‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #15 Entry Part 10) by Roberta Eaton Cheadle @RobertaEaton17 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 10)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This contribution By Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Rex Bacon was a real person and he did die as described in the book. His ghost is said to haunt one of the inns in Bungay. I fictionalized the circumstances surrounding his death in this extract:

THE MAN UNDER THE STAIRS

As he set off along the pathway towards the town, Rex Bacon could feel the rage building inside him. It was a balmy summer afternoon and it was Saturday. He had finished his milk deliveries in record time and had a rare half afternoon free.

“Alfie saw them going up the stairs to the bed chambers,” Tom had said. “It’s not the first time he’s known them to meet at the Inn.”

All along the path, the wildflowers grew in a profusion of bright colours: blue, purple, yellow and white. Breathless, from his tightly constricted chest and fast pace, he remembered the last early afternoon he had walked this path. He had bent down to gather a colourful bouquet for Katheryn, binding them together with the pink ribbon he kept in his pocket for this purpose.

At the top of the rise, he stopped. The woodlands fell away on both sides of the path. On the right he could see the town including the two Market Crosses, St Mary’s Church, the Grammar School, and all the principal houses and shops that comprised the town centre, and on the other he could see his cottage – their cottage. It was tiny and ramshackle, but it was theirs. It looked just the same as it had that morning when he left home before the sun rose. There was no difference, none at all.

He swiftly descended the slope and walked to the door, the summer crickets jumping around his shoes. “Katheryn,” he shouted as he entered the one roomed cottage and stopped. A part of him hoped she would be there, that it was all an elaborate lie. She wasn’t.

Rex walked over to the pegs inside the cottage door and deliberately took down a coiled rope. He bent and grabbed a couple of the sharpened stakes he had leaned against the wall, in readiness for the weekend’s planting. Slinging the rope over his shoulder and with the stakes held loosely in his hands, he stepped through the doorway and closed the door gently behind him.

Ø Ø Ø

“Well, this is a surprise,” a harsh voice rasped.

Katheryn sat up in the bed, her dark eyes wide with shock. The blanket was pulled up over her chest and her shoulders, plump and white, rose above it. The young man lying next to her in the bed also sat up. He had a mop of vibrant and lustrous dark hair. His cheeks were flushed and his naked skin glowed with vigour and life.

“Rex,” said Katheryn. Her voice was soft and timid. Rex’s eyes rolled in their sockets, filling with hideous rage.

An inhuman force seemed to have taken over his mind, roaring in his ears, commanding him to destroy the figures in the bed. He lunged forward.

“Don’t!” whispered Katheryn. Her lover’s face drained to an ashy white. He had not moved but was whining, deep in his throat. The sound seemed to go on and on.

Rex’s eyes locked with the man in the bed as he drove the sharpened end of the stake into his neck. The man’s attempt to shout out was cut off as Rex wrenched the stake free and a fountain of blood poured from the resultant hole. The body toppled slowly sideways.

He turned to Katheryn, sitting frozen with shock and horror, and drove the stake deep into her heart. She gasped, and her eyes rolled back in her head as she died instantly.

Ø Ø Ø

Richard looked up as Rex, huddled in an enormous coat despite the warm day, walked into the hall and sat down at a rough wooden table in the corner.

“Strong ale, Rex?” he called. Normally customers had to approach the counter to order but, as the hall was empty at this time of the afternoon, Richard didn’t mind taking Rex’s mug over to him.

Setting his drink down on the table, Richard noted the younger man’s darkly glittering eyes and straight, unsmiling mouth. He watched Rex overtly as he drained his mug.

“Are you okay?” Richard asked. Rex smiled, a horrible twisted smile, and looked at him out of eyes that looked years older than his actual age.

“I’ve had some bad news. It will pass. All things pass in the end,” he replied.

Richard was to recall these words later.

Ø Ø Ø

Thirty minutes later, Rex left the hall. Picking up an ale barrel that stood discarded in the entrance, he walked purposefully towards the stairs that led to the upstairs chambers. It was dark and dingy in the narrow landing at the top of the stairs. Shrugging off the dead man’s coat, he exchanged it for the coil of rope he had hidden there earlier. His shirt and trousers were a mess of blood.

He bled like a stuck pig, thought Rex as he threw the rope deftly over the heavy wooden ceiling beam. Reaching up, he grabbed the end and threaded it through the loop he had made on the opposite end. He pulled gently and the loop ran up the length of the rope and drew tightly around the beam. Standing back, he admired his efforts.

The barrel shook as he clambered onto it. He formed the loose end of the rope into a noose and placed it over his head. Closing

his eyes he pictured Katheryn, his darling, and kicked out his legs. The barrel wobbled and fell over.

Death did not come easily. The drop was short and Rex dangled helplessly from the end of the rope as it compressed his trachea and the arteries and blood vessels in his neck. The excruciating pain was unexpected as his survival instincts took over and his body struggled for air against the compression of the noose and the weight of his own body.

As the darkness descended over Rex’s mind, he heard a voice calling, “Rex, look at me, Rex.” It took all of Rex’s will power to focus on the apparition in front of him. Thickset and powerful, the monster had vicious teeth and claws. Its eyes struck terror into Rex’s fading heart. The glaring, red eyes were the last thing Rex recognised as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Ø Ø Ø

His heart blackened with rage and resentment as his spirit hovered above the stairs, listening to the black dog’s convincing lies and watching his body being roughly hacked down. The naked bodies of Katheryn and her lover had already been discovered and the men were making ribald comments about Rex and his inability to satisfy his wife’s needs. The glowing red light that flowed up from the depths of the Underworld faded as Rex shambled after his new master.

 

~~~~~~

Contact Roberta Here …

Roberta Writes Blog.

TWITTER

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***

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 9) by Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” WEEK #15

Today I’m featuring the contribution from  Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution By Karen Ingalls

A SHATTERED LIFE

My life before you

Was in shambles and lonely

But now it’s healthy

 Because your love and goodness

Give me strength, joy, and courage.

~~~~

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be featuring all entries as they are received.

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 8) by Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Joan Hall.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution By Joan Hall

The House on Baker Street.

The old house stood on the outskirts of town at the end of Baker Street. Long time residents called it Winslow House after the first family to live there. When Gerry Rafferty released the hit song “Baker Street” three years earlier, someone referred to the house by its location and the name stuck.

Built in the early twentieth century when the area was farming country, the place had become the source of legends. Some said it was haunted. The original owner, Harlan Winslow, died in a freak accident. Many believed his ghost haunted the place. Others said he and his wife had marital problems and claimed she killed him. Made it look like an accident. Whatever the case, Angela Winslow and her children moved away from Madison shortly after Harlan’s death, never to be heard from again.

Over the years several families occupied the house. In the early 1960s, a family by the name of Keller moved in. By all accounts, they were well-liked. Cal Keller was a respectable banker. His wife was friendly and outgoing. The children, a boy and two girls, ages thirteen, eleven and eight, were popular at school. But when the family disappeared on a late October evening, leaving all their possessions behind, the house once again became the source of much speculation.

Some said the Kellers left because of Harlan Winslow’s ghost. But people usually don’t abandon everything and leave in the middle of the night. They took the dog and left in the family automobile. A week after their disappearance, police found the car abandoned three-hundred miles away.

There was no evidence of foul play, and a later investigation yielded no clues about where they might have gone. Many suspected Ross Keller embezzled money but auditors found no evidence.

Cara Henderson heard rumors when she first moved to Madison. As an investigative reporter for the local news station, her natural curiosity had her wanting to know more.

“I want to do a story on the Keller disappearance,” she asked her station manager, Grant Evans.

“It’s been done before.”

“When?”

“A year or two after it happened. Don’t know for sure but I’d guess no more than three.” Grant shrugged.

“You’re talking 1968 at the latest. This is 1981. We’re coming up on the fifteenth anniversary. Some people have never heard the story. Who knows, someone might see it and come forth with information.”

Grant rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Okay, go for it.”

Cara began interviewing people and asking questions. Cal and Edna Keller paid cash for the property. The taxes were up to date, paid from a trust fund Cal had set up years before their disappearance. When he interviewed for the position at the local bank, he had references from towns in Montana and Oregon. Those checked out. But since leaving Madison, there wasn’t a record of him having held another job. No one knew of any extended family members.

But after gathering all her information, Cara wanted something that would make the story more exciting. And there was only one thing she could think of. A visit to the scene.

It took a little persuading before Grant gave her the go-ahead, but fifteen years to the date, she and her cameraman, Jeff Armstrong, entered the house.

Over the years, it had fallen into a state of disrepair. The front door stood open. Windows were cracked and broken. Peeling wallpaper and damaged flooring were commonplace. Layers of dust covered the furniture. Plates and glasses remained on the dining room table. Clothes still hung in the upstairs closets. Toys and other personal possessions were in the bedrooms.

“This is weird,” Cara said. “What would make anyone leave in the middle of eating dinner with nothing but the clothes on their backs? Guess we’ll never know.”

“I can tell you,” Jeff said.

Cara turned in surprise. “You know what happened? How? You would have been something like twelve at the time. Besides, I didn’t know you’d lived in Madison before.”

“I was thirteen. And yes, I was here that night. My name isn’t Jeff Armstrong.”

“What?

“It’s Rick Keller.”

***

Joan Hall can be reached here …

BookBub Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Twitter

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Pinterest

Facebook Page

 

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! I’ll be sharing each contribution as I receive it. I look forward to seeing your comments.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 7) by Mae Clair @MaeClair1 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring the contribution by Mae Clair.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution by Mae Clair

Atonement

Julian St. Croix. stood on the first step, testing the weight of the rotted tread. Behind him, Rexmont kicked through detritus littering the floor­—slivers of wood, dried leaves, tattered scraps of paper. Small puffs of dust wafted from his shoes, tickling the sensitive tissue of Julian’s nose.

He sniffed and dragged a sleeve across his face. “Second floor’s off limits.”

Rexmont stopped long enough to raise his head. “How come?”

“This step feels like rice paper and the others look as flimsy. Too much dry rot to risk it.”

“That sucks.” Rexmont wandered closer. He craned his neck to gaze toward the landing where shadows nested in a pocket of charcoals and grays. “Up there’s where he hung himself.”

“You’re sure?” They’d only been in the abandoned house forty minutes, and already Julian felt the drain on his energy.

“I did the research.” Rexmont swiped a paw over the back of his neck. He was a big man, twice Julian’s size, with massive hands, a chest like a double-wide freezer, and close-set eyes the color of motor oil. Most people labeled him a gorilla, but he was every bit as gifted in intellect as brawn, which was why Julian valued him so highly. If there was friendship between them, it straddled the line between employer/employee, still too new to venture deeper.

“No choice then.” Julian gripped his cane, the anchor that kept him from crumpling when spirit energy deserted him and all that was left was mortal stamina. “You stay here.”

“You’re the boss, but…is that wise?”

“The steps would never hold you.” Julian tested the first one. He was a trim man, not quite six feet, all lean muscle and bone, but still the wood groaned its fragility. Using his cane, he prodded each tread before adding his weight. When he reached the second-floor landing, he paused to glance down at Rexmont. “It’s an old house, but the structure is sound.”

His hired muscle snorted. “You’re two centuries older, at minimum. What’s that say about you?”

Julian’s lips curled. On his worse day, he could still pass for late thirties. “Let’s pray my fortitude is every bit as resilient as this structure.”

Without waiting for an acknowledgement, he ambled down the hallway. Over moldy carpet, once a rich burgundy, now frayed and discolored by grime. Fat cobwebs clung to the ceiling and sprouted in the corners. He followed a pulse of dark energy to a room on the right. The furniture had been cleared out years ago, but Sight allowed him to see the area as it had once been—a king-sized bed, ebony bureau, standing wardrobe, and roll-top desk.

His stamina wavered and he closed his eyes. When he looked again, the desk lay face down, papers and books scattered over the floor. A toppled ink well left a stain like blood on the paisley carpet. Above, suspended from the rafters, hung the body of a thirtyish man with white-gold hair. He had not died easily, his face bloated and purple.

Julian drew a breath to center himself. He bowed his head then murmured a prayer in middle English. When his voice faded, the specter’s form shimmered, outlined by tiny points of light. Within seconds, it vanished.

“Boss?” Rexmont appeared on the threshold. He glanced around the room. “That was quick work.”

Julian nodded, unwilling to say more. The ritual of releasing a spirit in bondage resurrected ugly memories. “How did you manage the steps?”

“I didn’t. I found a second stairway off the kitchen. Are we done?”

“For now.”

Rexmont frowned. “I still don’t understand why it’s your job to hunt down these ghosts and release them.”

“Because they deserve the peace that eluded them in life.” Something he’d yet to achieve.

Thoughts of his young wife and her lover filled his head. Visions of the blood he’d left them lying in before he’d flung a rope over a crossbeam and hung himself. Julian walked toward the door, his cane thumping hollowly against the floor. There was no erasing the sins of his past. Penitence would have to suffice, along with the hope that someday his spirit—like those he freed—might move on.

He paused and faced Rexmont. “I do it for atonement.”

“For you?”

“And them.” For the wife who’d broken their marriage vows, the brother who’d betrayed him by sharing her bed. He did it to erase the violent killer he’d once been. “I do it for my soul.”

~~~

Mae Clair can be reached here …

Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:

Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

~~~~~~~

Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll be featuring other posts as they are received.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entry Part 9) by Michele Jones @chelepie #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Michele Jones.
Last week I set the following Challenge: Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

concert-2566002_1280

This Contribution by Michele Jones.

Linda walked into the local store—to chat with Carrie and confirm plans for later.

“Hey Carrie, still done at five? Dinner and shopping remember?”

“Yes, I’ll be ready to go at five.”

“Great.” Linda walked to the chip aisle. After staring at the shelves, she decided on Red Hot Chips. On the way to the counter, she grabbed a bottle of water and a sour cream doughnut.

She was third in line, behind an elderly man and a hot looking guy. The elderly man didn’t have enough cash and was trying to decide what to put back. He looked as though he needed what he had, she had to help.

“Look mister, you have to put something back. I can’t wait all day. If you knew you didn’t have the money, you shouldn’t have grabbed so much stuff.” She crossed her arms. “Well…”

Linda couldn’t believe how she treated that man. Cassie would never behave like that. What a jerk. She stepped in front of the hot guy and asked, “How much does he need?”

“He’s two dollars and sixty-five cents short.”

Linda threw a five on the counter. “Here. Keep the change in case anyone else needs it.” Unbelievable. She placed her items on the counter and headed for the door.

The old man stopped her. “Thank you.”

“I’m sorry she behaved like that. I’ve had that happen to me too, and there’s no call for that.”

A tear formed in the corner of his eye. He thanked her again and left the store with his small bag of groceries.

Before Linda got out the door Carrie came running up. “I saw what happened. Val was out of line. I’ll make sure our boss knows what happened. See you at five.”

Linda looked over her shoulder and saw the people around the cash register, especially the hot guy. Oh well, she’d probably never see him again anyway. No need to worry about what he thought.

Linda pulled in a few minutes early. Only a couple more minutes and Cassie would be done. She looked at her watch as Cassie ran out the door.

“Change of plans. We’re going to the 315 Ocean’s concert.”

“Seriously. Don’t mess with me. You know I tried to get tickets and they were sold out.”

“Well, we’re going.” She waved the tickets. “Now drive. Oh, I also have a parking pass. We got primo parking too.”

“How—”

“Don’t worry about it, just drive.”

Linda smiled and floored it. They got to the arena and parked. Primo parking for sure. Once inside the ticket taker showed them to a private suite.

“A private suite? How did you get these tickets?”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, we got backstage passes too.”

“Cassie—”

“Just enjoy the concert.”

The concert had everyone on their feet. Ray McQuaid, the lead singer, really put on a show. Once he started singing Home Sweet Home the crowd went wild. The only thing that would make this concert any better would be performing her favorite song, My Demons.

Ray raised the mic after finishing and took a bow. Wow, he was hot.

“I’d like to acknowledge a special person. Someone that took the time to help a man in need. Linda Kiner.”

Linda’s mouth dropped. “Is he talking about me?”

“Yep.”

“But how?”

“He was the hot guy in line behind the man you gave the money to.”

“That’s—”

“He asked me about you after you left, and I told him about you. He left and came back with the tickets, and passes. You really made an impression on him.”

She couldn’t believe it. An impression. On Ray McQuaid. She didn’t even know it was him. Wow. Today was her lucky day. One small act of kindness. This is something she wouldn’t forget.

A familiar chord. Her favorite song, My Demons. He played her favorite song. After he finished, he thrust him arm in the air. Bowed and left the stage. And she had backstage passes. Her lucky day indeed.

***

Michele can be reached here …

 Twitter

URL: http://www.michelejones.com
Email: icoachgirls@gmail.com
Whois: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/70.90.235.33 (IP: 70.90.235.33)

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.