50 Word Thursday #79 – Clear Orders.

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And the words: “My orders are clear. Eleven o’clock was the deadline.” – The Moon is Down – John Steinbeck.

 

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge. It isn’t too late to take part, click on the link below. You have until tomorrow evening to enter.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/07/02/50-word-thursday-79/

 

 

 

It seemed an unlikely venue, a quiet lodge up in hill country.

The instructions were clear. They always were. He never left any room for ambiguity and he wanted the job done quickly.

I glanced at my watch, it was ten to Eleven. Strange, these things were usually done at high-noon in the old westerns but my orders are clear. Eleven o’clock was the deadline. 

An anonymous looking black van pulled up and two men got out.

I walked over, taking my time. I wasn’t going to rush for them.

“Hey, you!” One guy called to me, “Are you gonna take all day?”

I didn’t walk faster, I slowed down.

“OK, have you got the Ruby?” I shouted.

“Yeah, have you got the cash?” the guy called back holding up a small velvet bag.

I waved the briefcase at them.

“Well come on. I can feel myself ageing here!” the man said. He wore a finely tailored suit. Exquisite taste.

I walked the final steps and held out the case.

“At last, I don’t want to age another minute!” the guy said.

“Happy to oblige” I replied and shot them both dead.

Ruby acquired and no cash outlay. Mission accomplished.

 

[200 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/aging/

FOWC with Fandango — Taste

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/your-daily-word-prompt-oblige-ydwordprompt-July-7-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/rdp-tuesday-ruby/

 

 

 

 

50 Word Thursday #78 – Without due Caution.

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And the words:

“She launched herself at their leader.” – Lorraine Heath’s When A Duke Loves A Woman

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge, hosted this week by Deb Whittam:

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/50-word-thursday-78/

 

 

The lake was beautiful and tranquil, an oasis of peace in the middle of a busy zoo.

You could hear in the distance the occasional roar of a lion or the chatter of monkeys, but that didn’t detract from the stillness of that place.

Then a gang of youths appeared, shouting at each other, boasting and taunting.

On the edge of the lake swam some baby swans. One of the kids picked one up and then threw it at one of his friends who caught it.

The Mother swan came out of nowhere and she launched herself at their leader, squawking loudly with a frantic beating of her wings.

Now it’s an empirical fact that Mother swans have been known to kill to protect their young.

It’s a shame that those kids hadn’t known that or maybe they would have shown more caution and then they’d still be alive today.

[150 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/zoo-3/

FOWC with Fandango — Empirical

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/your-daily-word-prompt-caution-ydwordprompt-June-30-2020/

50 Word Thursday #77 – The Birthday Wish

 

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And the Words:

“It is a puzzle. How can life go on its stupid course on such a day?” – Tortilla Flat, John Steinbeck. 

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/06/18/50-word-thursday-77/

 

As she wandered through the parterre the neatly clipped box barely caught her eye and the lavender with its perfume failed to penetrate the thoughts that kept her occupied. She paused to admire the bronze statue, a paragon of manly virtue. Her eye took in each curve of muscle. She’d led a sheltered life, staring at this statue had been the extent to her experience of the carnal. She had just turned forty and a lonely spinster who had inherited a fortune but had no one to enjoy life with. Despite her birthday, she was in no mood for celebration. Instead, she stared longingly at the familiar statue and made a wish.

Suddenly there was a flash that temporarily blinded her and a loud metallic noise like the sounding of a gong. Her heart raced and she was afraid that something momentous had happened. The statue had come to life its dark bronze patina replaced by tanned flesh.

It is a puzzle, How can life go on its stupid course on such a day?

As the man climbed down from his plinth, she caught sight of something and realised that despite huge muscles other things appeared to be quite diminutive.

[200 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/celebration/comment-page-1/#comment-33090

FOWC with Fandango — Diminutive

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/your-daily-word-prompt-afraid-ydwordprompt-June-24-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/rdp-wednesday-paragon/

 

50 Word Thursday #76 – A Secret from the Past

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And the words:

“Sometimes, it’s not your secret to tell.” ― Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge. Click on the link below to take part, you have until Wednesday to post your own story.

https://debbiewhittam.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/50-word-thursday-76/

 

I grew up on the coast but it wasn’t a popular stretch of beach, the weather was far too changeable. The waves were too rough for swimming. Sometimes a group of surfers would come and use the beach, but mostly it was just dog walkers who trod that lonely stretch of sand.

It was commonly said that the beach was haunted. Everyone in that part of the world knew the tale of a woman found strangled on the beach but how her ghost still walked the shore on quiet nights calling out the name of her lover. It had been nearly a hundred years ago, but still, that legend haunted me. I felt some strange connection to the story, possibly because the name the people heard her call out was the same name given to me at birth, Lawrence.

It was my Uncle who gave me the opportunity to explore the past. He was a mad scientist who had discovered the secret of time travel, although you could only go backward through time never forward.

Sending me back to find out what had happened to that woman murdered on the beach had seemed the only way to stop thinking about it.

However, I found out more than I could cope with.

I could never share what I had discovered, sometimes it’s not your secret to tell, but it had been my fault. It was me who was responsible for that woman’s death and why her ghost called out my name.

[250 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/backward-2/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/your-daily-word-prompt-responsible-ydwordprompt-June-12-2020/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/rdp-friday-uncle/

 

50 Word Thursday – Strange Allegiances

 

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And the Words: “Nobody can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny.”
― Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday challenge. If you want to take part, you have until Wednesday evening (GMT) click on the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/06/04/50-word-thursday-75/

 

There were a few of us in the wedding party and we decided to make the most of our time together before we all went our separate ways.

It seemed apt to take them to the quiet spot where Alice and I had met, on a walking tour. This was where it had started.

The gorge, normally dry had been transformed by the recent rains into a watering hole.

Alice enjoyed swimming and I knew she could not resist the sight of that cool water on that gloriously hot day.

It was two days after our wedding and already I had begun to think it wasn’t worth it. Sure, she was an heiress and was simply rolling in money, but she was one of those clingy types.

My cousin, his wife, my friends John and Laura and Alice’s Uncle George made up the rest of the gathering. We all looked on as Alice waded into the inviting waters.

There is no honour amongst thieves, so the old adage goes, and I have the distinction of being one of the best. Up to that point, I’d only indulged in the odd bit of bribery and blackmail, but if this paid off, I’d get my hands on a goldmine. My Allegiance was to myself alone.

I remember we were tucking into some cooked chicken when Alice started screaming, needless to say, we were too late.

Nobody can be held responsible for the pranks of destiny, at least that’s what the Judge said.

[250 Words]

 

I have also incorporated the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/rdp-tuesday-distinction/#like-9054

FOWC with Fandango — Apt

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/your-daily-word-prompt-allegiance-ydwordprompt-June-9-2020/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/honor/

 

 

 

50 Word Thursday #73 – The Lady’s Revenge

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And the Words: ‘So which one am I supposed to be?’ I said. ‘The shooter, the maniac or the idiot who hid the body?’ – The Killing Floor by Lee Child. 

 

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge. If you want to take part you still have until Wednesday evening, click on the link below to take part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/50-word-thursday-73/

 

It was a typical day in the medieval re-enactment village. We were standing in line waiting to be dressed up and assume one of various characters. The man in front of me was given a chain mail shirt, a sword and a shield emblazoned with a lion rampant.

When It was my turn, I stood before a buxom lady dressed as a tavern wench, I couldn’t help but make a comment about her heaving bosom that brought a bloom of colour to her cheeks. I made reference to a nice pear, which is my favourite kind of innuendo. Apart from her blush, she didn’t react to my joke but treated it like plain blather. I suppose she’d heard it many times before.

‘So which one am I supposed to be?’ I said. ‘The shooter, the maniac or the idiot who hid the body?’ Asking about what character I was to be assigned.

The lady looked me up and down and tapped her lip with an impatient finger.

“Well, the role of the village idiot is still available, I think you’re more than qualified,” she said and handed me a cap with bells on and an inflated bladder on a stick.

[200 Words]

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/bosom/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/your-daily-word-prompt-blather-ydwordprompt-may-26-2020/

FOWC with Fandango — Innuendo

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/rdp-tuesday-bloom/

 

 

What do you see # 31 – A Beacon in the Night

This story was written for Sadje’s What do you see challenge, click on the link to see the post:

What do you see # 31 -25 May 2020

 

He’d been wandering through the woods for hours now and was beginning to feel the full heft of the backpack on his shoulders. His stomach grumbled and called out for sustenance, the acid churning as he recalled the meagre breakfast he’d had such a long time ago. The campsite should have been around here somewhere but he’d passed up the opportunity to ask the few people that he’d encountered. Now he had to admit that he was lost.

The fog had descended before nightfall, initially, gossamer threads illuminate by the light of the setting sun had become a dense mist that had made the isolation of being lost in the woods feel even more foreboding.

Why did he decide to take that shortcut through the woods? If he’d kept to the road he would have probably been there by now, warm and cosy in his tent.

Just then, he saw a light in the distance, a beacon of hope. He scrambled through the trees and found a path heading straight to this golden beam.

Stumbling over the last few steps, he saw the wooden house nestled in a clearing, it looked derelict and empty but the light from the upper window shone brightly like the morning sun.

Desperation took hold and he didn’t even stop to think what type of person would choose to live in such a secluded location.

As he opened the door, the sight of row upon row of empty backpacks lining the hallway made him realise he’d made the biggest mistake of his life.

The door behind him swung shut and he heard a click of the lock.

The shining light from upstairs suddenly extinguished and he was alone, the sound of his quickening breaths echoed through the silent blackness.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25th May 2020

 

I have also included the following Word Prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/25/acid/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/05/25/rdp-monday-gossamer/#like-9279

FOWC with Fandango — Shortcut

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/05/25/your-daily-word-prompt-heft-ydwordprompt-may-25-2020/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Lyric Saturday – Love Letters in the Sand

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Photo by Aleksandr Neplokhov on Pexels.com

So the Word of the Day is Sand and I couldn’t help but think of this golden oldie song – Love letters in the Sand.

On a day like today
We passed the time away
Writing love letters in the sand
How you laughed when I cried
Each time I saw the tide
Take our love letters from the sand
You made a vow that you would ever be true
But somehow that vow meant nothing to you
Now my broken heart aches
With every wave that breaks
Over love letters in the sand
Now my broken heart aches
With every wave that breaks
Over love letters in the sand
I would love to write some lyrics as lovely as this. The song was written by Nick Kenny, J. Fred Coots and Charles Kenny, and made famous by Pat Boone.

Call, me a total Maniac but I decided to try to sing it myself:


Another Silly Rhyme – Forgotten Symphony.

 

This silly poem was inspired by the following word prompts:

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/symphony/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/rdp-83-remember/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/your-daily-word-prompt-adorable-august-22nd-2018/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/22/fowc-with-fandango-resonate/

 

 

I sat down to write a symphony

Like the great composers of yesterday

Something to resonate inside of me

It seems people couldn’t care less today

Of things like melody or harmony,

Tunes that make you want to sing along

Remember music from those golden days?

You just cannot beat an old-time song.

“You’re adorable, Miss Florabel,

Let’s go down to the garden wall,

I’d like to kiss your hand, madam

If you let me be your little lamb”.

OK so maybe those great songs of old,

were not so great or even gold.

Maybe they were a little twee,

So, whoops-a-daisy, woe is me.

I’ll go back to writing poetry,

And leave those old songs where they belong,

Forgotten, like my Symphony.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 22/August/2018

Genre Challenge – An Angel among Devils – Part Two

A Year ago I wrote a short story for the Haunted Wordsmiths Genre Challenge called An Angel Among Devils, see the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/an-angel-among-devils-a-short-story/

I reposted this post this morning and so I thought I would share some more with you. So, here is part two.

 

Chapter Two:

After telling him to follow, the ugly brute walked towards what appeared to be a plain wall, decorated with the same muck the rest of the walls seemed to be coated in.

Inspector Tanner glanced back towards the main bar, no one was looking their way, but he knew that though everyone appeared ambivalent, it was deliberate. They were all looking towards where the smartly dressed guy had gone, running out the front door, they now pointedly ignored him and you could cut the atmosphere with a blunt vibroblade.

“Are you coming or what? If you want to stay and get yourself killed, that’s fine by me. I’ll deal with whoever they get to fill your shoes.”

The man with the snake tattoo looked back at him and where there had been plain, gut splattered wall before, there was now an open door.

Inspector Tanner stood up and followed the man through the door and into a dingy back alley.

The man then pressed something in his pocket and the door was replaced again by a solid wall.

“Look, who are you?” Inspector Tanner asked.

“We can’t talk now. That other guy, he’s gone to fetch his gang, we have to be as far away from here as possible. Follow me and keep your head down. I know a safe place.”

You didn’t get far in his line of work without developing an instinct to know who to trust, well he had to admit, his instinct had let him down by approaching the wrong guy earlier, but now he was sure, in order to get out here with his life, he had to follow this man, regardless of how he looked, but it still felt like he being rash.

After taking so many twists and turns along the dark back alleys of the most dangerous district in town, they finally came to a halt in front of another concrete wall.

Again, the man pressed something in his pocket and a blue light flashed down the side of the wall and it twisted to form an opening.

“Quick, in here,” he said.

Ducking through the doorway, Inspector Tanner found himself in a kitchen, pots and pans hang on hooks from a metal rack suspended from the ceiling and a delicious smell of cooking filled the air along with the steam.

Almost hidden, he noticed a woman standing in the corner stirring a large pot with a wooden spoon.

The big man sat down at a metal table and grinned, baring his mouth of gold fillings and missing teeth.

“Now we can talk. Sit” he said pointing to a chair opposite him.

As inspector Tanner took his seat, the woman walked over and ran a gentle hand against the ugly man’s face, a look of adoration in her eyes, made him gasp with surprise.

‘What could such a beautiful lady see in this brute?’ The inspector thought.

Instead, he asked the same question he had asked earlier, “Who are you?”

“I am the man you were supposed to meet, the one who has been passing information to you for the past two years.”

“You’re ‘Fallen Angel’? You can’t be, surely?” The inspector responded sceptically.

The man the unbuttoned the front of his denim shirt and displayed another tattoo painted over his bulging chest muscles of a figure, with horns coming out of a head bowed, and two wings spread either side of him. It was a contrast to the brightly coloured snake tattoo on his arm, this was painted in pale colours that seemed to shimmer in the dingy light of the steamy kitchen, strangely understated.

“This is the Fallen Angel,” He said grinning. “It is who some of us worship here in Hells Campus. Well, those of us who want a better life for ourselves and our people. The Fallen Angel is a symbol of redemption for us. That no matter how bad our crimes, we can put them in the past and work towards something better.”

The Lady brought over a bowl of soup and placed it on the table, again that look of deep love crossed her face. She had large brown eyes, set wide and slightly tilted, her dark chestnut hair covered the left side of her face and then nearly reached her slim waist. Her dress was plain and dark with a touch of black lace around the collar. Her lips were full and bright red but seemed at purse into a petulant scowl when she caught the Inspector looking at her.

The man calling himself Fallen Angel must have also seen him, because he said: “This is Marita, she is my wife.”

Changing the subject, Inspector Tanner asked about the other man, the smartly dressed one who he’d mistakenly thought was his informant.

“He is known as the Accountant. He likes to count things, a toe, an ear, that sort of thing, usually when he is cutting them off his victims. He is not a nice man. Even here, in a district where most people have had to do unpleasant things to survive, he stands out as evil.”

Marita pulled back the hair to expose a scar where her left ear should have been. It spoke far more than words would have done.

Inspector Tanner kept the shock he’d felt out of his voice and calmly asked, “And he works for the Armstrong Gang who’s been responsible for the recent murders?”

“The Armstrong gang are small fry, they are yesterday’s men. It’s true they used to run things down here, but that was before another group came along, bringing with them a new religion. I said some of us worshipped the Fallen Angel. Well, some believe that we have nothing left but to embrace the darkness. this new gang Diablo De La Muerte, they worship Santa Muerte, the lord of murder and death.”

“I did not realise that religion was to blame for all the recent killing,” Inspector Tanner said.

“Hasn’t religion been behind most of the killing in History?” The man responded. He had a look of a religious zealot himself. A look of Marvellous ecstasy in his eyes. This man was as much a fundamentalist as the people he opposed. However, he seemed like the lesser of two evils in this case.

“Tell me everything” Inspector Tanner said, pulling out his recording crystal.

 

***

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/April/2019 

 

This story also contains the following Word Prompts:

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/rdp-friday-rash/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/marvelous/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/your-daily-word-prompt-worship-april-26-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Lady

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/three-things-challenge-pl71/

Today’s prompt: accountant, toe, lace

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/understated/

FOWC with Fandango — Ambivalent