Posted by: DIYwriting | September 21, 2022

The Shed

I pushed open the old, creaky door and wondered if I really wanted to look inside the shed. I knew the noises had been coming from the shed, but wasn’t sure if I was ready to know what exactly was making the noises. I had hidden under my blankets all night, hoping and praying that whatever was making the noise would stay out of the house. I was pretty sure it wasn’t a human, but I knew that sometimes raccoons and opossums snuck into the house through Chet’s dog door. 

I still hadn’t had the courage to block Chet’s dog door after his sudden death last week. I would feel much braver had he been here with me, but life. James was out of town so it was up to me to find out what was happening. I had spent all night imagining different scenarios and tried to calm myself before I looked. 

As it turned out, I didn’t really need to worry after all. Nothing in the shed was touched. Nothing was moved and there was no dirt anywhere. I sighed a deep sigh of relief, but I tensed again almost immediately. What had been making the noises? And where had it/she/he been? I slammed the shed door shut and ran back into the house. I knew I was making a huge deal out of something that would turn out to be nothing, but after Chet’s death, anything was possible. Chet had gotten a clean bill of health the week before he died and the vet was stumped when I had told him what had happened. As the shadow passed by my kitchen window, I instantly knew what had happened. 

Stan was back. Stan had killed my dog. Stan had finally returned from the dead just as he had promised when he lay dying in my backyard when I was nineteen. I hadn’t meant what I had done and I didn’t think he meant what he said. I had never been so wrong. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 20, 2022

Underwater

I had always been afraid of the water. My brother had thought it would be funny to push me in the lake when I was five and I have never fully recovered. I forgave my brother fairly quickly because at that point none of us knew how afraid I was of the water. It was the not knowing of what could be lurking in the murky water. I hated not being able to see everything around me. I just knew if I ever went swimming again, an unknown creature was going to sneak up on me under the guise that I didn’t actually know it was there. 

It wasn’t until I met the love of my life in the fall of 2013 when I finally decided maybe I should try swimming again. Frank was a huge fan of scuba diving and planned many of his vacations around being able to dive and snorkel. I told him the reality of how I had never been scuba diving before, but didn’t tell him I didn’t know how to swim. At all. Embarrassed as I was, I signed up for private swimming lessons at the local swim complex. I couldn’t lose Frank over a simple fear of water. The first lesson I went to, I had a hard time even getting into the water and was only able to due to the fact I could see the bottom and everything around me. Although my fear of water was far from being under control, at least I was in the water and not having a panic attack. 

As I began to learn the strokes, my teacher frequently commented on how long I could stay underwater without coming up for a breath. I honestly had no idea what she was talking about as I had never before put my head underwater on such a regular basis until I started lessons. The more she commented on how long I could hold my breath, the more I paid attention. What I finally learned, but never told anyone, was the fact I could breathe underwater. At last, I was no longer afraid of water and no longer thought I was going to drown. I was now afraid of people finding out about my gills. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 19, 2022

Hunted

“I didn’t mean to kill her.  I didn’t mean to kill her.  I didn’t mean to kill her,” I kept repeating the line to myself as I drove home.  I made sure not to speed as I didn’t want to get pulled over.  I knew if I got pulled over, I would tell all of my secrets.  Every single terrible thing I had ever done in my life.  Tonight was by far the worst experience I had ever had and I knew it was all my fault. 

Why had the woman come running out of the woods?  Had she come running out of the woods or was I just imagining it?  Had she been standing in the middle of the highway the entire time, waiting for someone to help her?  Instead of helping, I was pretty sure I had killed her.  Even though I had not heard a noise or felt a bump with my car.  But she had been there.  Right? 

The farther I drove down the deserted highway, the less sure I became about what had really happened.  There hadn’t been anyone there.  I didn’t hit a woman with my car.  Nothing was wrong.  I was all right. 

The farther I drove down the deserted highway, the less sure I became about what had really happened. There hadn’t been anyone there. I didn’t hit a woman with my car. Nothing was wrong. I was all right. But the next day, nothing explained the dent in my car or the piece of clothing wrapped around my side mirror. The news didn’t report anything about a missing woman or a body found on the side of the highway so I began to think it was all an elaborate hoax. But two weeks later, when a single bloody running shoe was left on my front step, I knew I was being hunted. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 18, 2022

The Traitor

I always thought the greatest sin would be to disobey my parents, but I learned quickly that was not the truth. The greatest sin would be to obey their every word. Instead of being told what I wanted, I had finally learned to think on my own. I didn’t want to go to church every day. I didn’t want to wear the outfits my mom demanded I wear. I didn’t want to live in silence. 

I wanted to have a life. A life other than the one they had dictated for me. I wanted to be able to go shopping with my friends – the friends they thought were a bad influence. I wanted to be able to dress myself in outfits with patterns and colors. I wanted to be able to listen to music, to go to concerts, to live life full out. As I plotted and planned, I knew I couldn’t get caught until my plan was complete. My plan to rebel against my parents had to get down to the nitty gritty details before I could begin. If I got caught before I was ready, I would be doomed. I would more than likely be sent to a convent. Or worse, a boarding school. 

Before I could enact my plan to convert my parents, I was caught. The most surprising part was I was turned in by one of my ‘friends’. The friend I would have done anything for. I had trusted her too much and the blow back was she was the traitor. She had done the worst of the worst. It was no surprise my parents had enlisted her help. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 17, 2022

Broken Windows

The window was broken before I even knew what happened.  The one thing I did know was I didn’t have enough money to fix it. I tried to slide back into the woods before the owner of the car came out of the grocery store, but wasn’t sure if I had made in in time. A few seconds after I stepped into the shadows, a man came running out to his car. By the way he wildly turned in circles, he didn’t have any real idea where I was. I thought my best option was to slowly sink down into the deeper shadows, but I was afraid to move. What if he saw me? What if he came for me? 

But as I slowly sank down to my knees, he didn’t budge. I could see his chest rapidly rising and falling as if he was breathing hard and hoped it was just anger instead of a health problem. I already felt guilty about the window, but couldn’t handle anything more serious happening to the owner of the car. When he didn’t stalk directly into the words where I was hiding, I began to relax. My shoulders came down from around my ears and I was able to unclench my jaw. I just hoped he didn’t look too closely at the rock until he had already left because then the message wouldn’t be delivered to the right person. Jerry had to know I was watching him. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 16, 2022

Flicker

As soon as I saw the flicker of the candle in the woods, I ran down the stairs. At fourteen, I knew all the squeaky steps and how to avoid them. I also knew it was Devon in the woods and that he was running away. He couldn’t run, I wouldn’t let him. I needed him. If he ran, I would have to survive in Eldertown by myself and I knew it wouldn’t go well. Devon was the only friend I had, the only one I could rely on. If he left, I would have to leave too.  

Devon and I had bonded because neither one of us fit in. We didn’t play sports and weren’t interested in the after school clubs. I was more interested in reading and Devon was interested in acting and the theater. In a small town that thrive on Friday night lights, we weren’t exactly the ones who got invited to the after parties. 

“Devon! Devon!” I whisper yelled as I got closer to the flicker. Why had he brought a candle instead of a flashlight? Was he trying to act like the pioneers he had always been obsessed with? Maybe he was re-enacting Oregon Trail instead of leaving me alone in a town we both hated. The closer I got, the more worried I became. Maybe it wasn’t really Devon in the woods. When the fire sprang up around me, I knew it wasn’t Devon and I knew I couldn’t get out alive. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 15, 2022

Save the Bees!

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankeville 

Close-ups were the only photographs I felt comfortable taking. I thrived on the details and loved not having to worry about composing a background. Lately I had become obsessed with flowers because I had attended a program at the local library about the declining bee population. I was hoping my photographs would bring back an interest in saving bees and nature, but if my father heard what I was into he would flip. He was a climate change denier and especially loved expanding on his ideas the Earth was flat and astronauts weren’t real. He needed to learn the truth. 

More Friday Fictioneers stories can be found here.

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 15, 2022

Caught

All I wanted to do was relax, but I could never find a second to myself.  I knew if I didn’t process what happened the night before, I would never be able to survive.  I could never survive another night under this house if I had to explain my actions to anyone else.  Or defend my actions to anyone else.  If I was asked one more time what had happened in the backyard, I would more than likely explode. 

I had never been to a party that had gotten as out of control as Jenna’s party.  Since the population of White was only 247 on a good day, everyone knew everyone.  If things got out of hand, parents would be notified immediately.  That’s why our parties (at least the ones I went to) never got too loud.  If there was any mischief, we had to keep the raging to a minimum.  That’s why I had been so surprised at Thomas and Robert’s behavior.  If it hadn’t been for them, the party would have gone smoothly and I would have been home by curfew. 

Now I was headed for the back of the Sheriff’s truck and I was sure I wouldn’t see another party for the rest of the year. My father being as conservative as he was, didn’t believe in parties or any ‘outlandish’ behavior which is why he often thought I was at Bible study most nights. I wasn’t sure why he believed me, but I knew he never would again. But the real question I was asking myself in the back seat of the Sheriff’s truck was whether or not I had let myself down? Or had I let him down? And did it really matter? 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 14, 2022

The Deep End

I knew Greg would go off the deep end as soon as the story dropped.  I knew I had to prepare.  But I didn’t know how to. Even though we had been friends for years, I still didn’t know how he would react to certain situations. Half the time I didn’t think he was really telling me the truth about what when on at home and why he missed school as much as he did. I didn’t know how he could possibly be passing any of his classes when he only went to class three times a week. At most. 

I don’t think his parents had money they had donated to the school, but otherwise, I didn’t understand why he was never reprimanded by the school administrators or our teachers for his unexcused absences. By the time we hit ninth grade, I was determined to find out how he was getting away with it. I was envious that not only was he able to miss large amounts of school with no explanations, but also didn’t seem to have anything to show for it. I had plenty of things I could do with my time if I only had to go to school three days a week. But if I ever even missed one class, the attendance secretary was calling my dad at work and I usually ended up grounding for the weekend. 

I had to know how Greg got away with it. How he did it. The next time I had dinner at his house, I had to find a way to sneak around his room. Or maybe his dad had an office where I could look through his desk drawers. I just needed to come up with a plan where I could be in his room, alone, without him being suspicious. All my planning went to naught when he asked me to dogsit while he and his family were out of town. I finally had my chance to look through the house without disruption. My dreams came true when I finally found out why Greg was missing so much school, I just wasn’t expecting to get caught with the video cameras set up throughout the house. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | September 13, 2022

Friends Forever

I always wondered what kind of a friend I was. Was I the confidant? The rebel? The scapegoat? I wandered from group to group during middle and high school just to see what would happen. Who would accept me? Where could I be my odd self and not worry about what was being said when everyone went home? I thought I had finally found my click, my group, my people when I ate lunch with Hannah and her friends. I thought things had been going well after eating lunch with Hannah, Macey, Julie and Andy for a few weeks when I realized I had almost never been happier. I was finally a part of inside jokes. I was finally invited to sleepovers. Slumber parties. Birthday parties. 

I had been invited to birthday parties and sleepovers before, but I had somehow never been invited to be a part of inside jokes. Most of the time I had a sneaking suspicion the inside jokes were about me. But I was longing for things with the ‘Troop’ to go well. I was desperate for it. I needed a solid backing for when I put my plan into motion. If I didn’t have any support, I knew I would fail. I needed to get out of town and get out of town quickly as soon as the time came. And that day was fast approaching. August 1 was the day I needed to be out of my house and out of town. And I knew the ‘Troop’ would back me up and tell the police I wasn’t any trouble. That I never once caused any trouble at school. Because I knew what my parents would do when I disappeared and went to college. And I knew they were lying. 

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