FFAW – Aliens

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

“There has been strange lights in the woods for the best part of a week. Jeb says there’s a tree trunk made of concrete. It’s time we look it over.” I look over at Rodney. His black eyes hold my fast in my chair.

“We been out there before. Same lights…things get funny out there in them woods.” Rodney uses the back of his hand to rest his bearded chin his arm angles to the arm of the chair. “You ought to think this through.”

His words flood back night images of dancing lights and unworldy sounds. We always promised never to talk about what happened. Neither of us could put enough pieces together to make sense of it all any way.

“But they are tiny. We seen them. If we just smash down the nest…” my words float across a dead silence. “It’ll be different..this time.”

“Well, that Gulliver shit didn’t work last time! I got my double barrel sitting right here.” Rodney pats the but of the wooden end of his shotgun.

“Its our woods! It ain’t right to let them build and take over it.” My defiant streak fights my lack of memory from last time.

199 words (borrowing from short pieces 😉)

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Crumb of Dignity

“Is there not one crumb of dignity within you?” Her hectic voice screeching.

He barely lifts his head.

Which just enrages her more.

“Nothing to say, huh?” She snaps

Her left hand suddenly rummage within her purse.

Two shots ring out.

A figure covered in cloth falls

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crumb/">Crumb</a>

Things that go bump in The night

She knew she’d hit something. But what? She saw the shape suddenly jumping or running right in front of her car. Her heart was racing while she got out of the car. Maybe it was just her imagination. Maybe it was the fog and the darkness setting in. Maybe she did not hit anything. Maybe it was just the fog. But she felt it too. She slowly made her way to the front of the car. And then her heart froze. There it was.

It’s her first new car. The damage is just awful. Her silver arrow had a broken noise! Julia now had to figure out how to explain this. Her new baby crushed.

She screamed once, then twice. Stomped her three inch heels, snapping one in the process.

“Oh Julia. We talked about you getting that car. I thought it was too much power for you. I’m so glad you didn’t kill yourself. ..” She mocked the voice that would tell her how bad it was. She cried a little. Uttered some more semi coherent phases. She once more limped around here vehicle on one broken heel.

She kicked the object responsible. Then again. Then again.

“Aaaahhhhh, my shoes are ruined. My car is ruined. What is wrong with you?!” She terse voice looks for something to blame here.

“Ok calm down Julia. You got to call. Get it over with. He’ll come get you. Make you feel loosy about it. Then he’ll fix the GOD DAMN PIECE OF SHIT CAR!” Talking to herself on isn’t working. But the echo from the other side of fog is. The echo chides her as well.

The Baxter freeway. Road to nowhere. Expressway to avoid everyone. Here she sits. Staring at broken car. One person there. It’s really quiet. Because there’s no cell phone service.

Gulp. The body in front of the car is no longer in front of the car. Julia thinks to herself. Maybe it wasn’t an animal at all. That’s right it was just shadow. Could of been a deer. … bounced off to the side. It happen fast. Surely nothing could have walked off with the damage to the car.

The fog parts showing the rock wall keeping the car from falling down forty foot drop. Tree tops stand tall in front of her. The full moon casts their shadow at her. The birds of fog dance in the moon’s glow.

“It would be so beautiful. ….”

Her thoughts and voice cut short. There’s some kind of figure sitting on the rocks. Engulfed by shadow but it’s there. She can feel it. It can feel her too.

“Oh god, it’s not dead. I need to know what it is. Why is it just sitting there?” She whispers. She half crouches and leans toward her companion still thirty plus feet away. Her heart beating like bongo drums in her ears. She stands frozen for a minute or half hour. Time has all about stopped.

She checks her phone. No signal! She walks backward to the car. Her eyes on that dark shape. Her mind finds what looks like legs but not quite right. Are they human? Not quite right. Are they animal? Just a little too thick. She looking for movement. Hoping for no movement. Her hand feels the car behind her. The sharp edge of bent nose pricks her finger. Slow warm blood drops from those manicured nails.

Then it happens. The thing in shadow moves. It’s stretching to upright itself. The fog rolls up from the side of road. In a flash, it stands on two legs but didn’t seem like a person. The moon light fades beneath the fog. Darkness and headlights. No creature. Julia jumps in the car with a very loud door slam.

“Calm down girl. It’s alive. See you didn’t kill anything. .. But the car. .. I wish I could see it. That fog covered everything. Oh no. What’s that sound?”

There is a single sound piercing the fog. It could be a howl. It could have been a scream. It didn’t sound hurt.

From the corner of her eye, comes movement. A flash of brown. Then the window shatters. A clawed hand grabs her by the hair. Screaming replaces breathing. She fights off the first wave. Then a second. It leaves her sitting. Alone. Sitting. Dark road. It’s going to be a long night.

Do You Have Halloween Stories

This is from Spillwords.com… They have been gracious enough to accept my works. Give them a try.

13 Days of Halloween series submission page at Spillwords.com

Fill out the form below to submit your literary work for consideration to be published as a part of a series called ‘13 Days of Halloween‘.

The series will run from October 18th through October 31st, and we will be featuring a different literary work everyday for 13 days.

All literary pieces should embrace Halloween, and the spirit of this holiday. It should make reference of Trick or Treating, ghosts and goblins, black cats, superstitions, or any appropriate iconic Halloween character.

We look forward to your literary treats!

Photo Challenged 177- Clancy’s Ghost

His eyes walked up and down then side to side across the velvet dress. Her face wrapped in a scarf of blue clouds. Still he knew. His troubled mind knew. His nose wrestled to keep the scent from being taken in. His ears could create her voice in the wind. Her presence was’ll disconcerting at best.

“Not all dreams are created equal. You can not ignore men as I am no more than what you made me.” A coarse soft whisper rasps Clancy’s ears.

“Go away! Go away! You’re not real!” Clancy spins in his dark room. Eyes wide searching for her shape. Nerves taut. Chill of icy fingers brushing softly against his back.

“You can’t refuse me. Ha ha, silly Clancy” he voice climbs as falls in laughter of a child. “I’m your every embodied desire and want. You built me in those likenesses you could not possess. My touch is all you’ll care to know. You made me from your cold indifference then added desire.”

“You’re just a nightmare! No, no…..no more. No, no … no less. A bad dream. Charlotte! Be gone!” A frail silhouette waves at the darkness.

“Years that fall through cracks in days fashioned us. You call me by a name.” She reveals her face with the features of all his loves unknown.

Another night in which our monsters return. Clancy’s ghost settles into his mind for another night.

Written as part of a challenge called Photo Challenge, details are available at https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/photo-challenge-177/

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.”