Missing

“Did you notice a girl? She ran be this way… maybe an hour ago.” Barry looks at his diminutive counterpart.
His eyes notice the old house. Great spidling detail with cracked flakes of paint that should have been white at one time.

“Seen noone, slick. It’s not where you turn a little piece run…. loose.” Sly spits out a watermelon seed. It beautifully arches ten feet landing on the toe of brand new white shoes.
Barry kicks toe clear of seed. “Its important. She isn’t the kind to be, well here.”

“You don’t like MY neighborhood?!” Sly sits up his fill four feet. He slips a knife through the watermelon. The blade slides effortlessly. A single stream of juice bleeds across the red table. But dark tiny eyes burn against Barry’s skin.

“Dude, just looking for my girl. I never spent time here. You circus people don’t seem to like…. My people being around. I feel the looks.” Barry standing slightly slumped. His back curls and he tries not to look normal. “Seriously, if you seen her..”

“You are what, a model? Us circus people are so judgemental. What would a normal girl do here? I’d love to have, say dinner with one like her.” Sly takes a napkin and wipes his mouth. The white napkin shows of his rudy hands with yellow nails.

“Did you see her?” Barry stands tall and steps toward the porch.

“See her?! We had mystery dinner tonite. It served twelve of us. I even had room for dessert.” Sly spits out a fingernail. The silver ombre tip catches the light. “Watermelon? It’s National Watermelon Day!”

“Is that what i think it is?!” Barry shakes.

“Genius it’s a watermelon!” Sly smiles a crooked smile.

Into the Blue

This week’s photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris. Thank you TJ!

“Pine island only reachable by boat….. Or kayak” George’s voice peaks and finishes the pitch to get away. 

“You are serious?! It’s a long way for a first trip.” Bridget knows the look on his face. “Someone owes me…if I do this.” 

Bridget stares up at the Sun.  The waves of turquoise wash over her.  Her body rides the tide.

Her mind plays the conversion over and over again.

The scene of the two red kayaks on the beach. The soft wind plays on every sense. Smells of salt. Palm leaves flex and sing. Warm caress of the Sun. A weird sensation of blood in her mouth. 

George briefly smiles. A sharp point about the shoulder blade. Bridget falls. George looks down upon her. Then the water covers her. 

“A new start for us! I told you if i couldn’t have you… Noone would!” George smiles again.

(148 Words)

A Rope

From the trail the old tree looks lopsided.  A solitary branch separated from the green leafy mass to the right. String of biege hangs still upon it.

The afternoon Sun puts a premium on shade.  The old tree makes for a good stop between isles of scrub bush.  The winds that were so free in morning have retreated.  Sound is hiding along with it too.

Under the tree, footprints paint a picture of a tussle.  It appears two or three on one. They circle under a rope tied into circle.  No signs of anyone left here. The cool respite may feel strange but it breaks the heat.  My eyes grew a bit heavy from the ride.  As I’m alone, rest should be about quickly. 

Slumber slips away from me. Dreams stir of people. Strange dark men hunting and calling out. Its a struggle oddly muffled. My eyes open to darkness. 

Arms have me and I lunge forward. They aren’t speaking my language. It feels they are questioning me.  My throat grows tight. My mouth opens but i have no breath to yell.

“Boys, you got the wrong one!” A voice distant rings.  

My mind grows dark.

“Does he look like Gus?” the voice continues.

I fade to black

Spirits – Beginnings

“Do you think he can help us, Pa?” Her voice trails off. Her left foot steps on the porch of Elijah Brooks, seer of things. 

“Well Ma. We prayed for three nights. The good Lord sent us here… ” his voice loses its baritone sound. “She’s lost. He finds things. We need to do this Ma.”

He stands on the ground. His face worn more than his years. Those eyes are dark by misfortune and loss. The black hair turned mostly white. His Sunday best clothes appear to have seen better days. If you draw a picture of forlorn, you’ll see Samuel Grey.

Bessie Grey stands at the door. She is a rail of a woman. Her dark clothes make her look ghost white. Waves of hair sag beneath a yellowed bonnet. Her bright blue eyes sparkle as only hope can.  Her face is drawn. Her heart is slow. The door might as well be a wall. It seems an immovable force as hand shaky hand tries the latch.

“Ma, move aside. It’s an old house. Door sticks. The man’s in the spirit business. Not much use for tools in his work.” Samuel makes quick work of the door ” There we go. After you Ma.”

Samuel steps back to let Bessie by. They enter a parlor. Bookshelves crowd the room. Darkness seems misplaced by hurricane lamps. The smoke cascades out the door as if it waited for the chance to escape. 
“Is there anyone… at home? We need to talk with Mr Brooks. Kinda important.” Samuel’s call seems to echo down unseen distant halls.

Bessie looks over the old books, boxes, and skulls that fill the shelves that hide every visible wall.  

Her hand finds a coyote skull.  She turns it to face her.  It’s eyes still seem to gaze at her.  She can feel a presence.

A hand suddenly slides over hers and captures the skull. 

“These are finely tuned spiritual devices. We musn’t get too many feelings added to them.”  Emma sings a soft song with words. “Mr Brooks expected a visit, but more than one.  If you’ll find a rest here on the ough, he’ll be here shortly. And whom is calling and the item we need to find please?”

The couple stands silent. It’s as if this woman suddenly appeared out of the blue. Her smile angelic. Her hair bright red, tight curls that sway as she stands still. Green eyes that holds you captive. The accent far from these hills.

“Please sit, sit. I really have to prepare him. He’s in a tempered mood. Hates surprises. So your business is…?” Emma smiles with dimples on fill display.

“We are the Greys. We need to find our daughter. She’s just 17 and left without notice. And we just need to find her….” Bessie reaches out her right arm with her palm turned up. “My baby… I need her back at hoooome.”

Her head crashes into Samuel’ s shoulder.

“Please ma’am. You can help us?” Samuel covers Bessie with his left arm.

Emma heads down a long hall. She stops and opens a double set of doors.  The room is dark. Curtains of dark wool cling to the windows thet look held up by cobwebs. Shadows give way to hallway light.  Three round tables and a handful of highbacked chairs clutter about. Each has a collection of globes, candles, books, bright colored scarves, and two hurricane lamps.  

She lights the lamps from back to front.  She chooses a smaller table near the door to clear all but the scarves and lamp from.  A quick glance about the room finds the rug beater.  The curtains need cleared of the spider webs and dust.  It has been awhile since she has been in this room.

Emma stands at the doorway. A chill catches her.  A side to side view reveals nothing. As usual, something can always be there in this house, near him. 

She straightens the cotton dress with both hands. Her eyes catch the green color in the folds of aged black dye material.  The dress was her first gift back when Elijah was a Magician only needing a model to tour.  The miles and years have sank long below the horizon.

Low voices of the Greys murmur in the parlor.  It’s time to get to work.  The process follows a pattern.  Each step brings them closure and provides until the next mystery.

Her pace down the hall quickens. The floorboards give slight squeaks and occasional creak to tell of the journey.  A black door marks the library. It holds the deepest secret of all. Elijah Brooks.  Emma takes a deep breath before entering.

The room is just as cluttered as every other here. Books and trinkets scatter through the room. Ivory sheers cover the windows. Tapestries of dark battles and unicorns frame the lone chair. A bunch of tables make a maze to protect the solitary figure.

Elijah sits on a black wooden chair.  Rust colored velvet and lion head handrests fight with gilded spidlings for attention. His long pale face is sunken and accented by black goatee. The dark cropped hair could be made of coal spikes.  He looks more dead than alive and too young to be this way.

“Woman! What is the meaning of barging into my meditation and divining?! We have company coming… Big journeys.. I sense things a stir in the spirit world.” Elijah pulls himself toward standing.

Elijah runs his bony fingers through his hair.  His gaze fixes on the crystal chandelier filled with long lost candles.

“Yes, we will be working again.”  he coughs 

“Elijah, we have the Greys in the parlor. The daughter is missing.  Rumor is she left with a coal miner from next town over. So says Mildred down at the Dry Goods.  It’s been a couple of days.  They are here.  Get you act together! They await you.” Emma gets tired of the drama when he wakes up. Her job is to collect and set the mood.

“Why yes. Girls run off.  I’ll give them a spirit read with rattling chairs.  Did they bring anything with them? I can’t work without props! Simply does not look good. Make sure and allow me a brief pause. The decanter of spirits is the first passage to another world.” Elijah moves his hands in circular pattern. “Why are you still here?! Before they leave Emma!”

“Oh… You!  Get it together. This could be big.” She snaps her heels to the floor.  It echoes to and fro.

Emma walls slowly down the hall.  The gloomy path has a soft glow coming from the parlor.  It loosens her heart.  Comfort brings a smile.

“Mr and Mrs Grey, please come with me.  You must think of your daughter.” Emma motions back down the hall. “You do have something personal to her.  It should identify her.”

Emma turns around shepherding the Greys into the double doors of the reading room. The few steps are dragged out to fit a ritual of mystic proportions.

“Pa, maybe we should get more of her things.  I hope the necklace is enough.” Bessie touches her right eye with a handkerchief.

“She wore it for years. Until last month. Nothing better to fit her.” Samuel puts his hand on the small of her back.  There’s a nervousness about him. 

“There are a few things to discuss.  Any stray thoughts change how the spirits work with us.  Elijah is a bridge. Sometimes..” Emma explains

“We brought what we could… I don’t know how much.” Samuel jumps in.

“The gift is we share.  Never is what you can give questioned!  We help to find things.  You will know what is right.” Emma reaches to touch his forearm with a slight grab. “Let’s find her.” 

They arrive at the doors. Their eyes try to make sense of it all. Rainbow talisman catches Bessie’ s eye.  

“We can use that one.” Emma whispers to her.

Bessie nods her approval.

“Please we will use the back table by the window.  I’ll light some candles. Elijah Brooks seats nearest the window.” Emma stays back by the door while the Grey’s work through the collection filling the room.

“One moment, I’ll return with the seer.” Emma bows 

The footsteps creep down the hall. Elijah appears outside.

“Use the rainbow talisman.  She stared at it. I’ll attach the left table to the harness.  Are the electric lights to be used tonite?” Emma whispers to Elijah.

“Yes, woman. Give me three minutes. Shake the chair twice.  If you hear my voice raise, move the table. Are they believers?” Elijah peers in the room

“They will be.” Emma smiles and heads down to a small room next door. 

Elijah watches the older couple. Bessie is fidgety.  Her eyes looking at every trinket. Her hands constantly wring themselves. Samuel sits still. A thin sculpture of simple man.  No feeling gets out of him either.  Samuel stares toward a sign that reads ‘Do Not Ask the Bridge The Price of the Toll.

“Bessie and Samuel! Welcome to my place of Spirits. I can not tell you what we shall see. I can tell you the more you believe, the more the spirits will provide.” Elijah spreads his hands out like a bird taking flight.  “I will be reducing these lamps some.  We need to watch for even weakest spirits.  They all speak in different tongues.  Some move to communicate.”

Elijah pauses at the door.  He looks about the room. His right pointer finger lifted to his lips then points to the rainbow talisman “We will draw from this, Pendant of Roybiv.”

Bessie draws a quick breath.  Her left hand finds Samuel’s right thigh. 

Elijah smiles and walks to sit at the table. “You approve Mrs Grey! Excellent!” 

Elijah sits and adjusts the position of his chair several times.  His eyes watch the angle of the candle light. The room seems to dim slightly.

“Mr Brooks.  Our daughter is gone. Three days have we waited for her return. What ever can you do to find her. Please.” Samuel extends his hand to Elijah.

“Sir.  I will exhaust my abilities to your wishes. I cannot touch anything but what is hers.  Clear vision is most important.” Elijah drops his smile.  His lips tighten and almost disappear. 

“Ooooohhhh. Aaaaaahhhhh. Descend to do our bidding.  We call amongst the blessed and unmitigated among you.” Elijah raises his voice and slightly in his chair. His arms drop to the table.  He extends those arms with open hands toward the couple.

Both Grey’s look a bit lost.  Both see the hands before them.   Both unsure of what has begun here.

Elijah opens and closes his hands.  Bessie clasps his left hand and reaches for Samuel right hand.  Samuel notices Bessie’s moves and grabs the others hands.

Elijah jerks upright with his eyes wide open. Then falls back to the chair. The lamps near the door flicker and go dark.

“Your object please.  Focus on the candle in the middle.  That is the doorway.  Visions will dance.  Voices will talk.  Speak only to me!  The spirits can draw from you if you engage them.  I neeeeedd to feel.  Her. Her. Her.” Elijah rocks forward and back.

Bessie tries to release her hand from Elijah. She uses her other hand to find the pocket with the Blue necklace. She temples at its feel.  It is warm like skin not the metalits made from.

“Here it is, Mr Brooks.” Bessie uses as little voice as possible. Placing it next to the pillar candle

“I must ask please talk only to me.  With my name.” Elijah looks at the other tables hidden in the dark.  

Behind Samuel the sound of a chair sliding against the floorboards fills the room. The couple jerks their hands free.

“Samuel! Samuel! Look!” Bessie’s voice echoes.

“Circle! Circle! Never break the circle! I can’t protect us without it! Your hands now!” Elijah roars in a deep voice.

“Spirit! Join us.  The Holy spirit watches all assembled here.  Spirit of pure heart tell me your name!” Elijah leans and stands partial up.  His eyes blazing in the candlelight.

“You sense her.  I can tell by your vibrations.” Elijah lowers his tone to reassuring. “We seek a path to her.  Lend us a light.”

A soft glow appears above the table.  A glass globe spills a pale yellow light. The couple eyes move like a moth to the light.

“Miners lady?! I understand none of this. Please spirit.  I close my eyes to welcome youe vision.” Elijah elevates and drops his tone.  His body falls deep in his chair. He jerks forward.

His mind sees an image.  His body isn’t comfortable with it.  His hands squeeze the others hard.  

“I see a figure. It’s a lake… so very blue.  Darkness surrounds… Cave? Mine? Dark but sound off waves.  Tell me spirit.” Elijah takes a reverence to his words.

The girl is fuzzy in his mind.  The lake creates a mist that spirals clockwise.  Her arms make her a spinning cross.  The left arm spilts the haze.  Her eyes glow deep blue like the water. 

“Desmond, Desmond” unmoving lips speak

The vision goes black

“Drummond! Emma lights! Emma lights!” Elijah throws off their hands.

He stands up. His body is shaky.  His elongated features look like they have changed. “I had a clear vision!  You are lucky parents.  Love and belief have brought forth this glorious vision.”

“You found her! She’s in Drummond!” Bessie jumps out of her seat.

“We still don’t know about this lake.  How do we get there?” Samuel asks of Elijah

“Spirits have their own timescale.  The vision faded.  It may take more than one or two.  I’m exhausted.  Please tomorrow… We will do more.” Elijah lowers his head.  He wipes a damp cloth across his forehead.

Emma opens the doors. “Elijah! You called.”

“Show them the way home. I had clear vision but someone severed it.” Elijah doesn’t look at Emma.

Emma looks blank at him.  She never been called so quickly to the session. 

“Mr and Mrs Grey, this way. There’s a black bag in parlor. Fell free to leave what you wish there for Mr Brooks. Please return tomorrow. These sessions withdrawal his energy. He had a contact… that’s what we need for a beginning.” Emma walks backwards facing them the whole time.

Confused faces stare back at her.

“Emma, he seen her. Why, oh why do we wait.  We need her back! Please it’s been four days since our baby was home.” Bessie drops yo her knees holding Emma’s hand.

“Ma, we should go home. We’ll be right back next evening.” Samuel digs for silver to pay for the reading.

“I need to know she is well. I need to know shee.” Bessie’s voice fails her.  She drops her eyes. Her eyes rise as Samuel reaches for her. 

“He told us tomorrow. We don’t know the spirits. She will be home soon.” Samuel holds his wife. His word extrude calm.

“Good evening folks” Emma holds the front door for the Grey’s.

Samuel places a handful of silver dollars in the black bag with a sigh.

Elijah watches from the down the hall.

Emma closes the front door and leans against it.

“I saw her. Emma, I saw her floating in deep blue water! I actually saw her.” Elijah stands white as a ghost in a dim hall.

“I don’t understand. You are really worked up.  You used to see things before.  Details told by spirits.” Emma tries not to laugh.

“Don’t! This one is real. I mean… not the pomp and circumstance.  Real vision. She said Desmond twice. It was clear. I let go of her. Of course, I told them Drummond.  Your washer women talk.  Running to the next town makes sense.” Elijah comes out of the shadows. ” This is different.”

The Dark Path 

“Souls don’t become lost. They grow deaf” Sam looks down at the mess that was Audrey.  “It is not who could do a thing like this…. But rather, what they allowed to rule them.  I would pray for their soul. However, it appears they have none left.”

Sam pulls down his black homemade stetson hat. His right hand reaches into a saddle bag.   It finds a book of curled pages.  It’s silver flaked cross peeled from a charcoal cover announces what it is.   

He walks a few feet to the remains.   His head nods to Jacob to remove his hat as well.  The ritual is becoming daily.   There’s darkness falling from the skies here.   Like rain, it causes weeds to take root.

Silently Sam prays over the body.   His eyes shed a solitary tear.  His hands skim the well worn pages.  His face moves to accent the wear and tear of the years.  Deep set eyes have long sunk.  His mustache lost most of it color and form.   Age didn’t creep up on him, it ambushed him. 

 He wishes he had learned to read.  Long lost shreads of time tie him to a respectable past.  His title changed from miner to Marshall, to scoundrel to pastor. Heaven holds no lure for him.  Neither did a fast trip to Hell.  He fooled enough people and respected them into returning the favor.

His heart still drops when it’s a good person that falls.  He knows each day has brought another body.  Each of these bodies have been less connected to itself.  Tomorrow there will be another one.

“Audrey was one of the few bright spots here.  Chauncy Miller, he’ll need to know what…” Sam’s voice goes rough. “Damn it! Just don’t say how she looked when we got here.  It’ll be enough to kill him knowing she’s gone.”

His eyes find the horizon.  Mountains cut this place fron the rest of the world. It equally keeps demons on both sides of the ridge.  The few here are harder to find. 

Strangers Waiting for the Plane 

“My friend, we will be here awhile.”  A voice travels to my ear.

I have no friends here.   I’m in lay-over purgatory.  I turn to see a bright smiling face.   A rather Foriegn face but charming British accent. 

“I’m sorry… I was starting at people and didn’t realize who you were talking to.  They told me four hours ago, this flight is the most timely they run.   Travel is hell.” I try to figure the nice man out.  

We simply don’t act this way at home.  My God, he could be a terrorist, or a religious nut, or run a foreign money scam.   The news of full of these types in other countries. 

“Travel is like a present.   You think you know what will be inside.   Then like a flower it opens… simply amazing what happens.   We seldom believe what we know not.” His hands gesture something popping up out of box.   I hate to fly alone. You seem much better than most here.  Calm to the outside.  At least.”

I turn to catalog his features. Dark eyes,  softly set amongst richly tan skin.   Dark hair well controlled at ear length with a bushy mustache.  His crisp cotton shirt  almost glows white.  He has one small carry on bag.  

“I returning from finding a brother who thinks the world is a grand adventure.  He found simple things aren’t simple in other places. I’ll be the first to tell him how wrong he is…” My voice falters.   Why am I telling a stranger this?

“He is good to have you.  Someone to go when he needs. I have to deliver things to family.   I’m the only one who has the time.” His dark eyes lock into me. “I will find other things.  Make this a real trip for me.”

“Oh.  You been to the States before?” My mind erupts.  A real live terrorist.   There’s a bomb not even five feet away from me.

“No. The place scares me.  Kilometers to travel.  We do not drive like that.   But must see something.  When I deliver this, I am then free. Free to travel.” His smile is truly a master weapon. 

I freeze.   What dies one say you a mad killer. 

“Where are you going?  I have traveled a bit.” I fake friendliness.   My eyes look for security personnel.   

“You are tense all of a sudden.   I will be in Seattle.  We are on the same flight.  I didn’t mean to…. cause you any discomfort.  Strangers sometimes want their space.”  He smiles that damn friendly smile. 

“I’m sorry.   I’m a bit tired.   Didn’t mean to push you away. ”  My lies get deeper.  

He sits foward and speaks  “I’ll return.”

I watch him walk over to a security person bag in tow.  They smile and talk.   The smiles disappear. They both look my way. 

I’m no terrorist! 
Written as part of a challenge called Tale Weaver https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/19271780/posts/1436456071

End of the Road 

A knock on the door.  Followed by six more.   Staccato wraps follow the first soft touch.  A solitary light shone in a living room. 

The full moon rises.   It lights the last house on the pavement.   The road falls to gravel and disappears into the woods.  The woods reaches around the simple house and its barn.  The white glow of the moon paints it better in the night than the Sun.  The door hides within a small porch, shrunk by the boxes and tables stacked around. 

The hand rises again.  The knocks continue six at a time.  Staccato beats. 

“Hang on baby! hang on…. We’ll get you help.” Brian looks down.   A face looks back.

“No one will open the door… it’s too late they’ll never open the door.” Connie voice fades.   Her jeans covered in blood.   The yellow t-shirt dirt covered and suddenly wore out. “It’s cold.  Maybe there’s blanket in this stuff.   Maybe morning…”

“I see someone.  They are in there.   They’ll help us.” Brian wipes his head.  A streak of blood runs down fron his forehead.  His face shows he doesn’t think help is coming. 

Brian returns to the door.  A series of knocks continues.   Each becoming a little more panic stricken. “Hello?! We need help.   Just call the police…  anything! Please!”

Connie is on the wooden porch. She is sitting against soft boxes that lean over toward her a bit.  She’s scared but holding on a brave front. “Sit next to me.  The morning.. They’ll see us.”

Shuffling sounds inside stop her.   The dragging and stopping catch their attention.  The door had three little boxes that show how dark the inside is but little else.   

“If you open that door, I’ll kill you both. Shotgun is in my hands.” The voice followed by a tapping on the other side of the door. “You live to see tomorrow…. I’ll habe to deal with Y’all then.   Stop banging or you’ll wake up the Dead!”

The shuffling starts again.   This time fading away.   The single light flashes out.   

The Moon –

I run.  A staggered path weaves between rock, trees and cactus.  My enemy is above.  I feel the eyes scanning the landscape. 

“Shadows are my friend.” I whisper to my fellow creatures of the night. “I will sleep on safety beneath your own nose!”

I want to laugh.  But sound travels to easily here.  Its bad enough I see my quarry.  But it’s myself dug in the hole hunted.   He can’t get what he can’t see.   The plan is working so far.

The clouds thin.  Moonbeams stretch out.  Rays of silver like nails in my coffin.  I hide with my back finding an uncomfortable Saguaro.  I watch the light chase the darkness.   Hope is a thin shadow.

My pulse rises to match a deep thumping heart.  If heartbeats slow maybe I can breath.  But for how long?

I turn my head to look.  

His face smiles back.  An oblivious look or game over expression.  If I could hear him.  I hate the distance between us.  Only in moving do I get to find out who wins this night.

“I would stab at you.  You hide too far away.” I look away from him. “There has always been a man within the Moon.  He stalks us all.   He had always been death. He will always be death.  Tonight, better be someone else’s turn.”

I curl into a ball and wait. 

Written as part of a challenge called Tale Weaver, details available  at https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/tale-weaver-116-the-moon/

The Cabin -100WW

lake breeze races through the woods.   The misty morning lifts like a curtain to reveal a warn Sun.  Birds chatter with squirrels.  Small critters move about the old cabin.

Inside, a low groan.  A mind reassembled details.  Daylight brings pain to the eyes and head.  The forgotten trip here weights heavy.  

“Is he still here?” words too weak to be heard leave Rose’s lips.

Sikence answers her.  Even the shadows hide from her. 

“Who was he?….  How did he know me?…. Why me!”  Her consciousness plays tag with each question.  She lies still waiting.  But for what?

#100ww

written as part of a challenge called  100 Words Wednesday, details are available at https://bikurgurl.com/2017/02/22/100-word-wednesday-week-7/