Horizon #writephoto

horizon

The horizon didn’t look like anything Peaches had imagined it to be. She had thought it was going to bright and colourful, like in the old photos and film reals she had seen, instead though it was a dull blue-grey.

‘Not the promises I was led to believe,’ she muttered.

She lent her too thin body forward and rested her chin on her knees. Her arms were tightly wrapped behind her knees, keeping the long wool skirt in place and stopping the strong breeze from getting in.

Around her all the children and some of the adults from the Church Of The Redeemed Evangelists were splashing in the salty water or playing in the sand or exploring the rocks and caves. Cries of delight but also screams of pain could be heard amongst the babble of voices.

Peaches ignored them all, feeling tried and empty of the hope she had been holding in for so long.

‘What’s wrong with you?’ a sharp female voice asked.

With only moving her eyes, Peaches looked up and realised she wasn’t the one being addressed. Before her was a small woman, wearing the clothes of a Senior Sister; a long black dress which completely covered her body and a black head dress with a grey trim. Next to her was a small girl with blonde hair in a blue wool dress who was crying and rubbing her face.

‘My eyes hurt!’ the girl cried.

‘I knew this trip to the surface world would bring nothing but troubles,’ the Senior Sister spoke loudly, ‘and what have you learnt out here? Nothing. It would have been better to remain in the Temple. Come along, child. We shall wash your face.’

Peaches watched the Senior Sister taking the girl’s hand and leading her away to the little camp set up in a sheltered spot. There were two other Sisters sat there and from their clothes Peaches could tell they were Mothers, the highest of the female order.

‘I don’t want that to be my fate,’ Peaches whispered.

She looked at the horizon again, it still seemed bleak. However, there could only be freedom on the other side.

Peaches cast a long look around then slowly got up. She made as if she was just walking along the rough sand. Finally, though she was out of sight and trying to figure out how she could reach her horizon.

 

 

(Inspired by a prompt from; https://scvincent.com/2017/03/09/thursday-photo-prompt-horizon-writephoto. With thanks).

The King’s Skull

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By the time the goblet was handed down to Wisdom, the legend that the sliver helmeted skull was that of an forgotten ancient King killed in an unknown battle, had long been lost.

Wisdom placed the goblet on to his bookcase, not knowing what else to do with it. Staring at the empty eye sockets, he decided the skull was too real looking and he turned the goblet around.

Feeling a little better, he sit down at his desk and loaded a fantasy war game up on to his PC. For some reason though, his eyes kept drifting to the goblet and he couldn’t concentrate on his game.

There was something creepy about the goblet he decided and he didn’t want it in his bedroom. Getting up, he picked the goblet off the shelf and took it downstairs. He went into the dinning room and placed it in the glass corner case. The helmet wearing skull goblet looked out of place beside a small crystal rabbit and a hand painted porcelain box.

Wisdom went back upstairs and sat down at his desk again. He felt a lot better now. He got back to his game and forgot all about the goblet.

 

(Inspired by; https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/sunday-photo-fiction-january-15th-2017/)

Creature

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Jack knew he shouldn’t go further into the cave, but he was angry and didn’t care. Sand and shells crunched under his hiking boots and water dripped steadily. The light beam from the torch showed him how narrow the walls were getting. He hitched up his rucksack and heard it scrapping the wall.

He stopped and saw his breath misting before him. It was colder then he thought then. He shone the torch around, but there was nothing unusual about the cave. It looked just looked like the back of any cave on any beach. Jack turned back the way he had come. He couldn’t see the cave entrance, but he knew it was there.

They’re all outside having a good laugh at me now, he thought, whatever. Sod them.

He slipped his rucksack off and sat down on it. He tapped the torch about in his hands then turned it off. Darkness settled around him and he breathed in deeply. He shut his eyes and just listened to the distant sound of the sea. He also thought he heard the crackle of the fire and gusty blow of the wind.

The sound of soft footsteps moving towards him grew within the background of dripping water.

Great. I can’t even get a bit of space!

Jack thought about turning the torch on, but then decided against it. Let whoever it was find him in the dark. They liked playing games anyway didn’t they? His so called friends…

The footsteps came into focus and Jack knew something was wrong with them. It didn’t sound like boots or bare feet coming towards him. It sounded more like paws…

‘Hello?’ he shouted and flicked on the torch.

The light chased the shadows away and showed Jack nothing but the damp walls.

‘Quit messin’ and leave me alone! Jerks!’ he yelled.

He turned off the torch again and sat breathing heavily in the darkness.

The sound of paws picked up again and were followed by a low growl. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and Jack turned the torch slowly. Carefully, he guided the beam around.

Something moved against the wall to his left. He flashed the torch over and the light reflected two large grey glowing orbs.

He swore and scrambled to his feet. He tried to hold the torch steady to see more, but he couldn’t.

The growling came again. Fur brushed against the wall. The paws picked up speed.

He dodged to the side and ran. The light beam bouncing everywhere. He burst from the cave, kicking up sand as he arrived. He spun around and shone the light back into the entrance. Was it still following him?

His friends were scrambling around, he could see that out of the corner of his version. They were asking him what was wrong. But he couldn’t reply. He had no words to describe the creature he had just seen.

 

Story prompt from: https://scvincent.com/2016/10/27/thursday-photo-prompt-creature-writephoto/ with thanks.

Haunted Pumpkin

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Charlie arrived breathlessly home from school and went to head up to his room.

‘Charlie?’ his mum called from the kitchen.

His foot touched the bottom of the staircase and he almost broke into another run.

The kitchen door squeaked open and his mum appeared in the hallway. She was dressed in her office clothes; a black pencil skirt, white blouse and black jacket.

‘Are you okay?’

He nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

‘Come in the kitchen. I’ll get you a drink,’ she suggested.

Charlie looked longingly up the stairs and almost told her no. It was best just to get it over and done with though. Slowly, he followed her into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

There was a bright orange pumpkin opposite him. It was mostly round, but a bit bumpy. He reached a finger out and poked the soft flesh.

‘Here you go,’ his mum spoke and put a glass of milk before him.

Charlie picked it up, his eyes still drawn to the pumpkin.

‘How was school?’

‘Okay…Can I go now?’ Charlie said in a low voice.

His mum sighed, ‘I suppose. Dinner will be soon.’

Charlie nodded, took a sip of his milk and went upstairs with it. There in his bedroom, he turned his TV and game console on. He loaded his fantasy game and began playing.

‘Charlie!’ his mum called a few minutes.

He rolled his eyes and tutted.

‘I need to nip out. I forgot something. Do you want to come?’

‘No!’ he yelled back.

‘I’ll be back soon then.’

‘Fine!’ Charlie called back then under his breath, ‘I just want to be left alone.’

He heard the front door close and turned his focus back to his game. A boss battle was coming up. He charged head into the fantasy game, forgetting everything else. Until a loud thumping sound came from the kitchen.

Charlie paused, shrugged and carried on playing.

The sound came again as if someone was knocking on the back door.

Charlie finally paused the game and got up. Growling, he went downstairs and into the kitchen. There was no one at the back door, but the pumpkin had gone from the table. Puzzled, he looked around for it and saw a flash of orange on the floor. He looked under the table and saw the pumpkin there against the wall.

‘What the….?’

He reached out for it. Changed his mind and went back upstairs with a shake of his head. The pumpkin had just rolled off. It hadn’t looked stable anyway. Charlie rushed back upstairs and to his game. Settling down again, he carried on playing.

He just about heard his mum come home and start tea. Later on, She had to call him down for it three times, before he give in and went.

‘What were you doing up there?’ she asked, as he sat down.

‘Playing my game…’ Charlie answered.

‘Did you do your homework?’

‘It’s half term. I got time now,’ he responded.

He ate quickly and before his mum could say anything further, Charlie had gone upstairs again. Loading his game, he fall back into completing his mission to find a magic sword. Sometime later, he heard his dad come home then his parents coming to say good night to him.

Charlie pretended to go to bed, but really he waited till he was sure his parents had fallen sleep and got up again. He went to turn on his TV when a he heard something moving downstairs. He stopped and listened. It sounded like a heavy ball rolling down the hallway.

Frowning, Charlie crept to his door and looked out. The hallway was dark and he couldn’t see. He walked out. Turned on the light and tried to listen for the sound again. He couldn’t hear anything. He made to turn back into his room, but then there was a creak. He went to the edge of the stairs looked down.

The pumpkin was in the hallway.

Frowning and wondering how it got there, Charlie went downstairs. The pumpkin was in the middle of the hallway, on it’s side. He touched it with his barefoot but it didn’t move. Shrugging, he went back upstairs, turning off the light and shutting the door. Charlie went to his TV again and turned it on.

He reached for the button on his game console. A dull thump, stopped his hand. Charlie looked over his shoulder.

‘What’s going on?’ he muttered, ‘Whatever.’

He pressed the button and settled down. As the game loaded, he heard what sounded like someone walking up the stairs. Only it sounded more hollow and with large gaps in between each step. Charlie ignored it and started playing his game. He was in the middle of another quest now.

He heard the loose board on the landing creak.

Charlie stopped his game and turned off the TV. He scrambled into his bed and pulled the duvet over his head. He quieten his breathing and stilled himself. He listened hard. It was just his mum or dad getting up to go the bathroom or something.

There was a knock at his door.

Charlie faked sleep as best as he could.

His door opened, but instead of footsteps the carpet, something very heavy rolled across his floor.

Frowning, under the duvet, he wondered what was going on. He almost pulled the bedding down to see, but nervous had gotten to him. He held his breath and waited.

Something knocked into his bed and he felt vibrations through him.

Taking a deep breath, Charlie threw the duvet back and clicked on the lamp. He looked down and saw the pumpkin at the foot of his bed. A crude mouth and two eyes had been craved in the surface out of which yellow light was coming out. The pumpkin was grinning evil up at him.

A scream ripped out of Charlie’s mouth and echoing in his ears. He tried to get out of the bed, but the bedding was tangled around him. He fell to the floor and the pumpkin rolled towards him. Charlie screamed again and scuttled across the floor to the door. He reached it at the same time his mum appeared in the doorway.

He grabbed her legs and pressed his face against her. He felt her arms around him then heard her scream as she saw the pumpkin.

She pulled Charlie to his feet and they ran into her bedroom. Slamming the door, they both looked at Charlie’s dad getting out of the bed.

‘What is it?’ he asked.

‘The pumpkin….did you do that?’ Charlie’s mother gasped.

‘What?’

‘The pumpkin had a face on it and it was next to Charlie’s bed.’

‘It came into my room by itself!’ Charlie cried.

‘Don’t be silly!’ his dad snapped.

Pushing past them, his dad opened the door and looked out. They looked too and they all saw the pumpkin sat in the hallway. Light from it’s eyes and mouth pooling on the floor and casting an eerie glow around it.

‘Charlie, did you do that?’ his dad asked.

Charlie shook his head and backed away.

‘Why would he?’ his mum shot in, ‘he’s been in his room all day.’

‘Right, well someone’s having a laugh aren’t they?’ his dad said.

He went out into the hallway, picked the pumpkin up and they heard him carry it downstairs.

‘Honestly, Charlie, did you do that?’ his mum asked.

‘No. Why would I?’ Charlie shouted.

Shaking off the last of his fear, he went back to his room and closed his door softly. Charlie turned the TV back on, but before he sat down to play his game again, he went to the window. His bedroom looked over the side of the house. He couldn’t see anything out there other then the glow of a streetlamp and the side of the neighboring house. He went back to his game and after a few moments heard his dad come back in and to bed.

He heard the hush voices of his parents, but couldn’t make their words out. No doubt they were talking about him though. Ignoring all of that, he started to play his game again. However, he couldn’t help but think about what had just happened. Who had done that to the pumpkin and why? It had seemed so real, but of course it couldn’t have been….

Soon tiredness crept on him and Charlie went to bed. Just as he was falling asleep though, he heard something moving in the downstairs hallway. Pulling a face, he listened and tried to decided what that was. Then he heard something rolling up the stairs…

He clutched the duvet then throwing it back, he got out of bed and rushed to his desk. Grabbing his chair, he dragged it to his bedroom door and wedged the top of the chair under the door knob. He stepped back just as something heavy banged into his door. Charlie looked around his room, wondering what else he could do. But there was nothing here that would help.

The bang came against his door again and carried on.

He wanted to scream, but couldn’t.

Then the banging stopped.

He waited for what felt like an age, but was only a few minutes. He took the chair away and opened his door. He turned the hallway light on and saw it was empty. Then he noticed his parents bedroom door was open.

His mum’s scream ripped through the house and Charlie bolted over.

He turned on the light as he entered and his feet stumbled to a stop.

The pumpkin was on the bed eating his dad’ head. There was blood everywhere and his mum was fleeing into a corner. Charlie looked around and spotted a pair of small scissors on top of a cupboard. He grabbed them, charged in and stabbed the pumpkin with them.

The pumpkin turned to him, blood dripping from sharp fang teeth which tried to bite his fingers.

Charlie stabbed down again and again.

The pumpkin tried to move out of the way, but Charlie was faster. He stuck the scissors deep in, grabbed the pumpkin and threw it to the floor.

The pumpkin smashed and the yellow light went out.

Charlie looked at the mess, trying to catch his breath. Behind him, he heard his mum scrambling around on the bed. She was speaking, but he couldn’t hear her. Then her words sunk in and Charlie reached for a mobile phone and called an ambulance.

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…..

The Yearly Drawing

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Roisin sat alone in a darkened room with only the flicking of candle light for company. Arranging her long and many skirts around the stool before settling at the low table, she shut her eyes, drew in a deep breath and prepared herself. Gently tugging back the purple velvet cloth she had draped around her like a shawl, she picked up the card box in her left hand.

The black liqueur box felt cold and smooth in her net gloved hand. It weighed heavily in her palm and she thought about this feeling. The box seemed to hold fate inside of it and mysterious that only the universe knew. That’s where all the weight come from secretly. With her right hand, Roisin slide the lid off and looked inside.

A very faded, but once bright red colored patterned card back met her eyes. The design was flowing, plant leaf like and had an Italian air to it. She touched the white board, which was yellowed with a hundred or so years of age and many fingers. Slowly, she lifted all the large cards out and put the box to one side.

Even though the cards weighted less, they felt more heavier in her hand. Roisin looked at them then held them out as she asked the invisible fingers of fate to touch them. She shut her eyes again and pictured shadows reaching out from the corners towards her. Upon opening her eyes nothing had changed and she was still alone in the room.

Pressing the cards together in her hands, she thought about what she wanted to ask. She felt a slight tingling in her fingers then began to shuffle the cards. For a few moments, she imaged herself in Ireland, deep in all that green and legendary land. The sound of the sea maybe or the wind in the trees. She was there with other people who were waiting in the shadows. They were farmers, maybe, village folk and they feared her yet were fascinated by her.

The image faded and Roisin came back too. She was sat in her bedroom again. The black out curtains on the window, the candles flicking against the walls and the silence pressing down on her. She looked at the cards and realised the shuffling had stopped. Placing them down, she drew the top three and lay then side by side.

Her fingers strayed towards the set aside deck and for a moment she thought about drawing more and making a cross. The reading would be more in depth, but not any clearer. Deciding, she didn’t want to be sat puzzling over the messages, Roisin removed her hand and touched her finger tips to the first card.

She flipped it over, the nine of cups; the wish card. One of her wishes or hopes had come true recently. Happiness and love was her’s and there was good luck in her daily work.

The next was the three of wands; presently she should be experiencing more success and financial matters were better. She should be proud of her work and perhaps a new job was coming up. Life and love was looking fine as long as she was being treated as an equal. If not it was time to move on and if she single, she needed to allow more time.

The last one. She turned it and pressed it down on the table. strength; remember to stay focused and keep things in check. Spend quiet time being reflect and keep a straight head. Work should be going well, there is room to move up or around though and finally find your true worth. If she was in love it was going well and if not now was a good time to find someone.

Roisin rested her hands on the table. She didn’t need to ask the deck anything else. She slipped off the make-shirt shawl and gathered the cards back together. She put them back in the liqueur box then from under the table took out a plastic box. Ignoring the papers and other stuff inside, she put the tarot cards away.

She got up, her thoughts still reflecting on the reading. She blew the candles out and lifting the blinds, let the dull autumn afternoon back inside. Her bedroom lost all of the sinister atmosphere and became a bright space once more.

She packed everything away and got changed into normal clothes again.

The reading had been good. Yet, she felt drawn to find out more. There was always a turn. The cards promised so much and yet fate loved snatching it away. She sat down on her bed next to the box which she couldn’t put away until the candles had gone back in. Roisin looked at the black tarot box through the wavy plastic lid.

They called to her in away she couldn’t described. She could heard them whispering to come out again. Other people needed to hear their fates and she had to be the one to tell them. Her family line was of tellers, so it was her destiny. But she couldn’t do it. Never had she been able to bring herself to embrace it and become one with this ancient magic.

Roisin couldn’t keep away and that was why on Halloween every year, she opened herself up to it to give her some peace. One day though, she knew it would consume like every female member in her family. She would leave like her mother, grandmother and aunts, going wherever the string of fate lead her, telling those who would listen the messages she had for them.

There would be no coming back from that.

Creepy Clown (Part 5)

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Heavenly couldn’t sleep. She had lay in bed, tossing and turning for an hour now. Throwing back the duvet, she sprawled out and listened to the rain falling. The sound was gentle and smoothing, but Heavenly felt too on edge. All she could think about was the clown. She no longer thought that the man she had heard arrested on the news was the same one that she had seen in the park. So, he was still out there then.

She got up and leaving the lights off went to the window. Looking out she could see the rain drops on the glass and also on the cars parked up. A few houses still had lights on, but it wasn’t much to see by. She opened the window and let the chilly autumn wind blow in. It felt good on her hot skin and for a few moments she stood there enjoying it.

Heavenly went to turn from the window, but the sound of rapping on the fence stopped her. She whipped back and looked out. There was something moving in the alleyway. She could see a long shadow and hear footsteps. Hiding in the curtain, she watched as the gate which had been re-secured was forced open.

She tried not to make  a sound or move as the clown entered the back garden. Even in the dim light she knew it was the same one and he was also holding a red balloon. Heavenly’s eyes followed him as he took a few turns around the garden. He didn’t seem to be looking for something, rather that he was waiting and talking himself into doing something.

Heavenly made to slip away, she had to wake her mum and ring the police again.

The clown rose his head up and suddenly looked at her.

Heavenly froze, praying he hadn’t spotted her.

Then the clown clicked a torch on underneath his face. The light lit up his menacing red slashed mouth, his huge fake red nose and the black raised eyes. He grinned up at her, raised his hand up to his neck and made a slicing motion with his fingers.

Heavenly screamed, stumbled back and trapped over. Scrambling across the floor, she got up and ran straight into her bedroom door. Her hands fumbled for the dead bolt, then the handle. Finally she flung the thing open and ran into her mum’s room.

‘Mum! Clown! Garden!’ she balled like a child.

‘What?’ her mum’s voice drifted sleeping from the nest of a bed.

‘Clown!’ Heavenly gasped.

‘Where?’ her mum demanding.

‘Back garden!’

Her mum threw back the duvet and clicked on the light. She went to get up but a loud banging noise stilled her.

Heavenly spun and looked out the door, but she could see nothing in the darken hallway.

‘Quick! Put the lock on my door,’ Heavenly’s mum said.

Heavenly moved, slammed the door and turned the key in the lock. She backed away and scrambled into her mum’s bed as the sound of smashing glass came from the kitchen.

‘Police, please,’ her mum whispered into the phone.

Heavenly pressed herself into her mother’s side, just like a scared child and drew the duvet up and around her like a protective shield.

‘A man has broken into my house. He’s dressed as a clown, he’s been scaring my daughter. He was here last night trying to get in too. You need to send someone over right now!’

Heavenly, half listening to her mother’s voice and the movements in the kitchen, was floored with fear. Even had she ever felt so scared in all her life. Her ears filled with the sound of more breaking glass and the splitting off wood.

‘Get under the bed,’ her mum hissed and tried to shove her out.

‘No,’ Heavenly whimpered.

‘It’ll be safer. I’ve got a plan.’

Her mum threw the bedding off them both and helped Heavenly get under the bed. They moved some boxes and then rebuilt them around her in a fort like way. Her mum then made the bed up again, making it appear as if someone was hiding underneath the sheets. Heavenly then heard her moving around, perhaps picking up something before getting into the large wardrobe.

Heavenly’s breathing was so loud and she was shaking. She listened and heard footsteps on the stairs. She tried to quieten her breathing, but it was so hard. Turning her attention to the footsteps, she listened to them entering her room first and looking around. Furniture was opened and shut.

The footsteps moved into the bathroom. Things were moved again.

A pause.

Heavenly held her breath and told herself it was all a nightmare. None of this was happening right now. It was a bad dream and she’d wake up soon enough and just laugh it off.

The handle to her mother’s bedroom turned. It rattled loudly and a large force on the other side of the door tried to open it.

Heavenly let out a little squeak and pressed her hands to her ears.

Something banged into the door and the vibrations shot across the room. The key fell out of the lock and the banging continued.

Heavenly bite her lip and tasted blood. She curled up, still praying this was a bad dream and wishing her mum had stayed at her side.

The door caved in with a huge crashing sound.

Footsteps walked over it and into the middle of the room.

‘Come out, come out wherever you are,’ a muffled, soft man’s voice whispered.

Heavenly froze and shut her eyes.

The duvet was yanked back and a whipping slicing sound cut across the air.

‘Where are you?!’ the clown shouted.

Heavenly heard the wardrobe door bang open. Her mother screaming then something metal hitting something hard. A woof of air came out from someone above her and the bed sank with weight.

A scream rose inside her, but she kept it down.

In the distance, Heavenly heard sirens.

The boxes suddenly moved around her and the scream escaped her.

‘It’s me, Heavenly!’ her mum gasped, ‘come on!’

Hands grabbed her and she pulled out from under the bed then around and out the room. Heavenly looked back and saw a flash of yellow and red laying on the bed.

Her mum dragged her downstairs and to the front door. Desperately, she wanted to ask what had happened, but she couldn’t find the words.

Her mum threw the door open and they rushed out into the rain and the flashing blue night.

Creepy Clown (Part 4)

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Heavenly wasn’t sure how she got through the school day. She was so distracted and she couldn’t stop herself from thinking about the creepy clown. Her eyes would often wonder to the nearest window and she would look out over the large grounds of the school. She wrote down only a few notes and as the last class ended instead of rushing to the library, she hurried to the school gates.

She caught the bus home, something she hadn’t done in years. However, she had to get off before the park as the bus route didn’t go down to her street. Luckily, a few other students got off and she could pretend for a few minutes that she was walking with them. Their voices, laughing and carefree filled her ears, but their words were so distant.

Heavenly trailed them as the entered the park; three young boys looking for mischief and two girls a year or two below her. The boys ran off to the playground. She watched them go, half expecting to the clown to be there, but there was only more children and two or three parents. The girls carried on walking and chatting about a boy in their class they both liked and a teacher who always give them too much homework.

Keeping her distance from them, Heavenly glanced around the park as they walked through the full length of it. Nothing seemed out of place. The wind was blowing the multi-colored leaves from the trees, the grass was getting a carpet of those leaves now and the sky was still looking just as grey as this morning. A promise of more rain to come and an early night for sure.

At the end of the park the girls turned and walked in the opposite direction Heavenly wanted to go in. She paused by the gates and watched them carrying on, totally unaware of her. Looking down the long, lonely road she now had to face, Heavenly felt glad of the daylight and quicken her pace home.

She let herself in and went up to her bedroom. It was Friday and her mum wasn’t working tonight, but she might still be in bed. Heavenly swung her bag off and changed out of her school uniform. Dressed in P.J bottoms and a loose jumper, she went to the window and pushed the curtains aside. The back garden, alleyway and neighbors’ back gardens all looked the same.

Closing the curtains again, she began emptying her bag and getting ready to do some school work. She pulled out a few things then her fingers closed on something soft and damp. Confused, she removed her hand and saw the soft clown doll in her palm. She dropped it on her bed in disgust.

The clown was dirty and was wearing a red and yellow stars jumpsuit with a matching hat. His feet, hands and face were white and his features looked painted on. He had a grinning slash of yellow for a mouth, a round red nose and hard black dotted eyes.

Heavenly picked him up in a pinch and went to take him to the bin. Then she thought better about it and took the soft toy downstairs to the kitchen. There she dug out a sealable sandwich bag and shoved the clown in. Maybe it would be evidence, maybe not. She took it back to her room and placed it in the bottom draw of her desk.

Then turning on her computer and putting some music on, she got down to finishing her homework. A couple of hours later, her mum arrived home with some shopping, fish and chips for tea and a never ending stream of questions. Heavenly did her best to eat and talk at the same time. She left nothing out of last nights events and concluded with her coming home early and re-finding the clown doll.

‘He better not come back tonight. I’ll give him a piece of mind,’ her mum jumped in as Heavenly finished speaking, ‘has everyone gone mad or something?’

‘I don’t know,’ Heavenly mumbled around a chip.

‘Don’t worry, it’ll be fine,’ her mum added.

Heavenly nodded, but somehow she didn’t feel it.

To Be Continued…

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…

Creepy Clown (Part 2)

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Heavenly paused at her bedroom window. Her room faced the back garden which was only a small square of short grass framed by tall dark brown fencing. Evening had all but turned to night, but enough of the neighbors’ house lights were on to see by.

Heavenly looked out, she saw a cat walking on a wall a few gardens down and the wind blowing harder through bushes and tall plants. Over her garden wall, she could just see the alleyway that ran between the rows of terraced houses then the next line of houses’ back gardens. Nothing else was moving , so she let the curtain fall and turned away.

She walked out of her room, cross the hallway, passed the bathroom and into her mum’s room. There she went to the window and drew in a deep breath before gently opening the gap in the middle of the drawn curtains. Peering out, her breath held as she looked down on the street. Nothing was moving, but the wind which she could just about hear.

‘There’s nothing out there,’ Heavenly spoke aloud, ‘it’s all in your mind. And that clown was just trying to scare you and nothing more.’

Letting the curtain slipped from her fingers, Heavenly closed the gap. Turning she, tightening her fists then releasing them. Trying to push the event out her mind, she let her mum’s room and went back to her own. She got changed out of her high school uniform into fluffy PJ’s.

Putting some other clothes away, she caught her reflection in the wardrobe mirror. Her long curly dark blonde hair was a mess. She took it down then re-put it up again. Her pale and freckled face was flushed deep pink with the cold and the run. She pushed her purple framed glasses further up her nose then closed the wardrobe door.

Heavenly then picked up her shoulder bag and dug around in it. She took out her empty plastic lunchbox, school text books, notebooks and pencil case. Picking up the lunchbox, she weighed it in her hands and glanced over at the curtained window.

Just one more check…. she thought.

Slowly, she went to the window and slipped her fingers down the end of the curtain to peer around one side. The gap was too small. Heavenly pulled the corner back more and looked harder. The cat was now walking across her fence. The ginger moggy sure footed as it balanced its way across.

Heavenly looked down both sides as far as she could see.

‘There’s nothing there!’

She dropped the curtain and hurried out of her room and downstairs. She turned right into the kitchen and dumped her lunchbox next to the sink. She got and drink a glass of water then turning around spotted a scrap of paper on top of the cooker. Going over, she found and read a note from her mum;

Hi sweetie, pie and chips in the oven. Please take the washing out of the machine and I’ll see you in the morning. Love you, Mum x.      

For the first time in months, Heavenly wished her mum wasn’t working nights at the hospital. Right now, she didn’t want to be alone. Heavenly dropped the note on the work top and looked down at the oven. She could feel the slight heat coming off the glass still. With a sigh, she opened the door and took out her food.

Grabbing a can of cola, Heavenly went into the living room to eat. She turned on the TV and put on the news. She ate quickly, wanting to go to her bedroom, lock the bolt on her door and do her homework. Finishing up, she was about to turn the TV off when a news report stopped her.

‘The sightings of clowns throughout England continue to grew.’

The breathe caught in her throat and Heavenly became fixed on the TV screen. The male news reporter continued, ‘the craze which has been happening in America over the last few years every October has started here. People have reported seeing scarily dressed clowns outside of schools, shops and their homes. Police have stated they are looking into it and ask people to stay away and report all sightings to them.’

Heavenly swallowed and whispered, ‘clowns…’

She turned the TV off and flopped back against the sofa. Taking a few deep breaths, she shut her eyes. Straight away, she saw that clown sat silently on the swing and the red balloon tied to the bench.

Heavenly cried out and snapped open her eyes. Abandoning everything she fled upstairs and into her room. She slammed the bolt on the door home and took a few deep breaths. Going to her bed, she gathered her school things and sat down at her desk. Turning on her computer, she flipped through her homework diary and debated what to start work on.

However, as soon as the computer and the internet home page had loaded, Heavenly typed into the search engine; Clowns England News. 

Straight away millions of results appeared;

‘Killer Clown’ Craze.

‘Creepy Clowns’ Invade UK.

Girl aged 10 threaten by creepy clown outside school.

Creepy clowns sightings on the raise.

Seen a creepy clown? Here’s what you should do.

Clowns in outrage over misconduct by ‘creepy clowns’.

‘Wow,’ Heavenly breathed.

She clicked and opened up a few news pages and began reading. A dozen or so websites later, Heavenly had to stop, her mind was freaking out and all she could think about was what if the clown had caught her? What would he have done to her…

Heavenly felt the panic raising within her. She dived into her bed and buried herself under the duvets. She tried to collect herself, but she was crying already. Taking in big gulps of air which didn’t seem to help, she wiped her face and thought about calling the police. Just like most of the articles had stated. Calming herself and turning things over in her mind, she thought about other things for a few moments.

Shaking her head, Heavenly felt like laughing at herself. Reaching the conclusion that the clown had meant to do nothing but scare her and it was a Halloween prank, she dropped the whole thing.

‘This is just silly,’ she finally said aloud and threw the bedding off.

She got up and went boldly to the window. Yanking back the curtains she looked outside. It was totally dark out there now. Heavenly stared hard, trying to see anything at all.

A neighbor’s security light flashed on. Heavenly blinked away sudden blindness. Something moved on the other side of her fence. The ginger moggy? Heavenly pressed her face against the cold window and watch as a red balloon bobbed into view.

To Be Continued…