*Micro-story written for Story Saturday’s weekly writing challenge.
*Micro-story written for Story Saturday’s weekly writing challenge.
A guest post I wrote recently recounting a frightening experience I had as a girl.
This story is taken from the prompt created by Liam J Cross Writing & Editing:
There is a lot to learn from inquisitiveness. And as you look through the binoculars, you find out just how much.
It was just a stupid dare.
I was visiting a friend who lived near the coast. Crissy. We hadn’t seen each other since high school. I was on break from college, and she had a day off from work.
We were on our way to town when she took a detour out in the middle of nowhere.
“Hey, where are we going?” I asked.
“There’s someplace I want to show you first.” She said.
And pulled off the graveled road. All I saw was this open grassy meadow only I couldn’t see very far as it was covered in this heavy fog. In the distance I could hear a low roar.
“Is that the ocean I hear?” I asked.
“Yep.” Crissy replied.
“So, why are we here?”
“There’s this local urban legend about this place.” She said.
Oh, great. She hadn’t changed much at all since high school.
“Crissy, I don’t want to do this.” I remembered all too well the last time she did this to me.
“No worries, Bec. I promise you won’t end up in the ER this time.” She smiled.
I rolled my eyes at her, and then let out a loud sigh. “I give up. What’s this local urban legend?”
“Some years ago, twenty I think, police picked up a man roaming this field.” She began. “He was shoeless, and mumbling about a girl haunting him. After further prodding, the police learned that a year prior this man had kidnapped a girl, raped and then killed her, and dumped her body into the ocean nearby. He claimed that every night since she would climb up out of the ocean, and go after him in his dreams. He returned to look for her body, but couldn’t find it. He begged the police to help.”
Crissy paused, and looked over at me.
“Did the police help him?”
“Yes, they called in a crime unit to search up and down the coast, but they never found a body.”
“And what happened to the man?”
“The police had him committed to a psyche ward.” Crissy said. “He died a few months later. He was found in bed, strangled to death.”
“Creepy.” I said.
“Yeah. They say that if you come to this place on a foggy day, and look towards the ocean, you may see a girl climb up from the ledge, and then disappear in to the fog.”
“Here.” She handed me a pair of binoculars. “I dare you to look.”
“This is crazy, Cris.”
“I double dare you.” She said with a grin.
I yanked the item from her hands. “For the record, I didn’t want to do this.”
“Be a good sport.” She said.
“Whatever.” I muttered and looked through the binoculars. All I saw was this thick white mist, and nothing beyond. “I can’t see a thing. Now, can we go?”
“You didn’t even really try.” She said. “Scared you’ll actually see something?”
“No, just bored.”
This damn girl…if she wasn’t a friend…
“I hate you.” I said, and stormed away and out in to the meadow.
I walked until I was completely enveloped in the mist. The roaring now much louder. I dared not to venture any further for fear of falling off the ledge.
Crissy loved doing these sort of things to friends. She get off on them mostly by our reactions. Being the only child, I’m sure she did these kinds of stuff for attention since her parents rarely paid any to her.
I took a deep breath, and looked through the binoculars once more.
This time the fog diminished just before the drop off to the expansive ocean where the rolling gray water spread as far as the eyes could see until it met the sky.
I saw nothing else.
Yet, I couldn’t remove the binoculars from my eyes as I continued to stare out towards the horizon. Morbid curiosity pulsed through me as I remained rooted to the spot.
I closed my eyes for a moment.
One more look and then I’ll head back to the car.
Opening my eyes, I scanned the view ahead.
A pair of dirtied hands appeared on the ledge, grasping at grass and dirt.
My god…oh my god…
My hands shook as the binoculars shuttered on my face and the view blurred.
No, I don’t want to see her face.
I spun around and jogged back to the car. Crissy sat on top of the hood. I could see a smirk forming on her mouth.
I shove the binoculars at her. “Yeah. Now it’s time to go.”
Somewhere down that road, is the unknown.
The heavy mist conceals its true nature.
All I know is that anyone who enters, never comes back.
My mind races with possibilities.
None of them, good.
Morbid curiosity now getting the best of me.
Without consulting, my feet begin to move…towards it.
The threshold nearing, my heart’s racing.
A part of me doesn’t want to go in there…the words raging in my mind like a siren:
No, no, no!
Yet, there’s this quiet voice, beckoning me on.
Yes, that must be it. I want to see what they’re seeing.
I’m standing in front of the murky barrier. It’s cool breaths radiating over my body.
Just one step, and I’ll be there.
Like a plant, I’m rooted to the spot.
My chest hurts. My head, throbs.
A hand reaches out as I watch my fingers disappear into the whiteness.
Icy cold as a shiver pulses through me, rattling my teeth.
I close my eyes and a gentle tug on the hand slowly propels me forward.
This is it. I will soon see what’s on the other side.
I notice the voices are now silent. I should feel relieved. At peace.
Why don’t I?
My body now completely immerses in the mist, its wetness trickles over the exposed skin.
I hear sounds. Loud muffled sounds. They drum through my chest like a separate heart beat.
Music? A thunderous water fall?
My ears popped as if the plugs are pulled and the sounds grow clearer.
Not music nor a water fall.
Something’s creeping up my body. They feel like hot tendrils with claws.
Every outward sound melts in to a deafening silence.
All I can hear are my own screams.
As mentioned in previous posts, I am in the planning stage of a (my very first!) romance-suspense novel, Storms of the Heart. Using Canva, I created a book cover. What do you think?
Here’s a draft of the story’s synopsis:
Kathleen Burman moved to the small town of Walden, nestled in the prairie valley near the Rockies, in search of a new life. There she meets the locals each with their own troubled past as herself.
Joe Tucker is one of the locals who deliberately keeps busy to keep his painful past at bay. Along comes Kat who reawakens something within he thought he’d never feel again. Dr. Weaver Teems, a city dweller who temporarily moved to Walden to help out a colleague, deliberately steps in between Kat and Joe, to convince her there’s a better life outside Walden.
Soon the past and present collide as storms of the heart erupt. Who will survive?
*Author’s Note: I wrote this short story over five years ago. It’s dark. It’s creepy. It’s one of my secular, mainstream stories that I decided NOT to submit for publication now on Wattpad.
Leesa, a mother and wife, contemplates on the undesirable state of her life…but one should be careful, you might just get what you wished for in the most unexpected of ways.
Shadows wavered in the expansive backyard as the woman peered through the round window in front of her. The reflection within the twilight didn’t reveal a happy face. The skin under her brown eyes, fixed on the deck that spread beneath the small set of panes, sagged with a purplish hue. Premature wrinkles lined her eyes and mouth. No, she definitely wasn’t a happy person. Her hands mindlessly moved each dish from the stainless steel sink, rinsed under cool water, and then carefully placed in the racks of the dishwasher. She then reached for the knife and grabbed the wrong end.
“Damn it!” She recoiled and placed the bleeding finger into her mouth.
Nope, it’s been the week from hell, and this was just another reminder that it hasn’t end yet.
Voices drifted into the room from a nearby television.
“Here are our top news of the hour.” A male news anchor said. “State and Federal law officials are investigating multiple cases involving children who have gone missing in the past three days. In every cases, each child reported to have disappeared sometime between bedtime and morning…”
“Frank.” She turned her head towards the living room. “Please turn it to something else.”
“Yes, dear.” A man’s voice said.
A click sounded and a commercial about a brand of soda came on. She went back to rinsing a coffee mug with the uninjured hand when the floor board creaked. She turned and smiled at her four-year old daughter who stood, wearing a pink nightgown, at the entrance of the kitchen.
Renee. The small child was the only source of joy in her otherwise joyless life.
“What’s the matter, Renee? Did you have a bad dream?”
The girl shook her head, locks of blonde curls waved over her petite shoulders. “No, mummy.”
Mother picked up a towel to dry her hands. “What’s wrong then?
“There’s a boogeyman in my room.”
I have two other short stories also on Wattpad. These two have been previously published.
The four-some now seated in chairs around the large oval oak table as the waiter retrieves the menus.
“I will get your orders in.” And the short black man walks away.
Julie’s brown eyes carefully study the faces around the table as she slowly sips at her wine. “So, Brad,” and turns them solely to the man sitting to her right, “What on earth have you been up to since I last saw you?”
Brad grins as he leans back. “Nothing exciting. Just work.”
“Marketing, huh?” She purses her lips, “For whom?”
“Altvision Communications.” He replies as he bit into a breadstick.
“Wow, one of the four media giants.” Her smile widen as she fingers her glass. “You must be one of the lowly assistants working his way up the career rung by now.”
He chuckles, “Hardly. Try the Director of the Marketing Department.”
“Di-rec-tor…my heavens, that’s a far cry from being a lab rat with Dalton Co-Op.”
“A lab rat?” Eddie’s hazel-green eyes sparkle as he stares at Brad across the table.
Brad lets out a laugh, “That’s Julie’s way of calling any desk clerk who worked for Dalton back in the day.”
“They were directly responsible for polluting all the lakes upstate which cost taxpayers well over a billion dollars.”
“And you don’t feel the least bit guilty for forcing them out of business and driving hundreds of people out of work?” Brad asks, the smile now gone.
“What they were doing was criminal, and it was my job to expose them.” Julie’s eyes now slits.
“Yeah, well, the timing couldn’t have been worse.” Brad grabs another breadstick. “You could have at least waited until after Christmas to break the story.”
“Are you a reporter?” Eddie’s interest now piqued as he focuses on the curly red head between Brad and Laura.
Julie shrugs, “Yeah, a crime beat reporter,” and takes another sip of the red wine.
“You don’t sound very enthused.” He says.
“It’s a job.”
“Don’t let her fool you, Ed.” Brad points a half-eaten breadstick at his friend. “Journalism’s in her blood just like her father, and her grandfather.”
“I see.” Eddie drinks from a bottle of beer. “A generational legacy that you don’t seem to relish much of.”
“It comes natural, and it made sense at the time.” She says.
“Writing comes natural to Julie all right. Did you know she’s also a published author?” Laura smiles at Julie who frowns back.
“Oh, really?” Brad says, “What do you write?”
“Guilty pleasure. Let’s not make a big deal out of it.” Julie replies.
“She writes horror.” Laura answers for her friend.
“A crime beat reporter slash horror writer. Wow, never saw that one coming.” Brad sneers.
“Whatever.” Julie flicks her long hair off her shoulders and turns to face Eddie. “What of you? Let me guess, an international spy?” She asks in a leering tone.
“You’re not too far off the mark.” Eddie replies. “I’m a freelance Threat Analyst.”
“What the heck is that?” Julie’s nose crinkles at him.
“Mainly I hunt the web for any malicious activities, and put a stop to them.”
“That sounds–interesting I suppose.” Julie says.
It was Eddie’s turn to laugh as he drinks more of the beer. “Oh, it can get very interesting.”
“What about you, Laura?” Brad asks.
Laura leans forward as she studies the flickering candle at the table’s center which casts shadows across her fair face. “I’m currently doing my Forensic Pathology Residency at North Peak’s Regional Medical Center.”
“Fascinating. We have a budding doctor with us.” Brad smiles at her.
“You did it.” Eddie says. “You’ve accomplished one of your dreams.” His warm smile causes Laura’s cheeks to color.
“It’s still a work in progress, but yeah, I’m getting there.” She returns his smile.
His expression then grows more somber. “I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. I never meant to leave like that.”
Laura shrugs, “You had a family emergency that required you to leave the country. Besides, it was for the best. For us, anyway.”
Eddie nods. “You’ve always been so understanding, Laurie. You deserve someone to be equally so.” His accent now more pronounced.
“Oh my, here’s our dinner!” Julie blurts out as the waiter came to their table with a tray full of food. “I’m starving!”
Be sure to vote below!
*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive 🙂
*Am starting a new story, an interactive kind, which means feedback from readers will determine the direction of the story. Read the first chapter, and then answer the poll. Your input will determine the story’s results! Enjoy 🙂
Fluffy white flakes drift from the sky on to the urban landscape below. Mazes of paved and cemented pathways spread across the city like a grid, nearly all are inhabited by flickering white and red lights. While the heavens fill with solemn hushes, the earth brims with noise and movements among the living and their worldly gadgets and possessions.
On a particular street level, two women walk briskly, huddled deep in their coats and scarves. White mists emanating from their faces as they huffed.
“I can’t believe you talked me into going out tonight!” The shorter woman says.
“Nonsense, Laura.” replies the other. “You work too much. Besides, I haven’t seen Brad in years. I’m curious to see how rich and successful he became.”
“Really, Julie, you’re just too shallow.” Laura scoffs. “There are more to men than sex and money.”
“Don’t forget power.” Julie raises a hand covered in a black leather glove.
“You’re one to talk, dearie.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Laura smirks.
“Okay, how about Scott Mendler?” Red ringlets flickering across her cheeks.
“Him? The Pharmacist? Oh, c’mon! He didn’t know right from left!”
“Oh? Let’s try this one…Frank Aleman.”
“Computer repairman. Too boring.” Laura says.
“Kissed like a girl.”
Julie stops suddenly. “And you know this how?”
“Kidding!” Laura grabs her friend’s arm to prod her along once more. “I still don’t see your point.”
“My point is that you’re just as shallow as I am when it comes to men.” Julie says.
“Are you saying we’re hopeless?”
“Nah, just haven’t found the right ones.”
Laura shakes her head. “I’m starting to believe there’s no right one out there.”
“Perhaps we’ve been looking at the wrong ones.”
“Or perhaps I need to shorten my ‘qualities desired in an ideal mate’ list.” Laura frowns.
Julie suddenly stops. Again.
“Now what?” Laura asks.
Julie glances behind them. “Been having this feeling that someone’s following me all day.”
“Halloween’s long over.” Laura says.
“Yeah.” The red-head turns back around. “Probably just my imagination.”
“Comes with the territory for being a horror writer.” Laura replies.
“Well, that’s not all I do, honey.” She sneers.
“That’s even creepier.”
“Yeah, whatever, speak for yourself.” Julie pulls at her friend’s arm. “There it is. Let’s run…I’m freezing!”
The two women carefully jog across the icy road hopping from one section of tire-tread pattern on the ground to the next to keep from slipping. Once they reach the other side, they stood briefly at the wooden door with “Carroll’s Diner” etched in it.
And pushed it opened to enter inside.
Carroll’s Diner’s rustic interior immediately warmed up the women as they peer into the dining section for familiar faces.
“I think I see Brad at the bar.” Julie says as she immediately heads in that direction with Laura following close behind.
She quietly approaches a dark blonde-haired man and taps him on the shoulder which causes him to stir instantly.
“My god! Isn’t it jolly ol’ Julie!” His hazel eyes twinkling as he pulls her in to his arms for a bear hug.
“Easy there, Brad. You might break some ribs.” She giggles into his musky-smelling neck.
“Sorry, my bad.” And moves her to a more steady position, standing in front of him. He then notices a woman besides her. He blinks a few times before speaking. “Laura Hines?”
Laura smiles sheepishly. “Yeah, that’s me.”
Brad cocks his head slightly as he takes turns studying both women. “Friends?”
“Hard to believe, Bubba boy, but yep, we’re good friends now.” Julie smiles widely.
He shakes his head slowly and let out a low whistle. “I thought you two hated each other during college.”
“Old history.” Julie replies as she winks over at Laura. “It’s a long story.”
“I’ll drink to that!” He turns and picks up a shot glass and downs it in one gulp.
“Hey! Not so fast!” Julie pouts as she makes herself comfortable on a high stool. “I’ll have what he’s drinking.” She tells the bartender.
“Make that two.” Laura says as she sits on the other side of Julie.
Julie glances around Brad. “I thought there were two of you.”
He nods. “There is. He had a call but should be back any time.”
“Who’s back?” Comes a husky voice rich in accent.
The women both peer around Brad to see a gorgeous man taking his seat at the end of the counter. Golden brown skin. Dark black hair which even partially covers his face, but one could still spy the dimples in his cheeks when he smiles.
This time it would be Laura speaking first.
“Oh. My. God. Eddie?” Her voice rises several decibel.
“Hello, Laura.” His smile held as his deep hazel eyes meet her blue ones. “It’s been a long time.”
She shifts in her stool but never moving her gaze away from his face. “Yes.”
“Hello? Pheromone city!” Julie butts in effectively slicing the momentary connection. “You two know each other?”
Laura’s smile wavers as she fingers her glass that mysteriously appeared seconds earlier. “College.”
“History?” Julie whispers close to her ear.
Laura nods once.
“Well, I’m Julie Yourdon.” In her next move she turns to the dark hair man, and gives him her most alluring smile.
“Eduardo Santa Perez.” He bows his head to her. “A pleasure to meet you.”
“Pleasure’s all mine.” Julie mutters under her breath as she sips her liqueur.
*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive 🙂
To Trick a Hacker is a Romance Suspense book written by the gifted storyteller India Kells. It follows heroine Dylan Harris a loner who’s hiding within the fringe of society working as a hacker for a secret organization called Purgatory. With a tumultuous and traumatizing past she’s trying to hide from, she finds herself hunted by an unknown assailant who seemingly have ties to her painful past.
In comes Owen Sorenson, a gorgeous former Navy Seal, sent by Purgatory to protect her from further harm which she reluctantly accepts. Each battling scars of various kinds, they at first formed an uneasy team as they set out in search of a killer that soon grows into a passionate and emotional relationship. A relationship which gets tested time and time again threatening to send either one over the edge and into darkness. It’s a romance forged in pain and loneliness as they each face their personal demons from the past which keep returning to haunt them. Sprinkle in a killer bent on turning Dylan to the dark side by threatening all who she cares for and you have a riveting story that will keep you turning the pages till the very end.
To Trick a Hacker ultimately is a story about family, love, second chances, and sacrifices.
India Kells’ writing style can be liken to Sherrilyn Kenyon and Sara Mackenzie, and I definitely look forward to reading many more of her books!
You can find India Kells at the following places: