The Tunnels of Tad-Dlam – Part 1

Sara had only ever heard of snippets about the caves. The area around them was called Tad-Dlam but it wasn’t until her teens that she had found out that meant “Of The Dark”. Of course, the locals told stories, secrets and whispers about the dark underground hollows that ran below their feet and the spirits that thrived in them. Not being considered an “authentic local” despite her parents arriving before she was born, so Sara was never included in these conversations. Whenever she enquired regardless of if it was at school, shops, post office the people of the town hushed up. She was not one of them.

“Sara…” The voice started when her mother passed away.

“Sara…” It was quiet to begin with, more of a whisper than a voice but increasingly it was more and more insistent.

“Sara. Find me”, it hissed at her in the darkness late at night when no one was around. Grief, Sara told herself. The voice would leave her when she had stopped grieving but did a daughter ever really stop grieving for her mother? She didn’t think so.

Time passed and the whispering, hissing voice became part of normality. It whispered in the darkness until she fell asleep and then it invaded her dreams. As winter approached and the days contained more dark than light, the voice spent more and more time inside her head. “Find me. Sara. Find me.”

pexels-photo-89517.jpeg

Winter came and went and spring began its inviting chorus. Each day Sara walked down the little path that led through the garden to the gate. The garden had been her mother’s pride and joy she had spent hours pottering around, clipping, trimming and planting. They had often joked the Greenhouse was her second home.

As the anniversary of her mother’s passing approached Sara took to the garden. At first, it was little bits trimming the trees, and hedges and cutting the grass. Sara had never been green fingered. As the little garden responded to her attentions Sara’s confidence grew and soon she decided it was time to take the next step in tackling the Greenhouse. At first, the sight of her mother’s apron and gardening gloves caused a lump to rise in Sara’s throat and she had just grabbed the first tools she needed and headed back to the garden. Steeling herself she decided it was time to evict the cobwebs that now consumed all the equipment her mother had treasured so much.

The Greenhouse seemed to encourage the voices. “Find me, find me Sara”, they whispered into the enclosed space. Ignoring them Sara began to pull each item out into the garden. Giving some things a clean and wipe down others stacking in a ‘to be discarded’ pile. The work was hard and the light began to fade but it had taken so much strength to get to this stage so Sara was determined to continue. As she heaved and lifted and cleaned and sorted the voice spoke to her continuously almost like a rhythm to the tasks.

“Sara. Find me, Sara…

Sara. Find me, Sara. ..”

As Sara emptied the bottom racks of the shelves her eye was caught by a crack extending out under them. She pulled the cabinet out and saw it extended under the wall to outside. Climbing from her knees she walked outside to the greenhouse. This side of the garden hadn’t yet been touched. Nettles and bramble bushes grew far and wide. Sara thought and scratched her way through until surprisingly she came to a large opening. The earth had fallen in just outside her greenhouse. Yet the way the ground opened appeared to slope downwards.

Sara’s curiosity got the better of her and she found herself ignoring the cuts and the scrapes of the gnarled bushes snagging at her skin as she pushed her way back to the greenhouse to go in search of a torch. Dusk provided a warning red glow in the sky but she was oblivious. She had to get a torch. The voice no longer whispered it championed her. “Find me, Sara. Find me.”

Relieved she found the tool she needed and returned to the opening, enticing her in like a venus fly trap to a spider.  Flicking on the torch she began to descend.

Waiting - Tunnel - cavern - image by Sue Vincent


Written in response to Sue Vincent’s prompt – #writephoto. You can join in this weeks image or have a gander through the many interesting posts inspired by this wonderful photo by clicking here. KL ❤

 

 

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What is Ahead? – #writephoto

They had observed the rock formation from miles away, with each step closer to it, it seemed to grow more intriguing.

ahead - rock image by Sue Vincent

“It looks like a house”, Josie said to her exasperated husband John who was trailing behind her with a heavily laden backpack. He made a harrumph sound in response but she ignored it and clicked happily on her camera before setting off again.

As they grew closer and closer her excitement to explore the rocks grew.

“Do you think it was a caveman’s home?” Josie wondered once they had reached the opening in the rocks.

“Maybe,” John said, giving in to her excitement. “It could be our lodgings for the weekend, save us on that hotel you booked”. He said smirking at his own joke.

“I WOULD live here”, Josie smiled at him, “look at that view.”

As they made their way inside it grew darker and darker, eventually, John rummaged in the backpack and pulled out their torch. As he clicked it on they both inhaled sharply.

“Wow! This is so beautiful.” Josie said. John nodded in agreement. The swirling text that filled the walls, floor and roof of the cave was unlike anything they had ever seen before.

“What do you think it says?” John asked.

“No idea. Oh, look there are numbers there.” She pointed to the area she had spotted.

They both moved closer and focussed the torchlight.

“Is that a date?” Jane’s brow wrinkled with concentration. They both looked at each other in the dull torchlight.

If it was a date, that meant it was one week from today…


My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt combined with the Captivating daily post. If you want to give Sue’s prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – ahead – and join in the prompt. KL ❤

The Jilted Bride – #writephoto

Her veil fluttered in the breeze and she let out a wail into the dawn sky. The sun was coming and her presence would be hindered in the daylight. She prayed for winter, foggy days and dreary weather helped her stay around for longer.

 

Arch Image by Sue Vincent

Arch – Image by Sue Vincent

 

One of her favourite things to do was to follow one step behind a person, see if they felt her presence. Occasionally she would inhale deeply beside their ear-catching the scents of the sweet perfumes of the modern day. This often made them shudder and she could not deny the shadow of joy that gave to her wandering soul.

Occasionally she would get the chance to enact her true calling, her reason for being. She would watch the young couples strolling around the site hand in hand, or linked arm in arm, giggling merrily to themselves. She watched them captivated by their young naivety. She would watch and she would wait.

As the time approached, and the young man got down on one knee she would summon all her strength and push him over. She would whip the young woman’s scarf or hair or whatever she would grasp. As they regained composure she would scream. A high-pitched piercing scream. She enjoyed that, generally, they began to stumble and run as fast as they could. Sometimes she wondered if they heard her deep chuckling that followed but ultimately she didn’t care. She would be the only jilted bride to haunt these ruins.



My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt combined with the Captivating daily post. If you want to give Sue’s prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Arch – and join in the prompt. KL ❤

Fate – #writephoto

He looked into the lake. He didn’t believe in fate, fairytales and all that other nonsense but if the sword was in there he was going to get it. Temptation was all he needed, and he was a man fuelled if by nothing else by the chance of an easy reward. He had heard many stories that the sword had been tossed in this water and was now guarded by some lady.

Dark - Lake - Image by Sue Vincent

Dark – Image by Sue Vincent

 

He donned the aqua gear that he had “borrowed” from the museum he worked. It had weighed a tonne and he had started to regret his plan but now that he was in the water the stupid old suit might just prove its worth. He might return it, then again if he was loaded after cashing in on the sword it might be better to keep it as a memento of his genius. Further and further out he waded until the depths of the water surrounded him. It felt like the world was getting darker and darker then, at last, he saw the glint of the gold hilt.

He made his way towards it but as he raised the arm of the suit the water moved and pushed him back a few steps. Once again, he made his way forward and again the water sent the heavy suit away from the sword. He approached again and this time kneeled (as best as he could) in the suit and although the water moved around it seemed to have stopped pushing him away from the sword. He lifted his arm up to grasp the sword but try as he could he could not get the suit to perform a handgrip on the handle. He tried again and again but without success. By now everything around him was pitch black. He would have to somehow modify the suit and come back again for the sword. As a final act to display his disgust he kicked at the sword in it’s resting place, but the movement caused a tear in the ancient leather and ice-cold water quickly began to enter.vintage-historical-old-diver.jpg

As fast as he could he made his way back to land the suit getting heavier and heavier as water poured in the tiny slit in his heel. Eventually, he was at the edge and he pulled the lumbering helmet gasping for air. He started to pull the rest of the outfit off as he made his way up the silty water’s edge onto land. Water had filled almost the entirety of one leg of the suit now and he was more than aware if he had been much further out he might not have made it.

He threw the helmet and rest of the suit down and sat down on the lakeside edge, looking back over the water, he now knew it was there, he had to formulate a plan to get it. He was about to stand up and leave when he heard footsteps and a bark coming from behind him. Turning to face it he could see two officers one holding rather a mean looking dog. He glanced quickly to his right to see if he could escape into the trees.

“I wouldn’t do that, sonny. Believe me, she can run a damn sight faster than you can.” The dog barked in agreement with the officer. As the officer drew closer there was nothing else he could do but bow his head in acceptance of the fate.


My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt. If you want to give Sue’s prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Dark – and join in the prompt. KL ❤

The Message – #Writephoto

I followed the waterline not knowing where it would take me. My mind was ignorant to the goose bumps that covered my body tortured by the cold sea breeze. I swallowed the rage, but in doing so tears brimmed, then in the wind trickled their way down my cheek. I twisted my sleeves then swiped at the wetness. The one tortured word echoing over and over… Why!

 

blue image by Sue Vincent

Blue – Image by Sue Vincent

 

Ten years. Our life together had been ten years. Ups and downs like everyone but ten years strong… or so I had thought. How could I have been treated this way? Rage flashed once more. I looked at the pebbles of the beach. Kicked at one, squatted down and picked up another launching it far into the ocean. The force caused my body to twist until I realised a little further along the coast someone stood watching. They carried a small light barely visible in the gloomy sky. I couldn’t make out the face but I had no doubt the eyes were watching me.

As I stared the stranger raised a gloved hand and beckoned me towards him. Without thinking I started to cover the distance between us. Within a few steps, the stranger had turned and walked further away. I put my head down against the wind and hurried my steps to catch up but the stranger always managed to remain a few steps ahead. Eventually, the sand gave way to a grassy embankment that the locals had put a bench atop of. The stranger seemed to be making his way towards that marker. I ran as fast as I could with the wind whipping against me, finally reaching the bench exhausted. I glanced around to see if the stranger was anywhere nearby but there was nothing.

Exhausted I threw myself down onto the bench. The wind whipped about me chasing a shiver down my spine and I turned around still searching. Looking back out towards the brilliant blue sky, something rustled against my feet. I bent down and picked it up, it was a crumpled up note. I unfolded it and inside were the words “I love you. I miss you. Come home.” Looking out at the blue my hands unconsciously followed the folds of the paper, smoothing them over and over. Then with a heave, I levered myself off the bench and headed home.

 


My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt combined with Daily Posts treat challenge. If you want to give Sue’s prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Blue – and join in the prompt. KL ❤

The Fire

“You are very lucky”, they have said that several times, the doctors, the nurses, the white-coated collection of people who regularly pass through my room.

“Only superficial damage. Nothing permanent.” They say and then they smile. I nod, they tick the chart and they leave. Leaving me alone to dwell on my own superficial life. The cycle has repeated steadily over the last few days since the accident. The worst part to me is the word ‘superficial’. Who came up with that word to be used when my skin looks like it has been dragged backwards through a shredder? I mean for crying out loud, it has the word ‘super’ embedded right in there. So, I am stuck in this bed with my superficial face, dwelling on my superficial life, that had seemed so perfect, on the outside at least, like my skin, when inside my thoughts are consuming me.

It starts with those sleazy facebook psychology questions.

“Would you run into a burning building to save an animal?”… probably not.

“What about your own pet?” Oooh, harder… probably…

“What about a relative?”…yes most definitely.

“What if you got inside that burning building thinking you were saving someone but there turned out to be no-one inside the building apart from yourself? And now you are the one that needs saving? What if the person that then saved you died? Would you feel lucky? Thankful?”

The words swirled their way around my head. Taunting every waking hour. I was sure something had driven me inside that building. I must have seen something… or heard someone… I wouldn’t run into a burning fire for nothing. So, what had lured me there? I had to get out this hospital bed, go back to the building the fire had taken place in, I had to find out.


Originally written in response to Daily Post prompt – Superficial. Couldn’t resist toying around with this prompt, definitely something mysterious about it! I have a few thoughts on how to expand the story but thought the concept was an intriguing start.

KL ❤

Nessie – #writephoto

She had left the house, tears streaming down her face once again. But she allowed no noise to escape. She would not feel weak, not feel helpless, allowing the noise to escape would be admitting defeat. She had held it all together, been holding it all together for months as business had got quieter and quieter. Who could blame the visitors, there had been nothing here for years. Sure it was a beautiful drive, and when the weather was hot you couldn’t help but want to be near the cool blue water of the loch.

Science. She could blame science. People no longer wanted to believe in magic, the supernatural, the unknown. When she was a child she had listened in wonder at the stories the grown-ups told, kids these days scoffed and headed to their phones to the internet, they forgot to enjoy the present. That magic could lift your heart just a little even if it wasn’t true. These days it seemed to be gone.

She lifted her legs heavily climbing up the hillside away from the loch. Away from her sleeping, snoring, drunken husband. She blamed him too. Once their little bar had been the busiest on the loch, people loved to stop in for a drink and a chat. She had loved it too, but as things grew quieter her husband’s patience had grown thin and when she could no longer offer him comfort he turned to the bottle. She’d never admit it, but that hurt her too.

She found the quiet place she was looking for and sat down, watching the slow moving fog above the loch. The sun was barely visible. What time was sunrise? She couldn’t remember, yet the darkness wasn’t carrying its usual weight, it felt fresh. The crisp cold air made her salty wet tears sting a little on her face, but she liked it. Reminded her to feel. As her eyes followed the lazy movement of the cloud a lump formed in the middle. She rubbed her eyes, certain the tears and tiredness had got to her, but when a second hump appeared she knew what she was seeing. What she always longed to see. Nessie.

twilight fog by Sue Vincent

She reached in her pocket and pulled out her mobile phone, her gaze never leaving the shadowed form amongst the fog. Lifting the phone high in front of her she swiped the little screen and the light of the camera came on. Drat! She knew having the flash on wouldn’t work so she pulled the little screen towards her to fumble with the setting, her heart now beating fast that the sight before her would disappear. Cautiously she clicked. Just to be certain she clicked again. Then before her very eyes, the two lumps disappeared, back down into the fog, back down into the loch, back to the legend.

She stood up and raced down the hillside, it was a sign, she knew it. A sign her struggle had been worth it. When people saw her photo they couldn’t not believe. What else could it be? Nessie.


My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt. Sorry Sue, couldn’t resist with this photo, definitely something mysterious about it! I loved it. 🙂

If you want to give the prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Twilight #writephoto and join in the prompt. KL ❤