Wednesday 16 May 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 55

This week's prompt photo was taken by Ido Rosenhaal, when he was in Sorrento, Italy. 

I liked all the things this picture could represent. And I liked the opening to the story that arrived. It took a while for the ending to appear, but I think it worked out pretty well. What does this object inspire for you?

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It moved. Andrea was sure of it. It was a strange hand shaped door knocker, spooky and a little pretentious.

She hesitated, taking a deep breath. Did she really need to be here? Yes, her son had come home terribly upset after playing here. She needed to find out why. He was too terrified to come back with her, and yet he wouldn’t tell her why. She needed to find out what had happened.

She couldn’t bring herself to touch it, so she rapped her knuckles on the wood instead and waited. She heard footsteps coming to the door. It opened and swung back. No one was there.

She called out, ‘Hello?’

A voice came back. “Hello, do please come in.”

It was dark inside with the brightness of the day behind her, and she couldn’t see anyone as she stepped over the threshold into the huge entrance hall. It was a large house with high vaulted ceilings and a wide staircase in the middle leading off in two directions.

As she stepped further in, the front door swung back behind her. She waited; her whole body on high alert, ready to flee if necessary.

She heard footsteps and could just make out a figure in the shadows to the right of the staircase. It seemed to hover there.

“What can I do for you?”

“I came about my son, Gregory. He came over here to play yesterday and came home terribly upset. I wanted to find out why.”

“Came over to play?”


“Are you sure he came here?”

“Yes, he was invited by your son.”

“He can’t have; my son died last year.”

“Oh I’m so sorry.”

“Maybe it was another boy.”

“Was your son’s name Aaron?”

There was a pause. “Yes.”

“That’s who invited him. He said Aaron had recently joined his class in school.”

“Clearly there has been some mistake. Or maybe this is a prank.”

“A prank? No. Gregory came home really shaken yesterday and won’t tell me what happened. I thought you might be able to help me, that’s all. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

Andrea turned to leave, walking to the door, then she heard a sound coming from upstairs, banging and thumping and then a child’s voice shouting, “No, please, don’t leave, please don’t leave, help me! Help me! I’m up here! I’m trapped.”

Andrea looked round, startled. She could no longer make out a figure by the staircase. “Hello?” There was no answer, so she called out louder, “Hello?” She heard the muffled cries again.

She hesitated. If she went upstairs what would happen? But if she didn’t, what about the child? Something was wrong here; she needed to find out what it was. With sudden bravado she rushed up the staircase. At the top she went left, sure that’s where the sound was coming from. She could still hear thumping.

She was presented with a wide corridor at the top, with rooms leading off. There was a mix of open and closed doors. She steeled herself and called out again, “Hello. Are you still there?”

“Yes, yes, I’m here, please help me,” a muffled voice came back from the right side.

“Keep talking so I can hear you. Tell me about yourself.”

“My name is Aaron. I live here. I was playing with Gregory yesterday but he got spooked by my mother.”

He was further down, she kept walking. “Your mother?”

“Yes she does that sometimes. I tell her not to, but she can’t help herself.”

It was coming from the next room. The door was ajar.

“How did she spook him?”

She pushed the door open. Inside she found a large bedroom, a child’s bedroom with all the toys and clutter all over the floor and surfaces.

“Well she appears when she shouldn’t.”

“So she interrupted you? I think I’m here in the right room. Where are you?”

“I’m in the big wardrobe. It locks behind you if you’re not careful. The butler, Garson, has the day off. I was worried I’d be stuck here till Betty comes to cook me dinner.”

Andrea walked to the large closet and twisted the lock. The door opened. A rusty haired boy the same age as her son stepped out.

“Thank you so much.”

“No problem. But I still don’t understand, why didn’t your mother come and get you out? And why would her interrupting you upset Gregory so much?”

“My mother died last year. It was her ghost.”


  1. It's been a while, but I found a tale :-) For some reason it involves a lot of Mud

    1. Ooo you did, a curious one at that. Nice gruesome one too. Thanks for joining.