Free Again – My Attempt at a Horror Story.

Seeing as the Word of the Day prompt is HORROR, I thought it was time that this story I wrote back in 2018 got another airing. 

HORROR

 

My Friend at Fingers to Sky is taking part in a challenge competition and has thrown out the gauntlet for people to play along with her Prompt.

Genre: Horror

Location: Hill

Object: A Map.

NYC Midnight Challenge: Prompt 1

 

Well this was my attempt. Like my friend says about herself, I am not at all familiar with the genre. I never read horror books and I never watch horror films. I am scared stiff of them. I am therefore not a very good judge on whether this story I have written actually meets the requirements of being a Horror Story. Please let me know if you think it works.

 

Free Again

I found the map among my Aunts things. Mad Aunt Alice, she’d been cruelly called by my Father. Growing up it had just been my Father, Aunt Alice and me. Aunt Alice had looked after me tenderly, but she never spoke. My Father would order her about, shout at her and even hit her, but she never spoke.

My father always called her Mad. Said that she wasn’t ‘all there’. She’d been like that since a childhood game with an Ouija board had gone wrong. The Devil’s got her tongue and he won’t give it back. That was what my Father said. I never paid no mind to what he said though. He was drunk most of the time. Aunt Alice was always kind to me. She made me dinner and breakfast. Washed my clothes and made sure I went to school. Father went to work then came home and drank. His exercise usually involved smashing something or punching Aunt Alice. She never said a word.

Then one day Father grabbed me by the skirt and pulled me towards him. I screamed at him to let me go. Before I knew it, the Knife had appeared in Aunt Alice’s hand and my father’s head had rolled across the floor. I will never forget his eyes. They put Aunt Alice into one kind of institution and me into another.

Continue reading Free Again – My Attempt at a Horror Story.

Finish the Story Nov #3 – The Map

map-of-the-world-2241469_1920

I have been tagged by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith in one of her excellent ‘Finish the Story’ challenges. See the link below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/finish-the-story-nov-3/comment-page-1/#comment-6019

Here are the Rules

  1. Copy the story as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
  3. Be sure to pingback or comment on the original post (here) please
  4. Tag only 1 person to continue the story
  5. Have fun!

Part one – by The Haunted Wordsmith 

The Map

Harold’s father, Trevor, travelled the world looking for antiques for the family store in Boston. “One day you’ll get to come with me, Harold,” his father would say, but that day never came. And it probably would never come. Especially now. Two weeks ago, his father disappeared. His plane landed safely, he checked into his hotel, then disappeared. He never showed up for the appointment at the Owl Emporium in London. The family has not given up though, that’s not like them. Megan and Harold run the shop together just as they had when he was away. It was best to convince themselves that he would be back shortly, then never at all.

The door to the shop clanged early one Saturday afternoon. Harold was manning the shop while his mother bought lunch.

A short man with a grey, Herringbone jacket and a black homburg hat entered the store carrying a long tube under his arm. “Good day, young man.”

Harold was perplexed, but hey, a customer was a customer. “Hi. Can’t I help you find something?”

The man chuckled lightly. “Ah, it is I that can help you find something. It is Harold? Harold Glade is it not?”

Harold searched his memory, but couldn’t find this strange man. The look on his face made the customer chuckle.

“We have never met, young man. You can put your mind to rest. However, I have met your father, and he needs your help.”

“My father?” Harold stiffened and gasped. “How do you know my father?”

“There is no time for that. He is in danger. This map and time compass will help you. You have no time to lose. That’s all I can do to help.”

The customer put the tube on the counter, looked around quickly as if he expected some masked assassin to jump out from behind a set of armor, and ran out the door.

Harold stood there with his mouth agape and opened the tube. Inside was an ancient map and what appeared to be a compass, but neither the map nor the compass looked right. For starters, the compass not only had the four points, it had a dial with numbers on it that ranged from zero to current year. The map shifted and changed place names as Harold turned the time dial on the compass.

“What is going on?”

Just as Harold asked, the door to the shop burst open and three men in black suits stood in the doorway. Without thinking what he was doing, Harold grabbed the map, turned the time dial, and pushed a tiny button on the side of the compass.

His stomach lurched and he shut his eyes until the sudden rush of wind had stopped. When he opened his eyes, he couldn’t believe it. Instead of being in his family’s antique shop, he was …

 

Here is my addition…

Part Two – Tales from the Mind of Kristian

fountain-2955681_1920

… in a beautiful garden. He gaped amazed at all the trees and flowers. The fresh, clean air was nothing like his poor polluted lungs were used to, living in a huge sprawling metropolis. If this was Boston, it was one he was not familiar with, Boston from many years ago.

There were no buildings or people. It was incredibly peaceful, the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to whisper.

Harold wandered around and heard the sound of running water, off in the distance. As he got nearer the trees thinned and he saw a little lake with a fountain gushing in its centre. This was evidence that whatever time this was, there were people around somewhere.

He continued walking around the lake and saw a sundial on a plinth. It wasn’t much good as the sun was behind a thick layer of cloud, but carved on the stone plinth was a year. 1773! Something about that date tickled the back of his mind. He was a Bostonian, born and bred but he had little love of history. The fact that his father owned an antique shop had rather tainted any love of history he may have had.

He took the map out of his pocket and examined it. America was only roughly drawn, it was clear that whoever drew the map knew of the existence of the Americas but didn’t really have any idea what they looked like. It was also clear that whatever this map was meant to help find, he was on the wrong side of the Atlantic to find it. He had to go to the old world, not the new one.

Turning over the map, he saw scrawled in tiny writing on one corner a few words in a familiar hand. It was his fathers writing, written with what appeared to be an old-fashioned quill pen, judging by the scratchy marks.

The writing gave the location of a city in Europe and a date. The date wasn’t 1773 it was even earlier than that. Harold took out the compass and turned the dial to show the coordinates and the date but before he could press the tiny button……..

to be continued…… 

 

I have also included the word prompts from another of The Haunted Wordsmiths Challenges:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/daily-writing-challenge-nov-7/

whisper, little, sundial

 

So, who shall I nominate to continue this story…..

I choose Melanie B Cee from Sparks from combustible Mind.

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/11/06/just-a-mite-off-plumb/

Have fun, I can’t wait to read what happens next!

 

 

The Treasure Map – A short tale.

It was left to her in her Grandfathers will. 

Just a small scrap of parchment. So darkened with age that the ink marks were only barely visible. She could only just see the marks. Just enough to show that it was a map. The writing was complete gobbledygook and written in such a small italic script that would make deciphering it quite a challenge. Her Grandfather had told her the secret of reading it on her last visit to see him in hospital. 

They had always been close. He’d cared for her far more than her Mother ever did. She was going to give her up for adoption but her Grandfather took her in instead. Her Mother then ran off with a travelling gang and they’d never heard from her again. Her Grandfather had tried to find her, but without success. He had never given up hope that she would one day turn up again at his door. 

Her father had never been in the picture. He was just a lad that her Mother had slept with. She never found out who. That had always rather haunted her, thinking that any man in town she bumped into, in the supermarket or at the burger bar, could have been her dad. 

No, for as long as she remembered it was just Grandfather and her. 

He had always prepared her for his death, knowing that it could occur at any time. They discussed it openly so that it would be easier to deal with when it happened. It did in a way. She was still very sad to lose him, but he’d had a good life and was in a lot of pain towards the end. He’d told her that it would be a release when it happened. 

Not long after his 92nd birthday he’d been diagnosed with a degenerative disease. The doctors had given him 6 months but he’d held on nearly a full year. She would sit with him for hours and they would talk about his younger days in the Navy. He had been a bit of a rogue, but never cruel or unkind, just a lovely rascal. On the last day he was drifting in and out of consciousness but always held her hand tight. Then he’d roused and looked her in the eyes.

“Remember, no tears, only joy for a life well lived. Remember this. Sometimes things look clearer in the Mirror.”

The last bit had come out as a whisper, barely audible, as his eyes closed and he drifted off again. He didn’t regain consciousness after that. 

The Mirror. That was the secret of this map. When you held it up to the mirror, the tightly scrawled ink became clearer. A lot of hard research later and she now knew it was a map of an island in the Mediterranean sea, not far west of Malta. An X marked the spot, the middle of a lake, on this island thousands of miles away from where she lived. 

Now, here she was with a team of her friends on a boat wearing diving gear. It had taken months of planning, but here she was, Dr Angela Monroe, Historian and Archaeologist and granddaughter of an old Navy Seal and lovely rogue, about to make the discovery of a lifetime.

With the help of her mates they had managed to retrieve the old sea chest that had been buried at the bottom of the lake and it was now on the boat waiting to be cracked open like a particularly mouth-watering nut. 

As she used a crow bar to break open the chest the lid opened and she saw in the glorious sunshine, the glimmer of gold.

More than just that, this was evidence of an ancient lost civilisation, found long ago and then reburied. 

This treasure was from Atlantis. 

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/April/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glimmer/

 

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer