It has been an age since I joined in #BlogBattle and I’ve missed it but I’ve been very busy editing my manuscript so I have a bit of an excuse! Anyway, this week the prompt word just seemed to speak to me: Voice. I have just the story in mind! It’s an idea inspired by my current WIP novel, The Curse of Time, which I’m currently sharing on Wattpad, (Prologue and first few chapters….)
My short story is a YA Fantasy… with a touch of wacky humour. This short story takes a quirky look at what might have happened if the main character in my WIP: Amelina, had her missing dad return as a zombie!
The Knock At The Door – The Buried Voice.
I heard a knocking coming from the front door, a light tapping, but persistent sound. I ran downstairs. Through the frosted glass I saw a hazy silhouette. The knocking stopped. I opened the door a fraction and peered out.
I spied a half dead living body exhibit, a horror museum zombie. I staggered. This thing was gasping for breath, making terrible rasping sounds. His eyes were bleary, sad pools of stagnant misery. I clung to the door frame, seeking support, almost mimicking him. I wanted to run, to escape this visitor, but instead I let him in. I don’t know why I did. Somehow it seemed the right thing to do. One thought gave me comfort; I figured that if this stranger turned nasty I could run faster than he could. He hobbled into the house, each step a slow, painful shuffle. I pulled the dining chair out for him. He didn’t sit, he collapsed. I didn’t know what to do next. I hovered for a moment uncertain. His breathing continued to rattle in his rib cage, so I rushed off to get him a glass of water. When I returned he held the glass with his pinky extended, his hand shaking, the water spilling. He lifted the glass to his lips, drinking in gulps that tugged at my heart.
‘Amelina,’ he croaked, his eyes swimming out to reach mine.
The ocean currents of his sad lost eyes drew us together. The shock pummelled me with a force that I couldn’t begin to describe. His voice couldn’t say the words he longed to say, those syllables were lost on some faraway shore, yet I knew what was in his heart.
He had my name in his heart. Of course he had. I knew who he was, of course I did. That pinky told me before he did. He’d always had trouble bending that finger, ever since he’d broken it, mucking about on a family holiday in Cornwall.
I heard the sound of mum turning the key in the door; she didn’t have a clue what was coming. She was adrift in the sea and had no idea.
She walked into the hallway.
‘Amelina, I’m home,’ she yelled.
I didn’t reply. I couldn’t say a word. That pinky still had me transfixed.
Mum walked in and saw us. She staggered, and swayed.
‘What, the….. who… is….’
He lifted the glass with trembling hands and she saw the truth.
Poor mum. It was all too much for her; she swayed, and then fainted.
Mum was out cold. I didn’t know what to do. Zombie like dad took over; he picked up his glass and waved it in mum’s direction. I got the parental message. Water. That’s when I heard it, this plaintive meowing coming from the patio. A black cat had his nose pressed against the glass. I rushed to get mum the water, passing by the patio door on the way to the kitchen I didn’t stop to think I let the strange cat in.
Before the water even reached mum’s lips, she came to, stirring.
I gave the cat a bowl of milk. It seemed the thing to do. He supped it up as if he was starving. I gave mum the glass of water; she swallowed it down gulping back tears.
By now Mum had clocked dad. This second viewing couldn’t have been a pretty sight, but she braved it. She didn’t cry out. Instead the expression on her face almost hiccupped as if she was swallowing her shock, a bitter watery pill. She must have noticed the cat too but didn’t object. I expect she didn’t have the energy.
Much later that evening mum and dad were getting reacquainted. The reunion, if you could call it that must have been slow and painful. A chat with halting words, a slow shuffling to get to know each other again. I withdrew to my bedroom.
Nothing could quite match that first shock of seeing dad but what happened next came close. I saw a tiny person captured in my bedroom mirror. I thought I was hallucinating. So I tried to wipe her away with a flannel.
‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’
I stepped back. This was crazy. First dad reappeared, then the cat fell in the door, and now I had a talking girl captured in my bedroom mirror. WTF. I recognised this tiny person; it was Esme, a girl from my school who’d vanished suddenly with no explanation.
I closed my eyes willing her away. I just couldn’t take anymore. Things like this just didn’t happen to an ordinary girl like me.
When I reopened my eyes, she was still there, frowning, as if I’d captured her and put her there, like I made it my habit to be her jailer. She scowled. I ran through the house and checked each mirror. She was in all of them. Every single one. Ugh.
I had scowling Esme on tap.
A dad, who kinda did the, kinda didn’t do the zombie dude scuffle.
And a black cat who craved attention.
Sometimes fate ladles out wicked blows. Our once happy family was a distant memory, and laughter became a cruel joke.
Now we’re an unhappy family of three plus a mirror girl and a strange black cat with a white handkerchief fur necktie. This cat dude knows how to dress. Yeah, he came house hunting in his Sunday best looking for loser owners. Our sad house remembered its past, shrunk, and became a reflection of our sorrow. Nothing was ever going to be the same, but one sad fact remained, the curse wasn’t trapped.
© Marjorie Mallon. 2016. All Rights Reserved.
1000 words max
fictional tale (or true if you really want)
PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
Go for the entertainment value!
State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
#Blogbattle is a wonderful community of short story writers via Rachael Ritchey, do pop over to her blog to find out more:
If you’d like to continue reading The Curse of Time or perhaps would like to read the prologue too here’s the link to my Wattpad page:
Hope you enjoyed my short story. Please do comment about my current WIP – The Curse of Time – here or on Wattpad, I’m looking for feedback – all opinions gratefully received.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
Haha! I’m sorry, I enjoyed this but her offering him water gave me a chuckle. Because that’s what I’d do if I saw a zombie. 😉 And the pinky. Good stuff.
Thank you Sarah, its meant to be funny! So it worked!! 🙂
Good. It did. 🙂 There’s a thread of humor throughout.
Great story Marje, it sounds like a madhouse there with zombie dads, cool cats and a miniature moaning Minnie! Loved it! 🙂
Thanks Judy.. Glad you enjoyed!! 🙂
Terrific start of your book, Marje! Poor Amelina – just not her day!! Definitely has me thirsty for more!
Thanks Annika. I think this short story works well as a humorous introduction to some of the ideas in the book!!
Ah, I think this post might have answered the issue I raised in my recent email!
It does but I’m not sure where to put it!! Don’t think it works as Chapter 1…. bit of a dilemma!
No, I meant an even more recent email (you probably haven’t read it yet). As for this post, it’s hard for me to work out how it would fit in to the rest of the book without seeing the whole. I’m guessing that, so far, you’re the only one in a position to judge that. I do know that feeling, though. Should be getting back to Carrion in the next couple of weeks and I’m already aware of some issues over what order to put certain bits in.
Oh, yes just found that email. Have replied! It’s all good… thanks Graeme. Amazon review winding its way to you. Good luck with Carrion. Order of chapters etc, is such a nightmare!
Loved the girl in the mirror complaining about being made all smeary. Funny. 🙂
Oh that was fun, Marje 🙂 Some people have life!
Thank you Inese… I was playing with some ideas here (some not all,) which I’ve now incorporated into the WIP in a slightly different way… 🙂
I am intrigued! 🙂 This piece is quite saturated with interesting characters 😉
Glad to hear!! Thank you!
Well, a living curse and a zombie dad. And a girl trapped in a mirror. There are plenty of places for this story to go! You’ve got me curious, so well done. 🙂
Thanks Cathleen… the zombie dad is kind of a bit of an embellishment of the story but thought it would be fun!
Offering a zombie water, lol, like his that’s the first thing she does! 🙂
I also like the mirror girl.
Thank you! Bit of fun variation on my story – the zombie twist! I love my mirror girl! 🙂
Esme’s frowing face is my favorite, but I’m loving mom’s initial reaction to meeting dad-zombie for the first time. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed Rachael. Poor mum! What a shocker! 🙂