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Lynn Miclea – “Window to the Future”

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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( Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

“Window to the Future”

by Lynn Miclea

Aliya brushed the hair out of her face as she walked up the grassy incline. She had wanted to climb to the top of the hill in her neighborhood and see the view for months now. Her breathing heavy and ragged from exertion, she was finally here. A shiver of anticipation ran through her as she neared the crest.

Looking up, her eyes opened wide and she stared at the view at the top of the hill. A ruin was there — part of one, anyway. Just the window was left from some unknown structure. It looked ancient and powerful and she felt drawn to it.

Although exhausted from her hike, and still breathing heavily, she moved toward it, her arms outstretched. Something about it felt awe inspiring and even personal. She needed to be closer to it.

The overwhelming power of the window washed over her as she got near enough to touch it. Tentatively, she reached a trembling hand to the stone. It felt warm and rough, and she placed her hand flat on the rock. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath.

When she opened her eyes, the view through the ancient window had shifted. Her brow furrowed as she tried to comprehend what she was seeing. Through the window was a barren wasteland. The ground was parched and devoid of life. There were no trees, plants, birds, animals, or people. Just empty, scorched dirt — as though a huge fire or a war had blown through the area.

“What am I seeing?” she whispered to the window.

A voice in her head answered. You are seeing the future of Earth. Years from now, war and greed will have destroyed all life on the planet. However, this can be prevented. It is not too late. The one who can see this is the one who can change it and save the planet. We have been waiting a long time for you to arrive.

Aliya looked around but saw no one. She looked back at the window. “Who are you?”

We are the gatekeepers of the world. We have been trying to save your planet, but we cannot do it alone.

“But … but I don’t know what to do. How can I save Earth?”

There is a piece missing in the wall surrounding the window. A vital piece that has come loose and fallen out. The missing piece that will save the planet.

“What piece? Where is it? How do I find it?”

It is a crystal that is vital to mankind. In fact, it is vital to all life on Earth. You must find it, plug it back into the wall, and close the loophole that has developed. That loophole created the wars, the greed, the hatred, the fighting, the emptiness, and the catastrophes that have befallen the planet.

“But how do I find this crystal?”

You will know where to look. It is in your possession. It needs to be placed in the wall before the window closes completely and disappears — then it will be too late.

“What kind of crystal?”

You will know it when you see it. You know where it is. Hurry. We are running out of time.

Aliya removed her hand from the wall and took a step back. Was she imagining everything she heard? How would she know what crystal or where it was?

She glanced at the window and the view was back to the way it was before. She could see the blue sky, a few clouds, and the other side of the hill. Her eyes followed a dirt path leading down the hill to a long stretch of beach which lined a huge dark blue ocean. It was hard to tear her eyes away from the view.

After a few minutes, she slowly turned and ran back the way she had come, going back to her home. An urgency gnawed at her, and she felt that the voice in her head was real. She had to help. But how?

Something pulled her to the closet in her bedroom. She wasn’t sure why, but she opened the closet door and immediately picked up a small wooden box from the floor. Treasures she had been given by her grandfather when he was still alive. She smiled, remembering the smell of sawdust and tools on him, and the jangling of keys that always hung from his belt.

Sitting on the side of her bed, she slowly opened the box. Folded papers, a marble, and a few coins greeted her eyes. And there on the side — what was that? A pink stone — rose quartz. A crystal of love. She didn’t remember seeing it there before. Did she simply forget about it?

The crystal began vibrating and emitting a low hum. She instantly knew. Deep inside, without a doubt — this was it. This was what was missing and what was needed.

She picked up the smooth, pink crystal and held it in her hand. It was cool to the touch, but it warmed up as it sat in her hand. She felt the vibration move through her. Goosebumps rose all over her body. She knew what she had to do.

She ran outside, down the street, through the field, and back to the grassy hill. She climbed up to where she was before. The stone window was there. She felt an urgency within her.

She approached the window and held up the rose quartz. “Is this it? Is this what was missing?”

Yes. That is the missing piece. The energies of love and compassion have been lost from humanity as mankind turned its back on this force. But this energy is vital for the survival of all life. Without it, the world and all life forms will perish. Time is running out.

“Where do I put this?”

Look for it. You will find it. You will know.

Aliya pulled her hair back and stepped closer to the window. She ran her hands over the rough stones. On the inside ledge on the left side, a gaping hole stared back at her. A deep black emptiness emanated from it. That must be it.

Trembling, she reached forward, her fingers shaking as they held the crystal. She inched it closer. A sudden flash of white light arced from the crystal into the black hole, and the rose quartz slid into place with a soft click.

“Is that what I was supposed to—”

The window vibrated, and she felt the rumbling through the ground under her feet. Bright light flashed through the window and her hand came up to shield her eyes.

After a few moments, a sense of peace settled around her and she opened her eyes and looked through the window. A vast field of pink and yellow flowers greeted her. A rabbit ran through, twitched its nose, and then hopped away. Tall trees shimmered in the distance, their lacy leaves dancing in a light breeze. Two birds sang as they flew past in the sky.

Aliya blinked. The window shimmered and shifted back to the original view. Blue sky, a few clouds, and the grassy hill on the other side.

She stared at the view for a few minutes. “Am I done?”

Yes. You were the only one who could do this. And time was closing fast. We thank you.

“But who are you? Can I see you?”

You will see us soon enough.

A flash of light burst through the window. The stones shimmered for a few moments and then collapsed into a heap. The window was gone. A small pile of old rocks sat in the grass where the window had been just moments before.

She stood there for a few more minutes.

“Are you still here?”

The only answer was the whisper of a breeze as it rustled the weeds at the top of the hill.

She turned and slowly made her way back down the hill and through the field toward her house.

As she approached the door to her home, the wind picked up, and the breezed turned into a whisper.

We are always here.

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Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

Please also visit Lynn’s blog, like the story there, and follow her at – https://wp.me/p4htbd-oC

Please also visit Lynn’s website for more information on her books – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/

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Susan Staneslow Olesen: Lost

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Lost

By Susan Staneslow Olesen


The truck arrived
And took your things
But not the chair,
The one you promised me
When I was six
And didn’t know nice people
Didn’t talk about death
Or ask for people’s treasures
While they were still alive.

The paneled maple walls
And hand-hewn floors
Echo with your voice,
Your shuffling footsteps.
Your house that was
Your grandma’s house,
That was her grandma’s house,
The one you’ve left to me.

Some might restore the floors
Paint the walls
Tile the fireplace
Reap that market value.
I want the room as it is,
History-etched walls,
Your chair by the yellow-warm fire,
Waiting for your tea.
What is worth restoring
If I can’t restore you?

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Please visit Susan’s Facebook author page and give her a like! https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Olesen-Author-Page-200715809947435/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


Paula Shablo: An Unexpected Homecoming

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

A note to readers :

This is not a Pro-Life or a Pro-Abortion story. This is an attempt to highlight the many misunderstandings that can occur when people jump to judgment without having all the facts.

Things happen. Take a breath.

An Unexpected Homecoming

By Paula Shablo

She hadn’t expected to love the place, but for Maggie it was instant infatuation. She hugged Josh enthusiastically, and held up their infant son. “Look, Johnny,” she cooed. “We’re home.”

Josh looked less enthused, but admitted grudgingly, “It has…potential.”

Getting home had been a painful process of misunderstandings, outright prosecution and near-bankruptcy.

Johnny had been the center of a controversy that Maggie still could not wrap her head around. She had suffered with severe toxemia in the latter part of her pregnancy, had been hospitalized, and had elected to have an emergency Cesarean section in her 30th week due to the dangers of continuing the pregnancy to term.

Her medical record stated: “Patient elects to terminate pregnancy at this time.”

Her medical record further recorded the Cesarean birth of her son, and that he was delivered alive and transported to NICU for further care, but the anti-abortion mole working in medical records, and stealing information in charts so that protesters could target women who had abortions, hadn’t read past that sentence fragment: “terminate pregnancy…”

Protesters had Maggie’s name and hospital room number and showed up in droves to persecute her, accompanied by members of the Press.

Bewildered and frightened hospital staff had them removed by police immediately, but the damage was done. Stories of law-breaking by medical staff made headlines. Maggie and a few other unfortunate women had their names brandished about on protest signs, declaring them murderers of the worst kind.

During all this, Maggie sat in the NICU, stroking her son’s cheek, singing to him and thanking God for every ounce gained. She pumped milk so he’d have the best nutrition possible. She was released in good health after a couple of weeks but rarely left the hospital.

After all, she had nowhere else to go.

Josh had lost his job shortly before Maggie became too ill to continue the pregnancy, and with that loss came the loss of their medical insurance. They’d been forced to sell their house and one of their cars in order to pay for many unexpected bills.

The mole was caught and arrested for violating privacy policies.

The protesters ignored any evidence that refuted their zealous vendetta and continued to chant and brandish their signs.

Redacted news stories clearing the hospital and Maggie of any “wrong-doings” appeared in the back pages and the mostly ignored television news banner feeds, and did no damage control whatsoever.

All the bad publicity took a toll on Josh’s job search, and he wasn’t able to secure employment again until just before Johnny was finally ready to go home.

Josh rented the one-bedroom flat sight unseen, borrowing money for the deposit from his mother. He picked up the keys from the realtor and went to the hospital to pick up his family.

When he and Maggie exited the hospital that afternoon, a protester recognized Maggie and screamed, “That’s her! Murderer!”

Maggie, finished with all the false accusations, screamed back, “My baby is alive and well, you vultures! Go to hell!”

The nurse quickly ushered the little family back inside and locked the door.

The next time they exited the building, it was with a police escort. Protesters swarmed about, wanting to see the “miracle baby.” Some were so enthusiastic in their approaches that they were given an immediate trip downtown to the Police station. Maggie and Josh were more than happy to have them charged with malicious harassment.

Now they stood in the doorway of their shabby little place. A lone, rickety chair sat before the iffy-looking brick fireplace. There was nothing else in the place yet; their furniture would be delivered soon.

“Mom’s going to faint,” Josh said, sighing.

“Paint,” Maggie said. She beamed at him. “A little elbow grease. There’s nothing here that can’t be improved upon.”

Josh smiled down at her, kissed her lips and then kissed Johnny’s tiny forehead. “They got one thing right,” he said. “He really is a miracle baby.”

“Yes,” Maggie agreed. “And we’ll be just fine.”

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Please visit Paula’s blog and follow her! https://pshablo.blogspot.com/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


Leeah Taylor: These Four Walls

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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These Four Walls

By Leeah Taylor

I stare at these walls

So colorless and blank

Trapped in this room

Bound to this place

These four walls

Tall as they are deep

Guard all my dark secrets

Only I trust to keep

With nothing but time

All I do now is wait

Only whispers I hear

Succinct and sweet

Then darkness will come

And all will be gone

Only in these four walls

Do I find comfort to weep

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Please visit Leeah’s FB page and give her a like…. https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLTaylor/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


Calliope NJO: My inheritance

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

My Inheritance

By Calliope NJO

I never heard of Briarsville. I received a map, key, and a renovation fund in the mail from a lawyer’s office from said place. In short, I got it because the deceased left it to me. The old lady liked me. I had no recollection of ever meeting someone other than in passing. I checked out the lawyer, and he had been practicing law for at least twelve years. So he seemed legit enough for me to believe him.

In between projects, with nothing else to do, I needed to have a look at my new place. Good thing I had my 4×4. The rocky, unpaved road did make things a little bumpy, however. The trees had to be at least ten stories high with massive trunks. My GPS gave me an error message and the map applications sent me someplace else. I wouldn’t have been able to find it if nobody gave me a map.

The old line of being nestled in the woods fit the description of the property. A two-story wooden house with a big stone chimney. The wooden front door still remained in its place. All the shattered windows needed to be replaced.

The front door opened. I called out but nobody answered, so how the H-E-Double hockey sticks did it open. All by itself. I went back to my 4×4 and scrounged for something. It gave me an activity while I figured out if I wanted to go in.

I couldn’t hesitate any longer so I entered. I thought I heard a woman tell me it’s about time you came in. I looked and like before, nobody. My mind drifted off into the unknown. I had to use logic and reasoning or risk losing my mind. If I didn’t already.

Careful steps needed to be taken or risk falling through the Swiss-cheese floor. I stopped in a green room. The green wall contrasted with the red brick fireplace, and chances were some varmints set up house in the unused chimney.

The longer I stood there, the more the chair in the front rocked. An old lady appeared, looked at me, and disappeared. Maybe I should’ve left too but I couldn’t. My feet stayed attached.

Bizarre or mad, either word would best fit me at that moment. Some food would help to fuel my brain and stop the weird experiences.

I got in my truck and started down the long road again. Trees and boulders watched me as I drove past. I got to town and it looked nice. Kids running up and down, some on their bikes. Adults walked back and forth.

The diner on the corner sounded like the spot to refuel. I wandered in and sat down at the bar. Burger and coffee would hit the spot.

A skinny man sat next to me. The unmarked white baseball cap caught my attention. I smiled and nodded.

“Hey there,” he said. “The name’s Oliver. Say, uh…I never saw you around these parts. New?”

“Yeah. Sort of.” I wasn’t sure who this guy was so I tried to keep things short.

“We don’t get much new ones. Where you at?”

“A cabin in the woods.” Not that far from the truth.

“Oh. I know that one. That’s the Kingston cabin. William Kingston was his name. Built it for his family so his younguns had space to grow up. Yeah. Nobody knows what happened, not really, but they say he got shot while out on a huntin’ trip. Yeah. ‘Cause nobody delivered the body, his wife kept on waitin’ for him. Some even say she still waitin’.” He turned around. “I gotta get. Good luck and may the Lord be with you.”

Not quite sure what to think about that bit of info, I mulled it over while I ate. I never believed in the afterlife. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. After what I experienced though, it made me wonder if I should change my views.

After I finished, I went back to the cabin. Maybe I asked for it, but I couldn’t help but remember the story that man told me. I couldn’t get past the idea that someone waited for somebody else all this time. Unbelievable.

I walked in. “Hello? Mrs. Kingston?” What was I saying?

Maybe the floorboards were loose. That wouldn’t surprise me. What surprised me was a young woman appeared in front of me.

“Oh. There you are. You had me worried. I longed for your return.” She held me. “You seem surprised.”

“Uh…” That’s the understatement of the century.

“Come now, William.” She grabbed both my hands and kissed them.

I felt it. I felt her kiss me. Did I need to tell her the name’s Shawn? “Uh…” About the most intelligent thing I could utter.

She took me to a room down the hall. I expected dilapidated furniture and holes in the wall. Instead, a perfect four-poster bed sat in the middle of the room. A clean and shiny window let the light in. OK, somebody had to have put something in my food because none of this could have been real.

She lay me down and stroked me. I had to admit I fell asleep. When I woke up though, I lay on the floor instead, and the once unbroken window didn’t exist. The night sky shone through the framed hole.

I ran out of that house as fast as I could and hightailed it out of town. I got the house for free, yeah, and with a little bit of work, I could’ve made it livable. Not as long as those strange things were in there, I couldn’t do it, renovation fund or no renovation fund.

I made it back to the city. The nice congested, polluted, no trees existed in the backyard if there was a backyard city. I put the key away for safekeeping. Maybe in the future but that would have to be under extreme circumstances.

I took the car keys out of my pocket and put them on the nightstand. Along with it, a gold ring came up. Inside it read: To my only love. Two hearts. One soul.

The End

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Please visit Calliope’s blog and follow her. https://bit.ly/2RJwNrS

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


Lynn Miclea: Memories of Murder

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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Memories of Murder

by Lynn Miclea

Keegan stood there, staring at the chair. He had loved using that chair and he cherished what it represented. The memories flooded back. He remembered tying his victims to that chair. The red-brown bloodstains on the floorboards were still visible.

The memories made him smile. He could see the terror in the eyes of his victims when he brought out the knife. He could still hear the screams. He hadn’t killed again in all these years since then. But that chair brought back the cherished memories, and he chuckled.

Keegan remembered how the police were closing in on him and how he quickly left. He had been careless, and they had gotten too close — they had almost caught him. He had barely managed to stay one step ahead of the cops, but it was not easy. They were good.

He fondly ran his hand along the back of the chair as warmth filled him. He was too old now to kill again — he was no longer interested in that. But the memories were wonderful.

They did not bring back the family members he had lost, but they had brought him some relief, even if it was only temporary.

He silently said goodbye to the chair and the memories. It was dangerous to even be here.

Tomorrow he would retire from the police force. This case would remain unsolved, and his record would be spotless. He thought about retiring on Maui, with endless sun and sand — a fitting end to a brilliant career.

A broad smile erupted on his face. He had done it. He was free.

As he turned to leave, he heard tires screeching out in the street in front. A neighbor in a hurry? Then he heard more tires. What was going on?

A loud voice thundered through a bullhorn. “Police! You are surrounded. Come out with your hands up!”

Images of Maui beaches dissolved into images of a jail cell. Where did he mess up? What had he done wrong? How did they know?

He glanced out the front window. Four cop cars were out in front. His own squad — he knew them all. A huge sigh escaped him. He knew they were already at the back as well. All exits were covered.

He would not go to jail. There was only one way out now.

He opened the front door and saw the shocked looks on the faces of the officers who he had worked next to all these years.

He raised his handgun, aimed it at the cop who he knew was the best sharpshooter … and felt his body jerk backward as rounds of ammunition hit him.

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Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

Please also visit Lynn’s blog, like the story there, and follow her at – https://wp.me/p4htbd-o9

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Sean Bracken: Danny Finn’s Dream

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Danny Finn’s Dream

by Sean Bracken

Danny Finn reached over in the bed for his wife Ann. Still only half awake, he realised that her side of the bed was empty. He guessed that she had gone down for a glass of water and lay back on his pillow. It was then that the awful truth came back to him. Ann was gone. He was on his own except for the children, Danny Junior, Heather, and little Harry. The never-ending grief and horror washed all over him again and he cried out in his despair, “Why? Why, Ann, Why?” Tears now streaming down his face, he pulled himself up from the bed and made his way downstairs and into the bar.

He reached up to a shelf and pulled down a bottle of “Black Bush” and stumbled back upstairs to what had been Ann’s old study. The room, once vibrant with old furniture lovingly restored by Ann was now sparse and cold. Danny had donated much of it to charity and given the rest away to friends and family. And yet the room still held her essence, her soul, the smell of her. Her perfume lived in the walls. Here, she lived in Danny’s mind. Here he talked with her, night after night.

Her ‘writing’ chair stood solitary guard before the empty hearth, now devoid of warming flames, and her grandmother’s old coffee table lay upside down in the corner, kicked over in a drunken rage the night before. Danny righted the table and set it down beside the chair. He picked up a glass and an ashtray from the floor and placed them on the table along with his whiskey and cigarettes.

He poured a generous measure into the unwashed glass. A Pall Mall in one hand and drink in the other, his tears subsided as he switched on the stereo. It was three o’clock in the morning. God, would he ever know peace again?

The soothing sound of Vivaldi sang to him as the whiskey started to take effect. Danny knew that without his drink and smokes, nothing could prevent him from joining Ann in oblivion. Lord Jesus, how he missed her. Images of her dead body on the bed, one leg on the floor, the empty Prozac bottle beside her, paramedics working frantically to revive her, the God-awful funeral with the children clutching onto him, the condolences from people that were sincere, did nothing to ease the pain conspiring to destroy his soul.

He loved the kids with all his heart, but for the past year he had only been pretending to be alive. He woke them up in the mornings, fed them their meals, helped with homework, and put them to bed at night. It took all he had just to wash and shave in the morning. Then on autopilot behind the bar for the day, until bedtime for the children and time for him to relax with his whiskey and wallow in self-pity.

He barely ate anything at all and lived on coffee, sixty smokes a day and a bottle of Irish every night. Once a healthy twelve stone and full of life, he was now just a fraction over six stone and looked like a survivor from a Nazi concentration camp. His friends, family and the regulars in the pub had all tried to help him, but he preferred the isolation. All he wanted was his bottle and the numbness it brought.

Violins reached towards the climax of The Four Seasons when Danny’s doorbell chimed, rousing him from his memories. He noted that it was a little after three-thirty and wondered who on Earth could be calling at this hour. Probably another poor soul in need of a late night drink. He wanted to ignore the caller but decided to go down to answer the door.

A total stranger stood on the porch, doing his best to shelter from the falling snow. “Mr. Finn? Can I come in, please?” asked the man as he shook snowdrops from his dark hair.

Danny looked the man up and down. He seemed to be quite calm and, other than his rather pale skin, appeared to be unremarkable. “Who are you? What do you want?” Danny asked.

“I’m so sorry,” replied the stranger. “I realise how late it is but I need to talk with you urgently. It’s about Ann and it can’t wait.”

“Come in then, if you must,” mumbled Danny, feeling unsteady from the alcohol. He led the man up to the living room, and after they were both seated across from each other, he asked what was so urgent that it couldn’t wait ’til morning.

“Ann sent me to talk with you, to help you, to guide you,” replied the stranger.

An incredulous Danny was incensed and shouted at the man to get out of the house. “Leave me alone, you bastard! That’s impossible. My wife’s been dead for a year! Get out, get out, get out,” roared Danny, as he struggled to his feet.

“She said you might react like this,” said the stranger quietly. “She told me to show you this. She said it would help to convince you,” he said, holding out a necklace that Danny recognised. He had given it to Ann on the birth of Danny Junior, and it had been buried in her coffin with her. Danny sank back into his chair and, crestfallen, he looked up at the stranger. “How can this be?” he asked.

The stranger replied that Danny would soon understand and started to talk to him about his life. How hard he had worked. How devoted a father and husband he had been. He also explained that Ann was so sorry for taking her life and for the pain it had caused. As the stranger continued with his soothing words, Danny began to calm down, and he realised how selfish he had been for the past year. He felt deep shame for the way he had behaved, for withdrawing himself from his friends and family, and for treating his children as if they were a burden.

He asked the stranger to tell Ann that he would always miss her, and that he was ready to be a decent father to the children and to make a fresh start.

The strange, pale man smiled gently and put his arms tenderly around the grieving husband. “That’s all I wanted to hear, Danny. At last Ann can rest in peace, but never forget that I will be keeping a very close eye on you from now on.”

Danny woke up back in the study, shaken from his dream. It had been so vivid, so real and so intense. It was then that he noticed Ann’s necklace on the coffee table right beside the empty whiskey glass.

The End

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Please visit Sean’s website and check out his other great stories and follow him. https://sean-bracken.site123.me/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Barbra Badger: Did you see…?

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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Did You See…?

By Barbra Badger

Ethel reached for Paula’s hand while ducking her head to protect the flowers on her hat. Paula pulled her gently out of the car and Ethel emerged, hat unscathed.

“Ahhhhhh.” Ethel had a musical sigh most of her family enjoyed. Paula had never been to the ‘old farmhouse’ although the stories she had heard convinced her she would know it as soon as she saw it. Stories had been told from the memories of relatives who grew up in the house when everything was fresh and cared for. Their memories were so vivid, Paula could see the fresh curtains and smell the accumulated family dinners with herbs and spices mixed with the charcoal residue in the fireplace.

The sight before her now did not measure up. The porch awning was hanging by a row of nails that could be seen in the space between the eaves and the main support of the roof. Shingles had taken leave of their posts, and paint was down to only a few steadfast patches clinging in scattered array.

Ethel strode confidently on the warped boards which formed the platform of the porch. Paula noticed her aunt’s form was framed by the lace curtain in the window behind her and took a mental picture.

Paula dashed ahead and got the door.

“Wait, Auntie, it may be stuck. I will get it for you.”

Immediately Ethel’s memory replayed the day her beloved Vincent brought her home to ask her parents if he could marry her. Vince’s face was beaming as he leaned in to open the door. She squeezed his solid bicep as she stepped past him to give reassurance—she would stand with him. Their joy was palpable when they went inside, and the room lit up with it. A few years on, this house became their home.

Today the ear-splitting squeak the door made brought her back to the moment. Time had not stood still but had slowly ravaged and besmirched the very air that filled her nostrils.

A reflexive cough squeezed her eyes closed, but when she opened them there sat ‘his’ rocker facing the empty fireplace. Empty chair, empty fireplace, this empty house was a mirror for the emptiness she had not faced since Vince had died. She groped for the chair with tear-filled eyes, overcome.

Paula said nothing but helped her aunt sit in the beloved chair, then went exploring.

So many aunts, uncles, and cousins had passed since the house was built. Though few had passed in this house, the many did not choose to inhabit it in spirit. No ghosts here. The only floors that creaked were the ones she stepped on. The only moaning sounds were the wind slithering through a gap in the window frame.

Ethel sat in Vince’s rocker staring at the cold fireplace and rocked herself into a nap. His rocker was where they read to the children; comforted them after a fall or heartbreak; cradled them to a heavenly sleep.

Emerging from her reverie, he was plainly standing before her holding out his hand to help her rise as he had done when they played music and danced in the night while the children slept. A smile so warm and welcoming she could never resist. Even days when so much washing, cooking, tending animals and children made her bone tired, his smile and gentle hand drew her to her feet.

Paula entered the room just as Ethel let out a laugh and leapt to her feet. Ethel clapped her hands and danced in a circle with more vigor than Paula had at the moment.

“Auntie! What?”

“Did you see? Did you see him? He came and asked me to dance.”

Paula knew who she was speaking of and tossed it off to Ethel’s deep state of denial.

“No, Auntie. I didn’t see him. But I am sure he was here for you.”

Ethel’s face was lit up as though the fireplace was in full glow. She twirled around two more times, nearly fell, and Paula rushed to her side to help her into the chair again.

“We should go now, Auntie. Is there anything else here you wanted to see or do first?”

Still glowing, but perfectly calm now, Ethel sat silently rocking slowly.

“No, child. I have what I came for. Let’s stop by the cemetery on the way home. I haven’t been since he passed.”

On the way out the door, Paula was seriously tempted to take one of the glass knobs or the lace curtain as a memento, but instead she bent down and scooped up some earth with a paper cup.

Ethel smiled a warm, welcoming smile all the way to the cemetery and all the way home.

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Please visit Barbra’s FB page, Barbra Badger’s Writing Tablet and give her a like!

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

LEAH PRYOR: COMING HOME

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Coming Home

By Leah Pryor

The room had been cleaned out. Void of anything that resembled the life they made in it. The pictures that adorned the walls were gone. So were the vases that once held fresh cut roses from the garden, the bookshelves that were filled with the classics and catalogs, even the furniture that had been purchased with the dowry money from their wedding, were all gone. It didn’t matter, she could point out where everything belonged. She saw it in her mind the way it used to be. But it wasn’t that way anymore. The only thing left was the chair that sat in the corner by the small green closet door. Only it wasn’t by the door now. It had been pulled up to the small fireplace that once kept the cold out and the newlyweds warm. The warmth was gone now too. The cold found its way in through the old and dilapidated structure. Gone were the memories but not forgotten.

Martha didn’t want to remember this place as just another bare room. Her best memories were in this room. This was first place she had ever felt comfortable enough to call home. It was the room that she birthed their only child in. It was the place that they celebrated birthdays and holidays in. Just the three of them. Cramped but exceedingly happy. She hadn’t been here in nearly twenty years but could still feel the essence of the home that they made it.

She shook her head as she turned in the middle of the small area. She took in every inch of it. The cradle that never got used for more than storage once stood by the window. Adeline had slept in the bed with her and Frank until she was two. Than the cradle was sold and a small mattress was purchased. The mattress was placed at the foot of their own small mattress. During the day both mattresses were laid up against the wall and the small loveseat was put in the center of the room. The food was prepared in a Dutch oven that hung on a metal bar in the fireplace. She could almost smell the stewed meats, potatoes, and vegetables that would waft from the fireplace. Enticing smells that would bring the neighbors knocking. This was once home. This small green room that once was the cradle of their lives, held nothing now but her memories.

Martha sat in the chair. Her strength was waning. She was an old woman now. Frank had passed away some years back. Adeline was a mother. Her two grandchildren were no longer children, but young adults on their way to universities. They both had lives of their own. “What happened to the time?” she thought out loud. Her voice echoed off the hollow walls. It crackled back at her reminding her of an old phonograph. Reminding her of the fact that she was old enough to have owned a phonograph.

“It seems like yesterday, Frank, you were carrying me through the door of this place. Oh, Frank. If you could see it now. How small it really is. How many years did we spend here? We were happy, weren’t we, my love?”

Her echo was the only answer she got back.

“This place is going to be demolished, Frank. A big fancy motel is going to be put here instead. I don’t know why it bothers me now. I guess I thought it would be here forever. But forever is a long time, isn’t it, Frank? It was too long for you. Hell, it’s too long for me too. So I suppose it’s fitting that it should be torn down. Something new and useful should go here, I guess. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back? Do it all over again? I miss it, Frank. I miss Adeline when she was a wee babe. I miss you. I miss this place. I want to go home, Frank. I’m tired. I have nothing to live for. Nobody to care for. Now they all take care of me. I feel like a… like a… well, like I am an old fart. There, I said it. I feel old. And without you, I feel… I feel like I’m just waiting to die. Frank? Are you even listening to me? No. I suppose you aren’t. You barely listened in life, so why would death be any different. I came here to tell you that I love you. I always loved you. I loved our life. I loved this room.”

The tears were forming in big glops around her eyes. They stuck to her long lashes and dropped down her paper-thin cheeks. She felt as if this room was holding on to the last bit of life she had left. Once it was demolished she was sure she would die shortly after.

When Frank had come back from the war he had purchased a new tract home on the other side of town. They moved out of this room and into the new home when Adeline was nine. But the rent was so cheap on the room, they kept paying it. When Adeline turned sixteen, she and her friend moved in, but soon found the small room too confining for women of their style. They moved out, leaving the place empty. It didn’t stay empty. They were able to supplement their income by subletting to young couples and single people. It had been a godsend during times when money was tight. But it hadn’t been rented in years.

The building creaked and shuddered as the cold seeped in through the old home’s bones. Martha shivered from the cold. She felt it in her bones too. It was time to say goodbye. The space was starting to feel as empty as her heart. It took her awhile to stand up and straighten out. Before she left she would open the small green closet door just to see if anything of value might have been left behind by any of the room’s other occupants. The old bulb flickered as it warmed up and set the small closet ablaze with light.

The light blinded Martha. She put her hands over her eyes until the bright streaks faded from her vision. When she removed them she gasped in awe. She was no longer standing in the small empty closet of the empty room she once loved. She was standing in her home. The room was filled with all their things. The cradle was against the window where it belonged. She could smell the stew cooking in the Dutch oven as the fire crackled. Frank was sitting in the corner rocking their baby girl. Their sweet Adeline asleep in her father’s loving arms. He smiled brightly at Martha and her tears flowed freely.

“We’ve been waiting for you. You’re home now,” he said to her. He held their baby out and she took her child from him. She held her in her arms while she cried tears of joy. Frank stood and kissed her deeply. He welcomed his loving wife back to their happy life and back to her first home.

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Visit Leah’s Facebook for more of her writing and be sure to give her a “Like.” https://www.facebook.com/asentenceaday2019/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Larry Stephens: My Room of Choice

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

My Room of Choice

By Larry Stephens

How do you like my room?

True, it’s really not much to look at; nor is it well-furnished—not like the dozens of other rooms in this rambling, sprawling mansion where generation after generation piled more rooms on top of older rooms in a crazy, haphazard way that actually gives me a headache when I consider the overall construction of this… monstrosity.

There are older rooms in this place—some dating back to the first construction in the early 1700s, buried in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. But I avoid those rooms. They scare me; feels like they’re haunted and they creep me out.

No, this is my Room of Choice, and while it looks old, I actually have not a clue how old it really is. There are no dates scratched in the paneling, no roughly-etched heart shape with two sets of initials bisected with a plus-sign. There’s no evidence that so-and-so was here in 19-something-or-the-other.

But the beat-up paneling tells so many stories, as does the charred fireplace and the worn, spotted floor, so really, it’s pretty easy to get lost in here.

I found a chair—like the most austere chair I could find in this endless cluster of windowless rooms, rooms with doors that open onto brick walls, doors that open to winding tunnels carved out of the raw earth—and brought it to this room. After all, a man’s gotta sit, right?

I come here every day; burn a little weed before I get here and wash it down with some Johnny Walker Blue, then I grab some H2oH, then trundle down some steps, out of the ‘waking world’ of sunlight into this room that time forgot where I take up my super-austere chair and then find a story.

I don’t have a creative bone in my body. You ask, ‘How can that be?’ And the answer is straightforward. Because I don’t. I’m not built that way.

It’s this room. Without this room, I’m nothing. There would be no best sellers with my pen name gracing the spine.

But this room…

There are so many stories that this room commands me to tell. Look here at this panel just to the left of the fireplace. What do you see?

Worn panel. That’s funny. And stupid.

Why is the paint on that panel worn differently than the ones on either side of it? Maybe it has something to do with the fireplace? Maybe that’s the perfect panel to lean against to get just the right amount of heat and light from the fire. The one to the right? Too hot. One to the left? Not hot enough. So why not lounge right there while puffing on a pipe while a lady perches right in front of the fire? Maybe she’s knitting.

Maybe it’s 1902 and she’s asking her man why he has drops of blood on his rough, wool shirt. Again. And perhaps this time he’ll finally tell her why. And then show her.

Understand? No? Okay, let’s look at that fireplace. Now some of these spots on the floor that look to be more worn than the rest of the floor. What’s that stuff telling you?

You’re cracking me up, but it’s good to hear that you’re a little more serious in your answer. ‘Favorite spots where people gathered ’round the fire.’

What if those people consisted of all one family? An entire family’s lives lived in one room. Think about that. Now, what if it were two families? And they were slaves.

But we know there are defectives in every group, right? All sorts of defectives; some with physical deformities and some with mental ‘problems,’ especially if there was inbreeding, which I heard was common in situations like this at the turn of the 19th century.

But folks were not stupid; they knew how to thin the herd no matter the cost in personal, emotional pain.

Doesn’t that just open up all sorts of possibilities? Now, look at that spot right there, right in front of the fireplace. Look at the color of that spot. Kind of looks like the floorboards are… stained.

Don’t look so shocked.

Now please leave me; the Room is calling me and it’s very, very demanding.

You can see yourself out.

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Visit Larry’s FB page for more of his work and ‘Friend him! https://www.facebook.com/Enzo.stephens.5011

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection