Survivor – A WWBH post

This post is part of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop, a weekly meme designed to inspire creativity and encourage sharing of stories.

For more information and to see my other stories, check out my Writer Wednesday Blog Hop tab.

The challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction in up to 500 words, incorporating two given pictures into the tale. This week I bring you …

Survivor

The air within the house was heavy, clinging to the walls and ceiling. Nobody had been around in the weeks since the devastation, the windows shut tight, keeping in the musty scent of neglect. Through the grimy windows I could see the blue sky, seeming to mock the efforts of the salvage teams as we prodded and poked our way through what remained. Such a picture would have been far from possible when the bombs had been dropped, the flames and smoke spreading through the town.

Coffee and grinderThis house was the same as all the others, signs of immediate abandonment everywhere. Once the sirens had sounded there wasn’t much time for an orderly exit. This family had just been finishing their evening meal, the dirty plates and glasses still scattered over the kitchen table. Half eaten food now had little resemblance to anything edible, instead adding to the pungency that emanated throughout the place. On the worktop the after-dinner coffee had been dropped, the beans scattered all over and toppling onto the floor.

With nothing worth recovering in here, I made my way gradually through the rest of the house. The lack of noise made it an uncomfortable task. In any house there was often the expected creaks and groans of the structure, the humming of electrics, the clattering of human activity. All of that was absent here though.

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In the main bedroom, empty suitcases lay open on the bed, a pile of clothes left in the middle of the floor where they’d been dropped halfway to being packed. It still baffled me that some people had been so willing to sacrifice their lives for such trivialities. I shuddered as I remembered the elderly couple, caught up in the flames while trying to load their car with family trinkets. Their burned remains still haunted me some nights, clinging to each other as they realised they had no escape.

Leaving the bedroom, my attention was distracted by a small noise from behind one of the other doors. My skin crawled as the realisation sunk in, how out of place it was in the silence of the house. I began to doubt myself, my own senses, when the noise came again, a scraping of nails against ceramics. Something was in the bathroom.

I felt myself become dizzy as I contemplated that thought. Something in the bathroom. Nothing was supposed to have survived, and we’d seen first hand what had happened to the natives who had lingered.

There was a shuffling now, coming closer to the door, coming closer to me. I had to leave, to tell someone that something had remained. It had to be dealt with before it could recover.

But somehow I was rooted to the spot, curiosity and fear battling it out within me. I couldn’t move as the door began to open, and whatever it was on the other side edged its fingers around the gap.

Word count: 486

Fun With Freewriting – Week 7: Thief

Another week of free writing fun! Enjoy!

Keeping my head down, I pulled my scarf up around my neck to keep the chill away. One gloved hand over my mouth, my breathing keeping it warm, the other carrying a bag and holding onto the handles just a little too tightly. If I dropped it the entire contents would spill over the pavement, revealing my indiscretion to all.

Lifting the bag, I put both arms around it now, keeping it safe and warm from the elements. I glanced around constantly, on the lookout for anyone who may notice me acting suspiciously, not my usual self. My pace quickened without me even realising it, and I was halfway to the car before I encountered another soul.

Instinctively I clutched the bag more tightly, hiding the contents from view. I made a conscious effort to slow my pace, make it look more natural, and the guy smiles at me politely as we passed. I couldn’t bring myself to return his smile and his face changed to one of puzzlement at my complete lack of manners. I didn’t much care at that point and picked my pace up again.

I could see my car now, I was nearly there. I fumbled in my coat pocket as I glanced up to check the road, and managed to blip the lock as I approached. I squeezed into the drivers side and closed the door against the cold, resting my head against the rest as I finally relaxed, sighing with relief.

I finally managed a peak inside my bag, to see that my quarry was safe on its travels. I was so intent on it that I jumped almost out of my skin at the tap on the window.

 

Fun With Freewriting – Week 6: Crash

Another addition of some free writing fun! I hope you enjoy!

I could feel my eyelids drooping again, my body and mind so tired. I knew I needed to stay awake, that my life depended on it. It hurt now to breathe too deeply, I concentrated on shallower breath and making the most of taking in the oxygen. Somehow I knew that was important.

I didn’t remember much of how I came to be here, most of it went by in such a blur. One minute I remember I was driving along, and now here I am sprawled out on the pavement.

I must have got out of my car at some point, I can see it over there parked on the other side of the road. It looks alright to me. But I’m not. It hurt my head to think about how everything happened, it was taking too much concentration to focus my thoughts. I needed that energy to keep myself awake. To keep myself alive.

I could feel hard and rough ground on the left side of my face, I was lying down making the world look odd at this angle. I could still wiggle the fingers on my left hand, and I could feel my hair with the fingertips. My right hand too seemed to be functioning alright, it took effort but I managed to move my arm up towards my face.

Anything below my waste though was a mystery. There was no pain, it didn’t feel cold, there was just … nothing.

I felt so tired and weak now, my eyes beginning to droop again. I became vaguely aware of the familiar sounds of sirens, the flashes of blue lights and people in bright yellow jackets flitting about the place. They seemed to be concentrating on something on the other side of the road, not far from my car. Then they were looking at my car, inside my car. I tried to will them with my mind, ‘I’m over here! Help me!’

It feels nice to lie with my eyes closed, blocking out all the noise and the chaos around me. I can drift off into my own mind, where I am safe, nothing has happened. I’m lying on the beach, soaking up the warmth of the sun and listening to the lap of the waves as it gently caresses the sand. I hear the children screaming with joy as they chase each other through the surf.

The screaming continues, and I force my eyes open when I realise it’s a real sound now. Struggling to focus I think I can make out someone running over, ‘They’ve found me! They’ve found me!’ On the inside I rejoice. More people are coming now, it’s all going to be alright. Surely …

Fun With Freewriting – Week 5: Deadly

 

And here’s the second of my favourite free-writes for this week …

 

The skin on her cheek had already started to blister, the first sign that she’d been infected. It wouldn’t be long before it spread to the rest of her body, leaving her in agony wanting to scratch and relieve the burning and the itching. Walking out of the room, Riley knew what he had to do. It wasn’t going to be easy on the family and he knew he’d suffer himself. He had been too late for this one, and it was his own fault. If he’d been paying more attention to his job than to his personal affairs then maybe he could have saved this girl.

He walked into the living area where her mother and father sat comforting one another. He would need to get their permission before he went ahead, and it came with the nod of the fathers head as he held his wife in their grief.

He headed back quietly into the bedroom where she was still sleeping, the sedative he’d administered still at work. Over the years he’d learned how to deal with victims kindly, humanely. She would never feel a thing. He bent over his bag and rustled through it for a syringe and vial that would end her suffering, but was distracted by a shuffling outside the window. The storm had long passed and only a gentle wind was left now, but not enough to cause the shutters to blow and bang. He looked up to see an outline in the window, larger than a man and it was banging against the pane, trying to break inside. Riley abandoned his search and pulled his rifle up from the floor. He slunk back into the shadows before he was seen, waiting for his opportunity to slay the beast once and for all.

The thing had managed to get the frame loose from its hinges and it clattered to the ground, a breeze came in through the open gap with a cold blast against Riley’s exposed arms. He hadn’t banked on the parents hearing the commotion, and they opened the door now to see if it was finally over, to see if they could finally grieve fully. He beast looked up in shock to see the intruders and aimed itself at them, but Riley managed to intervene, throwing them out of the door in protection. They all landed on a heap in the hallway, confusion clear on their faces. Riley raced back into the room to face the beast full on but he was too late. Again. It had already fled, and had taken Talia with it. Riley now faced a race against time to recover her before it really became too late …

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Fun With Freewriting – Week 4: Forgive me …

Time for another of my prompted free-writes, 30 minutes of writing whatever flows from a given sentence or idea.

I missed last weeks post so I’ll make up for it this week with two of my favourites instead.

As usual, please bear in mind that it’s very rough and ready, and hasn’t been through much editing other than spell checking! Here is the first …

 

The end of the road leads to my heart. The question is, do you want to go down it. It’s not a straight road by any means, there are plenty of bends and turns, bumps and holes in it. I’d like to think the journey will be worth it in the end but really, only you can decide. You’ve had plenty of troubles in the past, I realise that, but I’m willing to see past all of that for the sake of our happiness. Heaven knows, I’ve not been an angel myself, you only need to look at me to know that. If we can just pull together, for the love of each other, then I know we can make it.

I know it isn’t easy to talk to me, I’m always on my guard you see, you just never know who’s listening. As for intimacy, well, I find that to be completely impossible. I mean, how can we when we’re never allowed to be alone together. Even if we were I’d probably still have my shackles on, and you’d probably not have the strength anyway. I know that’s my fault, and I’ve apologised a hundred times or more. I wish I could take it back. I truly do, but it’s done now isn’t it. I just hope we can eventually get past this particular bump and move on with our lives, together, as it’s supposed to be.

We’ve both got baggage to deal with going forward. I understand that life will be completely different for you when you’re bound to that wheelchair. But they’ll adapt your house and everything, so all is not really lost, is it?

I’m optimistic you see, about the wheelchair thing. I just know you’ll come out of this coma any day now. And when you do I’ll be waiting for you. Not at your bedside as I should be, but not too far away. Once they see it was an accident I’m sure they’ll let me go. And then I’ll be right there to take care of you, to mend what I’ve broken with the car.

We’ve both got some hard work ahead of us but you know, I’m willing if you are …

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The Bringers – A WWBH post

This post is part of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop, a weekly meme designed to inspire creativity and encourage sharing of stories.

For more information and to see my other stories, check out my Writer Wednesday Blog Hop tab.

So, this weeks pictures:

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Scary

And this weeks story:

The Bringers

I didn’t see why I had to come, Hayley was more than capable of holding her own with this Chris guy. She’d hardly acknowledged me since mum had dropped us off anyway. I’m sure she was doing her best to lose me, and I was happy to let her if I was being honest. I liked it even less than she did, this plan that mum was using me for.
‘Make sure you keep an eye on her the whole time,’ she’d said to me, ‘don’t let her wander off alone with that boy.’
Too late, I thought, as I saw her blonde hair disappear behind a large blue and white tent. I could’ve quickened my pace a little, made sure to catch up and play tag-along, but that wasn’t how to get in her good graces and we both knew it.
Instead I wandered around, taking in the sights and sounds. The smell of popcorn and candyfloss wafted on the air from the end of a long queue waiting for the sugary treats, the sound of a generator not quite being drowned out by the music and chatter.
The brightly coloured clowns on one stall drew my attention, their gaping mouths and twisting heads staring out into the night expectantly, waiting for someone to feed their eternal hunger.
As I watched them turning back and forth, a shadow fell in front of me making me turn. Walking past me were five boys from my school, all a few years older.. The crowd parted for them and went silent, watching them go but trying to be subtle about it. Their long leather jackets billowed behind them, their heavy boots leaving prints behind in their wake.
The weather seemed to have turned with their arrival, the clouds overshadowing the bright moon and descending upon us, casting a mist all around. I could barely see the swings of the merry-go-round as it continued to turn in defiance of the arrivals.
I suppressed a shiver as the five carried on past me, most of them not even bothering to look at me. All except the last one, who looked younger than the others and vaguely familiar. As I realised he was actually from my own year at school, he stared deep into my eyes. One side of his mouth lifted slightly, a hint of a grin, and that image stayed with me for a long time.
My attention was caught by a scream then, breaking through the mist from the same direction I’d seen my sister disappear. As this realisation sank in I broke into a run, following the tracks of the heavy boots. I skidded to a halt as I rounded the corner and my eyes took in the scene. All five of them were standing in a circle with Chris, and they were all looking down at one thing. My sister’s body lying in a heap, unmoving.

Word count: 486