I'm a sucker for any kind of danceoff. You throw down a glove and I'm all over it with delusions of grandeur.
"You did NOT just challenge me to a cupcake eating contest - mantis catching tournament - extreme dodgeball match to the death!"
"Er, no. I was taking off my mittens. It's freakin' cold outside, genius."
So when I saw the Flash Fiction weekly challenge at AW, my little competitive heart jumped with glee. The prompt for this week was Haunted. I was all over that. I have ghosties to spare, just waiting for an opportunity to trot them out of my head and wave hello. There were ten other challenge participants and I gotta say, they all rocked outloud. The prompts post Sunday nights at 9p EST. You have 90 minutes to write, edit and post to the board. Then you get lots of lovely compliments. WIN WIN!
So who's with me for next week? ;)
My entry for Haunted, inspired by the zombie novel (yeah, I know. I just can't let it go):
The wind howled against the windows while jagged nails on Lisabeth’s small hands gripped the arms of the black chair. Focusing her eyes on the fire, she waited and gently held her breath as the shadows began their nightly creep from behind the walls. Horrified and fascinated, Lisabeth couldn't remember which came first - the darkness or the screaming.
This is all in my mind. He would never lie to me; he said it's all just the work of light from the fire. Lisabeth began to rock, her body leaning forward then recoiling from the black shadows that took form on the flecked wallpaper. Dripping into each other, there was no defined edge as the intruders reached and pulled across the wall, dragging their bloated dark shapes to the window. Lisabeth thought once that they were grasping to catch the last of the sunlight, their only true enemy and their most fervent desire.
The small table gleamed in the firelight, the cook having polished the mahogany with mixture of beeswax, turpentine and linseed oil earlier in the week. Her fingers lightly running across the waxy top to the clear flat bottle, the red label torn from nervous hands, leaving shreds of the title Pure Medicinal Laudanum clinging to the whorled glass. Lisabeth shook as she poured a small amount of the amber liquid into a glass and brought it to her lips.
They may not get me for years; death will find me quicker this way. Lisabeth felt the clove-scented opiate numb her tongue and work down her throat. Her eyes closed against the burn of alcohol, their tears mocking her weakness to face the night.