FFfAW : The beat of a tin heart

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Jade M. Wong. Thank you Jade!


 

She’s there again, the bobbin head at the window, slashes of blonde hair warping with the faults in the window pane. Her face is a pale oval, the grey of over-washed sheets.

As I mount the steps of the smoky block that was once our home, I sense her approach the glass, peer at my crunching path along the shingle drive. I listen for the tap of her nails – tick-tick, tick-tick, like a tiny metal heart beat – but it doesn’t come. There is only the wind soughing in my ears and the groan of the door swinging wide.

‘Daddy’s home,’ I call.

But she won’t come down from her attic room. She’ll stay at the window, with her grey face paling, her mouth a blur of silent pleas and prayers, hoping that someone will come.

Someone who isn’t me.

 


Written for FFfAW. See the pic and share a tale.

As it’s the eve of Halloween and Jade’s photograph took me in that direction, I thought a tale of ghostly presences and seen things that aren’t quite seen would be fitting.

 

55 thoughts on “FFfAW : The beat of a tin heart

  1. Wonderful Lynn. I almost feel they are both ghost figures, stuck in this old house for centuries. Great atmosphere and gets better the more one thinks about it.

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    1. Thank you Iain. I know what you mean about them both feeling like ethereal beings. Not sure what I imagined when I wrote it, I just liked the feeling of dread! Thanks so much for the kind comment

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      1. Excellent! Glad it looks okay – yours will be unique as I spotted a small spelling error on the cover which I have amended – so only your copy will have this. May make it worth more in the future, you never know! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for people to read it and hear what they think.

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      2. Ha! You’ll have me searching for the typo now! My other half saw the book and before I explained who you were he said – ‘Good cover and a great title’. The man does not give praise lightly, so take it as a huge compliment πŸ™‚ Reading The Girl on the Train at the mo, but as soon as I’m done, I’ll be on to A Justified State. Looking forward to reading it and to sharing your news tomorrow. Hope you get a lot of sales and coverage and I will review on Amazon when I’ve finished it.

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      3. Perfect, thank you Lynn. I’m glad that title got a compliment, that was deliberated on for a long, long time – so you can thank your other half from me!

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      4. Nothing so sophisticated or organised as that, but I will put out word to anyone who might want to do an interview, review, share publicity, blog post etc… and hopefully get a little publicity that way. I don’t have ambitious targets for sales, so any little extra is just a bonus!

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      5. If I can do any of that, just let me know. You have many more followers than I do, but you never know, I might be able to spread the word to a few extra folk.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Why I feel this is a horrible story of child molestation, where a girl does not want her father to come to her? Without saying much you said so much.

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  3. Appropriately creepy for Halloween! I do wonder at the ending, is it hinting at something supernatural, or something more along the lines of abuse? This is wonderful writing, Lynn!

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      1. Yes, it seemed to have that effect on a few people. It felt creepy as I wrote it, imagining that little face at the window, appearing but not engaging with the father. That ones best left alone I think – I shalln’t be writing more

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      2. It’s not really the kind of thing I write, abuse stories. Worthwhile if done well, but not really me. I’m sure you could enter it in a competition, Jane, if you wanted to find a home for your story

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      3. People buy it though, Jane. Last time I went into a WH Smith there was a shelf of paperbacks with black and white photographs of sad looking kids on the covers with titles like ‘Daddy’s little girl’. It’s disturbing but for some reason people do read them. You were obviously driven to write it for whatever reason but I know what you mean – I’m not comfortable with using the subject in fiction either.

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      4. I suppose it’s like the ‘news’ magazines entirely devoted to nasty stories. Some people get a ghoulish pleasure out of reading about real life horrors. I read a novel a few years ago and I cannot remember either the title or the author except that is was by one of the very dark Irish authors, post opening up about the skeletons in the cupboards. It was horrible and disturbing, incest, sequestration, abuse, the works. I felt dirty reading it. Something must have rubbed off.

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      5. Oh, I loathe those magazines – I know exactly the ones you mean. The true life women’s magazines stuffed with ever more repellent stories. I know the people selling the stories probably could do with the money, but exposing the most traumatic events for consumption in a weekly mag that will be read at a dentist surgery then dumped in the recycling, ready for more horror next week? Revolting. I avoid stuff like that. I haven’t read Room yet, though I’ve been told several times how great it is and how ultimately hopeful. I believe it was sort of inspired by the Fritzl case so I’ve shied away from reading it. The true story is far too horrible to read as fiction

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      6. The British press is notorious for these rags. There’s one here called Detective that’s similar. You see it advertised in village shops. The kind of places where these crimes occur…

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      7. Well, I know people are drawn to hearing lurid details of crimes – I suppose it’s an extension of the fascination humans have always had for violent stories (what are the Norse sagas other than tales of horror and woe?) but it’s still distasteful. I used to work with a woman obsessed with true crime magazines and TV programmes. I did worry about her.

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      8. I suppose most of us are drawn, in an appalled way to horror, but I have a nasty feeling that some people are not appalled but thrilled, which is disturbing.

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      9. The judges are backing down because they’re afraid of reprisals. I reckon they’ll just bundle her and her family out on the quiet to avoid a diplomatic incident. If there’s an appeal it will be upheld and she’ll hang. Monsters.

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  4. If I read that yesterday I guess I would have tied it to Halloween, but today I am looking toward Thanskgiving. It does not take away from your writing however, you brought me back for a last gasp at Halloween thinking. Very skillful story telling.

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