I keep missing write photo prompts where you write a piece about a photo.
This was taken at a grand house near Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of the building. What is important is that they rent out rooms for holiday let’s there.
Rachel ran down the stairs from her room and rushed out of the green door. It had happened again, the light had played a trick on her and she had seen a shadowy figure in the dust motes that danced in the beam of sunlight shining through the stained glass windows. She had decided to see if anyone was playing tricks with a mirror outside? How else could the image have been projected into her room?
But no one was there, not even the friendly female attendant who usually sat in the kiosk by the gate, selling tickets to tourists to visit the Abbey which stood in ruins only a quarter of a mile away.
She stepped back through the mossy green door. But not into the present. A stench of rotting flesh overwhelmed her. Figures scurried about carrying boxes, flowers, rushes for the lamps. She had gone back in time. A woman, who looked like a maid, shouted at her to move. He’s here, the King has arrived. Get on with your work. Fearful and panicking Rachel stepped backwards and fell, tripping off the step.
The kiosk lady stood over her. You OK dear? She asked…..
He said, let’s visit the big house.
She said, do we have to?
He said, yes it would be fun
She said, but it’s boring.
He said, you liked Scarborough Castle,
She said, that was last year.
He said, what do you mean?
She said, I’m older now.
He said, you will like it.
She said, no, no way.
He said, well I’m going anyway,
She said, Dad. I’m a teenager now. It’s boring and I’m not going, end of!
I was standing under the warm rain when I heard a thud on the upper surface. I quickly got out of the rainier and looked outside at the up and downs, above them stood the geographical anomaly.
The anomaly was booming and throwing out hot black clouds. The flat world shook and buckled as the molten rocks ran down the steep sides of the anomaly.
Quickly putting on my leg jumper and foot coverings I ran to the four wheel cycle and drove it over to the science walls.
What’s happening? I asked the second leader. It’s exploding. Giving black clouds to the upper air. We think the hot rocks might get here.
Now I am a lost person, looking for an upper surface to cover my top body. No living heart to see after me.
I am uncoupled, I am not joined. Water rains from my seeing tubes.
I feel like I’ve turned into a cat, she said, all I ever do is sleep. Even when I’m awake I feel drowsy.
The doctor checked her pulse, looked in her eyes, checked her throat and temperature. Well I can’t find anything physically wrong he said. I suggest you try drinking coffee? Are there any things affecting your stress levels?
Well, that’s it. She said, I feel totally relaxed. Then I feel sleepy. She yawned hugely, see, she said, it’s getting to me now?
So how much time do you sleep at night? Asked the doctor? A good eight or nine hours solid, she said.
Later when she got home she immediately sat down and kicked off her shoes. I’ll put the shopping away later she thought. She never noticed the trickle of white gas seeping out of a hole in the skirting board. The odourless mist wafted gently upwards. Soon she was fast asleep…
Step over into the wood and you will be lost forever. Keep this side of the fence. That was what she was always warned as she grew up. There are wolves, bears, screech owls. Spiders big as dinner plates. The boogy man lives there.
For twenty years she kept out. But she knew one day she would have to climb the fence and go and look.
She was twenty one today, she had been to a birthday party at the village hall. Now she was walking home along the lane. The sun was setting and the wood loomed up above her rising up the hill, shutting off the sunlight.
One step led to another. Pine needles softened her footsteps, tree roots started to tangle round her ankles. She looked back to check where the path was, but could not see it through the trees. She tried to retrace her steps, but could not find the fence. Fear crept into her, she trembled as the cool night air touched her skin.
The night was darker and a cold rain fell, still she walked, tripping and falling into bushes, scratched from thorns.
It was early morning when the ranger found her wandering. She could not speak. Her eyes were staring into space, out of focus. No one ever found out what happened to her that night. But the Green man of the woods smiled to himself as she was taken away in an ambulance.
Don’t look at me like that. It’s scary, she said. The screen stared back, green glaring eyes and red scaled skin. Only the slow movement of its pupils indicated life. The screen had been blank up until a few minutes ago. A voice had said humans were under control by the Jranson Collective and if all people worked with them they would be spared destruction.
She scanned her phone. The same image was being sent to it. All computer services are in our power, said the staring eyes. Do not attempt to attack us.
What the devil can we do? She thought. Nothing came to mind, but maybe? She picked up the land-line phone, a steady dialling tone greeted her. Now what’s the Doctors number? she thought.
The building was old. You could tell that by the wooden shutters over the windows, more like prison bars than anything else. Not a scary place to walk past in the daylight, but on the odd occasion that she walked past it at night she made sure she walked fast, just in case.
In case of what? No one knew much about the building, but it was attached to an old windmill and there was a tall wall leading off into the distance where the building ended. Just one gate, made of old and rotting wood, that was half way down the length of the wall..
When she had walked past before she could swear she had heard snuffling like a dog, and something scratching at the gate. As she walked past her clicking heels would speed up to get her past. A rush of adrenalin enough to make her heart pound.
Tonight the alleyway was lit by a dim street lamp at either end. Slipping from behind the clouds a full bright moon gave extra illumination. Tonight the cobbles were wet, with a gleam in the light of small puddles reflecting back the moon.
No choice really, walk along the alley and cross the road to the car park, or walk half a mile round the one way system. At that moment a dreary drizzle started. It was the alleyway tonight. The quicker to get home and get warm. Her feet clicked and splashed as she walked along, she almost twisted her ankle on the cobbles. She passed the old shuttered window and heard, what exactly? Snuffling? Panting? She hurried on. Almost at the gate, just over halfway along the alley, point of no return. A sudden rushing sound, like a dog running, then a howl. She froze, there was the sound of something large hitting the old gate. She pulled off her shoes and ran….. The howl followed her…..