Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wednesday's Writing Prompt: The Misfortune of Emily

Photo credit to Melanie McFarlane Books. The Misfortune of Emily It was close. Emily could hear its short breaths advancing from behind her as she ran through the alleyways. Sometimes the heat of its breath would caress against the back of her neck, forcing her to run faster and faster, her feet slipping on the loose gravel. She should have stayed away from the fortune teller at the fair. Her mother warned her sinful acts led to sinful ends. But everyone was doing it; her friends, Lynn and Jill had their fortunes read and nothing bad happened to them. So she sat in the fortune teller's chair, gripping the fabric from his table nervously between her fingers, and watched as he glimpsed into his crystal ball. "You will die within the hour." A chill ran up her spine, leaving her speechless. Her heart beat faster and faster, pounding from the inside of her chest, and a cold sweat broke out across her skin. She couldn't move, she couldn't speak. It was as if his words were sinking into her, poisoning her. "Run, run; run away girl. The dead one's coming to take you from this world." A tear ran down her cheek. Her hand flew up and wiped it away as if to hide it would make everything better. She stumbled from her chair, pushing her way out of the dark tent into the light of the afternoon. "How was it?" Lynn asked. "Any juicy details?" Jill piped in. "I-I have to go." Her voice came out in barely a whisper. She walked away from her friends, in a daze, passing through crowds of strangers, carnies, and sideshows. Everyone around her was so happy, it was almost as if they were mocking her. Laughter suddenly sounded maniacal. She pushed past a man, whose smile showed blackened teeth. A child pointed at her, as if to say "get her." That's when she saw it: a dark creature, hiding amongst the shadows of the crowd. It's grunt filled her ears, blocking everything out. She started to run past the tents, down the midway of the exhibition grounds. She could hear it coming from behind her, its footsteps heavy, grinding the gravel beneath. She saw an open door up ahead with a poorly painted sign, Massage Open 7 Day. It called to her, beckoning her to hide inside. She slipped through the door, slamming it shut behind her. She scrambled for the light switch but there was nothing on the wall. She jumped as something scratched at the door behind her. Stepping back, blindly into the room, and fell against something solid. Scrambling, she felt a massage table, covered in cloth, and slipped underneath it. Her cheeks were wet from her tears and her hands shook as they wiped them dry. She should have listened to her mother. Find other great stories inspired by this picture: Mary Crockett Want to participate? Post your story in the comments below or contact Vanessa Barger to join our blog ring.

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