Help Myself

A friend in need is her favourite kind. She’ll drop everything to offer advice, encouragement, support. When needed, she finds it easy to get up in the morning. She turns into a lioness who’ll fight for her pride of friends.

I’m not part of the pride. When I need her, I’m told to work on my independence. Like this morning. She wanted me to sort out paying for her UPS delivery, she wasn’t awake yet. I rummaged around, found her stash of crumpled tenners.

She wants me to be more independent? I reckon I’ll just help myself to funds, then.

My Eyes

I hear:

Lapping waves.

Birdsong.

I smell:

Wood and skin, warmed by the sun.

I taste:

The coffee she drank before she kissed me.

I feel:

Rough wood.

The breeze cooling my bare toes.

I see:

Nothing.

I imagine:

Her face. It’s never the same. Today, I want to brush my fingertips over freckles she may or may not have.

‘It’s beginning. Can you feel it?’

‘Don’t look at the sun.’

‘I know,’ she says. ‘It’s okay. I got those eclipse glasses.’

I see what she sees. I lost my sight in 99, I don’t want her to lose hers.

Grave Message

(c) Rachel Bjerke

Again, Marianne finds herself at the old cemetery. She can’t explain why. Other than she has to find something. It’s a crazy thought, she doesn’t like it. But since she’s come, she might as well look. She walks farther than before, to where the overgrown graves are.

A ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds. It lights up a headstone. She reads the inscription. She stumbles backwards, sits down by the fountain.

Her name on the headstone. Her date of birth two centuries earlier. 1790-born Marianne died on 26 March 1815.

What if 1990-born Marianne has only a week left?

***

I’m a day early for Friday Fictioneers for a change. Click here find all the other stories inspired by Rachel’s photo.

Trap

You’re so engrossed exploring outside the derelict Gothic mansion, you pay no attention to the weather. First you know of the storm is rain pelting down on you. You don’t mean to trespass but it’s an emergency. Your hair won’t survive this. Plenty of shelter in the mansion, and the door’s ajar. Lightning slashes the sky. You slip into the hall.

Your eyes take a moment to adjust to the murky light. But you sense evil before you see the remains. Fellow goth, judging from the accessories surrounding the bones.

A creature cackles behind you.

Thunder booms over your screams.

***

It’s Wednesday, time for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Go here to read all participants’  stories.

The Wailing

The wailing wakes us around twoish. It’s so disturbing people rush out in slippers and pyjamas.

‘Where’s the racket coming from?’

‘The O’Brien’s house.’

‘Intruder alarm?’

‘Don’t think so. Sounds like a lament.’

An ambulance arrives. It stops at the O’Brien’s.

‘Crap, it says Neonatal.’

‘I’ve seen her with a pram yesterday.’

It’s ghoulish, but we can’t stop watching. Someone makes a round of tea.

The wailing outside stops. Someone inside takes over.

‘Anyone believe in banshees?’

You’d think experiencing the wailing would bring the neighbours together. But next morning, it’s heads down and sprint to the tube as usual.

Mrs. White, Lead Pipe, Conservatory

A body suddenly crashed through a plate glass window at the Brigadier’s House.

The guests froze. Dr. Black was barely unrecognisable.

‘Now, now,’ Inspector Grey said. ‘I daresay the victim’s head’s been bashed with a blunt instrument. I suggest it was a lead pipe.’

‘Might have been a candlestick,’ Professor Plum said.

‘Or a spanner,’ added Colonel Mustard.

‘Let us pray for our deceased host,’ Reverend Green said.

‘He knew this might happen. That’s why he assembled us here instead of at Tudor Mansion,’ Ms. Scarlett whispered.

‘What’s that, dear? You have to speak up,’ said Mrs. Peacock.

None of them heard Mrs. White. Armed with dagger, rope and revolver, she snuck away.

***

It’s Monday, time to finish the story for MFtS. I didn’t think I’d come up with something for this week’s picture prompt and starting sentence. I suppose I was wrong.

Now I’m off to read what everyone else did with the prompts.

Colliding Worlds

I’m floating in this massive bathtub, surrounded by bubble bath clouds. I’ll be so clean.

‘Melanie? May I come in?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Oh dear. I hope Mama won’t notice you depleted her bubble bath.’

‘I’d be more worried about the dent in the Jag.’

‘The car’s fine. How about your hip?’

‘Much better.’

‘I’ve binned your rags.’

‘What? I need them.’

‘Take some of my sister’s clothes. Last season, she won’t miss them.’

Designer clothes? I won’t wear those, I’ll flock them. I won’t have to beg for ages. Had I known, I’d have stepped in front of a Jag sooner.

DIY Anger Management (Matty, part 2)

‘Matty,’ Dad calls. I’m out back, chopping wood. Helps me stay calm. Dad and I get on a lot better since I’ve taken charge of the firewood.

‘Matt, Dad. I’m not a little kid anymore.’

‘Don’t I know it,’ he grumbles. He holds out an envelope.

‘A letter? What century is this?’

Dad’s frowning. I put down the axe and take the letter. It’s my name alright. In Mom’s handwriting. I hand it back.

‘Snow’s on its way. I’d better finish with the logs.’

‘Don’t you want to know?’

‘No. She’s about four years too late. I’ll be a while.’

If Only Winter’d Last Longer

(c) Sandra Crook

Todd’s about to go looking for Matty when the door opens.

‘Where’s the firewood?’

‘I got thinking, Dad.’

The sun’s out and meltwater’s dripping off the roof.

‘It’s the drive. We’re not snowed in anymore.’

‘How d’you know?’

‘I walked down to the road.’

Todd nods. He knows what’s coming. He’s had all winter to find the right words. All winter wasn’t long enough.

‘Mom’ll come home now, right?’

Todd told Matty that Helen got stuck in civilisation with the roads closed for winter. He shouldn’t have lied. But Helen shouldn’t have left them without telling Matty she won’t return.

***

 Friday Fictioneers time. You can spend the whole weekend reading stories if you like.

She Looks At the Map for Five Seconds and

‘Look, mummy, I found pretty umbrellas.’

She rushes to the spot Poppy’s inspecting. She loves that little crouch but she fears Poppy’s latest discover.

‘Poppy, stop. Don’t. Do not touch them.’

The panic in her voice makes Poppy freeze.

‘What’s wrong, mummy? They’re not alive.’

‘They’ll kill you.’

‘What’s kill?’

‘Bad. Come away now.’

Poppy stands up. She exhales.

What was she thinking, taking Poppy to the woods? If Poppy falls off the seesaw, there’s an A&E in walking distance of the playground. Not that she wants Poppy’s bones broken, but she’ll take it over mushroom poisoning any day.