Hope you enjoy some more greenery in your feed for Terri’s Sunday Stills photo challenge. 🍀🙂💚
They’re here again. Slipping through the halls. Black-haired, pale-skinned. I know what they want. I’ve always known what they wanted. Their satanic clothing is in rags, but I can still see their gleaming crucifixes, a mockery of all that’s good and holy. One is in my room now, reaching for me with scarred bony fingers–
I sit up in bed, covered with sweat, my heart racing. It’s pitch black, hours until dawn, and I’m alone with my nightmares. But the phantoms are real, and they’re going to drag me down to hell with them.
Someone comes in and flips on the light. Oh, it’s the nice nurse Cathy. “Bad dreams again, Miz Violetta? I’ll give you something to help you sleep.”
“It’s the dead rockers,” I whisper. “The ones I wrote about in my bestseller. Their souls are coming for vengeance.”
“Now, now,” Cathy says. “I’m sure they were happy for the publicity. Things just seem scarier at night.”
She obviously didn’t read my book. I had exposed the group as a devil worshipping cult and destroyed them. Their fans had stalked me for decades. I thought I’d finally found peace as I waited to die from my failing heart.
Cathy returns with a cup of water and a pill. “Here you go, honey.”
“Thanks.” I take the pill with the water and lay back down.
Cathy sits in her chair, but she’ll leave eventually and that’s when they will come. And they know what I’ve done and how I got my information.
Cathy watches her patient. That bitch. She ruined my son’s life. The hallucinogens are a nice way of finally getting a small bit of payback.
Alphonse strode into the study to find Vivian intently reading a strange looking book. “Darling! We need to leave for the bash at the Gilmores. We don’t want to miss the champagne supper. You look lovely, by the way. I adore the rose motif.”
“Mm,” his wife said. “Truffle found the key.”
Vivian handed him a golden key. “Kitty was playing behind the liquor cabinet again and dug this out. It unlocked that desk drawer you were curious about, and I found this diary.”
“Ooh!” Alphonse sat down beside her. “Whose is it? The previous owner’s?”
“I don’t know.” Vivian frowned. “Some girl named Chantal apparently. Listen to this:
I can’t decide who is worse. Chad was clearly evil from the start, and it was his idea to kidnap me away from my beloved Cupid. But at least he has charisma and is understanding at times. He gave me this diary and lets me write in peace. Brad, on the other hand, is now a total automaton and does whatever Chad says. He won’t even look me in the eye! Yet, I feel in some ways he’s a prisoner too, and if I could break Chad’s hold over him, we could both escape this house of horrors.
“House of horrors!” Vivian repeated. “She means this house, Alphonse. Our home!”
Alphonse jumped up and wrung his hands together. “Oh, dear. That is distressing. To imagine a poor girl being mistreated in our happy nest.”
“I can hardly bear it. I shan’t read another word.” Vivian put down the diary, but then picked it up again. “But I suppose we should read the rest to find out what happens. It’s only right.”
“But not tonight,” Alphonse said. “We have an obligation to the Gilmores. Should I call for a carriage?”
The temperature had climbed steadily and was well over 90 degrees by the time the women arrived at the meeting place.
“So pretty and tranquil here,” Brienne said. “You’d never know it had been the scene of such savagery.”
“Personally, I have no empathy for them,” Sansa commented as she gazed out as the still water. “They chose their destiny.”
Brienne unsheathed her broadsword. “That they did, milady.”
“What are you doing?” Sansa frowned at her. “Surely you won’t have need of your weapon at this meeting. I’m so looking forward to seeing cousin Edmure again!”
“You know it could be a trap. We’ve traveled a long way, and we are hot and weary. We must not drop our defenses, even here.”
Sansa nodded. “Wise counsel. The passion against my family runs deep. We– oh!”
“Dearest Cousin,” Edmure stepped out into the clearing. “How beautiful you are!”
“He’s brought a guest,” Brienne said, raising her sword. “Look.”
Sansa gasped as the other man emerged from the trees. “You!”
“Darling!” Alphonse shrieked. “I can’t find our precious Truffle! Is she in the boudoir with you?”
Vivian lounged in the doorway and held out a cigarette for him to light. “I haven’t seen the little fluff ball today.”
“You never liked her!” Alphonse accused his wife. “It’s because she was a gift from my mother, isn’t it? Don’t deny it. You hate Mother!”
“It’s so tiresome when you speculate about my feelings,” Vivian said. “I’m perfectly capable of articulating them.”
Alphonse crossed his arms and glared at her. “But do you? That is the question.”
“I’ll tell you what.” Vivian blew a smoke ring. “I shall ring up Jeremy and ask him to come over and begin an investigation.”
“Your ex-fiancé!” Alphonse gasped in horror. “Now I’m beginning to understand your true motivation.”
Vivian rolled her eyes. “You’re becoming monotonous, my dear. Jeremy is a detective. We have a missing kitten. It’s only logical to ask for his help.”
Stomping over to the sideboard, Alphonse muttered, “I need a martini.”
“Good God!” Vivian screamed. “It’s nine o’clock in the morning! If you’re going to become an alcoholic like my father, I’m packing my bags at once!”
“Fine,” Alphonse said. “I’ll make Bloody Marys.”
“That’s better.” Vivian said. “I’ll get the–”
“TRUFFLE!” Alphonse yelled. “Look, Viv, she was hiding in the liquor cabinet!”
Vivian put down her cigarette and rushed over to cuddle the kitten. “Oh, my sweet widdle num nums! Are you all right? Alf, do you think her health was ill-affected by spending the night in the cabinet?”
“She seems perfect! Don’t you, Truffy wuffy lovie dovie?” Alphonse wrinkled his nose. “She made a stinky in there though.”
“A stinky!” Vivian backed away. “What shall we do? The maid doesn’t come until tomorrow!”
Alphonse stood up and pondered. “I know! I’ll ring up Mother! She’ll be happy to help. She’s experienced with kittens, after all.”
“Wonderful idea, darling!” Vivian picked up her cigarette. “I’ll just pop round to the shops and pick up a cake for tea. I shan’t be more than a few hours.”
“A few hours!” After she left, Alphonse wondered if she had gone to meet Jeremy after all.
A photo challenge from Aroused Blog…
1. Newport Beach
3. Laguna Beach
4. Newport Beach
6. Newport Beach?
7. San Francisco
8. Huntington Beach
Wow, I didn’t think I had so many orange photos! This is a small selection of what came up in the search. 😀
The weary traveler paused as she rounded the last hill. Ah, here it was! The famous Castle North. She gazed for many moments, the biting wind chill forgotten, fascinated at the castle’s beauty as it stood starkly illuminated in the light of the moon.
The legend had been passed down by the seers for generations: if she went to the door and asked for a chicken’s heart on the second raven’s moon after the seventh star had appeared, then her lover would come back to her.
She looked up at the moon. Wait. Was this a raven’s moon or a hunter’s moon? Maybe it was the wolf’s moon after the fifth star? So confusing! So many moons and stars she had studied in the crumbling manuscripts before she began her journey. It was her own fault for being absent-minded just like her father always said.
The hell with it. She pulled out her phone and called a Lyft driver from the app. Who needed a lover anyway? She’d go get some pizza. Mmm pizza!