Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
I’m joining in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Writing Contest as this looked a bit of fun, what with my blog theme this month being Halloween stuff and nonsense!! The word limit is just 100 words, excluding the title, so given that I decided to write a poem, which is a bit of a challenge for me as apart from writing haikus I don’t normally write poetry.
The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words costume, dark, and haunt. Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!) Get it? Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂 (And yes, I know 100 words is short but that’s part of the fun and the challenge! We got over 130 fantastic entries last year so I know you can do it!) Also, you may use the words in any form – e.g. haunt, haunts, haunted, darkness, darkening, costumed, whathaveyou 🙂
Week 28 Theme is Orchid and the genre of my short story is Paranormal Romance.
Date to Post: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
1.1000 words max
2.fictional tale (or true if you really want)
3.PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
4.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
5.Go for the entertainment value!
6.State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
7.Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
8.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)
The heady exotic scent of the orchids reminded him of a time long ago. On that particular day he had filled his living room with a floral tribute to a past life which he celebrated each year without fail. But this time it was different, he had made special plans and now they were about to come to fruition. He waited nervously for the clock to announce that it was time for him to pick Suzie up. He could hardly contain his excitement; he set about making his house as beautiful as he could so that it would meet Suzie’s expectations. But would Suzie meet his?
He had been met with derision when he told his friends and family about his plans, a mail order bride how ridiculous! A middle aged, lonely old man, exhibiting signs of desperation that’s what they’d said, or intimidated.
He greeted his bride at the airport with a shy hug. An almost perfect vision of beauty, her petite frame, and jet black hair gleamed with a glossy, playful youthfulness but her delicate features couldn’t conceal a tragic expression that seemed irreversible.
He wondered how he was to bear looking at such a sad face for the rest of his life. He prayed that he could turn the sharp downwards turn of her lips to a smile.
The journey back to his house was more or less silent apart from short bursts of conversation, in which she replied with a yes or a no.
But when she walked into the living room, she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm. “This pretty,” she said, pointing at the orchids, a hint of a smile playing seductively on the edge of her lovely lips.
The orchids had won a tiny place in her heart, orchids always did.
As the day departed and evening began to suggest itself Alfred’s nervousness increased. It was such a long time since he had gone to bed with a woman. So many years, he did not care to count how many. He worried about his wobbly tummy, his hairy chest smattered with tiny grey hairs. Would this young woman cry and sob into his sheets, would he be the cause of a further sharp downturn of her sweet lips?
He gave her privacy to get undressed, imagined her placing a silky negligee on the bed, slipping into it, and laying her head on his pillow. He imagined her black hair fanned out on the pillow, a sharp contrast to the crisp whiteness of the sheets. He plucked one of the orchids from its stem, and took it up to her intending to pop it into her hair.
When he walked into the bedroom the humid room reminded him of a stifling greenhouse. He opened the window to let in some fresh air. He daren’t look at her, not yet, that magical moment would come later. As the fresh air drifted into the room, he turned to undress her with his gaze, but he saw his foolishness straight away.
He sat on the edge of the crisp bed, his eyes brimming with tears. He deserved this. It was always the same, she never came. He wept, picking up his wedding picture, his wife Grace stared back at him. Grace’s smiling face could match the most beautiful of sunsets. He couldn’t bear it, why did he torture himself this way? She had died without his saying goodbye. No final farewell.
Every year it was the same, on the anniversary of her death, he always bought orchids, her favourite flower and he filled their home with them. But she didn’t come. He had resorted to shock tactics, imagining a fantasy to bring her back to him one last time. His fantasy scenarios never worked, he sensed her presence in their room, but she didn’t return to him. Why would she?
He didn’t deserve her. He cried, and cried. He lifted up the tiny bottle of pills, his hands trembled as he tipped them out. Such tiny pills, he thought, so harmless looking. The water next, one big gulp and it would be all over, no more suffering. But as he turned the lid of the bottle, he thought he saw a tiny movement. The glass had moved, it was no longer on his bedside table but appeared to be hovering before him. As he looked at the glass more closely he saw the sweet semblance of his wife, a shimmering sunset glow, holding death away from him. The water tipped, evaporating as it splashed.
Alfred couldn’t believe his eyes. She had come back, his Grace, his love. “It’s you,” he said, his voice cracked, breaking with emotion. “Yes.” “My Gracie, I’ve missed you so much. Why have you taken so long to come back to me?”
“Hurt lay heavy in my heart, so my friend time, became my healer. Now the time is right for you to live and love again. Now I can rest forever.”
“No, Grace, please, there’s something I must tell you.”
“There’s no need, it has taken me a long while, but I forgive you Alfred. I always knew that you didn’t mean those hurtful words.”
“I’m so sorry Grace, I was stressed. I lost my temper, shouted at you, when I shouldn’t have. I blamed myself for your heart attack.”
“You’re not to blame Alfred. My heart attack wasn’t caused by anything you said. But all this crazy fantasising is giving me a ghost of a second heart attack! Promise me this Alfred, live your life. Let your fantasies become realities. Maybe not that mail order bride, that’s preposterous, but you know what I mean.”
“I promise, Grace.”
He tucked the living orchid in the wispy suggestion of her sunlit hair. She gifted him one last sunset smile, a whispered farewell, and the sweetest hint of a lover’s kiss.