Gone

He bent down on the wooden planks, his old bones creaking as he leaned towards the shoes.

The material was a faded grey, washed far too many times. He remembered wanting to throw them out. He almost had, he remembered smiling. But then she’d begged him. Pleaded with her wide emerald green eyes that he couldn’t resist. She had the same eyes as her mother.

Slowly, he sat down, the shoes still in his hand. He stared out into the garden.

The old swing set, slightly moving in the cold morning air. How many times he’d pushed her. Higher and higher. She’d always been adventurous. Always in search of new things to know and to do. He’d always thought a thirst for knowledge was better than climbing the sides of mountains. So he’d let her be the journalist she’d always dreamed of being.

Of course she couldn’t just be the kind to write about the local life. She had to get out there. War journalism was far more up her alley.

“Come back inside, darling. Maybe it’s not even her.” His wife put a light hand on his shoulder.

He looked at her and held the shoes up. “She left these behind.”

©2018, FFftPP Week #41

Photo from August MorgueFIle 2018 1415390688o66bl

Darkness

She could only see the soft glow of the lantern ahead of her. It was disquieting. She’d always loved the darkness, but tonight it felt unsettling. Fear of the dark was one of the most widespread fears, she remembered reading once.

As she hurriedly moved along the street, her hoodie pulled tightly around her body, she felt the shadows shift. She shivered and kept her gaze straight ahead. She didn’t have that much further to go. Just a few more corners.

Then she left the cover of the streetlight. The paths darkened again. There was no lantern around here, but she’d always thought that was the cool part of her journey. No one could see her, as though she were a part of this darkness. Not tonight. Tonight the darkness was even darker and she was no longer a part of it.

She thought back to their argument. She couldn’t even remember how it had started. Who had started it. But it didn’t matter anymore.

All that mattered was that she had to get away from him.

She thought she was almost safely at home when she heard the footsteps behind her. She broke into a run.

©2018

Image from free photo stock Pixabay.com

Through the Puddle

The bench he decided to sit on was wet with rain, but he didn’t really care. It had stopped raining an hour ago, but even that didn’t really register with him. He felt totally isolated, as though cut off from the world. Staring at the puddles on the ground, he felt the world keep spinning around him. Men and women rushed past him. Everyone had a place to go. Needed and wanted. For years he thought he belonged to them. He was a part of this wave of people, moving from place to place, always in motion.

Now he didn’t know where to go. Didn’t know what to do, didn’t know how to act. His world had come crashing down on top of him, everything he had so carefully built fell apart like a house of cards.

Something had changed, his mind registered. It took him a few seconds to realise what it was. He found himself locking eyes with a man through the puddle. Staring him straight in the eye, the man seemed to stand right before him.

When he slowly lifted up his head, he felt the bullet tear through his body a second before his eyes found the gun.

They had stripped him bare of everything. Now, finally, they had taken his life too.

©2017

Image from free photo stock pixabay.com

Forgiveness

I watched the hand curl around the door, the long fingernails digging into the wood. In the shadowy moonlight, I could see the knuckles turning white. The door creaked. It was standing half ajar, but I was sitting in the dark, hidden away from the outside. All I could see was the door. The door and the hand curled around it. And of course the shadow. It was so huge, it almost occupied the entire doorframe, the hulky shape blocking out the moon.

I shivered. I didn’t know what to do. My teeth were clamped together so hard, my jaw hurt, but I knew they would chatter as soon as I opened my mouth. It was so cold here. The floor was so cold, hard and wet. The hand moved a fragment of an inch, barely noticeable, but I was so fixated on it, I noticed it. The door creaked once more, now slowly opening wider. I wanted to scoot further into the corner I was in, but there was nowhere to go.

That was when the screaming started. Thousands of voices around me, begging for forgiveness.

© 2017

FFfAW, Week of September 5, 2017

Photo prompt provided by artycaptures.wordpress.com

Appreciating the Wine

She looked down at the food and wine, and suddenly felt sick. He had wanted to talk to her, that’s all he had said. Excited, she had gone grocery shopping, twirling through the room as though she was getting married. Well, that’s exactly what she was hoping was going to happen. She thought he wanted to finally – finally – ask her to marry him. She had gotten the wine ready, the red one he had always loved so much.

Now she sat opposite him, staring at the cheese, willing him to laugh at what he had just said. There was silence, then she looked up. “What?”

He watched her for a second, sipping his wine, then he replied. “We’re over.” He set the wine down. “I know you dream about marrying me,” he grinned lopsidedly, looping his hand around the wine glass again. “And I appreciate the wine, but I’m sick of you. I know,” he held up his hand to stop her from protesting, while his other slid beneath the table. “I know you would never let me go, so I brought you a little present.”

Grinning again, his hand reappeared with a gun in his hand. She turned white, her words stuck in her throat.

“You’ve never meant anything for me. Except for the money you so kindly gave me, and the wine of course.” He smiled widely. “Goodbye,” he whispered, then he pulled the trigger.

© 2016

Image from free photo stock pixabay.com

Trapped in a Tunnel

Though the tunnel appeared well-lit and recently built, he hated driving his car through it. It was something he had never grown accustomed to. The narrowness of the place had him on edge.

Turning up the radio, he tried to fill the space with music, but he could still feel the walls looming over and around him. He shuddered and concentrated on the end of the tunnel. Soon, it would be over. Soon, he would be out of here.

Beside him on the floor, his prisoner stirred. He kicked him hard, not taking his eyes off the road and got a groan as a response.

Shit, he thought, as he hit the brakes hard. The cars in front of him had all slowed down almost to a stop and from behind, he could hear the wailing of police sirens above his music.

His prisoner stirred again at the sound. This time he kicked him hard. When the cars stopped moving, he shoved the other behind his seat, just in time before a police officer rapped on his window.

He nodded and smiled politely, but then he saw the man’s hand move to his gun, just as a second police officer appeared at his other door.

© 2016

Image from free photo stock pixabay.com