Flash Fiction Friday Story: Melt at your own Risk

Melting Witch by Lora Zombie via www.DeviantArt.com

Melting Witch by Lora Zombie via www.DeviantArt.com

“No,” Roxanna shouted at her daughter. “Never, ever, give in. No melting.”

Little Pam gave her mother an eye roll.

“No! Oh, it seems fun at the beginning but then, it’s harder and harder to pull away.” Roxanna grasped her daughter’s shoulders with both hands and looked her eye to eye.

At twelve, Pam was in full parental defiance mode. Melting was delicious. All of the edges blurred. Her muscles relaxed and everything became soft and flowy. “I can control it.”

“You can’t.” Roxanna gave her daughter a little shake. “You’ve just started coming into your powers. It’s unfortunate that melting was the first one. You should have had more time to learn the proper techniques and controls. Melting is easy. It feels good. But the danger is that you go too far and won’t be able to or perhaps won’t want to come back. Is that what you want? For me to keep you in a jar on the mantle?”

That got Pam’s attention. Spending her life in a jar sounded horrible. “No. I’ll hold off melting.” The girl scuffed her sneakered toe into the carpet.

Roxanna clapped her daughter on the shoulders with a sigh. “Good. Soon your other powers will develop and we’ll work with those. Be patient.”

Pam nodded and left for her room. She flopped on the bed. Being a witch had seemed so exciting. Her mother was a powerful witch. Pam had been eager to get her own powers. Now it seemed as though everything was a no. ‘No, you can’t melt.’ ‘Be careful, that power needs years of practice.’ ‘Stop, that’s dangerous.’ Pam flung her arms out across the bed.

Especially today. It was All Hallows Eve and the witches party was tonight. Pam wanted to show off her melting to her friends. Now it would be another year before she could be a full participant.

By the time it was full dark everyone was assembled. The bonfire was blazing, and the dancing had started. Despite the chill in the air, many of the witches danced naked. Pam thought nothing of it. She’d been attending the coven gatherings since she was a baby.

“Pam!”

Pam turned to see her two best friends, Agatha, and Emily, running to greet her.

“Look!” Agatha opened her hand. Dancing on her palm was a tiny flame. “It came to me over the weekend. Mom helped me learn to control it.” The girl raised her index finger and the flame move to its tip. “See! Isn’t this the greatest?” Agatha and Emily grinned and giggled.

Pam’s heart sank and a red wash of jealousy coursed through her. Her face grew hot. “I can melt. That’s my first power.”

“Melt?” Emily’s eyes grew big. “No one in my family can melt.”

“My mom can and now, so can I.”

“Show us,” Agatha demanded.

Pam looked around the clearing. Her mother danced in the circle. Her long red hair swung with abandon, glinting in the firelight. “My mom says it’s dangerous. I may never come back.”

Agatha, always competitive with Pam, snorted. “You can’t do it, can you?”

“I can, too!” Pam checked her mother again. Roxanna danced with her friends. “Well, just a little melting won’t hurt.” She let herself relax. Pam could feel her edges soften. The warmth of the change accelerated the process. Her mother was right, she thought. This does feel good.

Dimly she could hear Agatha and Emily gasp. “You can melt,” Emily exclaimed.

Pam didn’t nod. That would pull her out of the melt. Just a little more so Agatha would know she could really do it. Her body continued to soften. Pam could feel herself flowing. The moon began to pull at her and a low thrumming echoed in her mind. Just a little more. This was so peaceful and the thrumming, first loud, then soft, relaxed her. She could feel it ebbing and flowing within her.

She could barely hear Emily screaming for her to stop. A little more. How far can I go? She could no longer see when Agatha dragged Roxanna to the remains of Pam’s body. Roxanna held her hands over Pam’s soggy clothing and began to chant. Several witches joined her, adding their power to hers.

Agatha and Emily held each other and sobbed.

After an hour, the witches gave up. Roxanna, pale and shaking, lay sobbing on the cold ground. One of the witches covered her with her clothes. Pam was gone, soaked into the ground. The witches went home. Roxanna and a handful of friends built a fence around the spot where Pam had melted. No one would walk on it. Roxanna hoped that the child would reform and come back.

Three witches stayed behind as two friends led Roxanna away. “Think the girl will come back?”

“Nope. She’s part of the earth now. Glad my family doesn’t have melting in our lineage. I’ve heard of this happening. The melters never come back.”

The three stood around the fence. “Melt at your own risk, I guess,” the third witch said.

They all nodded.

 

The End

847 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Flash Fiction Friday Post: Dark Carnival

State Fair

State Fair 2011 by Randy Cockrell

Gabi Rickson rubbed her eye as she flipped the switch in the trailer turning off the carnival music. If she never heard carnival music again it would be fine by her. If she never stepped foot in another carnival trailer, that would be fine, too. Next town, Gabi promised herself as she turned out the flashing neon lights; she’d get a waitressing job in a diner or something and get away from this creepy carnival.

After a month with the carnival, she was trusted to shut up the game trailer for the night. She stepped out of the back door and locked it. Gabi shared a camper with the carnie owner’s daughter, Brianne. The bed over the cab was hers, along with the tiny storage cubby. Not that she had much—a couple of changes of clothes, her e-reader, and the electronic notebook that served as her computer when a free WiFi hotspot presented itself.

At the camper, she went inside. It shifted with her weight on the step. The light was on over the stove, meaning that Brianne was out. Gabi felt relieved. Brianne and the rest of the carnies had some sort of weird vibe. Kind of like the vibe she got from her mother’s boyfriend and the reason she’d left home. The carnie vibe, though, was something else. They seemed okay during the day, friendly enough. After dark was another thing. Gabi eyed the door. She wanted nothing better than to lock the damn thing but it wasn’t her camper and Brianne needed to get in.

She changed into the tee-shirt she slept in and splashed her face in the tiny bathroom sink. Thank goodness the camper had a toilet and shower. It would have sucked to use the port-a-pots and outside wash stations some of the carnies had to use. After she climbed up into her bed, she read a chapter on her e-reader and turned out the lights. The game trailer had to open at ten, just seven hours away.

Gabi woke, heart pounding, the camper rocking violently. She scrambled down the ladder and bolted out of the camper door, barefoot and trembling. With the dirt and small stones cutting into her feet, she saw three men rocking the camper.

Brianne grabbed her hand. “Come on! Run!”

Blinking with confusion, Gabi followed, her hand still in Brianne’s. “What’s going on? Where are we going?”

“Hurry!” The owner’s daughter dragged her past the carnie’s campers and led the nineteen-year-old at a run up the ramp of the carnival’s only tractor trailer, through a person-sized door. She dropped Gabi’s hand and slammed the door shut.

Gabi stood gasping as Brianne stood, back against the door. “What is going on?”

“It’s time.”

“Time for what?” Gabi shook her head. This wasn’t making any sense.

Brianne stood up. “Time for you to serve your purpose.” She took Gabi’s hands in hers. “Time for you to pay us back.”

Gabi tried to pull her hands from Brianna’s. “Pay you back? I do my work.”

Brianna’s grip tightened. “Of course. But we need more than that, sweet girl.”

Gabi yanked her hands, but the carnie’s grip couldn’t be broken. She didn’t like the way Brianna stared. “Let go of me!” she cried out. Panic flooded through her.

“Don’t worry, sweetheart.” Brianna smiled and licked her lips. “This won’t hurt. Not too much, anyway.”

“Let go!” Gabi shouted as her elbows were grabbed by two men, one on each side. Brianna let go of her wrists as the two men lifted Gabi from her feet. She recognized them from around the carnival but hadn’t really met them. “Let me go!” she screamed again as they carried her to the front of the trailer.

The inside was lit by purple rope lights mounted along the corners where wall met roof. The sides were lined with the carnie people, dressed in black robes, hands tucked into wide sleeves. Gabi tried to kick the legs of the men who held her, but her bare feet were weak weapons. They ignored her. At the front of the trailer was a platform that ran the width of the trailer and a table, draped in white, on it. The white material glowed purple in the light from the ropes. They lifted her higher and before she could react, two other men grabbed her feet and bound them in three turns of rope before she was placed on the white cloth. Her hands were raised over her head and tied to the corners of the table. She thrashed, her long blonde hair spilling across the table and over her face. Tears flowed with fear and frustration.

Brianne, now dressed in a black robe with silver embroidery at wrist hems and down the middle front of the robe, gently pulled Gabi’s hair back from her face and with a black cloth, wiped her eyes. “Shh, sweet girl. There’s no need to fear. You’ve been judged worthy.”

“Worthy?” Gabi tugged at her feet, they were secured, as were her hands. “What are you doing?”

“We need to feed. You’ve been chosen.”

Gabi shook her head so hard the hair flew again. “You can’t. You can’t!”

The people in the room began to chant. Brianne lifted Gabi’s head and placed a padded brace under her neck and smoothed all of Gabi’s hair to her left shoulder. “So beautiful, dear girl. You’ll feed us for quite some time.”

Gabi screamed as Brianne leaned over her neck and bit. Fear and pain flooded through her then warmth and a feeling of bliss.

The missing girl posters appeared a week later, but the carnival had moved on. A year later the body of a woman, apparent age 72 was found in the parking lot of an abandoned drive-in theater.

Gabi’s mother searched for her daughter the rest of her life.

 

The End

977 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Flash Fiction Friday: Poltergeist

Energy ball 001 by ISOStock via www.DeviantArt.com

Energy ball 001 by ISOStock via www.DeviantArt.com

“How do you do that?” my friend, Linda, asked from the front passenger seat.

“Do what?” I tapped my fingers on the wheel.

“Hit every red stop light? No wonder you’re always late.”

She didn’t know the half of it. “Just lucky, I guess.”

That morning was typical. The toaster burned the bread. The electric kettle wouldn’t boil water. The car starter just turned over until I got out, fiddled with the cable and knocked on the engine block three times. Bad cable you may say but I’ve replaced that cable five times in the last six months.

Anything electrical or electronic is a challenge. At home that night I lit a few candles and an oil lamp and sat down to read. I was half a chapter into the book when I could smell the ozone and hear the zz zz zz. “Come on out, don’t be shy,” I called as I marked my place and set the book on the coffee table.

They did, just like the night a year ago when my great-aunt, Emily, came over to see what I was talking about. We sat in the living room, the lights on, chatting about her bridge club when the lights went out with a huge crackle. Then we saw the little balls of sparks flew out of the kitchen and race around the room, dancing up and down the walls where hidden electrical lines were buried. At the end they drifted to me, circling my head, making the hair on my arms stand up. They raced up and down my body and when I raised my hands, palms up, several settled in each palm, sparkling like fireworks.

After they drifted away and disappeared Aunt Emily took a breath. “Poltergeist, that’s interesting. Can you control them?”

The thought hadn’t occurred to me but from that point on that’s how I spent my evenings, learning to control my little electrical poltergeist. I’m getting pretty good. Most nights I let them come out when they want to. Some nights though, I call them. It was tough at first. I had no idea how to start. It turns out it’s a feeling, a need or desire. Once I mastered that, I began working on sending them to different parts of the room. Their reward is that I call them to me and let them swarm. Cuddle time, I call it. It doesn’t hurt, I feel energized, actually.

Recently I’ve been working on getting them to do actual work. They’ll turn on my lamp for me now when I ask. A week ago I was home, practicing with the poltergeist, when I heard the back door open. A shot of adrenaline surged through me. The little balls of sparks flew around the room in what I could only call a panic. “Who is it?” I rose from my chair.

Something glass hit the floor of the kitchen. The poltergeist shot toward the kitchen door and hovered there. I crept to the door jam and peeked around the corner. The light from the sparking dimly lit the room. A guy was standing in the middle of the floor, glass shards sparkled at his feet. The light from his flashlight hit me in the face. “Get in here,” he growled.

He had a knit balaclava over his head but his eyes were visible. They were wide. I can just imagine what I looked like with balls of sparks flying all around my head. He waved me into the kitchen with the hand that held a bag. “The lights were off. I didn’t think anyone was home. Sit in that chair.”

I slowly moved to the chair next to the kitchen table, pulled it out and sat down. The poltergeist were still with me.

“What is that?” He pointed the flashlight at the balls of sparks. Fear tinged his voice.

“I have poltergeist.”

He took two steps toward me, glass crunched under his feet. “Don’t be smart.” He batted at one that flew close to him.

“It’s true.” I stared him down. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Shut up.” He raised his flashlight and pointed it at me. “Where’s your cash.”

“My purse is on the cupboard,” I pointed to my right.

He crunched across the floor and dumped it on the counter. He ignored everything but the wallet. After he opened it he dug out my cash. “Seriously, twelve bucks?”

“Sorry, didn’t know you were coming.”

“Don’t be wise.” He pulled my credit card out of my wallet and turned to me. “This all you got?”

“Yeah. How many do I need?”

A few of the poltergeist swarmed over the credit card the guy was still holding up. That was going to ruin the magnetic strip on the card but I wasn’t going to tell him. He jerked his hand away and batted at the sparks with the flashlight.

More of the poltergeist flew over and swarmed the flashlight which went out. The guy batted furiously at the sparks. That caused all the rest of them to swarm him, up and down, round and round. I could see him in their light, whirling around and around, swearing. He began to choke and grab at his chest. The flashlight fell to the floor with a crash and rolled under the table. The would-be robber sank to the floor, groaning and gasping for breath.

I got up and went to my landline and dialed 911. “I have a robber in my house. It looks like he’s having a heart attack.”

Ten minutes later, the cops, then the ambulance were at the front door. I’d turned the lights on and encouraged the poltergeist to disappear. The cops took a statement; the EMT’s took the body. Heart attack, they told the cops.

After they left, I swept up the broken and crushed glass. The poltergeist came back out to play. I can think of several ways my friends could be useful.

 

The End

996 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Flash Fiction Friday: Day Ghosts

Red Sky by Randy Cockrell

Red Sky by Randy Cockrell

The summer sun still spread its fingers of light down my street. I hesitated in the doorway of my apartment building. I needed to get to work but I wanted to wait until the sun was gone from the sky.

The building super moved past me with a barrel of trash for the dumpster. He eyed me as he passed. I nodded. He viewed me with suspicion because I wanted the basement apartment on the north side of the building. “No one wants that apartment, why do you want it?”

I shrugged. “I work nights. I like it dark while I sleep during the day.”

He eyed me then too. “OK, but don’t come back in a month looking for a place on the top floor.”

I promised. I’d never ask for a place on the top floor. I love October. The days are noticeably shorter. I have more time to move around the city without sunlight. I know, most people want to be out in the sun. Not me. And before you ask, no, I’m not a vampire. Those are a myth. My problem is ghosts.

The sun’s last rays lingered but I had to go. I stepped out into the street and looked both ways. I didn’t see anything but I never do when I take this chance. I was nineteen when it first happened. I was leaving the college library after an all afternoon session. All I could think about was getting to the student union and filling a tray with a burger and fries. I was half a block from the Union when a cold shudder swept through me. I stopped dead on the sidewalk and felt as though I was going to vomit. I pushed hair out of my face with a shaky hand. I didn’t have time to be sick. I swallowed and looked around. There were a lot of kids but no one was paying any attention to me. I started on my way and was overcome again with that feeling of ice and doom. I made it to a bush, just loosing its yellowed leaves to the recent frost before I hurled into it. A couple of passing girls giggled. I blushed.

I turned around and headed for my dorm room. Hungry or not, I needed to lie down. I had three more attacks before I made it inside to rest. My mom called me three days later. “Have you been feeling all right, sweetie?”

“Yeah, I must have some bug.” My voice was weak, days of chills and vomiting had taken a toll.

The line was silent for a moment. “When do you get sick?”

“Outside, every time I try to go to class or to the cafeteria, I just lose it.”

She didn’t say anything. I thought the connection had been lost. “Mom?”

“Um, I need to tell you something.”

“What?”

“You remember your grandmother Winston? Never went out in the daylight?”

“Yeah? Kinda strange. Only went to night mass, that kind of thing.”

“Well, she was cursed.”

I had to digest that information for a minute. “Cursed, like a gypsy curse? There’s no such thing.”

“There is. Look. I’ll drive up. It’ll be dinner time when I get there. You stay inside and rest. I’ll come and get you.”

I felt better by the time she came. It was dark when we left the dorm. She took me to a nice place and I tore into a medium rare steak, baked potato and green beans. Over dessert I opened the discussion. “So tell me about the curse.”

She sipped Pinot Noir. “She was about your age and told me when you were a baby. I never paid any attention to her activities, it all seemed normal to me. She did everything after sunset. I thought that’s what everyone did. As a teen she’d made fun of some old woman on Main Street. The woman glared at her and said, “Laugh now, young one. See how you like living in the dark. This is for you and your’s every other generation for three generations.” Then she spit on the sidewalk at your grandmother’s feet.”

I resisted the urge to lick the inside of the crème brulee cup. “Seriously, Mom?”

“I know. But the symptoms you’re experiencing are the same as hers. Ghosts, she told me, can’t be seen well in the light. They were attracted to her and swarmed her. At night, they left her alone.”

My fingers flipped the licked clean spoon over and over on the white tablecloth. “You expect me to believe that? I can’t go out during the day because I’m being swarmed by ghosts?”

She nodded.

It’s been six years. Mom was right. I can’t see them, but they’re there and if a ray of sun is around, they’ll swarm me. I haven’t told my fiancé yet. I’m not sure how to do that. I round a corner and step into the last of the sunshine. I’m washed in cold air and it feels as though I’ve been punched in the stomach. What’s left of my late lunch comes up as I hurl against the wall of the building next to me. The sun drops behind the horizon and the cold disappears. I dig a tissue out of my pocket and wipe my mouth. A wino on a nearby bench asks if I’m OK.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Must have been bad food.”

“Gotta watch that, Miss. Those diners, they don’t care, just keep serving the old stuff up.”

“Thanks,” I tell him and wobble away.

No, I’m not sure how my fiancé is going to take this at all.

Racing through October

Red Rocks of Sedona by Randy Cockrell

Red Rocks of Sedona by Randy Cockrell

Is the month going by as fast for you as it is for me? Wow, it’s been a crazy month. Last week my hubby and I went to Sedona with several of our hiking friends and had a good time hiking that area. The picture at the top of the post is from there. Too beautiful for words. Of course the weekend before was the craft fair, that was exciting. The 4th was my visit to the Sedona book fair.  Then there are the meetings for the book festival we’re planning for Payson, dental appointments, HOA meeting, project management phone calls and a luncheon for the neighborhood ladies.

In between all of that, I’m prepping for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). I want to have stories scheduled for every Friday in November so I don’t have to worry about that while I’m writing my newest draft. I have 2 scheduled, 1 written and ready to be scheduled and one still to be done. I still need one for the 31st of October, too. That should probably be kind of Halloweeny, don’t you think? Other NaNo planning is my outline. It’s going to be a cozy mystery, the first one I’ve tried to write. I have five plot lines and about 30 scene sentences completed. I think another 30 – 40 scenes will fill the story out nicely. If you don’t know, NaNo is a writing challenge. Every November thousands of authors, new and experienced, try to write 50,000 words or more in the month. It turns out to be 1667 words per day, minimum. You can go to the website and check it out. www.nanowrimo.org/en/sign_in It’s free to join and there are forums to visit to talk with others about writing. I need to think about a cover for my cozy mystery, too. Hmmm.

The garden is still producing tomatoes and the sweet and hot pepper plants still have a couple peppers on them ripening. Otherwise the garden is looking a little worn and tired. Soon I’ll have to pull everything out and prep the beds for the winter.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know if you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Flash Fiction Friday: Three 3 Sentence Stories

I was reading Chuck Wendig’s blog last week and he put up a challenge. Write a three sentence horror story. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/11/flash-fiction-challenge-horror-in-three-sentences/ You can check out what other people wrote on Chuck’s blog, terribleminds.

Here are three that I did.

Story 1 – Mother’s Love

The wind whistled through the bare maple tree branches as the full moon shed its light on Toby Vertucci who stood just inside the cemetery gate. The flowers for his mother’s grave dropped unnoticed from his nerveless fingers as tendrils of icy mist began to encircle him. As the mist closed around him he heard, “Thank you sweetheart, I’ve been waiting for you.”

Story 2 – They Warned Us

The nuclear war lasted 3 days, 10 years ago, and nearly every city of any real size was destroyed. Parents dead and now alone, fourteen year old Anastasia worked her garden, napping in the sun when she could, so she could guard the garden all night to protect it from predators. Her heart fell at the chittering in the distance warning of the cockroach hoard approaching and eating everything in their path, including her.

Story 3 – The Choice

It was his own fault for honking his horn when the old woman reached the front of his car. Jump or be eaten, she snarled as she pointed at him from the crosswalk. Now Stan stood on the roof ledge of his 20 story apartment building, wind whipping around him, frozen with fear and had to choose between the jump or the red eyed wolf, panting on the roof behind him.

207 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Flash Fiction Friday: The Click

I was watching a Google+ video of Holly Lisle on the 10th when Holly gave in improptu lesson on writing. She suggested we work along with her. So, from those few prompts, I developed today’s Flash fiction story. Check out the video (the mini, mini class comes about 2/3 of the way through the video (1 hour 8 min long) here: http://hollylisle.com/questions-for-the-google-chat-what-do-you-want-to-know-about/

The Click

I woke; a brilliant while light shining from the ceiling onto my body. I was able to turn my head slightly to the right or left but otherwise, I was firmly strapped to what looked like a hospital bed. I couldn’t remember how I got here and that made me anxious.

Behind me, I heard a click, like a door closing. The sound of high heels as well as the faint scent of a flowery perfume crossed the floor from behind me to the right but it was dark beyond the circle of light. I could just make out some sort of screen in the dark that the click, click, click of heels stopped behind, then the sound of someone sitting. A soft plop, as though the chair was upholstered.

I tried to lick my lips but there was something in my mouth. I could swallow and breathe but there would be no talking. Panic set in. Where was I? Why was I tied to the bed? “UNNNGGHH,” I tried to yell.

There was a small scraping sound from behind the screen. Was the chair moving? “UNNGGHH!” If I could only get someone’s attention. Get me unstrapped.

Without warning, the lights in the room came on. At last!

A rustling from behind the screen gave me a warning of movement. The click, click crossed the floor.

“UNNGGHH!”

I tried to raise my head but it wouldn’t come up off of the bed. I watched the end of the screen. Help me, I wished with every ounce of my being. My heart thudded so hard I could hear it in my ears.

Around the end of the screen came the biggest insect I’d ever seen. The creature’s unshod feet made the clicking sound on the hard, smooth floor. My eyes bugged out, my breath racing. The insect held a tray in its two front legs, walking on the back four. I began shaking my head as it approached me.

I heard another click from behind me, then more tapping of feet on the floor. In a moment four of the insects, giant eyes staring at me, surrounded the bed. I tried to pull free of the restraints. It was no use. The first insect sat the tray on a small table beside my bed. It chittered as it picked up a small knife.

Thrashing as wildly as possible I screamed as loud as I could with my mouth stopped up. Distracted by the knife to my right, the creature to my left stabbed me in the neck with a needle. I could feel something hot flowing through my veins before my eyes began to close. The first creature chittered again. My last sight was of that knife coming straight at my abdomen.

The End

461 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here:http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Flash Fiction Friday: The Bench

I follow a blog called sethsnap. The fellow who writes the blog (http://sethsnap.com/author/sethsnap/) posts a lot of great photos. This particular post had a picture of a bench and the following instructions:

Write me a story about a late summer afternoon, a lonely bench, and an abandoned building.

Your Story is a SethSnap series in which you get to decide the story behind the photos.  You can write a story, a poem or even just one word.  You decide.

Here’s the picture.

dsc_0343-1 Bench

 

Many thanks to sethsnap for the prompt.

The Bench

The bench sat beside the rail trail where I’d been walking. It was mid-afternoon on a sweltering late summer day. I have no idea why I decided to walk this time of day. I melted onto the bench and pulled my water bottle out of the cutesie holder my sister gave me for my birthday. After I drank it down, I looked around the area.

Behind me sat an abandoned factory. One of those places built in the early 1900’s that actually had architectural detail around the roof line, windows and doors. It’s a shame it’s falling into a ruin. It’d make a good apartment loft space or arts building. Yeah, I could see that; art stores, artist work spaces, a few little concessions like an ice cream or hot dog vendor here between the building and the trail. Better than the weed choked lot and broken windows here now.

I wiped the sweat off of my face with my forearm. Geez, I need to have my head examined, walking in the heat of the day? A couple of women jogged by talking and laughing as though it weren’t ninety degrees and 80% humidity out here. I felt as though all my muscles had turned to cotton candy. I wished I had more water.

A woman walked out of the weeds next to the factory and sat beside me. She wore a sundress, one of those 50’s style things, sleeveless, full skirt, in pink and yellow roses and on her hands, little white cotton gloves. Geesh, who wears gloves now adays? I did like her hair though. It was cut in a cute little bob that curled around her face.

“You wouldn’t have any water, would you?” I asked. My head was pounding.

She turned to face at me. Her face looked as though someone had punched her in each eye. The black bruises ran halfway down her cheekbones. “Holy crap, are you all right?” I tried to sit up but my body just wouldn’t respond.

She shook her head then turned back to stare at the trail.

“Miss, I feel sick. Could you call 911? I think I’m having heat stroke.” My head was spinning and I was nauseous.

She shook her head. “I can’t,” she whispered. “I’m not really here.”

I had a hard time concentrating. “What do you mean? I can see you.”

“No,” she said. “I used to work here.” She turned her head to look back at the factory. “I was a secretary here.”

My mouth was so dry. “Miss, this place hasn’t been open since the 60’s.”

She nodded. “I know.” She looked so sad.

I struggled to format a coherent thought. “That was over 40 years ago. You can’t be more than twenty-five.”

She sighed. “I was having an affair with my boss, the factory manager. I wanted more. I wanted him to leave his wife.”

“That’s too bad.” My headache was getting worse. I checked the trail. No one passed by.

“We stayed late after work and got into an argument. He punched me in both eyes.”

“I can see that.” I began to dream about cascades of water flowing over me. Cool and sweet, drinking until I couldn’t hold any more.

“He must have hit me in the head. I woke up lying on the ground out here by the tracks. It was so dark.”

“How’d you get here?” I was so hot and dizzy. The woman seemed to shimmer in the afternoon sunlight.

She shook her head. “My boss was digging a hole.” She looked around the bench. “Right here.”

I struggled to follow her story. “Here?” I croaked.

“Yes, here. The trains used to stop at the factory once a week to pick up our product. I was woozy and confused. He picked me up and dropped me in the hole. It was deep. I tried to get up but my head hurt too much. He started to shovel the dirt in on top of me. ‘No!’ I yelled to him.” She stopped talking and looked around her. “Yes, right here.”

My stomach turned, thinking about someone being buried alive. “You must have escaped.”

“No,” she said, her voice low and sad. “He hit me in the head with the shovel and filled the hole.”

I tried to control the urge to vomit.

She looked at the bench and pointed to the little plaque fixed to the middle of the top slat. “This is him.”

I looked. The plaque read ‘Donated by Mr. Herbert Avery, 2009′.

“I need your help,” she said.

I felt terrible. I could hardly understand what she was saying. “Help?’

“Just for a little while,” she said. She reached out and took my hand. Her hand was ice cold.

“No,” I croaked.

“I need to pay a visit to Mr. Avery.”

“I don’t want to,” I pleaded.

“This won’t hurt a bit.” She leaned over me and covered my mouth with hers.

After that, I had no control. Seventy-three year old Mr. Avery lived alone in a middle class house in the older part of town. The paramedics called it a heart attack. I’m still in here, but she’s the one in charge. She likes 2013. She doesn’t plan on leaving.

The End

876 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here:http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Don’t forget to look for Halloween Tales released September 30th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Amazon or Smashwords today!

Links:

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/halloween-tales-a-collection-of-stories

Barnes and Noble: Not showing when I looked but search on Connie Cockrell

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Tales-Collection-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1492783072/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380515780&sr=1-2&keywords=Halloween+Tales

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359689

Apple: Not found when I looked.

Flash Fiction Friday: The Doll

It’s October and my mind is firmly in scary story mode. What do you think of this?

The Doll

Bert reached over and hit the blaring alarm. He had to have it loud so it would wake him but the noise was too much to bear first thing in the morning. “Hun,” he reached behind him to touch his wife. “Honey, time to get up.” He felt around behind him. Nothing. He rolled over, Madge was gone. He felt around in the blankets, the bed was cold. Must be she got up early, he thought. Just under the edge of the blankets, he felt a lump. He pulled it out.

It was a little doll, no more than a foot high, dressed in a nightgown that looked a lot like his wife’s. She must be in the bathroom. He chuckled. “Hey, pretty funny!” he called out to her.

There was no response. “She’s downstairs getting coffee,” he mumbled to himself as he pulled his legs out from under the covers. He pulled on his tatty robe and doll in hand stumbled down to the kitchen. “Hey,” he held the doll up and rubbed his eyes. “Pretty funny joke.”

He stopped at the kitchen island, the coffee wasn’t on. Madge wasn’t in the kitchen. “Madge?” He wandered into the living room. He checked the downstairs bath. She wasn’t in either place. “Madge!” He scratched his head. “Not funny now, Madge. Where are you?” He checked the garage, the garden, the front yard. She wasn’t anywhere in the house or yard.

“What the…” He looked at the calendar, maybe he forgot about an early appointment. No, nothing on the calendar. Bert started to panic.

An hour later, the cops were at the house. “Mr. Blake, when was the last time you saw your wife?”

Bert was at the kitchen table, an untouched cup of coffee in front of him. The doll lay in the center of the table. “Last night. We went to bed about 10:30pm. She mentioned she had to stop for gas first thing or she’d run out on the way to work. Then we went to sleep.”

The detective jotted a note in his pad. “You sure she went to sleep?”

Bert rubbed his face with both hands. “Yeah, I mean, what else would she do at 10:30. We get up at 6am.”

“Hmm,” the officer acknowledged and jotted another note. “What about the doll?”

“I don’t know.” Bert reached out to pick it up.

“Please don’t touch it any more, Mr. Blake.”

Bert jerked his hand back. “Oh, yeah. Finger prints.” He sighed. “It was on her side of the bed this morning. I thought it was a joke she was playing.”

The detective nodded as he wrote. “She play a lot of jokes?”

“No, never before. That’s why I thought it was funny.” He started to reach for the doll but stopped himself. He clasped his hands in his lap, eyes on the table. After a moment he looked up at the Detective. “Where is she?”

The Detective flipped through his notes. “There was no sign of forced entry. You’ve told us nothing is missing except Mrs. Blake. There’s no sign of a struggle.” He tapped his pen on the notebook. “You have an argument last night?”

Bert shook his head. “No. We watched TV, some spook show. It’s October, so all the shows are about Halloween.”

“And then?”

Bert shrugged. “And then nothing. Madge doesn’t like creepy shows. When we went to bed she said she wouldn’t be able to get to sleep the last show was so scary.”

The Detective sighed. “What was it about?”

“A voodoo movie. Some crazy witch woman in Louisiana, turning people to dolls for not believing. Madge said she’d have bad dreams all night.”

“Did she?”

Bert pulled at his hair, tears forming. “I don’t know. I went right to sleep and I sleep sound,” he looked up at the Detective, “ya know? I always have. It’s a joke with us about how hard it is to get me to wake up.”

The Detective motioned a nearby police officer to bring a box of tissues over from the kitchen counter. Bert took one and wiped his eyes and blew his nose. “I didn’t hear a thing.”

“So what did you say to her when she said she’d have a hard time sleeping.” He pointed at the doll and an office came over and put it in an evidence bag.

Bert played with his coffee cup, still full of now cold coffee, twisting it back and forth on the table. “I told her there’s no such thing as witches and voodoo was a religion. No one was going to turn into a doll.”

The Detective nodded and took a last note. “We’ll check the doll for finger prints, Mr. Blake. We’ll also put out a Missing Person’s alert.”

Bert nodded. “What should I do?”

The Detective tucked his little pad and pen in his inner suit jacket pocket. “Stay home today, Mr. Blake. She may come home or call. We’ll be in touch.”

Bert nodded. He didn’t get up to show the police out. He waited for her for months; lost his job, then the house. She never turned up. The doll remains in the police evidence locker.

The witch, she still cackles about it.

The End

875 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

If you enjoyed this story, perhaps you’ll also like Halloween Tales: A Collection of Stories. Available now at most on line retailers.

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/halloween-tales-a-collection-of-stories

Barnes and Noble: Not showing when I looked but search on Connie Cockrell

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Tales-Collection-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1492783072/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380515780&sr=1-2&keywords=Halloween+Tales

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359689

Apple: Not found when I looked.

Halloween Tales Release Day!

Halloween Tales, is released today, September 30th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Amazon or Smashwords today!

Links:

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/halloween-tales-a-collection-of-stories

Barnes and Noble: Not showing when I looked but search on Connie Cockrell

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Tales-Collection-Connie-Cockrell/dp/1492783072/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380515780&sr=1-2&keywords=Halloween+Tales

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359689

Apple: Not found when I looked.

Here’s a snippet from the book. This time from the story Rats.

“Have you ever seen anything like it?” Alex Monroe asked. “I shot it last night, getting into my chicken house.”

Albert Wayne nudged the dead body on the ground with his toe. “It looks like a rat.” He took off his Animal Control hat and scratched his head. “But I’ve never seen a rat the size of a beagle before.”

“Look at the teeth. No wonder I’m losing chickens. Where did it come from?”

Albert took a plastic bag out of the back of his pick-up. “I don’t know.” He scooped the body up with the bag and tied it shut. “I’ll take it to the lab in the capital. They’ll do some tests.” He dropped the bag in the back of the truck.

Alex walked to the door of the truck and the two men shook hands. “Call me, will ya, when ya find out? If there are more of these things, I want to be prepared.”

You can get the rest of Rats and 4 other stories starting today. Enjoy!