Thursday Thriller – Rumors

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“Come on!  Let’s go in!”  Andrew tugged on her arm painfully, but her feet were planted on the ground.  She looked at the brown weeds sprouting up through the cracks in the sidewalk, the vast parking lot, sprawling and expanding around them like a gray, concrete ocean.  The empty mall had been sitting there, an abandoned eyesore, for years, since Mona was a little girl.  The town had no idea what to do with the space and no investor would touch it.  So it sat, and the stories began to swirl.  The murders that had supposedly taken place there, the girls who’d slowly started going missing in the years since the mall had been abandoned, the body found buried in a shallow grave, the madman that supposedly lived there in one of the desolate anchor stores.  It made for great scary stories at sleepovers when she and her friends were little, but Mona had never taken the rumors seriously.  It was just a hiding place for homeless people and a spot for losers to  get high.

Andrew tugged on her arm again, flashing that lopsided smile, and she remembered why her mother had warned her about him.  He took her hand and she squeezed it as tightly as she could as she followed him inside, crawling through a gaping hole in a wall that faced a deserted side alley.

The lights were still on.  She could hear the hum of the electricity all around her, despite the fact that the floor was littered with shattered glass, dirty sleeping bags, and trash.  Every fixture had been ripped from the walls and ceiling, signs hung crookedly around them.  “Welcome Back!” A banner screamed, brushing her arm as she walked past trepidatiously.

“This place is super creepy, Drew.  Let’s just go,” Mona pleaded, trying to pull him back.  He didn’t stop, just kept dragging her forward.

“I have something I want to show you.  It’s just around the corner.”

They ducked into one of the abandoned stores.  It was dark and Mona found herself longing for the well-lit corridor, spooky as it was.  There was a shadowy figure curled up in the corner, laying against the wall.  He stood as they approached.  As they grew closer, she could see the strange look in his eyes, the knife gleaming slightly in the sparse light that escaped from the hallway.  Andrew’s grip on her arm tightened; it was no longer safe, reassuring.  He was restraining her.

The stories were true.

 

I have a strange obsession with creepy abandoned malls, which sadly there are many of in certain parts of the U.S.   Enjoy the video if you’re interested!

Thursday Thriller – Dark Horse

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He rode up on a dark horse this morning, just as the sun rose through the line of trees that faced the house. I was on the front porch, wiping sweat from my brow as I sat in a rocking chair. I needed a rest. I’d been working all night.

He told me I didn’t have to worry any longer, that I was safe. He would take me far away from this squalid house, my unfulfilling marriage. He was going to rescue me.

Then his eyes widened as he saw the deep, brownish-red stains on my white apron, the perspiration on my face, the hole dug at the edge of the property. The sun shone in the window of my house, illuminating what was lying on the floor of the front parlor. He blanched as he looked back at me with eyes full of fear, not pity, for once, and my chest swelled.

I don’t need rescuing.

Stay Classy

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He’d insisted on arriving by helicopter. Helicopter!  She stood on the roof dutifully, at a safe distance from the helipad, her honey-blond locks whipping around her face. Her boss, Ed, the station manager, sighed deeply. He was as annoyed as she.

Finally, the helicopter touched down and Ron emerged, wearing a flashy suit in a color that could only be described as neon tangerine. His hair, held in place by layers of hairspray, didn’t move as he walked toward them with a swagger.

He greeted Ed first, ignoring Veronica’s extended hand.

“Can you get me a coffee, honey?” Ron asked, not bothering to look at her.

Her eyes narrowed. She ignored his request and decided to head inside.  “I’ll see you at six.”

“Wait, what?!” Ron yelled after her. “YOU’RE my co-anchor? YOU’RE going to read MY news??? But you’re a…a…”

She smiled tightly. “Let’s stay classy, Ron.” She disappeared inside the building as Ron stared after her, dumbfounded.

“I’m going to marry that woman,” he said, to no one in particular.

 

For Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  The picture prompt this week reminded me of the opening scene of one of my all-time favorite movies, Anchorman.

Friendship

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I can’t go inside.  Andrea parked in front of her friend’s home, watching the silhouettes move behind the curtains.

Kent moved out a week ago.  She twisted the gold band on her finger nervously. There was nothing shameful about being single. Nothing at all.  She just couldn’t handle the questions, the pity in everyone’s eyes.  Not today.

The curtains moved.  She’d been seen. She had to get out of the car.

Kent answered the door. “We’ve been waiting for you,” he said, extending his arms. She hugged him tightly, thankful, at least, for his friendship.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is THERE IS NO “I” IN TEAM.  

Unbroken

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Copyright – Georgia Koch

It was premiere night and Zoey was nervous. Her new movie, a remake of Jaws, was already getting panned by critics. It’d seemed like a good career move.  Quality roles for actresses of color were rare, plus her character delivered the movie’s iconic line, We’re gonna need a bigger boat.  But, the backlash was swift.  Twitter was bombarded with hatred – racist memes, messages, videos – all targeting her. She hadn’t left her home for days.

The  car stopped.  She wiped her wet eyes and emerged with a luminous smile. The fans were calling her name.

 

For Friday Fictioneers.  

Inspired by the most recent attack on the actress and comedian, Leslie Jones. 

Feud

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The hundreds-year-old tree between the two houses was the only one still alive who knew how it all began.  Past residents of those houses, Ruby and Dottie, had stood under its wavering, winter-bare branches years ago and argued about some trivial, forgettable, nonsense.  Each woman, seething with rage, had marched inside and told their respective husbands not to speak to anyone next door again.

Ruby and Dottie were gone now. It was Ruby’s four-year-old great-great-granddaughter, Pearl, who decided to defy her mother and venture to the other side of the tree. Leaning against its trunk was Sam, Dottie’s great-great-grandson, who was absentmindedly playing with a pocket-watch he’d found in his attic. There was a folded note inside.  Before the children could open it, the wind picked it up and carried it away.  It was in Dottie’s handwriting, addressed to Ruby, and bore only the words, I’m sorry.

The watch forgotten, Sam and Pearl laughed and chased each other around the base of the tree, as she sighed with relief and showered them with blooms.

For Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Morning After

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Tonight, Ava was staving off adulthood for a few more hours.  Her house party was in full swing.

“Can you guys keep it down?!” Her next-door neighbor screeched as Ava opened the door.

Liquid courage coursing through her veins, Ava flung the contents of her cup in the woman’s face as her friends chuckled.

The next morning, Ava stumbled into her job interview, head pounding, bleary-eyed.

“Thanks for coming in, Ava.” Her next-door neighbor sat opposite her and Ava couldn’t breathe. “Do you really want to do this or should I just send you on your drunken way?”

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is ALWAYS BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR.