Rant #SundayWritingPrompt

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I wasn’t sure what had happened in the kitchen of the abandoned house. It was clear someone had emptied all the cupboards and sent everything tumbling to the floor. Broken plates crunched under my boots, it was unavoidable if I wanted to walk across.

Perhaps, someone was looking for treasure they believed had been hidden here? Maybe it was just mindless destruction of youths?

Whatever had happened I hated it with a passion. Why did people have to destroy everything? I liked things left as they had been, it give a much better picture of the last people here.

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/sunday-writing-prompt-238-rant/ with thanks).

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The Light

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I hadn’t walked in Crow Woods since we had moved away thirty years ago. Trailing my fingers across the rough trunk bark of the first tree, I took a deep breath. The heavy scent of damp soil and green nature with a hint of pine was all too familiar. Underneath me on the single track, mud coated my boots and there was touch of frost and ice in places no one had yet been.

The sight of all the trees like old friends, made me recall my childhood. Everyday, I’d come here to play, my imagination fuelled by the nature and freedom. I hadn’t needed anyone else or any toys, I had searched and used what the woods had. Sticks had became swords to fight off monsters, the stream became a mighty river that I sailed on and tree hallows had turned into deep caves.

I smiled at the memories. I had been so lucky. Pausing, I looked around and admired the bare trees as they reached skyward. Birds were singing in the distance and there was a breeze now knocking things together. I shut my eyes and thought if I listened hard enough I could hear the ghost of my mother’s voice calling me home.

Mum didn’t like me staying out once it got dark. I had to agree with her as once the light had gone from the sky something seemed to happen to Crow Woods. It was a hard feeling to describe but it was like the atmosphere changed to a dark, grim feeling. You could no longer trust the trees or the ground, they harboured shadows with ill intent. But the light was the worse part.

Reaching the last stretch of trees, I ducked under their shade as if I was a shy child again. Stretching in front of me was a low raise, framed by a rusty wire fence then wild fields surrounding a hill with a flat top. I couldn’t see it now because of all the growth but this was Crow Farm and up there had been the house.

A lingering fear grew in my stomach as I remembered everything. Only once, I had been up to that hill and stood in the ashes of the house. I had told my parents and they had forbidden me to return. It was dangerous and trespassing, if anyone catches you they could shoot you! Despite my fear, curiosity stayed with me but I didn’t leave Crow Woods again. Though I came close countless times.

I heard a woman singing sweetly, often on cloudy afternoons when I had followed the stream too far down. I would go looking for her but I would never find her and instead end up on the boarder of Crow Farm. On Sundays, I would hear children playing and laughing when there was no one else there. When it rained and I tried to go home, some strange wanting to be in the woods would overcome me and I’d have to fight it off.

Then I started seeing the light. It was a single beam from a high window, but it was so strong that it shone out over the trees. It came on cloudy and rainy days, in the evening whenever the daylight was low so that It would be seen more clearly. I followed the light sometimes, when I was feeling brave and I would end up at Crow Farm. There on the hill, I would see the shadow outline of the the house with one of the upstairs rooms lit up.

I didn’t tell anyone. I thought at first it was just my imagination but it was just too real to be. Later on, fear kept me away as I started seeing figures and hearing piano music coming from the house. I stopped following the light and thought that would solve everything. I tried to go back to normal but I could never play in Crow Woods like I could be before.

One winter night, I woke up and found the light in my bedroom! It was shinning through my window and the beam was leading straight out to the farm house. I screamed and screamed but It didn’t stop. Only when my parents came in would the light leave and they thought I was having nightmares. There was no pattern to when the light would come but I knew it was not going to go away.

My parents tried everything; doctors, specialist, moving my bedroom, moving schools then finally we had moved house. Mum had always wanted to live on the coast and it was there that I found peace after six years. The light had become a faded memory, nothing more then a childhood accident that I grew out of.

Standing here now, all that was hard to believe but I knew it was true. The Light was still calling me, it always had been.         

Fanning The Flames #fridayfictioneers

‘It’s sabotage, you know,’ said my wife.

I pulled a face as we carried on looking out the window. In the street below our apartment two fire engines were putting out the fire engulfing the only house on the block.

‘They’ve been trying to knock down that house for years so they can build another complex there,’ she explained.

‘It was probably an accident,’ I responded.

‘Hopefully, they had good insure and can built another house then,’ my wife added.

A few months later, my wife was proven right.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/11/15/10-november-2017/ with thanks).

Long Nights

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When the house got to cold the best place to be was in bed. There I could wrap up warm in the winter duvet and blankets, turn on my little heater and wait till I could feel my toes again. I read a library book to distract myself and listened to the fan whirling as well as the noises of the old house. Sometimes I’d hear other things; animals, the weather, stray notes of music. Tonight there were fireworks.

I dozed in-between reading chapters and checking the time. It was far too early for bed, yet the darkness blocking the window was suggesting otherwise. I’d never slept well in this house, even as a child when I’d come to stay with my grandparents which had been too often…

The memories were still heavy in the air, single moments playing over and over again, like ghosts I couldn’t escape from. I hate being trapped here, just like back then, but no one wanted to buy the house and without a sale I couldn’t move into other. So, it was either this roof over my head or none. I’d already been ‘none’ a few times and any roof was far better.

Perhaps, it was some unknown unfinished business holding me here or a curse? I didn’t believe in either thing. It was just the bad luck of my life. Reminding myself to contact a few people tomorrow, I closed my book and turned the heater off. The bedroom was warmer. I kept the lamp on though, I never slept in the totally darkness.

Settling down, I listened to the fireworks still going off in the distance. It was a few days after bonfire night but people still seemed to be celebrating. The loud popping, whizzing, bangs and crackles re-breaking every few minutes. I kept second guessing when it was over till it finally was.

Then, in the house I hated with a passion, blissful sleep stole me away.

Clock

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Liz lay awake, listening to the echoing ticks of the clock in the living room as 2am arrived. She wasn’t use to the new house so sleeping was difficult. The bed felt too hard and the pillows were not her own. Strange shadows crossed the window and walls. The air smelt like fresh paint, wood and clean sheets.

Liz turned onto her side and came face to face with Bex, her girlfriend, who was fast asleep. In the dark, Liz couldn’t make out the soft lines of Bex’s face or her dyed rainbow coloured hair. Liz moved slowly, hoping that maybe she could snuggle against Bex and hold her. That position might help settle her down. However, Bex was curled up too much on her side.

Sighing, Liz wondered, how can you sleep with that damn clock ticking away?  

Turning back over, Liz looked up at the ceiling and breathed deeply. Shutting her eyes, Liz pictured the clock. It hung high above the grey stone fireplace, screwed to the wall. It’s face was yellow stained and rust was coming through in small patches. The metal frame the clock sat in was a rusted dark red almost black colour whatever the frame had originally been was long gone. Then there were the stumpy pointed hands; black and stumbling as they made their way around.

I wish we could remove it, Liz thought, but it’s screwed too tight. Maybe I can stop it from working then cover it with something?  

With her mind now focused on something Liz, felt more awake then ever. Tossing onto her other side, she shut her eyes and tried to let everything go. However, the ticking clock thundered in her ears, breaking the stillness like a screaming baby.

Throwing the sheets back, Liz got out of the bed, put her slippers on and fumbled through the darkness to the door. A small slit of light was coming through so she opened the door enough to fit then closed it quickly behind her. The hallway came into focus before her, the light casting down to touch the next door, the stairs and the front door.

Liz crept downstairs, turned away from the front door and went into the first room. She turned on the light and looked up at the clock straight away.

‘You’re ticked your last tick,’ she said under her breath.

Glancing around, Liz spotted a smaller hammer in a box. They had been using it to put nails in the wall to hang up some pictures. Grabbing it, she then had to go out into and into the dinning room to get the step ladder. Dodging the piles of boxes and the handful of furniture which had been temperately stored there, Liz got the ladder.

Setting the ladder up at the foot of the fireplace, she climbed up and came face to face with the clock. Smiling, Liz raised the hammer and swung it into the centre of the clock. There was a tinkling and a rain of glass. The hands stopped in shock and a large dint appeared middle way, in-between twelve and six.

The ticking paused but then continued as if nothing had happened.

Liz struck the clock face again. Harder this time, letting out a gasp as she did so. This time the hammer went right through the clock, the dint stretching to a hole exposing the cog mechanism inside.

‘Stay stopped this time!’ Liz threatened.

 

Silence filled the air as the clock froze. Liz smiled, waves of stress leaving her. Then a police siren blasted and Liz wobbled on the ladder. Crying out, she clutched the top and curled her slipped feet around the rung she was on. Dragging in deep breathes, she hurried down the ladder.

Dropping the hammer, she walked back upstairs. Feeling chilling, she was grateful to slip into the warm bed. Curling up, Liz shut her eyes and prepared to drift off. Though as sleep claimed her, Liz heard a very faint tick tock.

No, that’s not the clock, Liz thought.

Tick.

Tock.

Tick.

Liz’s eyes flew up and she shot up from the bed.

‘That damn clock!’ she shouted.

‘Huh? what?’ Bex mumbled.

‘I broke the clock, but it’s still going!’

Bex rolled over, stretched and yawed before saying, ‘what clock?’

‘The living room one. It’s been driving me mad!’

Bex paused then reached out and turned the light on. Turning to look seriously at her girlfriend, she answered, ‘I don’t hear anything.’     

Post It Note #39

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I heard it again last night. I don’t know what it is and I don’t wish to find out. It’s just not natural and it’s too disturbing! So, I’m leaving. Here’s my next month’s rent and good luck finding someone else to stay alive in this death house.

Old Shoes #FridayFictioneers

Who knew how long the boots had been in the shed but they were finally seeing light again. Gritting my teeth, hoping no spiders popped out, I carried the shoes onto the lawn and laid them down with everything else.

Something tickled across my hand. I looked and spotted a small spider. I screamed, flung my hand about then did a crazy dance around the garden. Breathing deeply, I glanced around, panic soaring through me. Of course, the spider was no where to be seen. Traumatised I rushed inside my new house and washed my hands repeatedly.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/09/20/22-september-2017/ with thanks).

 

Hurricane

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It was coming. Atlanta could hear the gale force winds rattling the storm shutters and the rain pelting the roof. She held her breath and hugged her dog, Greg, tighter. He didn’t seem to mind but then he was old and deaf.

They was sat in a small yellow tent set up in the far corner of the cellar. Dim amber fairy lights in the shape stars cast some light down, but it wasn’t enough to do anything by. Atlanta’s didn’t really mind though as long as she wasn’t in the dark.

‘I’m safe. Everything is fine,’ Atlanta muttered.

Every since she had heard about the high chance of the hurricane last week, she had be preparing. All the kitchen and basement cupboards were stocked with bottled water, long life food, matches and extra gas canisters for the camping stove. She had double or triple camping equipment items and a whole range of lighting; battery and candle lanterns, torches and spare candles.

Atlanta picked up her headphones which were top of the range noise cancelling and selected some loud classic music from her ipod.

‘There’s nothing else to do now it’s here,’ she said aloud.

She rubbed Greg’s ears then wrapped herself in a thermal sleeping bag and began waiting out the hurricane.

Midnight Cries

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It was a few minutes after two in the morning, when on a quiet street in Liverpool the crying of a woman could be heard. Nearly all the people were in bed and only a few slices of lights from curtains not fully closed could be seen. It was also raining and had been for a good few hours, so everything was wet.

A letter slot rattled and the ghostly wailing of the woman roamed through a house and echoed up the street. People stirred in their sleep and a few started to awake up. A cat begin yowling, sounding like a baby demanding attention. The woman cried loudly and the old man living in the house woke up.

He listened to the crying for a few moments then he decided it was only the wind. He rolled over and went back to sleep. So, he never heard the woman’s voice saying, ‘please let me in. I have no place to go!’

Down a few doors, the gate clanked and someone started knocking quickly on the door. The letter slot opened. A woman’s voice drifted upwards to where a young couple and their baby slept. The wife awoke and after checking the baby, poked her husband awake. They both listened and heard a woman crying.

‘Please, help me!’ a voice shouted, ‘I have nothing.’

Hands hammered at their door then the bell started ringing. The loud sound cutting through the night. The woman screamed and began banging the letter slot. The sound echoed and faded.

The husband rose to get out of the bed, but the wife gripped him and whispered, ‘no, don’t go.’

They tried to look at each other in the dark then husband turned the light on. They both looked tried, confused and worried. The baby stirred and woke up with a feeble crying. The wife scooped the baby up, quieting the cries if she didn’t want the baby to be heard.

‘Why not? She said she help,’ the husband muttered.

‘I have a bad feeling,’ the wife replied.

From their back garden came the squeal of the gate. They looked at each other then heard someone backing on the back door window. The sound thumped through the house. The wife clutched her baby tighter and pressed her face into her husband’s shoulder. Feeling torn, he wrapped his arms protectively around her.

A few minutes later, the knocking stopped and quietness crept on to the street again. However, it didn’t last long because across the road the woman began knocking at doors and crying again.

The husband kissed his wife and told her, ‘I’m phoning the police. Maybe something did happen to her or maybe she’s just crazy.’

The wife nodded and he reported the woman to the police. They tried to get back to sleep after but couldn’t as the woman continued to make a racket. When the police arrived at half past five, they couldn’t find any trace of the woman but a lot of the neighbours were shook up and wanted to make reports.

Though no one was sure of what the woman really wanted. It was suggest she was a burglar or part of of a burglary gang. Her cries of help had been a fake though with her not being talk to or found again, it was hard to say.

 

(Inspired from true events)

The Basement (Part 7)

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(Please be aware this story contains adult sexual content.) 

All I could breath in was soil and decay. My ears were ringing, partly deafening me. I went over to my wife and pressed my back against the door too. A part of me didn’t think this flimsy wood would keep the skeletons back.

‘Are you hurt?’ Raven asked me.

‘I don’t think so…’ I trailed.

I was in too much shock to be thinking clearly. I tried to listen through the door, but the sounds were muffled. I reached for Raven’s hand and held it tightly. We listened and waited for the skeletons. A minute later, we heard banging and groaning. The door vibrated along our backs.

‘Let’s make a run for it. We can lose them in the cellars,’ Raven spoke.

Arming herself once again with the bits of coffin lid she had tossed aside, my wife walked a few steps then broke in a jog. I followed, not sure what else to do but thinking that Raven might be right. The cellars were a twisted maze and we should easily reached the house again before the skeletons got anywhere near us.

We headed back through the dirt tunnel, not talking just concentrating. Images flashed by me; the cloth rags around the bones, the shuffling footsteps, the grinning jaws, the missing teeth. The crumbled skeletons piling at my feet and Raven, my amazing woman, fighting then and taking so many down.

Why had they attacked us? How had they come to life? I had thought the house might be haunted…by ghosts and normal creepiness, but this? Animated skeletons in the basement? My brain was getting tried trying to answer those questions and more. My body was aching all over and the torch felt so heavy in my hand.

From behind us, the door broke down, sending a cloud of dirty towards us. I stole looks back and saw the skeletons pulling themselves out of the debris. At the back of my mind, I had been hoping that the door would stop them. Maybe, there’d been some magic seal or something that would stop them and trap the skeletons like before when we hadn’t entered.

Raven raced ahead of me and her torch light become just a dot. I tried to pick up speed, but I was too tried. Slowly and without wanting to, I came to a stop. Doubling over, I tried to breath but my throat was burning. Everything seemed to spin around me, waving in and out of focus like fast changing storm clouds. I couldn’t do anything to stop myself from going down.

Claws in my leg, right between the top of my boot of the cuffs of my black jeans. The clattering of loose teeth and clicking of bones, brought the last few minutes back into my head. I snapped awake, twisting around, thinking it had all been a dream, but then I realised I was laying face down in musty soil, my fingers hitting against a torch.

‘Crow? Crow? Where are you?’ Raven’s voice was screaming in the distance.

I took a deep breath and grabbing the torch, swung back at it. I heard the connection of plastic and bone. The tightness on my leg released and I scrambled upwards. Not looking back as I had enough fuel for nightmares to last the rest of my life, I bolted down the rest of the soil passage way and into Raven.

She had been coming back for me and I sent us both sprawling to the floor.

‘Are you okay? Where did you go?’ Raven gushed.

‘I tripped. I’m fine,’ I said.

We hugged tightly and helped each other up. We walked the rest of the way, holding each other as if we had been for a simple stroll around the rose gardens. Gratefully, I hobbled through the doorway and into the cellar.

I slummed down, slipping out of Raven’s arms. Pain was spiking through my ankle. I heard her closing the door and scrambling around.

‘What you doing?’ I mumbled.

‘Slowing them down,’ Raven replied.

I eased myself up  and watched my wife, shoving wood planks up against the door to block it. I should help, I wanted to help, but I couldn’t move. Laying down seemed the best thing to do right now.  Sleep was also good. I shut my eyes and felt myself drift.

‘Crow!’

A hand slapped my face and I awoke quickly.

‘You are hurt,’ Raven said.

In the torch light I could see her face was a worried and dirt streaked. The warrior seemed to be wearing out of her.

‘Not really. I’m okay, just my ankle….I twisted it,’ I told her.

Raven helped me up and I hobbled along side her. We went back through the cellar rooms till I thought we must be lost because it had been so long and everything looked the same.

‘We need to stop. I can’t go on,’ I said and aimed myself towards the floor.

Raven let me go and I sank down heavily like a anchor. I pressed my back against the cold, damp wall and looked up at Raven. She was tried. Her shoulders were slumped, her arms dragging downwards and she was breathing more deeply then I had seen her do so before.

She sat down next to me. Her boots scrapping the ground. She brought her knees up and pressed her face into them with some difficulty given her curvy frame.

We were silent. The darkness filled the void between us. I shut my eyes and let sleep claim me. I dreamed of nothing, just pools of darkness.

Raven shuffling brought me back too. We hadn’t turned the torches out, at least I don’t recall if we did and now Raven was bashing her’s in her palm and flicking the switch on and off.

I felt for mine and checked it. The beam seemed a bit dimmer but it was still working.

‘How much further?’ I asked.

‘Not far,’ Raven replied giving up with her torch, ‘I’m sure we must nearly be there.’

‘How sure?’

Raven looked at me her face serious then crumbling, ‘I don’t know…’

‘Are we lost?’

‘I…think so,’ Raven chocked, ‘I was too worried about you and I wasn’t thinking…’

‘It’s okay,’ I said softly, rubbing her back, ‘we’ll figure it out.’

Raven nodded.

We steeled ourselves and started walking again. This time I paid attention to the rooms, noticing the few bits and pieces as we passed. Twice we walked back into the final room and we heard from the hidden doorway banging and groaning. The door was strangely holding the skeletons back.

Finally, Raven found some sharp stones and we began marking the rooms as we went through them. That helped and at last we found the staircase. Heading upwards, I wondered what condition things would be in, but my mind was really far from that. I wanted to eat, sleep and hold my wife tightly.

Raven opened the door and went though to collapse at the kitchen table. I joined her, noticing how bright it was and how dirty we both were. My glass of half drunk water from hours ago was still on the table. I picked it up and drained it. Getting up, I went to the sank and drink straight from the table. I scrubbed my hands and face.

I got Raven a glass of water and watched her drink it slowly.

‘Are you okay?’ I asked.

‘I think so…’

‘Listen, Raven…’

‘I love you, Crow.’

‘I love you too,’ I replied.

‘And this house is just perfect,’ she add, getting up and hugging me, ‘I can’t believe it, skeletons in the cellar! What more could I have asked for!’

‘So, you’re not upset,’ I mumbled into her shoulder.

She kissed me and answered, ‘far from it.’