Wednesday 19 June 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 112

This week's prompt is a sculpture, sold on Etsy by Dellamorte & Coin New Jersey, Apparently it glows in the dark and can be used as a nightlight! 

Sometimes the biggest shame about flash is you have to cut all the bits that add more characterr. I had to cut down on her drunken comments and state, as well as lose some of the background story. Fortunately the essence still worked. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

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

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Drunk or deadly?

Row upon row of doors, but all of them locked. How had she ended up here? One minute she was partying with the rest of them in the big ballroom, the next she was up here, trying to navigate her way out of this labyrinth of corridors.

Vicky was drunk, she had to be. It’s the only thing that explained the sudden switching and chopping about, like her eyes could only see in snapshots. They didn’t call it blind drunk for nothing.

She’d look down one corridor, looked back and the carpet had changed colour or the paintings were in a different order. She knew she’d had a lot to drink but this was beyond that, she was also losing chunks of time. She wasn’t registering walking from one corridor to another.

Vicky really needed a pee, it must have been why she came up here in the first place, in Johnny’s dad’s oversized mansion; a surprise to all of them. You’d get lost in here even if you weren’t drunk. She started trying all the doors along the next corridor. It had a blue carpet. Finally at the end one of the doors opened.

It contained a formal looking bedroom suite, which looked unoccupied, and a door leading off it which Vicky hoped was an ensuite bathroom. It was. But when she glanced back at the room while closing the door, the furnishings had changed colour and position, and then so had the bathroom layout when she shut the door and rushed to the toilet.

She sat on the loo and put her head in her hands while she went, hoping to clear it, but it didn’t help, it started spinning and she felt sick. She opened her eyes, finding it incredulous that the bathroom had changed again. Someone had to have spiked her drink.

But the mirror over the basin hadn’t changed. In fact it had been the only constant since she stepped in. It was a fancy ornate one, probably antique with a carved wooden frame depicting cherubs – or were they demons? Their faces moved in the low light through Vicky’s incoherent perception.

After she flushed, she went to wash her hands. The sink worked perfectly, but try as she might she couldn’t see a reflection in the mirror. It was unnerving. It showed the bathroom – or another bathroom seeing as the decor in it was drastically different from this one.

Vicky shook her hands out in the basin looking round for the towel and that’s when it happened: drops of water hit the surface of the mirror and it rippled ... actually rippled. She was losing her mind, she was sure of it. She flicked the water at it a second time and set off pools of ripples.

She lifted her finger to touch the surface, the tip disappeared. She withdrew it sharply, wondering if it was water or something more deadly, like mercury. Her finger looked fine. Shit, whoever had spiked her drink had used some serious stuff.

But she couldn’t resist, she put her finger in again, and then her whole hand. The liquid seemed to stop after a point. Did it come out the other side?

Vicky contemplated it for a second and then stuck her whole face in. She held her breath and pushed hard, feeling a popping sound as her ears came through, as well as a rush of music. It was the ballroom! And they were all there!

She pushed her arms through, too, with the intention of climbing in – why the hell not, quickest way back, beat going back along the corridors. But somehow she couldn’t get her torso up and through, and when she went to move her arms back to leverage herself, she couldn’t. They were stuck out in front of her. She tried to wriggle, but it was only her back end moving.

She looked outside herself for help. She could see her mates, and hear them, but she couldn’t move ... and she was beginning to have difficulty breathing.

She saw Becky and Richie come over.

‘What an awesome mirror! It really looks like someone’s trying to climb out. God this place is full of cool stuff, wonder where his dad gets it all?’

‘I’d love to have a house like this full of quirky shit. Can you imagine buying anything you want?’

They wandered away again, but Vicky was too weak to watch them go. Instead she was beginning to drift out of consciousness, her last thought being that at least they’d have something to remember her by.


  1. Mary looked at the three women as they sat on bench. Technically it was meant for two. A kind of love birds’ seat. But the three of them managed to sit on it together. The one closest to Mary had her hair in a very fashionable style as did the one at the other end of the seat.

    “I think,” she said in a very matter of fact way that didn’t expect to be contradicted, “that its mine. They’re going to be using it to tell epic stories, in a few years it’s going to explode.”

    The one at the other end scoffed. “Thalia honey, would you please explain to our sister that its not to long before they marry sound with this. Songs and music will flood out.” The middle one turned a little to tell her just that when she spoke out again.

    “Well you tell Eutrope that’s not due for years yet. Each one is getting longer; it won’t be long before that Demille fellow gets going. Epic stories are mine.” Crossing her arms she sat back, which in turn squashed the one in the middle a little more.

    Unlike the other two, both of whom didn’t look like they wanted to be here she looked at home. Her hair looked nice, but not the finely coifed work of the other two. Even the sound of a bickering match that looked like it was set to last a lifetime wasn’t making her look sour. She just sat there and smiled.

    “Tell Calliope that these places are great but think of all the people that can be fitted into a moving picture theatre. They can spread music all over the land at the same time. Millions listening to the same performance at once. Music that I helped inspire.” As she spoke she jabbed her elbow into Thalia’s ribs. Other jabs continued and each time Thalia looked from one to the other ready to relay the massages. Another jibe coming just as she was about to speak. As Mary watched them she couldn’t help but let out a little giggle. Neither of the two on the ends took any notice, But the one in the middle locked her eyes on her.

    The expression of looking into your soul is overused. But for Mary that wasn’t what it felt like. It was more akin to having someone run their hand though her hair while you soaked in a warm bath. Thalia’s smile widened and somehow, she slipped from between her two sisters. Placing her finger under Marys chin she lifted her face to look deeply into her eyes. “You have so very much to do. Little men will stand in your way. But you’ll outsmart them. Chin up and be brave. I’ll always be here for you.” She turned to look at her sisters. “I think we all have work to do. This is going to need all of us.”

    “Fine,” Calliope and Eutrope said together. But you could see that neither of them was prepared to give up. As the three of them walked out Eutrope paused for a second and glanced at Mary.

    “Mae, I think Mae will suit you. It’s a good stage name.”

    As she spoke she glanced behind her. “Miss West, its time for your audition,” called out an officious looking guy. Mary bustled up what confidence she had in her and headed towards the stage. She liked the name Mae, For some reason it gave her a feeling of confidence.

    1. Hello, Thanks for joining, a premonitionery tale there. It's Andy White, isn't it? If you are on twitter Andy, would love to connect with you there.

    2. Hi, Yes I'm Andy White. Im @laughingAndy on twitter and thanks for the welcome.

    3. hello! *waves* I think you're over in the MidWeekFlash group on FB too. But great to connect on twitter. I just looked up who the women were on the seat (Calliope, Eutrope & Thalia) love the way you used them.

  2. Love this, the way you used the idea of drunken hallucination to explain the image is really clever. beautifully done.

  3. In an attempt to push my writing skills I took the opportunity to do this one in first person present, horror genre. a new point of view for me. Heres Nightmare Reflection for you. hope you like it.

    1. Wow, that ending is fantastic! You certainly chilled me with that tale, fantastic description. I would say that is a resounding success! A genre you could explore.

    2. Thank you, Miranda, it seems I do need to write this way more often.

  4. In a derelict home on the outskirts of town there is a house. Once so loved and looked after, now a shell of it's glory days.
    Inside the house in the bedroom there is a mirror, it belonged to the lady of the house who affectionately named it 'Reesa'

    One summers day when the house lay quiet, the woman vanished into thin air, although the town searched, they never found her, nor her body.

    On moonless nights as the mirror ripples, cries eminate through the mirror and into the night. Her soul caught forever inside the depths of nowhere. She tries to escape from her prison but the wraith comes forth to carry her to the depths.

    1. Hello, thanks for joining. Can you leave your name and your twitter handle if you have one, so I know who you are? Thanks.

    2. Nadine Kimmage my twitter handle is @nadkim

    3. Hi Nadine, thanks so much for joining in! I love this chilling little tale. Got me hooked!

    4. Thank you, I love dark stuff but never tried the horror genre x

    5. Thats reading well, Nadine.

  5. By: David Lunn Milburn

    Title: My Great Aunt Lily

    My Great Aunt Lily was about as old school as you could get. Born 'some time after the Civil War', she was a brash young woman who found her way into Vaudeville’s early days. She knew all the tricks. Most men weren’t even past the lusting stage before taking her size 8 boot to their nether regions. If that didn’t work, there were those deliciously sharp nails could come a scratchin’. You might have to get by with one eye if you weren’t careful.

    Had a razor-sharp sense of humour too. If you were walking through the big tent minding your own business and a pale of wet horse shit landed on you, your first thought was, “What did I say wrong to Lily?”

    The years went by, Lily knew no other life. Her health started to go when she reached her fifties. She had some inheritance money stored away so she decided to buy a small place in California. We thought long and hard about what to give her on her last day. Someone had spotted the most grotesque mirror in an antique store. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect.

    Lily loved it, especially when she found out the figurine was hollow. Apparently, she installed 2 powerful light bulbs in the head and would delight in bringing guests down the darkened hallway and turning the lights on, accompanied by a banshee howl of terror. She would chuckle to herself for hours after. Funny thing, at the garage sale after Lily died, the mirror was the first thing to go.

    1. This one has a great wittiness about it. I like it.

  6. Terry Brewer @stories2121
    Title: Her

    “No Way.” It was a text from my wife. I stood at an auction house in Millbrook, New York, and I sent her a photo of a “mirror with woman”—that was not its name but that’s what I thought of it as—to get her thoughts. We had a sterile loft in Dumbo, just north of the Brooklyn Bridge. I thought it would be perfect for one of the narrow spaces between the tall windows currently occupied by a large black-and-white print of which I had long tired. Abhorred even. If one can abhor a photo of the Maine coast.
    “No way?” So I called her. “Honey. It is the coolest thing. It’d be like she was coming into the apartment. A mermaid trapped in the East River.”
    “John. That thing is not coming anywhere near this apartment. Are you nuts?”
    I said I really, really wanted it and she relented. “But,” she added, “If it looks like shit on the wall it’s going out. Just don’t pay too much for it.”
    And I didn’t pay too much for it. I’d been to enough of these auctions to know that interest flags late and that’s when the good deals are to be found. And I found this one. $500. Plus a 15% buyer’s premium. Now it was in the back of the Outback, carefully packed.
    * * *
    It didn’t look like shit. Even Susan—that’d be “Honey” in the foregoing dialogue—came to like it. Perhaps more than I did. I’d catch her sitting on a stool in the kitchen staring at it. At Her. She stopped denying her interest in “Her”—it did not take long before we realized this was no object but a being of suspect provenance—by the third or fourth time that I caught her staring.
    Susan would interrupt me at times with her latest theory. But whatever the backstory it came down to a woman searching for something. Love. Life. A lost child. A lost love. Lost life.
    * * *
    I had to pee. It was about 4, 4:15. Leaving the bedroom I saw that one of us had, I thought, left a light on in the great room. But it was Susan. She’d taken a stool from the kitchen. It was a couple of feet away from Her and Susan was lost in Her. She didn’t notice my presence until I asked, nervously, “Honey?”
    She shook. “Just lost in thought.” She was embarrassed and quickly replaced the stool and rushed past me to our bedroom. I turned off the great-room light, peed, and returned to bed. Susan was asleep. Or pretending to be.
    It was the following Saturday when whatever happened happened. We were heading out to Jerry and Beth’s place in Sag Harbor. I had my overnight bag packed when Susan said in the bedroom, “I can’t go.” Something was wrong. “I don’t know what it is. I just know that it is.”
    As I dialed Jerry to tell him we couldn’t make it because something-had-come-up, she left. When I got to the great room she was standing in front of Her. Rubbing her face gently. I heard a faint whisper: “I will help you.”
    She collapsed. EMTs were on site within three minutes of my 911 call and Susan was in the ER twenty minutes later after we wailed through early-Saturday Brooklyn traffic. The tests showed nothing. Doctors from a myriad of departments were called in, to consult about or to gawk at my wife. Her vitals were strong. Nothing elevated. Nothing depressed. The guess, and it was just that, was a temporary loss of oxygen.
    Three hours after being rushed in, Susan awoke as if nothing had happened to her. Surprised when told where she was and how and why she got there, she just wanted to get home. She was discharged after promising to immediately call 911 if it happened again, even if she just felt faint.
    We haled a cab and were home about twenty minutes later. I didn’t notice until I looked to the window. Susan was smiling. She was staring at the mirror and she was smiling. And the mirror was a mirror. She was gone. And Susan was smiling.

    1. Took me a second, but what an ending!! Thanks for joining.

    2. This is a great story, its very clever, specially the ending.

  7. Hi all, here's my endeavour on my blog. Gone for a super short one this time! Hope you enjoy. Thanks for the Prompt Miranda! @lexikonical

    1. Only just spotted this. I liked how that ended, a nice bit of darkness! Thanks for joining Lexickonical!

      Here is a clickable link for other readers: Burning Glass