Following a request from ABSOLUTELY*KATE, that talented lady who resides AT THE BIJOU, my daughter LOUISE has agreed to guest post on The Twisted Quill this week.
I always enjoy my daughters writing, and I hope that you do too.
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I was delighted to be offered a guest spot on Dad's blog, and flattered that it had been requested. I'm normally a novel writer, even my short stories tend to run to a few thousand words, but I do have this little piece. It was written for an activity as part of my course work. We were given the basics (the figure, the man on the church steps and the baby crying) and had to construct a story from them. It didn't take long for my mind to turn these elements into something disturbing. I loved writing this piece, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Thank you for reading.
In the quiet dawn of Midsummer's day, even the bells of the village church are silent. Tendrils of steam rise from the damp grass, and from the coat of the man laid on the church steps. A tweed cap covers his face, and his white hair has been neatly combed. At his feet, a single red rose.
A figure strides past the church wall before the silence is cracked by a baby crying. The figure pauses, listens with its head cocked a little to the side, fat fingers fluttering at its pale, thin lips. At the swollen tongue that slips out and licks at the corners of its mouth; tasting salt and the bitter copper of blood. The creature salivates, hunger blossoms in its belly and lower, a different kind of desire gnaws. Breathing heavily, it slips between the graves and approaches The Place.
The corpse on the steps is pitiful. An old man desiccated by age and cancer. His hands, clasped neatly together and holding a rosary, are little more than skin over bone. His body is as rigid as a fallen branch. Not so much laid on the steps as resting against them. The creature plucks the hat from the corpse and brings it to its nose. It inhales deeply, sucking up the aromas of sweat; of hair wax and of sickly death. Then flings it away, watches with amusement as it spins into the distance beyond the graveyard.
The face beneath is yellowish and taut with rigor. The creature grimaces. The meat will be tough, stringy. Barely worth cutting at all. It reaches out a hand to open the eyes, to gaze upon the sweetest of the delicacies offered. Dissatisfaction turns to anger. It is not rigor mortis that has stiffened this deceased, but a failure to thaw. The sacrifice is not fresh. The agreement has not been kept.
Once again the silence is broken by the infant's distress. The creature grins.
©2011 Louise Craven
Any comments or feedback would be very much appreciated.