The Road – Finish the Story #6

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The Road

“It’s in your blood, hun.”

His mother’s response to the announcement that he was leaving home echoed in his ears. He knew she would be supportive, but he never expected to feel both exhilarated and let down at the same time. They were close, and always had been, but a little part of him now felt she had already let him go years ago. Pushing that thought from his mind, Eric picked up his loaded backpack and set off for the adventure of a lifetime. With one last hug and long look at his old life, he began walking down the familiar sun-dappled path toward town and the bus station.

Eric still appreciated the quiet, peaceful beauty of the old trees as their leaves donned autumn’s colors, but his mind was elsewhere. His imagination conjured up images of vibrant city life, the music, the lights, the faster pace. He’d have to get a job, of course, and was prepared with various resumes. He couldn’t wait to begin his new, exciting life, and was so preoccupied with these thoughts that he didn’t hear the rattle as he stepped over the log. Eric braced himself for the rattlesnake bite that he knew was coming.

He looked down at the log expecting to see a coiled rattler poised to strike. But he was totally unprepared for what he actually saw. There, in a small wicker basket, was a baby, no more than a few months old, Eric guessed, rattle in hand, looking back up at Eric. The baby shook its rattle and then smiled up at Eric. Eric reached down and lifted up the basket. The baby looked healthy and, given the circumstance, remarkably happy. It even started cooing when Eric lifted it up out of the basket. And that is when Eric found the note attached to the baby’s diaper.

The typed note said, “I am a victim of incestuous rape and I am not fit to be a mother. I named her Tuesday, because that is when she was born, but who ever finds her can rename her whatever they want.”  Eric being the genius that he was, realized that the baby was only two days old, because today was Thursday, or possibly it was a week and two days old, but he really had no idea and it could have been a few months old and two days.  Eric felt that this was better than getting bit by a rattle snake, or for that matter getting hit by a javelin, but Eric knew that he did not want this baby and he would have to figure out something to do with it, so he could get on with his busy life.  It was kind of a cute baby and he always liked that song Tuesday Afternoon.  Eric wondered how any mother could not feel any emotional attachment for their own baby and that is when he crouched down to pick the baby up.  As he grabbed the baby, he heard a voice say, “No stupid, you have give her proper support because she is still developing, so put your hands under the baby’s head.” Eric looked around and saw…

He put the baby back in the basket, blew a kiss and moved on,

“All the best, Tuesday! May you find a parent who deserves you….”

He had barely moved ten steps, when he heard the baby’s cooing again. Reluctantly, he looked back and found her smiling. She even managed to wave at him, or was she imploring to be picked up…. He was now sure that she was more than a month old, as she could communicate so well. But how had she survived for so long? Did the callous mother take more than a month to abandon her? He was imagining a face similar to the baby’s … maybe, the mother is young and beautiful, but callous … no helpless or .. innocent or .. what? Darn… it was not his problem to think about that.

Another cooing sound, and he had picked up Tuesday again. He looked into the baby’s innocent eyes, and knew that he was hooked. But how was he going to manage this?

There were only two options. One, go back to his Mom and seek her help. She might suspect something else, but it didn’t matter. Or look for the baby’s mother.

The thought of searching for Tuesday’s mother sounded hectic. Eric decided to take the baby home to his mom. When mom saw Eric, she was quite surprised by his return. She was taken aback to see a pair of tiny toes peeking alongside Eric’s shoulder. The baby’s cries filled the room. Mom quickly grabbed Tuesday in her arms.

‘I had doubted mom unnecessarily,’ thought Eric and smiled a sign of relief.

‘What’s your story?’ asked mom.

Eric quickly started from the rattle sound to the note in the diaper.

Mom’s eyes were clouded with tears. ‘The history repeats,’ she said to herself.

She remembered that day how Eric arrived at her. It was the time of sunset and she was having her usual walk along the neighborhood park when she heard a feeble cry. A day 1 old baby was found in a brown cardboard carton wrapped in a piece of bloodstained cloth. She frantically waited for an hour to see if anyone came to claim the baby. Finally, she took the baby herself and a homeless baby got a home and a mother too.

She named him Eric, meaning Ever or Eternal.

Eric’s mother was quickly hard at work fussing over the baby. There was so much to do and first thing was to change the baby’s nappy as it was considerably wet and smelly after so many or few days.

Eric knew his mother was a good mother after all he had her to blame for being the man he was.

His thought of adventures in the city were put on hold as he and his mum discussed what to do. Tuesday would have to be handed in as his mum knew the mother would in time want to know where her child was.

They decided to put a lost child sign up on every post in the village. Surely someone would come forward.

After a week there came a knock on the door.

The man stood on the porch, taking off his hat when Eric’s mother opened the door.
‘I understand you are caring for an infant which I believe is my daughter. I’ve come to take her home.’
Eric’s mother distrusted him on sight, and rather than invite him in, decided to keep him on the doorstep.
‘Yes, we are looking after a young child temporarily. And who Sir, are you exactly?’
‘My name is Edwin Mallor, and I live in the next village. My fourteen year old daughter ran away with her sister some weeks ago, spreading malicious rumours about misconduct under my roof. I have come to claim what is rightfully mine, and will see to it that you are well compensated for your time and trouble.’
‘And what Sir, has happened to your older daughter? Has she been found and returned safely to you?’
‘Sadly no. Her body was retrieved from the river eight days ago. It is believed she had left the babe unattended whilst she bathed.’
‘And where Sir, might this have been?’
‘In the woods over yonder. May I take the child now?’
‘How old would your daughter be Sir?’
‘About six weeks of age.’
‘I am sorry Sir, but the child we are caring for is about a year old. I will bring her to you if you wish, but I am confident she is not your kin.’
‘That will not be necessary then, so I’ll bid you good day.’

Eric could not believe his mother could lie so blatantly to the man, and asked why she had done so.
‘Eric, son. You are a good boy, but you don’t understand these matters. Tuesday may well be his daughter. She may also be his grand daughter. How convenient that her mother drowned and cannot defend her actions.’
‘What are we going to do?’ Eric asked.
‘I want you to remove all of the notices in the village. I need to think of a way to keep this baby safe’.

Eric nodded. He did not quite understand how these things worked, just like his mother had said. However, he knew that little Tuesday would be safer with them. He blew a flying kiss to Tuesday, and ran off towards the village. He had to remove all the notices.

He returned in the evening. He knocked on the door. He heard his mother’s voice coming from inside.
“Password?”

“Mom, it’s me.”

“You know the password, Eric.”

Eric sighed. When he was a little kid, Eric had been fond of making makeshift tents inside the house. He would let his mom enter the tent only if she used a password he had made up. Eric spoke towards the door.

“Olopolo!”

Mother opened the door to let Eric inside. To his shock, Eric saw an assortment of weapons laid out on his dining table. Bows, knives, swords, axes, it was a complete arsenal. He looked at his mother with questioning eyes.

“Mother? What is all this?”

Mother placed her hands on Eric’s shoulders.

“Child, you should know. Tuesday is no ordinary baby. Men will come to take her away. Evil men. We need to keep her safe.”

“But, mom what about the oath you took? And what do you mean by Tuesday not being an ordinary baby.”
Mother ruffled Eric’s hair.

“See Eric, we have a visitor.”

“A visitor?” Eric had been so annoyed with Mother’s password nonsense and surprised at the weapons he had not seen the figure sitting next to the fireplace. He watched as it unfolded from the chair rising until her head nearly touched the ceiling. She was thin, her face full of sharp angles and sharp eyes. The flowing amber-brown fabric of her dress fell from her shoulders to the floor, softening her bony structure.

“What…” Eric blinked several times. “Who are you?”

“My name is Laila. I am a fairy and Tuesday’s godmother.”

“A fairy godmother?”

Laila’s pale face might have been alabaster. She stood motionless, her slender fingers dangling from the sleeves of the gown.

“Tuesday’s fairy godmother? Some godmother you are. Aren’t you supposed to protect her?” Eric’s voice rose as he spoke, he clenched his fist and shook it at the being in front of him.

“Eric,” his mother said placing her hand on his shoulder.

“I led you to her. You required guidance holding the babe,” Laila said.

“It was you I heard?”

Laila slowly closed and opened her eyes. Her chin dipped a fraction in acknowledgement.

“What do you mean you led me to her? Me? Why me?” Eric shook his head.

“It is as foretold by prophecy.”

“What prophecy?”

Laila’s eyes closed again and though her mouth didn’t move her voice filled the room.

“You have a restlessness young man but your conscience will always lead you to do what is difficult but right”.

Eric was mesmerised by the softness and timbre of her voice; she seemed to speak in echoes. His mother had stopped fussing and even the baby was silent, hushed by Laila’s melodic voice.

“The note was written that way to pull you in, once you read its contents you would want to take this child and give her a safe place” Laila continued, gently touching the baby’s forehead.

“Eric, you have a destiny. You know this; unconsciously it’s been simmering in your psyche” Laila moves a little closer to the fire as she speaks and Eric sees sparks bounce off her lips.

“I had to protect this child from the evil sent to retrieve her. That man who pretended to be related to her, he was in good disguise but your mother spotted it immediately. I thank you Madam” and Laila bows and her gown rustles like leaves falling on an autumn day.

Mother smiles shyly and nods, “Yes I felt he wanted to destroy the magic, he had a muddy, streaked aura that was quite menacing”.

“Indeed he was not here for the benefit of this special child, the girl he mentioned was not his daughter though she was this baby’s mother. She was ill and had run away to save her child, sadly her body was too weak. I protected the child while waiting for you to appear Eric.”

“There is a prophecy you see…..

 Heed the owl on a full moon night.
Tell the mother hold on
until the owl passes over town,
or the caul will be torn
and the child have no sight
behold the transparent veil
the mystic cover
remove with care
there’s magic beware”

 Eric stood and cried. Those words he had heard in his nightmares. All his life he had had the same recurring dream. He would have to face the Nighwatcher. In the dream, he travelled through the darkest parts of the forest at night, with only a special candle to find the Nightwatcher who appeared in the form of an owl. The Owl would sing to him the same words that Laila had just told him. Only the Nightwatcher knew the rest of the prophecy.

“Mother, you need to keep the baby safe, Laila will help you. They will come for her, she is the Lightchild. You remember the nightmares that I’ve had since I was small? You used to cradle me in your arms and sing to me until the memories of those terrible dreams faded. In those dreams, I was told the words to that prophecy and I was given a mission. I think you know all about it. You must give me the candle.”

His Mother’s eyes went vacant suddenly. “What candle? I don’t know what you mean by the candle.”

“Those horrible dreams told me you would have the candle. Only that candle will light my path to the Nighwatcher and only he can tell me what I must do next. I am the Pathseeker and I must return the Lightchild to her rightful place, only then will the evils of the world, released by Pandora all those thousands of years ago, be returned to their box and the world will be at peace again. I know now what our family secret it. You are a Witch, and Pandora was your ancestor. You have a black candle and I must have it.”

“Eric you don’t know what you’re saying. A black candle is a wicked thing, made from the rendered fat of an infant. I would never have such a thing!”

“Mother, I know you could never make one but nonetheless I know you have one.”

The tears ran down her face as she nodded her head. She ran upstairs and he could hear her open the door to the attic. There was a lot of weird stuff up there, he remembered sneaking up there as a child. After a lot of noise of boxes being moved, his mother came back downstairs. She held out a black satin bag as if it was a venomous snake about to bite her.

“Here, Son, take it. I could never bear to see it, not after my Mother told me what it was. It has been passed down the female line in our family. Use it soon. I fear time is short. Once lit, the candle will only burn for six hours. The wax never burns, but it will not light again until it receives fresh blood to recharge it.”

Laila smiled at them. “You have discovered your destiny. I am the guardian of the child, you are the Pathseeker. Your Mother and I will keep the child safe but you must go tonight to find the next part of the prophecy. There is only one more thing you must know…………………..”

The Story Died Here 😦


This story was created by:

The Haunted Wordsmith
Light Motifs II
This, That, and the Other
Reena Saxena
Syncwithdeep
Morpethroad
Pensivity101
The Dark Netizen
Jo Hawk
Singledust
Tales From The Mind of Kristian

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The Art Student – Finish the Story # 14

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The Art Student

Amy checked herself in the rear-view mirror one last time before heading to C101 in Hawthorne Hall. Just a year ago, she walked those halls as a student, and now she was teaching her very own class.

The door was unassuming, but behind it, magic happened. The class was exactly as it was when she was a freshman. Easels and stools filled the center of the room while cabinets were filled with paints, sponges, canvases, and everything anyone needed to learn how to become an artist.

Students started filing in. Right at 10:00, Amy started her first lesson.

“Hey everyone,” she said, “thanks for signing up for The Human Form. This class is an introduction to drawing the human body.”

The students groaned. That surprised her because this had been her favorite class, but she carried on anyway.

“For our first lesson, I have requested a model who,” she paused and looked at the clock, “should be here any minute. Today –”

A knock on the door interrupted her. Fifteen students gasped and Amy looked stunned when an enormous guy with the weirdest skin came into the room. He was so large, he had to duck to get under the door frame and had to step sideways so his shoulders could get through the opening.

He had no hair on his head and his skin looked like a melted wax candle.

Amy took a breath then asked the man. “Excuse me. Are you from the agency? The Model agency?”

The man’s voice was deep yet soft. “Yes, they told me you asked for something different. I must admit I was surprised when they said you wanted me to pose for students. I’m usually sent to horror movies to be an extra or jobs like that. Halloween is my busiest time of year.” He sounded sad about it but resigned to his fate.

Amy replied “Well, I did ask for someone who looked a bit different, not a conventional beauty. Can you stand on that platform and remain as still as you can.

The man removed all his clothes. It was clear that the melted skin was pretty much all over and not a hair grew out of it. Standing on the platform his head brushed the ceiling tiles.

Amy couldn’t resist asking him “Your skin, were you born like that or….” She couldn’t finish the question, but he answered anyway, it’s what most people asked him.

“No, I was a firefighter, at 9/11. I was caught in a fireball.” He could say it now, seventeen years later, without breaking down.

Amy turned to the class with tears in her eyes “Class, take out your pads and pencils, I want you to draw what you see.”

After twenty minutes, Amy began to walk around the class to look at what people were drawing. She couldn’t believe it that one of her students wasn’t drawing the model, but instead seemed to be sketching a scene out of Dante’s Inferno.

“Excuse me,” Amy whispered. “But we’re drawing the human form in this class.”

The young woman looked up, a frown ridged between her brown eyes. “I am drawing him,” she said. She went back to her work, her hand moving swiftly across the page.

Amy decided to move on. If a student didn’t want to learn, that wasn’t Amy’s problem. She got paid regardless. She stared down at a man’s drawing. “What’s that?” she blurted.

He looked up, clearly confused. “I… what? Do you have suggestions?”

“Draw the man!” she hissed. Amy was growing frustrated with these students. Why were they depicting hellscapes? She touched the man’s drawing to point out what was wrong and scorched her finger.

“It’s ruined,” he said. “Thanks a lot. You have charcoal on your hands.”

Amy glanced at her hands which were burnt, blistered, and sooty. “I’ll be right back!” She dashed out of the room and down to the health center.

“Good lord!” the receptionist said. “What happened to you?”

Amy is clueless but her raw, scalded fingertips seem to heal slowly but efficiently on its own. Under the glare of the fluorescent light, her skin takes on an almost unhealthy glow, blue from her veins seeping from under her skin, cooling the wound and healing it perfectly. The nurse takes a step back and steadies herself against the gurney.

“Your hand looks alright now; I think you should go back to your class” the nurse steps away from Amy and hurries towards the far side of the room, like she needed to put space between them really quickly.

Amy stands up straight and without another word, just a nod to the nurse, leaves the room and heads back to her class.

Amy glances at the paintings along the hallway wall, they are amazing works of art that should be displayed in galleries and art museums not in a college corridor, she thinks to herself. Who are these students? Why was that nurse behaving so strangely towards her? How did her fingertips heal so quickly? Maybe she never burned them at all, just imagined it?

Amy reaches the class and turns the door knob and enters, the class is still busy at work, like her leaving was not even noticed, almost as if they had a pre-determined assignment before she arrived that morning.

The model is still sitting at the front of the class and looking wistfully out the window. At her desk next to the model is a lady in a cerulean blue dress, she has the darkest hair Amy has ever seen and the lightest blue eyes almost the colour of a spring sky. She smiles as Amy enters and gestures with her hand.

“Welcome Amy, I apologise for not being here to introduce you to your class, these are highly gifted and prized students” she has a soft voice and Amy has to strain to hear her words. “You come highly recommended and we hope you will fit in here and with our plans. We have serious work to do here” the lady in blue continues.

Amy has just noticed there are bars on the windows with locks on the outside; she feels a chill in the sunlit north facing room.

“Come…” lady in blue beckons her closer.

Amy squeezes her eyes closed, wondering if she’s dreaming this sequence. Wasn’t this the same class she attended? Funny, she didn’t remember the bars on the windows nor the sulfurous smell that seems to hang in the air. Was she a prized student? Perhaps not. Perhaps she was just a conduit. Strange that that word should come to mind.

The lady in blue smiles a Mona Lisa smile that never reaches her eyes, which blaze blue like the hottest fire and yet are so very cold. “Do not overthink, Amy. I can see the wheels turning in your mind. You won’t find the answers. They were hidden when you were here. You were not one of the gifted ones. Not like these students,” she says as her hand sweeps over the group.

“I don’t understand.”

The lady in blue nods. She thrusts her hand outwards, erasing the classroom scene. Now it’s as if they are part of Dante’s Inferno, with screaming wretches and fire licking upwards. The screams are nightmarish. This is hell, Amy thinks. Am I in hell?

Amy shudders and thinks back to that night, that awful night.

That dark night when nothing felt right.

Her future as an artist was at stake. All because of one subject – The Human Form. She had been doing well on all the other subjects. However, her abysmal grades at this accursed subject threatened to cause her failure. Amy felt the need to take her edge off, and so had turned to her trusted bottle of whiskey.

A bottle down, she had begun contemplating a solution. Her intoxicated mind raced with many ideas ranging from threatening her professor, to seducing the top student in class to get his assignments. Finally, an idea had struck her. She had run off to her bookshelf and fetched an old black book. She had opened it, and turned to the chapter she was interested in: ‘Making A Deal With The Devil”.

Having read the chapter, she knew where she was supposed to go. Taking ritual items with her, she got inside her old black 1965 Chevrolet Impala and drove till nearby crossroads.

Walking till the center of the crossroads, she kneeled at the dust and buried a small sack containing all the ritual items. As she stood up, she saw a handsome young man with red eyes.

You seem desperate for something. What is it that you wish for?“, said the crossroads demon.

I want to be an artist and be the best artist ever lived.“, replied Amy.

I can do that, but there is a price for everything, My dear!“, crossroads demon said calmly.

I am ready to pay anything for my wish. Please help me out.“, begged Amy.

Fine then. Let me tell you the rules. I will grant you your wish but in exchange I want your soul. I will come back in ten years for your soul. You have ten years to be the artist you want to be. Do we have a deal?

Amy stared at the demon with brooding eyes and asked, “My soul!? Why do you need my soul?

It’s my business. Soul is the only thing of value for this pact and I secure human souls for hell. So tell me are you in?“.

Considering her options, she thought, “Ten years is a long time. I can think of something to get out of this before my time is up.” And finally, Amy agreed to the deal.

Deals are sealed with Kiss, My Dear“,  the demon grinned.

Amy agreed, took a step forward and leaned over to kiss the demon.

The demon disappeared and Amy came back from her flashback.

Is my ten years already up? Am I in hell?” thought Amy fearing the worst.

Story Died Here 😦


This story was created by:

The Haunted Wordsmith
Tales From the Mind of Kristian
Light Motifs II
Singledust
Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
The Dark Netizen
And Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Just Put Something On – Finish the Story #13

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The clock in the living room flashed 6:00. No one was ready as usual. It was Black Friday in the Harris household. Ben ran through the house looking for his tie, while Jessie screamed about not being able to find her English homework.

“Your tie is hanging on the closet door in the bedroom,” Fay said as she stacked the magazines on the coffee table. “Here is your homework, Jessie.”

Mom to the rescue. It was always up to mom to know where every thing and every one was at all times.

“It’s your fault!” Jordan screamed.

“Is not!” James hollered back.

Jordan and James had fought since they were born. Although if you asked Fay, she would tell you the twins fought even before they were born.

“Young man, will you please go back upstairs and get dressed,” she told her youngest, Casper.

Five minutes later, Jordan and James, Jessie and Ben, were all waiting in the car for Casper and Mom to come out so they could finally get to school and work.

“Casper,” she yelled from the bottom of the steps.

“Ready,” Casper yelled.

He appeared at the top of the stairs wearing a tuxedo.

Casper grinned down at Fay as she shook her head. Casper was her imagination come to life. He told stories and made the whole family act them out. He was a little elfin and whimsy was a part of his day to day.

Casper waited.

“Casper, why are you in your tuxedo? That is only for special occasions.” Fay said in exasperation. “Go back to your room and change right this minute! Your siblings are going to be late for school!”

“I am a super secret agent, there are bad people everywhere, trying to get your chocolate marble super fudge icing cake. I have to stop them!”

Fay sighed, knowing that it was nigh on impossible to change Casper’s mind once it was set. Beckoning him to follow, Fay put her hand on the door knob and Casper gave her his naughty smile before running into his siblings room to hide. Fay knew she was in for a ride as she runs behind Casper.

“Casper! You better come out of hiding at once.”, she order which sounded more like pleading.

“Where is he?”, she asked James and Jordan who were still struggling to get ready in their not so spacious room. She asked again but they just nudge each other and smiled silently. She was in no  mood to play their silly game while still having so much work to wrap.

“Young man, I am warning you.”, she gave Caper the last ultimatum. Caper then appeared from underneath the bed holding his walkie-talkie. She immediately took note of the dust he has got on his tuxedos.

She walked towards him…

Story Died Here 😦


This story was created by:

The Haunted Wordsmith
The Wonderful and Wacky World of a Single Mother
The Floating Thoughts

Annual Meeting of the LMP

Hazel and Dr. F sat in the lobby of the local Denny’s after they became tired of waiting for the others at the cabin they rented for the weekend.

“It’s not like Drac to be late,” Hazel said, sipping her coffee.

“Nor Wolfie,” Dr. F added, buttering his toast.

As they waited and watched the other diners come and go, Dr. F grew more impatient. Hazel looked at her watch and tutted.

“We only get together once a year,” she said. “It really is rude of them to invite us up to the Connecticut woods where we spend the morning freezing our old bones –”

“Now, now,” Dr. F said. “It is really lovely scenery here. Reminds me of where I grew up.”

Hazel looked around and sighed. She reached into her purse and pulled out the invitation from Drac and read it again. The color drained from her face as she shook it.

“Hazel! What’s wrong? What is it dear?”

“Oh, we are getting old. I’m terribly sorry,” she said, starting to cry.

Dr. F reached across the table and took the invitation then started to laugh. “Simple mistake. Just a simple mistake.”

As they left Denny’s and started walking back to their cabin, a puff of smoke appeared before them and a tall man with a long white beard stepped out of the smoke laughing. “Thought I’d find you two here. It wasn’t like you to miss our little get together.”

“Oh, Merlin, I am so sorry,” Hazel said.

“Well, I’m not sure why you thought Altie lived in the cold waters of New England…” Merlin stopped and scratched at his beard. “Nessie lives in the cold waters though, and they are cousins.” He stared at Hazel and Dr. F then started to laugh. “Why does she live in the South?”

Hazel and Dr. F laughed. By the time they collected their things from the cabin and made it down to Georgia, which really wasn’t that long considering they did have a witch and wizard who could make travelling very quick, the annual meeting of the Legends and Mythical Persons was already underway.

As Hazel and Dr. F were getting up there in years, few took exception when they found they seats. The witch doctor, however, did take exception when Hazel said she had a love potion that worked better than his advice ever would. He stormed out of the meeting room after Dr. F said he could make the witch doctor a woman that didn’t need a heart to win over. Hazel and Dr. F looked at each other and shrugged.

“Was it something I said,” Dr. F asked.


This was inspired by today’s Daily Writing Challenge – Witch Doctor