Poll

Seven scary stories. Choose your two favorites. Voting ends 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 3rd.

Haunted (#1)
Tapping
Haunted - The Closet
Haunted (#2)
Audrey
Deeds
Haunted (#3)

Author Topic: Vote Now Flash Fiction Challenge #72  (Read 913 times)

Offline Laura H

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Vote Now Flash Fiction Challenge #72
« on: October 29, 2013, 10:46:00 PM »
Haunted (#1)

Christopher swept back into the room, all rolling eyes and drawn-out sighs.  “Thank goodness that shift is over”, he drawled. “Bad one?” said Nicholas sympathetically.  “Screamers, all of them. No fun, really, too easy”.  He sighed.  Drooped a bit.  “Did you get a look at the next lot, then?”  Christopher opened one eye, regarded him laconically.  “A glimpse on my way overhead.  Mainly men.  Couple of women and kids. Should be ok”.  Nicholas thought about this; decided on today's tactics.  Creepy.  A bit floaty, maybe.  Some sepulchral groans might be appropriate. He hated it when they weren't suitably scared; it made him feel ....inadequate.  Christopher preferred the cynical ones; loved lulling them into complacent smugness before launching himself right at them.  Isabel – well, she really wasn't cut out for it at all, was she?  Got all upset every time she swanned through a wall and frightened someone.  Kept whining about causing people nightmares.  If she was that miserable as a Haunter, she'd be better off joining the Seance Department; lots of comfort and hope over there, even if most of it was twaddle. 

Nicholas adjusted his head, and drifted out the door.  Benjamin and Rebecca were coming towards him, laughing and clutching each other.  “What have you done?”, he asked sternly.  The children skidded to a halt, their translucent beauty catching him where his heart used to be.  He shrugged it off, and eyed the guilty-looking pair.  “Rebecca snuck right up to this horrid man, who kept saying that there was no such thing as us, and yelled right in his ear – 'BUT HERE I AM!'” “He fell right over onto a table”, added Rebecca gleefully.  Nicholas chuckled and went on, confident that this shift would bring some more delicious terror to the customers. He loved Haunting.




Tapping

Sam Patterson had been their scapegoat. Killings had gone far enough, and they needed an end. His trial made the news - ‘De-ranged Musician Kills Family of Five’. The town councillors hid as best they could the secret that their most prominent member did the crimes. Sam remained adamant on his innocence. It didn‘t matter, a town gone Frankenstein wanted him dead. They tore him from his cell and burnt him alive tied to a statue in the park. 
 
That June; to bury their crime, the town decided to host a jazz festival in that same park. Most grumbled it was too soon. That there was still that lingering stench.   

But by morning, that day, strangers had filled their barren sidewalks and come evening, a mass of colourful balloons blotted the sky. The crowd waited.

Finally a lone man stepped up to the microphone.

“Is this on?”

He began tapping his foot. Uncontrollably the crowds’ left hands raised high, some sparked lighters in time. Beach balls, filled with hydrogen to give higher bounces, caught those tiny sparks and instantly burst into flames engulfing those near. Strings holding two hundred other balls from soaring into the sky made it easy for panic to spread. Their resultant explosion shattered windows in Quinbey, a town 4 miles away.

Security cameras swore at the inquiry, that the man on stage was Sam Patterson. Even though it defied logic, they watched him laugh whenever people ran into each other. 

Fires roared and the people screamed - all caught in silent pictures.

Government Officials covered it up, but the video went viral.

The town eventually ghosted. Those in Quinbey say on clear nights they can hear Sam’s tapping - when the wind is just right. Most lock their doors and wait for the music to stop.




Haunted - The Closet

Stan stared into the small room. "No. I won't. "

"Confront your fears, Stan. You can do it."

"It's too much. No, I just can't." His anguished tones told her he'd gone as far as he could.

"Oh, Stan, I was hoping you'd do this by yourself. It really was your last chance. Too bad." Her voice didn't sound sorry, not one bit.

A bolt of electricity shot through him, and Stan collapsed into the closet. TASER's will do that.

Dr. Frost made a tick mark on her clipboard, and shoved Stan completely into the tiny cupboard. She reached up, and took out the light bulb.

"Do you remember, Stan, pushing little Laurie Snow into this closet, 20 years ago? Telling her the monsters would get her? Do you? I do. It took years of therapy for me to be comfortable in the dark. But you see, you have to have a goal. That helps, so very very much." Her eyes glittered with remembered hatred. "It's been a long time coming, and tonight, you're going to pay. Tomorrow this building comes down, and I'm afraid you'll be here when it does."

She shut the door, tight. "I think your claustrophobia isn't going to get better, very soon, do you? Too bad our 'therapy session' ended badly. Now I have to go look for you."

A solid clunk, and Stan gasped for breath. The walls closing in on him! He couldn't breathe! He had to get out! He pounded, he screamed, but alas, no one was going to hear him.

Dr. Larentide Frost, MD, therapist and occasional murderer, walked out of the now defunct Perpetual Hope Orphanage, with a bit of a smile on her lips. 3 down, 5 to go. Revenge was a tasty dish, cold.




Haunted (#2)
Jude and I sailed his Fireball, with its bright red sail, on the lake at the posh club, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. The night between was a haze of booze and youthful passion. I hoped that wonderful weekend that we would be forever, but Jude’s mom, who carried the credit card to pay for his college education, took me for a gold digger. He soon dumped me unceremoniously.

 I bought a boat and a weekend holiday home, eventually, and sailed every weekend. In kind weather I would lower the anchor in the calm centre of the lake, lean against the mast and write sad novels about unrequited love.

###

This Friday afternoon, I speed over the crest of my favourite hill. The thrum of three hundred and sixty three horses under the bonnet of my sports car resonate a familiar thrill in my chest and my favourite vista passes in a subconscious blur.

I park the car in the garage and dash through my house, out the kitchen door, down the lawn to the pier. There, my Holcat, the panacea of my broken heart, bobs gently, her bright red sails sheathed. I plonk myself down at the edge of the pier, feet dangling in space, my heart hammering.

I hear the deep rumble of the V8 engine as a vehicle rolls into my driveway, silence, then the bang of the door. I stand up, turn towards the house and watch him emerge from behind the garage. He’s fifty six, but Jude manages a sprint down the slope, a huge grin lighting his soft grey eyes and I wonder what will be the title of my next book.




Audrey

I knew security guards didn’t earn a lot when I accepted the job. But there are times when it’s definitely not enough money for some of the things we deal with.
Like the night I encountered Audrey.

 One building fascinated me. It was built as a nunnery many years ago. Since then it has gone through several reincarnations, housing different businesses. Presently it’s a five story office building.

I’m supplied with the key to the main door. Once inside I take the elevator to the top floor and work my way down, checking doors on every floor, making sure everything is locked.
 
When time allows, I like to look around the lobby where many of the original furnishings, paintings and icons from nunnery still hold pride of place.

This night I had finished checking the two top floors, as I got off the elevator on the third floor I almost bumped into a woman walking down the hallway.

“Oh sorry, I didn’t think anyone else was here,” I said.

“Hello, my name Audrey, I work here. I had some work to finish up, I’ll be leaving soon.”

Before I could answer, she turned a corner and headed down a side corridor.  I hurried after her, needing information for my report . . . the all important reports.

As I turned the corner, I found the hallway empty. I check each door looking for her. They were locked, not even a hint of light beneath any door.

I was alone.


I talked to other guards who had run that route; George called me aside, wanting privacy before he shared details of the night he met Audrey. 

I was relieved someone else had seen her, and glad I omitted mention of Audrey in my report that night too.




Deeds

Either I was insane, or I was being haunted by the soul of every creature I'd ever eaten. A diversity of farm animals' heads bulged from the walls and a shark swam lazily around the ceiling lamp. I pulled the quilt tighter around me causing a few hundred prawn-ghosts to fall to the bedroom floor where they were pounced on by a dozen semi-opaque lobsters.

I squeezed my eyes tight shut, counted to ten, then opened them. Things were worse. A horse stood by the wardrobe staring at me mournfully. I'd never eaten horse. Had I? The animal nodded, clearly reading my mind.

Gingerly I reached out and touched the head of a sheep. My hand passed into the creature with little resistance. I held steady, fingers in the brain area. My skin began to tingle. I forced myself to keep my hand there. Why? I don’t know, perhaps I just wanted to move to a conclusion – whatever that might be. The tingling increase and progressed to pain; dull to start with but soon harsh, like a million razor-sharp teeth biting my flesh. I yanked my hand away. The pain stopped like a light being switched off. The message was clear: don't hold your hand inside a sheep-ghost's brain.

I looked at the clock: almost six-thirty. On cue, the sun appeared at the window and squeezed the indigo night back into its box. As light filled the bedroom the ghosts solidified; became corporeal. Then the noise started. Bleating, grunting, clacking of pinchers. The horse stamped his foot and I clearly heard his metal shoe clank against the floor boards.

Then finally, the sound of the shark's tail swishing as it lunged towards me, mouth wide open.




HAUNTED (#3)

The barroom was the lowest place on the waterfront. It had the musty smell of years of damp and dark. The people that frequented it were losers, all with a foot or whole leg in the grave.

Maria closely scrutinized the grizzled barfly sitting beside her.

"Your eyes have a haunted look, like you never have peace. What's after you?”

Joe surfaced from his mild, buzzed daydream of his youth.

"Huh? Ah, Maria. That faraway look you mistake for haunted is indifference, with a backdrop of rational thinking. Haunted?’ Might as well say hounded by the Holy Ghost. Haunts and ghosts do not exist. Any haunting in there is from my own brain.”

She drew back in case he got hit by the lightning of a vengeful deity. It did not happen, had never happened, although people had been saying all her life that those invisible beings were just waiting for a chance to smite an unbeliever.

"You got a lot of mean in you, talking about the big man that way. I'm moving a stool further away so He does not confuse us.”

"So you countenance the existence of invisible, all powerful creatures with death rays, but you don't think they are accurate enough to get me and not you? Pretty lame deity, I would say.”

"Don't talk like that.”

"You started it, dragging me from my dreams of warm springtime, being fourteen and holding sweaty hands with my first love. I never surpassed that happiness.”

"Sorry, Joe. I'll let you go back now. Just be careful in there. You may decide to never return.”

"Yeah, Maria, you go haunt someone else.”

 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline Laura H

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Re: Vote Now Flash Fiction Challenge #72
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 06:32:58 AM »
Voting now closed. Winner announced here-

http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=50633.new#new
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty