Skeleton

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I was a mild winter and leaves were still clinging to the branches. People had been acting like it was spring but too long I had been sleeping. Now, I reached out frosty fingers and touched the living till they froze and they died until my warmer sister arrived.

Frozen In Time #WUWritingPrompt

The windows were crazed by icy lines as if a spider had gone hyperactive and spun it’s web madly. Frost lay inside the house as well as out, showing that this place had long been abandoned to nature.

My breath fogged before my face and I had cover my mouth and nose with my scarf. Dust lay thick and a crumbled calendar on the wall was dated ten years ago.

I didn’t fear the homeless, drug users or anyone else who might be here because the house wasn’t suitable. It was colder then outside and the water was frozen in the pipes. Plus, this house was far from anywhere else. My guess was it could have been the game keeper’s home from what had once been a big estate before the land had been sold off for the building of new houses.

I photographed what interested me, taking my time and enjoying this experience of untouched urban exploring.

A lone mug stood on the windowsill as if someone had been drinking tea whilst looking out at the winter snowstorm. I captured that moment feeling like it summed up the atmosphere in the house.

 

(Inspired by; https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/enzo-stephens-just-stay-home/ with thanks).

White Woods

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Winter was my favourite season. There was something so satisfying about crunching over snow and leaving footprints behind. I spent as much time outside as possible, I loved visiting woods and the countryside. I liked to photograph the snow draped scenery and the cobweb lines of frost on rocks.

Robin #TaleWeaver

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It was early morning and still mostly dark. The grass was crisp with frost and the road sparkling. Most people were still in bed but I was making my way to the church. It was the eve before Christmas Eve and many things still needed to be done.

I was dressed not in my normal vicar robes but a heavy coat underneath was a handmade wool cardigan, black shirt with my white colour, grey trousers and soft shoes. Even so, I still felt winter’s chill and I knew once inside it would be even colder.

My house wasn’t that far away but I had to walk up a narrow pathway then enter the back of the graveyard and go across there to the small side door. It was treacherous  when icy or snowy but last night hadn’t been cold enough to make it so.

I opened the gate to the graveyard, which I kept well oiled as I hated the loud screeching squeak. The headstones looked strange in the half light, some looked like fallen rocks and others like hunched figures. There were a few pathways that led through and I took the main one up. The grass was kept short, as I liked it and the gravestones well tended even if there was no family member left to do so.

I got the door, unlocked it with a too larger key and stepped inside. The smells of wax and damp stone met me. I stomped my boots and hurried to turn on the lights and the old 1960’s heaters. They should have been replaced long ago but money was needed else were and I don’t think it would matter anyway. Nothing could keep the church warm – too many gaps in the windows, doors and brickwork now.

I got on with my tasks; placing candles about, fixing the wings of an angel that a child had snapped off the other day. Make sure the winter food giving table was’t over full and removing a few things into the boxes underneath. I checked the stacks of prayer books, bibles, song sheets and other papers make sure no mice had gotten to them and they weren’t left too close to the leaking windows.

There were loads of other things but I didn’t made doing them. It give me time to think and enjoy the silence of the church. I sometimes hummed hymens, played a tune on the organ or went though some of the CD music to easily remember their numbers without having to look it up.

My final task before leaving the church was to check to the mice traps. Any little furries in there, I would collect and take the traps outside with me when I left. I didn’t believe like the last vicar and groundskeeper that they should be killed. I caught them alive and set them free in the fields I past by on the way home.

Today, as I did that and watched their little white and brown bodies disappearing into the frosty grass, I saw a robin on the fence post. He seemed to be watching me.

‘Good day,’ I whispered.

He put his head to one side as if wondering why I was speaking to him.

‘Cold out isn’t it? The church might be a bit warmer but don’t get frozen on the window sills!’

He chirped a little and dropped down into the grass.

‘Robins always remind me of Christmas. It’s said one relight a fire in the stable and an ember burnt his chest. Of course, there are lots of other stories,’ I spoke.

The robin fluttered about, looking for food and I wished I’d brought something with me.

‘Next time, little fellow,’ I said and walked back to my warm house and breakfast.

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/12/19/tale-weaver-254-christmas-tales-19-12/ with thanks).

In The Boat

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The sun was dipping low and reflecting on the lake’s still surface as if there was a second sun setting on another world under the water.

I didn’t look back as I walked on the planks towards the small blue painted wooden boat that lay in the tall rush reeds. I was calm in mind; empty headed my grandmother would describe it as.

Untying the boat, I pushed it out so the bottom wouldn’t get stuck then got in. I rowed out, noticing the thin mist parting around me and the ripples the oars created. It was all ready freezing out here and a thin frost was settling were it could. I could imagine the morning sun making the frost glitter like candlelight on crystal.

Stopping, I lay down in the boat’s belly and listened to the lapping of the small waves. I shut my eyes and let the cold come to me. Tomorrow, they would find me with frost on my eyelashes and lips. My yellow and gold lace trim ball gown frozen to my body and his last letter against my heart.

 

Snow Sparkle

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The snowflakes came, sparkling in full moonlight whilst everyone slept. Like broken fairy wings, they landed on frost that shone like diamonds. The snow stuck and soon a white blanket glittered under the starry night.

Fog

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The fog lay thick across the countryside creating an eerie scene that was straight out of an American horror movie. To make matters worse, Krystal was standing in a graveyard. She shivered in her fake fur lined Parker coat and checked the time on the church clock. The large hands were still on quarter to ten.

‘Has it stopped?’ she asked out loud then put her hands into her pockets to find her phone.

‘That clock ain’t been a workin’ for years, lassie,’ a voice answered out of nowhere.

Krystal jumped and spun around, but she could see no one.

The fog was wrapped around the large headstones masking them like death shrouds. The smaller headstones were buried in the long frost covered grass. An old bare tree rattled in the wind and when the sky did appear from behind the fog, it was still dark as if the sun was still asleep.

‘Hello?’ Krystal called out.

‘Hello,’ the same voice replied.

‘Who are you?’ she asked.

A figure started to form and an old man, dressed in brown clothes and holding a tool box appeared.

‘I’m Tom. The caretaker,’ the man replied.

‘Oh….’ Krystal trailed.

She stared hard at the old man. He seemed solid enough and his face was covered in wrinkles. His skin also had that brown tan that comes with a life working outside. He came forward and stood opposite her.

‘And what’s a nice lassie like thee doin’ here?’ Tom asked.

‘Waiting for someone,’ Krystal said with a shrug.

‘A boy, huh?’ the old caretaker questioned.

Krystal didn’t reply. She looked away, thinking maybe she had heard footsteps and voices.

‘Thee shouldn’t linger long here, lassie. These old ghosts never rest. Ah, old Tommy got works to do. Farewell,’ Tom added and walked away.

She watched him disappear into the mists then with a shake of her head mutter, ‘what a werdio.’

The sound of running footsteps caused her head to turn. From the fog came another form, but it was someone Krystal was much more happier to see.

‘James! Over here!’ she called and ran to meet her boyfriend.

‘Sorry, I’m late, dad had me printing out tomorrows hymens,’ he said as they hugged.

‘Did you see that creepy caretaker?’ Krystal asked.

‘Caretaker? What?’ James asked and glanced around.

‘I think he said his name was Tom. Did your dad just employ him?’

‘Kris, what are you talking about?’ James cut in.

‘It doesn’t matter…Let’s go.’

Krystal took his hand and they walked over to the church.

 

Thursday photo prompt – Fog– #writephoto

Fairy Shrine

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Lucy walked briskly through the woods, letting her dogs run free. This early in the morning the paths were almost empty and Lucy thought how wise people were to stay in bed. She longed to be back in the dry warmth instead of out here in the freezing damp.

Winter had arrived over night shaking away the mild glorious autumn. A thick frost covered the ground turning everything white. Small puddles were iced over and tree trunks were splattered with water crystal patterns. A thin fog hung high between the tree tops, hills and clear bright blue sky.

Lucy’s breath misted before her face and no matter how much she tried she couldn’t stay warm. Her boots scuffed over the stone pathway then she turned off and walked up a slope of grass into large group of trees. The frosty grass and fallen leaves crunched under her in nice crispy sounds. Ahead, she heard dogs barking and as she walked passed the first tree, she saw her four dogs fighting over a large branch.

The big husky was yanking one end of the branch whilst the border collie cross and cocker spaniel had the other. The jack russel was stood in the middle barking his head off.

Laughing, Lucy took out her phone and snapped some photos.  Then calling the dogs to her, she carried on walking. The jack russel was the first to come to her heels. Encouraging him on, the others gave chase and they all vanished into the trees once more. Following the path upwards, she walked her normal route.

However, as Lucy reached the top of the hill she decided to go left instead of right and take the shorter way back. Calling the dogs to her, she headed into a more dense part of the woods. The tree branches were bare above her and arching upwards to the sky. There were less leaves covering the floor up here and the ground was hard. Hurrying on and making sure she had all the dogs with her, Lucy noticed something.

Above her was an exposed rocky section of the hill and there was a doorway a meter further down.

‘What is that? I’ve never seen it before,’ Lucy spoke aloud.

Interested, she walked towards it and came to a stop before the doorway. It was made of white stones and seemed to lead into somewhere. It was too dark to see though. Walking on, she wondered if there was a pathway along there. Forgetting about the cold, she headed on and when the path came to lead off in a few directions, she turned left on a path that rose up and matched the one she had been on.

The dogs were barking in the distance and for a moment she wonder what trouble they were causing. Her eyes spotted the white doorway and all other thoughts left her mind. The doorway was low and narrow, but she could fit inside. Digging out her phone again, she turned on the torch and shone it in.

A passageway led further in, the walls, floor and ceiling were white like the doorway. Lucy stood up and glanced around. She thought about calling the dogs back to her. If there was something dangerous in there they could defend her. However, they were bound to get in the way. Shrugging, Lucy walked inside.

A few steps and the passageway opened into a small room. Objects were scattered everywhere; dried and dead flowers, statues of fairies and angels, coins, a small plastic waterfall, burnt out candles, teddy bears, tea cups and note cards.

Puzzled, Lucy shone the light around more then bent to look at one of the note cards. It was in a child’s handwriting and she could hardly read it because of the bad spelling. It seemed to be a wish of some kind. Lucy looked at the next few and they all seemed to be wishes.

Something wet pressed against her hand. Lucy cried and jump twisted around.

‘Benny!’ she cried at the jack russel, ‘don’t do that!’

The little dog wagged his tail and barked.

Lucy patted his head and looked around again.

‘What is this place?’ she asked.

Benny barked and jumped up at her.

Scrubbing his ears, Lucy heard her other dogs scuffling outside. Sighing, she headed back out. Dusting herself off, she walked back along the pathway, wondering about the tiny cave, the offerings and the wishes left inside.

 

(Story inspired from: https://scvincent.com/2016/11/24/thursday-photo-prompt-mystery-writephoto/ with thanks. Click to read stories other writers wrote.)

Frost

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Jack Frost opened his eyes and raised his head up. Around him, in the small underground cave he called home all the dead leaves with covered in ice. He rolled over, stretched and feeling -but not feeling as it- were the chill of the air around him. He rested back, putting his long pale blue arms across his skeleton chest and interlocking even longer fingers.

Looking up at the soil and roots above him, Jack listened to the earth. He had half hoped he’d been wrongly awoken, but no, autumn was coming to an end and it was time for him to go to work. He wiggled his long pointer toes then rolled back over and got on to his hands and knees.

He climbed out of his home and using the roots of the tree above, stood up. He could see the woodland floor was covered in leaves and mud, the tree branches above were bare and the sky was a dark grey wash. He began walking, leaving a trail of shiny white frost behind.

Jack reached his long fingers out and began touching the tree trunks and tall bushes. The icy spikes began to spread and he left them to cover everything. He walked down to the river’s edge and though there was little he could do to make the whole thing ice over, he tried anyway. It just wasn’t cold enough yet though and he could only form small ice patches.

He wandered on, trailing his fingers everywhere and leaving the frost behind him. Jack became lost in thought and sometime later he stopped and looked up at the sky. He could see the coming dawn.

How much longer until Santa arrives and brings the snow with him? Jack wondered.

He could never tell, only he knew it when he felt it.

He walked to the top of a hill. The highest one in the woods. He rose his hands to the sky and sent out waves of frost. Small snowflakes fell about him, telling Jack his frost was on its way to places. Yawing, he saw that dawn was tinting the sky yellow. He walked slowly back to his home, crawled inside and curled up to sleep again.

Tomorrow he would awaken again and create more frost.