Saturday, 25 February 2017

Into The Woods...

Chuck asked us to use one of the photos he put up the link for on Flickr. However the one I chose isn't there anymore. I've clicked through for over 20 minutes and I just can't find it... and I did download it, but it's not on my computer to put on Pinterest. Damn! 

Anyway, it's a photo of a very overgrown glen; bright green, no pathways in or out; very pretty to say the least - or is it?

26th, Feb - Woohoo! I found it! I cancelled the download by accident and found it in the history on the computer! Yay! Link time! 

The Great Protector by Mark LittleJohn


What will we find, as we go into the woods today?
Will we be in for a big surprise?
Will the tall trees tower way over above us today?
Or will the vines be covered in poison ivy?
Will a bear coming rushing at us, tearing us limb from limb?
Leaving our bloody entrails all over the lovely greenery for nobody to find for weeks; unless it rains?

What will we find, as we go into the woods today?
Will we be in for an unusual surprise?
Will we follow a path for miles and miles?
Will we get ourselves lost, never to be found by anyone?
Will we find ourselves at the very edge of a cliff and ... fall... the bottom of the undiscovered, unmapped terrain be our resting place?

What will we find as we go into the woods today?
Will we be in for a great surprise?
Will we be hunted by Wendigo howling from the woods surrounding us, and they put us in their caves for when they want us for a meal?
Will they hide us away from the prying eyes of the Rangers where we will never be found?

What will we find as we go into the woods today?
Will we be in for some kind of surprise?
Will there be a swamp with the back bumper of a car sticking out with the sound of somebody screaming from inside as it sinks below its dark, slimy surface?
Will we be able to help them before we become the next....?

What will we find as we go into the woods today?
Are we going into the woods today?
Stop the fucking car.
Turn it around and take me the fuck back to civilisation!
I don’t want to go into the damned woods today!

There’s too much out there I don’t want to know about!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Sincerely, your Mortician

Last week, Chuck gave us 10 titles to pick from... this week, there's another 10 titles to pick from. I chose 'Sincerely, your Mortician'


Last week, I checked the letterbox to find an envelope inside it with the words, ‘Sincerely, Your Mortician’ written on the front in very nice calligraphy.
I had no idea what to make of this, as it wasn’t something you’d normally find in a letterbox. Was this something of a joke that the kids around the neighbourhood were playing, as they filmed me on their phones from a distance? Did they put a live spider inside it waiting for me to open it and jump out at me; scaring the crap out of me as the poor critter raced off in fear – or bit me and caused me to get sick?
Opening it carefully, I held it away from me, gave it a shake and out fell a letter – and nothing else.
Well... okay.
I picked it up, opened it and found it was addressed to me.

‘Dear Cecilly,
It is time for you to be ready.
Is your dress organised?
Is your Will in order?
Have you told everyone you love them?
Your Mortician’

Shaking, I folded the letter along its creases and pushed it back into the envelope, looked around the street.
A bird sang from a tree.
A car putted by as it was about to turn the corner.
A child’s laugh was heard from the house next door.
I turned and walked back inside my house. I put the letter away in a place where I didn’t have to see it.

Two weeks past.
The letter’s meaning began to fade.
I had begun to get back into a normal routine again.
Then I checked my letterbox again and there was another letter with the same words on it in the same calligraphy. Inside it was the same letter addressed to me.
I called the police as I found the other letter in the drawer in the sideboard.
They came and looked at them side by side.
“They’re exactly the same.” One said taking notes.
“How long have you lived here, Miss...”
“Oh, just call me Cecilly.” I said, “Everyone around here does. And I’ve been here around forty years in this very same house.”
They asked me all kinds of questions. From how well I get along with my neighbours to who would hate me enough to scare me. I had no idea who’d want to scare me and as far as I knew, nobody had anything against me to cause this kind of thing to happen.
The two rose from the kitchen chairs, thanking me for the tea, saying they’d let me know if they find anything. They took one letter with them in a sleeve and left the other with me.
However I felt as though it wasn’t much use getting them here. I still felt fear in my heart because of what’s happened.

So, I called my daughter.
She wasn’t home.... I wished she was, I really needed her.

A week later, I found another letter of the same kind in my letterbox. My gut turned cold as I didn’t want to touch it. Pulling out my phone, I called the police from my footpath and they arrived immediately.

It was the very same as the other two.

They were grateful I hadn’t touched it.

They took it away for me.

I tried to call my daughter again; but found her mobile went straight to voice mail, and her answering machine at home told me it was full and I couldn’t leave a message.
I decided to go to church as I always found this a place of solace and where I often found peace. But as I walked through the doors, I found they were fixing up the place for a funeral. A casket was down the front with the most gorgeous flowers all around. People were beginning to arrive.
There was one problem: I knew all these people. They all walked up to the lovely casket and chatted about ‘how could this happen to her?’
Then, I saw my daughter and my two sons and rose, but a hand caught my arm. Turning, I saw a man dressed in a mortician’s suit, “I wouldn’t.” He said.
Pulling free, I walked off, “Leave me alone. I don’t know you.” I approached Lilly, Davin and Gary, “Oh my children, I’m so sorry for your loss... I have no words to express how horrible this must be for you all.”
“They can’t hear you.” He stood by my side, “And they can’t see you either; or me for that matter.”
I ignored him as I reached out to touched my darling Lilly and she suddenly pulled away from me, rubbing her arm frowning at me – through me – as she searched the crowd for who touched her... and yet... who didn’t.
“Lil, you okay?” Davin was by her side in a moment, his arm around his little sister, knowing she was a person who was known as a ‘sensitive’.
“I think Mum’s here. She touched my arm and I heard her voice calling me ‘darling Lilly’, but it was at a whisper; I couldn’t hear it above the noise here.”
“Of course I’m here, sweetheart.” I stood right in front of her, “Why can’t you see me?” I turned to the man in the suit, “Why can’t they see me? What did you do to me?”
“Here.” He handed me an envelope. It was the same as the ones I found in my letterbox at my house.
“I don’t want your stupid prank letters!” I screamed at him and the light on the wall nearby exploded as my anger showed itself clearly.
“I’m so sorry you don’t remember how you died.” His deep voice whispered through the audience of the people I know here today, “I think it’s best you take a seat before we take a nice walk. You have to calm down.”
I sat at the back of my church, where I had frequented for most of my life as the funeral procession started.
The pastor stood up the front in his formal robes, admired the lovely flowers on the casket and turned toward the full church, “We are gathered here today to celebrate the life and the death of Cecilly Lilly Archer. She was a loving mother of three children and unfortunately left this life far too soon; having been found on her footpath by passing joggers last week as she checked her letterbox. She suffered a massive heart attack and was gone into our Father’s hands before the ambulance arrived.” His voice droned on as he started talking about my life.
I turned to the man next to me, “I’m dead?”
He nodded, “And I’m your mortician.”
“I don’t understand.”
He smiled, “I’m your guide to the other side. This is normal to be attending your service... let’s stay awhile. It’s usually fun to find out what people think of you when you’re not around.” He handed me a letter, “Open it.”
I pulled it open slowly and read the contents:

'Dear Cecilly,

Yes, you are dead. Yes this is your funeral. No, this is nothing to be afraid of, and don’t worry, we’re going to be good friends. I am somebody you knew in life.


Your Mortician.'

Time went on a bit of a blur really. I couldn’t keep track of anything – the past and the present were starting to melt together in a dizzying kind of bubble. I didn’t like it. But I knew it was time to leave, time to find out who this mortician man was soon.
One day, I found myself in my house and it was empty. There was no furniture in it. No carpet, no paint, no light and no life... it was time to move on. The mortician arrived at my side and I took his hand, closing my eyes against a blinding light, “You said I knew you.”
“And you do, Cecilly.” His voice was low and at a whisper still, “Open your eyes.”
I did and found myself in a gorgeous garden; one I almost didn’t recognise. It was one I hadn’t seen in over twenty years! Looking down at my hand where his hand had been, I found it empty. The mortician had left me alone in this paradise... without a companion.
“Where are you!” I shouted turning in a panic as my eyes fell upon my lovely sweet husband, George. He was standing next to the mortician, “Is it really you?”
“Oh, Cecilly... I heard you had passed and wondered if you were going to come home.” He walked to me, holding me; his wonderful scent bringing me home to him, “So, I began sending you the letters to let you know it was almost time... because I know how much you love receiving mail.”
“But why didn’t you sign it with your own name?”
“The mortician wouldn’t let me... I didn’t want to spook you.”
“She died before the other letters arrived.” The mortician said, “Only one got through.”
George turned to him, “Well, I think it’s time we enjoyed our time alone. Thank you for your services.”
The darkly-dressed man nodded, tipping his hat a little, “If you ever need me again, just call. I am both your guides.”
My darling George turned to me, “Welcome home, sweetheart.” 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Gallows Girls

Last week, Chuck had us throwing 3-word titles at him. This week, he's asked us to pick one out 10 he's put up on his blog. I picked 'The Gallows Girls'. But I concentrated on one of the girls' lives not all three... 


You don’t know me.

You never will.

You don’t take much notice of me when your time has come.

Your attention is directed out on the crowds in front.

Your eyes fall to the block in front of you – stained brown with the blood of those who have gone before you.

You can see us prepare your fate from the window of your cell; and I love it that we make you so nervous.
Every time we bring out the gallows, it’s checked over by the other three girls who have to maintain it.
Yes, it’s us girls who are in control of this death machine... as it was our Daddy’s responsibility before us. When they did not have sons, it fell to their daughters to care for the gallows.
At first, I didn’t want to take up my Daddy’s way of living; but it was the money that pulled me into it. I really didn’t know he earned so much to do that to criminals. So, I learned to do my part – and I learned the hard way: I learned after Daddy died how to swing an axe properly. One of the King’s guards taught me all I needed to know; and he was good enough to teach me how to use a sword in close combat as well as other weaponry.
Then, he tried to have his way with me – as most guards do with the women – and regretted it immediately as I slit his throat. 
It was amazing to kill my first human. 
The power I felt was incredible as I watched the life drain from his eyes... as he struggled to keep me from...

... it was such a thrill!

But the blood didn’t bother me by then.

I had killed so many pigs through practice that slitting that pig’s throat was just as easy. However when I turned, I found another guard standing nearby watching on.
“I saw what he was doing.” He said, his hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to fight me if needs be, “He deserved every bit of what you did.”
I glanced at the dead guard, “What now?”
He smiled, “We weight him and throw him into the moat.”

I liked this guard.

He was going to be useful to me.

Two weeks passed by and the door of our hut was kicked down by one of the King’s Guards. Mother moved quickly to one side as I turned from sharpening my dirk, saw them standing nearby and went back to my wet stone.
“Gallows Girl, rise to your feet in the presence of your King.” The Guard snapped as he grabbed my arm.
I stopped what I was doing, looked at his hand, glanced up at him, “You’re hurting me.” He let go and I put my dirk down on the table and stood keeping my hand near it just in case things turned around on me, “Majesty, why did you kick in my door?”
He looked around at the hut, “One of my guards has been found dead in the moat with his throat slit.” His eyes rested on me, “From memory, I ordered him to train you in hand-to-hand combat; and how to swing an axe so as to do your work properly.”
“Yes, and he did his work well, Majesty.” I replied, “But I did not kill him.”
Sighing, he walked over to me, “The guard who witnessed the murder has admitted to helping you dispose of the body.”
“He was attacking me. I did what I did to survive.”
His eyes moved to the floor for a moment before they locked with mine, and he grunted, “I see.” Turning, he walked to the door, “Arrest her!”

I have a nice view of the Gallows.

My cell is across from the guard who was trying to help me.

But there are a few problems with what will happen this day.

I am with child... that guard left me with his disgusting seed inside me, and my stomach has begun to swell.

And I am the Executioner.

“It just occurred to me.” The King’s voice said from the door, “You are the Executioner.”
“No guard wishes to dispose of you.” He rolled his eyes, “I have no real choice but to remove you from this castle and Kingdom.”
“You still need an Executioner.”
He nodded, “We cannot train one in such a short amount of time.” He looked to his right, “Let her out.”
The door opened and I walked out slowly, bowing to him, “I am forever in your dept, Majesty.”
“You have a job to do today. I advise you do your job and stay away from the people in future.” He handed me my mask, “Your family will move away from the castle and into the woods. I will only send for you when I need an Executioner.”
“Yes, Sire.”

You don’t know me.

You never will.

You don’t take much notice of me when your time has come.

Your attention is directed out on the crowds in front.

Your eyes fall to the block in front of you – stained brown with the blood of those who have gone before you.