Sunday Photo Fiction – The Waking Dream


© A Mixed Bag 2009

“I saw that face again,” Jon remarked to his roommate.

“What, like in here?” Andy didn’t look up from his computer.

“No, it was a dream. But still…”

Andy kept playing his game and after a few minutes, Jon sighed and walked away.

**

As Jon drove home, he couldn’t stop yawning. He’d stayed longer than he was scheduled and he was drained. It didn’t help that he wasn’t sleeping.

He came to a stop at the next red light and started awake two seconds later. He looked up, grateful to see that the light was green. He pressed on the accelerator, but just as he pulled forward, he saw the face again. It was on the corner of the street, its body enveloped in darkness.

Jon slammed on his breaks, his heart pounding in his ears. When he looked again, it was gone.

**

Hunched in the corner of the interrogation room, Jon kept his arms folded and his mouth shut. He knew that if he told them, they were sure to lock him up forever.

The wispy voice rang in his ears, taunting him. The face hovered two inches in front of him.

“Kill them, Jon. Kill them all.”


The rules for Sunday Photo Fiction are to create a story/poem or something using around 200 words with the photo as a guide, although it doesn’t have to be center stage.  This one comes in at 201 words.

 

Click the blue froggy link to read other amazing stories!

Happy Sunday!

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Flash Fiction – The Beach House Part 3

At dusk by sora__

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Jane pulled her knees up and settled next to Brandon on the couch. The only sound in the house was the muffled movement of the ocean outside. The light Jane had flipped on when they came back in the house glared across the room, adding an unnatural feeling to an already strange evening. They were both heavy with their own thoughts, finding comfort in their bodies touching and Brandon’s hand sliding up and down Jane’s back.

The knock on the front door made them both jump, a soft scream erupting from Jane’s mouth. They looked at each other, the fear in Jane’s hazel eyes reflected in Brandon’s icy blue ones.

“Who the hell is that?” Jane’s voice quivered.

“I have no idea,” Brandon said as he stood up. “Stay here, Babe. I’ll go check it out.”

Jane watched Brandon walk out of the room, down the hall, and to the right completely out of view. Her palms started sweating and she felt a sick feeling in her stomach. When she heard the door creak open, she stood up quickly, looking around for something to use as a weapon. When she turned back to the hallway, Brandon was slowly walking back into the room, Walter trailing behind him.

“Walter? What the hell?” Jane looked from him to the glass door that led onto the deck. “Where’s Jen?”

Looking back, she watched Walter shrug as he walked into the kitchen and opened up the fridge.

Jane’s eyes met Brandon’s, but he looked as baffled as she felt. She turned back to the sliding glass door and was relieved to see Jen walking up the steps of the deck. She walked over and opened up the door.

Jen strode through the door without looking at anyone, walked straight through the room and into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

Brandon met Jane’s eyes and they both sighed, understanding suddenly dawning.

“You guys had a fight?” Brandon asked Walter.

Walter was on his second glass of water and the only answer Brandon got was a grunt.

“Well, we’ll head to bed so you can sleep on the couch if you want. I think we should all get some sleep. It’s been a long day.”

He walked over to Jane and grabbed her hand. “Let’s go to bed, huh?”

“God, yes. This is just getting weird.”

They walked hand in hand to their bedroom and quietly shut the door behind them.

“We so don’t need those two to be at each other the rest of the week.” Jane walked over to the bed and started rummaging through her bag for her pajamas.

“I’ll talk to Walter in the morning. I’m sure everything will be okay.” Brandon leaned back against the door and watched Jane.

“It’s been such a weird day. What do you think was on the beach?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it was a trick of the light or weird beach phenomenon. I honestly didn’t think I smoked that much on the way down here.”

“You didn’t. And I saw something too.” Jane slumped on the bed and started taking off her shoes.

Brandon walked over and sat down next to her, his hand slowly sliding up her arm.

“How about we get naked and relax a little,” he mumbled as he started kissing her neck, slowly making his way to her lips. She turned her head and melted into the kiss, trying desperately to bring some normalcy to the strange start to their vacation.

**

Jane was walking down the beach, her bare feet sliding into the sand with each footstep. Dusk was just turning from purple to gray, slowly fading into black and the waves slipped up to the shore and slid back into the ocean, a steady back and forth motion. There was no sound, but Jane felt peace in the silence that surrounded her.

She felt the waves calling her and she walked towards the water, unable to stop. The waves covered her feet and slid back. She took a few steps forward and the next time the waves came up to her knees and slid back. The process continued until the waves reached her shoulders. Her eyes looked steadily forward and the peace she felt became a blanket, blocking out the cold wet darkness that finally covered her completely.

She floated in the water, adrift with the waves as they enshrouded her body, a comforting tomb. The first breath that slid water into her lungs was a relief she welcomed. She wanted this. She was finally home.

Just as her eyes were going dark around the edges, she saw a pale form floating toward her, reaching for her through the murky water.

**

Jane shot up in bed, a ragged scream echoing through the dark room. She leaned over the side of the bed and vomited onto the floor, her body retching violently. She was soaking wet and each breath she took came too quickly one after the other.

“Babe, are you okay?” Brandon was sitting up in bed, still startled from the scream that had dragged him out of sleep.

Jane was hyperventilating and crying at the same time. “I h-h-had the… w-w-worst nightmare!” She managed to get out in between racking sobs.

He reached for her and his hands slipped on her skin. “Jesus, Babe, you’re soaked.”

“I… I… I was d-d-drowning in the ocean. But… I wasn’t alone…”

Brandon reached for the blanket at the end of the bed and wrapped it around her shoulders. In a gentle voice, he said, “Babe, you need to breathe.” He pulled her toward him and started rocking her, not sure what else to do.

She sobbed for a few minutes longer, trying to take deeper breathes and finally, it started to fade. Once the sobbing stopped, her body started to shake.

“Jane, you’re okay. You’re safe. It was just a dream.” Brandon didn’t know what to say, but he kept repeating what he thought were reassuring words, rubbing her arms, kissing her neck.

Finally, in a soft voice that he could barely hear, she said, “Brandon, I don’t want to stay here anymore.”


Just in case you missed the first two parts, I included links before I started the third part so you could catch up if you wanted to. I also wrote this as part of Chuck Wendig’s challenge this week. The prompt was the random photo challenge. He provided a link to flicker called “Interestingness” where we had to choose a photo and write 1,000 words. I found a photo that went perfectly with this part of the story. If you click on the photo above, it will take you to the author’s flicker sight.

Mona

 

flash-fiction-badge

It’s time for the week 43 flash fiction challenge from the ever incredible Thain in Vain.  This week’s promptLet’s write a scary story! Use this picture as your inspiration!

mona-lisa-8

I watched the movie Oculus about a month ago with my son and it scared the crap out of me!  This story was inspired by that movie and, of course, the photo.  I hope you enjoy!

Mona

I’m sitting on a cot in the sparse room, legs crossed, clutching a blanket around me.  Dr. Lindstrom sits on a chair in the middle of the room, out of place but stoic, like a queen visiting her mentally disturbed subjects, offering what she thinks is solace but what comes across as disdainful judgment.

I know what she thinks. I also know why I’m locked in a room with bars on the windows.

“Are you still having the nightmares?”  Her voice echoes off the cement walls.

“Nightmare.  Just one.  The same one every time.”

It started right after dad brought the painting home from the flea market.  He was so excited he didn’t waste any time hanging it above the desk in his office.  I didn’t get it.  I had always thought Mona Lisa was an ugly painting, namesake or not.

“I’ll look into increasing your medication.  Let’s see if we can get them to stop.”

“It won’t help.  You can’t help me.”

“I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself.”  Her words bite at me with their razor sharp condemnation.

I bow my head and give in to the tears that never seem far away anymore.

That first night, I dreamed of the woman in the painting, only she was different, changed into something else.  Her face was wrinkled and morphed, her hands claw-like with cobwebs imprisoning them against her chest.  She looked straight at me, her inky black eyes popping out of her skull, blank expression never wavering.

The nightmares continued every night and bled into the daylight hours.  I started losing time, not remembering things I’d done.  My parents were concerned, but I think they were embarrassed too because they didn’t take me to a doctor or a priest.  Maybe they were planning on it.  Everything happened so fast, it’s hard to know how they would have responded in a week or a month.

“Mona, do you remember anything else about that night?  In our last session, you told me you went into your Dad’s office after waking up from a nightmare.”

“I don’t know,” I mumble into the blankets.  I’m so tired.

My tear-filled eyes close and I’m dragged into the darkness, leaving Dr. Lindstrom behind in the cell.

I open the door to Dad’s office.  My heart is beating loudly in my ears and my breath is coming in gasps.  I don’t want to go in, but something pulls at me, forces me to walk into the mostly dark room.  The house is still around me and I don’t hear anything but the maelstrom from my body.  My eyes dart around trying to see what brought me here and finally settle on the Mona Lisa with her bizarre half smile and slightly vacant eyes. 

Slowly, the image transforms into the demented image in my nightmare and I’m screaming, trying in vain to run out of the room.   She is standing now, stepping out of the painting, walking slowly, inevitably toward me and I am helpless to stop it.