Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Body In Victorian London.

His body lay in the gutter. He could feel the hard cobblestones, but the discomfort they caused was nothing next to the pain of the wound in his side. Stabbed by a Knife. It was Ironic he should end this way, bleeding to death in the street. The rain washed the blood away and with it, his life ebbed.

He took one last look at the London street, lit by the gas lamps that produced a flickering uneven light.

It was the last thing he saw. His London.

Continue reading Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Body In Victorian London.

A Fools Journey – A Wanderlust

A Fool’s Journey

It was a challenge I couldn’t refuse. To travel to the most distant corners of the world in a hot air balloon, it sounded like an amazing adventure to me.

Continue reading A Fools Journey – A Wanderlust

A Multiple Word Prompt Story – Bonfire Night

When I was growing up, we never really celebrated Halloween. We had another end of Autumn/beginning of Winter festival that we celebrated instead. It is still celebrated today, but not anywhere near as much as it used to be. It is called Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.

I should really be posting about this in November, because bonfire night is on the 5th of November and there is a little nursery rhyme that we are all taught so we don’t forget.

“Remember, Remember the 5th of November

With Gunpowder, treason and Plot.

I See no reason why gunpowder treason

should ever be forgot”.

 

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/remember_remember_the_5th_november.htm

 

Growing up, the Schedule of events would always been the same.

We would gather at one of my many uncles or aunties, I was part of a very large extended family, my mother was one of eleven children. I had many cousins ranging in age from adults (well Jane was only 19 but when you’re six, THAT’s OLD) down to 5 years old. I was one of the youngest, but my cousin Simon was six months younger and Danielle was the youngest at 5.

First we would all help build up the bonfire. Cardboard and old bits of wood were piled as high as we could make it.

Then the fire was lit.

I remember my Auntie Vickie would give us all a potato each, which she’d grown on her allotment, and we’d wrap it in Aluminium foil and bury it near the fire.

Next thing, we would set off the fireworks. We never had expensive fireworks then. They were mainly small ones, called pinwheels, that were nailed onto a wooden post and span round, like a Catherine wheel, but smaller.

I remember being told off for being too rash with my sparkler, waving it around rather carelessly. I loved the smell of the gunpowder. Even to this day, I go for a walk on Bonfire night just to smell the phosphorous in the air.

We would also have a ‘Guy’ which was a human effigy. I used to make mine out of a pair of my dad’s old overalls stuffed with newspaper. My mum would put sparklers in the arms so when we threw it on the fire, the sparklers would light and it would be really exciting, it would illuminate all the faces of my family standing round the fire.

When the fire burned down a bit, we would rescue the potatoes and eat them with lashing of butter. Other culinary delights would be toffee apples, usually made from apples that had gone a bit soft dunked in toffee (which is a bit like caramel but more buttery and it goes hard in the cold). Sometimes we would have Candifloss, which is known as Cotton Candy in the US.

I remember it was always cold on Bonfire night. We rarely had snow, but your breath would always steam up, even standing near the fire. We would drink hot cocoa or warm ribena, which the grown-ups had Tea, or Coffee, or sometimes Mulled Wine.

Finally, after all the excitement, we would play board games, like monopoly or snakes and ladders, which was a good way of calming down after the fireworks.

I remember so many happy times. Now days, I hate fireworks, the loud bangs, I feel shellshocked. Most of my family have gone now, I don’t see many of my cousins any more, but it’s nice to reminisce.

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/three-things-challenge-07-sept-2018/#like-2759

Today’s things are: cotton candy, Snakes & Ladders, pinwheel

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/rash/#like-403

FOWC with Fandango — Schedule

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/your-daily-word-prompt-illuminate-september-7th-2018/#like-581

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/friday-rdp-coffee/#like-806

 

 

 

 

 

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale.

A few days ago I reposted a story I wrote  about a woman on holiday, called Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea. See here:

A multiple word prompt story – Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea.

Well it didn’t seem finished and a few people told me that it needed some more, so I wrote part two here:

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Part Two

But it still wasn’t finished. So here is the finale.

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale

Jane walked down the street from the apartment complex to the main part of town. She heard a couple of guys wolf whistle as she went past. She smiled to herself. Her fifty-year-old body may not be as slim as it used to be, in fact curvaceous would have been a kinder description, but clearly, she still had it. Then she heard footsteps behind her. Angela was walking a long behind her wearing a white sarong dress over her black bikini with a black wide-brimmed hat. She wore stylish espadrille wedges on her feet that gave her extra height. Jane felt a pang of jealousy as she realised the wolf whistles hadn’t been for her at all but for Angela’s stunning twenty-something year old figure instead.

Angela walked up to her and gave her a warm smile. “Hi Jane, are you headed into town too? Do you mind if I join you?”

Continue reading Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea – Finale.

A multiple word prompt story – Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea.

I wrote this story a couple of years ago and thought it was time to share it again.

I hope you enjoy it.

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:

Word of the Day: Insipid

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/insipid/

Your daily word: Accommodation

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/your-daily-word-prompt-misunderstanding-july-22nd-2018/

The Haunted Wordsmith’s Three Things Challenge:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/three-things-challenge-23-july-2018/

Today’s things are: caterpillar, silent, hotel

Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea

It was a lovely hotel and for once it looked exactly like it had in the brochure. The online reviews ranged, like they normally did, from describing it as paradise on earth to an outpost of hell. Ignoring the two extremes most people had posted that they’d had a positive experience, so she booked. For the money, it was reasonable accommodation.

One of the unexpected things that really pleased her was how silent it was. They had chosen to come out of season. It was the middle of September and so the schools were back, thank heavens. She couldn’t think of anything worse than going on holiday and being surrounded by packs of screaming kids. It reminded her painfully of the fact that she couldn’t have any and also made her feel slightly glad of it.

Continue reading A multiple word prompt story – Sun, Sea and a Cup of Tea.

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Manifestation of the Truth.

I wrote this story a while ago but thought it deserved another viewing. Although it should come with a warning, it’s not for the fainthearted. 😉

This story was written in response to the following word prompts:

Firstly the three things challenge from The Haunted Wordsmith:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/daily-writing-challenge-24/

Corpse, Murder, Greenhouse

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/manifestation/

Manifestation

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/your-daily-word-prompt-frighten-october-24-2018/

Frighten

FOWC with Fandango — Abstract

Abstract

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/warning/

“I think it is a simple manifestation of some kind of spirit,” he said removing his special ‘ghost detecting’ glasses.

Suzie glared at him “Are you trying to frighten me? What is this manifestation doing in my greenhouse anyway?”

Dr Finklefoss detected the aggression in her voice and rightly put it down to a response from feeling anxious. Fear of the supernatural was a common thing. He experienced it every day among the ill-educated and narrow-minded people he was forced to deal with.

He preferred working with the spirits rather than the living. Dead people were much easier to get on with.

“I would suspect that the murder took place in your greenhouse and that would explain why tools and plants get thrown around and why your glass panes are frequently broken. It will explain why there is a distinct cold zone in the middle of it too. This is where the poor young woman was killed.”

If she’d been anxious before, the look she gave him now was positively terrified.

“What murder, what are you talking about?” she shouted.

“You hired me to find out why you were getting these strange occurrences? Surely you must have suspected a supernatural reason and yet now you are acting like I am lying to you. She cannot harm you. All she wants is to tell us what happened to her. She is going to lead me to where her corpse is buried. She only wants the truth.”

Dr Finklefoss followed the spirit as it led him on a long and abstract path through the woods.

Suzie followed some way behind, her steps were strangely laboured.

As the spectral form stopped above a mound of disturbed earth, Dr Finklefoss realised that this spirit had not been dead that long at all. The spirits face distorted, a look of shock and fear marred the young girls face. She pointed behind him in warning, but it was too late. He felt the hard whack of the iron shovel as it caved in the back of his head. Then nothing.

Suzie dropped the shovel and watched the man bleed to death. A cold smile curled the corner of her lips. “There are some truths that I’d rather were kept hidden, thank you, Doctor.”

She returned to the house and resumed the identity of her wealthy sister, who no one suspected had a twin sister kept locked away in an institution. Well, she’d been locked away until last week, anyway and now she was enjoying herself for the first time in ages.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/October/2018

A Multiple Word Prompt Story – The Awkward Surprise

This story was inspired by the following word prompts

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/awkward/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/01/06/awkward-2/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/rdp66-abide/#like-621

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/three-things-challenge-05-august-2018/

Today’s things are: circus, carnival, freak show

The Awkward Surprise

It was his wife’s fiftieth birthday and he had managed to convince her he had forgotten all about it.

When they woke up that Saturday morning, he behaved like there was nothing special about the day ahead.

He’d got up, had a shower, fed the cats and then went to the corner shop to pick up the Saturday paper.

On his way back he quickly accosted the postman who was about to post some birthday cards through their letter box. He took the cards and put them in his coat pocket and only allowed the bills to pass through.

The postman gave him a strange look as he continued on his round.

Hiding round the side of the house he heard his wife open the inner door and pick up the few measly bills and slam the door again.

Stifling a laugh he opened the door with his key and went in.

“Has the mail been love?” he asked, how he kept a straight face, he had no idea.

“Only the gas and electric bills and a letter from the council about the drains, that’s all. I was expecting…”

“What were you expecting?” he asked as innocently as he could.

“Oh, Nothing. Nothing at all” She replied then went into the kitchen and slammed the door.

Continue reading A Multiple Word Prompt Story – The Awkward Surprise

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

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

This is a continuation of a story I was writing some time ago. See here for the last instalment.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/the-strange-inheritance-part-five-a-multiple-word-prompt-story/

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/vivid/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/quintessence/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/rdp-sunday-secrete/

FOWC with Fandango — Radical

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/your-daily-word-prompt-talisman-september-30th-2018/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/three-things-challenge-30-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: farewell, retirement, pasture

James returned to the Kitchen to find that Mrs Ponsomby had breakfast well underway. 

The smells of the sausages and bacon sizzling in the pan made his stomach rumble. It was one of his favourite aromas.

Jennifer was helping Mrs Ponsomby by beating the eggs with a little milk. 

“Go and Wash your hands, James, you’re all covered in grime and cobwebs from that cellar” Jennifer chided automatically falling back into her role as the bossy younger sister. Since growing up in the orphanage, they’d always been close but the last couple of years they had led separate lives. He worked in the City as a bank clerk and Jennifer was a teaching assistant at a Primary school in the suburbs. They both had their separate little dingy flats and led separate lives, meeting up occasionally. It was funny how being back together they had reverted. He was once again the protective older brother.

Obediently he went upstairs and cleaned himself up, then returned to the dining room and set the table. 

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

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

This is a continuation of a story I was writing some time ago. See here for the last instalment.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/the-strange-inheritance-part-four-a-multiple-word-prompt-story/

I had to take a break from writing it because I was having nightmares. It is a rather scary story and I have a vivid imagination.

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/taciturn/#like-462

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/rdp-monday-quaint/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/three-things-challenge-24-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: chemistry, biology, glow

 

James and Jennifer came downstairs after searching Aunt Elizabeth’s room. Her suitcase containing her old-fashioned dresses was still there, as were her teeth in the glass next to the bed, but of Aunt Elizabeth there was no sign whatsoever.

After the night they’d had with all the whispering noises and then the screams it somehow made it all so much more real now that one of their number had disappeared.

James didn’t seem too put out by it. He was his usual taciturn self and he hadn’t liked Aunt Elizabeth at all. Jennifer couldn’t quite say she had liked Aunt Elizabeth, there was something far too creepy about her, but she was very upset at her having disappeared.

“Don’t worry, Jenn, she’ll turn up. I expect she rose early and went for a walk in the grounds.” James said reassuringly.

“What, with all that rain we had last night? And her teeth still in the glass? I don’t think so, James. I want to go, leave this place.”

“What? And forfeit Uncle Joshua’s money? It will all go to that weird organisation he was a member of, the Black Rose, do you really want that to happen? Come on Jenn, pull yourself together. It’s only for one more night.”

Just then they heard the front door open. They ran down the stairs expecting to see their Aunt, but it was Mrs Ponsomby come to make breakfast.

“Good Morning. I’ve brought some bacon and sausages. I bet you could do with a good fry up after a night in this place. Where’s your Aunt?” Mrs Ponsomby stood there carrying a quaint old wicker basket with various groceries in. She appeared reassuringly normal and untouched by the strangeness of the house.

Jennifer responded “We can’t seem to find Auntie, she may well be in the Kitchen, that’s the last place we haven’t checked yet. That and the Cellar of course.”

Mrs Ponsomby seemed to pale at the mention of the cellar. Jennifer thought it was odd. Aunt Elizabeth had that same reticence about going down to the cellar and of course, the warning “Don’t go down to the Cellar after Midnight” Still rang in her ears after she’d nearly done just that. James has stopped her, God only knows what may have happened to her, if not for her Brother.

They all went into the Kitchen. It was cold, damp and deserted.

Walking over to the oven, Mrs Ponsomby tried to turn it on, but nothing happened. It was an electric oven and it became apparent that in the storm, the electrics had blown.

“Where is the fuse board Mrs Ponsomby?” James asked.

“It’s down in the cellar, just at the foot of the stairs. There’s a hand torch just inside the door. You don’t mind going down there and turning the trip switch back on, do you? I just hate going down there unless I can’t avoid it.”

“No, I don’t mind. Jenn, you stay here and help Mrs Ponsomby, I’ll only be a jiffy.”

James opened the door to the cellar, it creaked in a most theatrical manner but that was understandable, as no one seemed to want to open it. He found the hand torch just inside the door and turned it on. It gave a very yellow beam of light, but it was sufficient to see by. The wooden steps descended quite steeply into the gloom. An unpleasant dank smell, dusty and cold, like a tomb assaulted his nostrils. James walked slowly down the steps. As well as the light from the torch, there was a faint glow coming from the deep recesses of the cellar. It made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

At the bottom of the stairs, he found the fuse box, which he opened. He quickly found the trip switch and flipped it up, restoring electricity to the house. He heard a high pitched whirr that was the only indication that it had worked. Next to the fuse box was a light switch and James quickly reached out and flicked that on. He wanted there to be more light, he wanted to dispel that horrible sensation at the back of his neck that someone was standing there staring at him.

The light came on, temporarily blinding him, but he blinked and his eyes adjusted, revealing nothing.

No-one was standing there, but James suddenly had his first proper glimpse of the Cellar.

It appeared to go the full length and breadth of the house, brick arches and pillars divided the space into chambers. The next chamber along from the stairs was the largest one. James was surprised to see it was fully furnished with bookshelves and two leather armchairs. There was an old-fashioned rug on the floor, a tiger skin that had its head on. The glass eyes seemed to be staring at him.

In the corner, there was a workbench on which were several glass objects of the find you would find in a chemistry lab. On the shelves were several jars containing chemicals, some of which emitted a kind of eerie glow. James took a step back when he noticed that some of the jars contained human organs, hearts, livers and even brains, like a macabre biology experiment.

James was strangely attracted and repelled by the strange objects in equal measure. He found himself fascinated, a fascination that threatened to become an obsession. He couldn’t just turn and leave, he had to explore further.

James walked over to one of the large armchairs. Next to the chair was a table on which a very ancient looking book rested. The leather was crumbly but it had words written on the cover. The title was ‘Malleus Maleficarum’. James didn’t know any Latin, but he had heard of this book, it was notorious and rather alarming.

Just then he heard a voice calling. It was Jennifer.

“James, James? Are you OK, you’ve been down there for a long time. The electric’s back on, you can come back now. Breakfast will be ready soon.” Jennifer sounded nervous as she shouted to him.

“I’m coming back now, Jenn. Don’t worry.”

James reluctantly left the cellar, but he meant to return to explore further later. Now he had seen it, he couldn’t stay away.

End of Part Five.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/September/2018