Wednesday 23 October 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 130

This week's photo was taken by Michael Wombat, a writer friend on Twitter. It is Hawick Town Hall. I thought it looked very moody and was worth writing about. 

Okay, so this story ran away with itself, and actually turned into 1500 - and wasn't all done, so I might have to return to it. I saved it at that length and cut what I could, but it's come out at 950 words, so for this week all of you can have up 950 words too! 

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.


They crossed the street to the town hall and went round the back of the building. The moon was high and the night was crisp so they didn’t have a problem seeing where they were going. When they reach the side door Russell revealed a key he’d got from a mate that worked there.

They snuck inside, Marina took the opportunity to link her arm through his and grasped it with both hands. He quite liked that – and not just as an excuse to be close, it felt comforting in the eerie darkness.

They didn’t speak as they made their way into the building. Russell had been here plenty of times, so he easily found the stairs to the clock tower where the reports of ghost sightings had been. He was excited to see if they were true.

The thick carpet underfoot helped them move silently as they ascended, but by the time they reached the top they were out of breath.

They stood on the landing catching their breath, looking round at the three doors that faced them, one glass where the clock was housed. They could see the back of the clock inside.

‘Where to now?’ asked Marina.

‘I’m not sure.’ Russell’s warm breath left plumes in the air.

‘I didn’t think it was that cold in here,’ observed Marina noticing.

‘It shouldn’t be.’

Marina started to shiver. ‘Is it getting colder?’

Russell’s eyes lit up. ‘A sudden drop in temperature normally precedes a paranormal event. This could be it!’

Marina returned the look of excitement, and they waited. The only sound was the clock ticking away the hour. Then they heard footsteps. Marina moved closer to Russell, and he took her hand, pulling her into his side, his eyes glued to the clock room door where they came from.  

They grew louder and the handle on the glass door moved, yet no one could be seen on the other side.
Russell felt a mixture of curiosity and fear as it swung open. The footsteps stopped when they reached the carpet so he had no idea if whatever had opened it was still there.

Then the handle on the door to their right moved. He could feel Marina clutching his arm and waist. It opened and closed. No sounds, no footsteps – there was carpet in that room too.

They continued to wait, but nothing happened. Russell felt Marina’s hands relax. He went over to the door on the right, to look inside, but it wouldn’t open. It was locked.

‘What the ...?’ he whispered.

He glanced at Marina. She’d seen it too and looked at him wide-eyed.

‘That’s insane.’

‘I think we should get out of here.’

‘It might come back.’

‘I don’t want to be here when it does, Russell.’

He looked at her. She was shaking, although the freezing air had past. Then they heard footsteps at the bottom of the stairwell.

‘Shit! Someone’s here!’ he whispered.

Despite the carpet, they could hear someone climbing, and the shuffle of cloth against the wall. Then a glow appeared.

‘We need to hide,’ he hissed. He knew one door was locked, but were the others? He was relieved to find the glass door open, and pulled Marina through, gently shutting it behind them.

They pressed themselves up against the wall to one side of the door, hoping they wouldn’t be seen if someone looked in.

The landing filled with light as the person reached the top. Russell wanted to peek but daren’t, and held his breath as light filled the room. They were moving toward the clock room.

The handle turned, and he could see his own breath as well as Marina’s. The temperature had dropped again and he realised this might not be a living person.

It opened and they stepped in. Russell had assumed the light had come from a torch, but it hadn’t; the ethereal being emitted it. Dressed in some kind of uniform, not quite military, when it turned from closing the door, Marina gasped.

‘Dad?’ she whispered.

The apparition turned and upon seeing her, smiled. It shook its head.

‘Nay child, great grandfather I believe – you’re Geoffrey’s daughter, yes?’ Its deep voice resonated through the room.  

She nodded. Russell could see tears sparkling in her eyes.

‘Yes, is he here?’

It gave a sad shake of the head. ‘Nay, he has passed over beyond the light.’

She frowned slightly. ‘Why haven’t you?’

‘My work here is not done; I must wind the clock.’

‘But there’s someone else doing that now; it’s not your responsibility.’

‘I must, otherwise she will be late and doom will fall.’

Its face dropped and it turned away continuing its walk to the clock, but vanished as it reached it.
The two of them stood in stunned silence. Then they looked at each other.

‘Do you know what he was talking about?’ Marina asked.

‘No.’ Russell was bewildered by his words.

‘I need to know. I need to find out. Maybe it will release him.’


Marina shuddered. ‘Can we go now? I don’t think I can handle any more.’

‘Me either.’

They left the room and descended in silence, sneaking out the way they’d come in.

Out on the street, Russell grabbed her hand. ‘Are you okay? Do you want to come back to mine for a cuppa before you go home?’

Marina had seemed distant on the way out, but now she came back to herself.

‘I’d love to.’

‘Great, and you can tell me about your dad and who that guy was.’

‘I’m not sure I know. I think I’ll need to do a trip to the library tomorrow.’

‘I’ll come with you.’

She squeezed his hand and they walked off down the street, still trying to process what they’d just witnessed.


  1. A spooky, thrilling tale, Miranda. Beautifully done.

  2. Here is my take on this weeks prompt Murder Tower Hope you like it.

    1. Really great murder tale. Gripping stuff.

    2. Thanks, Miranda. I remembered that you said you were going ghosty so I wanted to do it differently. When I saw the tower I had nothing, to begin with. Then I remembered Holly's 4th story about clocks and I knew this was a murder story.

      I like the Dutch word Horloge, sounds special. I wonder if the English Horologist comes from that one?

    3. It seems to me that all words are connected. Since learning a second language there is this sudden understanding of how things link. I only see a little bit, but i know that if you learn Latin or Greek that you see it all, as they were the original two languages.