Happy Monday, everyone! 🙂
Can you believe December begins in only a few days? That’s one hell of a wake-up call for my fellow NaNonites! I hope you’re not too stressed out about it, and took the weekend to recharge before launging your final assault.
If you need to take your mind of your WIP, or if you just want to have a bit of fun, then good news! You guys really have it in for me this week! If this writing prompt doesn’t make your creative juices flow (is anyone else slightly disgusted by that saying? I always picture someone’s wounds leaking when I hear it…)
This week’s prompt, chosen by you, is:
Time to vote for my next writing prompt! 😊 Interesting choice this week… Dark farmstead? Oh dear! #writingprompt
— Sarina Langer (@sarinalanger) November 21, 2016
See what I mean? If writing about someone whose name means Dark Farm doesn’t inspire you to go nuts, I don’t know what will 😛
If the prompt speaks to you, please go ahead and borrow it! If you decide to publish it on your own blog, or somewhere else, please link back here so I can be nosy ^-^ Happy writing!
(m.; dark farm)
As long as Colby didn’t focus on what was behind him, he could almost pretend that everything was fine, and normal. Except, the feeling in the pit of his stomach wouldn’t go away, and the longer he stared at the wide open cornflower fields before him, the more he struggled not to turn around. He had seen too many horror movies. He felt like something invisible was beckoning him to turn around, and walk inside.
His grandmother lived in the countryside, and the summers were always hotter here than they were in the city. The heat was getting to him. That must’ve been it. Didn’t his grandmother always chastice him for not drinking enough? He was probably dehydrated, or something like that.
That fearful tugging in his stomach was stupid, of course. His grandmother had lived in this farm house for over fifty years, and Colby had visited her every summer for a week. Every year he’d had the same feeling of dark foreboding, and wrongness. Not once had anything bad happened to him. If anything, Colby was more relaxed here than he was back home in London.
He’d be eighteen next week. If he didn’t want to come next year, his parents wouldn’t be able to make him.
He tried to focus on the cheerfull trill of the birds in the ancient willow tree beside him. His mind followed the tune, as best as he could, and he whistled along. Whistling always made him feel better. Nothing could go wrong when you were whistling a happy tune together with the robins.
He jumped, and scraped his arm along the rough bark of the willow.
“Yes?” His grandmother was ninety-eight years old. She needed help with most things, especially where the farm and household were concerned. He helped her keep things neat and tidy, and in return she baked him apple pie. It was a pretty good arrangement, as far as he was concerned.
The fine hairs on his arms stood on end when his grandmother didn’t respond. If she had fallen and hurt herself he needed to help her, call an ambulance. He couldn’t do either of those things while he was out here.
He took a deep breath in, and faced the house. Beautiful white walls, flowers in the windows, and the smell of a freshly baked cobbler. Little figurines of girls in blue dresses, and sunflowers. His grandmother’s farm house was all of those things. He felt stupid for being intidimated by it, but if his gut feeling persisted.
But that was stupid. He had come here for the last ten years, sometimes twice a year, and nothing had ever hurt him. Colby was too old to be frightened of creaking floor boards, and the shadows that only lived in the corners under his bed.
“Grandma? Are you in the bathroom?” He hated helping her up from the bathroom floor. She had only fallen twice while he had been with her, but one time she had just come out of the shower and the sight still haunted his memory. He’d rather she was somewhere else, like the kitchen. Not the bedroom. Nowhere where people usually undressed.
“I’m in the cellar, dear. Be a darling and give me a hand?”
Colby breathed a sigh of relief. The cellar was the one place in this house that didn’t spook him. He couldn’t explain it, but dark basements had held a strange fascination for him since he had been seven years old.
He walked down the old steps, skipped the broken one, and paused. There was no one down here.
She didn’t respond. A faint wisp of light shone through the door at the end. She had to be in there.
Colby took one step towards the door, and the dark feeling rushed over him. This wasn’t right. Hadn’t his grandmother gone out to the hairdresser? How had he forgotten that she wasn’t home?
He wanted to run the other way. Who had called him if not his grandmother? Could he have imagined it? It had sounded so much like her.
He began to turn around, but his feet moved on their own, ever towards the door at the end of the cellar. His hand reached out for the shelves, the table, the smooth wall, but it made no difference. His feet no longer needed his permission.
He panicked, and covered his eyes with his hands. He didn’t want to see what was to come. He already knew.
He sneezed. His hands had left dusty patches around his eyes and nose. He noticed dust everywhere now, like no parts of the cellar had been touched in a long time. Like a year.
And with that realisation, his memory returned. His grandmother had died five years ago. His parents knew. His parents were behind this.
His feet walked through the door, and he exhaled one loud, scared sigh. The creature his parents had fed his blood to was there, in the middle of the room, as it had been every year. Last year he had cried too hard to do anything but let it happen.
But not this year. This year, Colby refused.
He whistled – and his hidden magic replaced his fear.
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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer