This weeks story is dark, cold, and creepy. The tragic effect of a power outage in winter, and the story of someone who has no where else to go. This is the story of Margaret, and I don’t want to give anything else away, but this is the kind of story that ends up in criminal minds… So reader beware.

Margaret knew if there had been any light at all in the basement she would be able to see her breath. The blackout that started, what felt like days ago, had gone on long enough that the cold weather had seeped in from outside.
She had assumed it was winter from the dryness of the air, but there were no windows in the basement, and no calendar on the wall. She couldn’t say for certain how long she had been in this room, this single room that had become her entire world.
She bundled herself up the best that she could, and she waited, desperately hoping that Greg would come back soon. Greg’s arrival was always something that she looked forward to, and dreaded in equal measure. He was the only person she ever saw, and with a variable schedule she never knew he would be coming back. He also brought food when he came, filled the fridge and and the freezer, brought her new clothes, puzzles, toys, and books. Greg was the only thing that was keeping her sane down here.
Greg didn’t come without his downsides though. He was short tempered, violent, and lustful. The combination left him unpredictable, and her usually limping when he finally left.
Now she didn’t care about the pain, all she cared about was the darkness. She had thought she had seen the worst of this place with it’s isolation and boredom, but the lack of light made it unbearable. The good news was, tht the low temperature would stop the food in the fridge from spoiling. Leaving on the tap had guaranteed that the pipes wouldn’t freeze, so she would have water, but the temperature was beginning to concern her.

She had already started loosing feeling in her extremities, and while moving around warmed them for a short time, at some point she would fall asleep. As the time passed she could feel the heat draining from the space, from her, taking what little energy she had. The cold water she drank chilling her from the inside, and she flinched with every sip.

She didn’t dare sleep, not knowing how cold it really was, going to sleep might be the last thing she ever did. She didn’t yell, or scream, or cry, there was no point. She had gotten that out of her system years ago, when she thought she still had a chance of leaving this basement.

Now the idea of leaving the basement frightened her. The world changed so fast, she wasn’t sure what she would be walking out into, and if they hadn’t found her by now, it wasn’t likely anyone would any time soon. That meant that walking out of here would be Greg’s choice, and she knew that it wouldn’t end well for her.

She wasn’t the first to be down here. If she hadn’t been tipped off by the lingering scent from the worn clothes she was given, the scratches on the walls, or the well worn groove along the floor at the end of her chain, the names on the underside of the bed would have given it away. There were two, each with a date beside them, and a dash, with no end written. She filled those in, she recognized the names after all, from the missing reports, from the coroners reports.

It’s how she knew hat she had been here longer than either of them, than both of them combined actually. She wondered what they had done, what had happened that had made him want to replace them so soon, and yet keep her all this time. Her eyes drifted shut, and then popped open. She wished she knew how many years it had been for sure, that he wasn’t just making up Christmas to throw her off, but now with the cold she was pretty sure the cycles of humidity and dryness had been winter and summer after all, and if that was true, she had been down here for 7 years. Her refection in the toaster had showed that time had not been kind to her, and she didn’t check it often, but now in the darkness she wished she could see it, just one last time.

All to soon it grew colder even faster, and her eyes spent more time shut than open. Greg wasn’t going to make it in time, maybe whatever storm that had taken the power was keeping him away. Maybe he was in the accident, the one that took out the power. She wouldn’t know though.

She took a deep breath in, and as she let it out, she let it all go, and stopped fighting. She pulled off the blankets, laid on the cement floor, and let the cold carry her off to sleep. If she was lucky, this would be the year that her family finally got closure. She would let go, so that they could let go too. Really, it wasn’t the worst way for this to end.

The Last Petal

Hello and welcome to this weeks Friday Picture Prompt response. This one is a follow-up/ AU ending to a tale as old as time. What is a certain curse ended a different way. Follow our man or well, monster, as a rose goes up in smoke.

He watched as the rose began to evaporate, his hope along with it.  He howled, as he thought of what it would be like to be stuck like this for all time, but it seemed he was mistaken.

The curse, was not as he had, until know, interpreted. There was no endless life cursed as a beast, or even growing old and dying like this.

As the first spasm racked his frame, he felt fear, and then he rejoiced, the spell, it was breaking. This is how it had felt when he had become this animal, and now it was being undone, he would be human again. 

It grew more and more painful, but he bore it, for the reward would be sweet, as he now knew that she loved him. When he finally passed out from the pain, it was with the knowledge she would be there when he awoke, but he was wrong.

She liked him well enough, but she didn’t love him. How could she love someone who would keep a prisoner? The pain, was that of the curse finishing its work, ending the life that had been spared all those years ago, and freeing his staff. The witch had given him ten years to learn, grow, and that he chose to brood, and sulk, rather than change was proof that he did not deserve the gift he was given.  It was better to end him now, than allow such a tyrant to rule over the people.

Perfectly Quiet

Hello Hello, welcome to this weeks response to the six-sentence story prompt of the week FILM. I wanted to write something in the horror genre for Halloween, but while it is horrifying, I didn’t quite hit the mark. Follow our narrator as she returns to a perfectly quiet house, which can be one of the worst things when the house shouldn’t be empty!

She knew something was wrong from the moment she opened the door, to the intense kind of quiet that had never existed in her home, and a layer of dust on the floor.

In the living room a half cup of coffee sat, with a film of separated milk floating on top, and when she hit the kitchen, she knew that the news was going to be terrible.

A glass lay shattered on the floor, the dried juice around it the parody of a puddle, and three servings of macaroni and cheese sat on the table, entirely untouched.

She began running then, calling out for her husband, her children, as she went from room to room, only to find it empty, looking for all the world as if they were simply there one moment and gone the next.

She pulled her phone from the nightstand and watched as it turned on with agonizing slowness, wishing for once that she had the kind of job where she could take it with her, but nothing would change that now.

When the backlog finally loaded, she scrolled through them, horror mounting with each new message, until she reached the one that spoke of a loss that could not be overcome, and she knew that nothing would ever be the same again.

So you could ask me what happened, and I could tell you about 12 different stories, because I didn’t really plan that. This is one of those stories where you get to decide what happened. I have always found that what we can imagine is much worse than what actually occurs.

Let’s Get the Band Back Together

The word of the week was BAND, and I went “Let’s get the Band Back Together”. In this piece our main character learns the hard way not to agree to something without knowing all the details, and suffer the consequences of their actions.

Let’s get the band back together, she had said, and the noise I had made in response was more one of acknowledgment that she had spoke, than one of agreement.

Let’s get the band back together, had sounded so innocent than when it did register, I thought nothing of it, and assumed that she wouldn’t follow through anyways

Let’s get the band back together, had made me assume that she had called those of us that were still among the living, and arranged a reunion at her place.

Let’s get the band back together, didn’t bring to mind images of pentagrams, dark magics, sacrifices, or three people too afraid of the crazy lady with the knife to say no to her terrible plan.

Let’s get the band back together, made you think the band, just the band, and not the things that followed through the door that we had opened and did not know how to shut.

We got the band back together, but it was short, terrifying, full of screams that would haunt me till the day I died, and in the long years that followed, where I lived in fear every-time I saw movement from the corner of my eye, I would never again make a hmmm of acknowledgment.