Mary’s Boy – A Write … Edit … Publish post

This is my contribution to the inaugural edition of Write … Edit … Publish.

For more information on this monthly challenge check out the tab at the top of the page, where you can find out more about the host and how to get involved.

My story for this months theme of Vacation is called …

Mary’s Boy

‘Shhh, I’m trying to listen,’ said Ben, concentrating.

‘I’m trying, but I can’t get comfortable,’ whined Simon, shuffling in his sleeping bag. ‘Everywhere I lie there’s something in my back.’

‘Shhh!’ Ben insisted. ‘I’m sure they’re in there now, I heard the zip go.’

Simon held his breath, not wanting to give away any sound. All he could hear was the breeze against the trees, and the pull of the guy rope.

‘Can’t you hear them?’ whispered Ben.

Simon strained his ears and found he could make out voices. ‘I can just about hear,’ he replied. Sitting up he shifted over to his brother, and they both sat as close to the tent wall as they could to listen.

‘Have you enough there?’ came the woman’s voice.

‘Yes, thank you mother.’

‘Mother?’ asked Simon, ‘I thought she was on her own.’

‘She is,’ confirmed Ben, ‘but every night I’ve heard two voices coming from that tent.’

‘What? You mean she’s leaving him alone in there all day?’

‘Must be,’ nodded Ben.

As they sat listening, the two voices were drowned out as their parents returned chattering and laughing. There was no hope of hearing anything more after that so the boys gave up their eavesdropping and laid down for sleep.

*************************************

The next morning it was Simon’s turn to fetch the milk from the little site shop. Barely awake he hadn’t registered the two grownups talking by the till until he was standing behind them waiting to pay.

‘So, Mary’s back again this year?’ said the lady with the newspaper in her hand.

‘She’s been coming every year since the accident,’ replied the shopkeeper.

‘I don’t know if I could face it myself,’ said the lady, ‘too many memories.’

‘Her husband refuses, so she just comes on her own.’

‘Excuse me,’ interrupted Simon, ‘are you talking about the lady in the red tent? I think she’s here with her son.’

The two looked at him kindly. ‘That can’t be Mary, dear,’ said the lady, ‘her son left this world six years ago.’

‘Yes,’ said the shopkeeper, ‘a boating accident out on the lake.’

‘Oh,’ was all Simon could manage. He left his money on the counter and headed back, looking at the red tent warily as he approached. As he got closer the zip came undone and Mary stepped out.

‘Good morning,’ she said, smiling at him. ‘What a beautiful day.’

‘Yes, it is,’ he replied, as politely as he could. As she pushed the tent flap open he caught a glimpse inside, and saw only a single sleeping bag on one side and a rucksack on the other.

He quickened his pace as he tried to process what he’d heard in the shop.

‘But he can’t be dead,’ Ben was saying, ‘we heard him. He’s been with her every night.’

‘All I know is what the man in the shop said,’ insisted Simon, ‘and I only saw one sleeping bag.’

‘Hmmm, some thing’s going on here. We need to find out where she’s going. She always starts talking when she comes back from her walk and the suns gone down. What can she be doing on her own at night?’

‘I don’t know,’ said Simon, worrying that one of Ben’s schemes was about to engulf them. ‘Maybe she’s just taking a walk.’

‘Every night?’

Simon had no answer for that and knew Ben had already concocted his plan. All he could do now was go along with it.

*************************************

‘Sorted,’ said Ben, returning to the tent. ‘I’ve told mum you’re sick and that I’ll look after you while they enjoy themselves.’

It wasn’t a complete lie, at least, thought Simon. He did feel a little sick at the thought of running off into the woods.

‘Quick,’ said Ben, excitedly, ‘there she goes.’

They let her get a good distance ahead before following. She led them through the woods on the outskirts of the camp, and eventually came out on the edge of a large lake that shimmered under the moonlight.

The boys remained behind the trees as they watched her go to the waters edge. She ambled up and down by the shore for a while, the moonlight high in the night sky casting long shadows around them.

Finding a spot, Mary crouched down and extended her fingers into the water, dipping them in and out as though looking for something underneath. Finally she stopped searching and pushed her hand further into the water and then stayed still for so long they didn’t know whether or not to be concerned. Her lips began moving as she muttered to herself, getting faster and more frantic.

Suddenly she stopped and in one fluid motion she stood up. Holding onto her hand and emerging from the water they saw an arm appear along with her own hand. It carried on until a shoulder appeared, alongside a chest and drooping head.

She walked from the water until what they saw was the figure of a small child, dripping from head to foot. She was turning with him towards the trees to head back, but the boys had already bolted by the time she’d passed their hiding place.

Word count: 863

A detailed critique of this story would be most appreciated, as would a critique partner who reads and writes science fiction and fantasy, as well as a little bit of horror.

Mistake – A WWBH post

This post is part of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. For more details of this challenge check out my tab at the top.

This weeks picture:

20130809_202801

This weeks words:          Prank, printer, profit, capsicum, goal

This weeks story:

Mistake

The sound of the stadium crowd filled my ears, making it harder to hear what was following me. I stumbled as I ran and felt the blood seeping into my shoes. What had started out as a harmless prank had now turned into something far more dangerous.

Running between supporting pillars, the seats above me rattled and shook from of all the supporters jumping up and down. I needed to concentrate on my direction but couldn’t help glancing back to see how much it had gained. In this darkness I couldn’t see much, but it’s snorting and heavy breathing told me it wasn’t far behind.

I just had to hold on until Blake came back with help. He was always a much better sprinter than I was and he’d gone as fast as he could. One of us had to stay and keep it distracted, it would be disastrous to lead it out into the open. We couldn’t let anyone else die for our stupidity.

The guilt of Andrea’s death slowed me down as much as my leg, clouding my judgment as I tried to make my way. My feet kicked aside all the rubbish that had fallen between the slats and seats, dropped hot dogs, burgers complete with onions and capsicum. I had to watch my footing, to slip now would mean the end of me, and possibly others.

The spell was a mistake, that was obvious. We had no way to know what we were doing, We just wanted to put the other guys out of the way. They’d been stealing our profits with their cut price merchandise, and we just wanted a little something to keep them occupied.

The snarls grew louder now and as I turned to look I could see the shreds of Luke’s t-shirt hanging from the creature that used to be him. The transformation had taken seconds, and he was barely recognisable under the mass of hair and drooling jowls.

A huge roar came overhead as the home team declared a victory, the pinnacle of their unbeaten record goal for the season. No one would hear me scream over that.

I turned and put all my remaining energy into running. The pain in my leg burned but I had to keep going. I could see light ahead of me, the floodlights at full strength while the crowd all headed home. I was drawing it away from them now, in the opposite direction. I had done my job.

I raced out into the open and saw the last of the fans heading to the car park on the other side of the pitch. Blake hadn’t come back yet, and my body had endured it’s last. He must come soon, when it was done with me it would be hungry for more blood.

I felt the claws dig into my back, pushing me to the ground, I caught a glimpse of something running towards me. Blake screamed but I couldn’t hear. Only blackness awaited me now.

Word count: 500

Escaping the Heat – A WWBH post

This post is part of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. For more details of this challenge check out my tab at the top.

This weeks picture:

This weeks words:          Passport, sunrise, carousel, travel, school

This weeks story:

Escaping the Heat

It was so hot I was convinced I was melting. Why Adrian thought today was a good day for exploring the island I’ll never know. So far we’d ventured as far as the beach or to the pool, both places to cool off while enjoying the sun.

This morning though, he’d decided he wanted to take in the local culture by wandering round the town trying to fit in. Well, he couldn’t have stood out more with his bright green shorts and pink skin. Neither of us ever tanned well, it made me wonder why we ever bothered traveling to these places in the first place. Sure, they were nice to see I suppose, and to say that we’d been there. I always spent most of the time suffering in the heat and not having anything resembling a nice tan to show for it.

Exasperated by his attempts to converse with the locals again, I found myself a cool spot under a tree to try and gain some kind of control over my temperature. My water supply was almost empty and I wanted to save it for when I was sure I could refill again.

Lounging on the grass I found my gaze wandering and my attention was caught by a cute little shack. It wouldn’t be something I’d usually take notice of, I had no interest in boats or sailing at all, but something about this place attracted me. Adrian looked like he was going to be busy for a while so I headed into the shop for a browse.

The coolness of the place hit me and was a welcome change to the rays beating down outside. I was surprised to find more than just boating equipment on display, and was quite taken with a quaint little carousel that seemed to revolve endlessly without any noticeable means of power.

As I strolled up and down the aisles I couldn’t fail to notice the dark figure watching me from the doorway to the office. His eyes were fixed on me, and burned into my back each time I walked away from him. Trying not to think about him I concentrated my focus on a painting hanging on the wall of a typical Caribbean sunrise. I was so transfixed with its imagery that the sound of the school bell across the road made me jump out of my skin.

I sighed in relief just before the thump came down on the back of my head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Opening my eyes was a struggle as my head throbbed. I could hear voices but not clear enough to make them out. They hadn’t noticed me stirring and I tried to move slowly as I looked at them. My heart began to hammer when I noticed what he had in his hands, and then his words registered in my ears.

‘With an authentic passport like this, she’ll be our best sale yet.’

Word count: 487