Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.


This month the words are supplied by  Cindi and can be found here.


This week's words are:


1. pendulum
2. haunted
3. seven
4. wax
5. raven
6. scream

and/or:

1. tales
2. fly
3. tingler
4. invisible
5. usher
6. diary

and an image, which I have included.

Here is my story, part two of one I posted three weeks ago:

 Seven of us sat around the big, square, polished library table. In the background, in the shadowy corner, we could see the grandfather clock, with the soft tic-toc of the swinging pendulum the only sound. Tales had been told, tears had been shed and there seemed to be nothing left to say. The sombre atmosphere of the funeral matched the low-hanging dark grey clouds. It was winter so the trees were bare of leaves and a solitary raven cawed softly and began to fly away as the coffin was lowered into its final resting place.

We all felt the invisible presence of Briony, her spirit standing with us as her body was buried. A quickly stifled scream from Camille as the first shovelful of earth was dropped on top of the flowers we had each thrown in. 


As we walked away, all of us glanced up the hill to the empty farmhouse, reputed to be haunted, where Briony had been found by Sally Taylor, who had been part of the search party. Briony had been missing for two days. At first the grounds had been searched, then the lake and then the township had been gone through with a fine tooth comb, with no trace at all of Briony. 

As one, we turned up the hill and trudged up to the farmhouse, carefully lifting the crime scene tape from the doorway and let ourselves in. Now we sat around the library table, which Camille had polished with her sleeve as Cameron wound up the old clock with the key hanging on a string from the cabinet handle. 



It was the old Thompson place, no one had lived here for fifty years, since Estelle Thompson had been found dead in her upstairs bed. The last of the Thompsons, she was supposed to have been taken to the hospital the next day, in spite of weak protestations that she was still hale and hearty. "Strong as an ox," she'd said. Or so we'd heard. 

"We're not supposed to be here," said Camille.
"But this is where Briony is," said Wendy. "I can still feel her."
"Why would she come up here?" said Cameron. "And when?"
"Why didn't she tell anyone where she was going? We all thought she was down at the Town Square, listening to that brass band she liked so much," said Bryan.
"She's been very moody lately, ever since she found that old diary," said Jenny. "Does anyone know what was in that thing? Did she share?"


"Not a word," said Emma. A sudden creaking from the back of the house had us all jumping a bit, spines tingling. Margaret said, "I think we should get out of here. All that burned section at the back might be more unstable than it looks."


"How did it get burned anyway? I heard old Estelle Thompson died in her sleep, she wouldn't have had a fire going, it was summer when she died," said Cameron.
"I heard it was a bunch of kids holding a seance, trying to ask Estelle questions about the fortune that's supposed to be buried somewhere in the grounds. They got drunk and the candle burned to the floor and set the carpet alight and they all just ran away and left it burning," said Kathleen.


"That's exactly right," said a voice from the doorway. We all jumped in fright as Sally Taylor came into the room. "I remember that night," she said. "My sister was part of that group and our Dad gave her such lecture when she got home, there was yelling and crying and Betty throwing up from being drunk and Mum saying she was grounded for life. It was a hell of a night."
"Now, what are you all doing up here? Mr Grissom saw you all going up the hill and when you didn't come down, he called the police. I was still at the station, telling what I knew about this place, so I came to find you all." 


"Briony brought us here," said Camille. "We felt her with us at the grave and when we were leaving she made us all turn up the hill and we saw the spot where her body was by the stairs, then she brought us in here and we just sat and talked about when she was one of us until she found that old diary and got all moody."


"What's in that diary anyway? Has anyone read it yet? We know the police took it with all her other stuff."
"We don't know anything yet, Cammie," said Sally. "The forensics people down in the city have it, they're doing some carbon dating to see how old it is and they have to be careful of the fragile pages. Do you know if Briony ever opened it?"
"None of us know anything," said Bryan. "She kept it wrapped up and carried it everywhere, but none of us saw a thing except the cover before she wrapped it up. Looked like leather, but old and cracked, dirty too."


"Is it true what they say about dead people? Your skin looks like it's made of wax?" said Margaret. 

"That is true," said Sally, "every body that comes down to the morgue looks like the skin is made from wax, very smooth and lifeless, unless they have visible injuries. But we shouldn't be talking about this now or here. Get your coats back on and come on out. We'll go down to the cafe and have hot drinks before I take you all back to the school." 

Sally ushered them all outside and didn't bother replacing the crime scene tape. The evidence people had been finished days ago and there'd been no crime here, just a  broken step where Briony had caught her boot heel and fallen onto the sharp edge of a broken flagstone.

 

29 comments:

  1. A very interesting tale you have going here River, well written and nicely told you have me hooked to hear more, and also your use of the prompts and image were excellent.

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    Replies
    1. Jimmy; you remember the first part from three weeks ago? This is the rest of it and I think the end. I'll have to count words to see if it is short story size.
      On the other hand, there is the diary to explore....

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    2. Yes I do remember the first part and I thought that one very good also, this would be an excellent short story, or even one to move along with if you choose to do so. You have several options and they all look good.

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  2. I do so love it when you lead me on! ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Sharon; take my hand, I'll lead you....(evil laugh)

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  3. What a lovely story and well written too. Thanks for sharing and greetings.

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  4. Replies
    1. fishducky; Thank you very much, I quite like them myself.

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  5. Echoing all those who have got here before me.

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  6. Was she pushed or did she fall !!
    You'll tell us the answer won't you.........sometime? ~ Cathy

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    1. Cathy; the answer is in the story. Briony caught a boot heel on a broken step and fell to the floor where she hit her head on the jagged edge of a broken flagstone.

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  7. Good story I would like to hear more.
    Merle.........

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    Replies
    1. Merle; I'm not sure there is more to this one. I'll keep it in mind though.

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  8. This is wonderful, River. You sure put a lot of work into it...it's almost a novelette in itself!

    Well done. :)

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    1. Lee; thank you. (if you only knew how little work went into this one...)

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  9. Well, now I want to know what's in that diary!

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    1. Val; me too. But that may take much more time, because I don't yet know how to start.

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  10. Good story.
    Second time I've written one..

    I screamed as the Raven flew past me, it was a big surprise as I wasn’t expecting it.
    The house I was in was haunted, so I was told – there were strange happenings in this house with all it’s noise, creaks and shadows.
    There were seven rooms with cobwebs in hidden places and to be seen. A large grandfather clock stood at the end of the long hall with it’s pendulum swinging in time to my footsteps as I walked carrying the candle with it's wax dripping to show the way in the near dark.
    What was I going to encounter as I opened the large door!

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel; this is a great beginning, you need to finish it. What, or who, is behind that door?

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  11. WOW! This may be your best story yet. You did a great job setting the mood, and the dialogue is very natural. BUT... I wanta know what's in that diary!

    Have a super weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Susan; thank you very much. I'm curious about the diary too.

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  12. Quite well done. Like some of the others, you have me intrigued and I want to know what was in the diary. Part 3 perhaps?

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    1. Arkansas Patti; thank you. Possibly a part three, maybe not. That would require actual work and I'm a lazy sort.

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  13. Another good one. You kept my attention all the way through. I'd love to know what was in that diary.

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    Replies
    1. only slightly confused; thank you. I think we all want to know what is in the diary.

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  14. Wow, you are really something. What a great tale you came up with using all the words. It was spell binding.

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