Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers : The loss of Folly

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Fandango. Thank you Fandango!


 

‘Stay down. Stay hidden.’ A last flash of Poppa’s eyes in the darkness and he was gone.

Folly did as she was told. She knew the forest well, the creak of the trunks in the wind, the sound of twigs falling to leaf litter, the scurry of creatures smaller and more terrified than herself.

But she searched for other sounds – the soft rustle and pause of a lean wolf, the hiss of breath through his snout; the grunt of boar.

Most of all she listened for the Others, the clumsy thrash of their limbs, the hushed, garbled words, the scrape of metal just before …

Come the grey paling of the dawn, the Others had not come. Nor had Poppa.

She crawled from the hollowed out tree, brushed dead leaves from her skirts, evicted a beetle from her shoe.

A voice cried out, lifting the crows from their roosts. Crashing footsteps,  garbled words – sharp, ringing as a sword hitting stone.

She closed her eyes and wished …

 


Written for Priceless Joy’s FFfAW. See the pic and write a tale. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

 

 

 

 

 

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What Pegman Saw : Ghost Smiles

 

‘… here we go round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning …’

Francis watched his cousins: Ivy’s primrose hair tumbled from its ribbon; Johnny’s  socks were wrinkled, scuffed white from the gravel path. As the oldest, Francis would be in trouble for the grass stains, for the smudges of dirt on rosy cheeks.

‘It’s a box hedge,’ he muttered. ‘And it’s June. No frost in June.’ They didn’t hear, just kept on laughing and skipping.

He could write his name in perfect copperplate scrolls by the time he was four; had known his times tables by six. At each fresh achievement his parents had shown ghost smiles, eyes soon drawn back to the morning paper. No ghost smiles for the twins. Everyone adored them.

Almost everyone.

‘Let’s go into the maze,’ called Francis.

His pocket felt heavy and he smiled.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt using Google Street View. This week, we visit the Palace of Versailles. Pop along here to join in and to read the other stories.

Three Line Tales : Waiting for morning

three line tales week 97: a blue wooden door with a face

photo by Bogdan Dada via Unsplash


 

I lean against the door, feel the rough wood under my hands, against my ear – I listen.

Breathing – deep and soft – a muttering that says the sleep is not peaceful.

I sigh – My Monster, my Devil. Soon I’ll return, break the chains that bind you and then … I will feed them all to you.

 


Written for Only 100 Word’s Three Line Tales. See here to join in and to read the other stories.

What Pegman Saw : At night in the theatre

The valley sides are sharp as a sword blow, snow blowing like smoke in the cutting wind. The hills are stripped to black, the trees dark ribs cresting a spine of rock.

Hideo locks the door, clicks one light switch, then the next, the theatre sinking to darkness, leaving only the stage lit.

Their flesh is heavy with frost, strings of sinew holding together slack joints. They yearn for heat to melt the armour from their backs, the swords from their hands. 

Footsteps behind the curtain. ‘Who’s there?’ Hideo’s own voice sounds brittle in his ears.

Something touches his hand, like old meat kept frozen too long. His palm tingles from the cold.

‘We’re closed. Next performance tomorrow.’

The sound of metal hushing against metal. The smell of blood.

The pool of heat expands across the floor as they gather around.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. Pop along and join in, do.

Don’t ask where this little piece of horror came from. I found the destroyed theatre, looked at sites about Noh theatre, where I not only found some very disturbing demon masks but this line ‘Japanese religion fears the spirits of those who died violently or in the grip of rage’ and of course, my brain mixed this idea with the theatre, with dead Samurai warriors lost in the snowcapped hills …

 

 

What Pegman Saw : They’ll come


 

Shona drifts past another blank-eyed goddess.

She checks her watch. An hour until the coach collects them from the museum. Only mid-morning and her stomach’s rumbling.

Another gallery. The walls Pompeian red. In the centre of the room, a horse statue, on its back a child. The room is deserted, the air thick, steamy. Her pulse beats loud in her ears, breath coming fast –

Muscle moving beneath her, a jolt as the ground leaps up, falls away, rises again. Her arms scream, fingers white on the reins. She steals a look behind – no one. Tempted to slow, to ease the pain and the gasping, retching, but they’ll come, they’ll come, they’ll never stop and there’s only the horse between her and them and as long as she rides she’s safe. As long –

‘Miss?’

A concerned face swims into view, but she’s already running. She’ll always be running.

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a writing prompt using Google Streetview. See here to read the other stories and share one of your own.

Strangely, considering a location chock-a-block with history, I found inspiration hard to come by today. Until I ventured into the the Archaelogical Museum and discovered this amazing statue. The Jockey of Artemision is so dynamic, so different from those stiff, cool-eyed goddesses – so modern in a way – I was captivated.

What Pegman Saw : A storm at Slaughter Bay

 

‘Hello? I don’t know if anyone can hear this broadcast – the signal’s terrible, a stormhead’s gathering, causing interference. I know you’re out there, Stephen, that you might be monitoring this wavelength –

‘I heard something … hold on.

‘I had to look, I thought I heard … The sun’s setting. I don’t have much time.

‘Stephen – anyone – if you’re listening, this is Rodney Statham, Professor Rodney Statham of the Imperial College research team. We were recording the flora and fauna of Slaughter Bay. We arrived seven days ago, a group of five research scientists, two local guides – Burnum and Daku … They were brothers, Stephen. Their poor mother –

‘There! I’m certain this time. Something outside the hut –

‘Stephen, if you hear this, if a rescue party is coming from the mainland – you must stop them!

‘God, that awful smell! Hawthorn and corpses. One’s coming under the door! Another! They’re on me, they -‘

 


Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. To join in and to read the other stories, visit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers : A well-placed kick

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter


 

The shed door opens under a well-placed kick, the padlock holding solid as the rusted hinges give out.

Inside spades, forks, a wheel barrow with a flat tyre, liquid in a lemonade bottle that smells like turpentine.

In a web strung corner I find a pair of shoes – they’re muddy, worn low at the heel, but once I send the current residents skittering, they fit well enough.

I look up at the house as I leave – sooty, broken glass in the window frames, paint peeling. The mouldering remnants of a house, forgotten and unloved.

I know how it feels.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the pic and write a tale, see here to join in and to read the other stories.