Vidiot #AtoZChallenge (Part 1)

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Vidiot – an habitual watcher of TV or videotapes

He liked to record things and watch them at night. It didn’t really matter what he set his camera upon; birds in the garden, cars travelling on the motorway, spying on his neighbours.

All day, he would go out and set his camera up in different places to record the goings on. People asked him what he was doing but he would yell at them to mind their own business then film them as they walked away. Sometime names like peeping-tom, pervert and creep. He didn’t care, he just ignored them or moved on.

When the police came, he would apologies, saw he was out bird watching or trainspotting. He didn’t know he’d left the camera on, etc. Sometimes they demanded the recording tape and he had no choice but to give it up. He’d do anything just to be left alone.

When he had recorded enough, he went home and transferred the recordings to tape and then watched it like a film. Often he fell asleep watching and woke up to the fuzz of a blank TV screen.

He would rewound the tape then write a label and stick it on. He had a store of tapes hidden in cupboards that were almost full. When he felt awake or had a short time outside, he would re watched one or two of these videos.

They were time capsules and he was there maker, keeping and watcher.

He couldn’t remember the single moment he had decided upon this task but a few events had come together. There had been the accidentally filming of the girl next door getting undress by her bedroom window when they had been teenagers. The car crash a few days later that he had capture and the police had used in their investigation. The rock concert a few weeks later and a month later, a cat killing a bird.

There had been something in all of these that had made him want to carry on capturing the world and preserving it.

He had stock piled, videos, cameras and equipment. When he saw something he wanted he brought it and stored it until needed. He created sets and got animals and people to come onto them without them knowing. He built a studio out of his house. He hung up blow up pictures of his favourite movie stills and gathered books on how to improve.

This was his life. He lived behind the lens of a camera, capturing all of the world like he was God watching over his creation. He was powerful, in control and happy.

Then DVDs’ and downloads arrived.

To Be Continued…

(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com)

Cereology #AtoZChallenge

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Cereology – the study of investigation of crop circles

It was definitely aliens this time, I could swear to it. The crop circle was huge and spread across two fields of corn, most of which had been flattened. The plants hadn’t just been laid flat though, there were shapes within the main ones. The corn lay in almost a spiral pattern, some going one way then the next patch going the opposite.

I glanced back at the farmer who had called me into inspect this weirdness. He was stood against the open gate to the field, scratching his head under his flat cap whilst his three boarder collie dogs paced around him, eager to get back to work.

There was no way he could have done this. It was too big, too complex and why would he want to ruin a crop that was a month away from being harvested? No, it didn’t make sense for him to have done this….

I looked at my clipboard again and made some more notes. I took some more photos then went over to the farmer. He was petting one of the dogs and talking to her.

‘Do you have a ladder or something I can get a higher photo with? I’d love to try and see this thing fully,’ I asked.

The farmer mumbled something in his thick Yorkshire accent which I could hardly understand and walked away. I hoped he was going to get a ladder and hadn’t decided I was crazy. Though, he like everyone else, except those of The Fellowship of the Outer Finders Orbit (FUFO) thought I was mad, so what did it matter?

Minutes passed, I re-read my notes, made a few more, walked around bit and then the farmer and another man appeared with the ladder. The dogs were running around and barking but once they realised they were back at a sheep free field again, they calmed down.

The farmer spoke and I guess he was introducing me to his son and also where were they to put the ladder?

I pointed to the corner of the field and we went over.

Once up the ladder, I could see the crop circle in all its glory. God it was beautiful! There was circles of all kinds joining together to make what had to be the base of a space craft. I took a few photos then had to change the film in the camera.

‘Let’s move the ladder over there,’ I said.

For maybe a hour or so, we moved the ladder around and I climbed up and took photos of the different view. Finally, we returned to the gate and the ladder was laid against a hedge.

‘What’s tha think?’ the farmer asked.

‘You sure you didn’t hear or see anything?’ I asked.

‘Nowt.’

‘They must have been cloaked,’ I muttered to myself, ‘I wonder what they wanted….Any cattle or other animals gone missing?’

‘Not sure. Sheep ‘re on fell. Don’t count ’em.’

I frowned and took that to mean he didn’t know. Was there any point in asking if he could go and check? I shook my head.

‘Tha done?’

‘Yes. I think so. If anything else happens, call me again.’

‘Theerz nowt s’queer as folk,’ the son said in a low voice.

I frowned but before I could ask what he meant, the farmer spoke, ‘tek n’gorm.’

God, I should have brought a translator!

‘Tha want brew?’ the farmer asked.

‘Er no, I’m driving. Thanks anyway. I should be going actually. It was nice to meet you. Thanks,’ I said and shook both their hands, ‘goodbye.’

‘Aye, lad sithee.’

I nodded and left the two men talking to each other. I guessed they were discussing me, probably insulting me but I had no idea. I walked back to my car, parked almost in a ditch in the courtyard of the farm.

Once back in my car, I felt strangely safer as if I had just escaped from an alien encounter.

I sipped some warm water and took a some deep breaths of hot, stale air. I started the car and put down the window. I glanced at the collection of papers and camera films I had dumped on the passenger seat.

‘Unbelievable evidence though, wait to the FUFO sees this!’ I spoke.

(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com)

What Wasn’t There

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Introduction

My name is Bobby Wallbank. I’m a security guard for a company that buys up old buildings and land to do them up into housing, offices and shops. I’m use to the strange goings on in the night. All my life I’ve been able to ‘see’ and ‘sense’ the supernatural. The gift has always run in my family and many have made good use of it. My gran was a witch, my mother a healer, a second cousin a medium. I decided I needed normality, but sometimes I can’t ignore the gift. 

I keep a diary each year of the strange things I’ve seen/sensed either on CCTV cameras or my own eyes. I like to tab favourite pages; the supernatural happens I like the most and were rare. 

Friday 27th January 2017. 2:37 am.

A shopping trolley which had been laying on it side in the back car park for five hours started appearing and disappearing about four times before totally vanishing. The camera froze soon after. Went out to check and there was no sign of the trolley. Camera started working again soon after. 

Wednesday 1st March 2017. 3:56 am.

Saw a man dressed in a suit hurrying down the street. He suddenly disappeared beside a wall. Couldn’t find no trace of him on any of the cameras. Rewinding the footage, couldn’t see the man again. I know he was there though. He had been wearing a strange hat and carrying a briefcase. 

Thursday 20th April 2017, 1:09 am. 

For half an hour a cat was seemingly fighting with something invisible. Had complete camera coverage. The cat was acting aggressive and defensive, it didn’t seem to be playing. Cat ran off. Went to inspect and had strange creepy feeling of being watched. Felt something breathing on me. Walked around to shake it off before returning to office. Was on edge for the rest of the shift.

Monday 15th  May 2017, 4:46 am. 

Was walking around when heard moaning from a locked room. Got in and saw nothing. On leaving the room, felt a coldness and as if fingers were pressing against my back. Turning, saw the shape of something small. I called out hello? and a girl’s voice answered back. Who are you? I asked. Mummy, the voice replied. I asked more questions, but got nothing else. I left the door opened and told the child she was free to go.   

Friday 19th May 2017, 3:59 am. 

Was walking in the area I had heard the girl on Monday. I checked the room and it had been left unlocked. Heard crying, but when I called out, got no answer. Walked away and the crying carried on. During my second walk around, I went into the room again and put a small teddy bear on the floor. The crying stopped. I got the sense that girl is trapped there. I’m not sure if she was murdered or died from something else. Tried talking again, but didn’t hear anything else. 

Saturday 3rd June 2017, 2:27 am. 

Too much is happening and it’s making me regret agreeing to cover this shift. The other security person up and left, not sure why but maybe he couldn’t hack the supernatural stuff that’s happening. It looks like a group broke in last weekend and did some kind of thing that called a demon to the building. There’s been a lot of loud bangs and  flashes of light. Every time I walk around, I get this sense of evil and I want to leave. I can’t though. Maybe I can find someone to remove this demon. I heard more crying and screams too and there has been so many shadow things. 

I heard whispering voices asking for help and telling me to beware. I got the idea the good supernatural were trying to protect me but this evil is too powerful. On my break at Midnight, I felt this burning on my shoulder and when I looked I had three long red scratches down my shoulder. I washed them in water and that helped, but I can still feel them. 

Saturday 3rd June 2017, 6:00 am.

Getting ready to leave and everything is quiet here. The scratches from a few hours ago have faded and I’ve not left the office since. The CCTV have been playing up though. Some cameras blacking out and losing connection, others becoming static. The noises too have kept up. I’m glad to be getting out of here.

Monday 5th June 2017, 10: 45 pm.

Brought a friend tonight to help get rid of the demon and release some of the ghosts. What she did seems to have worked and the place is settled once more. Won’t really know for a while though. Sometimes these demons like to pop up again. I feel better too. It was attaching itself to me, I could feel it. I’ve been having weird dreams, about a dark red and black creature chasing me. I don’t remember seeing the demon fully. She give me some stuff to bless myself and the house with. Maybe I might use some in the office too. 

Friday 9th June 2017, 3:11 am.

Everything is quiet here still. There’s been no supernatural happenings and I’m feeling fine. A new woman has been hired for the weekends and to cover me, she seems nice. I’ve been teaching the ropes all shift and now she’s gone for her first walk around alone. 

Monday 19th June 2017, 11:20 pm.

She gone missing, the new woman. Yesterday she clocked in and didn’t clock out. An easy mistake to make when you are tried but she never returned home. Her family have reported her missing and lots of searching has been happening. I got asked to look through hours of footage to find out what happened to her. Maybe she did leave and went missing off site? I couldn’t find the truth though. 

No CCTV camera has her last moments. I got one of her entering the corridor where the I’ve heard the girl crying and that’s it no more. A connect error message appears on all screens in that area. So she goes in but never comes out again. 

I’ve done one walk inside now and I’ve come across nothing but the traces of all the people who’ve been through today. I even asked the ghosts to help, but nothing has come of it. I hope it’s just a simple thing that she got lost and fell or she decided she’d had enough and ran away.

A part of me knows that’s not true though. She’d been taken by that demon! 

Thursday 22nd June 2017, Midnight. 

She is still missing and everyone is restless. I have seen supernatural things in the buildings and my home. Voices calling me, telling me where to go and that I must help them. I thought she had come to me at one point but she wasn’t there long. Lights have been flicking on and off, strange lights have been coming and going, sometimes close enough for me to feel how ice cold they are. Tools and other things have been moved around, stones thrown at me and others.

I know what I must do. I came here tonight to set things right. I know what’s at risk. I’m not trying to get her back either, she’s already gone. But I got to stop the demon before he takes anyone else. I’m prepared and ready to go.

I’m leaving my diary here just in case I don’t come back.  

The Perfect Photo

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Sitting underneath the gazebo in a camping chair, Martin watched the snow falling. He was wrapped up heavily in woollen clothes and insulating underwear, but he could still feel the chill of the frozen air. In his hands and resting in his lap was a massive digital camera. It was currently off as a result of his frustrations.

From where he was sat, Martin could see very little of the park and gardens that surrounded him. He had picked this quiet corner to set up so that he would get the best photographs. Small trees covered with a thin layer of snow and bushes give him a good background. Whilst the patch of snow dusted grass give a good foreground. However, the centre of the photo was missing.

Martin sighed and checked his watch. He had been waiting three hours now and he had not even seen a flicker of a red squirrel. All that had been to the food he had scattered about was a few birds. And though the robin, blackbird and blue tits had been nice photos, it really was the main star he wanted.

Martin let his thoughts drift and of all the memories to select, he recalled one of his grandma and him watching birds in her garden from her greenhouse. He was about ten and all ready a keen photographer. That afternoon though, he was just watching and looking through a large book on birds.

‘There’s the robin,’ his grandma had pointed out.

He had looked up to the bird table and watched the robin hopping around. Then he had gone back to the book and flipped the pages. There were large drawings of British birds in full colour and close ups of wing markings. Detailed descriptions followed in small writing.

‘He out shines all other garden birds, you know,’ grandma added.

‘Why?’ his younger self had asked.

‘Because of his nature,’ grandma had replied.

Martin coming back from the memory wondered what he had replied and what else grandma had said. He could not think of it, though he was sure there was more to that memory.

Looking out on the patch of grass, he saw more birds pecking at the peanuts he had placed down. He turned on his camera and took a few photos. Then the birds took flight, battling against a flurry of large snowflakes.

It’s too cold today, Martin thought, probably the reason why I’ve had no luck.

Sighing, he looked up at the snow falling and decided to pack up and go home.

Polar bear

Writing prompt:

Zoe pressed her face against the cold glass and stared into the water. She could see air bubbles floating through the too blue water and a swirl of movement on the surface above. Clutching, Barley, her favourite teddy bear and strongly aware of her parents with her baby brother, Alex, standing behind her, she awaited eagerly.

A crackle of static over a nearby loud speaker caused her to jump. Zoe looked up as a boisterous female voice began speaking through the hiss of white noise. The voice welcomed them all to the Arctic Zone and to the Polar Bears, then carried on reeling off a speech that Zoe could only half understand. She let the voice slip into the background noise that was all around her and carried on staring through the window before her.

The water suddenly seemed to cave in on itself and Zoe gasped loudly, drawing the attention of her parents. They carried on watching as the water divided apart and a dead fish dropped into view quickly being chased by a large white bear. Zoe, squeezing Barley tighter, stepped back and her heels catch her daddy’s feet. She felt his large hands press down on her shoulders reassuringly, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the polar bear.

The bear opened his large black mouth and snatched the fish up before it could hit the floor of the tank. With larger than life legs and paws, the bear stretched and swim back up. He’s ice white fur moved like a mermaid’s hair with a life of its’ own. His paws swirled the water around him and he disappeared back up.

Zoe rushed back to the window, tucking Barley into her elbow as she pressed both her hands to the glass. She looked up and saw the belly of the polar bear almost above her. She heard him break the surface of the water and even felt a little splash of wetness on her face. Zoe sank down to the little ledge jutting out and put her head all the way up. Her view was distorted by the turbulent water, but she could make out the polar bear getting out and scrambling onto the fake iceberg land.

The water took a long time to settle and the voice over the loud speaker was still going on. Zoe bite her lip and wondered if the polar bear would return. She wanted to ask her parents, but was too worried that she’d miss seeing him again if she did so. Hugging Barley in both hands, she watched the hypnotic dancing of the air bubbles.

When the water began surging again, Zoe held her breath. She saw a paw then the rest of the polar bear. He seemed to be swimming towards her. A tremble of fear shot through her and she felt frozen to the ledge. The bear was getting closer and closer. She could see his shiny black nose and eyes, which seemed to be watching her.

Zoe twisted Barley in her hands and let out a small squeak of fear. She felt a brush of warm air from behind her and her daddy’s soft voice in her ear. She felt his hand on back and he was whispering to her not to be afraid. The polar bear wasn’t going to eat her, he was looking for more fish. Zoe’s lips quivered, but she couldn’t speak nor take her eyes off the mighty white bear.

Another dead fish dropped into view behind him and Zoe thought her daddy was right. The bear would go for the fish, he just needed to turn around. Still holding that breath, she waited. However the bear didn’t turn, but dropped to the floor and actually walked the few steps towards the window.

Zoe felt the urge to scramble away, but her body had turned to jelly. Instead, she focused her attention on not crying and repeating her daddy’s words. Her mommy’s voice excitedly called them to turn for a photo. Zoe give a little shake of her head then became aware of her mom using the camera anyway. She felt her daddy trying to turn her around, but she wasn’t sure she could.

Finally, she turned her head, painfully aware of the polar bear pressing his face and paws to the window and gave a ghost of a smile to her mommy and the camera. Photo taken, she snapped her eyes back to the glass and met those of the bear. A scream shot to her throat, but she swallowed it as her Daddy hushed her with calming words. Zoe bit her lip and tasted the bitterness of blood. She raised Barley to her face and hide behind him. From the corner of her eye, she saw her daddy signalling her mommy over and her leaving Alex in the push chair to join them.

Her mommy scared her why she was so scared? The bear couldn’t hurt her, he couldn’t get through the glass. Zoe, sucking on her lip, mumbled something that her parents missed. Her daddy tried to wrap her into a hug, but she wouldn’t move. Her mommy rubbed her arms and tried to comfort her. Zoe pressed Barley into her face and chocked on the sob.

Her daddy won the battle of moving her and swept her up into a hug. She moved Barley out of the way and pressed into his shoulder. Zoe took breaths and felt herself getting calm again. Slowly, she pulled her head up and looked over to the window. The polar bear had gone leaving a swirl of water in his wake.

Slender Part 3

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I hit the gas, threw the car into reverse and shot off down the dirt track. At the end, I spun the small car around and roared back onto the side road. Nervously, I stared into all my mirrors then out of the side window. I could see nothing but the road ahead and behind me, at the sides old pine trees clawing at a darkening sky blocked my view. The house was nowhere to be seen. Fighting down the panic and clutching the steering wheel as if I had just fallen off a cliff, I sped away.

Taking in deep breaths and trying to concentrate on the road, I started up the radio and found the connection to my IPod. Snatching up the IPod, I skipped through the new music I had download for my trip to America. I had an odd mix of heavy metal and classic rock, though nothing at the minute would soothe me.

No one was going to believe me. I should have taken a photo of that thing in the window. I shook my head and told myself there had been nothing there and it was only matrixing. I had seen it tons of times in photos of ‘ghosts’ on the internet. People claiming to see a face or figure in a carpet, wall or mirror when it was only a reflection of light creating shapes. That’s all it had been.

Looking down at my IPod screen, I scanned through some more music and finally decided on Barenaked Ladies. As I went to put it on, one of my front tyres bounced over a large rock and I scrambled to gain control as my car went into a spin. I floored the brake and yanked up the hand one as tall tree trunks filled my vision. Branches whipped past me, scratching against the car and shooting out of view. Somehow, I avoid the line of trees and the car came to a spluttering stop facing into the forest.

I let go of the handbrake and the steering wheel. Pins and needles pricked my hands and arms. I opened the door and got out. Breathing deeply, I took in the scent of pine trees, dirt, burnt rubber and warm oil. I looked around and saw the road half a mile behind me. Shaking, I leant over and put my hands on my knees. How had I not hit a tree? Thanking God or whoever as I wasn’t religious and didn’t believe in ‘higher powers,’ I sorted myself.

Getting back in the car, I left the door open and tried starting up the engine. It turned over, but didn’t fully start. I took the key out and lent back in the seat, the shock sinking in. I shut my eyes and listened to the crows screaming around me. Dark patterns danced before me and head ached.

‘Don’t sleep!’ I shouted, snapping open my eyes and jumping up.

I moved to get out and something flickered passed me. I stopped, put my hands on the wheel and lent over to look out. It was probably just a bird or something. Still, I held my breath and waited. A tentacle like shape appeared out the forest gloom and wrapped itself around the trunk of a tree. I dived for my camera, switched it on and began snapping photos.

The images came back blurry, so I got out the car and did two full circles shoots, before collapsing back into the driver’s seat and locking the door closed. It’s crazy, I’m crazy! I shoved the camera down and tried my car again. This time the engine roared into life and slowly, I reversed back on to the road. Shaking, I turned the car around and carried on driving down the road. The radio sorted itself and music drifted from the speakers.

By the time I got into the small town I was staying in, it had begun to rain and the sky was inky black. I parked up outside my motel room, grabbed my stuff and hurried into the room. I hit the harsh lights, dumped the stuff on the bed and stripped to my boxers. I went into the bathroom and showered. When I got out, holding a towel around my hips and water dripping off my hair, the realisation of the situation hit me.

I sink onto the bed and laughed. In the safety of the room, I felt so stupid. I turned on the TV, just to have some noise in the too quiet background and picked up my camera. The battery was low, so I put it on charge and took the memory card out. I turned on my laptop and left the memory card on the mouse pad as I put on a soft pair of pants. I towel dried my hair, then as the laptop loaded, put the memory card in and opened the files.

Putting them on full screen, I tapped through the photos and looked closely into the backgrounds. There was nothing in the first handful and a small voice in my head started up that I was being silly and trying to find something that wasn’t going to be there. However, in the first photo of the hallway there seemed to be a blotch of pure blackness in the centre. Frowning, I went through the next few and found the last one in the hall. Clearly, before my eyes was a long stickman shadow. The breath caught in my throat and my inner voice screamed, matrixing! I zoomed in, my fingers twitching, but there was no deigning the image before me. I clicked off it and cycled through the other photos, until I reached the attic room.

The hairs rose on the back of my neck and I broke into a cold sweat. The child drawn pictures on the walls burned before my eyes and the words I’d not given any focus on before popped out at me.

DON’T LOOK AT HIM

DON’T FOLLOW

HE COMES

AFRAID

DEATH

I shook my head and went through the next lot which were all in the forest. The first few were confusing blurs of trees and shadowy patches and the rest showed only old pine trees, tracks my car had made and the edges of the road. I saved all the photos and removed the memory card. Putting that back in my camera, I took out my external hard drive and saved the photos on to there as well. Closing my laptop, I went back to the bed and sat down. The box Brownie rolled into my hip.

Picking it up, I wondered if there was anything on it and how to get it off. I placed it next to my camera then cleaned the bed of my rucksack and other stuff. I sprawled out on the starched sheets and shut my eyes.

‘It’s not real. Just light tricks,’ I muttered, ‘There was nothing there. Just a creepy abandoned house. The photos? Tricks of shadows and lights. My mind making shapes. Nothing more…nothing…’

My alarm cut through my dreamless sleep and I woke with a start. Shaking sleep out of my limbs, I got up and straight in the shower. The hot water helped me wake further and after dressing, I ate some breakfast fruit bars and finished off a carton of milk. I emptied and repacked my rucksack, grabbed my camera and the box Brownie and opened the door.

A gloomy, wet morning greeted me. Stepping out and rubbing at a tension headache, I went to my car. Unlocking it, I got in, put my stuff to the side and closed the door. Yesterday’s memories that I had been trying to keep back like vomit, surfaced and I pressed my head to the steering wheel. I mumbled that it wasn’t real then started the car.

I drove into the town and focused on something else. At some point, I had seen a one hour photo and camera store. The problem was I couldn’t remember where it was. With my head feeling foggy, I parked in a superstore lot and got out. Gathering my stuff, I walked in and asked for directions. It was right around the corner. Leaving my car, I walked over and found myself outside a very old and run down looking store.

The sign on the door welcomed me in and I went straight to the counter. An old man with puffy white hair, large glasses and wrinkled hands stared at me. I placed the Brownie on the glass top next to an antique looking till.

‘I…erm…brought this at a junk store. I think there might be something on the film inside. Can you develop it for me?’ I asked.

A gnarled hand reached out and picked up the Brownie. The old man looked at it, rising his glasses up and down. He smacked his cracked lips and in an thick American accent I was becoming use to, said, ‘Shouldn’t be a problem. Come back in an hour.’

Nodding, I left not bothering to look around. I felt better outside and wondered back to the superstore to get some supplies. However, my mind was districted by questions; mainly, what images were on the Brownie? I went back well before the hour was up. The old man wasn’t at the counter, so I had a look around. The two walls were lined with thin wooden shelves that had a range of cameras, equipment, other supplies, magazines and books upon them.

I had just found a box Brownie that looked like mine, when he appeared.

‘Ah, I’ve managed to do it. The film was pretty old, but some of the photos came out OK…I fixed the camera too and put in a new roll. Seems to be OK…’

I hurried over and took the pile of black and white prints from him. The first three were too blurry to make out and they looked almost water stained. The fourth one though showed the abandoned house as it used to be with the Ford parked out front. I looked at the tiny attic window, but couldn’t make everything out. Something was there in the next one though; the outline of what looked like someone wearing a pillowcase on their head. My breath struck in my throat and had to turn to the next one. This time the mud room door was open and there was the shadow of the stickman standing there.

The old man cleared his throat and tearing my eyes away, I looked up at him.

‘Sorry, how much do I owe?’ I forced out.

He named his price, I handed him the money then looked at the other six photos. They worked in succession; the dirt track with the house in the background and the stickman just visible in the trees before the house. The next three were deeper in the woods and trying to hide in the background was the stickman. No matter how hard I stared, I couldn’t make out any features other than a round white head, long body and limbs.

I turned to the second to last one and saw the attic. The door was half open and the long figure was standing there as clear as anything. He was wearing a black suit, dark shirt and tie, his face was completely whited out. His arm reached down and out of shot. I scrambled for the last one and others fluttered to the floor. He was in full view this time, taking up all the space on the photograph.

My hands shook, I gasped for breath and dropped it alongside the others. I looked at the old man and saw the fear on his face. I wanted to say something, but my mind was scrambled. My eyes dropped to the scattered photos. It wasn’t possible! It was just a joke! A Halloween costume or someone messing around.

‘Ya need to leave now,’ the old man muttered.

‘No,’ I shouted and reaching across the counter grab the old man by his shirt, ‘tell me it’s not true! It’s a joke, a trick! It’s not real!’

He pressed his hands to mine and surprisingly shoved me off. Gasping, I swept up the photos and the Brownie. Clutching them to my chest, I stepped backwards and fled the store. I ran back to my car, threw everything in and peeled out of there. Like a mad man, I drove back into the forest and to the abandoned house.

‘It’s not real! It’s not real!’ I screamed.

I shot passed the very missable dirt track and had to spin the car around. I tumbled along the track, my whole body shaking and not just because of the vibrations. I skidded the car to a halt next to the house and snatching everything up stormed inside. Ignoring the darkness, I made my way to the attic. Kicking open the door, I stomped in and dumped everything on a small table against the window.

‘Where are you? Come out! You’re not real!’ I yelled.

I scanned the room, deep breaths bursting out of me and saw nothing but drifting dust clouds. Fat tears blurred my vision and I rubbed them away. I kicked a soft toy dog over and it thump across the floor.

‘It’s all fake!’ I added and took up the box Brownie.

I snapped some photos with it focusing on the open door and the walls. Then I took my digital camera and did the same. I looked closely at the screen after every photo, but saw nothing. I screamed and heard the echo of sirens in my ears. I hurried to the dirty window and looked out, two county sheriff cars were pulling up and blocking my car in. I collected my things and rushed outside.

I erupted through the mud room door, slightly tripping over my feet and would have flown at the three officers if I hadn’t seen their drawn guns.

‘Show your hands and get down!’ the oldest of them yelled.

Fear flashed through me and through I was still panicked, I put my stuff on the floor and dropped down after it onto the porch. The tears I had been fighting back overwhelmed me and I sobbed hard. Dimly, I was aware of the officers talking as they came over to me. I felt cuffs going around my wrists then I was dragged to my feet and patted down. I saw the younger female officer bagging my stuff up. I tried to tell her to be careful, but it just came out as blubber.

I was walked to the car and pushed into the back seat. I dropped on to my side then eased myself up and looked at the window. The sheriff and his deputies had moved away and I could see the pine trees retreating deeper into the forest. I drew in a shaky breath, shook my head to clear away the tears and really looked amongst the trees.

He was there, staring back at me.

To be Continued…?

Slender Part 2

Grey light filtered into what had once been a kitchen. My torch light bounced off half opened floor and wall cupboards. I shuffled in, tucked my torch between my legs and took a few photos. Looking around further, I noticed the gaps were a stove and sink would have been. With a quick search of the cupboards, I found them all empty and nothing else in the room give me any clues of personal items or dates.

Another door, opposite the one I had come in by, filled the fourth wall. I walked over, unable to stop my feet making soft slapping sounds on the rotting plastic tiled floor. I opened the door, my mind racing images of what could be on the other side. Luckily, there was nothing but a long empty hallway, with doors placed up one side and a wide staircase along the other.

I shone my torch around and noticed the abrupt silence surrounding me. I raised my camera, took a few photos and had a brief look through them. The last one caused me to pause. There seemed to a long dark shadow standing at the end of the hall. I brought my torch up and aimed the beam down towards the front door. Nothing caught the light. I took another photo and checked it, but the shadow wasn’t there.

A spike of fear electrified my skin and I struggled to hold my ground. I swallowed, wet my lips and croaked out an ‘Hello?’ The house swallowed my words and didn’t reply. I tried again, getting my throat and lips more wet, projecting my voice so I was almost shouting out the word. This time a small echo came back to me.

Shaking myself, I took another few photos and saw that there was nothing odd about them. I tried the handle of the first door to my right. It gave easily and the door opened. The room was empty and once again grey light was coming in from a dirty window. I took a photo of that and some more of the bare wooden floor, wallpaper peeling walls and cracked ceiling. I laughed to myself and wondered why I had gotten so scared of what had to be just a trick of light.

I walked through the other three rooms and found them almost all the same as the wallpaper and ceiling colours differed. I fell back to enjoying the experience and walking were no one else had been for many years. I took my last photo of the last room and got the open door and beginnings of the staircase in the shot. I noticed a shadow like arm just visible at the left side of the open door. My heart skipped, I stopped breathing and looked nervously upwards.

The darkness beyond the door looked like sticky molasses. I couldn’t see out of it, let alone pick out any shapes. Slowly, I put my torch on the floor, with the light beam angled out of the door and along the bottom of the staircase. I fixed the shot with my camera and pressed down the button. Flash and the image appeared on the screen. There were no shadow arms only the eerie effect of the torch’s beam along the floor.

Laughing loudly, I let the fear out. It’s nothing, nothing, I sing in my head. How many abandoned places had I been in alone? Thirty? Fifty? How many farm houses like this one? Twelve? And in all my ten years of exploring these places what had I found? Dead animals, homeless people, abandoned personal items and unsolved mysteries. Never ghosts. I had never seen, heard or captured anything that could be classed as a ghost. Nor had any companion that had come with me to the other places.

‘So why would you be in this place?’ I spoke out before bursting into another rolling laugh.

I felt better and walked into the hallway. I grab a few more photos of the locked front door and the staircase before heading up. The steps squeaked, but held my weight as I went up. The bedrooms were all like the rooms downstairs and I felt a slight disappointment that the whole place had been cleaned out. Coming out of the last room, I spotted the door to the attic that I’d missed.

Smiling, I hurried over. People always leave things behind in attics and basements. I opened the door and walked up a narrow staircase, which ended in another door. Avoiding the mass of spiders’ webs, I stepped in and slowly shone my torch around. A shiver ran through me as I took in the scene before me. It had been a children’s playroom and everything had been left behind. Toys, covered in dust were scattered across the floor as well as books and over full boxes of other toys.

With my hands slight shaking, I took a few photos that captured everything. Looking at the last one, I noticed the children’s drawings on the wall. In coal pencil was the figure of a long stickman. Frowning, I looked up and focused on the walls. All three of them were covered in the black pencil and paint drawings of that stickman. In some case there were bare pine trees around him, a house in the background and a scrawling of words.

My hairs stood on end and a voice screamed loudly in my head to leave. Hurriedly, I took a circle of photos just of the walls, trying to miss anything out then fled. My slamming footsteps and gasping breath ring in my ears, sweat ran down me like heavy drops of rain. I stumbled out of the back door, almost falling onto the porch but finding balance enough to rush into the grass and past the rusted car. My feet collided with something and I tumbled over. Fighting for breath, I looked down and saw the box brownie camera.

Snatching it up, I ran for my car. I scrambled for my keys, jabbed the right one into the car door and yanked it open. Flinging myself into the driving seat, the brownie slipped from my hand and fell into the passenger’s footwell. Ripping my own camera from my neck, I placed it down there too and started the car up.

The engine spring to life, I wrestled to put my seat belt on and then without really meaning too, I looked up at the house and the attic room window.  A stick shadow figure was pressed against the glass looking out at me.

To Be Continued…

Slender Part 1

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Pulling up outside the abandoned house, I turned off my engine and got my first proper look. The house was old, typical wooden board American farm house, but looked still intact. I grabbed my camera and keys before I slipped out of the car. Closing and locking the car, I put my keys into my jeans pocket and slipped my camera strap around my neck. Tucking my longish hair out from underneath, I felt the slight chill of summer’s last day. I zipped up my heavy cotton jacket and double checked I had everything.

I turned on my camera and started exploring. The nature was thick around the house with the grass growing up to the windows and dead black trees trying to block it from view. I walked around the house, snapping photos and stealing quick glancing to make sure they looked right. I reached the back area and spotted a rust car almost buried by the grass. My breath caught in my throat and I hurried over.

The car was nothing fancy, just a standard Ford from the forties. I took a few photos, admiring the rust and strangely imagining that when the car had been parked up for the last time it hadn’t realised it had just had its last run. I stepped backwards with the long grass whipping around me and my foot hit something.

Freezing, I took a great photo of the car, tree and abandoned house. Then I looked down and saw a leather box. Juggling my stuff, I picked it up and discovered it to be a box brownie camera. Smiling and laughing, I turned it over a few times and looked closely at it. Surprisingly, it seemed to be in good shape. I went to put it down again, the Urban Explorer’s code sounding off in my head. It touched the grass and my fingers wouldn’t let it go. Frowning, I placed it on the floor then let go, but I couldn’t do it. I knelt down and pulled my hand off it. Standing up, I quickly walked away and on to the porch of the house. Turning, I looked back and oddly felt the brownie calling to me, even though I could no longer see it in the grass.

Shaking my head, I twisted back and pushed open the worn wooden door. A loud creaking, that sounded like the house screaming, signalled my entrance. Peering inside, it was pitch black. I switched my flash on and took a photo. Blinking away the sudden blindness, I looked at the camera screen and saw nothing but two wooden walls and a doorway leading out of the small mud room.

I dug my torch out and clicked it on. Hoping that there was some natural light in the other rooms, I gingerly stepped on the floor. The boards creaked, but held my weight. I took a few more steps then walked firmly across towards the door. I grabbed the door knob and twisted it open in a single movement.

To Be Continued…

Postcard #10

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