Here is the start of a story, inspired by a door-to-door salesman that got a little frustrated when Cam informed him we didn’t want to spend $40 on all purpose cleaner. After it happened, Cam and I dreamed up poor James’ life story. Forgive all grammatical errors and typos. A first rough draft left unfinished when I ran out of steam.
Sitting behind the glass panels, I take the slip of paper offered to me through the opening slit by the gentleman just on the other side. Wielding a large mechanical stamp, I press it swiftly onto the paper. Received, the paper now reads with fresh red ink, slightly dulled by a drying ink pad.
The last Fiction Friday before NaNoWriMo starts. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up during November, but I’m not promising anything. Here’s a scary-ish ghost story for the #goplay October Challenge hosted by Nerd in the Brain and Part Time Monster.
He sighed longingly as he stared at her through the glass. Since their wedding day 10 years ago today, the sight of her still managed to take his breath away. That is, if he had to breathe. He reached out to touch the mirror, but it was no use. She sat on the other side of the vanity mirror, engrossed in her morning routine. He watched her every morning since the day he died.
The vanity table was covered with various pots of creams and lotions that she lavishly applied to her soft skin. He noticed that as she aged, the longer her routine took and more expensive creams showed up on the vanity countertop. He still thought she was radiant, even with her hair in rollers and her make-up smeared from the night before.
The vanity was in the large walk-in closet he had custom built for her when they married. He always assured her that she would have everything she dreamed of. She came from a childhood of poverty, spending most of her youth working alongside her mother cleaning houses to feed their large family. His successful business ventures ensured that even in his death, she wouldn’t have to return to a life of indigence.
Day after day he watched her, wishing he could hold her again. After she would dress, then leave, turning out the light and shutting the closet door, he would spend those hours recalling their first times together. She was so bashful at first. It wasn’t until after they were married that she appeared comfortable in her new life of luxury.
As time went on, he continued to watch her routines from behind the mirror. He could also hear her in the bedroom moving around. He noticed she would stay out later some nights and wake up later in the mornings, or some days, come home in the morning with a glowing grin.
He knew she would eventually find someone else. In their youth, they talked about starting a family. Due to his unexpected death, she never became the mother of his children. He wanted her to be happy. He realized she was still young enough to have everything they dreamed of together, just with someone else. As time went on, and she spent fewer and fewer nights at home, he started to become senselessly jealous.
An entire weekend past, and she was gone. He would beat on the mirror, screaming with rage. The dark room he spied from beyond the glass was unmoved by his fury – only silence escaped to the living world from his lonely purgatory.
Months passed slowly as he anxiously waited for a glimpse of her. She no longer spent the same hours in from of the vanity mirror. He saw the maid tidying up the closet more than he saw his wife.
Then, one day, he heard the voice in the bedroom. It was the voice of her new love. They were laughing together. He missed her carefree laugh. He wanted her to laugh in front of the mirror. If only she knew he was even there.
Suddenly, the door opened. She came flying in with bags and boxes of new elegant clothing. She tossed them in the floor.
“Let me just freshen up a bit,” she called out to the man in the bedroom. Hurriedly, she applied a bit of make-up and perfume.
He reached out to touch her, stroking the cold hard glass instead. He watched her hands move rapidly along her smooth, radiant face. Gasping, he eyed the large diamond ring on her left hand. He slammed his hands against the surface of the mirror, shouting in agony. Oblivious to his pain, she straightened her dress, and turned out the light as she skipped out of the room.
After that, he refused to look through the mirror, turning his back to it. He was still trapped in his empty otherworldly cell with no way to move on. Rationally, he knew he wanted her to be happy, to move on. It had been years since his death. He realized she didn’t deserve to be alone anymore and that the money he left for her in death wouldn’t be able to support her forever. He knew these things, but all he could think about was the life they should have had together and the things he was missing out on.
Some time had passed, and he slowly began to turn out to face the mirror. He hadn’t gazed upon her in weeks, or perhaps months. The day he saw her, she bounced into the room with a huge garment bag. Giggling, she unzipped it. It was her new wedding dress. As she tried it on and stood in front of her mirror, he cried. He knew this was for the best. Perhaps this was what he needed to move on. He would no longer have to look out for her. Someone else was going to be able to take care of her. He could tell she loved him. It was evident in her sparkling eyes. A peace came over him. He felt his anger slipping away as he watched her dance around the closet, humming a love song that seemed familiar to him. He soon recognized it as the song they danced to at their own wedding.
She slipped out of the dress and delicately put it back into the garment bag, still humming the same song. The sound brought him into a blissful state. He hummed along with her, even though she was unable to hear him.
The wedding and honeymoon passed while movers boxed up her belongings and left the closet empty of her clothing and trinkets. Eventually two men carefully wrapped the heavy vanity and mirror, transporting him to another home.
When they removed the bubble wrap, he pressed his face to the surface examining a room larger than the one he had built for his new bride. A larger closet contained even more handbags, evening gowns, shoes.
For days, she would only briefly appear in the closet, busily putting items away, or moving other things to other rooms. She seemed much occupied with settling into her new home, her new life. He was still happy for her, cherishing the moments he could still glimpse her.
He began wondering when he would move on. He was happy enough watching over her for now, but he knew now that she had moved on, he should too. As the days passed, he began to get restless.
One night as he tried to rest his wandering mind, he heard her crying from the bedroom.
“Hello? Yes, I need an ambulance as soon as possible!”
The closet door flung open and the light flooded the room. She was on her cell phone, calling the police. With one hand, she rummaged through the vanity drawers and found her eye drops. Squeezing copious amounts into both eyes, she pleaded with urgency to the emergency responder on the phone.
“Yes, it’s my husband. He’s not responsive. I don’t know what to do!” She exclaimed as she smeared her mascara down across her cheek.
He became flooded with confusion. This couldn’t be happening. She deserved happiness, not to be widowed again. As he pressed his face to the glass, sobbing, a voice spoke up behind him.
“So, what are you doing here?” He spun around, finding her new husband behind him. “Ah, you must be the first one. She must have really like you, kept you around for at least a year or so, right?”
“What?” He asked, confounded.
“Please tell me you’re not that naïve,” he answered, rolling his eyes. “I knew as soon as I showed up here with you what had happened. She was running out of the money you left her; she actually told me that she was having a hard time paying her bills. You go in your sleep too? Do you remember the prick of the needle she jammed in your neck? It still hurts! It would be my damn luck to meet the woman of my dreams and she turned out to be a black widow!”
It finally dawned on him. He died in his sleep at the young age of 25. It was unexplainable at the time. It then occurred to him that he was stuck in this purgatory, not to watch over her, but to seek revenge on his murder.
“Now what do we do?” He whimpered.
“I don’t know. Have you tried to get out? I imagine it’s going to get cramped in here before too long.”
I just bought a wedding dress online. Yay! Ok, so it’s the second wedding dress I’ve bought. I was a bit inspired by my online shopping endeavors and whipped up a sort of horror story for the #goplay October Challenge hosted by Nerd in the Brain and Part-time Monster.
When Maggie got home from work, she saw the brown box perched against the front door. As soon as she noticed it, her eyes grew wide with excitement and her thin lips turned upward into a huge grin. Her dress had finally arrived. Hugging the box to her chest, she skipped with excitement to the kitchen and delicately set it on the table.
Here’s another story for Fiction Friday. Again, I tried horror. I’m not that good at it yet, but here’s another stab in the dark (pun intended…)
When she opened her eyes, she still saw nothing. She awoke standing up, as far as she could tell. Her feet were touching a solid surface, although she didn’t have the full weight of her body on them. Something was holding her slightly off the ground.
“Hello?” she called out nervously. “Hello? Anyone there?”
Disoriented, she tried to recall the last thing she could remember. Her memory was blank. She even failed to remember her name. That made her panic and she tried to move forward. Something was grasping her from behind, preventing her from moving. It pulled at her waist. In the black, she felt around her body, and found the metal prongs squeezing her waist. She moves her fingers around to her back and could feel a pole behind her. She tucked a foot behind her and could feel it in the ground where she stood.
“Hello? Can someone help me?” She called out again.
She thought she could feel the presence of someone out there, but the silence was as unnerving as the darkness. She knew she would have to rely on her hands at this point. She grabbed the metal prong on the left side with both hands and pushed as hard as she could. It didn’t budge. Unwilling to fail, she tried the other side. She grabbed it from the inside and attempted to push it away from her.
“I know you’re out there, can you see me? I think I’ve gone blind,” she desperately cried.
She continued to push on the metal prongs until she started crying.
“Shh. Don’t cry.” It was a small voice in the distance.
“Who are you? Can you help me?” She became startled. It occurred to her that whoever answered was responsible for her situation.
“No, I can’t help you. None of us can.”
“How many are there of you? I’m trapped and I can’t see anything,” her lips started trembling again.
“We know.” It was another voice, closer than the first. “There’s nothing we can do.”
She began crying again.
As her body shook, the metal prongs chaffed against her stomach. She pulled herself up with her hands. She noticed she had some room to move around and she thought she might be able to pull herself through the prongs. She tried to kneel, but she could not fit her arms and shoulders through the opening between the prongs. She pulled herself up again and slowly her hips squeezed through the opening. Once she had the leverage of her body to pull them apart a bit more and she pushed her legs through.
“You’re making a lot of noise over there,” a third, sad voice groaned. “If I can hear you, so can she.”
“Who?” She questioned as she climbed down from the metal pole and prongs. “If you can hear me, why won’t you help me? We’re all in the dark, so no one can see me. I can’t even see you.”
“Don’t be angry with us,” the sad voice pleaded. “We are trying to help. Be quiet so she can’t hear you.”
She was getting angry. “Who are you?”
“We don’t know.”
She shook her head in disbelief. She didn’t know how she got here or how she thinks she is going to get out, but she knew she could take one careful step at a time.
She let out a sigh and put both arms stretched out in front of her. She took a small step.
Something smacked the front of her hand. She started to back away and turned to her right. Again, something hit her hand. Frustrated, she stepped forward, with her hands outstretched, she felt a solid surface. Moving her hands all over, it appeared there was no opening. She carefully moved back to the metal prongs and felt behind them. The same solid surface covered everything.
She screamed out of frustration and banged her fist against the surface. It felt like a window, glass of some sort. She wondered if she were in prison.
“You’ll get us all in trouble.”
“You won’t like it when she comes back.”
She floated to the floor and began silently sobbing. “What else am I suppose to do?”
“When you see her, you’ll be thankful for the dark and the quiet,” the small voice answered, almost crying as well.
“How did we get here?” She asked.
“We don’t know.”
“I do. I remember,” a grouchy voice answered. “I saw her one day, out on the street. Next day, I wake up here. Couldn’t remember my own name, but I do now. She calls me something else, it’s stupid.”
“I’m not staying here!” She banged her hands against the glass as hard and as fast as she could. She could hear movement around her. The voices were becoming uncomfortable, but they weren’t coming to help her at all. The darkness must have driven them mad.
The harder she banged the wall, the more rustling she heard. It seemed she was in a vast space, and there could have been hundreds of them in there, all locked up like prisoners. She banged her fist with each sobs.
Slowly, she realized that the floor beneath her also moved slightly. Out of desperation, gave her a thought. She started slamming her whole body into the glass.
“You don’t want to do that,” the sad voice said, panicking. “You’ll fall.”
She ignored the voices. They were content with this silence and darkness. She wasn’t afraid of whoever “she” was. The harder she slammed, the more the floor moved forward. She started to smile. She was getting hopeful. She knew she would break out of this prison.
“Oh no. I think I hear her coming!” a voice far away cried out.
Good, she thought. She wanted to come face to face with her captor. This gave her more strength. She slammed into the glass harder and harder with each attempt.
From a distance, she heard a door swing open, the noise booming in her ears. At the same time, she felt the floor tilt beneath her. She sighed of relief.
It was only momentary. The floor tilted, then began to fall. She was falling along with her prison cell. The walls of her prison hit the ground. The cacophony of the shattering glass was deafening.
At first, it appeared she had died in the fall. She was lifeless on the ground.
“What happened?” The closer voices whispered. No one answered. Steps boomed into the room, and the door slammed shut.
She was jolted awake by the blinding lights above her. Staring straight up into the lights, she only saw the distant white from the florescent lights that seemed miles above her.
Still unable to move, she quickly darted her eyes around her. As her eyes adjusted, she was terrified by what she saw. She wanted to run, but she was still frozen on the cold linoleum floor. She tried breathing, but when she landed on her back, the wind was knocked from her, and lungs screamed.
Eventually, she noticed she could move her limbs and slowly tried to pulled herself up. The distant booming of footsteps was getting closer. She looked down and eyed the metal device that trapped her in the glass cell.
Once the roaring steps stopped right behind her, she noticed, the others were quiet again. Trembling, she looked up over her aching shoulder. Her eyes followed the figure upward, toward the light. The figure bent down, plucking her from the wreckage of broken glass on the floor.
“Oh no,” the girl’s voice roared. “Someone’s been bad.”
Unable to fight her grasped, she felt limp. She was placed back where her glass prison once stood.
The room came into focus. She saw the clown doll, with the sad voice. He stood motionless in his glass case. Next to her was the source of the small crying voice, a porcelain child, with a frozen smile on her face. She looked down at her own self, and noticed the stitching along her arms and legs. Looking into the looming face of her captor, she saw a young girl taking pride in her collection.
“I have to punish the bad ones,” she said grinning wickedly.
Fiction Friday returns….again! I have been so lazy when it comes to creative endeavors lately. I’m jumping back into it now that autumn has settled in and I spent less time out in the garden and more time inside.
So, here goes…
They were seated at a private booth in the back. Cindy was nervously grinning every time she glanced at Thomas. She had only known him for a few days. They met one night while she was running at the park. She bumped right into him and they both fell down onto the gravel path. Since then, the two had been nearly inseparable.
“What do you feel like eating tonight?” he asked.
“I don’t know what I’m in the mood for,” she answered.
“This menu certainly has a lot of variety,” he noticed, trying to make conversation.
“Yeah, I was always an adventurous foodie. I’ll try anything once,” Cindy said, fidgeting with the menu in her hand. “I really like spicy foods, too.”
Noticed that she was trembling, Thomas gently grasped her hands in his. “Relax. It’s just dinner. We’re just here having a good time together. You don’t have to be so nervous around me.”
She smiled. “I know, but you brought me to such a fancy place. I’m just worried that we might be moving too fast.”
He laughed. “I’m not proposing or anything. I just really like the food here.” He rubbed her hands, and noticed the bandage on her right wrist. “I hope your wrist is ok. We took quite a tumble together when you crashed into me.”
“It still bleeds sometimes,” she examined the bandage gently. “I’m just so clumsy.”
“Well, I’m starving. Are you ready to order?” he asked.
“Sure, I think I know what I want,” she replied, looking around the restaurant for the waiter.
They both immediately stood up and left the booth, stepping over the bodies carefully. Cindy slipped in a puddle of slick blood, but Thomas caught her. “See, I told you I was clumsy.” As they both laughed, her bandage came loose, revealing a nasty wound.
“I didn’t mean to bite you so hard,” he frowned.
“It all worked out anyway,” she said. “Now where’s that waiter lying at? His brain is still intact, and I want to try something new.”
So, meh, my best attempt at horror, which I seem to suck at. At least the challenge will give me some practice, so hopefully, I’ll get better at it. If not, it was still fun giving myself the creeps while reading other stories to get inspiration!
I sort of hit a block on the the ending for last week’s story. I did find a little story I wrote a while back when I thought I would see just how difficult writing for children would be. It was quite difficult for me to say the least, and something that I should probably avoid in the future. Anyway, here is Fiction Friday’s Kid’s Edition.
The Visitor at the Window
Keegan woke up to the sound of scratching on his window. He got up to look outside his window. It was still dark and he was half asleep, but he could see bushes rocking back and forth from the wind. The wind was causing the bushes to hit the window.
Suddenly, a dog jumped up at the window, pawing at the glass. Keegan ran outside in his pajamas. The dog was gone. There were faint tracks, but it was too cold to follow them. He went back inside and crawled under his covers. He tossed and turned, listening to the wind before falling back asleep.
When his alarm went off, he could hear his mother calling him to breakfast.
He ran to the window. The snowfall stopped. The sun was shining. Looking down, he noticed something had been digging under the bushes. His eyes followed a trail of footprints out of the yard and to the street.
“Keegan! Come eat before you’re late for school!” His mom called.
He got dressed and dragged his backpack to the kitchen. His brother, Michael, was already finishing breakfast.
Keegan swallowed his food as fast as he could before the three of them piled into the car. As they pulled out of the drive, Keegan noticed a moving van across the street. He searched for the footprints. He saw them leading out of the yard and across the street.
“I think those new neighbors have a dog,” he exclaimed. Keegan always wanted a dog, but Michael was allergic.
“I noticed movers yesterday and a boy your age, but no dog,” his mom said.
He couldn’t stop thinking about the dog all day at school. That evening, Keegan sat at his desk trying to study, but he kept looking at the window.
Scratch, scratch. He pressed his face to the window. There it was again! Keegan grabbed his jacket and bolted outside. It was dark and cold. He followed footprints across the street. A small beagle was on the porch wagging its tail. Keegan knew he shouldn’t go into someone else’s yard. An older man opened the door to let his pet inside.
The next afternoon, he saw a boy playing in the neighbor’s yard. Keegan walked over to the street. “Hi, I’m Keegan.”
“I’m Matt. I saw you a couple of times,” Matt answered. “We just moved here.”
That afternoon, Keegan and Matt became fast friends, building a snow fort with the melting snow.
“What’s your dog’s name?” Keegan finally asked.
“Um, we don’t have a dog,” Matt answered.
At that moment, his mom called the boys inside for hot chocolate. Gladly, they rushed inside.
“It’s nice to meet you, Matt,” his mom said. “Keegan was worried about your dog the other day.”
“We don’t have a dog. Maybe it’s a stray,” Matt replied quickly.
Michael came to the kitchen for hot chocolate, too. As soon as he came, he started sneezing. Outside, it was getting dark, and Matt panicked. He quickly excused himself, saying that his parents might be worried about him.
“Strange kid,” Michael observed, scratching his itchy eyes.
That night, Keegan couldn’t sleep. He stared at his window. Suddenly, he heard scratching. The dog was pawing at the window again. Keegan put on a coat and went outside.
He was a friendly dog, but had no collar. He licked Keegan’s face as he petted him. He wondered where the dog came from since Matt insisted it wasn’t their dog.
The next morning, he woke up early, but didn’t find the dog. His mom handed him a pair of gloves when he went for breakfast.
“Matt forgot these. Can you take them over to him before school?” His mom asked.
“Sure,” he grabbed the gloves and raced out the door.
It was early morning. The sun was still rising. Instead of knocking on the front door, Keegan got curious about some footprints going to the neighbors’ backyard. He saw the dog walk into a shed. He knew he shouldn’t, but he peeked into the shed. As soon as Keegan got closer, something happened.
Before Keegan realized it, the dog changed into a boy. It was Matt!
“I’ve just always been this way. We always move when someone gets curious. I guess we’ll have to move again.”
Keegan shook his head. “No! You don’t have to. I’m still your friend, and I’ll keep your secret. You just have to be careful around my brother. He’s allergic to you.” They both laughed.