Wednesday 15 November 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 30

When sourcing this week's photo prompt I came across another wonderful artist/photographer - Todd Wall. You can see a huge selection of his work on his page at 500px website and on his facebook page.

I knew how I wanted to end this piece, but it took me a while to get there. I think it worked. Another one of my dark tales. I do enjoy them.  

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He kept seeing her at the edge of his vision: in the peripheral, a flash of colour or movement, something orange: a dress. If he turned he’d see something, but it wasn’t her.

Callum continued to ignore it, on the surface at least, although it increased whenever he was out with Gina, his new girlfriend.

“What is it?” she’d ask him. “Nothing,” he’d say. And he was right there wasn’t anything – not in reality.

The dreams escalated, too, to a point where Gina would shake him awake on the nights she stayed over.

“You’re doing it again.”


“Shouting her name.”

“Sorry, I don’t mean to.”

“But who is she?”

“No one.”

Gina would give him a look. She thought he was lying, but he wasn’t. The woman had been no-one, just a figment of his imagination, a reflection of an old colleague, someone he’d fixated on and wanted something to happen with, but she’d been married. It’d only lingered in his head: imagined meet ups, imagined romance, imagined torrid affair.

He’d been lonely and desperate, but that had changed now. He’d settled in this new town, got to know a few people, date, and then found Gina. And that was the link: Gina. Since they’d been dating these glimpses had escalated. 

It made him think about this old work colleague again. He’d left the company, but had she? If he passed by his old firm would she still be there? The offices were on the ground floor; her desk would be visible through the windows. But when he went there he couldn’t see her. He bumped into another old colleague instead.

“Hey Callum, how are you? I didn’t think you worked round here?”

“I don’t, I was just visiting another company in the area. How’s it going? Still the same?”

“Yeah, the work’s still the same, just the people differ.”

“Oh? Have others left too?”

“Yeah a few. Jena’s disappearance unsettled everyone, especially the female workers. They thought maybe she’d been taken by someone in the area.”

“Taken? What do you mean?”

“Didn’t you hear? Yeah, they think she was kidnapped or something. No one really knows. “She was seen being forced into a car, but they’ve not been able to unearth anything else.”

Callum was stunned. “Wow, that’s bad. And there’s no leads?”


“How long ago was this?”

“Oh quite a while back, a year, almost two. Just after you left, I think.”

Callum’s stomach started to churn. Was he having these ‘sightings’ because she was in trouble and trying to reach out?

That night he had another dream. This time he was in a wood and he could see her body in the ground. He was digging at it frantically, trying to unearth it and when he did, her eyes flew open. He sat up gasping. He knew the woods. They were behind the house where he’d grown up. He had to check it out.

He called in sick the next day and drove out there. He’d put a shovel in the boot, but he wasn’t sure that was a good idea. If he did find a body, it would look strange, too prepared, but on the other hand, what was he going to use, his hands?

He went to the spot he’d seen in his dream. There was a small mound in the ground, under some trees where as a child he used to make a den. It could be something or nothing.

He dug round it. The earth came away easily. He dug further in and saw something orange. It was the dress; her dress. He paused, wondering if he should call the police. But he kept going. He revealed her torso and her hands. In one of them she was holding a ring - his ring: a signet ring his parents had given him. He looked at his hand, expecting to see it, but it wasn’t there. Then he uncovered her neck and found a scarf – his scarf, the one he’d worn at university. It was pulled tight; she’d been strangled with it.

Callum dropped the shovel and backed away. Images tumbled through his mind, images he thought he had made up in his daydreams about being with her. They crowded in, overwhelming him. He fell to his knees. But he was sure it was her husband he’d imagined doing these things to her; how he would’ve reacted if they’d had an affair. He would have committed murder, not Callum.


  1. Sounds like the first chapter of a psychic murder mystery. Interesting!

    1. Thanks for reading, although it's not a mystery, because he did it! He just doesn't remember. ;)