The phone rang and rang but there was no one left alive in the house to answer it anymore.
The phone rang and rang but there was no one left alive in the house to answer it anymore.
She was tried of people asking if she was okay. She wasn’t but she couldn’t say anything because they wouldn’t understand.
Walking through the houses of the Old World, Peanut was always fascinated by the items they could find.
Today, she had turned up a dial TV which Grand Pops explained was used to show information in moving pictures with sound direct to people, but it had also been a part of the Old World’s downfall because it had forced everyone to stay inside.
The tale was easy to believe because generations of the last humans had remained behind the steel door and it was only now they were adventuring out to see what they ancestors had left them of the world.
(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/09/20/three-line-tales-week-138/ with thanks).
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).
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).
Everyone morning, she got up, walked out onto the makeshift porch attached to her tin home and watched the sunrise over the green and brown land, not seeing anything else for miles around and that was how she liked it.
Out here on the edge of the world, she didn’t have to hide from anyone because there was no one to see her true form, however that was all about to change.
Her hands stroked her huge stomach, she felt a small kick from the baby, it was almost time and then she wouldn’t have to be alone anymore.
(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/09/06/three-line-tales-week-136/ with thanks.)
House Hundred shouldn’t exist, yet it seemed to. However, get closer and it vanishes, proving what a weird world we live in.
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).
There was something down below calling his name. Nate stopped over the half open drain cover and looked. A ball of white light was rising up, taking the shape of a goldfish.
‘Why?’ echoed an eerie voice.
Nate stumbled backwards, past memories flooding him.
(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/08/21/twittering-tale-98-21-august-2018/ with thanks).
Molly’s seven year old son, Ben, emptied his school bag on the dinning room table. Molly caught a pencil as it rolled her way then eyed the mess of school books, papers and other items. Ben had a habit of collecting things.
‘What’s this?’ Molly asked picking up a blue envelope.
Ben shrugged and his eyes drifted to the TV in the next room. His three year old, twin sisters were sat before the screen watching cartoons.
Molly opened the envelope and took out a thin slip of paper.
‘Your invited to a grartor party,’ she read aloud slowly.
The handwriting and spelling were clearly a child’s. Molly looked at the name and address at the end, but didn’t recognise them.
‘Who is Riley?’ she enquired.
‘He’s new,’ Ben said.
‘And what’s a grartor?’
Molly looked at the date, the party was tomorrow. She checked the address again, it wasn’t far from their house and the start time was 2pm.
‘Do you want to go to his party?’ she asked, ‘Ben?’
‘Okay. Can I watched cartoons now?’
Molly nodded and Ben rushed over to join his sister. Molly sorted through the other stuff on the table. She flipped through his work books then piled them to one side, placing on top the book he currently had to read. There was a letter from the headmaster about head lice, a letter from Ben’s teacher about an end of year trip to the zoo and a maths homework sheet due in on Monday.
Molly re-packed his school bag then added things to her calendar. Then she did an internet search to find out what a grartor party was. Perhaps, this Riley was from a different country or religion and grartor related to turning eight or something like that?
The search engine told her it wasn’t actually a word, did she mean something else? Molly scrolled down the suggested websites hoping that it appeared as some kind of new child craze like fidget spinners but there was nothing.
This is why you don’t let a child write their own party invitations! Molly thought.
She looked over at her own children and decided she’d just have to find out tomorrow.
The next morning after breakfast, Molly got Ben ready for the party. Leaving her husband with the twins, she took Ben shopping and got a suitable birthday present for Riley. At half twelve, she drove over to the address and parked up.
Letting Ben out, they walked up the steps to the front door of the house. Bright green balloons weighed down behind the two large flower pots, greeted them. A banner over the door read, 8 Today! and an inflatable crocodile lay on the lawn.
‘Are you excited? Molly asked.
Ben pulled a face and clutched the wrapped birthday present.
‘I bet there’ll be cake and jelly and ice cream. Your other friends will be here,’ she pointed out.
Molly rang the doorbell and it was answered by a tried looking man who had a crocodile glove puppet on his hand.
‘Hi, I’m Molly Black. My son Ben was invited to Riley’s party. Sorry, I didn’t reply to the invite, I only found it in his bag yesterday. I hope you don’t mind us coming,’ Molly explained.
The man nodded, ‘Rory James, Riley’s dad. Please come in.’
He held the door, Molly and Ben entered. The house looked freshly moved into. There were green balloons tied everywhere and in the kitchen was a table covered in party food. Rory led them into the back garden were a few children where bouncing on a green jungle themed bouncy castle and inflatable crocodiles were dotted around. Two woman were stood talking close by, drinking out of wine glasses.
‘I want a go!’ Ben cried, cheering up instantly.
‘Sure,’ Rory answered.
Molly took the present and Ben’s shoes then he ran off onto the bouncy castle.
‘What time should I come and pick him up?’ Molly asked.
‘Oh, you’re not staying?’
‘I’ve left my husband with our twin girls,’ Molly explained.
‘Five, I think it said on the invite. My wife can confirm that. I’ll introduce you then I must get back to finishing off the cake,’ Rory said.
They walked over to the two woman and the one wearing the blue dress with the mass of blonde hair was Rory’s wife, Celina. Rory introduced them then left.
‘Can I get you something to drink?’ Celina asked.
‘No, thanks,’ Molly replied, ‘I must get back home soon, I told my husband I wouldn’t be long. We are taking the twins to the park.’
‘This is for Riley,’ Molly said handing over the present, ‘I wasn’t sure what to get him. So, I let Ben pick it. Young boys tend to like the same things, I’ve found.’
‘Thank you,’ Celina spoke with a smile and took the gift.
‘What is a grartor party?’ Molly asked.
‘Riley came up with it. He said it meant a great gator. He’s obsessed with alligators!’ Celina laughed.
Molly nodded, the whole green and crocodile theme clicking into place. She talked for a few minutes with other parents who were arriving then she said goodbye and drove home.
At five, she returned and picked up Ben who chatted away about the good time he had had at the grartor party.
(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/tale-weaver-183-making-sense-of-nonsense-grartor/ with thanks).
Grab a cup of coffee, and have a seat...
Heroines needed. Capes optional.
a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps