Sunday Photo Fiction – Leave the Light Off.

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photograph © Alastair Forbes

In folklore, telling someone you’d leave the light on for them was a friendly way of saying you looked forward to their visit. But that was in another time, another place and as far as John was concerned a completely other existence from his current one.

Hiding out in the decrepit old mansion he was pleased there was no electricity. He looked forward to the safety of darkness soon to envelop the estate with the coming night. He felt safer in the dark.

Which was rather amusing in light of things, he thought, giving out a harsh bark of laughter. And then repeating to himself, “In light of things. Too funny, I made a pun.” No pleasure in his laughter, though.

It was a truthful pun. As a child he’d been deathly afraid of the dark and always had a night light on to feel okay before he’d sleep.

Now, a light on meant someone would know he was here. He glanced up at the silently mocking chandelier. Life did work in mysterious ways. He sighed a weary sigh, and settled in to wait for the safety of the lightless night.

***

To take part in this writer’s challenge, just check in here at Sunday Photo Fiction Your host, Alastair, will guide you through the process. To read other entries (fun and well written), click on the little blue link box, while there.

Hope your enjoyed, thanks for stopping by,

With a little bit of whimsy relating to light, does anyone remember where the following humorous phrase originated from: “Put the candle BACK!” (I just love this movie by the way, tons and tons!)

~ Penny

In Search of the Perfect Soul!

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He was the leader of a large country of substantial wealth. He had great power but was a good ruler, yet he was not satisfied. He went forth to his advisers (the wisest men he knew) and asked of them “How can I know if I have a perfect soul?”

His counselors conferred among themselves and being wise indeed said, “Oh omnipotent ruler, yours is the perfect soul! There can be none finer.”

But the ruler wasn’t satisfied with this answer, for he did not know himself if this was true. How did one measure the worth and value of a perfect soul?

He called forth all of his couriers and instructed them to scour the land and find perfect souls so he could compare himself to them.

While he waited for their return he thought about his personal assets as it related to being a human being. Was he worthy? A perfect soul had become increasingly important to him for some reason that he could not fathom.

Some time later his couriers returned, each with new ideas for what the perfect soul would contain but none had returned with a “perfect soul”. Still, one and all proclaimed that their ruler indeed was in possession of the perfect soul. And yet he pondered and worried about whether it was true.

So he sent forth a new quest in his land. He asked the question “What is the perfect soul”? He proclaimed that the one who best answered his question would have all the riches he or she could desire.

Crowds of his people flocked to the courts. Each person given the unique opportunity for a private audience with their king to answer the question.

As the days and months past the king became more convinced that there was no such thing as the perfect soul. Many very wise and some equally foolish people past his door to share their understanding of a perfect soul. The goal for most of them, of course, promised riches for the right answer.

One day the king, becoming overly weary of the same responses, dismissed everyone. He told all those in the great halls to depart, he wanted peace, relief from the noisy cacophony of his people. As the assembly hall emptied he noticed a slightly golden glow emanating from a simply clothed figure sitting unnoticed in the corner of the great hall.

The king now alone in the room, except for this one unassuming figure, approached her. At first glance she appeared quite nondescript but her calm demeanor and manner belied her rather ordinary physical appearance. As he came to stand next to her, she lifted her eyes and gazed deeply into his. She smiled a soothing smile.

“My king”. She said bowing her head and then returning her gentle gaze upon him.

He didn’t know what made him ask this person, this least of all individuals, his important question but he did.

“How can I know if I have the perfect soul?” He asked.

She thought for a moment and then responded, the glow of her own soul shining clear and strong as she replied.

“Your soul seeks to be full and complete, even on the most difficult of your lifetime days of activities. Your soul strives mightily on your behalf. You need search no further. Be at peace, your soul will answer your question in it’s own time. You are a good man and a great king, live your life now, quest no more for the answer. It will find it’s way to you as is the way of all souls.”

“How can you be sure?” He asked this soft spoken woman.

The pure radiance of light that now shone from her was near onto blinding the kings eyes, yet he stood firm and waited for her answer … and it came, simply and with no fanfare, just a surety and certainty that wiped away his doubts, worries and fears.

Her answer – I believe!

*

Thank you,

~ Penny

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!

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“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!

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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:

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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