Messenger #writephoto

corvid in flight - Sue Vincent

Picking up the football which Micheal had kicked across the road, I looked up and saw a huge black bird in an nearby tree. I wasn’t sure what the bird was so I thought about the arrow diagram poster at school. Black and yellow and smallish; blackbird. All black with a grey beak; rook. Sooty black and cries loudly; crow.

‘It’s a raven that is,’ Michael said over my shoulder.

I jumped because I didn’t know he was there. I turned and pulled a face at him.

‘How do you know?’ I pouted.

‘Because I’ve seen them at the Tower of London,’ he replied.

I stuck my tongue out at him. He didn’t seem to notice and carried on talking.

‘They say if all the ravens leave the tower then England falls.’

‘What does this mean?’ I asked.

‘Don’t know,’ Michael shrugged.

We both watched the raven then with a large caw sound, it flapped its large wings and took off.

‘My granny says ravens are the messengers of witches,’ Michael added.

‘Messengers of witches?’ I repeated to myself.

He looked at me as if he knew I didn’t believe what his granny said.

‘It’s true,’ he snapped, ‘a witch tells a raven to bring her ingredients for potions and to communicate with other witches.’

‘I thought they had cats,’ I answered slowly.

‘They do, but ravens are better. They are ancient and know old magic,’ Micheal added.

I wanted to ask him if he really believed in all of this. We were too old for fairy tales but still young enough to think that supernatural people were real.

‘Maybe he’s come to take you away,’ Michael spoke in a ghoulish voice.

I shivered. hating how he stretchered the words and made his voice drip with creepiness.

‘Ravens can’t kidnap people!’ I snapped.

‘No, but they can find people who have the potential to become witches and led the head witch to them.’ Michael explained.

I pushed the ball into his chest, shoving him backwards. He was bigger and older then me but he wasn’t expecting it so stumbled back.

‘That’s so not true! A bird is just a bird And there are no witches!’ I shouted and stormed off.

I ran home which was only a few streets away. I didn’t know why I suddenly felt upset about what he had said until I saw the raven again. He was sitting on the left gate post of my house fence.

‘Hi,’ I said shyly.

He was a huge bird up close and his beak looked sharp. He put his head to one side, cawed more softly then before and jumped into my front garden. I opened the gate and watched him hopping up the path to the front door.

And that was the day my life changed…

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/07/13/thursday-photo-prompt-messenger-writephoto/ with thanks.)

Room 109

pexels-photo-271639

The hotel staff knew him like they knew the numbers on a clock which was very useful because he was always on time. He arrived without flash, in comfy clothes and carrying a small black suitcase. To anyone else he looked like a tourist, but the check in desk girls knew him not to be.

He said his name quietly and he would check in. With his card, he would take the lift up to his room and he would roll his suitcase down the carpet corridor and to the door. There, he let himself in and the door shut firmly behind him with the please do not disturb sign swinging.

He would be seen frequently around the hotel; in the restaurant, in the bar, in the lounge and lobby. Sometimes he would be typing away on a laptop, other times writing in a notebook and whilst he eat; reading a book, always alone. No one seemed really interested him in, a quick glance then on to what they were doing.

His stay could last a few days or a week, sometimes though it would be more than that; two or three weeks, a month or two. It just depend on what he needed. Then he would tidy his room and check out. Often looking more cheerful then he came in.

Months later in the post, the hotel always received a copy of his new novel.

In The Woods

abandoned, adult, architecture

In the woods you can just be yourself. You don’t have to answer to anyone. The trees and animals accept you for being you. Peace will come upon you in the woods as you shut your eyes and take deep breaths. The river plays a soft song for you, helping to relax your body. The breeze moves the trees carefully, carring the scent of flowers and grass to you on warm carcasses. The birds chime happily in the trees, even though they don’t play for you, they can’t resist an early evening at the height of summer. And you can let go of everything that has been holding you back. Release the stress and worries into nature. Now breath.

Fleeing Eternal Darkness

pexels-photo-236321.jpeg

It was hard to go back there but I had to do it. Sinking into one of the church pews which looked still stable though it creaked loudly under me, I looked around. Surprisingly, the place wasn’t in bad shape for having been abandoned for forty-seven years. Yes, the roof had let water in so there was dampness and rot. People had taken a lot of things to salvage, but the colored glass windows with their biblical scenes were still intact.

Resting against my walking stick, I knew breathing the air in here would be bad but I had to stay as long as it took. Ignoring the shaking of my body, I cast my mind back and plunged myself into that first Sunday of July 1970.

My family had been coming to this little village church for generations and this seemed like any normal Sunday service. I had my wife with me and our two boys, who were longing to be playing about outside. Then the priest announced a special moment in the history of our church; the first exorcism to take place here! Everyone who had been dozing or daydream began to pay attention again.

A thirteen year old girl, wearing only a white dress, was dragged on by two burly men, I knew to be brothers. She was screaming and crying, her loose red hair flying everywhere. I didn’t recognise her and being a doctor I knew every child in the village. I frowned and half rose from my pew, my gut saying something wasn’t right.

‘This girl,’ the priest began having to yell over the child, ‘has been possessed by demons and I shall end her suffering by removing them from her body and mind!’

The congregation gasped and began muttering. I caught the glare of my wife but it was too late, I was on my feet and challenging.

‘Who is this girl?’ I cried out ‘and how do you know she is possessed? She seems nothing more then a frighted child to me!’

Eyes turned towards me and a few people joined my line of questioning.

‘This is beyond your medications, Doctor!’ the priest roared back at me.

I felt a tug on my sleeve and knew it was my wife, but I ignored her and carried on, ‘You know that for a fact do you? Let me see her!’

I stepped out of the pew and strolled up towards them. The girl was still screaming and crying, struggling to get away from the massive hands holding her down. The priest moved aside, hand gesturing me to inspect the child.

Reaching for her, she tried to bite me, but the brothers held her back. I felt her forehead, looked into her eyes and mouth as much as I could. She was drenched in sweat and looked very unwell now that she had fallen silent.

‘She is feverish,’ I declared, ‘she’s merely ill.’

‘No!’ the priest snapped.

He rushed at me, sweeping me aside and I tumbled to the floor. I heard him chanting loudly in Latin and the girl screaming. Looking up, I saw the girl fling her head back and open her mouth. A red mist poured out of her and forms seemed to take shape.

I scrambled up off the floor and back to my wife and boys. The congregation were crying and shouting things out, but no one could hear each other because the scream now coming from the girl was deafening. I tried to scoop up my family and get them out of the church but it was too late. The demons flew at us all, forcing their way inside of everyone and taking over.

I don’t remember much after that. Everyone was stumbling out of the church, feeling like they had to get far away from everything that was Holy. I walked my wife and boys back home, hoping the fresh air would help, but we all felt sick when we arrived. We spent days resting, whatever had happened seemed to become like a faded dream.

But we were cursed now. Everyone in the village had a demon inside of them and we found it harder to control ourselves and remain good. I moved my family away a year later, my wife was seriously ill and my boys were running wild. It helped a little, but it wasn’t enough and no one seemed able to heal us.

(Inspired from: https://thewriteedgewritingworkshop.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/writing-prompts-for-monday-july-10-2017/ with thanks)

High Spirits

Finally, Ross had found a job he could gladly do till he died. Yes, it wasn’t his dream job but those often didn’t go how you wanted anyway. Out here he could mostly be free and get on with tasks to the back drop of nature instead of some dull office. Ross also got to see sights other people never would and through he wasn’t big headed, he sometimes wondered if he had a Gods’ eye view of the world now and that made him very happy.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2017/07/04/twittering_tale-39-4_july_2017/ with thanks)

Sunny

Free stock photo of vacation, water, sun, swimming pool

There was something satisfying about dozing in the hot sun by the side of the swimming pool. All my troubles seemed to melt and not want to resurface. I was carried away by the cool water gently lapping, the palm trees waving and the pleasant sounds of children playing. It was going to be hard to leave this all behind and return back home to work. Maybe, I could just hide out here forever and become part of the hotel furniture.

 

(Inspired from: https://thewriteedgewritingworkshop.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/writing-prompts-for-monday-july-10-2017/ with thanks)

The Secret

Free stock photo of bricks, wall, garden, door

My mother had been buried under the gardeners’ compost heap just like my step-great-uncle had always told me. I could see bits of creamy bone and scraps of dark red dress coated with damp soil and roots. Her death wasn’t a secret any longer but now I was about to join her.

(Inspired from; http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/07/05/writespiration-123-52-weeks-in-52-words-week-27/ with thanks)

 

Bicycle 

three line tales week 75: two bicycles in front of the ocean

The world looks different from the seat of a bicycle. Everything seems far more relaxed and there’s no hurrying if you don’t want to.  Things just drift by, blending into color and you wonder why you never noticed the small things before.

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2017/07/06/three-line-tales-week-75/ with thanks)

Peace #writephoto

I had been wandering around for a few weeks looking for a quiet spot where I’d be undisturbed to finish editing my latest novel. All my normal places; my study, my bedroom, the library, the park, the coffee shops and pubs I haunted, hadn’t allowed me to complete my work.

It wasn’t lack of motivation, determination or inspiration that was stopping me, it was more the background distractions. So, I had come out here to the middle of the woods to find the peace I needed. It was a bright hot day, unusual English summer time weather but also a week day so most people were trapped in work and school.

It had been awhile since I had last strolled or ran through the woods, so I was surprised to come across the wooden sculpture of a bed. It was made out of thick, but smoothed down tree trunk cut in half with a smaller part of the trunk shaped into a pillow.

I sat down, thinking it would be too hard to sit for long, but actually it was quite comfy. Settling back against the pillow, I set up myself to work and some good hours later I had finished editing my novel and was napping in the dappled shade.

 

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/07/06/thursday-photo-prompt-peace-writephoto/ with thanks)

Tether

Close-up of Padlocks on Railing Against Sky

We are tethered together you and I. Not in the sense that we can never be apart for we can be great distances from one another. It’s more in the sense that we are bound together by some unseeable force which is hard to describe. Some people would say this was fate, but I call it pure love.

(Inspired from; https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tether/ with thanks)