50 Word Thursday #98 – Always Late

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“He took a deep breath and his nostrils flared, almost as if he tried, like a hunting hound, to take my scent.”  The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief – Lisa Tuttle

I kept looking to see if there was any sign of the vehicle coming down the dusty road. All I saw was a lizard crossing the track. Mid way across he took a deep breath and his nostrils flared, almost as if he tried, like a hunting hound, to take my scent. Then it disappeared into the undergrowth.

It was impertinent but it was a family joke that he was always late. Even at his Birth he was nearly two weeks overdue. They always said he’d be late for his own funeral.

Sadly, now it turns out they were right.

[100 Words]

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/50-word-thursday-98/

I have also included the following Word Prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/11/25/birth/

50 Word Thursday – #97

It’s time again for that brilliant creative writing challenge, the 50 Word Thursday challenge.

I am taking it in turns to host this challenge with Deb Whittam of the blog Twenty Four. Click on the link below to see her post about the results of last weeks challenge:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/11/12/50-word-thursday-96-the-results/

So, now to this weeks challenge:

The Rules:

  • Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!
  • The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50-word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)
  • Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments below.
  • HAVE FUN!

So here is the picture for this week:

and here are the words:

‘Although it was a simple thing to be doing, something strange was happening.’

– Paulo Coelho – The Valkyries

I hope you enjoy this week’s challenge. I will gather together all the entries and publish a results post on Wednesday.

Have fun. 🙂

50 Word Thursday #96 – A Fate not repeated.

96
And the words:
“She had little doubt that she was about to suffer the same fate as Elizabeth.” – Midnight Pleasures With A Scoundrel – Lorraine Heath

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/11/06/50-word-thursday-96/

Kirstie was suspicious when the guy she’d been dating asked to meet her on the Jackson bridge. It was there they’d found her sister’s shoe and a fragment of her fingernail. Her body was discovered a mile downstream. They’d said she’d jumped. Kirstie never believed it.

As she turned up, he was already there smiling, his perfect grin that had attracted her now looked sinister.

She had little doubt that she was about to suffer the same fate as Elizabeth.

Luckily, she was prepared and a blackbelt at Judo. Her attacker sailed over her head and into the canal below.

[100 Words]

50 Word Thursday # 95 – The Results

Well, another week has just flown by! The 50 Word Thursday challenge has come to an end. Click on the link to see the post:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/50-word-thursday-95/

The Rules:

  • Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!
  • The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50-word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)
  • Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments below.
  • HAVE FUN!

Here was the picture:

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

So here are all the entries to this weeks challenge,

Please click on the link and have a read of these excellent short stories:

https://ramyasmusings.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/300-the-dare/

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/11/03/50-word-thursday-95/

https://relaxitsallwrite.wordpress.com/2020/11/02/50-word-thursday-95-spooked/

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/11/04/50-word-thursday-95-the-fated-outcome/

Deb Whittam, of the blog Twenty Four, who created this challenge originally, has agreed to co-host this challenge with me. I am honoured to hand the baton over to Debbie, who will post the next 50 Word Thursday Challenge!

Deb, over to you 

50 Word Thursday # 95 – The Fated Outcome.

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Standing on the edge of the lonely, empty graveyard, Tom drew a deep breath and remembered the advice that his grandfather had given him. His grandfather had been a brave man and always took life by the throat.

The rusty iron gates creaked eerily as he opened them and stepped onto the holy ground. He was surrounded by a garden of gravestones planted to commemorate the lives of heroes and the graves were the only flora in this particular garden.

Looking around he found the grave he was looking for as if fated, marked with the very saying his grandfather used to say.

 “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

That’s how he knew where to dig and where the treasure his grandfather had stolen was hidden. The Old man had told him everything and now the outcome was clear.

[150 Words]

This story was written for the 50 word thursday challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/50-word-thursday-95/

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/11/04/rdp-wednesday-flora/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/11/04/fated/

In Velvet Dreams – A Nostalgic Ghostly Tale

As you may know, I am currently taking a break, but wanted to share some of my earliest posts with you, that you may have missed. 

This was the first ghost story I ever wrote on the 5th of April 2018.

Quite appropriate now as Halloween was yesterday.  

All the best 🙂 

In Velvet Dreams

He couldn’t believe it. Ever since he was a little boy, he always wanted one of those grand Victorian houses, like the one in Mary Poppins. With the house prices in London sky high he could see his dream getting further and further away. It was surprising, but here it was for sale, the House of his dreams.

He worked as a freelance journalist and so money was not flowing and sometimes the stream dried up completely for a short time. He had just come to the end of a lucrative contract and he had saved every penny, living mainly on baked beans just so he could get the biggest deposit he could. He was quite lucky in that his Uncle owned the flat he lived in, in Clapton, and so he paid minimal rent.

Continue reading In Velvet Dreams – A Nostalgic Ghostly Tale

The Strange Inheritance – Finale – A Multiple Word Prompt Story for Halloween.

This is my final part of the horror story I have been resposting that I wrote a couple of years ago.

I hope you enjoy this last instalment of my Halloween story. 🙂

This story contains the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/bloodcurdling/

FOWC with Fandango — Weight

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/your-daily-word-prompt-wicked-october-31-2018/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/rdp-wednesday-costume/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/monster/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/daily-writing-challenge-31/

Halloween, ghosts, goblins.

James held Jennifer’s weight in his arms as she continued to cry into his shoulder.

“How did you know? Did you find her body in the cellar?” Jennifer’s’ voice was muffled and it barely sounded like her at all.

“I found something in the Cellar. It wasn’t her body. Something is going on in the cellar, there are books down there and scientific equipment” James hesitated before continuing “There are also jars containing body parts. I recognised Aunt Elizabeth’s eyes.”

Jennifer pulled back and stared into her brothers face. Her eyes were open as wide as they would go, he could see the whites all around her pale grey irises. She looked deathly pale too. He smiled at her, to try to reassure her and patted her hand.

“How did you know she was dead, Jenn?” 

“She came over to me as I was reading and spoke to me. I thought it was her, but then she changed into a girl and ran through that bookshelf. She was a ghost, James. I hate this place, there are ghosts here. I want to leave. Can’t we go now, before its too late? It’s Halloween and I don’t want to stay here after nightfall.”

“You know full well we can’t leave. We would forfeit Uncle Joshua’s money and everything we’ve done will be in vain.” James smiled again.

A thought passed through Jennifer’s mind. If the Aunt Elizabeth that came to her just now had been a ghost and there was a jar in the cellar that already contained her eyes, then maybe the Aunt Elizabeth they had heard screaming in Old Uncle Joshua’s bedroom had been the real one. Maybe the one they saw afterwards in her bedroom, that had been a ghost, or something else in disguise. She looked back at her brother who was grinning at her. James was sullen and morose, it wasn’t like him to smile like that. His eyes too were intense, bluer than she remembered.

Quickly she jumped up and ran to the door.

“Jenn? What’s up?”

She turned and shouted.

“Are you really James? Or are you some trick? I can’t stand this any more.”

James stopped walking towards her and suddenly the same thought occurred to him, nothing is quite what it seemed in this place.

“How do I know it’s really you for that matter? Look, Jenn, we’ve got to trust each other, or we’ve had it. Remember in the orphanage, I gave you my teddy bear when the warden said we couldn’t sleep in the same dormitory. What was it called, do you remember?”

The memory came flooding back, the loneliness of the orphanage. She used to cry herself to sleep every night missing her mother and father and James kept sneaking into the girls’ dorm to comfort her. When they caught him there they would beat him, but he still came. Then he gave her his teddy bear. What was it called again? That’s right, it was called Mr Micawber.

“Mr Micawber, I remember”

They both relaxed then. The feeling that they were not on their own gave them some comfort.

They sat down on a leather sofa and looked through the window at the grim light. It was still hours from sunset but it was one of those days where the grey clouds kept it from becoming true daylight. The view down to the lake would have been pretty on a sunny day, but today it only gave a modicum of comfort.

James had picked up the journal from where Jennifer had dropped it on the floor.

“So, what’s this you’ve been reading, Jenn?” 

“It’s horrible James. It’s Old Josiah Van De Gaard’s journal. He was wicked, a monster. He murdered his own child. I think he was dabbling in devil worship too.”

James opened the book and skim read it. He was always a quick reader, he had a much faster brain. “Yes, It looks like you’re right, he was into something really dark. He was looking to make himself immortal! Jenn, you know what?”

“No, James, What?”

“I think he succeeded. I think he’s here in this house somewhere.”

“Don’t James, I’m scared enough already. Where could he be, we’ve searched everywhere in the house and you’ve searched the cellar.”

“We haven’t been inside the master bedroom, it’s been kept locked. He’s got to be in there.”

“That’s enough James. I can’t take any more of this. I don’t want to find out any more about this horrible house. Let’s just leave. While we still can.”

“No Jenn, I promise I won’t go looking any more. We’ll stay together from now on, but we’ve got to stay the night. We’ll inherit a fortune. We’ll get Aunt Elizabeth’s share now too.”

“How can you be so callous, James. She was our Aunt.”

“She was a hateful, selfish old woman. You don’t remember like I do. She deserved what she got. It’s just the two of us now, but I’ll look after you, I promise. Haven’t I always?”

From then on, they stayed together, stuck firmly with the glue of absolute terror. In the kitchen, Jennifer heated up the dinner that Mrs Ponsomby had left them and they ate it sat at the table as they watched the meagre daylight slowly diminish. They had turned on all the lights of the house already, every single lamp. They had also brought the torch down from upstairs so they would not be caught out by any sudden power cuts.

The additional light didn’t seem to help that much. The noises started even before sunset. The voices whispered at them, called to them.

They could hear footsteps overhead. Scampering steps like little goblins running up and down the stairs. Jennifer heard the same cackling laughter that Aunt Elizabeth had made before she’d transformed into a ghost child.

“You should have gone, while you had the chance. Too late. Too late now. You’re mine now.”

This was no whisper but the loud deep voice of a man, it came from the floor above.

Then they heard a bloodcurdling scream and all the lights went out.

Quickly, James pulled the torch out from his pocket and the kitchen illuminated. Jennifer started lighting the candles they’d placed around the room, then held his hand in a vice-like grip.

The door to the cellar flew open and the same voice came calling.

“Come to me now. It is time, at last. The final step. Your blood is mine.”

Jennifer ran screaming towards the front door but James grabbed her and held her tightly. He was smiling at her again. A twisted smile. His eyes seemed to glow. Then he began walking toward the cellar door, pulling her along. She struggled and screamed but he was too strong. He was always stronger.

“That’s it, come to me. You can’t resist the call of the blood.”

He dragged her down the steps into the dank cellar. A red light came from somewhere further in.

“Yes, bring her to me. I must have blood to be fully released.”

Then she was the creature standing in the main chamber of the cellar. It wasn’t human, or at least, it wasn’t anymore. Horns sprouted from out of the bald cranium, the sunken eyes in that old mans face glowed red. The gnarled old hands ended in claws and the grinning mouth contained a multitude of pointed fangs.

Jennifer tried desperately to pull out of her brothers grasp but his grip would not lessen. He stood staring blankly at the demonic presence that their great-grandfather had become.

An almighty crash sounded coming somewhere above them. The fiend looked up and shouted. “Noooooo!”

Down the cellar steps, figures emerged each wearing a costume of red satin robes with black masks. They were chanting in Latin.

“Dies irae, dies illa solvet saeculum in favilla teste David cum Sybilla. Tuba, mirum pargens sonum per sepulchra regionum coget omnes ante thronum. Quod sum miser tunc dicturus, quem patronum rogaturus cum vix iustus sit securus”

As they chanted the demonic monster roared and grew larger, exploding from its prison within the body of that old man. Remnants of flesh remained at the monster’s feet as it expanded to fill the space to the vaulted ceiling.

A figure wearing white robes and a black cap ran forward and threw white powder over the floor and over James and Jennifer too.

The other figures formed a circle around the creature and continued chanting, getting louder, filling the space with their voices.

James shook himself free of his enchantment and looked around him, he remembered nothing since the lights went out in the kitchen above. The smell of sulphur and decay filled his nostrils. The sight of the huge demon made him fall back. It was then he realised he was still holding Jennifer’s hand. She was staring at him like he was a monster.

What’s going on? Who are you?” James shouted at the man in white.

“We are the Order of the Black Rose. We are here to finish off this Demon for once and for all.”

One of the red-robed figures cried out “Quickly Doctor, we can’t hold it much longer. He is too powerful. He is breaking free.”

The figure in white pulled a long-bladed knife from his robes.

“It has to be this way. I’m sorry. Our former leader, Joshua Van De Gaard discovered the secret before he died. He spent his whole life keeping the demon that his father had become contained, but he couldn’t break the original pact. As long as there is Van De Gaard blood running through someone’s veins, Josiah Van De Gaard, or the demon he has become, cannot die. Only with the death of every Van De Gaard can we finish off this monster.”

The man pulled Jennifer up from the floor where she had fainted and grasped her hair in one hand exposing her neck. He lifted up his blade ready to strike.

“No, Wait!” James shouted and grabbed the mans wrist, holding the knife “She isn’t a Van De Gaard. She’s not my sister. My Sister died of a fever before I was sent to the orphanage. I couldn’t bear the thought that I had failed her. I wanted to protect her, but I failed. At the orphanage I met this girl, she looked so much like Jennifer that I decided I would protect her instead. I called her Jennifer and eventually, she forgot who she really was. I am the last Van De Gaard.”

James wrestled the knife from the Doctors hand. He held it firmly and then plunged it into his own chest.

The Demon screamed, it’s head fell back and a white light emerged from its gaping maw.

The chanting grew louder and the Doctor began chanting different words that echoed around the chamber with great power.

The Demon exploded and all went black.

**********************************************************************************

Jennifer awoke from a terrible nightmare. She was laying in a strange bed with a feather pillow under her head and a hideous pink candlewick bedspread over her.

She didn’t recognise the room. It wasn’t her flat, that was for sure. It was a small room, with a tiny window through which sunlight was streaming. There was a writing desk in one corner and on the wall opposite was a large crucifix.

The door opened and a lady came in carrying a tray. She recognised the woman and a name came into her head which she spoke out loud.

“Mrs Ponsomby?”

The woman came over and placed the tray on her lap then put a hand to her forehead before replying.

“That’s right dear, quite a turn I had finding you unconscious on the kitchen floor. Dr Forbes has been in to see you. He said you would be right as rain. I’ve brought you some chicken soup, that should help build your strength up. I knew you’d catch a chill, sleeping in that draughty old house by yourself. Well, all that’s done and dusted now. There’s a solicitor chap downstairs who wants to see you, but I said he’d have to wait until you’ve had something to eat first. I expect he’ll want to talk about your inheritance. I’ll send him up in a little while.”

“Thank you, Mrs Ponsomby,” Jennifer said weakly.

She smiled and left the room.

As Jennifer lay there, she felt a cold sensation come over her. Then on the desk, the pen began moving on its own. She heard the scratch-scratch sound as the fountain pen passed over a scrap of paper. Then the pen dropped to the floor and she felt the coldness leave.

Pushing back the tray, Jennifer jumped out of the bed and picked up the paper. Scrawled on it were only a few words.

“I protected you the only way I could. Love, James.”

THE END.

Copyright@ Kristian Fogarty 31st October 2018

50 Word Thursday #94 – A frantic escape.

94

Her plan was unravelling before her eyes. She thought no one would find her if she crawled to the back of the luggage compartment and hid behind the suitcases but Someone saw and called the guards.

She screamed causing a big fracas in order to escape. She ran the whole length of the train and could feel her heart pumping. Then, she had no where else to run, it was chilling but there was only one way.

She reached the door, threw it open, and, as the train picked up speed, she leapt out.

Next time she’d buy a ticket.

[100 words]

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, click on the link to see the original post:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/10/23/50-word-thursday-94/

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/10/28/chilling/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/10/28/rdp-wednesday-fracas/

The Strange Inheritance – Part Seven – A Multiple Word Prompt Story

I have been writing this creepy horror story for a while now and I hope to write the final part in time for Halloween. This is the next bit.

If you’d like to start reading it from the beginning, here is the first bit:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/multiple-word-prompt-story-the-strange-inheritance/

This story contains the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/10/23/creep/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/granite/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/rdp-saturday-fabulist/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/your-daily-word-prompt-cackle-october-20-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Fierce

https://swimmersweek.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/elves/

Jennifer had forgotten that tonight was Halloween until Mrs Ponsomby had mentioned it. For some reason, it gave her quite a jolt, sending a shiver that she felt gradually creep down her spine. The already grim atmosphere in the house seemed to increase. Despite the fact that it was still daylight outside, she got up and turned on the lamp on a nearby table.

The additional light made her feel fractionally better. The bulb flickered and buzzed in its old-fashioned leather lampshade. moth-eaten gold tassels hung around the edge, in keeping with the general shabbiness. Most of the books lining the shelves showed the damage of the years. A damp patch on the ceiling threatened further damage to come, and this was one of the better rooms in the dilapidated old ruinous house. The sooner they tore it down the better, as far as she was concerned.

“Well, just one more night and then the money will all be ours,” she said to herself. She wasn’t by nature a particularly money oriented person but having endured one night in this godforsaken place with another one to come, she felt she’d earned it fair and square.

Continue reading The Strange Inheritance – Part Seven – A Multiple Word Prompt Story