The Blessing

From The Danse Macabre Prompt: Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders

We meet another of The Prince’s guests:

I had found a place to get off of my feet

maybe catch a quick bite

and chew the fat with the locals

 who call this  town I wandered into home.

But before I could settle in and settle down for a spell

at the Diner called ” Lorna’s “

the Sheriff walked in and put a bullet between my eyes.

Good thing it wasn’t silver.

Good thing indeed.

Nightjars

Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders  I ask and answer the question:

What Would The Red Death Look Like?

.

Do you know what I saw last night?

Do you know what I saw when I looked out my bedroom window

just after midnight when the night sky was full of darkness and the air heavy with cries of Nightjars and bats singing out to their prey?

 

Do you know what I saw

when I looked out my window and a terrible creature

with a broken face and a missing eye screamed at me from it’s nightmare

 

I saw my reflection in my window.

That’s what I saw.

From A Thousand Cemeteries

From The Danse Macabre Prompt  Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders

Brainstormed and thought about how Red Death would enter Prince Prospero’s fortress-this is how I saw it:

It whispered in her ear

it was a shadow in the corner of his eye

it made their dog howl in despair at the stars

it trapped their cat in the window

and asked them as they stood there frozen in fear

with a voice as smooth and cold as bitter fog from a thousand cemeteries

” I’m here, won’t you welcome me in? “

It said to one and all

Politely.

 

Nothing was there

they insisted that night.

There nothing to see, nothing to hear

especially nothing to feel

nothing was there except a thin red veil

that covered the face of the Moon.

 

The Invitation

From Danse Macabre :   Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders The Red Death Project-

Photo A.M. Moscoso

The Masque has been hanging in my attic all of my life- it was there when my Parents owned my house and it was there when my Great Grandparents had the house built in 1901.

Nobody knows where it came from or who hung it or why nobody ever took it down.

It seemed better, wiser, to just leave it alone to the darkness and the dust – because sometimes it sounded like someone was up there with it and during those times we made sure the attic door was locked.

“There’s nothing up there,” we would say as we turned the skeleton key and backed slowly away from that door and hurried down the hall to the safety of the well lit living room.

There is nothing in that huge dark room that hangs over heads we  told ourselves- nothing except for that Masque, and it’s occasional visitor.

Three days ago I started to hear music.

I’m not ashamed to admit- the music worries me to the point of distraction and I’m having trouble sleeping at night and it’s almost impossible to wake up in the morning.

I think that slightly off key tune that howls like the wind just before the storm hits is an invitation  and I am sure that any day now, the RSVP’s will start to arrive

The Roomates

Inspired by The SFC Prompt: The Lonely Ones

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

” Do you know what I would really like, right now even if it’s just for a little while?” The lady who lives next door to me said last Thursday.

We were in the garden watching the birds and dragon flies gliding around the flowers and trees that were in need of some attention.

” No. What would you like?”

The truth is I did know because she always brought it up on our walks. But the poor dear only ever wanted to talk about her room, which she hated because she had to share with not one but three other people.

It is pretty disgraceful situation.

” I’d like a room of my own, one that I didn’t have to share because our home is running out of space. I want a room of my own where I can paint and read and watch birds and a room of my own so I don’t have to worry if I pass gas.”

Personally I think she was only worried about the gas thing because I never saw her do anything  except for talk about how awful her situation was.

She sighed and sat down on our favorite bench. ” I want the kind of room my Grandmother had. Oh, it was so lovely. She slept under a handmade quilt that her Mother made her for her Wedding day and she had fresh flowers brought to her every morning. Her room  still smells like cinnamon.”

” The Devil you say.”  I said in disbelief.

” It’s true Mavis. Her room still doesn’t smell like disinfectant or old clothes or old people. Her room still smells like cinnamon.”

” How did she managed that?” I asked my neighbor- whose name is Daisy- in case you’re curious to know.

Daisy leaned close to me and whispered, ” I think it had something to do with the cookies she baked in her kitchen. The smell you know. She used a lot of cinnamon to mask the smell. She’d boil it in water day and night on her stove top.”

Daisy’s Grandmother  was famous in her hometown. And it wasn’t for her cookies. It was more for what, or specially who she put into her cookies-which ranged from her nosy neighbor to her children’s dog to the men she rented rooms to and robbed for their pitiful few belongings and the money they had in their wallets.

” Her brother said that smell was her mark, pretty much like the one Caine had.”

” But her room, really. You can still  smell the cinnamon from- well, from her? ”

” You still can.” Daisy said.

I shifted a little on the bench. ” So, does anyone else  use her room now?”

I suppose I was lucky. I don’t share a room but that could change at any moment because I  couldn’t imagine Mrs. Flynn, the President of the Company that owned our home and several others not using every square inch of space that she could dig up. She is as greedy as she is shifty. I can’t stand that piece of wreckage.

If anyone deserved to be baked into one of Daisy’s Grandmother’s cookies it is Mrs. Flynn.

Daisy and I looked down the rows and rows of tombstones marking the spots where the coffins below were stacked like cordwood. ” She’s all alone down there.”

I thought about that and then I said,

” Lucky Devil.”

And Daisy agreed.

Photo by Daian Gan on Pexels.com

Inspired by The SFC Prompt: The Lonely Ones

Reference Material:

Bodies to be stacked double in old graves

Coffin stacking idea in Banwell Cemetery to save space

Hanging coffins of Sagada in Philippines

And The Moon Would Disappear

If you really want to write a story that will get under a reader’s skin

keep it real.

This is a clip about what would happen if the Sun were to go out- the most frightening part of that experience would be that the Moon would disappear from sight because the Sun would be no sunlight for it to reflect.

Taking away a given is more frightening to me then all of the Zombies in all of the graveyards in the world.

 

Before It Gets Dark

 

” This road looks dangerous, doesn’t it. ” he said.

She was walking slightly ahead of him, a woman in long fitted  black fur jacket trimmed along her collar and wrists with light gray lace shaped like  feathers.  Her head  was protected from the cold and the fog by a fluffy brown scarf.

” I mean, it’s a good thing there’s still daylight. Wouldn’t want to be out here when it’s dark. Look at the shape of this pavement, broken to bits and full of ice. It’s dangerous in full daylight. In the dark, well, one false step and whump. Down you go.”

“I’m wondering.” he asked without expecting her to answer, in fact he preferred she keep quiet- for now. ” Do you know  there’s a lake off the path here. It’s pretty deep, I’ve heard. Nobody knows exactly how deep it is. Anything could be down there. You could hide anything down there and keep it hidden pretty much forever.”

She continued to walk in the same measured stride and she continued to not pay any attention to him.

” Yes, daylight is the time to be out here. Before the temperature  drops and the fog rolls in and not only can’t you see but you can’t even walk fast let alone run if something came up on you. Something not friendly. Because. Whump. Down you go.  You could be hurt and alone all night- providing you lasted that long.” He paused. ” In this cold. Well. ”

To his satisfaction- no- to his pleasure he saw her adjust her scarf and she slowed down. Just a little. But that was enough, that was all he needed. He felt positively warm inside and it made the palms of his hands sweaty.

” This little park is no where to be walking alone, especially when it’s cold and the dark and the fog rolls in fast like it is right now. Once daylight is gone, that’s when it’s worse. That’s when the ground opens up and the monsters come out. At night when  you’re all alone.”

She stopped and he saw her drop her scarf  back with shaking hands on either side of her head. He was delighted to see little puffs of her nervous breath frozen and drifting over her shoulder towards him because they had nowhere else to go.

Those small gestures excited him to the center of his bones.

” Are you sure about that? That the monsters only come out at night.” she asked as she turned around carefully so as not to slip on the icy path. ” Are you absolutely sure about that?

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Inspired By The Australian Advent Calander: The Bunyip