Pillars #WritePhoto

It started out as a game of hide and seek which turned into a nightmare none of them could ever escape from.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/09/20/thursday-photo-prompt-pillars-writephoto/ with thanks).

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Left #FirstLineFriday

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Spider silk clung at the doors, over the windows, across everything she had left behind. Sasha stepped up to the door, hand trembling as she put the key into the padlock that barred the way. It took a few tries to unlock then she slipped the padlock off.

Sasha set it aside and shaking even more, she reached out, her fingers clutched the handle. She opened the door, the hinges creaked in warning and all the nightmares came flooding back.

Sasha wanted to close the door and run away from it all again. Instead, she steadied herself, taking in deep breaths before walking inside. There was thick layer of dust covering everything, showing that no one had been here in years.

She walked into a spiderweb, the almost invisible strands hard to brush off. Sasha wiped it from her face, her anxiety almost flooding over. Shutting her eyes, she went to her calm place and told herself she wasn’t going to live in the past anymore. She had come here to end that.

Opening her eyes again, Sasha ignored the ground floor rooms, though the faded sounds came to her. The noise of a loud TV, glass smashing, thudding on wood, shouting. Sasha was a child again, hiding behind the sofa with her younger brother, Sonny. Fear was causing them both to shake and cry. Sonny had wet himself as their mother had screamed in pain and their father’s shouting had echoed through the house.

Sasha stopped on the stairs, the memory freezing her. She glanced to the closed living room door. She could see the room clearly; the sofa and the arm chair, facing a small cracked TV on a plastic stand, a broken coffee table and the old gas fireplace.

She reached a hand out of the staircase railing. Goosebumps raising on her arms. Sasha went upwards, children’s crying in her ears. There was a half opened door at the top then around a bend two more door frames and across the carpet were shards of wooden doors.

Forcing down everything, Sasha went into the first bedroom. Wood crunched under her feet, she peered into the gloom and felt a low gust of air rush past her legs. She glanced down, there was nothing but she was reminded of all the times she and her brother had run to their room. They had hidden wherever they could; under the bed, in the wardrobe. It had made no difference where they hid when father was in a blind rage.

Sasha flicked the light switch, her fingers finding it out of habit. No light came on above. She took her phone out and used it as a torch, the bright beam showed her that nothing had changed since they had left.

The small beds on either side of the room were unmade, things scattered on top of them. The doors to the wardrobe were open, children’s clothes tumbling out. On the floor a few broken toys lay twisted. Sasha slowly searched the room, not sure what she was looking for nor if she would take anything.

She found her brother’s teddy bear, hidden under his pillow as Sonny had liked to hide it. She took that, the worn fur feeling stiff against her hands. Sasha picked through the clothes, seeing some that she remembered her or Sonny wearing; a school uniform, a nightdress, a stained jumper…

She looked through the stuff on the bed; some books, school things, a baby doll and  metal cars. She looked underneath and for a moment was convinced she would see Sonny’s bruised and tear stained face staring back at her. There was nothing but a dead mouse and more spiderwebs.

Standing up, Sasha left, the teddy loose in her hand. She went to her parents’ bedroom which looked like someone had smashed everything up. She guessed her father had done that, perhaps after her and mum had run away. That memory stung sharply it was like a snow storm and she couldn’t see it clearly.

Sasha looked through what she could but there was nothing worth taking here. She poke her head into the bathroom, decided against going in and went downstairs again. She walked through the living room, dinning room and kitchen. She had half been hoping to find photographs but there seemed to be none.

Arriving at the front door again, she didn’t look back as she left again. Sasha closed the door behind her, re-locking the padlock. She put the key and her phone into her pocket then looked down at the teddy bear. It was smaller and dirtier then she reminded. Why had she picked it up?

She turned back to the front door, thinking she would return the teddy to the bedroom. Sonny would cry if it was lost and he would never sleep with it.

‘Sasha? Are you okay?’ a voice called out.

She jumped and turned, feeling like a child once more and someone was going to notice her injuries.

It was only her husband though, standing in between the open car door and the empty gate posts.

Sasha calmed herself and walked over to him. She hugged him without saying anything.

‘You are covered in dust and…webs?’ he questioned as he tried brushing her down.

Sasha stepped back, looking at herself and seeing it was true.

‘What’s that?’ her husband asked, pointing at the bear.

‘It’s Sonny’s. I should take it back, he’ll miss it,’ Sasha said quickly.

‘All right, but let me come with you,’ her husband said.

Sasha bite her lip, wanting to tell him, like she had done when they had arrived that she wanted to go in by herself. This time though, she didn’t think she’d have the strength. Nodding, she took his hand and they went to the front door.

Once upstairs again, Sasha placed the teddy back underneath the pillow.

‘There Sonny,’ she whispered, ‘go back to sleep now.’

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/09/14/first-line-friday-september-14th-2018/ with thanks).

Hermit Brother #WeeklyWritingPrompt

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Brother Aden had lived alone for so long that he had lost count of the years. He knew time had passed because he had aged. He could see it in his hands; brown with too much sun, wrinkled and dry with not enough washing and too much hard work. He could feel it in his body; back bent, slower footsteps, pain in his knees and arms.

His hut was in the middle of the forest, far from everywhere else and that was how he had come to like it. When he had arrived and spotted the two room wooden building through the trees, he had gone in and discovered it abandoned. He had made it his shelter though he couldn’t escape the horrors of the night that had caused him to flee here.

Even now, when the winter nights were dark and wild with storm, his faded memory would show him events of the past. He was an young monk learning to read and copy the scriptures. He was attending four prayer services a day and more on Sunday. He was looking after animals and crops. It was a hard life but he understand the Calling.

Midnight, the danger bell was ringing and the Abbey being stormed by The Cursed knights. There was fire, blood and bodies everywhere. Brother Aden had grabbed whatever he could; books, relics, supplies and fled away. He had selfishly only been thinking about his survival. He hadn’t know that then, had not been thinking clearly in the chaos all round. He had just wanted to live and not die by magical sliver and gold swords.

Fleeing into the winter night, snow melting on his hot face, the forest had seemed to welcome him. The trees sheltered his senses from the battle and he had stumbled onwards till morning. It sometime afterwards that he found the hut.

In the days that followed, he had time to think and decided. Brother Aden realised he could never return to the Abbey, he would be exiled for his actions. He had left the Abbey without permission or proper cause, he had removed relics and books, stolen food and had gone into hiding like a coward. And all that was if there was even an Abbey and Brothers to go back too.

So, he had decided to stay and allow the forest to provide for him. The guilt, emotions and wondering about what had happened haunted him all the time in those first few years. Slowly, that had faded as he tried to survive day to day, season to season. He had grown use and comfy to things. The desire to try and return to the Abbey or anywhere else vanished.

This was his life now.

 

(Inspired by; https://secretkeeper.net/2018/09/10/weekly-writing-prompt-158 with thanks).

 

Turning #WritePhoto

The seasons where turning, Rachel noticed. The mountain which had been green all spring and summer was becoming a dull brown. In two or three months, Rachel knew it would turn white with snow. A foreshadowing for the other mountains, valleys and the towns within them.

The leaves on the trees were switching colours; the reds, yellows and browns like a dappled painting, framed by windows. Soon, those trees would be bare and Rachel disliked looking at them then. Maybe, someone would hang Christmas fairy lights in them like last year and make them pretty again?

Rachel really hoped that did happen as she spent yet another morning looking out of her bedroom window. It had become something of a habit for the eight am to twelve pm nurse to wheel the chair there and leave.

‘You have a lovely view here! You should enjoy it!’ the nurse might say or else it was, ‘Here, look at the rain,’ or ‘watch the sun light up the mountain this morning.’

Then the nurse would go off to do the tasks on her or his list; changing the bed, preparing the medication, cleaning the equipment etc. Sometimes they would come back to check Rachel was okay, do some vital checks, take some blood, change her tubes if needed.

Most of the time though, Rachel was left staring at the mountain, not being able to move herself or ask the nurse to. And how she wished she could! She hated that mountain and wanted never to see it again but it haunted her.

At night, Rachel would dream of the accident. She was climbing with friends, they were laughing, enjoying the first spring hike up the side. They were camping, cooking, singing, drinking, friends being together. They did this every year, it was normal but this time something was different. The snow hadn’t melted all the way, there was an avalanche. Everyone was screaming, running, falling, flying, dying.

The doctors said Rachel was lucky, she alone had survived somehow but she would never move again.

What kind of life is this? Rachel always thought, I’d be better off dead. I wish I’d died too. God, how I hate that mountain! I can’t bare to see it any more!

 

She would shut her eyes and try to moan. Sometimes that work and the chair would be wheeled away to another part of her bedroom or other part of the house.

The image of the mountain was burned into her eyelids and just like the sounds and sights of the accident, she could never escape.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/09/06/thursday-photo-prompt-turning-writephoto/ with thanks).

Misty Veil #FFfAW

The mists were down heavy, covering everything with a white cloud blanket that wasn’t as pretty as snow’s. It was too dangers to go jogging, though I had attempted it but after being almost hit by a car, I had retreated home.

Running on my treadmill inside my attic instead, I saw something merge from the mist; the ghostly outline of a manor house on the hill. I stopped and stared, knowing full well there was nothing there.

It was just my eyes and brain playing tricks on me, or was it?

 

(Inspired by; https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/fffaw-challenge-181st/ with thanks).

 

At the Fork #100WW

Building with faces painted on the side

The sisters hadn’t wanted their home to be at the top of a split road, then again they hadn’t wanted their fourth generation family house to be knocked down either. So everyday, they cast warding spells in the morning and evening to keep the devil away.

One morning, the oldest sister decided that by painting themselves on the side of the house and casting an everlasting, unbreakable spell upon that would be an easier thing to do. The sisters set about that one summer and their art piece remains still, protecting the house evermore.

(Inspired by; https://bikurgurl.com/2018/09/05/100-word-wednesday-week-87/ with thanks).

 

 

Dear Diary #48

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Dear Diary,

It’s finally September!

Summer has gone so fast like a whirlwind of sun, heat and fun. For the last few days, it has been feeling autumnal; strong winds, rain, a chill to the air and the nights have been closing in quicker.

For me though, this season is the best and I’m so happy for it to start. Some of my friends are already complaining; it’s colder, it’s darker, I’ve to switch my clothes around! I don’t see the problem though, I can finally wear jumpers and be all cosy!

Then there’s listening to the rain and wind outside whilst the fire is crackling away and I’ve a good book to read and hot chocolate to sip. What more could anyone want? Maybe a cat or dog or another person to snug with…

Well, I’ll get one or the other, maybe even two or all, one day! For now, I’m happy still without the responsibility to a pet or relationship.

It’s starting to rain outside now but it’s that summer drizzle stuff and not the autumn down pour. It’s dark out there too and I can see the neighbour’s garden light on.

It’s time for a bath and bed now.

Through The Mist #TwitteringTales

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Everything was hushed at 6 am as I hide in the forest, breathe held. Through the misty trees ran the wild horses with their coats of many colours, their hoofs pounding the earth, manes and tails flying in the wind. It was a beautiful sight and well worth the wait.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/08/28/twittering-tale-99-28-august-2018/ with thanks.)

 

 

Caught #WritePhoto

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The morning sun shone through the hole of the bending tree. The wood cutter looked up, shielding his eyes from the glare. He could see the rays of light exploding against the tree’s trunk. It’s a blessing, he thought, shifting his hand on the handle of his axe as he said his thanks to the sun god and the goddess of nature.

The wood cutter continued his walk into the forest, feeling like today was going to be good. He approached the first tree he planned to cut down in the small clearing. He begin chopping, the sounds of his axe startling birds into the sky and echoing in the other trees.

He was about halfway through the trunk when he heard the crying. He was about to swing again but the noise paused his movement. He listened and realised it was a baby. Lowering his axe, he followed the sound to the other side of the clearing and spotted a wicker basket poking out from under a bush.

Putting his axe down, he pulled the basket it towards himself and and saw in the wrapped in a blanket, a baby boy.

‘I was right!’ the wood cutter cried, ‘today is a blessed day.’

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/08/23/thursday-photo-prompt-caught-writephoto/ with thanks).

Black Balloon #PhotoChallenge

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The woman was holding a black balloon. I walk slowly towards her across, the harvested cornfield. There was no wind or sound, everything had frozen.

White and grey puffy clouds lined a pale blue-grey sky. In the distance, more harvested fields stretched, the earth brown or pale yellow. There no trees or houses, nothing else but her with the balloon.

‘Hello!’ I tried to call out, but I didn’t hear my own voice speaking.

I came closer and saw the woman had no head. Stopping, I wondered what was going on. She wasn’t invisible, for I could see her arms, hands and legs. She was wearing a stripy top and a black skirt with black ballerina slippers. In her hands was the white string of the black balloon which was floating just about where her face should have been.

‘Who are you?’ I spoke, once again my words came out silent.

A few more steps and I was before her, though I left a wide gap in between. She didn’t move and at first it seemed like she wasn’t aware of me, but then I guess without a head how could she have been? Then her hand reached out and she offered me the string.

I looked up at the balloon and it was one of those party kinds, like kids have at birthdays, only it was as black as midnight.

‘I don’t want it, thanks,’ I said, shaking and waving my arms no, so she got the message.

The woman’s arm reached out further, offering me the balloon strongly.

‘No!’ I yelled.

She pressed the string into my hand and though I didn’t grasp it, the string wrapped around my palm and laced over my fingers. I gasped and looked up, the balloon was now just above my head.

I shot out my hand to give it back to the headless woman but she had gone!

Something tugged on me, I glanced at the string then the balloon before I was pulled upwards and away, my feet swinging off the ground. I tried to let go of the string, but my hand was glued to it. The balloon rose up with me attached and we flew across the bare fields.

Up and up the balloon took me, right through the clouds. With my other hand, I grasped the wrist holding the string and tried to release my fingers. I struggled against the unknown force that was holding my hand shut, twisting in the air like a mad puppet.

The balloon came to a stop, my hand came free and the string slipped away. I plummeted. My mouth wide open in a scream which was silenced, my arms and legs flapped in the air, my fingers trying to grip anything and finding nothing.

There was no time to try and reach for the string of the black balloon, it was gone in seconds.

I twisted, tumbled, fell through clouds, felt the wind against my skin like an angry slap. I clawed at the sky, I screamed after the balloon and the headless woman. I saw the yellow and brown earth racing up to meet me. I knew I was going to hit it and there was nothing I could do!

And then, I slammed into my car’s steering wheel, felt the hard leather pressing against my forehead. My seat belt tightly constricting my chest and stomach. I heard the windscreen wipes whooshing, the rain hammering down and the growling of an unhappy car engine.

I look up and there is blood everywhere.

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/photo-challenge-227/ with thanks).