Manic Monday Madness – Evanescent Journey

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This post is written in response to Laura M Bailey’s Manic Monday Challenge:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-evanescent/

The prompt word is: EVANESCENT

I am also planning to include the Manic Madness challenger:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/its-manic-madness-can-you-do-it/

Which is to also include ALL of the previous Manic Monday prompts!!!!

I usually like to combine as many different prompts into one story as possible, but this is going to be a huge challenge.

Mysterious

Summertime

Confession

Silence

Poison

Castle

Wrecked

Ghostly

Forlorn

Dirge

Hush

Journey

Departing

Stoic

Boondocks

Scars

Damned

Ominous

Witch – Witchy – Bewitched

Deadly

Reaper

Reverence

Sultry

Heart

Waiting

Frozen

Naughty or Nice

Rejoice

Reflection

Shattered

Imperfection

Well I LOVE a challenge so here we go:

 

The fog descended thick and fast over the harbour.

Within moments the boats and the jetty had soon disappeared out of sight and memory, evanescent.

It was a fog like none of the locals had seen before. Mists and fogs were not rare in Winter or Spring. Whenever the weather brought a change in temperature, the lake gave off a mist that often didn’t burn away until lunchtime. This was different. For starters, it was Summertime. In addition, it was much thicker than usual and it brought with it a kind of ghostly silence, a mysterious hush. It felt that time itself had frozen.

In addition to the ominous lack of sound, there was a scent in the air. It reminded her of something from her childhood. Something that she had long forgotten but dwelled within the darkest recesses of her mind. It filled her with emotions. That longing for the past that people call nostalgia, a sense of comfort that came with it, but was tinged with anxiety. Her heart began to race, she felt an upwelling sense of adventure. She was going on a journey. She knew this fact as sure as anything, but she did not know how.

This experience was like a witch had cast a spell over the area, an enchantment. Then she remembered her parents warning to her when she’d told them she wanted to move away into this quiet, primitive part of the world. They’d warned her that strange things happened up in the ‘boondocks’, that was her Mother’s colourful way of describing anywhere wild.

She’d ignored her Mother’s warning, but until this moment, had not regretted it. She’d felt somehow like she’d come home. Away from the busy city and bustling towns, this was where her spirit felt she belonged.

Suddenly she remembered what the smell reminded her of. Her Grandmother, who disappeared nearly twenty years ago. She had only been a child then, not more than six or seven. She remembered her Grandmother’s perfume, a mix of Eau de Cologne, lavender and rose petals, tinged with cinnamon and freshly baked bread. This exact same smell came to her through the mist.

She recalled then, her Grandmother’s confession to her before departing.

“I am a Witch, child, not a wicked witch. I have been no more naughty, or nice, than anyone else. We are, all of us, flawed with imperfection, but I have strived to walk in the light. You too have inherited the gift. It skips generations. Your Mother, my dear daughter, has not got the skill and therefore I have been forced to keep it a secret from her. I must leave soon, but One day you will remember this, and then we will undertake our journey together.”

After her Grandmother disappeared, they had mourned the loss of her. She’d felt a forlorn melancholy for weeks. Her Mother had been distraught. The emotional scars burned deep.

How could she have forgotten this, until now? Upon reflection, she realised that it must be part of the spell. The forgetting and the remembering.

Now it felt that she had only been waiting for this moment.

A figure stepped out of the fog in front of her. Still wrapped in the black woollen shawl, worn whatever the weather, her glowing white hair still cascaded down to her shoulders, with that hint of pale gold that was a remnant of her once sultry beauty. This was her Grandmother looking as if she’d just stepped out from her memory.
The lined face beamed a smile and she reached out a hand to clasp her own.

To her surprise, the hand was as warm as the smile.

“There you are, my precious. It is time to make this journey. Be strong, I will guide you.”

The fog began to lift. The scene had changed. Where the lake once stood, with its jetty and boats, there was now a deep chasm. Where the log cabins once clung to the side of the hill as it gently descended to the water, there was nothing but rocks and trees.

On the other side of the chasm stood a castle, a grand and shining fortress of light and splendour. The sun shone resplendently on that mighty castle, yet around it, darkness billowed like a deadly storm.

The sight of the fortress filled her with reverence, she wanted to cry out and rejoice.

At the same time, the darkness, like a poison, injected her with dread and fear.

Her grandmother must have felt her hand tense in hers, because again she spoke, in reassuring, gentle tones.

“Don’t be afraid, my dear. The journey is a difficult one. We must pass through the valley, filled with the souls of the damned, harvested by the Reaper. They call out in their eternal torment. Be stoic and do not fear them. I have you, and together we will walk over the bridge. Keep to the light, and we will be safe.”

All around them, she saw wrecked and shattered souls, surrounded by darkness, but she stepped onwards, guided by her grandmother’s hand, she kept to the path and made it to the gates of the castle.

The Gates opened and she was engulfed in the glorious light that shone from within.

 

Back in the hospital, her life support machine rang out a single note, like a dirge, but on her face was a smile of peace.

 

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The End. 

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25/January/2019

 

Well, what did you think? Did the story take you on a journey? Did it conjure up any feeling within you? Let me know in the comments. 

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/combine/

 

 

 

 

Manic Mondays 3-way challenge – Stubbornly Stoic

This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:

https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-stoic/

You may also wish to read my previous 3-way challenge story because this one follows it:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/manic-mondays-3-way-challenge-departing-hope/

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Lisa and Iain had kept to their agreement. Since their kiss last night on the beach they had not spoken. He was sitting at the back of the plane and she was next to Debra, one of her work friends.

The team building event had only been a partial success. The firm they worked for was one of the largest Accountancy companies in London. Every year they sent their managers on a team building long weekend to somewhere semi-exotic. Even though she’d worked for the company for fifteen years, this had been her first trip since she’d been promoted to junior manager last year. It was funny being called a Junior manager, she was forty-five years old, but she had been one of the few that had worked her way up from the bottom. Iain had only joined the firm a few months ago and was the same age as her.  He had worked for another Accountancy firm and so had come into the business the next tier up. The rest of the Junior managers were in their late twenties or early thirties and had come into the company from Accountancy college or university. It had only been a partial success because it hadn’t really broken down many barriers. Except between her and Iain. They had fallen in love.

The problem was they were both married. She was married to Dave, a high-flier in the City. He’d tried to stop her coming on this team building event out of jealousy and then she’d discovered that he had been having an affair with someone he had met at a similar event seven years ago. She now saw all her twenty years of marriage as just a sham.

Iain too was not in a happy marriage. He was estranged from his wife, Sheila, but they stayed together for the sake of their teenage sons. He wanted to provide them with a sense of stability while they did their exams.

They had talked about their problems. It had been so nice to have a sympathetic ear to listen to her. She, in turn, listened as he described his marriage as living in an enclosure at the zoo. He felt trapped and in a hostile environment with no easy way to escape.

As they had talked, they inadvertently fell in love on that beach in Majorca.

They had decided that they would be stoic about the whole thing and return to their lives as before.

When they landed at Stansted Airport, she caught a glimpse of Iain across the baggage hall. She was waiting for her suitcase but Iain had only taken one holdall. He looked at her and gave her a smile, she smiled back and then he turned away and strode towards the car park. He had a longer journey than her, he lived in a large four bedroom house near St. Albans.

She wiped away a tear, grabbed her suitcase then walked towards the pick-up point. She was stubbornly determined to be stoic.

Dave was supposed to be there waiting for her. There was no sign of their red Ford Focus. Plenty of red cars, but not his. She always thought it strange that as soon as you started looking out for a car of a particular colour, suddenly there would be hundreds of them!

She switched on her phone and checked her messages, Nothing.

After waiting for twenty long minutes, she decided to ring Dave and find out what was going on.

It went straight through to his voicemail.

“Hi Dave, I’m at the pickup point, are you caught in traffic? You are still coming to pick me up aren’t you?”

She always felt awkward talking to a machine rather than a person. Although come to think of it, talking to Dave was sometimes like talking to a machine anyway.

She waited patiently for an hour and had left three more messages, each getting slightly more angry, before giving up and walking to the taxi rank.

As the taxi pulled up outside her small three-bed semi-detached house in Chelmsford, she saw the curtains slightly drawn. There was just something about a house that just shouted “Empty”. It was Monday lunchtime, maybe Dave had forgotten all about it and gone to work. It would have been like him.

She paid the taxi driver and then walked into the house. It felt cold and unlived in. She noticed her husband’s coat wasn’t hanging in the hall.

There was a note pinned to the cork board in the kitchen.

She opened the back door and walked to her favourite spot in the garden.

In the corner, she had created a little sanctuary for her with Ivy climbing up the walls and the white face of an Angel emerging from the greenery. It was a spot she liked to sit in a read. It was her ‘happy’ place.

She opened and read the note, something instinctively told her to wait.

“Lisa, 

I realise that we have been living a lie all these years. 

I have taken most of my things.

I have decided that there is someone else I want to be with.

You can have the house. 

Dave”

She looked at those few words, not much for twenty years of devotion, but somehow, she wasn’t sad at all.

Her mobile phone started to ring, the tune of Pharrell Williams “Happy” had been her ringtone for ages, but somehow couldn’t have been more poignant.

“Hi, Lisa? It’s Iain. Sheila’s chucked me out, she’s had all the locks changed and there’s someone’s red Ford Focus parked on the drive. I didn’t know who else I could talk to.”

Lisa couldn’t contain her smile, “Iain, come to me, I’ll text you the address. I think we have a lot to talk about.”

The End.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 10/September/2018

 

FOWC with Fandango — Stability

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/your-daily-word-prompt-enclosure-september-10th-2018/