Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 62

This week's picture prompt is rather marvelous and I had thought it would be easy to find the artist/photographer - but sadly to no avail! 😕 Such a shame. It's full of atmosphere.

This week I went for something a bit ghostly and suspense-filled. I have run over the word count by quite a bit, but it couldn't be cut further. Plus it's my challenge. 😉 (and I am late writing and posting). Anyway, enjoy.

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How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

The Book

He ran down the stairs as fast as his could, the sound of his footsteps bouncing off the stone walls. He needed to get the library as fast as he could. He had to find the book, and fast.

While his body raced so did his mind as he thought about which shelf it would be on; it would be high up, in the back in the section where the warden would never let them go. But the warden wouldn’t be there; no one was anymore. The castle was empty, except for him and whatever was stalking him. That’s why he needed the book.

He rushed into the library, part of his brain registering the musty smell of ancient tomes that held the answer to more than life itself. He rain to the far corner and rattled the metal gate that enclosed the prized books. He had to get in.

Then he heard them: footsteps, after him as they always were. He shook the gate. It had to open; he had to have that book! He could hear the footsteps coming at high speed. Oh no what was he going to do?

He ran, trying not to trip down the stairs. Going head over heels on these flagstones would be the end of him, but he had to get to the library he had to get to find that book. It held the answer to whoever was chasing him. It must be why he was alone. It had taken them all.

He rushed along the corridor to the library, bursting into the quiet darkness. He grabbed a candle off a table as he went, fumbling in his pocket for matches he knew were there.

He reached the metal cage the book was behind and shook it. It was locked. Where was the key? He could barely see in the low light. He struck a match and lit the candle, giving it a second to grow bright enough for him to search for the keys. They must be on the warden’s desk. He went over to it and searched the tops and draws, but as he did so the sound of the running footsteps reached him. What should he do? He snubbed out the candle.

He ran, not caring about the sound his footsteps made on the stone stairs. He had to reach the library; there was no time to lose. The book was there, it held the answer to this incessant chase, to finding the identity of his pursuer. He was tired of running. He needed to get the book down from that shelf.

He rushed into the library, flying past all the shelves to the back where the book was held. He knew the cage door was locked, but he was sure the keys were in the Warden’s desk draw. He would find them. He almost ran into the desk in the darkness.

Realising he needed light, he snatched a candle holder that still had a stub in it and lit it, his shaking hand making it take longer than he liked. He knew he would hear the footsteps again soon, they were never far behind. He pulled the draws open, shuffling about in each one. The keys had to be here. They must be. The bottom draw yielded a reassuring sound as he pulled it out. They were here! He grabbed them.

But it was too late, he could hear the footsteps, rushing along the corridor outside. He had no time. He had to snub out the candle.

He ran, the slapping of his feet on the hard stone stairs resounding off the walls. He didn’t care if his stalker heard him. He always seemed to know where he was anyway. He had to get to the library and find the book. The key was in the bottom draw. He would snatch it as soon as he got in there.

He sped down the corridor to the library; it seemed to get longer each time. He was tired, so tired, but he had to keep going. He had to have that book.

He went straight to the desk and pulled on the draw. There was no need for the candle, he could feel for the keys. He took them to the metal cage door, seeing the outline of the lock in the moonlight coming through the high library windows. There were four keys, he tried each one, and as expected it was the last that fit. He got the door open. He thought to pause but he knew that once he heard the footsteps all would be lost.

He rushed to the end of the aisle of books. It was up on the top. He grabbed the ladder, his heart pounding. The end was in sight. Once he had it in his hands he would be safe.

Was that the sound of footsteps of was his mind playing tricks? He clambered up the ladder, ignoring it sway. His hand ran along the books and then he felt it: warm to the touch. He yanked it out of its tight spot with one hand and clutched it close to his chest.

He paused at the top of the ladder, waiting. Was it over? Were there footsteps? Had his stalker gone?

And then it came back to him: the incantation, the fall down the stairs - he was being stalked by a ghost, and the ghost was him.


  1. Not certain about writing anything these days. But, at least I tried for this picture.

    A Work Of The Devil

    1. This was interesting, I liked it. I want to know what it is they found though!