-storm-ophelia-sahara-13767164)

Ghost Ship

214 10 October 15th 2017

Officer James had laughed off the stories about the ghost ship. Drunk sailors and ill tourists were always full of these kind of tales. That was until he was woken rudely from his sleep and hurried on to the deck by a junior officer. James looked over the side and saw bobbing on the calm waves the outline of an early 1900’s ship.

‘It’s the ghost ship!’ someone shouted.

‘I don’t believe it, binoculars!’ James snapped back.

A hand passed him them and James looked through. It was hard in the dim light, but the ship was glowing which made it easier. He couldn’t believe his eyes and though he tried not to believe it, the ghost ship was too hard to dismiss.

 

(Insipre by: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/sunday-photo-fiction-october-15th-2017/ with thanks).

Soul Stealer

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The shadows were gathering across the room, they were waiting till I fell asleep then they were going to take my soul. I couldn’t let that happen. Under the other pillow, my hand tightened round my small gun. I knew it was useless against them, but it give me comfort.

Keeping my eyes away from the dim light coming from the lamp, I tracked the shadows movements. They kept their distance but only sunlight banished them which meant I could only sleep at then.

I couldn’t take my eyes off them as I knew any chance I give them they’d take it and if they did then the rest of the world was doomed.

 

Tower #writephoto

The tower stood all alone at the tip of the peak. A set of half hidden stone steps leading the way up and a little archway coming from the reminds of a boundary wall. If you didn’t know the structure was there, you’d easily miss it behind the tall trees and bushes.

I made my way up through all the under scrub and reached the first of the steps. I stopped, wiped my sweaty face and noticed that it was now early evening and still warm for a mid-autumn day. Though the darkening sky threatened rain.

I walked up the steps, sticking to the left edge, in case I slipped. The moss and grass underfoot was wet and squelchy, but I had good boots on. Making it to the top, I studied the tower and tried to figure out what it could be. Folklore said it had been part of a small castle but that wouldn’t make sense high up here in the middle of nowhere. Instead, I decided it was a folly; a once pretty decoration to breakup a travellers day. Maybe, it had also doubled as a shelter.

There didn’t seem to be a door, but there were a few windows higher up. Moss and climbing plants covered both sides and dripped with raindrops. I turned my face to the sky and a few landed on my cheeks. I glanced about for some cover but beside from the small arch and a few trees there was nothing.

I walked around the tower again and as I reached my starting point once more, a wooden door was open before me. I stopped, staring and frowning. How was this possible? There had been nothing there less then a minute ago!

I went to the door and looked in.

‘Hello?’ I shouted into the darkness.

My voice echoed then as if in answer the rain rushed down. Yelping, I dived into the tower and pressed my back against cold, damp wall. Luckily, I had dressed warming in a hat and all weather coat, so I wasn’t that wet. Looking out of the doorway, I saw that unless I did want to take a bath, I’d have to wait for the rain to pass.

I felt a tingle up my spine and tried to peer though the darkness to make anything out. Unable to see, I swung my bag off and dug a small torch out. The thin beam didn’t show me much. The stone walls looked a lighter grey and less moss covered. There was a leak close by and the floor was stone. There seem no way upwards and nothing else in here with me.

Slumming, against the wall, I decided to have something to eat and drink. That would pass a few minutes. The rain was so loud outside that it took me a few minutes to hear the sound of stone rubbing against stone. Crumpling the wrapper of the energy bar as I stuffed the rest in my mouth, I shone my torch around again.

A stone spiral staircase had appeared a few feet away from me against the far wall! Telling myself, I’d just missed it last time because it was dark in here and my torch wasn’t good, I collect my things. Shuffling over, I tapped the bottom step with my boot then began to climb up. It was a tight fit and my bag scrapped the wall beside me.

Arriving at the top and stepping through an open archway my torch showed me a cobwebbed room. There was a small double bed with a red canopy, a table and chair and a bookcase. I walked in, my mind flipping over and over as I tried to figure out what this could be. A room for a traveller to spend the night? But why?

I reached the bed and shone my torch over it. The bed was made and covered by a red blanket that matched the canopy. Straight away, I thought about fairy tales and Sleeping Beauty came to mind. Shrugging, I moved away and went to the bookcase which was empty.

I didn’t like the feel of the room and decided I’d rather go downstairs to wait there. I went to the door…but it wasn’t there.

Laughing, I traced the wall with my light, knowing any second it would hit the door. I did a full sweep and nothing.

‘Ha ha! Must have missed it!’ I spoke aloud.

I went to check again but a noise behind me caused me spin around. The sheets on the bed were rising upwards… I swallowed and kept the torch beam pinned on the spot.

‘Hello?’ I called, ‘I’m sorry to disturb you. I got a little lost.’

The sheet came from the bed and hung in mid-air at the side.

I froze, feeling terror shooting through me. My body shook and I wanted so badly to run away. But where was I going to go to?

The sheet moved, drifting towards me.

A scream escaped my mouth, I twisted away, flinging myself against the wall. My hands raced over the stones, looking for the door, my finger nails scrapped the surface, desperate to feel the wood again.

A whisper tickled my ears, I couldn’t pause my panic attack to figure out what it was then I felt a touch of velvet cloth against the back of my neck. A scream, I never knew I could produce echoed around the room. I turned, flattened my back against the wall and face the sheet head on.

Only….there was nothing there…

 

Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/10/12/thursday-photo-prompt-tower-writephoto with thanks).

Rewind

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She wished she could rewind time to that last moment together before her world became so empty and cold.