Revival – Friday Fictioneers

Here is this week’s entry into the weekly challenge brought to us by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Here are the rules: Use the photo as inspiration, write a hundred(ish) words – and share! Here goes my offering for this week – and I welcome your comments again!

Copyright - Dawn M. Miller

Copyright – Dawn M. Miller

– Revival –

“This is how it used to look. Before they ripped its heart out.”

I take the picture from him, one that he keeps in his wallet next to a photo of his wife and daughter.

It’s a cutting from a magazine, the paper soft with age – I hold it as if caressing a butterfly. He is in tears; men are not afraid to show their pain here. Life has been too hard to pretend otherwise.

I stare up at the bones of the building, black against the blood red of the setting sun.

“We will rebuild your museum, I promise.”

His smile is radiant.

—-

Click on the blue froggy below to read others’ offerings!

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Caught Short

It’s my second night in the new house and boxes are lurking everywhere, waiting to trip me up in my midnight journey to the toilet downstairs. So I don’t go.

There has been yet another power cut and I have no idea where my candles or matches have hidden themselves in the frenzy of moving. I consider risking it and feeling my way in the dark, but the thought of being discovered weeks later, a bloated corpse at the bottom of the stairs freezes me in place. Buying an old house in the middle of nowhere is not always the romantic option. Still, it’s too late now.

I can hear the tappity-tap of typewriter keys above the gale.

Why can I hear someone pounding on my Olivetti in the middle of the night? It can’t be an intruder – no house-breaker would pause to bang out his magnum opus before searching for jewellery and credit cards. And more to the point isn’t your typical burglar a fair-weather breaker of the law? That storm would drown cargo ships. On a night like this, Jonny No-good will be snuggled up to his bleached-blond girlfriend, snoring gently.

I have to find out what’s going on.

I negotiate the stairs, any thoughts about safety completely gone. I knew the house was haunted when I bought it. The owners had tried to keep that little gem under wraps, but Eileen the neighbour had been only too keen to share the juicy story of a writer murdered by his wife as he reached the end of his life’s work. The typing had driven her mad, not to mention the loneliness of being married to someone who lived in his head most of the time.

It didn’t put me off – in fact, I knew it would be the perfect foil to my own angst-filled existence; a single woman, recently divorced, starting my life over again when I had expected to be winding down, resting on the laurels of my husband’s hard work. This could be a fabulous distraction. I hadn’t expected a visitation quite so quickly – I must be an empath, or whatever they call them.

I push the living room door open a crack, smiling inside as I picture the publicity that this will bring me. I imagine TV and radio serial rights, a book tour…

The crow stares at me, skittering and hopping across the floorboards, shaking its wings and tail feathers in the weak moonlight. The fireplace is littered with soot, dust and other debris blown in by the storm and dragged down the chimney by a stupid bird. 

No tortured soul.

No ghost-whisperer storyline for me.

Just a crow.

And me, weeing on the floor.

Traces – Līgo Haibun Challenge

Ever in the market to try new things in the writing world, I have decided to dip my toe in the world of the haibun – a piece of prose followed by a haiku poem. The Līgo Haibun Challenge is hosted by Penny and Ye Pirate – why not take a trip to their blogs to find out more?

This week’s two alternative prompts are Ecstacy and Illusion. I have chosen Illusion, since this does rather reflect how life feels in my slice of this good earth. I hope you enjoy it.

*****

– Traces –

The memory of you lingers, a breath suspended in the frozen air. You are ethereal, a wraith barely visible in the depths of my mind. I reach out, desperate to grasp hold of you. Like a fire it burns – the need to feel the skin of your hand, the smoothness of your fingernails, the rough patch where you rasped your knuckle on the garden gate. All of those details, the minutiae that passed me by, now they are what I search for, relentlessly.

I see you every day – a face in the crowd, a gesture, a tone of voice. I turn swiftly, yearning to catch in the corner of my eye the proof that you are still here. It was all a dream. I have woken, relief engulfing me, arousing me from the acres of sleep into which I have walked, unannounced and unwanted. But you are still gone. Remnants of you are mannerisms, cruelly reflected in my mirror, flat and unsympathetic. I don’t find comfort in the shadows of you.

your voice remains here

in my mind it echoes

joy embrace my lost heart.

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