No Safe Side to Midnight – Scarier Sequel to earlier Scary Story!

I wrote (for me) a scary story a few months ago. The Safer Side of Midnight. Being Halloween I was persuaded to write a sequel to this story. We left our heroine in a rather precarious situation, happily she manages to get away (that’s another story though). But for this story it’s Midnight and our heroine is …

Scary story, part 2

No Safe Side to Midnight

Was this hell? She couldn’t tell! Things were so unclear, she opened her eyes, only to be horrified by what she saw staring back at her.

the beginning of evil

“Do you see what I see, my pretty one?” He leans in towards her, his words smooth, a sinuous whisper.

She shudders, struggling in a futile attempt to move, trying to look away even as his hands and arms hold her securely. Staring deeply into her lovely green eyes he notices the gathering cloudiness as they fill with fear, dread … and … something more.

“Ah, yes” He thinks. He feels both her fear and her growing desire. He pulls her closer, sighing deeply. His hot breath flays her flesh, while his lips rest gently against her ear.

“I can feel it, you know” he whispers.  “The evil without. The boundaries of your immaculate being contain an evil. Not inside your soul, mind you.” He pauses to laugh. “Not yet anyway!”

He laughs harder. A harsh sound, resonating like echoes from bat wings, flapping in a cave, wakening for a midnight feast. She closes her eyes, he continues to whisper, assaulting her other senses.

“The evil you wear without is of the finest veneer. A covering so paper thin as to have almost no existence.” His tongue savors her taste as he lazily laps an earlobe, pausing once again in contemplation. Her body shivers. He laughs. Playing with her emotions is such a delicious sensation.

“Yes, hardly there at all. This evil laid upon you in a previous life. You were so innocent, more easily tempted then, but it’s still there, your weakness. I feel this exquisite coating, layered upon the exterior of your soul. This ‘oh so slender veneer’ of evil calls you to me as does your purity.”

“Such a heady mixture of both, I can barely contain myself now that I have you, my ‘oh so’ pretty one.” His voice rich, sultry, seductive, playing with the nuance of each whispered word, hypnotic in its intensity of purpose.

the evil within

She feels him staring at her again! Compelling! She opens her eyes. His look, piercing. She tries again to turn away. Her fear, the captured prey of a wild beast. A beast as surely he is, and yet there is a longing – growing deep inside her – a craving, a desire! The fear is real, yet so is the growing need. How to resist? She senses him, can smell his heat and her own, a dampness to her skin, she shakes with the intensity of need, panting …

Waking suddenly, she sits straight up in her bed! Another nightmare. They were becoming more frequent and certainly more realistic.

More than a year since her escape from the cemetery. A lucky thing. The ‘being’ that had first spoken to her had whisked her away from the others. She still wasn’t sure how he’d accomplished this feat. Her body and spirit still badly bruised from the ordeal. He had left her in another part of the woods. His final words were, “I’m saving you for myself, I’ll find you later, after I take care of Him”. She wasn’t sure what sort of creature he was, but grateful for her life, she had made her way home.

And then she moved, far away. Changed her name, did everything she could to leave no trail. Created a new life. The past had stayed in the past until recently – when the dreams began.

What was she going to do now? During daylight hours she had begun to recall previous lives. She remembered the constant running but knew there was something else. But what? She needed to remember in order to protect herself; and even more to the point – why?

Why were they searching for her? Who were they? If it came to that, who was she and what is so special that she can’t remember? And in the meantime – Dear God! She covered her face with her hands. A nightmare when asleep, a nightmare when awake. Too much for any mortal to take, and now she’s beginning  to wonder – is she mortal? She doesn’t know anymore.

Looking through her bedside window she could see it was still dark outside. Did she even dare try to get more sleep? She had been safe during the day, since she moved. But now, he could find her in her dreams. And there were two of them chasing her, the creature from the cemetery and the demon he had summoned. It was all too much. Her memories of the past, her recent memories and now her fear.

What was she going to do?

“Perhaps I can help?” A voice said quietly, from the other side of her bedroom. There was someone there. In her room, sitting in the bedroom chair. Shadowy, indistinct but there, none-the-less …  and she was awake.

No safe side to midnight!

.

~ Penny

A Halloween Mystery – The Pumpkin Family’s missing Engine!

Trouble_in_the_Pumpkin_Field

“Dag blasted, Jack! What’ve you done with the engine?” Mr. Pumpkin was really angry. It was just about time for everyone to pile in to go to the Halloween party and with no engine in the pickup they wouldn’t be going anywhere.

“Honest, Amos,” Jack replied. A seedy look in his eye, “I just can’t understand what could have happened.”

“Well, it’s not as if you have to be a rocket scientist to figer this ‘un out Jack. Firstly, there’s an engine and now there ain’t!” Amos pulled his orange hankie out of his rear pocket and wiped his sweaty orange brow off with the realization he’d have to tell ‘Maude’, Mrs. Pumpkin.” He knew this would not set well with her.

In the mean time Jack had turned away from the pickup and was searching the ground.

“Jack, what are you doing now?” Amos asked, getting more agitated by the minute. “Looking at the ground isn’t going to solve our missing engine problem.”

“Well, that’s not the way I see it Amos,” Jack responded, scratching his triangular concave nose, while he continued to search the ground. It was starting to get dusk, and hard to see well. Thank goodness for the candle inside his head that illuminated his eyesight!

“Joe and Jeff must have run off to get some food? That would explain things! ” I’m trying to see if they left a trail behind for us to follow.”

“What in the gosh durn heck of it all, do Joe and Jeff goin’ for food have ta’ do with anything?” Amos exploded.

“Well I figer it this way,” Jack went on. “If Joe and Jeff took off goin’ nut huntin’, and they be the lead squirrels in dem cages in the truck engine, then they probably let the other squirrels out at the same time.

I’m guessin’ we’ll have ta’ wait for them to fill up and then they’ll be back at work in the engine, gettin’ it up and runnin’, at least that’s what I reckon’ll happen!”

Amos spat on the ground and went along with Jack to get a lantern, and some moonshine out of the shed. They decided they might as well fill up with fuel too, while they waited for their “engine” to do the same thing!

Halloween Mystery solved – The whole thing was nuts!

*

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

~ Penny

Clueless when “Opportunity” knocks – Friday Fictioneers!

 Photo Credit, Copyright – Rich Voza

Copyright – Rich Voza

Flash Fiction (100 words)

The Door to Opportunity

“Sam, what are you doing?”

“Huh,” he replied, busily opening and closing each door in sight.

“I asked what you’re doing,” Irving said.

“Oh, I’m looking for opportunity,” Sam answered while continuing to open and close each door.

“I think, the metaphor means having to actually go through the door when opportunity knocks. Opening and closing doors isn’t going to achieve anything!”

“What’s a metaphor?” Sam paused to stare at Irving.

“Just a figure of speech, referring to something else to make a point – that you’re not getting.”

“Okay,” Sam replied and began to open and close doors again.

*

There’s a lot more effort required when opportunity knocks. It’s just giving you a heads-up. You’re still the one who needs to pursue the advantage being presented!

Be sure to check out Friday Fictioneers’ other excellent offerings. Do you write? Want to give this flash fiction a try? Click here for details! Join an excellently talented group of international writers, have fun connecting with others, like yourself. The talented hostess Rochelle is there to help.

I hope your weekend is going well for you, thanks for stopping by,

~ Penny

The warmth of your arms ~ paradise lost!

~

Short short (flash) fiction – Friday Fictioneers, check it out! A wonderful weekly writing challenge for all writers, brought to you by the talented and gracious hostess (Rochelle). Click here and then – write!

This weeks photo prompt:

the-boat-and-miss-liberty

Photo credit: Jan Wayne Fields

Flash Fiction version:

(count – 100 words)

Paradise Lost

Remember my saying “when I am in your arms the world is a perfect place?” It was true. I felt loved, desired and safe. Three strong emotional needs we all share, I found in your arms. Isn’t that what paradise is all about? Shared experiences in the moment, our weekend in New York, wrapped in gossamer tissues of hopes, desires and promises.

Then our worlds clashed, private agendas displacing love with personal goals.

Now, memories of our brief happiness mixed with desire and longing. Loving memories of paradise … and paradise lost.

Missing the warmth of your arms.

*

The full length version:

Paradise Lost

I miss the warmth of your arms. I have for 6 long months now. But your agenda was different than mine. We did connect though, didn’t we? The long weekend we spent in one of the most romantic cities on the planet, New York, was heavenly in it’s perfection.

Do you remember my telling you, when I was in your arms, the world was a perfect place? I felt loved, desired and safe – all rolled into one. Three of the strongest emotional needs humans require. I found them all – in your arms.

But that’s what paradise is all about, isn’t it? What is experienced in the moment; wrapped in gossamer tissues of hopes, desires and promises. Such heady stuff.

And so we played, laughed and loved, reality continuing, all around us, while we lived our dreams. Then our worlds clashed, the love still there but overwhelmed by our individual game plans and our inability to express ourselves well – as  you pointed out after you’d been gone for awhile and we were speaking on the phone – You asked why neither one of us had looked into the other’s eyes and said “I need you and love you so much” even though we both felt it.

Each, so insecure of self we feared the other’s open rejection and our own ability to be what we felt the other wanted  – so we were silent.

But happiness was mine, for a brief period of time. Now I have memories of contentment mixed in with sensual desire and longing. Such loving memories of paradise and paradise lost.

I miss the warmth of your arms.

~*~

Thank you for reading, have a lovely day today and a beautiful tomorrow!

~ Penny

The Saga of Glory Rose!

The Saga of Glory Rose

When she was just a little girl she’d gaze up at the sky

viewing sun and clouds, the moon, the stars, and wonder why.

Why she lived upon this place, and how she came to be.

She wondered as she wandered, so curious was she.

~

On the day that she was born, a very early sign,

a birthmark on her tiny arm was there for them to find.

The mark shaped as a rosebud, “My Glory!” someone exclaimed,

And so they called her Glory Rose, and this became her name.

~

Rosebud tattoo began to fade with each new passing day,

Finally very few recalled why she was named this way.

And yet her name defined her in everything she tried,

her love of life and need to learn, she lived her living – wide.

~

She went her way and as she learned she spread her learning too,

Glory Rosy was glorious to all of those who knew.

She troubled over little things; none too small, too few.

“Please, take the time,” they’d hear her say “… before the time takes you!”

~

One day there was a mighty storm it blew in from the west.

The rivers flooded with the rain, ‘Mother Nature’s’ test.

One of the homes was swept away before all could escape

Raging waters swelling, they were no longer safe.

~

Glory Rose, not waiting, ran along the torrent’s wend.

Keeping pace with floating house until the river’s bend,

she dove into the waters, swam to the floundering home;

its timbers being tossed and torn, midst the swirling foam.

~

Among this chaos, trapped inside, she found the family bound.

Glory Rose untangled them and brought them safe and sound,

to the swollen rivers shore, where they could then be found.

~

Energy never flagging, as back and forth she came

until each were safe from harm, the river could not claim.

Just as she finally headed home, there came a giant surge

Glory Rose herself engulfed, within the river’s purge.

~

Town folk lined the river’s edge and hoped she’d reappear,

They held their breaths and waited, her death they greatly feared.

But Glory Rose still struggled, breaking through the pounding waves,

After being there for others, herself she then did save.

~

The saga told of Glory Rose began that very day,

Her bravery was amazing, but what did she have to say?

Well …

She laughed it off and then replied, “I lived up to my name!”

She then went on to live her life – pretty much the same.

No danger was too great, to save the others living

She saved herself,

she cared enough, 

to live – while she was giving!

*

“It’s a very good thing to take care of others,
Just remember to take care of you too!”

Penny L Howe, 2013

~ *~

 

Achieving Success … a simple matter of updating Content!

For all you writers with dreams out there – frustrated by where you currently are, a few thoughts on the matter!

reading, by Penny L Howe, 2013

Did you know there’s a whole future generation of readers who will be waiting to read your written words in the near future. It’s up to you to not give up, keep writing and stay the course, doing all you can do to get your book published:

Life has interesting twists and turns to it, doesn’t it? Just about the time you think you have it figured out, it changes on you. But don’t let that stop you!

The nice thing about dreams, however, is that they’re your dreams and you can alter and adjust accordingly, as needs be, to keep them alive and hopeful in your future of days!

A few potholes in the road, I few detours will happen but a dream is a mighty thing, keep believing and dreaming … all will be achieved!

 
“To achieve success,
Sometimes the dreams of yesterday
need to be updated too!”
*
~ Penny L Howe, 2013
~

Two Words A Writer Never Uses!

I Can’t!

How many of us have said or heard the words “I Can’t”. All of us, and everyone is my guess.

 When you say “I Can’t” do you know you’ve just sent a very real chemically relayed message to your brain that tells you to go to your memory storage vaults and back up the “I Can’t” statement with “proof”.

We are giving instructions to the brain. Your memory will reinforce the “I can’t” for you. It is happy to oblige, because it wants you to feel good about your choices, that’s the ‘ol self-survival thingy kicking in! Is this true? Yes!

Everytime you say “I can’t” it’s harder to say you can! Our mind is wonderfully inventive when it comes to all the reasons (rationalizations) as to why we can’t do something. But it just doesn’t hold water, if it did, we would not have survived as a human race.

Now as far as rationalizations go, the biggy today is Time. It is a valid reason for not having the time to do a thing during your days activities – but it is not your enemy.

Time is precious and for many of us it does seem to run out quicker than we’d like it to. But the truth is if you really want something bad enough you are going to figure out a way to get it, aren’t you?

So if time isn’t the problem, but you still can’t seem to get those creative words to come out, relax let go a little bit.

Or maybe you’re at a different place and the words are done but you don’t know what to do next – or it seems so hard to do the next step (like it’s so much more to be done); this final step to realizing your dream coming true.

I recommend the following: Follow you heart, follow your dreams. Discipline is important. Understanding that effort  + action will achieve results. Also research is important, spend a little time researching the “what & how” to do something . Put passion into this as well. Just don’t use the words “I Can’t”, because it isn’t true, you know … You Can!

I’ll leave you with (hopefully a little inspiration! It’s just a little seed of an idea. Some thoughts I would share with you.

Most mighty things – begin very small. Many great achievements were made with very slow and hesitant steps towards a goal. Success happened because those who achieved never stopped. And if they misstepped they still kept going, Perhaps they’d regroup or pause and start over, but they never stopped.

I  CAN

Don’t speak to me about cannots

Don’t try to stomp on my dreams,

I am who I am, and I feel what I feel,

And my words are all there in my Reams.

*

The Reams of my paper seem endless

My words upon words upon words,

But I’m true to myself and I’ll say what I say,

And do all that “I Can” to be heard.

*

I’ll never give up or stop trying,

Holding fast so that nothing can ban.

My dream is to write and so I shall write,

I will write for I know that – “I Can”!

 ~

 Hold fast to your dreams, never let go, never stop.

Thank you for stopping by,

~ Penny

penny

I wish you could touch me now …

I am vulnerable because of loving so pure and deeply, my walls of protection cannot keep my desire for you at bay.

and so … I wish you could touch me now. Not my heart, you’ve touched me there too deeply, it’s still bruised and bleeding. But my body still hungers for you.

I need your touch …

I desire the warmth of your caress, the closeness of your body, the physical contact of … you!

I wish you could touch me now …

… even as I understand morning light will illuminate the true reality of our relationship. I know for all your tender caring words, you would be gone and my loving soul will still be bruised … for all your promises said in the moonlight hours of sensual need and gratification. I know all this.

But the longing remains so …

I still wish you could touch me now.

I’ll always have our memories of the night time to sustain me, in daylight hours spent alone, reflecting on why you said one thing and did another. Belittling my efforts instead of supporting them, and yet still I love you. And wish you to be happy.

I am pleased to hear you are where you’ve wanted to be for so long. I am happy for you. Resigned, accepting and aware of some of the hard learned lessons of life, when one exposes one’s soul during love.

But now in these evening hours I dream of you touching me again, filling my sensual needs. Even, as reality has come full circle and comprehension of the cruelty of those who love and those who take in the guise of love, is complete.

Touch me … but let it be only the physical, my bruised soul cannot bear the mockery of a pretense at true love (yours were personal and emotional needs for yourself. I don’t believe you really thought of my needs – perhaps as an afterthought), but my body does respond to your loving body. So in that, there is truth.

I wish you could touch me. I’m prepared now for tomorrow … it hurts, but I understand. With all the love in my heart that I give so freely, I was so sure someone might love me the way I loved them in return … it seems I was mistaken!

~

Most definitely an unrequited love piece here. Not to worry, my next fictional piece is part two of adventure and excitement. Dry your tears and stay tuned for fun! Our fictional young lady in the piece above (p.s.- she’s the one trapped in the tunnel https://thewhyaboutthis.com/2013/07/22/alastairs-photo-fiction-the-tunnel-and-survival/ , although brokenhearted, she’s about to kick some serious a..!) More to come!

~ Penny

penny

Friday Fictioneers – Seeing Eternity!

maui-from-mauna-kea

Photo by Douglas M. MacIlroy 2013 © maui-from mauna-kea

Seeing Eternity

They say on a clear day you can see forever. Perhaps this is so. But I think … if you’re high enough, viewing the world by looking out, over thick misty clouds stretching off into the horizon … perhaps you feel like you’re seeing eternity.

You stand there, poised above everyday problems, staring into a vast distance of possibilities and potentialities; this moment in time etched in your mind – one you’ll remember forever.  The day you were high above the clouds, above doubts and fears, with the sense of belief … that perhaps you can.

~

It’s time for the fun and creativity of Friday Fictioneers. A group of international writers (clever and witty ones, I might add), who share their writing talent each week. Prompted by a photo they write a flash fiction (100 words approximately) for your entertainment and pleasure. Hosted by the very lovely Rochelle, this is a challenge to participate in – if you enjoy writing, and having fun! Click on the Friday Fictioneers link for more information!

If you enjoy reading, click on the links in the blue box collection.

Thanks for stopping by,

Have an excellent day and better tomorrow,

~ Penny

IMAG2676-1

Alastairs Photo Fiction – The Princess and The Maid

When I saw Alastair’s photograph of a castle, I thought of all the fairytales I had read as a child. (many) and knew I would be writing a fairytale. This is a short story, not a flash fiction and it far exceeds the 150 word limit of this writing challenge.

His photograph this week was excellent inspiration for me and I encourage you to join in the fun of Alastair’s Photo Fiction writing challenge! Click here.

To read a brand new fairy tale read on:

16-07-july-14th-2013

The Princess and The Maid – A Fairytale

She was spoiled. It was well known in the kingdom. Since her birth the King and Queen had given her everything so she always got her way. As a result she grew up with complete disdain for just about everyone and everything; except for one person, the scullery maid. The lowest servant in the castle, Gwen was a sweet gentle girl who was always rescuing small animals and was kind to all.

From the time she was old enough to talk, Princess Catherine was pampered and surrounded by adults. They were everywhere. The only time she was allowed to be just a little girl began the day Gwen (only a few years older) felt sorry for her and snuck her into a hidden room, accidently discovered in a remote part of the castle.

ateliersommerland

Gwen the servant, playing a fairy

From then on the Princess and Gwen would sneak off whenever they could to giggle and play, pretending to be beautiful woodland fairies before going back to their respective positions in life. One very high and formal, the other a lowly servant. They grew to love one another as sisters. In their own secret world.

Princess Catherine playing as a fairy

They continued to meet as young adult ladies, although not as frequently. When Gwen would comment on the rude behavior of Catherine to others, Catherine dismissed her words saying, “they aren’t worthy of my bother!”

Gwen would insist that everyone had value and worth and then go about her business. Her words, as usual, ignored by the haughty Princess Catherine. This might have gone on forever, her selfish, spoiled behavior. Except that one day she noticed Gwen had been missing for awhile.

She asked her personal maid where Gwen was and was told she was very ill and would probably not survive. The princess rushed through the castle upsetting all until a carriage was arranged and the princess transported to a tiny little hovel at the end of the village, where the only true friend she had every had, the maid Gwen, lived.

The cottage, no more than a hovel, was sparsely furnished. In one corner, a bed where her friend lay, barely breathing. Upon seeing her friend, she hurried over, tears in her eyes. The princess knelt by the bedside, grasping Gwen’s frail and fragile hand. Gwen slowly opened her weary eyes and when she saw the princess she smiled. “You came, your highness” She said very faintly.

The princess knew the maid did not have long to live and in a sudden moment of realization she finally understood what her friend had been telling her for all the years of their friendship. “Oh Gwen you mustn’t die, you are too good to die. I should die instead, I am selfish and unworthy of life but you are so pure and good.” She sobbed not caring if her royal face was stained and puffy with tears.

Gwen coughed, her voice a soft whisper as she spoke her last gentle words to her noble friend. “Then you shall live for me, and you will be as good as you can be to all those you meet. And I shall live on, through you my friend. Promise me you will do this. And we will be sisters forever joined through the bonds of love.

On the day Princess Catherine made the  promise to her dying friend, she changed and become the model of a loving caring individual. She went on to rule as Queen, and not for a single second, of a single day, did she ever forget her promise. The noble Queen had learned to become humble, with the death of her only friend. From that time on, she ruled with love and cared for all.

The End

~

Today we need fairytales more than ever. Fantasy for certain, but an engaging way to learn and remember a few of life’s, sometimes, harder lessons. I hope you enjoyed. Have a wonderful week!

~ Penny

penny l howe