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.

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​​Thursday Thriller – Quest

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Read Part 1 – Calla

Read Part 2 – Tower

Read Part 3 – Beast

Read Part 4 – Rose

I’m such a fool, Calla whispered as the cellar door slammed.   Edgar had grabbed her before she’d even made it out of the dining room, growling in her ear about how dearly she would pay for her mistake.  His arm gushed blood as he dragged her down the stone steps to the cellar, flinging her inside and locking the door.  Why couldn’t she bring herself to do what needed to be done?  Why didn’t she grab the knife and drive it right into his neck?

The cellar was smelly and dank, with just a tiny window so high up she’d never be able to reach it.  Rose brought her food and snuck her the occasional book, but she could never stay long.  When she asked if Edgar would ever let her out, about the things he was doing, saying, while she was locked away, Rose said that he was very angry, but that his mother would be returning from her travels soon and would be coming for a visit, expecting good news.  She stared back at her tellingly.

The next day was special.  The only day of the month when Rose got to leave the property, a large portion of Edgar’s allowance for the month, carefully controlled by Catherine of course, filling her small purse, keys jangling in her pocket.   She usually lingered in town before finishing her errands; she’d have a coffee at a sidewalk cafe, browse a bookstore, people watch.  It was so rare she got to see anyone besides Edgar and Calla.  But today, there’d be no time for that.  Today would be different from any other day Rose had since she’d come to the mansion.

Edgar didn’t look up at the woman who passed his door in the hallway that rainy morning.  Every inch of her skin was covered.  She was wearing Rose’s worn raincoat and gloves, with galoshes that came to her knees.  Her head was down and covered by a hood.  She walked quickly, purposefully.

Tears filled Calla’s eyes as she opened the front door and ran down the front steps to the drive, where Rose was waiting with the van.  She’d ducked out of the house earlier undetected, leaving the doors unlocked for Calla to follow.  Calla laid across the back seat, keeping her head low as Rose sped down the drive.

Read Part 6 – Banished

My favorite prompt during Story A Day in May was Rewrite a Fairy Tale, so I decided to tackle it again, this time with Beauty and the Beast in a serial form. 

Adopted

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It was Nelly’s last day.

“You’re just too old, Nelly,” Baby, the chihuahua across from her, taunted.  “Tough luck.”  Baby had a new sign plastered to the front of her cage.  She was all to happy to tell Nelly what it said.  “Adopted.”

Nelly heard footsteps in the dark corridor.  All the dogs, except Baby of course, stood and wagged their tails, ready to put on a show.

An unfamiliar human knelt in front of Nelly’s cage and smiled.

A new sign was placed on Nelly’s cage.  She didn’t need Baby to tell her what it said.  Adopted.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is There’s No Place Like Home.

I’m More of a Dog Person

Now this is living the life of Riley, Shea thought as she looked at her spoiled cat, Tia.  It was all her fault.  She’d indulged her for five years.  Aiden had warned her if she didn’t start getting Tia under control, he was going to take drastic action.   He wore a cunning smile as he walked in, holding a furry bundle in his arms.  It was…a puppy!  An adorable midnight black puppy with floppy ears and big dark eyes.

Shea couldn’t stop herself from giggling as she watched the puppy scurry across the floor to where Tia was now perched.  Tia leaped from the couch and ran across the room.  The puppy lifted his leg and left his mark on the floor, before chasing Tia upstairs, knocking over a vase in the process.

“What have you done?”

Aiden only shrugged and went to get the carpet cleaner.

For Mondays Finish the Story Challenge

Autumn

The first day of fall.  Her favorite season.  It always meant change.  School starting.  A new chill in the air.   The leaves turning from lush green to bright shades of gold and red.

She sat on the bench across the street from their townhouse and watched as he moved the last of his things out of their formerly shared residence.  Her friends and family had suggested going away, seeing a movie with someone, having a long booze-filled lunch.  But she had to see it.  She wanted these images burned into her brain.  Now she knew it was really over.

She felt something cold and wet nudge her hand.  To her surprise, saw a puppy looking up at her with big brown eyes, her fur the same shade of gold the trees soon would be.  Smiling, she pulled the tiny thing into her lap.

When he was gone, she slowly walked through the door, the dog still in her arms.  She ignored the initial loneliness that smacked her in the face, making her heart feel like lead.  She focused on the fact that the air felt light and fresh without his things clogging up the place.  She felt peace.

Looking down at her new friend, she said, “Autumn.  Your name is Autumn.”

The dog seemed to like it, licking her face.  She shut the door and started their new life.

For Sunday Photo Fiction!