Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Haunting and Trick or Treat Hallowe'en blog hops.

Woo hoo...two blog fest in one. Write...Edit...Publish, Denise Covey's Haunting blog fest is scheduled for Oct 30, 2013 and Francine Howarth's Trick or Treat Hallowe'en blog hop is scheduled for Oct. 31, 2013. I'm taking the grandkid's outon Halloween so I'll be around during the day for awhile. Once you've read mine, ring the bell at the other blogs and give them a few tricks or a treat in the form of a comment.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe Halloween.

Lizzie, Damp and Wet:

Lizzie pulled herself from the pond that occupied a section of her farm not far from the house. Jack climbed out as well and shook all over splattering water from his fury body. Lizzie laughed, grabbed her clothes, and glanced about the trees to be sure she was alone before putting on her dress. It clung to her damp body. She ran barefoot in the cool autumn sun toward the house, her hair dripping. At the door she grabbed the handle and had to twist hard since it stuck. Inside she paused. Jacob, her husband, must have left the basement door open. The coal shaft allowed cold air to flow from outside into the dark basement and made the entire house frozen. She shivered, went to the door and shut it.

In the kitchen she started a fire in her cast iron stove with some wood and once it was engulfed she added coal which would burn longer. At last heat warmed her.

An odd bell rang three times. Lizzie had never before heard it. She turned, alarmed by the noise and peered at her kitchen. Everything seemed the same. The bell rang again, only once this time and seemed to come from the far corner where only her cabinets were. That was followed the distinct sound of a door opening and shutting. Fear gripped her. Lizzie ran from the kitchen, up the stairs to her bedroom that she shared with her beloved Jacob.

Glancing about as if some specter would present itself Lizzie felt nothing untoward. She tiptoed across the wood plank floor. Her hair dripped a trail as she went. At the wardrobe she pulled out a clean dress along with under garments and changed quickly. Glancing at the window she estimated by the light of the sun that it would be a good hour before Jacob returned. He’d loaded the wagon earlier and taken the wheat into town to sell to the miller and bring back enough for them to last the winter. However, their cow needed to be milked so she returned to the main floor and glanced down the hall. The basement door was still closed and the kitchen was quiet.

She blinked and entered the barn. That was odd; she couldn’t remember her walk along the path. Lizzie often day dreamed and found that time slipped away for her too often so she dismissed the strange thing that had just happened. They’d recently purchased a white mare and the horse became wild in its stall upon seeing her. Lizzie went toward it. If she could just reassure the animal, but when she put her hand threw to pass it an apple from a nearby barrel the horse reared and let out a frantic scream. Lizzie pulled in her hand, troubled by the mare’s reaction.

The cow beckoned. She sat on the stool and began to milk it. Sally, their cat, came sidling up to her and Lizzie giggled as she let some of the milk squirt Sally in her mouth. The cat jerked about in an attempt to catch every bit.

“No more for now Sally,” Lizzie said after a moment. “I need to make butter and Jacob will want a glass of it too.”

Jack whimpered at her side. “You’ll get yours in the house,” she told the dog.

When she said house she quite suddenly found herself in the kitchen again with a bowl of milk in hand for Jack. This day was altogether strange. She wanted Jacob to stride through the front door and hold her.
She put Jack’s milk on the floor and turned to grab a bowl to start supper. When she did she had a flash of an entirely different room. It was still a kitchen. It was still her kitchen. But someone had changed everything about it. Gone where her stove, table and cabinets. In its place was a silver colored stove with odd round things on top. A sink had shiny spouts attached to it. The cabinets were more elaborate than any she had seen before and made of oak wood. But the oddest thing was a rectangular silver colored object at the far end. As she watched the door opened and a light emanated from within. Food in odd containers rested on the shelves. She peered at it and jumped when the door closed and her own kitchen returned.

Lizzie screamed and ran from the room. Jack followed her barking. She slammed the door to her bedroom shut and shivered in a corner staring at the door, afraid.

Lizzie longed for Jacob. She found herself before the bedroom window staring down into the farm yard, her wet clothes back on and her hair dripping. An odd wagon pulled into the drive, no horse was attached to it, the side door opened and a woman wearing jeans and an orange sweater climbed out. Her hair was cut short. She grabbed some bags from the back and walked toward the front door. Who was that? Lizzie wondered. Where is Jacob?

As she searched for him the forest changed and only a few trees remained around her pond. The road became covered in gray with yellow lines in the middle and houses appeared out of nowhere all around her farm.

The bedroom door opened. Lizzie turned. A flash nearly blinded her. A different woman entered with a red coat on. She held a thick weed that was smoldering gray spoke. The day had given way to night.

“What is your name?” the strange woman asked.

She felt compelled to answer, “Lizzie.”

 “Lizzie, I thought so, you drowned in the pond in 1897. You’re dead. Jacob waits for you on the other side. Go into the light.”

No, that can’t be true, Lizzie thought. Didn’t I just milk the cow? A bright light appeared.  Jacob beckoned. Lizzie stepped through to her man.

Word count: 987

I hoped you enjoyed this. I just couldn’t leave Lizzie trapped in her home forever. Can you guess what appliance was beeping in the first part of the story?

Don't forget to check out the others at ...Haunting and then at Trick or Treat Hallowe'en.



Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh that was so good! I expected her to be haunted...not to be the haunting itself. Great post!

Denise Covey said...

What a great story Nancy. After awhile I realised where this was going. Such an interesting concept, having Lizzie as the narrator/ghost. That microwave pinging must have been very confusing. I like the way Lizzie knows things are shifting but can't explain it, waiting for Jacob to help her.

A great story idea and very apt for both Halloween blogfests.
Thanks as always for supporting the WEP blogfest Nancy. What an awesome amount of entries we have this month.


Yolanda Renee said...

Great story! I kept thinking Jacob would show up at any minute and save her! Great ending because he did! Such a wonderful treat!

Trick or Treat and Happy Halloween!

Jenny Brigalow said...

Oh, very clever Nancy! I didn't see the twist at the end. So glad Lizzie had a happy ever after.

Beverly Fox said...

It think it was the titel that gave it away, but I loved how you peeled back her vision to the future.

Chrys Fey said...

How clever! I liked how you described the change of the kitchen. To live in the old days on a farm and all of a sudden have a high-tech kitchen would be very confusing and frightening, indeed.

Suze said...

I'm seeing a lot of stories about spirits trapped between one realm and another. It seems to be stirring in the collective unconscious at the moment! Maybe it's Halloween-induced, but maybe there's something else happening on a more-than-seasonal scale.

This story has a ton of possibility!

Kelly Steel said...

Unexpected twist! Loved it!

Shadow said...

Sounds fantastic! I cant wait to read more! I love the story. I didnt see that twist coming. :D Thanks for sharing! Happy Halloween! Thanks for the fun and goodies! :)

Donna Hole said...

Hi Nancy; nice to see you posting again.

This was cool, told from the perspective of the ghost. I enjoyed it. Thanks.


N. R. Williams said...

Thanks you all...
I had a busy day but will be stopping by tomorrow and the rest of the week to read all of yours.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Shannon Lawrence said...

This made me think of Beetlejuice, how things would change so suddenly to them. It was interesting how you did this, showing us little changes so we'd realize what was happening before poor Lizzie.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Helen Hollick said...

Loved the read - great entertainment, thanks for sharing!
Helen Hollick

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Thanks for taking part, Nancy. Great ruse using the ghost as narrator! Clever mix of emotions, too.


Scheherazade said...

That was fun. Nice to have a story from the POV of a confused, frightened ghost. A typo - through instead of threw in the scene with the horse.

Jen Chandler said...

Nice! I was hoping she was the ghost and I was happily right! A very different perspective of a haunting from the one that could be doing the haunting.

Was that beeping at the beginning a microwave?

Well done,

Lisa said...

A microwave? This was fun to read. I wondered if it would turn out that way, that she was dead. Great story. I hope she took the advice and went to meet her Jacob!

Sally said...

I like the way you led us in to the ghost part and the transitions between her time and now. I'm glad there was a 'happy' ending and she wasn't stuck here forever.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks everyone for coming by. Yes, it is a microwave. glad some of you guessed right starting with Denise.

Busy day, the grandkids to take around tonight. I will get to as many as I can today and over the weekend.


Nancy Jardine said...

Hi from another Nancy. I would say a microwave, too! A nice alternative on time- shift stories to have the ghost! I'm left wondering how ghostly the 'person' also is at the end of the story.

Grace Elliot said...

Great excerpt, very enjoyable.
Grace x

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Nancy and Grace.

Li said...

Well done! i thought she was time traveling at first. I'm glad she can make her way back to Jacob :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
good story, poor Lizzie. Very elegantly done, as it took some time to realise just what was happening.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Li and Annabell.

Michelle Wallace said...

A great story. Interesting perspective too.
It did take me a while to figure out that she was the one doing the haunting.

Anna Nordeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna Nordeman said...

Saturday November 2nd, 2013,
5.02 P.M.

Dear Nancy,

You have really written an eerie and compelling story for Halloween. Poor Lizzie, a ghost and time-traveller! I'm so glad she found her Jacob in the end.

You described a refrigerator, I think, wasn't it? Great details indicating the different times. My paternal grandparents had coal!

Thank you for your thoughts about my insomnia-story.
Best wishes,

Anna's WEP-Challenge for October: Haunting

The Armchair Squid said...

Nicely done. I'm glad you set her free at the end.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Michelle, Anna and Armchair. Yes, Anna, it is a refrigerator and you are welcome. You had a great story.

Vesper said...

I loved your story, Nancy. I had started suspecting something at some point, but I liked very much how you used the lack of continuity to suggest Lizzie’s condition… Very well done!

M Pax said...

Cool story! Loved the twist at the end.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks yo Vesper and M. Pax.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Loved the POV from the spirit world, very beautifully crafted story! Sorry it's taken me this long to come around. Thanks for your words on mine.

N. R. Williams said...

Hey Nil, glad you made it and glad you enjoyed my story as well.