It was just a dream and she knew it, but still she clung on hoping to be wrong.
(Inspired from; https://allaboutwritingandmore.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/daily-picture-prompt-249/ with thanks.)
It was just a dream and she knew it, but still she clung on hoping to be wrong.
(Inspired from; https://allaboutwritingandmore.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/daily-picture-prompt-249/ with thanks.)
Whatever the creature had been it was pretty much dead now. Brushing more soil off the bones, I began to carefully remove them from the ground. There was no reason for them to become squashed under the new fence.
Later, I tried to shape the bones into the animal. I was thinking they would make a rabbit or a small dog which had been the last homeowners beloved pet. Instead though, it turned out to a snake.
Luckily, I had a friend who was a biologist teacher. So, I packed the bones up and delivered them to her. Perhaps, the snake would now be enjoyed a second time around.
(Inspired from; https://only100words.xyz/2017/08/24/three-line-tales-week-82/ with thanks).
She woke to find a handprint on the bed. Smiling, she pressed her own over it, noticing how her smaller hand fitted within it. She breathed in deeply and knew within her heart that her husband was watching over her.
The world was nothing like it had been in the past. Not that I remember the Before but I’d heard all the hand-me-down stories. Growing, up I had dreamed of living in that ‘magical’ time where everything seemed so easy but having heard the truth now, I was happy enough staying in my own time.
As the sun fully rose over the war torn grasslands, I felt the heat brushing against my skin. I was draped over the edge of the truck bed, dozing and thinking only of my home. The wheels of the truck bounced over the rough ground and my position was uncomfy but I was to tried to move. Also, we were squashed in pretty tight.
A loud banging on the roof of the trunk cab brought me around and the others fully awake. I turned my head up and saw our look out guy pointing at something ahead.
‘Structure up! ‘Bout few miles!’ he yelled.
Everyone began peering out of the truck, wanting to see what he had seen. It had been a day and a night since our last structure. We had gotten luckily there too because it had been an untouched farm. The dream of every surface missioner! I hoped this structure was another good one.
Getting to my feet, I balanced in the rocking truck and looked over the cab. I could see a single building, tall and thin with something attached to the front. It looked strange. As we got closer, I couldn’t really see much else other then it was wooden and the attached seemed to be moving. A radar, maybe?
Right before we pulled alongside, I climbed out of the still moving, but slowing down truck. Landing with a bump on the grass, I broke into a run. My protective mask and bag which were strapped around my chest, bounced of my hip. I knew a few of the others would be sneering and shaking their heads at me, but I didn’t care. Despite the tiredness, I had to see everything as this could be my last trip to the surface.
I stood before the building and looked. I had been right, it was made out of wood and was cylinder in shape. The attachment was wooden panels that had lattice pattern in the centre. It looked like the building was made for flying but instead of sails there was a wood propeller. I wondered how it worked.
Seeing a short doorway, I went in and found a control room. There were lots of wooden beams and bits of metal and stone but they were dismantled and just laying about. I slipped my gloves on and searched around. Dust rose, clouding around me. I wasn’t expecting to find any more then what I could already see.
‘What ya got?’ the gruff voice belong to Pal asked from behind me.
‘Not much. We could take the better pieces. There’s some interesting metal bits. Look at these massive stones!’ I added.
My work had uncovered, two grey rocks that were rounded in shape and had a hole in the middle. My touched them with my glove covered fingers but of course couldn’t feel anything.
‘What are they used for for?’ I muttered.
‘Grinding, perhaps,’ Pal suggested, ‘too heavy for us to take.’
I nodded. It was clear he was right. Casting around, I didn’t see anything else. Which was a shame. I rubbed my face and turned back to Pal. He was standing in the doorway, having just replied back to the team. He stepped out and I followed him.
‘What is it?’ I asked, once again looking upwards.
‘A windmill,’ Pal replied, with a shrugged.
It seemed a shame to destroy a relic of the past but needs must.
(Inspired from: https://scvincent.com/2017/07/27/thursday-photo-prompt-sails-writephoto/ with thanks)
I was so lucky that my step-cousin part-owned a hot air balloon and was a member of a club. As we drifted upwards, I lend out of the basket and looked down at the field we were leaving. About four other balloons bobbed around us and there was twelve still on the ground waiting to take off.
The thought that always comes to mind at this moment popped into my head; this looks like a giant’s birthday party. I giggled then looked around at the other brightly coloured hot air balloons. They filled the blue sky and white clouds with a patch work of multi-colours, making them noticeable for miles. My step-cousin’s hot air balloon was purple, pink and yellow with lighter shades in between to blend the colours.
I had never been in the area we were travelling over today and my step-cousin had said there was something interesting he wanted me to see. Rising higher, the sound of the hot air balloon’s flame and the wind in my ears, I saw the world as I imagined birds do. The green, yellow and brown fields, patches of trees, the town with it’s mix of buildings and toy like cars and people.
‘We should be high enough now, Hanna!’ my step-cousin shouted.
I turned to look at him. He was an average looking thirty-odd year old, with a mane of light brown hair, a thin face and body. He wore glasses, a plain t-shirt and old jeans and boots. He wasn’t married, didn’t have any kids, bu he and his girlfriend were pretty steady. She had a fear of heights though which was why I was here and not her.
‘Where is this thing you wanted me to see, Alex?’ I called back.
He cut the large flame and most of the noise faded away.
‘Few miles west,’ he replied, ‘luckily it’s on the flight path today. Do you want to have a go?’
I had practised a few times now at flying the balloon. Alex made it look so easy and you’d think that would be the case, but sometimes it was hard to fight against the wind or to get the right balance when landing. I was happy enough to learn and carry on improving. Though I did get distracted by the wonderful landscape below.
You lose track of time when you were flying, so I wasn’t sure how long it had been when Alex told me we’d soon be passing over what he wanted me to see. He told me which side would be best and so I went over to look.
At first there was just pale green fields but then I saw something and even though it was far away, I could see it was a large part of a plane. I lend over to get a closer view, my hands gripping the worn leather edge of the wicker basket. It was clear the plane had crashed long ago and just been left there.
‘It’s a plane, Alex!’ I yelled then asked quieter, ‘what happened?’
‘No idea, Hanna,’ Alex called back.
I looked down again, keeping my eyes fixed on the plane as we flew over. It was a strange sight. Here we were in the sky where the plane should have been and yet it was forever grounded. My mind began racing, what had happened to that husk of metal? How can people just leave it there?
We drifted by and a strange silence sat on me. I tried to get my mind to turn away from the abandoned plane but I couldn’t. I had to know the truth of what happened.
The hotel staff knew him like they knew the numbers on a clock which was very useful because he was always on time. He arrived without flash, in comfy clothes and carrying a small black suitcase. To anyone else he looked like a tourist, but the check in desk girls knew him not to be.
He said his name quietly and he would check in. With his card, he would take the lift up to his room and he would roll his suitcase down the carpet corridor and to the door. There, he let himself in and the door shut firmly behind him with the please do not disturb sign swinging.
He would be seen frequently around the hotel; in the restaurant, in the bar, in the lounge and lobby. Sometimes he would be typing away on a laptop, other times writing in a notebook and whilst he eat; reading a book, always alone. No one seemed really interested him in, a quick glance then on to what they were doing.
His stay could last a few days or a week, sometimes though it would be more than that; two or three weeks, a month or two. It just depend on what he needed. Then he would tidy his room and check out. Often looking more cheerful then he came in.
Months later in the post, the hotel always received a copy of his new novel.
Today, I walked along the beach and I dreamed about you. I thought about that summer we spent together and why now we can’t have any more. You know I would give anything to change that, but we both know that I’m not the problem.
I shall await you forever, Charles.
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.
There’s a shadow on my wall and no matter what I do it won’t go away.
(Please be aware this story contains adult sexual content.)
Unhappily, I followed Raven out of the living room and into the front hallway. A cold breeze was now circling the house, causing more smells to mingle in the air; old leather, wood vanish, dusty fabric and a faint hit of cinnamon. A door somewhere was creaking above us and something else was rattling gently.
Beside the front door, two of the moving men were bent down, picking up pans and other kitchen things. The plastic box the items had scattered from had been dropped to one side. The men were rudely shoving things back in.
‘Did anything break?’ Raven called, striding over.
‘Not sure,’ came a mumbled voice.
I sighed and tried to quieten my growing anger.
‘It’s fine, love, we got it,’ one of them said as Raven tried to help.
She ignored them and began stacking things back in right. They tried hard not to watch her, but I saw them. I stood guard, eyeing the men like a guard dog until they give up and left Raven to it.
‘It’s fine,’ she announced.
Flicking her hair over her shoulder, she shot me a smile.
It did little to cool my anger though. I picked up the box and carried it around the grand staircase and into the kitchen at the back.
The original kitchen had been build for the bustle of six or more servants. It was a vast rectangle space with a large fireplace in the far corner which was home to a monster of an aga. To the left of which was a small door for the servants to use. Ahead was a large table and chairs. Boxes were all ready taking up most of the room upon it.
Along the walls on either side of us and the right one were blue and grey granite worktops and cupboards. Black and grey modern appliances including a gas cooker and oven were slotted in or on them. Two more doors were in the corner, one was the back door and I think the other led into a utilities room.
I walked in and placed my box by the double metal sink with work tops either side and a window above. The blinds were drawn and I opened them to give more light and also to see the view outside. A long strip of grass framed by tall hedges was all I could see but I knew beyond it there were acres of land and also something else…
‘I got another surprise for you, Raven,’ I spoke softly.
‘Oh?’ she asked and looked up from a box she had been sorting through.
‘Do you have the key for the back door?’ I asked.
She looked down at the ring of keys she had placed on the table. She pressed her lips together and almost went to pick them up.
‘Can it wait till after? I want to make sure nothing else gets dropped,’ Raven said in a quiet voice.
From the hallway we heard the loud voices of the moving men again and the rustle of them bring more stuff in.
I nodded and turned away, so I could hide my disappointment. How many years had I been planning this moment and now it was ruined by moving men! I had wanted this to be as special as our wedding…
Raven wrapped her arms around me and pressed her head into the back of my shoulder.
‘What is it?’ she breathed in my ear.
‘Nothing,’ I responded.
‘Tell,’ she pressed.
She reached up on tip toes and lend into me. I felt her breath, brush of her lips and nip of her teeth in my ear lope.
‘No,’ I half moaned, half hissed.
She bit harder, ‘Crow,’ she growled.
‘I swear,’ I squeezed out through gritted teeth.
Raven’s biting was passing from pleasurable to painful.
She let go and dropped back down. I turned and wrapped my arms around her, trying to keep composed. My wife knew better though. She pressed into me, fixing me with a hard glare.
‘It’s just,’ I began, ‘I wanted this to be special.’
Shrugging, I looked over her shoulder as I saw movement in the hallway.
One of the moving men barged in, dropped a box on the floor and left again.
Raven patted me.
‘They’ll be gone soon enough,’ she whispered.
The moving men couldn’t have left any faster if they had tried. They seemed to carry on forever with their loud voices and banging. Luckily, they didn’t drop anything but they noise echoed through the house anyway.
Raven and I busied ourselves with emptying the hearse and setting up the master bedroom she had picked to be ours. I helped her make the bed but then stayed clear of it, because the urges to have some fun were too strong. I put clothes away in the wardrobes and drawers. The furniture was old maybe a close to a hundred years and though it all fitted the room it was not originals.
The room was huge, three times the size our’s had been in the apartment we had rented. A wooden four poster bed, complete with dark red velvet canopy and curtains dominated the room. On either side were dark oak bedside tables, which had lamps in an old fashioned style on them. A fire place took up the middle of the left wall, but it had been converted into ornamental then working. Then there were wardrobes and drawers on the left. Lastly, large windows were in the far wall and they looked over the driveway and front garden.
Closing the wardrobe, I drifted about as Raven placed more things away. I went to the window and looked out. The afternoon was still clear, but it was beginning to switch to evening. Time was running out for my other surprise.
‘I’m going to see how the men are doing,’ I spoke, ‘you coming?’
‘Sure,’ Raven answered and she closed the lid of the large bedding box at the foot of the bed.
We headed down the corridor and stairs together. The moving men were gathered in the hallway as if they were waiting for us. Just like servants presenting themselves to the master and Mrs. Finally it seemed they had finished.
‘Just need you to sign off, Chief,’ the leader called me over.
I gladly went and signed a receipt on a clipboard. They give me a copy then wishing us all the best, left. I closed and locked the door behind them.
‘So,’ Raven purred as she came over and wrapped her arms around me, ‘what did you want to show me?’
I hugged her and kissed her hair. I had her all to myself now.
‘Crow?’ she asked and kissed me on the cheek.
‘You got the keys?’ I asked.
She nodded and jiggled the bunch.
I took her hand and led her to the kitchen. Through the mass of boxes we went and to the back door.
‘Which key?’ she wondered.
‘Just use the skeleton one,’ I suggested and pointed out the biggest key.
She used it and the back door opened. We walked out into the early evening. I closed the door behind us and then tugging her, broke into a jog. Raven laughed, her grip on my hand tightening as I raced for the gap in the hedges. Branches scratched at us as we pushed through then without pause, even though I heard Raven gasp at the sight of the gardens spreading before us, I rushed to the left and took her along the hedge.
A few minutes of running and I had to slow down to catch my breath. Raven bumped into me, laughing and also breathing hard.
‘Where are we going?’ she cried out.
‘To there,’ I said and pointed to a hill in the distance.
Raven looked hard, but all we could see was the outline of a fence.
‘How much of this land do we own?’ she asked.
‘Lots of it,’ I said, ‘it’s in the contract somewhere.’
Raven pouted thoughtfully.
I started walking again, seeing that the sky above was dusky but also overcast. Raven slipped her hand into mine and we fell silent.
We went through a patchwork of gardens and plots. Most were boarded by tall hedges or bushes, making each area private. We came to an open stretch and the hill was just off to our right. I took Raven up, along a half hidden pathway, to a set of small black gates.
‘Oh!’ she cried, spotting the headstones behind the fence.
Her face lit up and just as she had done on first seeing the house, she pressed herself to the fence and looked excitedly across.
I slipped the keys from her and unlocked the gate.
‘They came with the house,’ I explained.
I opened the gate and Raven hurried in. She darted around the headstones and went to the family mausoleum at the back. The square squat building with its black glossy stone walls, stood out. I followed her, knowing to keep my distance, Raven hated being disturbed whilst she was looking around graveyards and cemeteries.
She came back and threw her arms around me in a suffocating hug.
‘This is a amazing!’ she shouted.
I laughed and squeezed back.
‘There’s also a pet graveyard in the woods just through there. I don’t know how much of the woods we own though…There’s also a little church too, further that way….You can just see the steeple…’ I pointed.
We both looked together, through the tall trees we could make out an iron cross.
‘What more could we have asked for?’ Raven breathed.
I shrugged and added, ‘there’s an ice house way way back, double garage close by the house and stables a bit further back too. We only own one of the small cottages though.’
Raven looked at me with big eyes and waited for me to go on.
I searched my mind, trying hard to remember what the agent had told me. ‘The cottages were built for the servants and their families, early nineteen hundreds. I think. They were sold off sometime ago or given to the families. They have the little plot of land around their houses too. There’s maybe ten cottages, dotted around at the edges of our land. We own the first one; the grounds keeper’s.’
Raven sighed and kissed me, ‘you did a lot of hard work, getting this didn’t you?’
‘Yes. It’s worth it though seeing your face,’ I stated.
I gently angled Raven’s face up to mine and kissed her hard on the lips.
‘Let’s go back to the house,’ she said huskily.
All other thoughts went out of my head.
To Be Continued….
-musings of a wild book dragon-
...moments of unexpected clarity