Looking for Lasher

victrola

Haunting Blues

Looking for Lasher

The clouds cast shadows on the patchwork ground, Lucy had her head resting on the window of the plane. The humming vibration of the engines was a rhythmic catalyst to her daydreams. Lucy’s Aunt Susana had invited her down to New Orleans for her birthday, as a very special treat, she was invited to Anne Rice’s, Vampire Ball. An avid reader, Lucy had long ago read the Vampire Chronicles, remembering visions held of Louis, and Lestat rooming in the dark shadows, seducing willing victims to their parlor, and now, she was going to get to see some of this herself. A school friend had loaned her “The Witching Hour,” to read in light on her trip, she had read most of it, between packing, and hanging with her friends. Her imagination was saturated with the rich history of the Mayfair witches, and to think, she was attending her party!

Lucy smiled and closed her eyes as she thought of her aunt. Susana March is a quirky, but exciting woman. She is tall and blonde, and her long flowing black lace shawl, with fringe swooshes all round her when she moves. Lucy’s aunt owns “The Black Rose” an old bookstore in the French Quarter, with apartments above. It is said to be on the Haunted History Tour, and once occupied by a Voodoo Priestess. It was all so darkly exciting. Lucy had only visited her Aunt Susana and the shop on a trip with her parents when she was ten, the bookstore had intrigued and frightened her. Lucy awoke from her daydream as the plane landed and she was ready to deplane.

A very handsome man with a sign bearing her name had picked her up at the airport, with a smile that twinkled of a sensuous nature, he approached her, “Lucy? Hi I am Roger Bertrand, a friend of your aunts. She had some work to do and ask if I would fetch you. Which of course, is my pleasure.” A bit disarmed by his good looks, Lucy, smiled, and stammered, “. . . Hmm yeah sure. Thank you.” Roger collected her carry-on bag and as a Southern gentleman is will to do placed his hand on the small of her back to guide her through the crowd.

On the car ride Roger explained that Susana was helping her friend get ready for her annual mask ball, and that Lucy was invited, and would be attending that evening. “Mask ball? Why I don’t happen to have a ball gown with me.” At this Roger smiled and chuckled, “Oh, not to worry dear one that has all been handled. “Mercy, the lady that works for Susana has everything laid out for you.”

The apartments were above the store, they had high ceilings, ornate moldings, and was decorated with Victorian antiques, and things she had gathered in her years in India. Susana was, a writer for Rolling Stone, and had covered The Beatles, and their transcendental years. Layers of bright paisley fabrics covered the windows, and rich Persian rugs festooned the floors. The room’s primary wall covering was bookshelves from floor to ceiling. The reading room was complete with a small fireplace and a bay window that looked down on the street below. “Well Lucy I have to go take care of some business but I will be back to escort you to the ball. Susana will be dressing there, and Mercy will be here if you need anything. Susana said to tell you to make yourself at home, and she will see you later.” Lucy smiled at the face with the luminous skin and sharp dark features. He took her hand and kissed it gently, “I will be back to pick you up around six o’clock. Be ready, we do not want to be late.” At that he smiled and bowed, yes he bowed, and turned and descended the stairs.

Slightly mesmerized Lucy sat in the comfy easy chair, and devoured the rest of the book. Mercy a sweet and demure lady of Creole complexion had brought her some tea, and Benet’s. Lucy fell asleep in the afternoon warmth of the sun coming into the cove in the bay window. When she awoke it was dark in the room and all she could see was a light coming from upstairs. She couldn’t hear a sound, weren’t there people in the store below? It was very quiet and Lucy heard music coming from an old Victrola upstairs. She tried to stand and she couldn’t finally she stood cautiously and approached the stairs.

. . . to be continued. . .

Sindy Simms

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

I started this story last year and did not finish it. It still has a part two which you will have to wait until next year to read. Thanks everyone for participating. Photobucket has been a biotch so I do not have badges yet. Love you. Happy Birthday, to me.

Advertisements

Little Time Left

house

Little Time Left

By Martha Ostout

She’s traveled far, her shoes long since worn out and her coat in tatters. Her hair was matted and dirty, stray leaves and even a few twigs caught in the mess. Her face, once fair and almost translucent was smudged with dirt and sun-burned.

She hugged the small swaddled from in her arms closer to her chest and was grateful that the infant was a deep sleeper once more.

She didn’t know if she’d be able to do this if her young one had been awake.

But maybe she’d have been able to push forward anyway. She had learned that she could be strong when she had to be even if Marin had never believed it of her in the past.

Illiana did not sigh, she didn’t have the breath for it.

She only had until the new moon to finish her preparations before her time was up.

The village ahead was a welcome sight and not just because of the threatening clouds overhead. Illiana hurried to  the small house that she recognized from so many years in the past and prayed that her dear friend was still living. The door creeped open and Illiana did sigh this time, though in relief.

“Marin.”

The older woman on the other side looked surprised. “Illiana, what are you doing here?”

Illiana tightened her hands on the bundle in her arms before asking quietly if she could enter.

Marin didn’t respond, just stood back and held the wooden door open. The downtrodden woman on the outside hurried in, but didn’t accept the mug of warm tea or anything else. She simply held the bundle out to her old friend and said nothing until the woman took the child and peered down at his sleeping face.

“He’s gorgeous, Illiana.” Marin cooed before glancing up to where her friend was.

Only to see nothing, no sign other than the baby that Illiana had ever been there.


This was supposed to go somewhere else, but once it was written it was written…

marthaOstout

One Night

636015262898033217-1931788098_ryedaleblue

Hungry Ghost

Amanda was inspired by the piece, so listen whilst you read.

One Night

Amanda Camacho

Ikuno always had a strange fascination with death and dark magic, but I promised her I would visit her after her husband’s death. Before I walked into my cousin Ikuno’s home I thought I shouldn’t have come, because I felt like someone was watching me. Her house stood alone, and it was styled to a traditional Japanese home. From the outside it looked normal, with grass and a single dead cherry blossom tree standing alone. I walked up the path to her house, and a harsh wind blew against my face. I thought I heard a harsh hissing sound behind me, but I brushed it off thinking it was Ikuno’s little friends. When we were children Ikuno once told me that there are invisible guards who she calls her little friends that protect her home. I always wondered what the house needed protection from, maybe from all the dark magic Ikuno does. I brush off the feeling of being watched, and I tighten my crimson scarf against my neck.

I noticed that the front door was left wide open, and I thought Ikuno must have accidently left it open.

“Ikuno, I’m here!” I called out waiting for a response, but I didn’t hear anything and before I stepped in I heard a sharp scream. I rush in the house and follow where I heard the scream. I found Ikuno on the kitchen floor clutching her bleeding left hand.

“Ikuno, what happened? Didn’t you hear me when I called out to you?” I said while I grabbed a first add kit.

“Oh, Arisa thank goodness you are here. I’m sorry, I was trying to make us tea but I dropped the cups.” Ikuno said in a soft voice, and she flinched while I cleaned and wrapped her hand.

“You have to be careful, and don’t worry I’ll make the tea. The door was wide open and I was worried.”

Ikuno stands up gracefully, and she pulls her long thin black hair in a silver clip. She looks at me and give me a closed lip smile, “Was it? You know weird things are always happening here.”

“I know but you have to be—“

“Yes, yes I understand be careful. Do not worry, I’ll wait for you outside in the garden.” And with that Ikuno turned around swiftly and her sheer white gown looked like an upside down lily flower.

I shook my head, and I watched Ikuno light small candles. I cleaned up the mess she made, and I made mint tea. I walked outside and set the tea set in middle of the table.

“Thank you.” She said, and she pulled her eyes away from the freshly planted red ponies.

“How are you feeling you look a little pale?”

“Oh, just fine. Mmm the tea is good. You’ve always done better than me.” Ikuno set her head to one side and closed her eyes. As if someone was whispering in her ear quietly in her ear. I felt like she was avoiding the main reason why I came here in the first place. I took a sip of my tea, and I noticed that there is black dust on her fingers.

“Ikuno, do you want to talk about–?” Ikuno snapped her head up, and looked at me with wide eyes.

“Don’t. Don’t say his name. You know you don’t say a dead sprits name the place where they deceased.”

“I know but,” I stopped. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, I just thought you would want to talk about it.”

She didn’t say anything for a long time, and she stared into the candle flame. All I could hear was my breathing and the soft wind blowing. I was afraid that I crossed a line, and she was going to lock herself in her room and practice her magic. She finally looked up at me with glassy eyes, and I looked down in shame. I felt my hand being squeezed by a cold grip, and I looked up at her.

“Please, understand,” I nodded my head “I don’t want to end our night on a sour note. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you last.” Ikuno said.

We did not talk about her deceased husband again, and we talked about our childhood instead.

At night fall, I put on my light blue night gown and when I was about to climb into bed there was a knock on my door. I opened it to find my cousin holding a candle against her face, and she had this child look in her eyes.

“Arisa, will you come with me?” she whispered

“What?,” she put her one finger against her lips, and I whispered. “It’s eleven at night, where do you want to go?”

She just gives me a brown coat, and she walks down the hallway. I bite my lip, and follow her to the garden. The single candle flame was playing tricks against my eyes, and I thought I was seeing shadow figures. She gave me the candle to hold, and I took it gratefully. The clouds covered the moon, and I held out the candle father.

“It’s almost time.” Ikuno said under her breath.

I love my cousin, but sometimes she sacred me. She held my left hand that wasn’t holding the candle, and all of a sudden I felt like we were children again. The clouds moved past the moon and the entire garden lit up by the moonlight.

“He’s here.” She said.

I looked around wondering who she could be talking about, and then I saw who she was looking for. A ghastly figure stood in the center, and I realized it was Ryan. Ikuno’s husband. I couldn’t move out of fear.

“Please, don’t tell me you see what I see.” I said, and I dropped the candle.

“Do not worry, he will not come close. Now you understand why I can never leave.” Ikuno said, and when I looked down there was a bony hand holding mind. My eyes slowly traveled up, and it was not Ikuno’s face anymore but a more deathly looking one. I screamed, but she put her hand against my mouth. I stared into huge black sockets, and she whispered.

“Always welcome death, Arisa.” And she disappeared, and just as quickly as the candle light did.

 

Visit Amanda’s Blog

This is Amanda’s story from last year. I guess everyone else is as busy as I am.

Have a safe and happy All Hallows Eve everyone~

Hungry Ghost

13427772_10207821450666752_2789597271015758106_n

Hungry Ghosts

To be the son of an impious man was shameful.  My father was greedy, coveting riches ceaselessly.  We lived in a palace full of treasures but he always wanted more.

However, nothing was harder to bear than his lack of care and respect for the dead.  I often found myself wondering if our home – my father in particular – was cursed.  His insatiable desire to possess everything he saw was bad enough, but he despised waste.  It would have been a noble quality in any but him.

I would place offerings of food and drink out for the spirits of our ancestors during Ghost Month, when spirits left Diyu, the lower realm, and on Ghost Day, when the spirits came to visit the living.  I didn’t want to anger my ancestors, and I couldn’t bear the thought that they might go hungry.

But my father didn’t believe in any of it.  He would not publicly say this, of course; to do so, would probably bring ruin upon our home.  Nonetheless, I often noticed that once I put out the offerings, he would take them back, returning them to the kitchen under the cover of darkness, when the thought no one saw.

The shame!

I had observed him doing this the previous two nights, and today was Ghost Day

I was standing on the edge of the river with others from the town, watching the paper lanterns float away on the current.  Everyone present was hoping that the light from the lanterns would guide any wandering spirits away from this place so they could cause no mischief.  The full moon above glowed brilliantly, its golden-silver orb reflected in the water. And silently I wondered if the ghosts of our ancestors would go hungry tonight.

And what they would do in return.

When I returned home to bed I couldn’t sleep.  Finally, when I couldn’t stand tossing and turning anymore, I got up, careful not to wake my sleeping wife, who, like the rest of the household and town, was oblivious to my father’s insulting attitude towards the ancestors.  I decided to go for a little walk around the palace, to see if that would still my unquiet mind.

And that’s when I saw it, a dark shadow climbing over the roof of one of the outer buildings.  Even in the light of the full moon I couldn’t make it out clearly.  I wasn’t even completely sure of what I had seen.  However, fearing attack, I decided to investigate.  My father was an important, powerful man and this would not have been the first time an attempt had been made on his life.  I had my dagger at my side and was capable of using it to deadly effect, if it was indeed an assassin.

My fear proved true, for whoever it was ran silently passed the treasury.  Many valuable items were displayed all around the palace but these were ignored too.

It could only be an assassin.

When they reached my father’s chamber, they opened the door and slipped inside.  A moment later, I did the same.  My plan was to take them unaware, and immobilise them quickly before any damage could be done.  If I sounded the alarm, not only might they kill my father, but themselves also.  I needed to determine who had hired them and why.

Inside the room, all was in darkness.  Slowly I crept along to where my father slept.  I held the advantage in the dark, knowing the layout of the room; the assassin would have to let their eyes adjust to the dimness, or so I hoped.

Noiselessly, I released my dagger from my belt, and turned the corner into my father’s sleeping quarters.  That’s when I paused.

The shadow was hovering over my father, who was gasping for breath, and yet I couldn’t see what the assassin was doing.  There were no hands around my father’s throat.  No knife was protruding from his chest.

‘Stop!’ I called out.  Two blood red eyes shone at me out of the darkness as the culprit looked up.  And that’s when I realised this was no assassin at all.

In shock, I dropped my dagger, it’s clanging on the floor was almost deafening in the silence.

I tried to move but something, some otherworldly power, held me fast to where I was.  I tried to call out for help, but again, something had made me mute.

I knew what was happening…and what was going to happen.  I knew what hungry ghosts did to satiate their craving.  And when my father exhaled his last breath, he became the meal he was so unwilling to offer our ancestors.

When it was done, the shadow left the bloody remains on the bed and approached me.  I thought my heart would burst out from my chest in fear.

‘You are honourable,’ it whispered to me.  ‘You are safe from the spirit of your ancestors.  Continue as you have always done.  Respect them.  Honour them.  Placate them.’

‘What of my father?’ I asked, the power of speech now returned to me.

‘His greed in life will plague him in death.’

I understood what that meant.

My father was a hungry ghost too now.

Sammi Cox

Spooktacular News!

Witches

Bubble, bubble gum of course. No, really it is that time of year. What time of year you ask? My Annual Spooky Writing Challenge. Come one, come all. I should have a new batch of classmates from ASU, bringing some stories this year I hope. Me? I don’t know?

I do have a spooky story regarding a Macbeth essay rough draft, and seven minutes of marking by my professor. It was horrific. I lived. Grade not in yet on final paper, but if you hear a scream echoing throughout the cosmos? That’s me.

All joking aside. I welcome your contributions.

Boom shakalaka……

The Secret Diaries of Ruby Ryanne and Aroura LeNayes – Prologue

Welcome my new friend, and check out her writing.

Sam's Inner Workings

Ruby

I’m being followed. Watched. I can feel it.

I can’t run from them but they haven’t made any advances yet. They watch me very close; they’re afraid of what I can do, what I might be capable of.

The funny part about the situation they have created is that they have no idea what all is within my grasp, nor will they find out by simple observation. They don’t realize this because they are all idiots. They think they are all super smart scientists, but they don’t understand the world I was born into. So they sit and watch. Listen for any clues or weaknesses. They’re looking for her, and more people like me, who are cursed. They’re hoping to catch her – us and break the rest of us before we take our final stance.

It wasn’t always this intense; they didn’t use to keep such close tabs…

View original post 73 more words

The Black Lab

Black lab

The Black Lab

By

Josh Kornexl

The lab was coal black with just the slightest dusting of fine white hairs on her slender snout leading up to her nose. She was the most affectionate companion that he had ever known. She nuzzled her cold nose up to the back of his bare knee and even though the sudden sensation was uncomfortable, he smiled to himself. They had been together for many years now.

 

He turned in his chair and ran his hand over the length of her smooth coat. She looked up at him with the deep brown eyes the color of a cup of coffee with two teaspoons of creamer in it. They sat under peaked lids and seemed to him to resonate a sense of fulfillment and contentment.

 

The small wooden Thomas mantle clock chimed off the time and brought the man from his tired reverie in front of the laptop. The hour was late and it was dark outside the window. He had been working diligently and tirelessly for hours now. He redundantly looked at the silver watch on his wrist to confirm what the clock had already told him. The hands pointed even with the twelve. Another night had almost past him by.

 

He swiveled the chair around and stood up with creaking knees. The dog tried to stand but struggled so he walked over to her and leaning down with gentle hands, picked her butt up from the wooden floor; holding it as she straightened her legs setting her feet into motion. She followed him into the bedroom.

 

The man stood in the doorway, shrouded by the light from the hallway, which dimly illuminated the already slumbering figure deep under the covers. As quietly as he could, he called to the dog to lay down on her own bed before he discarded the days clothes into the laundry basket. She turned three or four times before finally settling into the right position and kind of fell into place as her tired legs folded under her, before tucking her tail up under her chin.

 

He lay down and closed his eyes, letting the needed sleep overtake him; taking him deep under the depths like a vessel sinking beneath the waves of a vast ocean.

 

The sun was shining brightly and warmed his face. The scent of steaks sizzling on the barbecue grill as the smoke wafted through the air. He flipped two of them gently before placing the tongs back on the side table. He distinctly heard the side gate open and close from the far side of the house with a clink.

 

He turned to see a large German shepherd with a pale blue collar come bouncing around the bushes from the gate side of the house. He seemed to be a puppy bursting with energy but was at least a hundred pounds of lean muscle and course brown and black fur. The man looked directly into the dog’s eyes and was reminded of his own black lab. Walking over to the back door, He turned the handle opening it and letting his dog out from the confines of the house. The two bounded through the lush green grass, playing like two puppies.

 

He heard a whistle come from what seemed like far, far off into the distance. The German shepherd turned to the man and looked directly into his eyes. There seemed to lay a profound intelligence in the sandy brown depths of them that said a thousand silent words, tickling the lobes of his memories and senses all at once. His own black lab came bounding over to him. He leaned down, scratched her chin, behind her ear and under her collar.

“It’s okay. I will always love you. Thank you for all the years you’ve been there.” He said with the smile of a small boy.

 

The black lab turned to the German shepherd and then the two ran off along the side of the house. The man heard the gate close again with another soft clink. Off in the distance, he heard a deep laughter of an older man. A sense of peace then washed over him as he took a deep breath of the scent of the steak on the grill, turning back to his task at hand.

 

The next morning, the man woke with a sigh. He then remembered his dream and sat up sharply, looking over at the dog on her bed. He threw back the covers and stood up, but instinctively knew what he would find. Her still form was as silent as a still ocean in the late night. No waves moved on or off the beach as no air refreshed her lungs. He crouched down and her form and hugged her to him, her legs stiffened already stiff with time.