July '19 Flash Challenge - Gothic Tales


Writing challenges, flash fiction, interesting anecdotes, amusements, and general miscellanea.

Moderator: Editors

Which did you prefer?

Poll ended at August 04, 2019, 02:24:27 AM

Victoria, Oh Victoria!
2
29%
Lord of Darkness learns: Moving can be a good thing
2
29%
The Promise
3
43%
One of the Lost Monasteries of Old...
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 7
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 595

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 21, 2019, 02:24:27 AM

July '19 Flash Challenge - Gothic Tales

We have four tales from some of our usual (or unusual) suspects
KNEEL before Zod!
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 595

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 21, 2019, 02:25:30 AM

Victoria, Oh Victoria!

Victoria, Oh Victoria!

By Megawatts


Remson threatened to kill me the day I took Victoria away from him. That was thirty years ago.

Victoria died last year and things of this world can change so much in a year. Yes! With Victoria alive Remson wouldn’t cause her any pang nor reduce her life to sorrow, grief, depression for he knew how much Victoria loved me. Yet, he would get even, that I know from our days at Heidelberg University.

I build the House of Victoria after we got wed. Cut stone from the fields created a masterpiece with steep slate roofs, gables that stood like centurions, high windows, wrought gates and fences, verandas on the second floor, small but integral in front the main windows, and chimneys close to one another that serviced the fire places that heated every room.

I looked into my sitting room and enjoyed the candle light that danced and raced up the walls, finding the red crushed-velvet curtains on the large pointed windows. That flickering light produced different shades of red as the light sieged the curtains. Portraits of my father and his father aligned the walls and my book shelves fill one complete wall with volumes, many old, some new waiting for their turn to see my eyes.

However tonight I didn’t stay in my sitting room. I lingered in an adjoining chamber, much smaller and filled with unused oak furniture. I watched out the window. The full moon silhouetted a raven resting high up on the branch of an old maple tree. The bight rays found my carriage house, my pond, my stone entrance road, and they seemed to linger on my statue of Victoria that I had made after our wedding. Remson would come tonight; I felt sure about that and in his quest for vengeance he would understand the true meaning of love!

I waited. I ascended up to a gable and watched from above. Quickly I found another window in the back and facing the rear lawn with its patios and cut-stone spring house silent and at rest. The moon’s beams were my friend tonight as they guided my eyes with their timeless shine.

I sat on top of the slate roof. I moved toward the back over the steep pitch apex and looked again. There he was. Remson! Remson the hunter! Remson the explorer! Remson the engineer that built bridges and roads! Remson my enemy in life!

He moved behind the spring house. My eyes focused on him and I watched and watched, for when we faced-off, I wanted to see the fear bubble up to the surface of his eyes! Yes . . . only then would my appetite be over.

Through stealth was on his side, patience was on my side. Quickly he fled silently across the rear lawn and ducked behind a stone statue, an imitation of Dave by Leonard de Vince. He peeped out. The quiet night must have screamed at him, I’m sure, for his movements were well planned before he undertook one.

Out he shot, arched over low to the ground but moving silently and quickly again. He reached the rear veranda, crossed it and hugged the stone wall beside the back door.

I had moved over to the edge of a dormer above the rear door and watched to see if he would take the bait. He did! I left the rear door unlatched hoping and somehow knowing that tonight he would seek his revenge, a revenge that now guided him into a nightmare that hadn’t begun yet.

In I went. I glided down the stairs, not fast but steady. My now acute sense of hearing picked up his silent footsteps, his heartbeat and his heavy breathing as he moved slowly into the grand hall. I stopped. Waited from him to see the one thing, one thing that would send him into insanity! And that insanity would be my pleasure!

He inched along the carpeted hallway. At last, he came to the entrance to the grand hall. Candlelight now guided him for the grand hall was lit by candles in crystal candle holders, positioned around the hall to give a low-light setting, one in which one had to look closely to see.

Remson walked in. He stopped and stared for a moment or two. He dropped his knife, his face agog, his posture frozen upright, and his eyes wide and glued to Victoria! Victoria sat before him, white in appearance with a look of lust and need radiating from her.

I descended down the stairs and stopped in front of Remson.

“Victoria and I were in love beyond human understanding of the word. Our love transcends and will live on forever,” I said.

“She died!” Remson screamed out.

“No,” I said. “We both ceased to live together last year. Our love was too strong for mortal concerns. Together one night we entered the world of the un-dead! Together, for eternity we will be!”

Remson started screaming. He grabbed his head with his hands and ran out, screaming louder and louder it seemed. Victoria came over to me and hugged me, kissed me and finally said, “He never understood the true meaning of love----did he?”
KNEEL before Zod!
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 595

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 21, 2019, 02:26:29 AM

Lord of Darkness learns: Moving can be a good thing

Lord of Darkness learns: Moving can be a good thing

By Jontrue


“It’ll be nice to see you out of that costume, Gary. You know your father and I worry.” A middle-aged woman sat at the dining room table with braided red hair. A single streak of gray had shown up in the last couple of months.

“It’s not a costume, these are my clothes Mom.” Lord of Darkness corrected her.

“I know sweety. I didn’t mean costume, I just mean your clothes aren’t normal. Your father and I think it would be nice for you to make some real friends in our new place. Get away from that old scene. Isn’t that right Peter?”

Peter, who was grappling with the onset of a beer belly and trying to keep up with modern affairs looked up from his tablet, nodded at Linda, and went back to scrolling through the news.

“Why can’t you just accept me for who I am Mom!?” Lord of Darkness’ voice quavered. As if moving wasn’t hard enough his parents kept harping on him to “fit in” and “act normal.” All Lord of Darkness wanted to do was be free. Like anyone, he wanted the freedom to live and to love. He pushed his eggs and toast away, stood up from the table and sauntered back to his room.

“Sweety, don’t be like that you know your father and I love you,” Linda shouted at the slamming door.

“Don’t slam the goddamned door! I’ll take that thing off its hinges. I swear to god I will!” Peter screamed.

From inside his room, he could hear his parents. Linda was telling Peter to be gentler with Lord of Darkness. He needed more time and tenderness. Peter disagreed, he thought that Lord of Darkness needed more discipline. There was a diatribe about how no responsibility leads to boys wearing makeup.

Lord of Darkness didn’t care about any of that. His friends were back home without him. He wondered what they would do; if they would remember him now that he was moving away. A thought made his stomach sour, what if they forget all about me. What if they replace me with someone new? What if they never even liked me and they are celebrating that I had to move away with my stupid parents.

A sound byte of chirping bats came from the top of his dresser. He picked up his phone and swiped the screen toward his wall. A digital image of a young, anime, school girl hanging from a noose in an empty classroom displayed on the wall with the words, “We miss you LoD! Hope your trip is going well,” overlayed on the top.

A smile curled at the edge of his black lips. He cherished the time with his friends, they were all special, each in their own way. If he were home, Kassandra and Reg-i-lon would be touching in some way, holding hands or licking blood off of each other’s lips. They were the group’s couple.

He slammed back on his bed, staring at the empty ceiling. Dull gray bulkheads ran parallel to his room. Lord of Darkness counted the bolts above him keeping the metal in place. He wondered what it would look like if the one above him fell. How heavy were they? Would he be lucky enough to die, or would he just be kept alive on a respirator by his hateful parents? They are too weak and selfish to let me die, he thought.

The idea of being kept on a respirator brought a dull throbbing ache to his windpipe like someone had kicked him in his throat. He knew even if he asked to die they wouldn’t let that happen. They don’t respect me. They’re always treating me like a baby. The tears started to run down the sides of his face, trailing black rivers of mascara. I belong with my friends, my people. I swear I’ll never make another friend again. I’ll never let anyone in. That way no one can ever hurt me like this. I’ll always hold people at a distance. I can’t be weak — never again. He wiped the salty tears with his black and gray striped sleeve.

The ship vibrated restlessly. We must have entered the atmosphere. He rolled his eyes in disgust and waited for the ship to land before he got out of bed. A slight change in gravity coupled with some clanking of faraway metal let him know they had landed safely.

Timid tapping at his door was expected and met with great disdain. “Gary — we’ve landed — it looks like you have some friend that came out to meet you. They say they know you from the social media.”

Lord of Darkness sat up. He hadn’t expected to or wanted to know anyone on this backwater planet. “I don’t know anyone from here Mom, I told you that before you made me move,” he shouted at the door.

“Well… sweety… they seem to know you.”

Frustrated, he stomped past Linda and Peter to see who could be so thoughtless as to interrupt his deep thoughts of despair and hopelessness. He opened the front hatch of the ship ready to verbally destroy whatever lowlife had stalked him on GalactiChat.

The door slid open. The air tasted mustier than he expected. Before him, a hundred followers dropped to their knees soaked in the light of two full moons, grander than anything he had ever seen on earth.

“Oh Lord of Darkness! We have come to receive you and pay tribute on this ostentations night,” a bearded man who reminded Lord of Darkness of a leather-clad Rasputin shouted ceremoniously. “These two virgins have come, as an offering of their own volition, to let you defile their flesh on this night of celebration!”

Two young women stepped forward, went to their knees, and started slowly untying their corsets. “What do you wish of us my lord?”

Lord of Darkness stood expressionless, regarding his followers in the moonlight. “Maybe… moving isn’t so bad.”
KNEEL before Zod!
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 595

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 21, 2019, 02:27:12 AM

The Promise

The Promise

By Michelle Dutcher

Since I was taking the Cincinnati Trail to Hindostan Falls anyway, I decided to stop past my old friend Silas Elliott's homestead near Liberty, Indiana. It was my hope that we could renew our acquaintance as I would be living in the county where his family had lived for a generation. Truth be told, as sad as it seems now, I was also hoping to reignite a flirtation I had once had with my friend's sister, Ginny.

I had written to Silas six months previous and I was happy, almost giddy, to know we would be living within a day's ride of each other.

Silas greeted me with an open smile and a hearty handshake after I dismounted my horse.

"Mark Huber, my dear friend, you are a sight for sore eyes."

"Silas, my friend, I have removed from New York to seek my fame and fortune here in the countryside."

"Excellent,” he answered. “You will be a welcome addition to our small population. How far up the track are you looking to settle?

"Hindostan Falls, perhaps...to work at a mill there...unless I find a better offer along the way."

"I would not recommend staying here, Mark. I am afraid this land has turned to poison."

"Cholera?" I managed to squeak out, having seen the results of the disease in the East.

"No, no, something else." He paused, bowing slightly and motioning for me to follow him to the stable to unsaddle my horse.

By the time we entered his cabin, the low rumble of thunder could be heard in the distance, as the frequent lightening from a fast-moving storm flashed sporadically made the dusk as bright as midday.

We later sat eating dinner and I raised the obvious question. "I hesitate to ask, Silas, but how is Ginny?"

He looked at me with a deep sadness, answering only after drawing a deep breath. "She is gone from this Earth, my friend. My dear sister departed to heaven only 2 days ago."

"I had no idea, Silas. Please accept my heartfelt symphaties!" I sat in stunned silence for at least two minutes as my host and I listened to the storm outside intensifying.

"Here in the backwoods we sometimes drink from sulfer wells to assist our digestion - I fear the one closest to us has gone sour. Something must have seeped in - some poison. Some demon! who has snatched my Ginny from me!" He looked at me through tear-filled eyes before his look suddenly changed to terror. "And now a storm is on top of us!"

"Why are you afraid of a storm?"

"I am not afraid, but she was. Ginny. While she was dying she made me promise to build a wooden room beside her grave where I could sit beside her coffin and read to her during storms through an opening next to her head. So this is the first storm, the first time I enter the room next to her corpse." My host rose and poured us both some brandy. "I am glad you're here to see me through this night."

"Do I hear a bell ringing?" I asked without thinking.

"It is just the wind shaking the bell and string I installed over her grave." He rose and took me to a window at the rear of the cabin where I could see the bell with a string leading into the freshly turned dirt. The silver bell was swinging back and forth furiously.

“She lingered for weeks during which time I built the small buried room – and then I…I…”

“Spit it out, Silas – you can tell me anything,” I insisted.

“I put a pillow over her face and held it there until she quit breathing! There it is – I could stand it no longer and I killed her! I killed my sweet sister.” Silas broke down into uncontrollable sobs.

I began to lead him back to the table but he resisted. “No, Mark, no. I made a vow to read to her during the storm and I can at least do that much.” He grabbed a book of poems and rushed out into the blinding storm towards the mound 100 feet or more from the house.

As soon as he stepped out, the storm seemed to stop for a moment, and the bell’s incessant ringing stopped…and then it began again, the line being tugged. By the time I had grabbed my leather overcoat, I could no longer see my friend who had descended into the room beside the coffin, the storm having been revived, even more fearful than before.

“She’s still alive!” I screamed into the rain as I rushed to the gravesite and stood at the top of the wooden stairs. I could see the shadow of a man standing at the bottom, cowering against the wall, his eyes wide as he held his hands up.

Suddenly a pair of skeletal hands reached out of where the coffin must have been, taking hold of Silas’ shirt, pulling what was left of his sister into the small room. I wanted to stop the atrocity but my knees gave out from under me and I could do no more than watch. The deformed body of a woman was suddenly there between my friend and I and it grabbed Silas’ neck and with unholy strength easily cracked his neck, his lifeless body falling into the water pouring into the room from the storm.

What remained of my love’s flesh-less face turned towards me briefly, seeing me through eyeless sockets, before crawling back into the space where her coffin resided.

When I was finally able to crawl up the stairs, I noticed the storm had suddenly stopped. I saddled and mounted my horse, riding away through the fresh mud, up the trail towards my new home.

But as I rode away at a gallop, I couldn’t help but hear the bell ringing out wildly from the homestead behind me.
KNEEL before Zod!
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 595

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 21, 2019, 02:30:28 AM

One of the Lost Monasteries of Old...

One of the Lost Monasteries of Old...

By Sergio Palumbo

There had once been several monasteries located on the valley floor of the Gediz River, in Turkey, such buildings comprising the living quarters and workplaces of monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone. These places of worship had been created in the most ancient of times, as far as it was known.

Beyond these, there were once other types of old monasteries speculated about although these had proven to be very difficult to find, if they had ever really existed at all… Cenk Ekmekci, a dark-haired archaeologist about 40-years-old had always supposed there must be places where rituals celebrating evil gods were once practiced. These buildings would have been created in the distant past, though the Crusades or other religious wars in this area would have certainly destroyed most of them - but he was certain ancient ruins, hidden somewhere, remained. He had found such sites memorialized in texts and in an ancient sculpture attached to a solid background buried deep in the earth.

Cenk had always believed in these ancient places and he had long searched across the country, until enough evidences had come to light and he had found a way to lead a group of researchers, funded by his University, to get to one of these fabled buildings.

The ruined site they had entered early in the evening looked very much like a strange stone monastery that included a large hall for meditations, a number of smaller rooms that appeared to have once been a dormitory, a library and other areas that were possibly meant to facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community itself. They had entered the ruins as soon as they had arrived because Cenk didn’t want to wait a second longer and had ordered his fellows to enter without wasting any more time, regardless of what his four companions wanted.

The architecture inside was strange and surprising. Of course this went hand-in-hand with what was to be expected as this wasn’t a site that academicians had studied directly, although the existence of this sort of unusual monasteries had long been speculated about. It occurred to the archaeologist that some evil gods, long forgotten, had been worshipped here. A religion had been practiced in this place which had existed parallel to other more famous worldwide beliefs like Christianity, Buddhism and the likes. This was a building that had been kept out of sight of the common people, unbeknownst to governments that had come and gone, outside of any official recognition.

This was great a find that could certainly pay Cenk back once and for all for the years he had spent in constant research, despite the opposing views of the other famous archaeologists he knew. He could easily recall times when no one would give him money to let him start investigating this matter. He also knew how many regrets this research had brought to him, before the first evidences for such a monastery had appeared in old manuscripts.

As dusk was already deepening outside and the shapes created by the remains of those ancient structures were strengthening a strange, unsettling semi-darkness in the ancient building itself, or what was left of it, the other four appeared to be frightened.

“Maybe it’s time to get back to our camp,” said Husnu, the oldest researcher, a bit anxious because of the disappearance of the sun. “We can start better tomorrow morning after resting.”

“Husnu is right, Cenk,” said Defne, a slim dark-haired woman from Malatya while her eyes were looking around.

“Yes…maybe we should…” added a third explorer, named Goksu, a young academician from Kütahya.

“Oh, no…my dear fellows…” Cenk replied, his face full of happiness about the site itself where they now stood. “We’re exactly where we should be. I only wish I could have found this place long before today.”

“Let’s get back to camp and rest, Cenk,” Husnu insisted. “The day has been exhausting. Maybe tomorrow, with better light, we can start with a new strength both in mind and in our arms.”

“No way, my dear friends. This is the perfect time of day to proceed. Now is the right hour for me to tell you all why I chose you for this search and why there are four of you.

As the others kept eyeing each other with doubtful looks, a wild-eyed Cenk took a pistol out of his jacket and suddenly turned to them. Disbelief appeared on the faces of the four but it was already too late for them.

The man shot four times and all of his fellows were hit, falling to the dusty ground of the large ancient hall they were in as lifeless corpses. As the sneer quickly enlarged on Cenk’s lips, he hurried to move the dead bodies, putting one at each of the corners of the large area. Then he lit a stone oil lamp he had in his bag.

As the waving flame drew strange shapes across the ground, the man looked again at the dead bodies of his former group and said: “I thank you all for helping me find this place. Mostly, I thank you for following me here to be killed right on this site, so that I can activate an old ritual that has long been forgotten over the last few centuries.”

Then he approached the bodies of the dead one by one, tearing their chests open using a knife he took out of his jacket. As the rivulets of blood came from the corpses and ran towards the middle of the hall, the flame was reinvigorated, growing stronger and stronger.

Suddenly a large shadow appeared, followed by many larger, taller shapes.

“Welcome back to this world, ancient evil Gods!” Cenk greeted them while touching the stone lamp. “Now I can speak to you directly, after so long… I have so many things to be asked and to be achieved, in exchange for these first bloody gifts I brought here today, of course…
KNEEL before Zod!
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1312

Joined: September 18, 2009, 05:02:54 AM

Location: Italy

Post July 22, 2019, 07:04:54 AM

Re: July '19 Flash Challenge - Gothic Tales

My vote is in...eh,eh :D
User avatar

Master Critic

Posts: 1327

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kentucky

Post July 22, 2019, 10:28:44 AM

Re: July '19 Flash Challenge - Gothic Tales

My vote is in. These were fun to read!
Since the house is on fire - at least let us warm ourselves.

Master Critic

Posts: 885

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Post July 22, 2019, 11:15:38 AM

Re: July '19 Flash Challenge - Gothic Tales

My vote is in!!
Tesla Lives!!!

Return to Fun and Games

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Semrush [Bot] and 3 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.