Still as a statue

In the middle of the forest there lay the ruins of an old building. Half the walls and the foundation were intact but the roof had long since crumbled away. This ruin was not known to many, but to the locals it was a curious treasure.

In the middle of the ruin there lay a statue. Unlike the building surrounding it, the statue was in perfect condition. A woman hunched over hugging her knees with her face hidden away from public view.

In the middle of a nearby town there lay a girl. She had grown up visiting the ruin and statue as most of the children in the area did. She had imagined stories around the woman. As a child she had talked to the statue. Now as a young woman she still visited the statue when she needed comfort.

Maya didn’t know why the statue brought her comfort. Maybe it was imagining someone else’s story that eased her pain. Maybe just escaping her life just for a few minutes helped. She tried to visit whenever she could get away – which wasn’t often.

Right now she was supposed to be at an appointment but she was called here instead. She felt a magnetic pull to be here in this precise moment.

She ran her hand along the smooth cold marble. It soothed her frayed nerves.

Back and forth as her breathing slowed to match the rhythm.

Until suddenly her hand lay on top of warm flesh. She jerked her hand back and stared transfixed as the marble receded and the statue turned into a real woman.

Halloween Nightmare

I know it isn’t Halloween yet, but I wanted to share this short piece. It’s the other story that has been nagging at me, that I was talking about in my last post. 

Every year on halloween, Rachel had a vision. She had been having them since she was a child, but only ever on that one night of the year. It had taken some research but she had figured out that it was because of the lowered veil to the other side. 

It always involved someone Rachel was around. Occasionally it was about someone’s future but often it was about their past: intimate details about their childhood they didn’t want anyone to know; shameful secrets they had buried away; or even trivial events that no longer seemed relevant.

This year, Rachel decided she would try something different. She wouldn’t dress up in a costume and go to a party as she had done in previous years in the hope of drowning out the visions, nor would she stay home and attend to visiting trick or treaters, praying that the minimal contact would prevent the vision.

This year, she was going to turn off all the lights and draw the curtains shut, and take refuge in her lounge with the tv for company.

And so it was that she found herself bundled in a blanket with a hot cup of chocolate watching a lighthearted chick flick. 

Rachel could hear the kids laughing outside going house to house begging for sweets. Thankfully the darkness of her house seemed to have warded them off. 

With half an hour to go before midnight, Rachel was feeling very pleased with herself. She had managed to avoid the terrible experience that were here her visions. She got up and started getting ready for bed.

She was in the bathroom when she made the ultimate mistake: she looked at herself in the mirror. As she looked at herself in the eyes, she felt the wooziness that came just before a vision.

The bathroom faded from view and she was transported to another place.

It was worse than anything she had ever experienced before. 

Rachel found herself actually living the vision, not the casual bystander she usually was.

Her hands were bound behind her back and she was on a ledge of some kind. There was a group of people all around her who were all wearing matching expressions: anger. They were wearing old fashioned clothing: the women wore long skirts which was the telltale sigh. Rachel was no expert but she guessed it was probably around the eighteen hundreds. 

Still looking at the crowd, she noticed their anger turn to triumph as a man carrying a flaming torch approached. They all started jeering and pointing at Rachel. 

With a sinking feeling she noticed the man was coming towards her. She started to panic a pull at the rope binding her. It was no use however, it was too tightly fastened.

Rachel was screaming as the man lowered the torch onto the platform underneath her. It was all made of dry branches and caught alight instantly. Within minutes there was smoke billowing up into the sky. Rachel started coughing as she breathed in the acrid air. She was chocking and there was nothing she could do about it.

Gasping for air she woke up lying on the cold hard tiles of her twenty first century bathroom. She threw the window open and gulped in the cold crisp clean air.