Late Night Fiction #4

I’m including a table of links to hold this story together.



    Continuing on from night #3

    Asher turned to see the woman standing at the doorway, and then his eyes darted away. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. Her delicate frame was wrapped inside of his blanket, and the bottom swept across the floor like the cathedral train on a royal wedding gown. 

    A braid of dark hair hung to her waist and her large hazel eyes seemed innocent, yet intoxicating. His mind conjured up the things that his sister would say if she were there. “Keep yourself together Asher! Make eye contact with the girl!”

    “Have  I interrupted you?” she asked.

    “No. My sister emailed me to ask if I’ve made any progress on my book,” he lied, rising to meet her at the door. “I thought I’d let her know how slowly it’s coming.” He grinned, hoping she would laugh at his gawky humor.

    “I can’t thank you enough for taking me in,” she said, extending her hand out. “My name is Francesca, but my friends call me Franky.”

    “I’m Asher,” he shrugged.

    His mind churned, overwhelmed with nervous thoughts. Should he touch her hand? Were his hands too clammy? Surely she would sense his discomfort. With noticeable indecision, he clasped his hands around hers, shook with a quick spasm, and moved awkwardly around her to leave the office.

    He showed her to the guest room that had the most splendid view, and the two walked out to the veranda. A baby blue sky faded into layers of yellow where the sun began to move behind the mountains, and scattered pink clouds hung in the air like cotton candy. Asher stood slightly behind her, watching her admire the nightly show that he’d gotten so used to on his own. He’d been longing to share it with someone, and he was happy that she was there to see it.

    He noticed that there was a magnetism about her, he could feel its pull. Is that how she had ended up in the arms of this “thing” that had brought her there, he wondered. Did she remember what had happened? Surely not, he decided. She was too calm. Any person experiencing such trauma would be hysterical. 

    “I’ve got to leave soon,” Franky said, interrupting him mid-thought.“My brother is in trouble and I’ve got to go find him.”

    Asher had studied journalism in his university years, and he was always exploring eccentricities. Over the years he had developed a talent for conducting interviews and he was very good at it. The conversation made him think back to those days and the confidence that he had when he worked. He turned two chairs upright and brushed off the cobwebs and dust. 

    “Let’s sit down,” he said, feeling oddly pleased with the situation. “Why don’t you tell me what’s going on and let me see if I can help.” 

    “His name is Noah,” she began. 


    To Be Continued

    I had to pop in and add just a little to the story tonight. Hopefully the chunks will get longer so we can get to the end very soon. It’s all coming back to me, that class and the adventure of writing this story.

    I remember spending SO much time on the beginning. By the end, it was a mad rush to finish it and turn it in. After that I didn’t even want to look at it! Re-reading it is like watching a movie in slow motion, and then hitting fast forward right when it gets to all of the action, and the ending. That poor, cheated ending. 😉

    Anyway, that’s all for now. For anyone who’s reading… I hope you’re still enjoying the story!


    Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

    Late Night Fiction #3

    Chapter One Continued

    Asher stood frozen as questions flooded his mind. Was he going mad? Was it a dream? He pinched himself hard and yelped. Shards of glass crunched under his feet as his body shifted. With his eyes still glued to the window, he sidestepped to the broom closet. Suddenly something moved outside. It looked like an animal of some kind, sprawled out in the yard beyond the front steps. Perhaps it was a deer, he thought, they came around often.

    The animal struggled to rise and collapsed again. He grabbed his flashlight and crept out to investigate. Its deliberate breaths grew louder and more strained as he approached it. Illuminating its form with the light, he learned that it wasn’t a deer at all. It was a young woman! Asher plucked her up and rushed inside, placing her body on the couch, near the fire. As he let go of her small body, her eyes opened wide and she clutched his arm.

    “Please don’t say anything,” she pleaded.

    Before he could respond, her eyes closed and her body withered into the cushion. What did she mean by that, he wondered. Surely she was delirious! He covered her with blankets, and sat nearby to observe, watching her sleep until the sun rose.

    In the morning, as the light came in, the woman stirred. She looked around, moaned lightly, and then faded back to sleep. Asher left a glass of water on the table beside her, and retreated to his office. He slumped down in his chair, heart racing, his forehead covered in sweat. He was painfully uncomfortable around women, and now he had one in his home! What was he going to say to her? The computer lit up and a reply from his sister appeared. “Thank God,” he mumbled. 

    Asher,

    I can’t believe you! How can you unplug from the world like you do? I’ve been trying to call you. Please look at the news! Whatever it was that you saw, it is real. You’re not imagining things. Everyone is searching for him. They don’t know who he is, or WHAT he is, but they believe he’s dangerous. He was seen near Denver, carrying a woman. I’m having trouble believing it myself Asher, but it’s true!

    I pray that you read this email, and stay safe until he’s found! If you have your phone, please answer it! Or call me!

    —Emma

    The cabin was secluded deep in the Rocky Mountains, nearly two hundred miles from Denver. Was this thing a man, or some kind of wild animal? Bigfoot perhaps? Had he carried the young woman all that way? Asher reached for a bead of sweat on his forehead, just before it reached his eye, and read the email again. Suddenly the floorboard creaked, and a shadow blocked the hall light. He fumbled for the power button, and the screen went black.


    To be Continued

    We’re getting to the parts that I want to rewrite, so the upcoming scenes will be coming in slowly. I’m not liking the fact that it feels drawn out. We had a page minimum on the assignment, so that’s exactly what I did at the time—draw it out. Ha-Ha! Anyway, I don’t like it. I think a short story should be just that: short. With my attention span, I don’t have the patience for a slow moving plot.

    Also, I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but I felt pretty cruddy all day—and maybe feverish. I slept on and off for several hours, and am heading back there now. Let’s hope I sleep it off tonight!


    Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

    Late Night Fiction #2

    Franky with a “Y”

    Continuing on with last night’s story

    Chapter One: Scene Two

    Months later, and miles away, Asher struggled to assemble his router. He was ready to break his silence. He needed to make contact with someone, anyone, but who could he trust? Who would even believe him? The lights blinked as the machine scanned and searched for a connection. He held his reading glasses in place and inspected the sticky note, pecking at the keyboard to log-in. Thousands of unread emails filled the screen and he scrolled down to locate his sister. She would understand. He hit compose and began.

    Dearest Emma,

    I’m sorry that it’s been so long. I’ve been at father’s hideaway for months now. I vowed to stay off the grid until my book was finished; I needed to remain focused! The chapters are coming along, but not as quickly as I had hoped. Writer’s block is a terrible thing. I was certain that my solitude here would resolve the matter. You know I’ve always written best in the quiet.

    I am writing to you now because the strangest thing has happened and I feel that I must share it before even more time elapses. The weather was fierce this winter, but the snow has finally melted. The eve before last, I kindled a fire and curled up at the hearth, watching through the window as a curtain of white water cascaded silently over the jagged rocks and down the mountainside. 

    From my secure position, the scene was mesmerizing, and quite tranquil. When I closed my eyes, however, there was an ominous sound. It was so perversely odd that my eyes opened wide in horror. I witnessed the most peculiar thing Emma. There was something out there. It’s stature was so very odd, and it leapt across the falls with ease; from one side to the other. Surely it was not a human.

    I needed to share this with you, as the incident now has me questioning my own sanity. You know how vulnerable I am, and how dangerous isolation can be. It is my hope that you’ll write back, and assure me I’ve not gone mad! You’ve always known how to comfort me, and I look forward to your reply.

    Give Elle a hug and kiss for me.

    Asher sighed with relief as he hit send. What he’d seen out there had seemed so surreal, so imaginary. Once he’d written the words to Emma, everything felt more real, and less threatening. His nerves were calmed, and he was sure he could get some much needed rest. 

    As he reached the stairwell, the front door rattled and shook, and several loud thuds caused the cabin walls to shake. Asher’s wine glass slid from his hands, shattering at his feet. Outside the picture window, a large figure paused on the road and stared back at the house. The two stood motionless as they made eye contact. The figure turned quickly and ran, hurdling over the pines, until it’s dark silhouette vanished in the thick of the forest.


    To Be Continued.

    Wow! Going back to this story is fun. In case it’s not obvious, the story is inspired by an old Shelley classic, with a new twist and a modern spin. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed Scene Two.

    Spoiler alert: tomorrow we get to find out what the racket was outside.


    Image by Predra6_Photos from Pixabay