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Do As Mother Says


Everybody said the old Bosworth mansion was haunted. At this very moment, standing before the door, I’m inclined to believe the rumors I’ve heard throughout my childhood.

My phone rings, announcing ‘Mother is calling’. I look around nervously, half-expecting someone to hear it. I chide myself for such a silly thought. At most, I might be disturbing a ghost inside but other than that, I don’t think I have anything to worry about. My eyes scan the darkness as I put the receiver to my ear.

“Yes, Mother,” I hiss.

“Are  you in yet, dear? Have you made it inside? Oh, this is so exciting! I can’t wait to tell my friends how brave my daughter is!” her voice babbles in my ear.

“Exciting, Mother? I am breaking and entering. That is not exciting. I’m breaking the law and I don’t need you telling your gossiping cronies. Besides, isn’t Ingrid’s grandson on the police force?”

“Oh Ingrid smingrid. She isn’t going to tell her grandson one word. She’s mad at him for marrying that floozy. So, are you inside yet, dear?” her excitement bubbles over with each word.

“Not yet. I’m at the front door.”

“Well, what are you waiting for? Open the door!” she practically yells in my ear.

“Okay, Mother. I will call you when I get inside.” I hit the disconnect button with triumph. I shake my head and put the phone in my pocket. I still haven’t figured out how Mother has managed to talk me into checking out the Bosworth mansion.

I stare at the front door with its black paint peeling. I lean in closer and think to myself, even in ruins this house holds a certain standard of elegance. I reach to pull a paint chip from the door when it swings open by itself.

Run, run like hell, the common sense in me yells. Get out of here. Are  you crazy? If your mother wants to know about the haunted mansion, tell her to come here herself!

No, no, I promised Mother I would find out if the rumors are true. Surely they aren’t. Just a little town gossip embellished over the years, the more practical side of me counters.

Either way, I gulp, I have to go in.

I hesitate before pushing the heavy door open further. It does enter the back of my mind a door so sturdy and heavy shouldn’t open on its own. I turn to look behind me. The leaves in the trees aren’t moving from any type of wind. In fact, this is one of the more peaceful nights courtesy of mother nature. Pushing aside the fear mounting in my heart, I take a step forward.

“Hello?” I whisper. “Is someone here?”

I hold my breath, counting to twenty. My ears take on the uncanny ability, much like a dog, to pick up sound. The stillness echoes off my skull as I strain to catch any noise that might resemble a ghost or footsteps. Although, truth be told, I have no clue what a ghost sounds like. I exhale quietly, feeling light-headed. My heart is galloping at full speed and I feel it smashing against my chest. I look down expecting to see it trying to escape through my black jacket.

My phone rings again. I let loose with a full-fledge scream. Between the insistent ringing and the new location of my heart pounding in my ears, I can’t hear anything else. I reach for the phone, dropping it from my shaking hands. As I step forward to retrieve the phone, my left shoe kicks it out of reach. I stay put. I swear I can hear laughter muddled with whispering.

I review my two choices in bionic mode.

I can grab my phone and run out the door.

I can forget my phone and run out the door.

The phone stops ringing. Silence amplifies even more but I’m having a hard time distinguishing between my heart beat, my breathing and what I think is supposed to be silence. I nervously scan the entry way, straining my  near-sighted eyes for clues to run like hell. I make a mental note to call for an appointment for my over-due yearly eye exam.

As I grab my phone, it starts ringing. I click the on button to hear my mother yelling.

“Get out of the house now!”

The call drops as the front door slams shut.

I do what any sane person would do.

I faint.

SAM at BMWW has put a different spin on things this month. I like it. A Lot! We’re given 5 different prompts to link up for the month of October. This is the first prompt I picked out of the five.

Everybody said the old Bosworth mansion was haunted … is behind this short story. I don’t really have any plans to do anything further with this piece. I’ve been a little blah with writing lately so this is me dipping my toes into the writing pool.

 

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Companionship?

Eyes blaze bored, scrutinizing her latest meal stumbling in drunken shock.

Hundreds of years lacking companionship tugs her mind.

Floating soundless, debating her dilemma:  mortal or immortal.

He screams.

Irritation fuels his silence.

On to the weekend challenge.  This week we’re again asking you to stand on the shoulders of another writer.  But this time that other writer is you.  Take one of your former Trifecta or Trifextra 33 word entries and build upon it with another 33 words.  If you are new to the challenge you can use a Trifextra entry from one of the other community members, with their permission of course.

These are the first two weekend challenges from which I continued this segment: Crimson Liquid and Survive To Exist

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in fiction, horror, Trifecta

 

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Survive To Exist

Scents delightful, tantalizing, tempting 

Lead to a wondrous detection of life.

Aphrodisiac twist of lust, hormones, desire

Spin a natural hunter’s instinct.

Absorb, puncture, relief.

Metallic liquid, sliding, oozing, fueling nourishment for existence.

The Rule of Three is a writing principle
that asserts that, in writing,
groups of three have the most impact.
This week’s challenge is to write
33 words using the Rule of Three
somewhere among them.
It is up to you to interpret the rule, just make sure to use exactly 33 words.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in fiction, horror, Trifecta, Uncategorized, writing prompts

 

Life’s Crimson Liquid

For this weekend’s challenge, we’d like you to read the 33 words below and then add 33 of your own words to move the story along.  Have a great weekend and good luck!

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be.

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be. She’d spent far too much time draining life’s liquid from human prey to be convinced there wasn’t a piece of the puzzle she was missing. She had an eternity to bring it together.

 

Turning Back The Clock

When I first started this story, it was in response to a prompt. Read here for the first part.

Corey Eisner, is the new, up and coming prosecuting attorney who has been assigned to send us to death row. He’s made plenty of statements to the media stressing how he will not rest until he knows we meet with the fate of having a needle put into our arms. He has also assured Kevin’s family and friends it won’t be a twenty year process of constant appeals.

I believe him.

Mr. Eisner is preparing to give his opening statement to the twelve strangers seated in the jury box. I’m not quite sure how these twelve people are my peers. What do they know about us? They’ve never spoken to us. They’ve never asked, ‘How did it get to this point? Would you change it if you could?’ I don’t believe they haven’t been exposed to the headlines in some manner or another. The entire jail of inmates knew who we were before we were even arrested and booked.

I remember reading somewhere once our brains aren’t capable of creating faces as we dream. You think your mind conjures up a stranger’s face, but the reality is at one point, even if it was just a second, you’ve seen that face somewhere. Maybe the jurors didn’t know it was our case being discussed but I’d lay money down they’ve heard something about us.

My attorney keeps telling me I need to quit coming across like I don’t care about what’s going on around me. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I already know I will be sent to death row. I don’t see the point of carrying on a trial when we could just plead guilty. Presenting all that evidence isn’t going to change a damn thing. It won’t clean the blood from our hands. It won’t bring Kevin back. It won’t make all of our lives go back in time and back to normal.

Studio30+ offered two prompts this week. I chose ‘Back To Normal’

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in book, fiction, Studio30Plus, WIP, writing prompts

 

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You’re A Hard Habit To Break

Crisp, fall-like air wraps its loving arms around my vulnerable heart. Waves of shock travel sluggishly through my veins, easing upwards. Echoing turn of keys clanking, screeching door, resisting what’s to come.

Memories flood my senses, stuck on warp speed.

I close my eyes, squeezing tightly against the torrent of tears threatening to mix red with brown.

I sniffle, feeling slightly silly over my response at watching you in another’s hand, clutching tightly, like you use to do with me.

Anger pushes through quickly, causing me to stumble.

Surprised, I freeze, dreading the age-old internal battle to follow.

Two sides, equal in opposing determination, prepare to spar.

List the ways, list the ways, I think. Let me choose one or the other for good.

I know I’ll waiver, wanting it all!

You brought much comfort. Never failing me no matter the storm my thoughts poured on us. Faithfully, you embraced my pain, holding me close, promising, promising. I always believed you, even doubtfully. Yes, even doubtfully.

Choosing to accept the falsehoods you wrap up so eloquently in your cloak of deceit. I tune out my roaring instincts, dismissing sight and sound. I become much like Vincent Van Gogh, repainting my canvas of reality.

La, la, la, la, la, la I sing as others offered me proof of your betraying verbage.

I’m different from the others, I protest. I’m different, I plead. Treat me as such.

My mind spins, whirls, challenges each and every thought, every f-e-e-l-i-n-g!

Make it stop, make it stop, I think.

Finally, finally the conflict eases. I breathe a sigh of relief, my lungs clean and strong.

I made it through the merry-go-round of maddening hell.

I never know how long my moments of reprieve will last before the next battle begins.

This week’s prompt is all about this time of year. Take one of those emotions above (nostalgia, boredom, relief, sadness, melancholia, or excitement) and write a first person story, fiction or non-fiction, based on that emotion. Setting, circumstance, plot–all up to you. The only thing specific about this is that you write based on the emotion. Don’t just use it as a word in the story. Use any definition of any given word, keep your writing tight with no more than 750 (unless you really need more!) 

 

Things You Can’t Hide

Angela and I do an awkward step, clank, shuffle, clank as we’re escorted into the musty smelling courtroom. I follow behind her frail, trembling form. I wonder how she is able to carry her weak body. I couldn’t tell you how long we’ve been holed up in jail. Time has taken on a strange dimension of simultaneously hurtling through space while frozen in limbo. Whatever the length of time, it’s taken its toll on Angela. The officer escorting her gently hovers a hand underneath her elbow as she sits down. The officer escorting me takes his meaty hand and shoves me down, hard, onto the wooden chair. Pain shoots up my tailbone but I show no reaction.

Angela turns in her chair, eyes eagerly searching for her parents. I know the second she spots them. Tears run fast, furious down her sunken cheeks. Bottom lip quivering, she stares at them, silently pleading for help. I don’t bother to look for my parents. My real dad split long before I was out of diapers. Mom’s new husband made it clear, in his one and only visit, I was dead to them. I showed him the same lack of reaction.

I also know, without turning around, there are several reporters from newspapers and television stations ready to report our moment in the courtroom spotlight. I know what words will spill from their keyboards and flow from glossed lips. They will show our pictures taken a mere few hours before Kevin’s death. Angela’s blonde hair curled around her pixie face, beaming into the camera. Me standing next to her, my hair an unruly version of her style and a tight, uncomfortable smile on my face. Next, they’ll pan to our mug shots, not looking much different, outside of the wide-eyed looks of confusion. Following that, they will show, side by side, the drastic change in Angela’s appearance. Prom girl to concentration camp victim. I still look the same, minus the mug shot look of fear and confusion.

We’ve been dubbed the Ice Princess and Little Girl Lost. It doesn’t bother me to know the media has painted me in the role of the devious leader and decider of Kevin’s murder. There is much speculation Angela unwillingly went along, easily influenced by my masterful manipulation. I decided after hearing the first news report portraying us as such that I wouldn’t protest or scream my innocence. Not that I am innocent. I did help in the death of Kevin.

Our court-appointed lawyers rush in, ties twisting from the rapid movement. My attorney slams his briefcase on the table, pushes the sleeves from his cheap black suit up and sits down next to me. He flips the latches open without saying a word to me. As he turns to say something to Angela’s attorney, the bailiff makes his baritone announcement of the judge entering the courtroom.

Standing, I am more than aware we are about to embark on a mere formality of fate already decided.

This week’s prompt I choose from Inspiration Monday.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in fiction, InMon, writing prompts

 

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