On this page I will start posting my stories. Not ready to start my series Haven here. This is just play.
If there was a prompt, I will post it here so you can go play with it, too, before reading mine. Most of the prompts were from our fearless leader of our writers’ group. I’ll give her name if she give permission. Some I get from an app I have on my Fire and Thrive Tablet called, curiously, Writing Prompts. Sometimes they are just random thoughts that come up in the group. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them
Be aware, many will be drafts that may or may not have a first round of edit but not a lot of scrutiny will have happened yet. Feel free to commit and give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
So here are the first two prompts:
[20130612 Writing Group Prompt: As a child the character was prone to night terrors, sleep talking and sleep walking. The character has grown out of old habits, until the character wakes to find himself/herself in an unfamiliar place. There is a government official facing the character.]
[20130605 Writing Group Prompt: You get back to your studio to develop pictures from the hour you just spent in the park. All of the pictures turn out well except for a select few. In six photographs, there’s a person in the frame. Something seems slightly off and rather strange about each picture. Who is she/he/it and what is weird about the photographs.]
The oldest is the bottom one.
Here is what I came up with over the last two weeks:
A Locket in Time
The red light was still on as I began hanging the six photos I took at the park. I was proud of the pictures of squirrels playing and the one of the horse. The dog photos were, well, okay but maybe a little blurred. There was a lot going on in the dog park with Frisbees and balls whizzing by. I didn’t notice it at first, thinking there was too much motion. But in every picture in the canine play area there was the same blur.
When they were dry, I turned on the light and took a magnifying glass to each picture. Even then, it was hard to see. That person, yes, it seemed to be a woman, dressed in Victorian garb, was waving. How odd to be in the dog park dressed like that. It was the third photo that grabbed my eye. She was looking directly into the camera. She had tears running down her face and her mouth seemed to be set in a grimace of begging.
The photos seemed to be of continuous action like those flip books with each picture built on the last. So I drew them together in a pile and flipped through. I could swear that I could read her lips saying, “Help me!”
“No way.” I said to myself. I rearranged the photos and got the same message. How…? I went to the kitchen to get a soda. I figured the space and time would clear my mind. But when I returned and rearranged the photos again, I not only read the lips as the same plea, but now I could see that this woman’s body language reflected her desperate need.
“But how can I help her?” I said out loud. “This is crazy. I only saw people in jeans and tee-shirts out with their dogs. There wasn’t anyone out there like her.” I flipped the photos again. I nearly dropped them. This time the lips said, “You’re the only one who can.” I decided that I must have gotten too much sun today so I left the photos on the table and went up to take a shower and settle in front of the TV.
Hours later, I awoke on the sofa drenched in sweat and shaking. “It was just a dream.” I told myself. It was what I had been thinking of, transferred into my dream. “That’s what I get for sleeping on the sofa. I turned off the TV and went to bed.
The room was dark and quiet. I felt myself relax. I was too awake now to sleep so I reached over to the bedside lamp to switch it on. I didn’t quite get there. Somehow I knocked the book onto the floor that had been next to the lamp. I climbed out of bed and got on my hands and knees to retrieve it from under the bed where it had slid. A hand covered the book. It wasn’t mine. I jumped back, startled. “Your imagination is working overtime!” I chided myself. I crouched down and peered under the bed again.
There, under the bed was the same woman from the pictures. She was still in her Victorian dress, exquisite in tailoring and color. How she fit under the bed with bustle and all was a wonder. “You must help me!” She said in a whisper. She still had that frantic look in her eyes. But like the photos she seemed to come into focus and then fade.
“Who are you?” I asked. It was the first of many questions flooding my brain.
“Emily. But that doesn’t matter. My life and the lives of many others are in danger.” She said.
“How can I help?” I asked. “I can barely even see you. Where did you come from? How did you get in here? How can I see you? No one else at the park could see you. Even I couldn’t see you there. I only saw you in the photographs.”
She waved her hand to stop the questions.”Go to your jewelry case. You’ll find that locket that your grandmother gave you.”
I got up and walked across the room brushing my hair back from my face. ‘This isn’t real.’ I thought to myself.
As I opened the jewelry case, the scent of the cedar wafted up. The aroma alone took me back to being a child. This was my grandmother’s case. My grandfather made it for her as a gift. She gave it to me before she died. I felt tears stream down my face thinking of her final day. She held the locket necklace before my eyes. She told me not to open it until something happened that couldn’t be explained. Well, this was one of those times! It isn’t often that a woman in Victorian garb, that wasn’t really there, appeared under my bed. It was stiff and I couldn’t unlatch it. It seemed rusted closed.
I brought the locket back to the bed and sat on the floor and held it out to the woman. “Open it.” She said.
I did as I was told. And this time it did open. I couldn’t tell you what I saw in the locket. I can tell you that the room began to sway and spin. I suddenly remembered all the nightmares I had as a child. I remember my parents and sleep-over friends, tell about catching me sleep walking. They would tell me of conversations I would have with them as I slept. I saw myself waking in front of the fridge. They told me I never took anything out to eat. I would just stand there. I’ve heard that certain drugs can affect a person like this, say, Ambien.
As the room continued spinning, I stopped remembering and felt myself become the small child I was. I think I was about seven years old. Suddenly, I was seeing that this was not a dream. This was real. I was walking somewhere, with purpose. It was raining out. I only had on my pajamas and they were soon soaked.
I had to get there. I was going to be late, again. I started running, splashing through the puddles, slipping on the wet pavement. Tasting mud and asphalt on my lips. And blood. I think I busted my lip open on one of the falls.
Before long I was in front of a warehouse. I wasn’t to go in the front way. Somehow I knew that was a danger. I ran to the back of this building and found a concrete stairwell heading down to a door a flight below ground level. I opened the door. I went in. There was an officer in uniform. I couldn’t tell you his station as I have never understood the military hierarchy,
Then I woke up. I thought this is just another dream, all of it. Except that I am standing not in my bedroom but in a room and I don’t recognize anything about it. But the officer is still in front of me.
I am holding the locket in out at eye level as if to protect myself from the man’s glare. He reached out as if to grab it but I pull it back. I quickly clasp it around my neck as I must have done a million times, yet I don’t wear much jewelry. So how could this be so?
For a moment, I forget the man standing in front of me. I hold the locket out so I can see what is inside. There is the picture of the woman who had been under my bed. On the other side is a small button. The woman’s face is looking toward the button. Well, I think, everything else is weird and crazy, why not push the button? I do and then close the locket. It feels like I did the right thing. But how would I know that?