Negatives #TwitteringTales

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Avril found the carrier bag of photo negatives in the attic and decided to get them developed. When the photos came back, she saw the faces of relatives and their friends. All those people were gone now, yet here they were now before her, captured forever in print.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2019/05/28/twittering-tales-138-28-may-2019/ with thanks).

Fading #TwitteringTales

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It was a photo everyone always laughed over. Those old cameras creating ‘ghost’ images when the button was pressed too fast. There was more to it though because the girls in the background, my cousins, had been long dead before the printed date on the back said.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/11/27/twittering-tales-112-27-november-2018/ with thanks).

Inspiration

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For the last few months, Yancy had been going around car boots, fairs and similar places. He brought old photographs, postcards and sometimes albums of them if they were cheap enough or he found a picture he liked.

Each morning, he would gather a bunch together and look at them at the desk in his studio. In the afternoon, he would try and draw or paint something inspired by what he had seen.

It was hard going but it was helping to break his block. For months, he’d not been able to bare touching his pencils and paintbrushes but now he was finding it easier each day.

He had yet to move back to canvas though but that would soon come. He tried not to think so much. Best to keep the negative voices down.

That morning, from his pile, Yancy selected a photo of a young child standing in front of a white washed wall. He wondered who the child was and what they were doing. Puling his sketchbook over, he drew the child, ideas turning over his head.

An hour later, he stopped and looked at what he had achieved. He had capture the child’s likeness well. Yancy smiled and decided the time was right, he wanted to paint this on to canvas.

Puffins #3LineTales

three line tales week 111: two puffins ; ireland st patrick's day

The sea roared in my ears, the tide was coming back in. I lent out over the edge of the cliff, camera ready to snap whatever was down there. I took a few photos blindly then the puffins flew up into my face, defending their nests and forcing me away.

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/03/15/three-line-tales-week-111/ with thanks).

Cynophilist #atozchallenge

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Cynophilist: A person who loves dogs. 

Even though it was a warm sunny day, the blinds were drawn over the top floor photography studio’s windows. No sun was leaking into the cool room which was artificially lit to create the perfect cast of light and that was just how Pepper liked it. Standing next to her tripod, with her hand on top of the large camera balanced on top, she waited whilst her assistant, Angel, rearranged things.

‘Stay still and be a good girl, Tilly,’ Angel was saying gently as she placed the tiny puppy in an overlarge tea cup.

Pepper watched and felt the tiredness of holding a smile on her face for so long. The little black and tan terrier puppy was so cute. It was hard not to smile. The cuteness was made made even more so by the set up for third lot of photos; puppy at a tea party. Pepper and Angel had made up the small platform to look like a small garden with a picnic and afternoon tea going on. Tilly, the puppy was the center piece.

Angel stepped down from the platform and out of view. Leaving Pepper to do her side of the work. Looking at the camera screen, Pepper took a few photos, till she had the perfect one. Then getting out, she went over and scooped the puppy up. Tilly yipped and wagged her tail madly. Her little tongue licked everywhere it could and Pepper broke into laughter.

‘This is still the best job I’ve ever had working with dogs,’ Pepper announced.

‘Mine too,’ Angel answered.

She had come over as well, a clipboard in her hands.

‘What scene is next?’ Pepper asked as she cradled Tilly in her arms.

‘The cakes,’ Angel replied.

They both smiled at each other. This scene was going to be fun to photograph.

Book Tunnel

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We hadn’t been walking in the forest for long when we came across it. In a small clearing, jutting out of the ground was a metal framed window.

‘You go look,’ my girlfriend whispered.

She had hooked her fingers in the straps of her hiking rucksack and was looking so cute in blue shorts and a cream vest top.

‘I don’t know…’ I trailed, casting my eyes over the strange structure.

‘It could be a secret hatch to an old war bunker or a nuclear shelter. There might be something interesting down there,’ she spoke.

‘Then you go look,’ I suggested.

She shook her head and turned away, looking at the trees that surrounded us. The forest was just awakening after being a sleep all winter. Leaves were budding on branches and flower shoots were coming up. Birds were singing and calling to each other in the distance.

Sighing, I walked forward to the edge of the metal frame and looked though the window. Straight down into a walled hole I stared. Then slowly, I saw that the walls were made of books! Books and books stacked in a spiral going down into the darkness.

‘What is it?’ my girlfriend called.

‘Come see,’ I answered, ‘it’s strange. Nothing scary.’

‘I’m not scared,’ she snapped back then came over.

She came to my side and looked through the window.

‘Oh! It’s books!’ she cried.

‘Yep. Must be some art project or something,’ I added.

‘Wondered where they go. Does this open?’ my girlfriend asked.

We both looked around the edge of the metal frame but found no way to open it.

‘Guess not,’ I said.

My girlfriend pouted, ‘but I want to see the books.’

I rolled my eyes hearing the childish tone of her words.

‘You can see them,’ I pointed out, ‘here I’ll take a few photos.’

I dug out my camera and began taking photos from different angles. Some images included my girlfriend and two of the photos I took with me next to her looking down the window hatch. Most though showed the books spiralling into the darkness.

‘It looks like the hole to Wonderland,’ my girlfriend announced afterwards.

‘Huh?’

‘You know, the book; Alice In Wonderland. Alice fell down a hole lined with all kinds of things. This reminds me of that story,’ she explained.

‘Oh. I guess so,’ I replied.

We give the book tunnel one last look then left to carry on our hike, both of us wondering about the window.

Postcard #27

Time Lapse Photography of Falls Surrounded by Trees

Babe,

Today, I found the most wonderful, magic place in the whole of this forest. It made me feel better about not getting any bear photos! I think I’m going to give up there and just carry on taking whatever else I find. I know what my editor really wants, but who actually wants to see someone getting mauled by a bear?

This place is just, wow. The river has been drawing me for ages now and today I followed it and found some awesome waterfalls and large pools. The fall is just making it feel more magical. The colorful leaves that everywhere just add this brightness and like clothes to the forest. That sounds kinda silly, but you get it right?

I wish you could be here with me. You’d love seeing all the little critters getting ready to sleep and having birds wake you every morning. I know the nights seem scary, but they’re not really. Once, I shut the door of the cabin, I sit by the window and just look outside for ages. Last night, it felt like I was the only man left on earth and I so wanted you there so we could experience that together.

I’ve only a week left now. And yeah I know my editor’s not going to get his photos, but he’s going to get something at lest! And we’ll be back together and I can tell you more about my adventures.

Love, Tate. x

The Dying Cycle

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I’ve been dead for about seventeen minutes, give or take, but who’s counting any more right?

How do I know I’m dead right now though?

I know because I’m staring at my body, well sort of. But what more proof do you need?

I’m standing outside, in my back garden looking at where my killer stuffed me. The green general waste bin lid is only half closed and the black bag containing parts of me is poking out.

No one is aware I’m gone yet.

They’ll know soon enough though.

Why did this happen? I don’t know.

Why am I still here? No idea.

I feel adrift. Like I’m here, but not really. I can see things around me. Grey and black shadows with no real shapes. I can’t actually feel anything. I don’t like it.

I hear a sound.

I look around, trying hard to see through the mist that’s gathering around me. I go to the kitchen window and pass right through it when all I meant to do was peer inside. I turn and twist wildly, not understanding, but realising I’m now inside.

The sound comes again. Footsteps, a door closing.

My killer is still here!

I sense him, but I don’t know how. I just know he’s upstairs right now. I go, tracking him whilst all the while this mist weighs heavily on me. I almost feel like something is pulling me back, but I fight against it. I must see what he’s doing!

In the spare bedroom I find him. He is standing on the rug. Blood, my blood! dripping from the curved knife he was holding in gloved hands. He’s dressed all in black leather, like a motor biker. Only he’s not. I can’t see him clearly, he’s just an outline of red and black waves pulsing off him.

I try to reach for the knife then him, but my hands pass through him! It’s like he’s not there. Or I’m not…

Then I hear the front door and voices. I listen, but can’t make anything out. I sense a woman and two kids. My wife and children…

I leave and go downstairs. Have to warn them! They need to get out! I rush past things, making a breeze in my wake that moves papers, light shades and doors. Where are they? I can hear them, but they are not in any of the rooms.

Desperately, I search. I scream and scratch the walls.

‘Get out!’ I shout.

I don’t hear my voice, so I try again and again.

I fly around the house like a storm. Things get knocked over, smashes. I tip chairs and tables over. Strength I never had alive racing through me. Anger pounding inside of me, madness over taking.

I scream and scream. Try to rip my hair out. Try to squeeze my head in. All this rage!

I sit down. No voices, no sound, no sensing anyone.

My hands are red…

There’s blood around me. Splashed drops, smear lines, half of a hand print on a family photo.

What happened?

I try hard to think. Think about the events, about my family. I can’t grasp it and everything is tumbling away from me like a waterfall. The mist presses on me, all I can see is black. I let it take me. I have no choice.

 

 

This story was inspired by a prompt from here; http://www.everywritersresource.com/10-even-more-horrifying-horror-story-prompts/

Ghost House

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The house stood alone at the end of the street and I stood before it, just taking it in. It was a small home, a two up two down as those types of houses were known. Once and I’d have not have noticed this if I hadn’t looked it up, the house had been an end terrace place and built for the local cotton mill workers. Now, it was standing alone, surrounded by a wire fence hung with signs that said danger, keep out.

The front garden was overgrown and looked like a meadow. Totally, strange in the middle of this town were even a large patch of grass was sacred. This estate was almost through being done up and most of the houses had been demolished and rebuilt. but this one, stood alone, looking highly unwelcoming and yet begging someone to go in and discovery why it had been left out.

I looked closer and saw the front door was slightly a jar as if someone had just nipped back in. The door number, letter box, bell and knocker had been taken off as if the resident was desperate to be left alone. The four windows – two close by the door and two above them were not board up, though at one time they had been. The glass was broken in one of the downstairs’ windows and half broken in the top one opposite. The rest of the house was in shadows and as it was quickly becoming night, the house looked even more dark.

I unzipped my large fleece coat and withdrew my camera. Carefully, looking around, I saw no one about and heard nothing other then the wind and a dog barking. I turned the camera on and saw a ghostly like reflection of my face before pointing it towards the house. I took some photos, one after the other, not really bothering to be artistic. This wasn’t that kind of photo shoot.

With another quick glance around, I walked off the street and down the side. My shoulder and rucksack brushed against the wire and made a zinging sound. I side stepped a little, but didn’t want to loose my footing in the other grown grass. Halfway past, I stopped and took some more photos then carried on.

The back of the house was in worse state then the front. The garden was too overgrown and was pushing hard against the fence. I looked for a way in and found nothing. Letting my camera rest against my neck, I dug out my small torch and wire cutters. Timing the clips with the dog barking, I chopped my way into the fence.

Squeezing through, I felt myself sinking into wet earth. Moving fast, I came to stand in the back garden on more solid ground. Looking up in the dim light, I could see that the back looked the same as the front; a door and four windows. These windows though were board up and so was the back door.

Pulling a face, I put my things away and took a few photos. I looked at the small screen, but saw nothing of interested yet. Of course, I was torn between hoping to see the ghost and hoping not. I believed in all that un-dead stuff, but this place and it’s story was something I couldn’t get my head around. That’s why I had to see it for myself and experience it too.

Slowly, I walked down the other side and towards the front door. Once there, I give the door a shove and slipped in. I stepped away from the crack of streetlight bleeding in and turned on my torch. The hallway was bare, but covered with rubbish. Teenagers had been using this house to hang out in. There were tins of food, cans of drink, cig ends and was that a needle?

Shuddering, I shook it off and tried not to think about what could have happened recently in this house. I took some photos, finding comfort in the weight of my camera. I shuffled down the hall and into the first room. My torch picked out a broken sofa before a fireplace. There was a collection of ashes and rubbish spilling from the grate. I circled the room, taking only a few photos.

Then I left and crossed into the next. My torch picked out the corpses of books and newspapers. There were beer tins and food wrappers. Two chairs sat facing each other on either side of a low table, which was covered with burn marks and wax. I took photos of it all. More then just teenagers skipping school and hiding from their parents had been hanging out here.

I stepped back into the hallway and froze. Something was moving above me. I looked then shone my torch on the buckling staircase. The noise was shuffling; bare feet on wooden boards trying to go unnoticed. I felt a lump in my throat and a twisting knot in my stomach. Was someone alive in the house beside from me?

Unable to bring myself to call out, I walked upstairs. Gently, I went through the two bedrooms and the bathroom. The rooms had all but been ripped out. I found some fitted shelves still in place in the front bedroom and a broken book in the middle of the room. The second bedroom was in worse state with graffiti on the walls and burn marks on the floor. And the bathroom….everything had been taken out, even the wall tiles.

There was no one up here.

I checked for an attic hatch, thinking that maybe someone could’ve gone up there, but I didn’t spot one. I went back to the second bedroom and found a good spot to sit on the floor. It was in one of the corners, so at least I had my back to something. It was pitch black though and I switched out my torch for the camping lantern I had brought with me.

The crying came as a little soft, hushed sound. It was childlike and almost trying to go undetected. In the silence of the house I heard it too loudly. The hairs stood up on my arms and back of my neck. I rose my camera and began taking photos. The crying grow and changed into a wail. Now it sounded like a old woman in pain and distress.

I stayed still, watching and waiting, sometimes taking photos. A few times I suddenly remembered to breath and dragged in freezing lungfuls of air. I felt a pain in my chest and legs, then the wailing switched to crying and screaming. The noise echoed all around me and I couldn’t pin it down. The floor and wall vibrated, causing the urge to flee to kick in.

I held out and took more photos, not caring how they looked, just desperate to capture the thing making all the noise. Finally, I found my voice and yelled out, ‘I know what they did to you Dorothea! I want to help you, come to me!’

My words faded, mingling with the screams. I licked my lips and spoke again, ‘your family disowned you and left you here to rot. You cursed them! But the curse also trapped you!’

Something flickered at the doorway. A shadow? A shape of light? Frantically, I snapped photos one handed whilst the fingers of my other hand scrapped across the floor. My whole body was shaking, I just wanted to get out and run far away.

‘Dorothea! Show yourself to me!’ I screamed.

There! A figure in the doorway for sure! I clicked the camera button hard so many times I thought my finger might break. For all I know it could have done because my body had now frozen solid to the floor. I felt myself losing conciseness. I wrestled against it and tried to move. I couldn’t though, my limbs felt too heavy and brain was going into overdrive. You won’t run from the danger, so you’ll black out from it!

I screamed, trying to get myself out and awake my body up, but it was too late. I felt my eyes closing and my back slumming. Right before I lost it though, I saw her; Dorothea, the gypsy witch, standing over me.

When I came too the house was silent. My body ached all over. I got up, un-sticking myself from my camera and the wall. Pins and needles ran down my arms and legs, my feet felt so cramped I didn’t think I could ever walk on them again. Somehow, though I found I was able to stand and begin moving like a crippled dog.

I made it out of the house and back on to the street. There in the growing dawn light, I used the last of my camera battery to view the photos. It was the last handful I become interested in. Was that the corner of a dress in the doorway? The outline of fingers? A face appearing out of the gloom?

It was too hard to tell, but perhaps….perhaps there was something there…..

Creepy Clown (Part 3)

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Heavenly stumbled away from the window. She tripped and almost fell over. Steadying herself, she turned to her desk and searched for her mobile phone. A few moments later, she remembered it was still in her bag. Fumbling to find it as her mind raced, Heavenly unlocked the screen and sank down next to her bed.

She dialed the police and listened desperately to the beeping tone as if it was a life support machine.

‘Hello, nine-nine-nine. What service do you require?’ a chirpy female said.

‘The police, please,’ Heavenly breathed.

‘What’s the emergency, please?’

‘There’s a crazy clown outside my house. He followed me from the park. He chased me,’ Heavenly gushed.

‘Can you see him now?’ the female voice pressed.

Heavenly peered over the edge of her bed, but she couldn’t see the window from here, ‘I’m not sure. But I know he’s there.’

‘Do you know what he was wearing?’

‘Erm…’ Heaven cast her mind back, ‘It was like a jumpsuit. Yellow and spotty. A red wig and a red balloon.’

‘Is he carrying a weapon?’ the call operator asked.

‘I didn’t see one. Please can you send someone? I’m home alone. I’m only sixteen. My mum’s at work.’

‘What’s your address, please?’

Heaven spoke her address slowly.

I’ll send someone as soon as I can. Are all the doors and windows locked? The curtains drawn? Are you somewhere safe in the house now?’ the woman questioned.

Heavenly nodded, ‘Yes. It’s the first thing I did.’

‘Okay. Someone will be with you shortly.’

‘Thank you,’ Heavenly said and hung up the phone.

Feeling cramp in her legs, Heavenly got up and stretched. Even though she didn’t want to look, she tip-toed to the window. Trying to conceal herself, but still get a good view, she looked out. The neighbor’s security light had gone off and the back garden was in darkness.

Pulling the curtains back to, Heavenly sank on to her bed and pressed her phone between her hands. She wanted to phone her mum, even though it seemed pointless and why would she want to worry her? Sitting for a few minutes, she debated what to do.

A light tapping, like finger tips on glass broke through the silence of the house.

She looked over her shoulder. The police already? But why would they knock so lightly?

Heavenly listened and realised that something or someone was tapping the window in the back door.

She knew the back door could be seen from her window, but she didn’t want to get up to see. She bite her lip and thought; if that is the clown I could yell out the window that the police are coming. That’d scare him off.  What if it’s a neighbor or a cat?

No. I’m not moving. I’ll wait for the police.

Heavenly crossed her arms and stayed put for an hour. During that time though, she did send a text to her mum, flip through her history and English lit text books and change her clothes so that when the police turned up she was wearing more then just PJs.

The ringing of the doorbell startled her. The noise was so shrill and echoing it took her a moment to unfreeze and go to answer it. She paused, the image of the clown springing to her mind. She opened her mouth to call out who was there, but a voice on the other side beat her to it.

‘It’s the police. Are you there?’

Heavenly swallowed and opened the door. There were two officers standing on the front step. A man and a woman, both looking to be in their early thirties and dressed smartly in their uniforms.

‘Are you okay?’ the female officer asked.

‘I think so,’ Heavenly replied, ‘but the clown…I think he’s in the back garden. I heard knocking on the back door.’

‘We’ll check it out, don’t worry,’ the male officer spoke.

Heavenly nodded and let them both in. She took them into the kitchen and unlocked the back door. The man went out first, turning on his torch and shinning it around. There was no one out there, but the back gate had been unlatched and there was a red balloon tied to the handle.

He came back with it and asked Heavenly about it.

‘When I was walking through the park,’ she began to explain, ‘I saw a red balloon tied to a bench opposite the playground where the clown was sitting on a swing. When I ran out of the park and turned back, he was standing there holding it. Then when I looked out of my window before, I saw the balloon over the fence.’

‘There’s a note here,’ he announced and picked up what looked like a gift tag attached to the middle of the string, ‘I’m going to get you,’ he read.

‘Get me?’ Heavenly gasped.

‘It’ll be alright. I need to take a statement off you. Do you think you can do that?’ the female officer asked.

Heavenly nodded.

‘I’ll go and have a look around,’ the other officer said.

At the kitchen table, Heavenly told everything as she could remember it. The police officer wrote her words down and asked only a few questions. Soon, they were all at the front door again and the police were leaving. They give her instructions then went back to their car. Heavenly shut the door, locked it then went into the kitchen and double checked the back door was locked.

Turning off the lights and feeling exhausted, she went to bed. She didn’t sleep easily though. Her dreams were filled with clowns that chased her and balloons that turned into heads and tried to eat her.

Heavenly woke suddenly and pushed the duvet away. She got up, feeling hot and sweaty. It was still dark even though it was morning. She turned on the lamp and saw it was a few minutes to seven. Almost time for her to be getting up anyway and her mum should already be home. Heavenly got up and went straight to her mum’s room. In the light of the hallway, she could see there was now a shape in the bed.

Closing the door, she went and showered. The hot water helped awaken her and push last night further from her thoughts. She dressed and got her things ready to go to school. As she left her bedroom, she thought about opening her curtains but then decided against it. She went downstairs, made a lunch to take with her and grab a quick breakfast. She went into the living room and turned the TV on whilst she ate.

The morning news was on and once again they were reporting on the clowns. Heavenly turned the volume up and listened.

‘Last night, a twenty-two year old man was arrested after he chased a group of teens across a park threatening them with a knife. It was also reported that he had been following school children on their way home earlier that day,’ the male news report spoke.

The female reporter chipped in with, ‘you have been sending us photos of your clown sightings.’

The screen changed to a very dark photo in which there seemed to be a very distance white masked and wigged figure. It was replaced by another, which was clearer and showed a clown coming around a metal gate. A third photo swapped in, this one showing two clowns facing each other outside what looked like a shop.

‘Pretty creepy,’ the woman spoke.

The studio came back on and there was a shuffling of paper. They turned to other news and the weather forecast.

Heavenly turned the TV off and got up. Her thoughts racing, could that have been the guy that was chasing me? Hopefully it was.

Gathering her stuff, she went to the front door and unlocked it. A wave of nerves wiggled through her as she opened the door and looked out. A normal grey, drizzle morning met her eyes and the wind embraced her in a wet, cold hug. Heavenly stepped out and closed the door. She looked from side to side and saw nothing unusual.

She started walking down the short path that cut through the front garden to the gate. Something caught her eyes in the middle of the pathway. She came to a stop before it and saw that it a soft clown doll.

To Be Continued…