Friday, January 28, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday: Week #24

Amy C over at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie over at Tink's Place
have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt
will be posted and if you choose to participate - you post your story on Friday - 350 words, give or take. 

And here is picture prompt #24:

Peace and Quiet
By Michelle Greathouse

She always wore a white dress.  White stood for purity, cleanliness, godliness.  Thrown from her home at the age of fourteen, accused of being possessed, of being an instrument of evil, the devil’s own...the white was a symbol to herself; if no one else - of her innocence.

As long as she could remember, Elizabeth had always been able to see those around her - those who could not be seen by anyone else.  She thought nothing of it, thought everyone could see them.  Until she was old enough to remark upon the woman standing near the kitchen window - the woman her father could not see.  She suffered a beating that day - and was threatened with more should she continue with her foolishness.

By an early age Elizabeth had learned to keep her ability to herself.  That is until the night she started her courses - then she began to hear those around her as well.  And they liked it.

Night after night the restless came to Elizabeth, some to talk and others to torment.  She began to lose sleep and her appetite waned, causing her to lose weight as well.  Her father took notice.

Feeling as though her very sanity was in jeopardy, Elizabeth told her father what was happening.  He immediately packed her bag and took her to Wallingford House - the local hospital.

Upon arrival Elizabeth was bombarded with the restless spirits of those who had died at Wallingford House - most of them insane in life and no better in death.  It was torture.

Due to her father’s standing in the community and the respect he garnered,  Elizabeth was afforded a modicum of respect herself.  This meant she was not beaten outright - merely suffering starvation and the occasional dunking in cold water to drive out the demon spirits inhabiting her body.

All of this Elizabeth suffered with dignity - but suffer she did.  Until he arrived.

She never knew his name or where he came from - but when he arrived the spirits gathered around him and listened.  They quieted and listened.  And when he turned, gathering his black cloak around him, they followed him.

And Elizabeth was grateful.  

For the rest of her life, because Elizabeth was never allowed to leave Wallingford House, whenever the restless spirits became too much for her to bear, he would come, and they would follow.

And it was quiet, for a time.

The End
Word Count: 406

I took a different route with this picture - and I am very pleased with how it turned out. :) I didn’t kill anyone - but then again, they were already dead.

Hope you liked it. :)



Amy C said...

"I didn't kill anyone, but then again they were already dead."

Good one, Michelle! LOL!

I love how this one turned out for you, very intriguing!

Michelle Greathouse said...

Thanks Amy. :)

My daughter reads all of them and this one left her with the most questions - mostly about the cloaked man - oh and who was Elizabeth's father.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Blodeuedd said...

This one was so sad, I felt so sorry for her. Poor woman, *sniff*
And yes who is the man in the cloak?

Great story, you have me really sad here now.

but wohoo for not killing anyone!

I might have'll see ;)

Michelle Greathouse said...


I didn't mean to make you sad. :) I'm not sure why that story popped into my head - but I'm pleased with it.

And how many weeks has it been since I killed anyone - two, three? Am I mellowing? Nah! LOL Maybe the next picture will inspire murder and mayhem. :)


Amy C said...

Geez! You two sound like blood-thirsty barbarians!! :P

Yes, and who is that man in black? Perhaps a romance in death when Elizabeth expires from the mortal realm of the living?

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Love. It. So Gothic! Kind of Bronte-esque...

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Michelle!

Love the Gothic feel of this one... so good!! We need to know who the man in the cloak is..apparently her savior, but could he be more?

Dottie :)