First Line Friday: Fiction – Stenham House #amwriting #fiction #FLF


Thanks to Dylan of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s FLF.

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Credit: http://bigproof.ru

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“Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows.” 

Lost in the forest Marybeth was charmed by the crumbling facade of the ancient mansion. She wondered what the house looked like on the inside as she slipped through the rungs of a creaky black gate.

“What’r you doin’ here, Marybeth?” her older brother Winston cried, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.

“Mom’s worried. Said you’d been out so long she was ‘fraid you were lost in the woods for good. You know you’re too young to be out here alone.”

“What’s in there?” Marybeth asked Winston pointing to Stenham house. 

” You don’t want ta go there, ” Winston said matter-of-factly. “Tommy Johnson went in there and never came out the same. He’s a touched now.”

“Well he still lives in the neighborhood,” Marybeth argued. “I see him at school. He doesn’t play with the other kids much but sits in a corner and reads. There’s nothing wrong with that. What happened in that house?”

Winston shook his head, “You’ll have nightmares Marybeth, I can’t tell you. Mom’ll kill me.”

“S’okay I’m a big girl now. I’m seven. I can handle it.”

Winston sighed,”They say a family was murdered there. An axe murder came in and hacked them all to pieces. Grandma, Grandpa, the parents, and worst of all the children. There were four of them and the oldest was eleven.”

Marybeth gasped, “That’s bad. I saw the curtains moving I think someone still lives there.”

“There was a fifth child, he was a tot. The nanny hid him but was butchered herself. Even though the little guy was adopted, he always woke up with nightmares about the murder, even as an adult,” Winston whispered. 

” He lives there now, I think.” 

“He decide to live there when he ‘came  an adult. It was the only way he could face his demons. That’s what Aunt Sally told me.”

“Does Aunt Sally know him?”

“Yeah, they were in the same grade.”

Suddenly the front door to the delapitated house flew upon. Winston and Marybeth saw a gaunt middle aged man standing at the entrance. He motioned them over but then the crows began to fly and circle around the children, diving at them and pecking them when they tried to reach out to the man. 

Marybeth screamed batting at crows as she ran all the way back home to the safety of her mother’s arms. Winston followed his sister, his screams even more terrified. 

He swore to his sister, later, he saw the man at the door to Stenham mansion disappear into thin air. Marybeth believed him and decided to stay away from Stenhem house until she was older and wiser. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

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Photo Challenge:  Fiction – That Could Still Be Us #amwriting #fiction #relationship 


Thanks to NEEKNERAJ for hosting MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge this week. 

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Credit: NEEKNERAJ

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Twilight fades and darkness overtakes the sun. It’s difficult to see at night in the winter when there isn’t much snow. Those glistening piles such as frozen clouds, usually manage to catch the moon’s radiant glow. But tonight the only light outside is a crescent moon and far above, the glimmering stars. 

The lights on the dashboard flicker on and I gaze at you behind the wheel, humming softly to yourself as you continue our drive in an ink dark night. I can see from your face you’re exhausted.

“Please let me drive for you? At least a couple of hours so you can sleep, Tye?” 

You roll your eyes at me in the relative darkness in the inside of our car, “You don’t drive well enough. You only drive to the grocery store and a short distance to work. You don’t have experience driving on icy highways at night, Cara” Tye looks at me waiting for me to respond. 

Finally I peep, “When I took my drivers lessons, we drove on icy snowy highways. I drive all around the city,” I inform him. “Highways aren’t my favorite but you’re falling asleep at the wheel and I can handle driving until we reach Red Deer. The roads are deserted and I’m going to be driving straight and making sure I stay a good distance behind any other vehicle I come across.” 

Tye nods and bites his lip. I can tell he has no energy to argue with me. “I do need the sleep badly. When we get to Red Deer let’s stop and stay at a hotel for the night, okay Cara?” I smile at Tye in agreement and watch him pull the car over to the side of the highway to trade seats wih me.

I start to drive and at first I can see he’s a bit frightened for me and frankly so am I. But eventually Tye realizes I can keep up the speed on the highway and that I’m driving well, keeping my eyes on the road. 

At one moment I feel the car wiggle and slide over an ice patch but I pump the breaks and I drive the car without incident again. I wonder if he noticed my dangerous slip, but peering to my side I see Tye is sound asleep.

My poor guy, I think running my one hand through his hair as we reach Red Deer. I park the car near a decent hotel. The Best Western appears newer and well taken care of. Tye rubs his eyes when I gently shake him awake. 

When we are finally in our room I shower and I’m surprised when he joins me. “So, we’re talking again I guess? You’re not mad at me anymore?” I ask Tye. 

He holds me from behind, curving his body into mine and sighing in my wet hair. He kisses my cheek, “I don’t want to fight with you Cara. I want us to us again. I don’t like that your ex kissed you, but I thought about it the entire time we’ve been driving home from the mountains. You didn’t initiate the kiss and your friends said the same thing. My buddies agreed with them too. The whole situation made me so angry, I can’t even explain it.”

I nod and rest my head back on Tye’s bare shoulder, “I would never, you know that? But I can’t explain things to you if you won’t communicate with me. We could’ve solved this back in the mountains and skipped the tense ride home. I didn’t mean to make you jealous. I punched my ex for hitting on me after you went back to the hotel still foaming at the mouth,” I say with a proud smirk. 

Tye strokes my cheek and kisses my lips, “Punched him, hey? I’m so happy to hear you did. I wanted to more than punch him before I cooled down. It’s all forgotten, Cara. But I think we could both use some extra distractions just in case.” 

I giggle and turn around so I’m flush against Tye, “Okay, let’s completely wipe our minds clear of the past couple of days.” 

The night became one of our most memorable nights together. 

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“That Could Still Be Us” – Keith Urban 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.   

Poetry: Dancing Into Light


I do not jest when I request, please don’t break my heart again.
And we move on in the steps of the dance, the game of life we play,
Begun again and shifted, sorted, sifted from the steps we danced before we fought — before summer hit us as bricks that fall from tall buildings up high.
Oh, what a surprise it is to step these new techniques and follow the footprints that many will trod.
But fear is a feeling hard to misplace, did I make the correct decision, revision, conditions to change — the course that lies before us and fine tune the game.

If I am a part of you, then you are a part of me; we are no longer apart from each other.
That was a twist to think that we could be after all this fighting, flight, forging for truth.
If you could just talk to me then I think we would see eye to eye, I think you’d see my soul if you looked hard enough.
It wants to understand you, to find the path that we must wander together.
It has a need to comprehend what little dips we must take to continue the dance; how many times can we trip without being told to get off the dance floor and walk away.
I mind that communication is difficult because dancers must keep in count 1,2,3,4 and 1,2,3,4 just to match their feet.
Keep your steps aligned with mine, tell me what’s on your mind so that we can continue to spin and flip and practice the moves the most faithful make.
Faithfulness occurs in action not by not only cheating but by staying attuned both you and I to each other and this music we call our lives.

So you are away and I needed to think but it wasn’t long before I took you back.
Decided to stop breaking pace to shimmy and shake as we take our place and step in time to the method, the song.
I always thought you were the one to slide with me as fireworks explode rushing up and smashing light into the sky, raining diamonds on the floor.
And moving this pace isn’t always easy, if I step on your feet, and you step on mine, were bound to become angry to react and retry to gain a connection, a tempo, a beat — to make the rhythm that is required of us.
We must bend and be flexible, be patient, be sincere, and take the steps as they come and move to the magic that occurs so little in life.
A thousand moments sunset bright to make it through to darkness into light.