Green #FridayFictioneers

Hannah stared at the new plant. It looked like ivy, just jazzed up by great-auntie’s crystal bowl which it sit in.

‘I don’t like it,’ Hannah declared, ‘it’s giving me a funny feeling.’

Her mum who was making fried eggs and chips for dinner, tutted and replied, ‘it was a gift and it’s just a harmless plant.’

The feeling that something wasn’t right lingered. At midnight, Hannah crept downstairs and saw the plant no longer on the table but by the back door.

‘Let me out,’ an eerie voice spoke as the leaves of the plant shook.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/05/23/25-may-2018/ with thanks).

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Globe

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I stood before my old high school, looking up at the massive building whilst a mixture of thoughts and feelings raged inside of me. It had only been three years since I’d last gone up the stone steps, through a set of the wooden double doors and down the corridor to my last day here.

The next day, the school had shut down and workmen had built a tall chain link fence around everything. Signs warning of closer, danger and demolishing in progress hung down. My friends and I were not put off by them though. The six of us had returned for one night to have a last wander though the halls and classrooms before they were gone forever.

‘There’s a way in around the back,’ Edison’s voice whispered.

‘Let’s go then,’ Hunter answered back.

We set off quickly and followed the fence all the way around the back to where the gym and sport fields where. There wasn’t anyone around on this warm spring evening, the workmen building the new housing estate across the way, had gone home and since the roads around here had been blocked off, there was no reason to drive around here.

‘There’s the gap,’ Edison pointed out.

We all stopped and looked. I would have missed the small cut in the links if he hadn’t pointed it out. Edison was small and chubby, really geeky looking with large glasses and longish brown hair. He was our guide, having come last week with his older brother.

Edison pulled apart the links quickly, the sound was loud and echoing, then he duck down and wiggled through. He held one side and the rest of us followed him; Hunter, Dusty, Spencer, Marci – the only girl- and me, Corey. We all had rucksacks and since we were all eighteen or over, we hadn’t really had to explain to anyone what we were going to do.

Keeping in the shadows of the building, Edison took us through a broken in fire door and we entered the main building. The familiar smells of wood vanish, lemon cleaning spray, books and sweat hit me and took me straight back to being fifteen again. It was like I was hurrying to my class again and going off to meet my friends for lunch.

It felt different though; the halls and classrooms were empty. The walls looked duller and most of the posters had been taken down. There was an eerie sense of loss to the place, like at a funeral. Our footsteps echoed too loudly as we peered into classrooms, looking for things.

‘Let’s go to the library,’ Marci whispered, though her voice carried.

‘I heard they’d got rid of all the books,’ Spencer muttered back.

‘I want to go and tag some stuff,’ Hunter said, ‘let’s split up.’

I went with Edison and Marci whilst Dusty choice to go with the other two. We heard them a few moments later smashing a door window and shaking cans of paint spray.

‘Hooligans,’ Marci said under her breath.

I had to agree. The whole point of coming here was to say goodbye to the place. Though I doubt anyone would care what we did. On the approached to the library we found torn pages and books scattered around, someone had been here before us.

Marci toed a few of the books, looking very unhappy in the low light. She had always been the bookworm of the group, though we all liked books, expect for Hunter. Marci went to the door and opened it. Edison and I followed and I saw that Spencer had almost been right.

All the bookcases were empty, but there were a few piles of books on the tables and floors. Marci and Edison began pouring over them, taking the ones they wanted. I went the counter and flipped through a dusty history book. Nothing took my fancy so after a few minutes, I got bored and decided to leave.

Walking down the corridors, I entered a few classrooms and saw that only a few had their desks and chairs piled up against the back wall. I guess they must have sold a lot of stuff off. On the blackboards, the people that had broken in before us had written rude things and draw interesting pictures. There was graffiti on the walls too that added to the sense of abandonment.

Opening the door of my old geography classroom, I walked in and saw a globe on the teacher’s desk. I touched the old paper map and give it a spin, there was nothing wrong with it. I looked and saw on the walls old posters of different countries. There was also a bookcase a quarter filled with atlas and guide books to different places. I collected them all, Marci would like them then with a shrug, I picked up the globe and left.

We all meet back some hours later, our rucksacks and arms full of gathered stuff. There was the scent of smoke in the air and I guessed that some of the others had been up to more then just tagging and looting.

‘What you want that old thing for?’ Hunter asked me.

Everyone turned to look. The globe was too big for my rucksack which had a few books, rolled posters and other stuff inside, so I was holding it instead.

‘It’s kinda cool. What are going to do with all those wires?’ I counted back.

‘Sell them,’ he replied.

There was some swapping of items and talking over things. Then we left. The sky was inky black with a handful of stars and the street was quiet. We walked together for awhile then went our different ways home.

Once there, I put the globe on my desk and spun it again. It felt a strange thing to take from an about to be demolished place but I felt oddly drawn to it. Leaving the stuff in my bag till later, I studied the world, mapping my way across it as I had never done in geography lessons.

Tiredness caught up with me and I saw it was nearly midnight. Giving the globe a final spin I went to bed, my head full of memories from my old high school.

Boots #FridayFictioneers

I came across the boots whilst digging at the bottom of my new garden. They were just sat on the low wall as if waiting for their owner to come back. I glanced around but there was nobody, only me and the birds.

The boots had been out here for awhile also the toes were wrapped in duck tape. How strange! I had a flash of the fairy tale about elves mending shoes and laughed. Perhaps someone would come back for the boots soon enough? I decided to leave them be.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/05/16/18-may-2018/ with thanks).

First Sunrise #TwittingTales

I embraced the dark, cold theater. Feeling secure despite many people nearby. Tampering down excitement, the pictures came to life, real but yet not real; moving and talking in full colour. Then, I saw the sun rise in all her glory for the first time in a hundred and twenty years.

(Inspired by https://katmyrman.com/2018/05/15/twittering-tales-84-15-may-2018 with thanks).

Rainbow Rocks #3linetales

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It was properly just some bored artist seeking attention but the painted rocks on the beach were attracting a lot of the public to the area.

For weeks now, people had been swarming around the towering sculptures, marveling at all the colors then spending their money in Molly’s cafe which was handy for her, as Molly’s business hadn’t been doing that great.

When anybody asked her about the rainbow rocks, Molly would smile brightly and say, ‘I know nothing about them but aren’t they great?’ Secretly, she thought them a terrible mark on the nice beach, but if it brought the customers in she couldn’t complain that much.

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/05/10/three-line-tales-week-119/ with thanks).

Blur #FridayFictioneers

Everything was blurred and Holly couldn’t focus on anything. The party had spilled on to the street, the music drifting away into the night. She felt dizzy and sick, so sat on the curb and shut her eyes. She wanted to go home but she wasn’t sure how to.

Someone pulled Holly up and bundled her into a taxi before she could fight. She slummed into the seat, feeling like she was at sea. Then she was falling into bed and overcome by the deepest of sleeps.

In the morning, she had no idea what had happened.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/05/09/11-may-2018-2/ with thanks).

Ink #1linerweds

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It was hard to tell what shapes the ink blots were, it depend on how creative he was feeling.

(Inspired by; https://lindaghill.com/2018/05/09/one-liner-wednesday-ink with thanks).

To The Clock #FFfAW

He’d always been on time before so where was he today? I checked my watch and looked out of the window again. The street was empty but he was normally walking past heading to work right now.

He looked so handsome in his black business suit with the wind ruffing his blond hair and his still sleepy face.

Perhaps, he had finally noticed me watching him and decided to take a different route? I should’ve tried to talk to him sooner but it’s hard to tell a stranger you’ve fallen in love with them.

(Inspired by; https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/fffaw-challenge-166th with thanks).

Not There #writephoto

There was someone on the stairs. I pointed at the strange dark shape and said one of the few words I could, ‘ogog!’ Look!

Nanny didn’t pause but carried on taking me upstairs in her arms.

I pointed again, waving my hand more and wiggling against her. I had a bad feeling about the dark figure that was coming out before us. I cried  and tried saying whatever I could but Nanny hushed me and held my waving hand.

We passed the ‘shadow man’ and I felt a cold wave like a winter wind brushing against me. I think I saw a smile on the face, but it was hard to make out. Then the coldness and the man was gone. I twisted and looked over Nanny’s shoulder but there was nothing on the stairs.

And that was how it all began.

It was strange for a child to avoid their nursery but I always tried too. I hated going up the stone staircase to the attic at the top where my toys were because I knew on the tenth step lived the shadow man. It always felt icy cold on that step, day or night, summer or winter.

Nobody believed me about him. Nanny said it was my imagination. My maid, Martha, told me it was just shadows. The housekeeper, Mrs Williams, claimed it was a drift coming from the window. My father declared it was a trick of the light. My mother scoffed then ignored me again as she always did.

So, I stopped talking about him and tried to ignore him too. It was hard because he always seemed to be there. I would have to climb the staircase at some point during each day; after lunch or after my lessons or when my mother had a party and she didn’t want me to be seen.

Pausing at the bottom, I gather the long puffy skirt of my dress and the white underskirt up to reveal the matching colour satin or silk slippers before climbing. Sometimes someone else would be with me; Nanny, Martha or Mrs Williams but as I got older they would send me alone.

On the ninth step, I would stop and look at the tenth. There was nothing making it different from all the other twenty-one steps but in the shadows next to the banister a darker shape lingered there. If I stayed long enough, I’d be able to make out the figure of a man. He was taller then father, dressed in a suit and had long hair tied back with a ribbon. His other features were harder to make out; his face was blurred by black mist but he had eyes, a nose and a mouth that always smiled at me.

I plunged through the coldness, holding my breath then raced up the rest of the stairs. At the top, I would peer down but there was never anything there. I would go into the nursery, close the door and try to play with my dolls, rocking horse, tea-set and jigsaw puzzles. When I grew bored or tried, I would climb into the window box and read one of my many books. Until Nanny or Martha would come up to either lit the lamps or take me to bed.

He would be there, awaiting on the tenth step. Stronger outlined in the night but still blurred and blending with the shadows. He would watch me and smile. I tried not to look but I knew what he was doing all the same. He never did anything else but I think that’s what made me most afraid of him. I hoped he was just stuck there with no power, but who was to really know?

Long after I left my parents house, got married, moved into a new house and had children of my own, the shadow man still haunted me. Who was he? What did he want? When I could not sleep or was bored, I would try to find out but I never got any answers.

Then one day my daughter pointed something out on the stairs leading to the nursery. I looked and saw the shadow man standing on the tenth step, awaiting us.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/05/03/thursday-photo-prompt-ascent-writephoto with thanks).

Doors #twitteringtales

Seven doors; six things that would kill me, only one that would free me. I had reached the final part in this biased life or death ‘game show’ which was a reality in my country. I choice the middle one. Grabbing the handle, I opened the door and faced my destiny.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/05/01/twittering-tales-82-1-may-2018/ with thanks).