Welcome to a special Halloween Wednesday Brief!
I got a little carried away writing today's brief. First I wrote a story that went well beyond the 1400 words, then not liking the result, I went back and changed most of it, although I'm still not entirely satisfied with the ending and I'm 30 words overboard, but I bego your forgiveness, it's almost 2 am.
Finally, may I suggest a little ambiance music? This was one of the songs I used as an accompaniment while writing.It is a short piano piece that matches the story perfectly.
The prompt I used was: "Welcome to my home, I am ..."
I hope you enjoy today's free read and have a great Spooky Day! (And stay safe!!)
Whispers of the Past
"Welcome to my home, I am your host this night."
Brenda trudged through the dark house in silence. How long had it been since she’d heard those words? The walk across the haunted house had gone from noisy to quiet as soon as she passed the last passageway. Gone were the screams of the other visitors, gone were the cries and wails of the actors impersonating all sort of paranormal creatures. The lights flickered, casting eerie shadows that seemed to be watching her hesitant steps through the gloomy hall.
She walked down some stairs into another hallway. Darkness wrapped around her like a heavy veil, the burning smell of candles wafting to her nose as the sound of a piano playing in the distance invited her deeper into the bowels of the house. Brenda hesitated, listening to the soft fall and rise of the piano, the haunting melody familiar. A nervous tingling began to form in her belly and she shivered, wandering if she should turn back.
A child screamed not too far ahead and she hurried through the unsettling gloom, confident that the exit was near. A thick mist began to form in the passage accompanied by a chilly breeze that caused the hairs on her neck to bristle. She quickened her step, seeing in every shadow a dark presence that watched her. Her palms grew clammy and her footsteps heavy, a feeling of trepidation causing her pulse to quicken.
She rounded another corner and descended a few more steps. The heady smell of burning wood caused her head to swim and she leaned against the wall, attempting to gather her wits. Brenda screamed, the sound tearing from her throat in a high pitched wail as the puff of a breath caressed her earlobe. She ran blindly, without knowledge of her whereabouts, fear urging her on.
Stumbling, she skidded to a stop. Her heart fluttered against her throat, and she clamped her mouth, swallowing the cry desperate to break lose. Candles littered every surface, bathing the place in an almost magical yellow glow, but it was the grand piano and the man sitting before it what caused her unease.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Brenda.”
The man spoke in a deep, cavernous voice that made a shiver to race down her spine. Her mind urged her to flee but she stood rooted to the ground, listening to the eerie melody coming from the piano. She took a step closer, watching mesmerized as the man played the haunting tune, his long fingers sliding over every yellow key with gentle precision. Every note brought with it a vague feeling of familiarity, a sense of calm. It was a strange melody, yet it was also terribly familiar. It was like listening to an old lullaby, soft and soothing, it was a song you knew your mother had hummed when you were a babe yet you never recalled the exact tune.
“Do you remember, yet?”
Brenda lifted her gaze to the man’s face. He sat in shadow, his long dark locks hiding his features from her, yet she had the uncanny feeling that she knew what she’d find. Dark mesmerizing eyes framed by beautiful long lashes, a slightly hooked nose – a blemish by some, a sign of aristocracy by others-. However, it was his lips what urged her to approach him, the terror she’d felt earlier gone. She walked toward him, her footsteps light and noiseless upon the carpet. She expected him to turn toward her at any moment, but he continued playing as if oblivious to her presence. She paused at his side, watching his hands caress the keys, wishing they were upon her skin, touching and claiming her. She reached for him, placing her small hand over his, stopping the soulful music. He turned to her, his dark eyes searching her face. Brenda smiled. Her gaze lowered to the full lips, perfect for drawing between your teeth and nipping. She didn’t hesitate as she lowered her mouth to his, capturing the warm flesh and tugging, drawing a tortured groan from him. His hands wrapped around her waist pulling her to his lap and she laughed, her fear a forgotten memory. She lowered her gaze to her lap and laughed harder. Gone were her jeans and coat, in its stead a long overflowing dress of burgundy hugged her curves in all the right places. Her hand shot to her hair and she grinned. Lose strands of thick honey colored curls grazed her shoulders, the ponytail she’d worn earlier, vanished.
“Gaston.” Wrapping her arms around him, she hugged him tightly, tears filling her eyes. It had been so long, too long, since she’d been in her lover’s arms. Memories rushed a fore: a wicked fire, peeling wallpaper, fallen furniture, trapped in the basement making love as their house burned above them, a promise to never forget. They’d found them like that, locked in a deadly embrace. Her world turned and other memories tangled in her mind: a happy childhood, friends and endless drawings of a man with dark hair and dark eyes. Brenda stared into Gaston’s eyes, the tears finally streaming down her face as she realized that her place was no longer there with him, but with the living. They’d promised never to forget one another, never to cease searching for a way to reunite and so every Halloween, when the veil thinned they would meet and be forced to separate again. Gaston leaned over her, his warm breath fluttering against her ear, causing her to shiver.
“I can smell your perfume, I can feel your skin.”
“I don’t understand,” she asked, her shaking fingers brushing the rough material of clothes she’d never seen him wear before. Could she believe? Could she believe that he’d found a way to step across the veil and stay with her in the 21st century forever?
Gaston nodded, grinning. “Happy All Hollow’s Eve, love.”
More Spooky Halloween Wednesday Brief Flashes? Click on any of the links below!
Lily Sawyer m/m
Cia Nordwell m/m
Tali Spencer m/m
MA Church m/m
MC Houle m/m
Julie Lynn Hayes m/m
*Halloween Image courtesy of luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net*.