Wednesday, 7 October 2015

October Frights Drabble Wednesday: Ghosts

Welcome to the October Frights Blog Hop!

Keep the lights on for this Drabble Wednesday, as October Frights brings us four more tales of ghostly phantoms…

Death Kindly Stopped

“Are you tired of running yet?”
I looked at the kindly old man sitting on the bench beside me. Dressed in rather scruffy tweeds, he needed a good suit. “Do I know you? I feel like I do.”
“We met once. Are you tired of running yet?”
“Was I running? I’m not out of breath.”
The edge of his mouth twitched. “Oh, but you are. Out of every breath. Forever. That’s why I’m here.” He laid a hand on my shoulder. “I’m Death. Are you tired of running yet?”
I looked him in the eye. “No.”
I start running again.



In a nameless town, a pale flower grows at the edge of an old cemetery.
Velvet, alabaster petals kiss olive green leaves, swaying gently in the summer breeze. Its life spans a single day, once a year, before its bloom expires beneath the full moon.
With mortality, its petals flutter to earth, crumbling into blood red dust, scattering its touch among the buried dead. Summoned, shades and spectres arise, and the once silent graveyard pulses with howls and moans, and the rattling of bones.
In that nameless town, on this moonlit night, the dead come back to visit the living.


The Candle in the Lantern

The candle flame in the lantern flickered, as it did each night, shining its beacon from the tree branch where it hung. Below it the river gurgled, flowing eternally to the vast sea, and the deep scented wildflowers bloomed, even encompassed by the damp grey mist and coal black night. The clearing lay hushed, the air still, the glimmering light casting shadows over earth where few human feet willingly trod.
For the candle burned to lure the unquiet dead, its wispy smoke a summons, a binding that restrained ethereal forms within the river glade and far away from the living.


The Painting in the Hallway

Do you ever have that feeling? The one where you’re positive someone is standing behind you, but no one is there? I get it all the time, in the front hallway of my mother’s house. Whenever I stand next to that creepy painting of my grandmother. It’s probably my imagination, like the way the portrait’s eyes follow me as I move.
Still, I don’t like the feeling.
I don’t like the thought of being watched by someone I can’t see.
It frightens me.
But do you know what really scares me? It’s this sensation of someone’s hand on my shoulder.

© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Unknown said...

I loved your 4 flash fiction stories! I especially loved Harbinger and The Candle in the Lantern. Such cool ideas about how the dead and undead might be summoned. Thanks a lot for the great reads. :)

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks Lexa. I originally wrote The Candle in the Lantern for my Facebook group, Microfiction Madness. The prompt was based on this picture:

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh, I love that running one!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks, Sheila.

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