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.”
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!
It’s been a crazy busy week for us looking at houses and making some big decisions. I didn’t want to be a day late like I was on Magic Monday. I quickly cranked out the start of a prompt. It’s a rough first draft. I can definitely finish part II for next Friday. Let me know what you think…..
Jess was immersed in a cheap paperback for most of the bus ride home. She was trying to avoid the fact that the darkness make her a bit uncomfortable on the mostly empty bus. She usually didn’t take the bus so late at night, but an unusually long night at the lab impeded on her normal quiet evening at home. To boot, her clunker of a car in the shop forced her to endure the slow ride home on the bus.
She glanced up as the bus came to a stop and a few passengers meandered onto the street. A quick look behind her revealed two other passengers. A kid was fiddling with his phone, probably just as nervous as she was. The other was an elderly man, glaring at her from behind his thick bifocals. His face was grim. His eyes, which should have been drooped with sorrow or mildness, were darkly observing her. He did not look away when she peeked at him. His bleak expression showed no change.
Turning back to her book, Jess became uneasy. She stared at the pages, but the words became blurry. She started counting the blocks until her stop. Two more stops and her apartment building was right on the corner. She started to wonder if she should even get off at her stop should he decide to follow her home.
A harmless crazy old man, she thought. I’m just being silly.
She was jolted from her thoughts when the bus stopped and the kid hopped out at his stop. The next stop was hers. She sighed from relief, but she still had an eerily feeling about the man at the back of the bus.
Ducking behind her seat, she peered over the top to see the elderly man still glowering in her direction. He hadn’t appeared to have moved at all. For a moment, their eyes met again. There was no expression in his black eyes. She spun around and shrunk down into her seat.
Gripping her bag and her book with white knuckles, she was panicked. She wondered if she mentioned anything to the driver, he might wait at the stop until she made the few steps to her building’s front door. She thought wiser of the fleeting idea. The driver was clearly unconcernedfor his passengers. He yawned as he rubbed his sleepy eyes, then watched the traffic ahead indifferently as he slowly bobbed to the rhythm of the rocking bus.
Between the 9-5 humdrum workday and wasting too many hours in from of Twitch.tv and Netflix, I manage to occasionally find time for a creative outlet, writing. So, I like to write. I don’t do it very well, but that’s not that important. In a hopeless endeavor to gain some skill in this hobby by practicing regularly, I’ve decided to start a Fiction Friday on this blog and post a story or excerpt I’m working on.
So here goes….
The war was still far from over. It dragged on like a dull pain to Simon. The fear of danger was a distant state. Only exhaustion and redundancy was left. He wanted the war to end, not for the thousands of lives at stake or the economic drain it was seizing from the entire world. He wanted the revitalization of his dimmed emotions. He felt lost in the objective of the war. It was all he knew. The war had been carrying on for nearly his entire life.
As Simon scanned the sky from the small jet, he wondered if the enemy was just as tired. A package of supplies for troops on the ground was released moments ago without a hitch. There was normally trouble with supply runs, but not this time. No enemy was found following them to the drop point, and Simon felt useless as the gun on board.
He continued to scan the wide blue in front of him, and he finally caught a shadow from the corner of his eye. A missile was detected on the panel in front of him, but it was too late. It hit the back of the plane with a loud thunder. He could see Mark, the pilot, screaming at him, but he heard nothing but the force of debris crashing into the sides of the small plane.
Mark grabbed a parachute and opened the door. He turned back to say something to Simon, but the plane jerked and he hit his head on the opening and fell out.
Simon grabbed a parachute quickly moving against the wind that was trying to suck him out of the back of the gaping plane. As soon as he managed to fasten the pack, the plane shifted, throwing he down on the floor. With nothing to grab onto, he slipped out of the spiraling plane.
At first, he glared at the spiraling ocean beneath him. He was paralyzed by the sight of it, stretching out as far as he could see in all directions. Then he remembered Mark had to be somewhere below him. His goggles obstructed his peripheral vision, and he could not find his friend among the speeding debris.
Suddenly, he saw a white canopy emerge beneath him and he barreled past it. Relieved that Mark was conscious enough to open the chute, he pulled his own pin. He closed his eyes and smiled briefly. He knew he would survive. Mark would know what to do.
Simon began to feel uneasy. He didn’t feel the shock of his chute opening. Opening his eyes, he glanced at the growing ocean. He immediately begin trembling, thumbing around for his emergency pin. His mind went blank. His breathing became erratic. Emergency procedures were a fleeting memory beyond his grasp.
He turned to locate Mark now far above him. Stupidly, he waved his arms. Mark was floating almost directly above him with debris dropping around him. In an instant, what appeared to be scrap from the shell of the plane dropped into his canopy, shredding it. Mark’s limp body was being dragged down with the metal, enveloped in the white material.
Simon’s body shook with fear and grief. He was now going to be a casualty in the war that everyone had become so accustomed to. He was just a piece of data now for future generations to study and make callous observations about this war. He would be remembered by no one except as a tic in the newspaper statistics of the war.
Momentarily he remembered he had to act quickly. He reached for the emergency pin to release the malfunctioning chute in order to open the reserve.
His mind was clear. He faced the approaching water and let go of the pin. No longer was he alarmed that he would die today. He wanted to be released from this war.
He watched as he sped toward the water. Slowly, the waves opened, inviting him in. He felt the jolt, as if his canopy opened, and he was floating. Opening his eyes, he saw that he was surrounded by light. Unaware that this was his own death, he floated slowly to the bottom with his canopy of light from the sky above him. He wore a look of relief as he floated to his resting place. He was free.