Ghosts in the Garage – A WWBH post

The Writer Wednesday Blog Hop is a weekly challenge to compose a piece of flash fiction in 500 words or less.

Every Wednesday there is one picture and five random words, all of which are to be used in the story, and the deadline is the following Tuesday.

The co-hosts of this challenge are Carrie Sorenson, Tena Carr, Nicole Pyles and Leanne Sype.

This weeks picture:

Scary doll

This weeks words:          Factory, dock, comedy, sign, riddle

This weeks story:

Ghosts in the Garage

It has been many years since the factory was closed. I remember being a little girl and feeling the excitement when mother said there would be a new toy for us to try. Father would always bring one of the prototypes home to test out on me and my sister. She would always get the first go, and only if she didn’t like it very much would I eventually have my turn. If he saw me playing with any of them, father took this as a sign that it wouldn’t sell very well and would move onto designing something else.

She didn’t look after things very well, my sister, and would often drop the new toys or leave them somewhere to get lost. She knew she would always get something new to play with, so it didn’t bother her when what she already had didn’t last. Mother would always take the broken dolls from her in dismay, shaking her head at the loss of another. I always assumed that she threw them away, until I made my discovery in the garage one rainy afternoon.

Sometimes, out of spite, my sister would deliberately break one of ‘her’ new dolls if she knew I took a particular fancy to it. She said she’d rather it be on the rubbish pile than let me play with it. She seemed to take pleasure in my discomfort, as though it were some dark comedy of her own design.

After the factory closed father was forced to take a job at the docks, an event that prompted the beginning of his spiral into depression. My sister didn’t understand what had happened, and spurned my father for abandoning her. She couldn’t see why he’d stopped bringing her treats, the whole situation was like a giant unsolvable riddle to her.

The family was torn apart in the end, my mother and I the only ones remaining together. Father drank himself into his grave and my sister couldn’t wait to get out, and didn’t bother to keep in touch once she did.

That rainy afternoon, mother and I were halfway through the mammoth task of packing the house up, getting ready to move. I came across a glass fronted cupboard in the garage, and inside were the broken remains of all the toys my sister had ever played with, all the toys she’d destroyed through her selfishness.

It was an eerie sight to behold, all those disembodied heads with broken faces and half closed eyes. It echoed of the kind of person I realised my sister was on the inside, and for the first time I felt glad that she was out of our lives. Moving around the garage as I packed, the cupboard filled me with a growing sense of unease, I felt the gaze of all the mistreated dolls follow me wherever I went.

When I turned to look at them, I was sure they turned away from me just as quickly.

Word count: 495

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15 thoughts on “Ghosts in the Garage – A WWBH post

  1. Heather,
    Great to see you’re still doing the WWBH!
    I second what JP has said. I make a point of stretching WAY out of the box with every WWBH and do something completely different and from a different perspective than what my first instinct is. This photo prompted similarities in all the stories, and even some that were thematically identical. All of the shorts are dark as well. Very interesting phenomenon … never seen the like before.
    Your piece was outstanding. Your reference to the box of broken dolls being likened to the sister’s soul was fantastic. Good work, and a very entertaining read.

    ~Christopher

    • Thanks for your kind words Christopher. It’s pleasing to know that some of what I planned for the story came across in the final draft.
      I agree, I’ve never seen such similarities between stories in all the time I’ve been doing WWBH.

      • It’s pretty trippy! Makes me want to know more about the picture and the photographer. What did it represent to him/her? Must have been very powerful for it to have such a “measurable” effect on 6+ writers. The truth is always stranger than fiction, right?
        Cya next wwbh!

  2. Pingback: Writer Wednesday Blog Hop – July 17, 2013 | Jottings and Writings

  3. This is really good, Heather! My favorite line was “It echoed of the kind of person I realised my sister was on the inside…” There is something quite profound in likening the dark and borderline sinister air around the broken dolls with the sister’s character.

    Very well done, overall. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Blog Hop Photo Reveal! | Writings and Ruminations

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