His Greatest Mistake

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

Surrounded by the ruins of his childhood home, Griffin spun slowly, taking in the decay. A familiar noise—the laughter of a child, barely heard on the breeze—tickled his ears. The fears of his youth flooded back, and his arms prickled with goosebumps.

“I’m not afraid of you anymore,” he said, his voice cracking.

The laughter came again. Closer. Directly behind him.

He spun quickly, only to find himself face to face with… nothing. Absolutely nothing. He almost laughed at his foolishness. Ghosts aren’t real.

“When you leave this time, I’m coming too,” a voice whispered, again behind him.

Sometimes it’s better to leave the past in the past. And by sometimes I mean almost always, especially when it concerns a ghost who tormented you as a child.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

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Terminal

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PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

What had started as a tiny whisper, barely heard among the unrelenting hustle and bustle of his thoughts and aspirations had slowly grown—so slowly that he hadn’t even noticed, save for the occasional headache. As it’d grown, so had the whisper, eventually turning into a thunderous, agonizing roar. Michael could feel the awful thing camped out inside his head, at the base of his skull. Terminal, his doctor had called it.

He fled to the forest when the thing inside started stealing control of his motor functions. There in his tent, he left the world on his own terms.

Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some even sneak up on you and make your body their cozy, little den. I wrote a story last week too, but never got around to posting it. Not the first time. Probably won’t be the last either.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

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Stopping for Fuel

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PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

Paul finished pumping his gas and disappeared inside the shop to pay. Cash. Always cash.

When he stepped outside again, the trunk of his car stood open. His eyes calmly swept the area. There. Huddled in the arms of a trucker. He smirked and made a beeline for the girl. The trucker stepped between them.

“Hold it right there, buddy,” the hulking man said.

Paul pulled the gun tucked in his belt and put a bullet between the trucker’s eyes at point blank range.

“His death is on you,” he told her as he shoved her back into the trunk.

Paul is not a good man. Or maybe there is more to his story with this particular girl. Perhaps he is only doing what is necessary. Only time will tell I suppose.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

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One Child at a Time

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PHOTO PROMPT © Janet Webb

A boy of roughly nine entered the shop by himself and wandered aimlessly until a jar of pennies caught his eye.

“You’ve got a lot of coins,” the boy said.

“Indeed, I do,” the man behind the counter replied.

“How’d you get so many?” the boy asked.

“Well, you see,” said the man, “every time a kid asks about ‘em, I take him out back into the woods and sell him to the trolls for a penny. Then I come back here and toss it in the jar.”

The boy ran out the door and the man added another penny.

Nothing scary here, unless you count the made up trolls. Just a guy having some fun at the expense of a gullible child, who won’t be the last.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

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Patient Log: Daniel Moran

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PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon

Day 6.

Daniel continues to exhibit unusual behavior. He’s convinced that he sees penguins everywhere he looks. One is always lying face down, killed by the other, who is usually hiding behind something.

Day 7.

Daniel’s condition has not improved, and may be contagious. Several others have reported seeing Daniel’s penguins.

Day 8.

They’re all dead. Everyone who has seen the penguins. Even one of the nurses. All with their eyes seemingly pecked out by some kind of bird. I’ve no idea what to make of it. I don’t want to believe in the penguins, but it’s hard not to.

Those penguins kept calling out to me, but it took me several days and many, many failed attempts to see any kind of half decent story there. For better or worse, this is what came from all the hassle.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

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