Mind Falling

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Everyday I was falling through my mind. Imagines and thoughts tumbling by which I could only half process. Strangely, my current thoughts seemed to be with me and I could think as if I was on the outside again. Mostly, I wondered about when this was all going to stop and what had been the cause of it? How does one man become trapped inside of his own mind and how can he break free?

The answer hadn’t come to me yet, so I was still falling though memories. There were flashes of things I’d totally forgotten but somehow had been stored here and other flashes of things I’d rather not see ever again. There were happy scenes, sad scenes, holiday, birthday scenes and dangerous scenes that triggered all kinds of things deep within me.

After awhile, I stopped paying attention. That was until, I reached my childhood memories. A weird feeling grew and I realised how little happy memories I had at this time. Also, how much I had forgotten. Had my teacher really had green hair? Had my painting really been in that gallery display? What had been my best friend’s girlfriend’s name? Where were all this people now?

I couldn’t really answer any questions, that knowledge wasn’t stored here. What did that matter anyway? The past wasn’t going to happened again, even though right now I did feel like I was re-living it. When all those memories ended there was nothing but blackness. It seemed I was drifting through space, but I didn’t think that was true.

What was going to happened now? Was this for eternity? Or would I cycle back around. I tried shouting, but like last time nothing came of it. I tried to stop moving, but couldn’t. Then all my thoughts stopped.

 

(Inspired from; https://whatthehellisreal.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/photo-fiction-99/ with thanks).

Watchers #writephoto

Pausing on the footpath before the tall jagged rock faces, I got an odd feeling that I was being watched. Looking around, I couldn’t see anyone. The normal sounds of birds singing, the warm breeze shifting leaves and the water from the stream lapping still surrounded me.

I raised my head, noticing the small trees growing straight out of the rock alongside the grass clumps and moss. It was hard to tell if anyone was up there. I thought about shouting out, but that seemed pointless. Finding a boulder to rest on, I took out my drink bottle and phone. I took a few photos of the fantasy setting likes scenery and sipped my tepid water.

I had originally planned to walk the path between the two rocks and head further into the woods but now I was here, doubts were setting in. There didn’t seem to be much of a path and a lot of fast growing plants made the gap look smaller. Still, though it would take too long to walk around.

Feeling a little like Red Riding Hood, I set off again and past between the rocks. My rucksack scrapped against the sticking out stones and my boots chomped down on the undergrowth. Pressing my hands, against the rough sides for balance, I eased my way through.

The abrupt cries of two crows startled me. Stopping, I looked up and saw one of them -an old scrawny bird, on an rocky outcrop far above me. My breath caught in my throat as I realised the crows was rising an alarm. A gust of wind whipped up around me, pressing cold fingers against my legs. I felt a shiver run up my spine and my fingers began to claw into the passageway as if the rocks were moving into suffocate me.

I started to feel on the edge of a panic attack. I dropped my head and took in deep breaths, willing away the urge to get out and be far away from here. I tried to convince myself this was nothing but my feelings were telling me different. I needed to sit down but I couldn’t. Letting my hands slide, I felt then becoming grazed but I didn’t care.

The crows was screaming above me and I couldn’t hear anything but their shrill cries. I thought some wild tribesmen are going to appear and cart me off or a witch pop up and casting a curse on me. I tried to laugh it away, telling myself how silly I was being. Nothing was going to happen!

I focused on the ground, counting all the stones until they merged into one. There came the sound of something heavy shifting and groaning. I looked up, picturing a giant emerging from the rock face. Instead though, I saw a few small rocks tumbling down. Frowning, I turned my attention to that and saw a chuck of crag cracking away.

Rumbling vibrations came through the ground, shaking through me. Movement re-entered my body like water bursting through a dam. I spun and fled, pain shooting into my right ankle. Branches scrapped at me as if trying to hold me back, but I broke free and stumbled out of the pass. Landing heavily on sharp grass, I twisted and looked back.

A rock slide was happening! Close to where I had been bits of crag were falling and whacking the plants. The sounds were a mixture of rock on rock, crunching and snapping of greenery and groaning. Dust plumed, forming a creamy-yellowy cloud that puffed itself into the sky.

I lent back, breathing deeply and tasting grit in my mouth. When the echoing noises had faded, I eased up and inspected the now blocked passage. It was hard to tell and maybe I was being too dramatic, but that had been a close call.

A ruffing of wings drew me away and I saw two crows land on the boulder and stare at me.

‘Thank you,’ I said aloud, ‘you were trying to warn me, weren’t you?’

The crows eyed me, clicked their beaks and took off again, flying away over the treetops.

With a final glance at the pass which now seemed harmless once more, I turned away and took the longer route into the woods.

 

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/08/03/thursday-photo-prompt-watchers-writephoto/ with thanks.)

Sails #writephoto

windmill at sunset, Brill, Buckinghamshire. Image: Sue Vincent

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)

Zombie Office

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Nothing ever got done in the zombie office. By the time most of the workers got in it was mid-day and when the last of them left it was almost nighttime. The air smelt like blood, over-cooked meat and rot which wasn’t something a non-zombie could stomach for long. Also, everything felt sticky and had strange dried prints on it from things no one wanted to knew about.

Watching the zombies from his large office window, the new manager called the chief executive up and said, ‘why have we hired zombies? They hardly get any work done and their office is a mess! Wouldn’t normal people be better?’

The chief executive breathed heavily down the phone and replied, ‘I understand but if we could’ve hired “normal” people we would’ve done.’

‘What do you mean?’ the new manager asked.

‘Well….We’re a bit short on humans at the moment,’ the chief executive explained.

‘I see……’ the manager trailed.

‘Don’t worry about it. The zombies will get their tasks done soon enough. If you need something rushed get a witch or warlock in office WW twenty-eight to do it,’ the chief executive added then put the phone down.

The new manager signed and turned away from that window to another. This one looked out of the city. He could see a dark grey gloomy sky and lines of black smoke raising upwards. Most of the buildings were burnt and or abandoned, those that were still occupied barely hung on to their grey and brown colours.

The Supernatural Take Over really wasn’t going to plan.

Desert

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In the desert no one can remember your name because once you enter the red sand you are lost to all time in an accidentally wormhole. Your life is wiped out and those that knew you forget instantly as if you had never been born. The wormhole is eternal and as you drift through you see flashes of things. Sometimes you know these things – a rainbow, an expensive take away coffee cup but most of the times there’s just flashes of colour. You will die here in days, weeks maybe a month because no one gets out for that is the nature of a red sand wormhole.

The Basement (Part 7)

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

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

‘Are you hurt?’ Raven asked me.

‘I don’t think so…’ I trailed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘I tripped. I’m fine,’ I said.

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

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

‘What you doing?’ I mumbled.

‘Slowing them down,’ Raven replied.

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

‘Crow!’

A hand slapped my face and I awoke quickly.

‘You are hurt,’ Raven said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘How much further?’ I asked.

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

‘How sure?’

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

‘Are we lost?’

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

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

Raven nodded.

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

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

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

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

‘Are you okay?’ I asked.

‘I think so…’

‘Listen, Raven…’

‘I love you, Crow.’

‘I love you too,’ I replied.

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

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

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

The Basement (Part 6)

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

I felt Raven squeezing against me, breathing hard in my ear. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; a skeleton was really raising out of the ground. I tried to be rational, there was an earthquake and that was why all the graves were being disturbed. I was sure I’d heard something about that when there were other disasters; cemeteries got broken up and bodies moved about. That’s all it was.

‘Let’s go,’ I said and started to get up.

Raven muttered something that I didn’t hear, it sounded like, ‘keep low.’

We helped each other up then began moving towards the dirt covered stairs. Another skeleton hand burst upwards, showering us with soil. I swallowed a scream. There was nothing to be scared of, I was just over reacting. Grabbing Raven’s hand tightly, I walked steadily forward, keeping my eyes fixed on the door.

‘Oh, Crow look!’ Raven called.

I stole a glance at her and in the direction she was pointing. My wife was a mess which was so not like her. She was covered in dirt and her cheeks were flushed red. Her finger was pointing at the first stone sarcophagus. A large crack had spilt the stone side in half and the lid had moved off.

‘It’s just the earthquake,’ I shouted, ‘Oh no! The house!’

I broke into a run, suddenly blinded by worry. Tugging my wife after me, my thoughts spiralled and I pictured the house breaking apart and falling down. Everything would be lost! All my money, stuff, my life….My marriage….. Panic shot through me and I darted like a rabbit being chased by a fox.

‘Crow!’ Raven yelled at me.

I had no time to respond. The ground give a huge violent shake, tumbling us back down. I hit the moving soil hard and felt pain spiking through my hands, arms and knees. My torch flew away from me; light scattering around like a disco ball. I caught my breath then looked at my wife.

Raven was on her knees, searching for her torch which had tumbled down a hole. Her cheek and hands were scratched and bleeding. Her hair was totally dishevelled and clumped with dirt. In the dim light, her face looked pale, puzzled and worried.

‘Raven. Are you okay?’ I asked.

From behind us came loud groaning sounds which reminded me of zombie movies. Raven was a fan of those movies and whilst I found them okay, the idea that one day zombies could walk the earth chilled me. Trying to pertained it was just gas escaping. I helped Raven find her torch then went over to mine.

Something ensnared my leg, biting into my ankle. I cried out and looked down. Fingers were wrapped around me. I tried to kick free, but the grip was too strong. I bent down, ready to prise the boney fingers off me. Instead, another hand came upwards and grabbed mine.

‘Oh my god! It’s got me! Raven! Ahhhh!’ I screamed.

I heard rather then saw, Raven rush over and began stomping on the hands. The bones broke and snapped away but some how the skeleton still held on to me. I felt myself being dragged downwards. I couldn’t do anything my brain had gone into total panic. I felt the iron grip loosen and my wife tugging me away.

Raven must have been saying something but I couldn’t hear her. All around the groaning had reached a high followed by the sounds of the place shaking and things breaking a part. I couldn’t keep my balance and was constantly stumbling over. I was struggling to breath too, the air was clogged with dust, dirt and decay.

My hand slipped from Raven’s. I bent over trying to calm myself and focus. I looked at the ground just next to my feet and took in deep breaths. This was so not happening! Whatever the hell was going on here wasn’t real. This was a nightmare and I was going to convince myself of it.

Despite all the background noise, I heard the snapping of wood close by and looked up. Raven was standing by a dark wooden coffin and was ripping off chunks of the lid. Her torch was between her legs and she was grunting with the effort but looked determined to achieve her goal. Frowning, I watched her break the long planks in half. She handed me two and I slipped my torch under my arm. Then I switched the plank and torch around. It took my brain a moment to realise what she wanted me to do.

We were surround. The skeletons were all upright and ambling towards us with shuffling steps. Some had scraps of fabric hanging off them, others had shoes still on, a few even had jewellery around their necks and arms. There was no flesh or anything else left on them, they were all just creamy or yellow bones. It looked like a scene out of a fantasy horror movie.

It was a strange sight and one that would stay with me forever. I clutched the piece of coffin lid my wife had given me as if it alone would save me. Though I wasn’t religious I began praying because that was always the think to do in situations like this, wasn’t it?

‘Oh God, or whatever, please save us. Please get us out of this….’ I spoke.

‘I’ll get us out of this,’ Raven cut in.

I looked at her and she was battle ready. In a flash, I remembered the time I had seen her fight in a competition and how she had quickly won. Now, she was holding her pieces of wood like swords in both hands and was fixed on the closest skeleton, ready to swing it’s skull off. Her torch was safe tugged under her arm.

I had been avoiding looking into the hollow eye sockets before, but now I was drawn too. There was nothing there, not like a black spark of evil magic or anything that would allow sight. What was drawing these things to us?

Raven struck out at the skeleton and just as I predicated it’s skull went sailing off, over the tops of the other skeletons. Then that one just crumpled to the ground, all the bones clattering together and forming a scattered pile at Raven’s feet.

‘Easier then I thought! Come on Crow! Get whacking!’ my wife screamed.

She swing both pieces of wood this time and took out two skeletons. Nervously, I looked at the skeleton coming towards me. It was short and it’s jaw was hanging off to the side. I shut my eyes, took a deep breath, opened my eyes then swung back with the plank in my right hand. As if I was hitting an oncoming ball, I swung back with force, aiming of the skull and actually sending it clean off.

‘Yeah! You did it!’ Raven cheered, ‘Now do it again!’

I was shaking and wasn’t sure I could. I watched her take out three more then there was another skeleton real close to me. I swung out again and this time caught the rib cage. There was a snapping and cracking of bones. The skeleton paused then stepped towards me again. This time I aimed for the skull and took it straight off.

‘We need to move!’ Raven yelled with a toss of her head, ‘let’s get to the door and out of here!’

‘But how?’ I shouted back.

The ground was still quaking and the skeletons were swarming us. I had another flash picture, only this time we were covered in skeletons and they were biting at us till we died. If this was a nightmare then it would end, right? I didn’t have time to reflect on that because another skeleton was upon me.

I hit into it, taking down in two strokes. The bones crumpled to the floor to join the others. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Raven make a break for it and dart over to the steps. We had been super close before, but we had allowed the skeletons to cut us off. Trying to keep down my panic, I fled after her, feeling boney finger tips scratching me.

Seeing Raven reach and climb the stairs, spurred me on. My foot hit the first step and I raced up them, moving faster then I’ve ever done in my whole life. I heard the skeletons moaning and groaning behind us as if they realised we were getting away. I strange thought entered my head; how could they make noise when they had no vocal cords?

That was another thought for later! Raven was through the door and spinning back to call me on.

‘Almost there, Crow! Come on! You can do it!’ she called.

I charged through the door like a bull and went sprawling on the floor of the passage way. I heard the door slamming shut and Raven scrambling around. I climbed to my feet and saw my wife pressed again the door.

We were far from safe.

To Be Continued….

Wings #writephoto

They circled as one giant black mass. Blocking the sky and the sun out, causing darkness to fall. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked up in wonder. Then the birds began dropping like stones. Their lifeless bodies hitting roofs, cars, pavements and people.

Panic raged across the country. Everyone hurried to find shelter, whilst grabbing phones to take photos, footage and to call others. Cats and dogs went crazy trying to catch the dead birds but soon even other animals realised that something was very wrong.

Hours later, the bodies of all the world’s birds lay piled up on the ground. All countries had declared an emergence and everyone was either being told to stay home or if they were needed to come in right away.

No one could work out what had happened but one thing was for sure Earth was now in great peril.

 

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/06/08/thursday-photo-prompt-wings-writephoto/ with thanks)

Death X

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Something awakes you and your eyes open slowly. It takes a few seconds to realise you are looking at the bathroom ceiling and are laying on the floor beside the tub. Easily up, you rub your head and face, wondering how you ended up here.

Placing your hands on the cold bathtub, you get to your feet. You notice there’s no water in the tub but there is strange red stains around the plug hole, on the bath’s sides and across the white tiles. Even though it’s smeared, one of the stains on the tiles looks like a hand print….

You turn to the sink. Run the cold tap and splash water on your face. Feeling a little better, you walk into your bedroom. At that point you realise you are naked. Pinging with worry, you snatch a long t-shirt and shorts off your bed and put them on. You listen, wondering if you are still alone in the house.

Hearing nothing, you drift around your room trying to figure out what happened. You decided you must have slipped getting out of the bath. Going to the clock, you look at the time and see it’s past midnight. Four hours have past since you were in the bath.

Something on your desk catches your eyes and you go over. The desk is normally tidy, that’s how you like it, everything put away and organised. It helps you to think clearly. There’s a sheet of notebook paper right in the middle of the desk. Picking it up, you began reading and quickly realise this is a suicide note in your handwriting with blood droplets across it.

How can this be? You managed to say before your head becomes too filled with puzzlement and panic. You try to calm, to take deep breaths. You sink on to the chair and focus on the letter. You notice a date at the top. It was three days ago.

Everything starts to click into place. You recall the bathtub and tiles with the red stains. So it must be true, you decided. However, you can’t remember anything. Re-reading the letter a few times the more you get a feeling that something just isn’t right.

Knock #writephoto

My great-grandfather, Bill, told me this story and tonight I want to tell you it.

In his time, the mines were all over Cornwall and almost all the men worked in one. They did long hard shifts, digging underground in small, dimly light tunnels. The sounds of pickaxes, shovels and carts filled the air so loudly they could hardly hear each other. And the coal dust! It got everywhere and clogged the air right up. They said if you cut a miner up the only thing inside of him would be black coal dust.

Now one day, great-grandfather Bill was down in a new tunnel having a quick walk through to make sure the wooden support beams had been put in place before any real digging started. He had with him an old friend called Tom and as they stood in the middle of the tunnel, they heard a loud sharp knock.

Puzzled they listened harder. They were far from the other miners and the noise couldn’t have travelled that long and clear as it had been. They looked at each other and listened again. There was another knock then no more.

‘It’s the Knockers,’ Tom whispered.

Bill shot Tom a look and replied, ‘it’s just the echos of someone digging. This beam is fine. On to the next.’

The moved on and inspected a few more beams before they heard another knock. The sound travelled through the tunnel and it was much like heavy knuckles rapping at a wooden door. No way could that have been the sound of someone mining coal.

‘Hello!’ Bill shouted.

His voice echoed but there was no reply. He flashed his lantern round and the candle flame flickered then became still. Bill couldn’t make anything out and it didn’t help that the light was only a small pool.

‘Let’s go,’ Tom muttered and started to head back.

‘No. We need to finish this…’

‘I’m going back! When a Knocker starts a knocking you get out!’ Tom stated.

Bill watched him walk away in the glow of the candle light. My great-granddad wasn’t afraid of the little folk who lived underground. He carried on with his work, taking the time to check each beam would hold the tunnel roof up.

A shuffling of footsteps drew his attention and he shone his light down. There was nothing in front or behind him on the solid rock ground he could see. A chuckling noise snapped Bill’s head right up and he spun around, knowing now he wasn’t alone.

‘Tom that you! Come on, show yourself!’ Bill shouted.

A spot of light glowed against the tunnel wall and Bill started to track it. The flames was ahead of him. Thinking that his men were playing a trick on him, Bill decided to ignore it. They weren’t going to get the satisfaction from scaring him.

Bill walked towards the light, but it seemed to fade and move away the closer he got. Growling, he stopped and wiped the sweat from his head. He was tried, hot and wanting to go home to his wife.

He swore and turned around to head back.

The tinkling of metal and the sound of someone hammering with a pickaxe made Bill turn back. He saw there before him, in the gloomy light, a small figure no bigger then a very small child. The figure, appeared to be a male and wearing a miner’s clothes. His face was that of an old man with wrinkles and a long grey beard. He had a lantern in one hand and pickaxe in the other.

‘Are you a Knocker?’ Bill asked in shock.

The figure nodded, ‘aye.’

‘What do you want?’ Bill demanded.

‘You didn’t seem to get our warning about this tunnel. It’s not safe. So I thought I’d come and tell you myself. Since you are alone now,’ the Knocker replied in a gravelly voice.

Now, Bill wasn’t sure what else to say and he was trying hard to remember what people said about Knockers. They were little folk who liked to cause mischief, steal tools and food. Some of the men tossed their pasty crusts to them in the hopes it would keep them away.

‘You should go,’ the Knocker said sharply.

Bill nodded and turned around, he walked a few steps then twisted about again. The tunnel before him was empty. He walked out and a few moments later a giant rumble echoed through the tunnel. Bill turned and saw the entrance clouded in thick smoke. When it cleared, the tunnel had collapsed.

When he came up from the mine that evening, Bill went straight home and didn’t tell anyone what had happened.

It was only when I was a kid and he liked telling tales that one day that story slipped out of him. I asked him many times to tell me about it, but he only told it one other time and that was right before he died.

You see, it was just too unbelievable for him to deal with what he saw and now he’s taken the full story to his grave.

 

(Inspired from a prompt by; https://scvincent.com/2017/06/01/thursday-photo-prompt-knock-writephoto/ with thanks).