Friday, February 11, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday: Week #26

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 #26:

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
By Michelle Greathouse

Charlotte pulled the curtain aside and peered out of the window - nothing but trees.  The four week journey should be coming to an end soon, she did not know whether to be happy or sad about that fact.  

She was still in shock over the events of the last month.  Her father died, not unexpected in itself,  Charlotte had nursed him for the last year and a half.  But finding out upon his death that he had no money - was in fact, in debt - was distressing to say the least.

The house and all its furnishings were sold to cover the debts Lord Watson had incurred.  That she was able to walk away with her own clothing was a blessing Charlotte was grateful for.  That and Hannah.  

Charlotte looked over at the plump woman who had been more mother than housekeeper and squeezed her hand.  “It shouldn’t be long now.”

Hannah brushed her hand over her graying hair, not a strand out of place.  “Aye lass, we’ll be there soon enough.”

Shortly thereafter the carriage came to a halt and the door was opened.  “It’ll be a few moments before everything is transferred to the barge, if you care to stretch your legs milady.”  The footman assisted Charlotte and Hannah from the carriage and set about moving the trunks to the barge.

Charlotte made her way to the edge of the water, careful to keep her shoes from getting wet.  She remarked upon the fog, “My mourning clothes fit well with this gloomy weather.  I can barely see the castle in all of this fog.”

Suddenly is was too much to bear and Charlotte turned to Hannah, tears on her face.  “What do you think he wants with me, this Lord Niall.  Though he says he was a friend to my father, I’ve never heard of him.  Hannah I am afraid.”

Hannah took Charlotte by the hand.  “Lass, what choice do we have?  We’ve no where else to go and no money to boot.”  Resigned, Charlotte let Hannah lead her to the awaiting barge.

The barge made it’s way through the water quickly. Sooner than expected Charlotte arrived at the opposite dock.  “Careful milady, tis slippery.”

At the end of the short dock Charlotte found a set of massive stone steps that disappeared into the fog.   

She began to climb.

Off to her right a wolf howled causing Charlotte to mis-calculate the distance to the next step. She stumbled and would have fallen if not for the strong arm that reached out of the fog and grabbed her.

“Careful lass, you wouldn’t want to fall.”

Charlotte looked into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen, topped by a head of hair as black as night.  “Lord Niall?”

“Welcome to Castle Killymoon.”

The End
Word Count: 497

Definitely not my usual fare - but I’m trying to branch out - and I didn’t kill anyone - yet. :)

Hope you liked it.

Have a great weekend.  


Blodeuedd said...

Yes, now that seems dark, can't she just fall madly in love and have his babies? :D

Oh dear lord, what is wrong with me ;)

Michelle Greathouse said...


Maybe all is not as it seems....


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

This sounds like the first chapter of a dark mystery, sodden with tension and perhaps a bit of a Gothic romance. I do like a Gothic romance.:) Great job! My interest is piqued. I'd definitely love to know who exactly Lord Niall is and what his intentions are. For a guy who lives in a castle as seen in the picture, I'm sure he's at least partly up to no good.:)

Julia Barrett said...

Wait, you didn't kill anyone! but her father died, right? I do really like this picture and you came up with something totally unexpected.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Michelle!

Oh, I like, I like a lot!! I can feel the wolf of Lord Niall, the Castle Killymoon, and the dark of night!! Excellent Gothic feel to the flash Michelle! It almost has a historical paranormal feel, I hope you continue this one!! Because I would love to have more!

Dottie :)

Amy C said...

Hey Michelle,

I'm in agreement, I love the gothic feel of this. A few of my favorite romances are Gothic historical. It's a great start to something much bigger!

Michelle Greathouse said...


I did give a bit of a clue or two as to 'what' Lord Niall will turn out to be. :) Historical romance - romance in general, is not really my thing. But maybe with an added element of 'other' I can work with it.


That was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the picture. :) But I had to tweak it to make it fit me. LOL


I knew you'd get the clues. :) I can't just do regular - I've got to have some element of 'other'.


Thank you. I'm trying to branch out a little and not rely so much on the urban fantasy that I love. That is why I haven't killed anyone or anything in the last couple of weeks. LOL