Woman scorned no more

woman no longer scorned by chris hall lunasonline

She holds the golden sphere in the palm of her hand. It glows, warm with all that remains of him. She has him now, resting in the palm of her hand. His soul, trapped. He in her power; not she in his.

Revenge is sweet, she thinks.

She curls her fingers and feels the sphere pulsate. She turns and walks the few steps to the bridge. Leaning on the rail, she watches the greasy, grey river flow beneath her.

She tosses the sphere in the air and catches it. Tosses again; lets it fall.

Goodbye traitorous heart, she whispers.


Written in response to The Aether Prompt: May 22nd, 2019

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Flight of fancy

Flight of Fancy by Chris Hall lunasonline
Source

I watched a dragonfly today

Blue-bright body, wings of lace

Like a little ‘copter

or a miniature drone.

 

I watched a dragonfly today

Circle, hover, perch, take flight

Like a tiny bi-plane

or a teensy flying-boat.

 

I watched a dragonfly today

And this time looked more closely

Admired its engineering

Saw the faerie in the cockpit.

The Secret Ingredient

magical realism challenge by teresa 040419
Source

The restaurant was closed the following day and I was leaving that afternoon. What potent ingredient had been in the aperitif which caused the world to change before my eyes?

A seemingly innocuous ruby concoction which rendered people’s reflections invisible and gave me a voracious appetite for the steak tartare.

 


50 word story written in response to Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith‘s Genre Writing Challenge. I’m not quite sure that I pulled it off, but it’s just a bit of fun!
Based on a strange evening I once had in Seville. I’ll tell you about it sometime.

Cepha’s Revenge

Cepha's revenge

Cepha observed the two galleons turn broadside. As greed and hatred erupted into sea-churning canon fire, she flung a tentacle into the pool beside her, summoning the sisterhood.

They came, they writhed, and the sea boiled. They pulled timbers apart with zealous suckers. Masts crashed onto splintering decks. Water gushed in.

For the humans must pay: creatures, so new to old Mother Earth, now plundered her riches and fought over them.

Cepha stirred the pool again.

Coins and trinkets emptied from chests were gathered up by eager tentacles, while sailors sank into the murky depths.

Calm returned.


Written in response to The Aether Prompt: March 13th, 2019

A Candlelit Evening

Candlelit evening by Chris Hall lunasinline photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Wrapped in her fluffy pink robe she glides into the beautiful bathroom. Hot water gushes from swan-shaped tabs into a large claw-footed tub. The light is subdued. Rose-scented candles glow seductively, reflected in the slightly-smoked full length mirror with its glittering frame of hand-picked pink quartz tiles. She pauses and turns around. What has she forgotten?

Moments later she reappears carrying a large crystal glass containing her favourite mouth-filling red wine.

The white-tiled floor is glossy, and slippery with an unnoticed sheen of steam. She strides forward and suddenly…

She’s on the floor, prone on those pricey ice-white tiles. She hesitates for just a moment and then rises to her feet. She stands facing the mirror, but something’s wrong. Where’s her reflection? She focuses on the one missing tile on the far corner of the frame, still not mended, but when she looks back, her face is still absent.

Her gaze travels down the misting mirror. What’s that on the floor behind her? She turns and sees a pink robed figure. Spilled red blood mingles with spilled red wine. She raises her hand to her mouth to suppress a scream, but there is no hand, no mouth.

There is nothing.



Written in response to The Haunted Wordsmith’s
Main March Madness13 ‘A Ghost’
and with a nod to a scene from Michael Connelly’s ‘Dark Sacred Night’.

The Tokoloshe

 

Tokaloshe

Auntie Rose was the first to notice something amiss that morning. She’d taken the first tray of spice-fragrant samosas from the oven and set them down to cool. She’d just returned to the stove when she heard a crash. She turned, cloth in hand, to find the tray up-ended and freshly-baked samosas strewn across the floor. Albertina came running from the stoep where she’d been sweeping, still holding the broom.

“What happened Auntie Rose? Did you drop the tray?”

“No, I put it on the table. I don’t understand how it could have fallen.” She bent down awkwardly to pick up the spilled samosas.

“Wait, Auntie Rose, let me.” Albertina crouched down and swiftly replaced the little savouries on the tray. She stood up. “No one will ever know,” she smiled at Auntie Rose. “The floor’s clean.”

Auntie Rose grinned toothlessly (she wasn’t one to wear out her false teeth by using them). “Cleaner that the people’s hands, anyway.” She looked at the tray. “That’s strange.” She stared around at the floor. “Did you get them all up?”

“I think so, why?

“Six are missing. Someone came in here while my back was turned.”

Albertina pulled a puzzled face. “But how did they get in? I was at the front sweeping the stoep, Auntie Grace is in the back room doing her knitting, and the window’s much too small for anyone to climb through.”

Just then they heard shouting coming from the road outside. Albertina snatched up her broom and hurried out followed by Auntie Rose; behind them came Auntie Grace, clutching her knitting.

Abdul was staring down the road in the direction of the harbour. The display table outside his shop had been overturned and all the pots and pans and gadgets and gizmos had spilled across the ground. A big blue football lolled in the road.

Albertina picked up the ball. “What happened?” she asked handing to Abdul.

“I only caught a glimpse of it,” Abdul said, retrieving a stack of brightly coloured plastic bowls from the floor. ‘Some kind of animal, about this high; he indicated a height just above his knee. Brown and very hairy.” Abdul shook his head. “I thought I heard it mumbling something though.” He shrugged his shoulders.

Abdul glanced down the road. There was nobody in sight, but there was a trail of footprints; small and wide with huge toes. Albertina’s hand went to her mouth; the other hand gripped the broom tightly. “Tokoloshe!” she exclaimed. She dropped the broom and ran past the aunties and through the house to her little room in the back yard.

Abdul looked questioningly from Auntie Rose to Auntie Grace as he walked over to them. “What did she say?”

Auntie Grace snorted. “Tokoloshe. There’s no such thing. A creature made up to scare naughty children. It’s more likely a young baboon.”

“Well, something stole my samosas,” said Auntie Rose walking into the road and looking down at the footprints. She pointed at the tracks. “Look, crumbs as well. That was my thief.”

Abdul and the two aunties stood contemplating the line of strange footprints. Moments later Albertina re-appeared. “I’m going for bricks,” she announced as she picked up the broom, brandishing it in front of her like a battle standard, and marched down the road in her bright pink pumps and second best wig.

“Bricks?” said Abdul frowning.

“To make the beds higher so the Tokoloshe can’t get you in the night… so they say,” Auntie Rose explained to the baffled Abdul.

“They’re short and they can’t climb,” added Auntie Grace. “Like us,” she glanced at her sister and giggled.

Abdul shook his head. He’d led a very sheltered life growing up as he had in Cape Town’s District Six.

Nearing the harbour, Albertina noticed more signs of the Tokoloshe’s passage. Overturned baskets and fruit lay scattered across the road; grimy hand prints were smeared across shop windows and ransacked dirt bins had spilled their contents. Dogs were barking everywhere and people were scratching their heads and surveying the mess. As she passed Andreas’s café, she was almost knocked over by the wiry café owner and three other men, one of whom she recognised as the man called Johannes who habitually sat by the harbour and had greeted her so nicely when she’d first arrived in the town.

“My dear, just the thing!” the man behind Johannes exclaimed, looking at the broom in Albertina’s hand. He put his hand on the broom. “May I?”

Albertina snatched it away, frowning crossly at him.

“My dear, I simply want to borrow it. It will help us catch the creature that I, the Professor,” he put a hand to his chest and bowed his head slightly, “so unwisely unleashed.”

“You mean it was you? You made a Tokoloshe?” Albertina said warily, looking up at the large, red-faced man.

“Tokoloshe..? No, my dear, I don’t think it’s…”

A hairy brown shape appeared from the side of the building,

“That’s him!” the Professor pointed.

Johannes reacted swiftly, running towards the creature, arms outstretched, forcing it towards the lean-to at the side of the building, while calling to his friend Sam to do the same. Sam who, Albertina noticed, smelt rather strongly of fish, ran across to block its escape. Albertina advanced with her broom. The creature glared back at them, trapped in a corner.

“Now what do we do?” asked Andreas.

“I need gold! Give me gold!” the creature chanted.

The Professor took a step towards it. “I don’t think you’re in a position to make demands.”

The creature stuck out its tongue. Then it let out a wild shriek. It tried to dodge past Sam, but Albertina was too quick. She shoved the broom in the creature’s chest, pinning it to the floor where it thrashed about.

“That’s what it said this morning, when I stupidly prized open this old chest I’d bought the other day. I didn’t know there was anything in it, but I was curious. I didn’t have a key you see and…”

The creature continued to struggle, grinding its teeth unpleasantly.

“Do something!” Albertina shouted. “I can’t stand here forever.”

Sam reached into his pocket and carefully drew out a small object, wrapped in a piece of oily rag. He opened the rag and held it out in front of the creature. “Here now, this is gold.”

“A real gold coin?” Albertina whispered, glancing at Sam in awe.

“Gold!” The creature groped the air with its long, grimy fingers. “Give me.”

Sam tossed the coin toward the creature. It caught it in its hand and started to laugh, but the laugh became a scream. The creature suddenly went limp. Albertina pulled the broom away gingerly. The creature’s body started to fade until all that remained of the creature was a dark stain on the floor.

Albertina crouched down, searching the floor. “Where’s the coin?”

But that too had disappeared.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

In case you were wondering about the tokoloshe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikoloshe

Space Cadets

Hanson Lu on Unsplash
Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

We peer out at the blank, barren landscape. Having landed, we’re not sure where we are. Or for that matter, ‘when’ we are. That’s the problem if you borrow the Professor’s Special Space Machine without asking.

But she’d shown it to us, tempted us. That’s the problem with having someone like the Professor coaching you for entry to the Space Academy.

But hold on, who’s that up ahead? Look, she’s waving.

We hurry forward into the bleak barrenness, but before we reach her, there is an ear-splitting sound. Everything goes black.

Later, when we come round, we are strapped into hard, upright seats facing a large spherical console. The Professor is standing opposite us.

We start to speak, but she holds up her hand for silence. “I’m sorry. I know you wanted to join the Space Academy, but I’m afraid the Great Zyborgatron has other plans.” She smiles weakly. “He did grant me one last request, however.”

Plates of burgers and chips materialize before us. We look at her; what did she say?

“Well go on,” she urges, indicating the food.

We eat. We devour the lot. It’s the best burger and chips we’ve ever had.

Then everything goes black.


 

Written in response to The Haunted Wordsmith’sMain March Madness‘