My advice to anybody who asks me; to get out and be free from everything once in awhile.
(Inspired by; https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/one-liner-wednesday-advice/ with thanks).
My advice to anybody who asks me; to get out and be free from everything once in awhile.
(Inspired by; https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/one-liner-wednesday-advice/ with thanks).
She was glad to escape on the hot beach, sipping cocktails instead of dealing with all the drama back home.
The road felt sharp under my bare feet. Ahead, all I could see was rolling mist and the outline of trees. I didn’t know where I was and there were no signs to guide me. There was only one thought in my head; keep running. Though, I had long ago stopped moving quickly as tiredness had set heavily in.
I should have tried to look for clues early on to figure out where they had taken me. My head though had been in a blind panic and there was only blurs of colour and patchy memories for me to reflect upon now. They had held me captive for so long, I wasn’t sure what the day or year was.
My mind shifted gears as the light around me changed. The mist seemed to lift and I stopped in wonder. Morning had arrived and was chasing the night away. I turned my face to the rising sun, embracing it with everything I had left.
Today was my new dawn.
(Inspired from; https://secretkeeper.net/2018/03/19/weekly-writing-prompt-133/ with thanks).
It wasn’t what the holiday brochure advertised but I wasn’t one to be picky. Everything worked, it was clean, the view was nice and the hotel staff friendly. It didn’t seem a bad place for a single traveller to stay in during a sunny holiday. Though the building looked really ramshackled and about to fall down. It creaked something awful which the sounds of the river and boats couldn’t counter. The feelings of danger never left and I just couldn’t relax. Sad to say, but I went home early and back to my country gripped in the blast of winter.
(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/02/07/9-february-2018/ with thanks).
It’s the first day of a new year and everything has gone wrong all ready! This morning there was another leak in the caravan and the rain was coming down so hard there wasn’t much we could do. We just put another pan down and spent another day bailing water out of the caravan.
I’ve been huddled up in the bed, coughing my head off and sneezing for hours. I can’t get warm and I’m just so fed up. Phone signal is terrible and I don’t think they’ve heard of the internet on this stretch of coastline. I’m too tried and frustrated to read or focus on anything else. I’ve been napping then watching the rain and the wind.
Noah went out for a walk somewhere in the afternoon. He’s sick of my moaning about leaving and returning home. He thinks it’s great out here, escaping from everyone else and the madness of New Year celebrations. Really he’s the mad one! This barren campsite in the middle of nowhere isn’t anyone’s idea of ‘escaping’, no matter how much money we saved!
When he came back, soaked through and in need of new clothes and warmth, he tried to take a shower. There was no hot water! He was muttering about for ages and then give up saying this part of something had broken and he couldn’t fix it. He did though changed his clothes and make a pot of tea.
We sat in silence drinking. The rain falling so loud it was like being inside a drum. I swear I heard rumbles of thunder too. Having run out of energy to argue, he sat at the table reading and I carried on my longings out of the window. All I could think about was being home, dry and warm, tucked up in bed and knowing I wasn’t in this horrid caravan anymore!
Then Noah declared he was going to cook us some food. From the bed, I give him simple instructions and all was going well until I noticed the smoke trickling out of the oven! A lick of flame quickly followed and I just knew that all was lost.
To his credit, Noah jumped into action and some of the food was saved but the oven wasn’t. It was a good job the whole caravan didn’t set a lit! I felt a bit warmer afterwards but the smoke got too much and we had to open all the windows and go to stand in the awning.
I had coughing fit after coughing fit. Nothing seemed to stop it. Finally, half collapsed on a folding chair, I was able to get back together again. I wanted to give Noah, a piece of my mind, but I didn’t have the energy for that.
Moving back in, the caravan still smelt smokey but the air was cleaner. Noah tidied up and I got ready for bed as best I could. Then we both started settling down. The rain is still pouring and dripping through the cracks. Noah has started coughing badly too and though he blames it on the smoke, he’s coming down with the flu too.
Perhaps, in the morning I could try again to change his mind and we can go home I day early. Oh, to be in my nice bed again and not have to worry about anything! That really isn’t too much to ask for is it?
Finally, she had broken through all her fears and now she had arrived at her holiday destination. Taking in deep breaths of clean air and feeling the hot sun on her face, she stepped into the hotel. After checking in and abandoning her things in the room, she hurried to the pool, ready to relax.
The horizon didn’t look like anything Peaches had imagined it to be. She had thought it was going to bright and colourful, like in the old photos and film reals she had seen, instead though it was a dull blue-grey.
‘Not the promises I was led to believe,’ she muttered.
She lent her too thin body forward and rested her chin on her knees. Her arms were tightly wrapped behind her knees, keeping the long wool skirt in place and stopping the strong breeze from getting in.
Around her all the children and some of the adults from the Church Of The Redeemed Evangelists were splashing in the salty water or playing in the sand or exploring the rocks and caves. Cries of delight but also screams of pain could be heard amongst the babble of voices.
Peaches ignored them all, feeling tried and empty of the hope she had been holding in for so long.
‘What’s wrong with you?’ a sharp female voice asked.
With only moving her eyes, Peaches looked up and realised she wasn’t the one being addressed. Before her was a small woman, wearing the clothes of a Senior Sister; a long black dress which completely covered her body and a black head dress with a grey trim. Next to her was a small girl with blonde hair in a blue wool dress who was crying and rubbing her face.
‘My eyes hurt!’ the girl cried.
‘I knew this trip to the surface world would bring nothing but troubles,’ the Senior Sister spoke loudly, ‘and what have you learnt out here? Nothing. It would have been better to remain in the Temple. Come along, child. We shall wash your face.’
Peaches watched the Senior Sister taking the girl’s hand and leading her away to the little camp set up in a sheltered spot. There were two other Sisters sat there and from their clothes Peaches could tell they were Mothers, the highest of the female order.
‘I don’t want that to be my fate,’ Peaches whispered.
She looked at the horizon again, it still seemed bleak. However, there could only be freedom on the other side.
Peaches cast a long look around then slowly got up. She made as if she was just walking along the rough sand. Finally, though she was out of sight and trying to figure out how she could reach her horizon.
(Inspired by a prompt from; https://scvincent.com/2017/03/09/thursday-photo-prompt-horizon-writephoto. With thanks).
Returning home had never felt so good which led her to questioning why she had left in the first place.
We finished eating and drinking. I settled back in the chair, feeling fuller then I had in ages. Jasmine started to tidy up. She poured the rest of the water from the black kettle into the sink and placed the dishes and cups in. As she washed, dried and put away, an idea came to me.
‘Thanks that was great,’ I said.
She nodded her head at me then carried on.
‘I just remembered some traps I left in the woods. I should go and get them before we leave. Why don’t you pack you things and meet me back at the church?’
‘So you are going to let me come with you?’ she cried, turning from the cupboard and pressing her hands to the top of a chair.
I dropped my eyes to her breasts, which were now sadly covered by that t-shirt, but I made sure she noticed the look though. She looked down too, her brain taking a few moments to wonder what I was staring at. She glanced up at me, a small frown on her face. Nothing else needed to be said though.
I got up, picked my hiking bag up from the floor and left the kitchen.
‘My cat is coming too!’ she shouted.
‘Whatever,’ I called back, rolling my eyes.
At the front door, I risked a look back but I couldn’t see her, though there was a lot of rattling and movement happening in the kitchen. Opening the door, I stepped out and closed it again. I heard voices and sounds of laughter coming from the trees, perhaps the rumble of an engine. Then I was gone.
I hadn’t lied to her about the traps. Though I hadn’t caught anything. All six were empty. I secured all the wire nooses and put them back in hiking bag. My jeans were wet from the dew and the damp soil. Wiping my hands, I got my bearings and realized the fastest direction out of here would take me passed the church.
Sighing, I headed that way but kept to the trees. Hopefully, she was still packing or chasing her cat, but even if she was there I could easily move further into the trees. An image of Jasmine’s breasts straining against the frill of that blue dress popped into my head. My feet stopped and my hand reached across the middle of my jeans.
Shaking the thought away and telling myself later, I carried on walking. There were too many cons for her coming with, including my uncontrollable urges to get between her legs. Where witches good in bed? I growled and set everything aside as I navigated the woods. The sounds of motorbikes filled my ears. I was coming close to the back of the church and the graveyard now.
A startled cry came from that direction, making me stop and turn my head. I heard the sound of laughter and voices. Frowning and unable to stop myself, I went to the tree line. I couldn’t see anything other then the side of the church and the beginning of the graveyard. I’d have to get closer…
Sticking to the church wall, I crept over and peered around the corner. My heart sank and all thoughts of leaving Jasmine behind slipped away. She was standing in the middle of the biker gang. The four heavy set guys and two thin girls were grouped around her. They motorbikes formed an out wall, making it seem that they too were ganging up on her.
They all worn black leather jackets with a fading biker gang name on that I couldn’t make out. The girls were both wearing denim bare thread short shorts and tank tops. The men had either leather pants or torn jeans with scruffy t-shirts or vest tops.
As I watched, one the girls, who had long wild brown hair, ripped something out of Jasmine’s hands. It was a plastic animal carrier cage, out of which came a loud meow. The girl looked inside and passed it to one of the guys.
‘Can your cat fly, witch?’ the girl taunted.
‘No,’ Jasmine cried, ‘leave him alone!’
The group laughed then the man holding the cat carrier swept his arm around and flung it away like a Frisbee. The cat let out a long howl whilst at the same time Jasmine screamed and tried to dash after the carrier. Another guy, who seemed to be the leader, wrapped an arm around her throat. She chocked and clawed at him, but he didn’t let go as the group roared with laughter.
The cage landed with a loud thunk, just avoiding a headstone. I looked over and saw that it was close by. Listening and watching, I waited for a sign of life and when the cat mewed softly, an idea came into my head. I licked my dry lips and slipped my fingers down to my right boot. I eased out my sheathed hunting knife and began thinking of a plan of attack.
‘You know for a witch you’ve got a fine body,’ the man holding Jasmine spoke out.
My eyes shot back up and watched as the leader brought his other hand up and began massaging Jasmine’s right breast. She turned her head up and away to look at the tree tops. Her face twisted into an unpleasant, pained look. The leader dropped his head to her exposed neck and licked it with a long, wet tongue.
The other men chuckled, but the two girls didn’t look happy. Jasmine had her head turned too far away now, but my guess was that she wasn’t enjoying the attention at all.
The leader whispered something in her ear then turned back to the rest of his gang, ‘the witch is up for a little fun, I think!’
Laughter rose and they made to move off.
Unsheathing my knife, I held the handle in my right arm and rested the blade against my bare lower arm. Slipping the leather holder back in my boot, I darted out and snatched up the cat carrier. A small yowl rose out of it. Hiding the knife as best I could, I walked towards the group.
‘Hey! I think you forgot something!’ I yelled and jiggled the cat carrier lightly.
Another yowl came from the box as they all looked at me. Frowns and puzzlement appeared on their faces. I approached the circle and went to stand in the middle of it. A large hiking bag with lots of things tied to it lay on the grass close to Jasmine’s and the leader’s feet. I lowered the cat carrier to my side and kept the knife tugged away in my other hand.
‘Who the fuck are you?’ the leader snarled.
I shrugged, ‘just a traveler.’
‘This is non of your business, leave.’
‘It’s cool. I only wanted a piece of the action,’ I drawled and grinned in Jasmine’s direction.
She mumbled something that sounded like my name but I couldn’t have been sure.
‘You know this loser?’ the leader asked, he moved his arm so Jasmine’s head would move towards me.
‘No,’ she sighed.
The leader looked me up and down then said, ‘whatever, but you’ll have to wait your turn.’
‘I did see her first though,’ I challenged and slowly moved close to him and her.
‘Fuck off,’ the leader growled, ‘this is my turf and the witch belongs to me.’
‘I don’t belong to anyone!’ Jasmine shouted.
She brought her elbow up and hit him in the chin. The leader cried out and Jasmine turned enough away from him to give me a clear shot.
I jumped forward and stuck the hunting knife deep into his stomach. I yanked it out and pressed the cat carrier into Jasmine’s hands as he buckled over. I sprinted for the first motorbike I saw, tucking the knife away into the back of my jeans and scrambling on, hoping that Jasmine was behind me. I heard the cries and shouts from the rest of the biker gang and knew any moment one for them would be grabbing me off.
I started the engine and felt a lot of power flowing through me. Then Jasmine was hitting me on the shoulder with the car carrier and I was tearing away. One of the men got in the way, but I pulled the bike to the right. We almost skidded out of control, but then I directed it forward again.
‘They’re coming!’ Jasmine yelled into my ear.
We bounced over a headstone and the massive monster machine threaten to throw us off. I wrestled to get it back under control whilst the sound of other motorbikes filled the air. I drove into the tree line, feeling branches whipping me. I thought I heard Jasmine cry out then shout something. I ducked my head then deciding keeping it down was the best idea.
Somehow I guided us through the trees and we came out on a road. I gunned it. The motorbike roared beneath me and as everything started to flash by I had a hard time seeing. Tears fuzzed my vision and I was aware of two things jabbing into me on either side. I wanted to risk I glance over my shoulder to see if they were catching up, but it was too dangerous to take my eyes off the worn out road.
A cross way appeared before us and with a quick thought, I steered the bike to the right. The road here was worse and we bumped along for a few moments. I risked a look across then and saw three motorbikes zooming after us. I yanked the bike to the right, angling my body with it and off roading into a clump of trees.
I popped back on the road again and shot down it. I nudged Jasmine who was hanging on to my hiking bag for dear life.
‘What are they doing?’ I yelled.
‘Turning around!’ she screamed, ‘why are we going back?’
Ignoring her, I spotted a turn off coming up and took it. The motorbike, still acting like a wild bull under me tried to launch us off again, but I kept a tight grip and drove it on. My mind raced with all kinds of thoughts and I couldn’t stop it enough to think clearly. The road ahead split to the left and the right. Guessing the right led to the village, I took the left and we passed a burnt out car I recalled seeing on my way in.
I knew how to try and lose this guys.
A few more minutes down the road, which flashed by on the motorbike, I spotted the remains of a bridge. I aimed towards it, remembering that though it was full of holes it still had seemed strong enough. I ploughed on, then at the last moment veered off to the side and down to the river. Above me, I heard the roar of engines and the rattling of the bridge.
I glanced up and saw that they had been unable to turn off in time. I wrestled the motorbike around and we almost ended up sideways. Fighting for control, I got the beast directed backwards up the sloping river embankment and drove back onto the road. I half wanted to stop and see what had happened, but it would have wasted time, especially if they or one of them hadn’t fallen for it.
I drove us on for awhile then spotted another church bell tower poking out of the trees. I looked behind us and saw the road was empty. Maybe it had worked after all? I looked back and saw the line of a road coming up on the right. I turned on to it and drove towards the church.
Avoiding the twisted iron that had once formed a gate and fence, I brought the motorbike to the back of the church and cut the engine. We were sheltered by a lot of tall trees and nature.
‘You still alive back there?’ I spoke softly.
‘Just,’ came a small reply.
I felt Jasmine getting off the motorbike and falling to the ground. I hopped off and knelt beside her. Her face was wet and she was shaking, but she didn’t look hurt. She shrugged off the hiking bag, she had somehow manged to grip. Jasmine turned to the carrier, opened it and took the black cat out. Surprisingly, he had survived. She hugged him to her chest and buried her face into his fur. He mewed and looked at me.
‘Did you see what happened?’ I asked her breathlessly.
‘One of them fell off the bridge, the other two stopped in time. They went to help him,’ Jasmine’s muffled voice came.
‘We need to keep moving. They’re going to come after us.’
I pulled out my knife, which had been badly digging in my back and sheathed it again. Tucking it into my boot, I went back to the motorbike and climbed on. Jasmine said something to the cat and gently placed him back in the carrier. He went in without any fuss then she picked up her bag and the box up before scrambling up behind me.
I started the engine once more and guided the machine around, I was getting use to it now. We followed our tracks back and jumped onto the road again. I looked left and right but couldn’t see anything. The sound of the motorbike made it hard for me to hear, but I took Jasmine’s word of it and drove us off down the road.
Hi there, thanks for reading this story. If you have any feedback of any kind please feel free to send it to me, I like reading and replying to comments. Plus, it helps improve my writing.
At this moment, I’ve no further plans for ‘Here We Stand’ though I’m kind of tempted to turn it into a novel for NaNoWriMo this year, because I think there’s a lot more to tell! I’m not sure yet though, but it would be interesting to here your thoughts.
As with all my stories, I just let them unfold, so it’s hard to predicted how long they’ll end up sometimes. I do feel sad to finish this one though. Elk seemed to be developing into an interesting character and yeah, I know the science fiction-dystopia setting didn’t really come across how I wanted it to, but sometimes I just find it hard to cram everything in to these short stories.
Anyway, thanks for all your support and I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this story. Here’s to a new month of writing!
Uma started running through the forest, letting the small house and the twinkling light from the open back door disappear into the growing night. With a quick glance behind her, Uma saw the shadows detaching themselves from the trunks of the trees. She fixed her eyes on the path ahead and tried not to think about it.
Fallen branches and old leaves crunched under her feet, but it sounded so loud in her ears. Her breathing too had already spiked and Uma tried to keep it steady, a part of her knowing she would never out run them like this. A low tree branch whipped against her and Uma cried out as she was pinged backwards.
Thinking it was one of them who had grabbed her, memories flashed before her eyes like photos. Uma saw the Ouija board blood splattered, black shapes forming across the basement walls and the bodies of her friends laying about. Screaming, crying and that God awful wailing filled her ears. She had gotten out somehow, the wooden stairs biting hands as long black fingers reached for her….
Coming back to, Uma saw the tree above her. Desperately, she fought to untangle the hood of her blue coat. Twisting this way and that, she saw over her shoulders the black mist becoming more solid. Finally stopping, she claimed back her hood and thought about taking her coat off. Her breath misting in front of her made her pause. It was the height of summer and yet the forest was freezing.
A wailing sounded behind her and Uma turned. The shadows had taken on the form of humans, only if the bodies and limbs had been stretched totally out of proportion. There long arms reached out for her, see through hands with trailing claw like fingers waving in the air. Their faces were empty, just black balls on stick necks and yet the sound was coming from somewhere.
Uma screamed without meaning too. The fear bursting out of her as if a balloon had been popped. She spun around, but too fast and lost her footing. She fell to the forest floor, tasting dirt and blood in her mouth. As she tried to scramble upwards, icy fingers wrapped around her foot.
Another scream ripped through her, startling some birds from a tree. Uma tried to kick away and get up, but the ground was slippy and she was now unbalanced. Uma flopped over and began madly kicking to try and free herself, but the ghosts were upon her and they had no intentions of letting her go now.
Heroines needed. Capes optional.
a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps
Taking On The World One Journey At A Time...
Thoughts and Perspectives From the Mind of a Common Girl