Flow #writephoto

Life is like the flow of a river, I realised looking up at the waterfall from the canvas I had been painting on. You start off like a spring then become a stream, turning this way and that as you take different paths. Then you join a river and carry on going through things; some good and some bad, changing and growing older. Finally, you join the sea ending your life.

I looked down at the canvas balanced on the small easel, the painting I had done was a likeness of the waterfall and mossy rocks below, but I didn’t like it. Some of the strokes looked childlike and I really hadn’t captured the true beautiful force of the waterfall. I signed and began to pack up. It was always the same when I paused and valuated my art; I couldn’t go on when I became negative about it.

When I was done, I stood and watched the river carrying on tumbling down. The sound was so calming and mixed in with the soft singing of the birds and the rustle of the trees this place was a peaceful spot. The river then bubbled past me and away into a cluster of trees towards the next waterfall. It began raining.

I looked up at the sky frowning then ducked into the cover of some trees. A thought popped into my head; this is the full circle of water. I watched the raindrops falling in the ground and realised that we too became a part of the earth, only we didn’t raise up again. It was a morbid thought but at the same time reassuring.

The river couldn’t stop it’s flow and nor could we stop the flow of life.

 

(Inspired by https://scvincent.com/2017/09/21/thursday-photo-prompt-flow-writephoto/ with thanks).

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The Day Before

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The day before the apocalypse happened the weather went crazy. We woke up to dark as night skies and heavy clouds. Rain poured down like I had never seen before and it was like a huge waterfall. Many places were flooded. There was a massive thunderstorm which had people staying inside and those that went out regret it and came home again.

The hailstone fell in sharp bursts, large balls of ice hitting metal like it was dough. Glass smashed, car alarms went off and animals fled underground. The storm rumbled on; bright heavenly flashes of light going off like all the time and the thunder was deafening. The rain turned to snow. Huge flakes sweeping down on gale force winds and covering everything in a white blanket.

People peered out of windows, wondering what was going on. The news was a blur of reports as countries all over the world reported the wildness of storms and weather conditions. The warnings flashed by too; Stay inside! Await rescue! Whole cities swept by freak waves, whole towns buried in snow and the raising death toll.

And I stood by the shelter’s plastic windows, knowing what all this bad weather meant and the fact I couldn’t do anything to stop tomorrow’s rapture sitting heavy on my shoulders.

Green

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I had never seen a stone like it before on the beach. With the waves and wind whipping around me and Betty, my cocker spaniel whining, I bent and picked it up. The coat of my hood and loose hair strands got in my face, I blinked them away then looked in my hand. The stone was there. Sparkling wet, but perfectly round and a clear lime green colour.

I turned it over and it was the same on the back. Slipping it into my pocket, I straightened and began battling the storm back to my house. When I arrived, cold and dripping wet. I took my coat off and forgot about the strange stone. I had Betty to dry, myself to dry and though it was the height of summer, a fire to make up.

So it wasn’t until I put my coat on days later, to protect me from a miserable drizzly morning, that I rediscovered the stone. Taking it out of my pocket, I looked and felt it’s smooth edges. Betty was bouncing at my feet, eager to go out and wondering what was keeping her master from getting a move on.

I looked more closely at the stone and realised it wasn’t a stone at all. It was a piece of glass which the ocean had worn smooth and softened the edges of. It wasn’t unusually to find glass fragments on the beach, it was the fact the piece was so green that got to me. Wondering were it came from, I placed it safely on the little sill next to the front window. I took Betty out and once again forgot all about the green glass.

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)

Knife

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I found the knife on my jog through the woods. I had stopped for a minutes to shelter under an old twisted yew tree whilst I waited for a sharp down pour to end. The handle was sticking out from a low loose branch and when I pulled it the blade came easily out. Surprised, I froze for a few seconds. I hadn’t thought the knife would be that long!

Who had stuck it in the branch and left it? Someone who’d been up to no good, maybe. My mind began to flash with options; a criminal, a dealer, a suicidal person, a murderer? I jabbed the knife back into the tree branch then like a panic idiot I took the hem of my t-shirt and wiped the handle.

I turned my back and pretended that I had never seen the knife. I looked out at the rain dripping off the summer leaves and realised the shower wasn’t going to stop any time soon. Preparing myself to start jogging again, I wondered how long the knife had been there.

Every morning I came this way, so how come I’d just noticed it now? Maybe due to the fact I hardly stopped on my jog? Warm up done again, I set off and the rain full pelted me. Luckily, it was only ten minutes to the back door of my house.

That knife haunted me for months. I don’t know why. Before I fell asleep and when I awoke, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. On my jogs I didn’t stop at the tree, I kept focused and just ran on.

One day though, I just had to know. I stopped at the yew tree and searched for the knife, but it wasn’t there.

Rain #SoCS

Rain, Floor, Water, Wet, Drops

I stood in the street and let the rain wash the blood off me. My mind which had been running wild seconds before began to grow calm and I could think clearly again. I couldn’t hear anything other then the rain dripping off things and the breeze shaking the trees.

What had I been expecting? People to suddenly burst from their houses, crowd me and demand to know what had happened? Police to turn up and march me away to a padded cell? Whatever I’d been thinking didn’t happen and I found myself totally alone in the rain.

Looking down at my feet and I watched the watered down blood mingling. It was a faded pink colour and soon enough it would be nothing. I tossed my head to the sky and let the feel of the rain take me away.

I was free at last.

 

(Inspired from; https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-2417/ with thanks.)

The Basement (Part 4)

Woman in Black Walking in Hallway

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

I awoke my wife in good time for the arriving of the pizza. I kissed her face softly and nuzzled into her, before whispering her name and gently shaking her. Raven moaned and tossed about. She’s a heavy sleepy and it takes awhile for her to come around.

‘Honey, come on,’ I whispered, ‘time to get up now.’

‘No,’ she mumbled.

‘Don’t you want to eat?’ I reminded her.

She muttered something that sounded like maybe.

I ran my hand down the fleece blanket that covered her naked body. A part of me was tempted to slip my fingers underneath and touch her soft skin. Instead, I went back to trying to wake her up.

‘I ordered pizza. It should be here soon,’ I stated.

Raven tried to pulled the fleece blanket up to block me out, but there wasn’t enough of it free as I was laying on it. She made a growling sound and twisted over. Her pretty face screwed up like an unhappy child.

‘It’s still early…’

I checked the clock and it was a few minutes to nine. So not as early as I’d first thought before.

‘Okay, I’m awake,’ Raven spoke.

I smiled and moved out of the way, ‘I’m going down to wait,’ I added.

‘I’m going to try the shower,’ she spoke as she stretched out across the bed.

I nodded and watched her get up and walk naked across the room to a door opposite the bed. It led into a nice master bathroom which wouldn’t have originally been there but the previous owners or the ones before them had created it out of what I guess had been the Lady’s dressing room or day room. It was hard to tell. After admiring Raven once more, I got off the bed, put a t-shirt on and went downstairs.

Turning on some of the lights which took a few moments to figure out, I drifted down the corridor and the grand staircase. No sooner had I reached the hallway, the bell let it a dooming dong. Hurrying, I unlocked and the door. There was as a short, Indian man with dark hair standing there carrying pizzas.

He glanced at me, struggling to keep the slight shook from his face. He mumbled the price and I handed him some notes without really checking them. My stomached had just remembered how hungry it was. I took the pizzas, sides and the free bottle of cola. He handed me my change and walked back to his little blue car that had abandoned at the bottom of the steps.

Juggling everything, I closed the door and went into the first room. The light from the hallway helped me find the table. Then I turned on the lights, sat down and began eating. The pizza tasted glorious even though it was a standard takeaway. A few minutes later, Raven joined me, wearing a plain black lacy dress and we ate our first meal in our new house. Afterwards, we went to bed fully satisfied.

In the morning, we were too excited to lay in, so we got up and spent the day exploring the house and unpacking. It was gloomy outside and it was raining heavily. The house felt cool, so we both dressed in jeans, t-shirts and hoodies. Whilst we were in the kitchen, Raven opened all the doors and began looking through them. I sat at the table sipping a glass of water and watching the rain falling.

One of the doors did led to a big utility room, another was a larder, the third was a staircase up to the first floor and want had been the servants bedrooms. Behind the fourth floor was a staircase going down.

‘What do you think is down there?’ Raven asked.

‘Cellars, I guess,’ I replied.

Raven flicked the light switch that was on the wall up and down. Nothing happened.

‘Where are the torches? I want to go down and see,’ she spoke.

I frowned into my glass of water, ‘upstairs in the bottom drawer.’

Raven nodded and padded out of the room on her mission. I had kept the torches with us in case they had been needed.

Getting up, I went to the door and took my phone out. Using the torch on there, I went down the wooden steps. They creaked under me and I kept my hand on the rail. The air smelt musty and moldy, it hadn’t been fresh for years. It was clear the last owners hadn’t used this space at all, just like a few other rooms; the third floor and the attic, they had shut them away and forgot.

One day, I would confess to Raven how I had gotten us this house and she would forgive me, but for now it was a closely locked away secret. I tried to get that thought out of my head. My wife had always been able to read me very well, especially when I was keeping something from her. Raven would never give up till she got the truth out of anyone.

Stepping off the last step, I shone my little light around. It was hard to breath down here and I couldn’t see much. They were the originally cellars of the house though and where food and wine had been stored. The lowest servants might have had rooms here as well as general storage. This first area seemed empty.

A squeal of wood from behind had me turning so fast I almost lost my balance. I saw the glare of a torch light then Raven’s voice calling my name.

‘I’m here,’ I responded, ‘it’s the cellars. Like I said.’

Raven made a pleasant O sound and came to my side. She handed me the other torch and I turned it on. Together, we made our way through the cellar rooms, most of which were empty. It seemed not even spiders had taken up residence down here, though we did find old webs in some of the nooks. There was a stacks of wood that had once been shelves, bottle racks, bits of coal and writing on the walls.

I became lost and dizzy with it all. Raven loved it; the way the shadows lingered on the walls, the guessing what might have been held in this rack, what could lay behind each door. Finally, we seemed to have entered the last room. I lent against the a wall, taking in deep breaths of stale air mixed with dust and mold.

‘This is strange, Crow,’ Raven’s voice called to me.

I looked over to where she was shining her torch light and there seemed to be a door blocked off in the wall. I walked over, thinking maybe it was just in shadow but also hoping it was nothing so that we could go back up. My mouth was dry and I was sweating even though it was cold down here.

‘Someone tried to hide this door, but look,’ Raven spoke, putting her finger tips on a worn handle made out of dark wood.

‘Maybe, they had a good reason….’ I trailed.

Raven pulled a face. Without warning, she yanked open the door and cream paint surrounding it cracked and began flaking. The door shook but didn’t swing. Before I could get the words out, she had tried pushing and the door flung open.

‘They didn’t do a good job did they?’ Raven said.

We shone our torches inside and found a long narrow corridor straightening before us.

 

To Be Continued…

Dead Line

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The house phone rang and because I was hard at work editing my magazine, I picked it up on auto.

‘Hello?’ I spoke.

‘Good afternoon, Mrs Guilding,’ an man with a heavy Indian accent spoke.

I frowned into the phone. A cold caller for sure. I carried on typing away, too busy to stop.

The voice continued speaking without seeming to pause for breath, ‘my name is Kevin and I am calling you from the Peoples’ Life Survey. May I ask you some household questions? It’ll only take a few minutes of your time.’

‘Sorry, I’m not interested…’ I cut in.

‘Please, Mrs. I shall make it as quick as possible,’ Kevin voice’s rushed.

I sighed. I didn’t have time for this. I went to say goodbye and hang up the phone but Kevin bet me to speaking.

‘Don’t worry!’ he said.

Then the line went dead.

Puzzled, I took my phone from my ear before pressing it back again. The dial tone beeped like a steady heartbeat. I hit the end call button and placed the phone down. I could get on with my editing again.

A strange feeling crept over me. My mind began turning over those words and making them into some sinister.

I stopped working and got up. I had been sat for about four hours. Now, my body became awake. I had to use the bathroom and get a drink, maybe some food. Walking past the window, I peered out through the blinds. Everything looked normal out there. I walked out of the study, went to the bathroom then the kitchen.

Whilst I was making coffee and a sandwich, the phone rang again.

Ah! Kevin. We must have just got cut off. There’s nothing weird going on.

I picked up the kitchen phone, fully expecting to hear his voice again. Instead all I got was a beeping sound followed by white noise.

I checked the phone out, wondering if it was something wrong with my line. Placing the phone back, I picked it up again. The dial tone was just as steady as before. Shrugging, I finished making my late lunch and went into the conservatory to eat it.

The glass room was warm and comforting. The pale walls and wicker furniture give it a summer feel though looking outside the weather had decided to rain today. Settling into the sofa, I listened to the wind and rain outside, relaxing into the silence.

The phone rang. I had sandwich in my mouth. Swallowing, I got up and answered the phone.

‘Hello?’ I spoke.

The line was fuzzy was static.

A voice broke through, ‘Kevin…The Peoples’ Life Survey…I ask you question?’

‘I’m sorry. The line is really bad,’ I responded.

‘Make it quick, yes,’ Kevin shouted.

‘No. Bye.’

I hung up the phone.

When I had finished lunch, I sat for a few more minutes and watched the rain fall. Kevin was still on my mind. What was that all about? I glanced at the phone. Willing it to ring, so I could asked him.

The phone stayed silent for the rest of the day.

Dear Diary #34

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Dear Diary,

I’m curled up in the bathtub right now waiting for the thunderstorm to be over. I’ve turned out all the lights and unplugged everything electrical, as you should. I’m writing this by the three tea light candles balanced at then end of the tub and my camping torch. It’s kinda creepy which is making me even more anxious.

I can hear the wind howling and rattling the trees outside like a giant beast enraged. I want to peek out of the frosty glass window to make sure that’s not actually true right now but I can’t. My legs don’t want to move and my body feels like a half set jelly.

The rain is pouring down like a tsunami. It sounds like the very sea is going to wash my house away. It’s so loud alongside the wind and the deep rumbles of thunder that I can’t hear anything else. This would be the perfect time for a serial killer to break inside my house because I would never hear them coming.

Is there actually someone else inside right now? I’m listening hard diary, but I can’t because things are creaking and banging about. I’m sure it’s just the trees against the windows and loose things in garden….

What if someone is trying to get in?

I can’t go and see! I can barely keep moving my hand to write this. Think, think…okay… The bathroom door is locked and who’d want to use the bathroom if you were breaking in anyway? Wait though….doesn’t everyone hide and get murderer in bathrooms?

Maybe, I should have left before the storm arrived. Gone stayed with friends or family or just found some place to hide in my car. A jail cell might be safer right now. Or another country.

Ah! What am I thinking? They said it was only going to be a small storm…Lightening just flashed, it was loud and bright, crackly and caused all my hair to stand on end. I couldn’t see it clearly in the frosted glass but I saw it enough!

I need to hide some more. Going to put my second sleeping bag over my head. That’ll make me look like a body, so if a serial killer is going through my house right now and he makes it to the bathroom, he’ll think I’m already dead.

So long diary! If I survive this see you tomorrow.

A Little Rain

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I hadn’t been paying attention all day. The events of work yesterday were still reeling through my mind like one of those old films on a projector which had ended but kept spinning. That was why when I unlocked and opened my shoe box apartment door, I didn’t see the postcard on the floor.

The next morning it was laying there, having waited like an obedient dog for me to notice it. Frowning, I stepped off the edge of the postcard and bent down to pick it up, careful of my tight pencil skirt and new coal tights.

It looked an old postcard which had been laying there for a long time. The edges were dog eared, the card was turning from cream to yellow and there was scuff marks on both sides. The picture on the front was a strange nighttime cityscape, with lights on in the tall buildings and the sky behind them dusky dark. I turned it over and read the scribbled handwriting;

Today, it rained that matters a lot nowadays.   

I checked the address but the lines hadn’t been filled in and there was no stamp. Puzzled, I put the postcard down on the side table next to the phone and went to work. I was too busy to decipher the message.

Of course, when I came home the postcard was waiting for me but I ignored it. Slipping out of my heels, my feet hurting after another day of running around, I dumped my stuff on the floor next to them and went into my bedroom.

I ran the bath and had a good soak, letting all my thoughts swirl away. I had something to eat after then I picked up the postcard and went to bed. I was too tried to give it much thought but now that I’d held it again, my mind was interested by it.

There was no date that I could see, nor any little description about the imagine on the front which these postcards always have. I didn’t recognises the handwriting nor the meaning of the words.

I looked at the small picture framed window covered by it’s thin peach curtain and wondered if it was raining. It was true that I hadn’t seen rain in months. There was a drought and all water was being saved. So, what the postcard said was even more remarkable.

Maybe it was like spy code for something? Perhaps it had been delivered to my address by mistake? Tiredness washed over me and I set the postcard down again. Turning the lamp off, I settled into sleep and dreamt about rain.