Page 195, Line 4

If you haven’t participated in this fun little prompt before, it’s quite simple. Grab a book…any kind of book…and flip to page 195, then count to line 4. Use that line as a prompt for a post. You can take the quote directly as use that in a story, or simply find inspiration in the line and come up with something else.

Simply provide the quote (along with book title and author) and have fun! 

If you want to participate, simply write a post and link it back to this post so everyone can read it.

“An instant later, Principal Jones switches back to full-on principal mode.”

Matthew Swanson & Robbi Behr, The Real McCoys

“It wasn’t me,” I said, hoping she would be convinced. “I don’t know who it was, but it wasn’t me.” I crossed my fingers. “I promise.”

Principal Jones leaned back in her chair and smiled. “I understand.”

Ha, she bought it – hook, line, and sinker. I am good. I smiled back and tried to look innocent.

“I’m here to be everyone’s friend, so when I hear that someone put mustard, ketchup, and french fries into someone else’s milk carton when they left the table to get another jello cup, I have to look into it.” Principal Jones smiled more and looked like my grandmother offering me a plate of cookies. “You understand that, don’t you?”

“Oh, yes, I do hope you find whoever did that mean thing,” I lied. Inside I was busting a gut trying not to laugh. I would be out of there in a minute. Adults can be so stupid most of the time.

Then it happened.

An instant later, Principal Jones switches back to full-on principal mode and whipped out the lunchroom monitor’s notes and flicked on the security tv she had near her desk.

My eyes grew wide. I couldn’t help it. She had me. There was no other reason she would let it go on as long as she had. Unless she enjoyed it. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched Hillary’s reaction again. It was funny the first time, funnier the second, and had me on the floor by the time Principal Jones played it for the fifth time.

Yeah, okay, I shouldn’t have done it, but three days in-school suspension was worth it.

Note: this story was fiction…there was no way our school would have had a camera back then – nor did any of us snitch when it was our turn. 🙂


The Claiming of Hampton Manor

Stories about Hampton Manor circulated for years. It all started after Mrs. Hampton’s death in 1682. Though she was not royalty, her demeanor had been quite regal and attracted everyone she met. Hampton Manor held grand parties every month and it was at one of those parties that Mrs. Hampton died. Some claimed she died naturally, but others believed she had been murdered. No one except Mrs. Hampton knew the truth, and no matter how much she tried to tell her story, no one listened.

Time passed slowly and families moved in and out of Hampton Manor, but none stayed for long. In 1982, a young family moved in against the realtor’s advice. It had been their policy to never sell or lease it to a family with children after the incident with the Jenkins. It truly was a sad event, but the Hawkins’ were dead set on owning Hampton Manor. After a few phone calls, the realtor was forced to sell it to them.

Peter was an accountant by day, painter by night. Isabella stayed home with their ten-year-old son, William. Life at Hampton Manor started out well. It always did. But soon, Mrs. Hampton grew tired of being ignored again and became enraged. She screamed like a banshee, banged on the walls and doors, and tried to get them to either leave or acknowledge her, but to no avail.

The only evidence that a ghost was present in the home was in Peter’s new collection. In each painting, Mrs. Hampton’s spirit was seen lurking around the corner, reflected in a mirror, or weeping in the attic near an old stitched doll.

People in town were shocked that the family had stayed as long as they had. Rumors flew quickly as those who did not know the family accused them of witchcraft or some other nonsense. It wasn’t until Peter’s gallery opening that the town then understood why the family was perfect for Hampton Manor.

After being introduced by the gallery owner, Peter walked up and waved. He handed the microphone to his interpreter and began signing how nice it was to be there. Isabella and William’s hands flew in the air and waved.

Eventually, Mrs. Hampton resigned herself to living in a silent world and sat in the attic sulking until she could have fun again with the next owner.

This was inspired by Fandango’s photo prompt and FOWC prompt: regal

Look What The Cat Dragged In

“Look what the cat dragged in,” Jeff said with a wrinkled brow.

Kelsie peeked out of the bathroom still brushing her teeth. “Hmm?”

Jeff didn’t say a thing – just motioned for her to come there.

She spat in the sink and walked over to Jeff, pausing to scratch Muffin’s head as they crossed paths in the hallway. “What’s up?”

He pointed at the ground by the cat flap. “Look what the cat dragged in.”

Kelsie screamed and instinctively grabbed Jeff’s shoulders. “What in the hell is that!”

She felt Jeff shrug. He picked up an umbrella out of the stand and poked the blob. It moved. Kelsie shrieked and ran to the bedroom, slamming it behind her. The blob moved again which sent Jeff fleeing into the bathroom.

Not wanting to risk injury, Jeff phoned the police. When they arrived, the blob was gone.

“Where’d it go,” Kelsie whispered.

Jeff shook his head and stared at the wet drag marks in the carpet that quickly disappeared. “No idea.”

A for sale sign appeared in front of the house that evening.