A Challenge Accepted!

Two posts in one day for me! Wow, I must be in the zone. LOL

Frank over at A Frank Angle has issued a challenge to write a flash fiction piece on the picture below. It has to be 150 words or less. It’s been a while since I did a challenge like this, so I’m kind of rusty. Hope you all enjoy it and zip on over to Franks to read all the other great writings, including Franks!

 

Footprints in the Sand

 

He was told that he would be alone at this outpost. Then why is he seeing footprints that aren’t his?

Looking around he didn’t see anything for miles. Just sand. Lots of sand.

He radioed back to headquarters about the footprints and waited. No one did anything on their own. If it wasn’t an approved activity dire consequences would occur. He knew that. He’s seen it in action. He didn’t want to be the next person it happened to.

So, he waited.

When he didn’t hear back from headquarters the next morning he did his usual walk around the area. It was protocol. You didn’t go against protocol.

He saw new footprints. With strange holes next to them. Whoever it was, it was barefoot and fairly small. He couldn’t figure out the holes. A stick? Where would they get a stick in this godforsaken wasteland?

Hearing a sound behind him he spun around and gasped. A small woman holding an antique firearm was standing there. She was pointing it at his chest.

 

 

 

That’s where my imagination took me. Hope you enjoyed it and will go visit Franks blog to read more. 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever! ~~ A short story

Today I decided to do a little bit of writing. I went to *Random First Line Generator* and just decided to do a short story with whatever first line I happened to like.

Below is what I came up with for the first line of:

The footsteps were moving away.

 

woman-520052_1280

 

The footsteps were moving away. She took a deep breath, drew the hood over her head and turned to dart in the opposite direction when her ears picked up a slight sound. She froze, her nerves tingling. If she was caught they would kill her. No questions asked, no hesitation.

The sound of faint buzzing came from behind her. Damn. One of those mechanical tracking devices had caught her scent. If she didn’t move fast she was dead and she wasn’t ready to die today.

Reaching into her pocket she withdrew a small vial. After smashing the vial into the ground she ran down a flight of stairs barely visible in the darkness. Inside the vial was a concoction of her own making. A vile and long lingering scent that would confuse the tracking device long enough for her to make her escape.

Her lips curved up into a small sneer as she raced around the next building. It would take more than a few slow-moving guards and a bloodhound machine to stop her. She knew it had been a risk to come this close to her enemy but it was also the only way to get the information she needed.

Carson could make demands, yell and fret all he wanted. It didn’t make any difference. Sasha was always going to do what she wanted when she wanted. How else were they going to free her father from the prisons of Alazaban?

Her father was all the family she had left in this desolate wasteland of a world. She wasn’t going to lose him to a loathsome, ego-maniac like Drakon.

Drakon was a self-made lunatic. He had money, power, and men behind him. She had herself, Carson and a few rag-tailed friends. Sasha felt the odds were still in her favor. After all, Carson was the best mechanic around and could build things from almost nothing. Her strengths were that she was a genius with chemicals.

With the two of them and her few friends, she would make Drakon sorry he ever took notice of her that fateful day last year in the market. She wasn’t about to give in to Drakon’s demands.

Because she refused his advances, Drakon took her total dislike of him and made her the promise that she would pay for her stupidity. He called it stupid, she called it survival. It was well known what Drakon did to his former lovers when he got tired of them. She wasn’t going to suffer the same fate.

He kidnapped her father and told her she could trade herself for him. Wasn’t going to happen. Sasha was going to get her father back…or die trying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Talons Reach (A New Halloween Story)

I don’t put disclaimers on my stories. Until today. This story has some things in it that relate to domestic violence that might trigger some people. Do be warned. Thank you.

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The Talons Reach

I remember a night like this one, many years ago. The skeletal limbs of the trees were brushing the dark sky in a maniacal dance as the wind blew in small bursts of rage. The gray clouds scuttling in the night as everything was covered in a cold drizzle of rain.

A perfect night for Halloween that was, just like tonight. Exactly like tonight. I was married back then. Married…What a joke. More like imprisoned with a jailer who was both cruel and unrelenting. Cruel in words and deeds and unrelenting in heaping them upon my person.

I still hear his mocking words as he walked out the front door that last night. That Halloween that will be forever remembered as my night of freedom.

“Clean yourself up and straighten the house before I get back. I swear you can do nothing right. My dinner was five minutes late! And it was not hot enough. Why I married such a slovenly, slow, dim-witted and ugly woman as you I will never know. I will be back in a couple of hours and this house better be spotless.”

In silence I watched him as he left, slamming the front door. I heard the lock being turned and a few seconds later his car leaves the driveway. I remember the pain of the punches he left on my body before he left that night. The dinner plate upside down on the floor with the food splattered against the dining room wall. The slow drip of the spilled wine glass laying on its side on the table.

Just another night in my nightmare of a life. If you could call it a life. It was more a slow and agonizing death. As I knew he would kill me one day. He would kill me and somehow blame my death on myself and get away with it.

How I hated him. I hated him with a passion I thought he had beaten out of me. That passion burned bright and fierce that Halloween night as I got up off the floor and slowly walked to the bathroom. I turned on the light and took a good look in the mirror and my hate burned brighter.

As I wiped the drying blood off my face I didn’t shed a tear. Not a one. As the water in the sink turned pink I vowed that it would stop this night. The pain would stop. I would not, could not, take it anymore.

As I made that vow the lights flickered rapidly. I closed my eyes for a moment and then opened them as I heard a screech. It was a long spine-chilling screech like fingernails on a chalkboard in slow motion.

I don’t remember being scared. More curious than scared. I poked my head out the doorway, my pains nearly forgotten for the moment. The lights flickered again. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then I heard scrabbling coming from the living room. Like bird talons against the marble floor.

I walked into the room, not even hesitating. Looking back, I should have been terrified. Yet, I wasn’t. I had been living a life a terror for years, nothing much could compare to that.

I stopped inside the room and watched as an enormous black raven lifted its wings as it took a step towards me. I stood still, letting it approach. How did it get in? Then I felt a breeze and looked to my left and saw the patio doors open with the wind and rain blowing the curtains aside.

I heard that godawful screech again and jerked towards the raven. Its talon had left a long deep groove in the floor in front of it. It’s dark round eyes peered at me as it’s head tilted a bit to the side. I had never seen a raven that big before with eyes that were almost….human. Almost.

Do you know I never said a word? I saw that human-like bird and never said a thing. I just stared at it as it stared back at me. Then I could have sworn it smiled. Indeed, it wasn’t a pleasant smile but it did smile and then it slowly walked to the patio doors and left.

I closed the doors behind it and turned and walked away. I cleaned up the dining room and calmly got myself ready for bed. Then I waited. I waited for my jailer to arrive and I waited for something else. I waited for retribution.

***********************************************

I heard the car arrive in the driveway and I knew he was home. I sat up in bed and my heart began to pound. I listened for the key in the door but the wind decided to pick up just then and all I heard was it howling through the trees.

Then I heard another sound. That scrabbling noise like I heard earlier that night. Even through the wind and the trees, I could hear it. Maybe I was looking for it. That noise of the raven. Maybe that’s why I heard it and not his key.

I knew he would stop in the living room and pour himself a Scotch. He always did. He was a monster but a monster who was a creature of habit.

The small lamp on the nightstand flickered just as I heard the crash of the patio doors opening. I thought I heard an oath quickly cut off just as a loud screeching noise made the hair on my arms stand on end. I knew that sound. The sound of a giant talon against the marble floor of the living room.

Then I heard him scream. A long scream that slowly dwindled down to a low moan. I heard something I never thought I would hear. I heard crying. I heard my jailer crying like a lost child.

I walked to my bedroom door and opened it. I looked down the hallway and listened. Nothing but the crying was heard. The wind had suddenly stopped and so did the rain. I put one slippered foot in front of another and walked to the living room. I was afraid.

I was afraid that my monster would be there and I would be his victim once more. I stepped inside the room and at first saw nothing but the open patio doors. My body stiffened as it heard a now familiar scrabbling noise. As I turned I was able to see him on the floor, sobbing with his hands over his head and curled in a fetal position.

The raven was next to him and staring at me. It’s head tilted once more in that questioning stance, his talons still and silent. His large black eyes watched me as I glanced from it to the man blubbering on the floor. The words coming out of his slobbering mouth not making any sense at all. Just mindless gibberish.

I smiled. I shouldn’t have I know but I did. I smiled at the raven and nodded once. The huge black soulless, almost human eyes just blinked once, twice, thrice and then it lifted it’s wings in one grand gesture and walked out the patio doors.

********************************************

That was years ago, of course. My jailer is now jailed. Not in prison, oh no, but jailed none the less. I had to commit him to the hospital for the mentally insane in the next town. The poor man thought he was being followed by a giant man-eating raven. He had to be medically institutionalized for his own good.

I visit him every now and then, especially on All Hallows Eve. He seems quite…restless that day.

I also started a group for people who have been abused mentally and physically by their spouses. It’s been active for years now. It’s very successful, although the members insist on staying anonymous. This Halloween I will be helping a very nice woman down the block who moved into the neighborhood a few months ago.

I wonder how her monster feels about ravens?

 

 

 

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Here is another reblog of an earlier story that I wrote for Halloween. Tomorrow I hope to have a brand new one for your reading pleasure! Thank you and enjoy.

To Breathe is to Write

Yeah, I’m borrowing the title from Snoopy.  He said I could. We’re  close friends. Snoopy borrowed it from Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and now there is a contest every year called

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

The contest uses the infamous phrase to showcase the worst extremes of this “purple prose”. It only uses one sentence, where I  thought it would be fun to write a story with that title. I kind of doubt it will be scary, but in honor of Halloween,  one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would borrow the phrase and see what happens.

I was home alone with my little dog Sam. The wind was howling through the trees, it almost sounded like moaning. Of course that was just my imagination. Usually storms don’t bother me. In fact I love them. But this one seemed different. There was a feeling in the air, it was…

View original post 1,091 more words

The Prey (A very short story)

The Prey

She sits on the ridge overlooking the valley below. Still as silence, her ears pick up the tiniest rustling off to the left. Her nose twitches as she catches a slight smell of the nervous creature scuttling away from her.

Her ears twitch as she catches another sound, louder and less cautious than the small mouse she let get away. Her body tenses. Ready to leap or run, depending on whether the movement in front of her becomes prey or predator.

Crouching in the tall dry grass, she watches with intensity as a large shadow emerges from the bushes below. A human. She sniffs the air and catches a familiar scent. Her human. Is the human looking for her? Maybe.

She watches her human walk to a large rock and sits down. Suddenly she smells something heavenly. Food! Her human has food. How long has it been since she’s eaten? A long time. Her stomach gives off a small rumble. She is so hungry.

Cautiously she slinks toward the human, she doesn’t want to be spotted. Not yet. Not a sound she makes as she slowly gets nearer.

The human moves and she stops, shifting her body lower to the ground. Her muscles quiver with the effort to hold still. Her long tail behind her like a velvet rope, still.

Suddenly she hears a soft murmur. Her human, calling her name. She dares not move in case she’s spotted. Let the human call for her. She will respond when she’s ready, if at all. She hears her name once more, louder now. As if that will force her to move. No! She must be careful.

Once again she smells food, stronger now as she is closer. Ah, how nice it will be to eat once more. She must be strong. Slowly her foot moves forward. Then again. As if in slow motion her body slithers through the long grass toward the rock.

The human reaches down and places something on the rock next to them. A trick? To try to catch her unawares? Never! She is too smart for that. She stops and crouches down as the human moves slightly. The smell of whatever was left on the rock almost too much to bear.

She must have that food or she will perish! It’s been so long since she last ate! When was it? She tries to remember. She can’t think with that smell wafting down to her. She will have it. Now!

Her whole body starts to quiver. Her butt moving back and forth, her tail twitching. She must chance it. Human or no human she must have what smells so enticing! Her back-end moves faster, her legs tense, ready for the jump.

She springs! As she lands on the rock she has the piece of fish in her mouth within seconds. Ahhhh, such delicacy! Such flavors!

The human laughs.  “Slow down! You just ate this morning, silly cat.”

 

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Aunt Maime’s Unsolicited Advice

Aunt Maime's

 

Good day to you, my pets! It’s been a while since this old girl got around to talking to you. I’ve been quite busy traveling and pester….um….I mean doing good deeds for friends.

Yes, indeed! I have been making myself useful. It’s always good to be of some use, don’t you think? I’m sure you agree with me.

Now I’m back for a short time to have a nice cozy visit with you all. Please, sit down and have a cup of coffee with an old woman. You all look delightful, my pets! Just delightful!

How have you all been doing? I’ve been doing great myself. Can’t keep me down I tell you! Do you want to know what keeps your old Aunt Maime going? Ah, my pets, it was a piece of advice I got many years ago. Let me give the same advice to you……

Live your life true to yourself, my pets. That’s my advice today. Don’t be afraid to live your life the way you want to. Stop worrying about other people’s opinions because what they think is not what will make you happy.

At the same time, don’t force your way of thinking onto someone else. We all have lives to live, experiences to experience and failures to fail at. My goodness, how boring a world this would be if we all lived to please others!

I have never fitted a form, my dears. Never! I have always been the odd woman out, which is fine. I loved being myself. I have almost zero regrets.

Has your Aunt Maime never failed? Of course I’ve failed! Goodness, darlings, remember that first piece of advice I ever gave you? About not hooking up with a Mama’s boy? There you go! One of my epic failures. But…..not a regret! Oh no, dearies, not a regret.

I learned my lesson without too much pain, so what was there to regret?

So, go out there and live your life the way you want to! Be honest with yourself, be fearless, don’t worry about other’s and live with few regrets.

Oh my! Look at the time! I must run, my pets! Until our next visit. Go live your life like no one is watching….because even if they are….at least make it memorable for them too!

 

 

 

 

Aunt Maimie is the relative we all have in our family tree. You know the one. She’s the one that’s a bit…eccentric. A bit weird. A bit loud. A bit outspoken. And all heart.

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Challenge

Today’s challenge is going to be a little bit different. I’m going to give a line of dialog and then you can add to it. I think short and sweet should do. Use the line of dialog somewhere in your writings. Let’s keep it at 200 words or less. Have fun!

The line of dialog to use is: “I’m too old to start again.”

 

 

http://wprasek.com/
http://wprasek.com/

 

 

“Come on, Ruthie, it’ll be fun.”

“I don’t know Bertha, it might be too soon.”

“Now you know it’s been five long years since Albert’s death. You need to be livin’ a life again!”

“I’m too old to start again.”

“Nonsense! You’re only sixty-four years old, still a young woman.”

“Now who’s speakin’ nonsense, Bertha? Young woman! Don’t be tryin’ to talk me into something I’ll probably be sorry for later.”

“It’s only a dinner date. It’s not like you’re gonna marry the man.”

“Easy for you to say, you’ve still got your man. It’s not so easy to start over. I never did like datin’.”

“Don’t look at it as a ‘date’, look at it as a free dinner and one you don’t have to cook.”

Ruthie closed her eyes, leaned back into her chair and sighed. Bertha had been trying to get her to go out and have some fun for ages now. She was getting tired of fighting her best friend of forty years. Maybe she was right. It had been five years since Alfred passed from a sudden heart attack. She just felt that she was betraying Alfred’s memory going out with another man. Not that anything would come of it. She was ok with being a widow.

“Ok, Bertha, I’ll do it.” Ruthie just hoped it wasn’t a mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Tuesday, Another Challenge Day!

Hello, People. Hope your week is going well.

Today I thought I would give you a picture prompt. If you want to join me in this challenge you can take the picture and attach a story, poem, or whatever to it. Go crazy! Have fun! There is no word limit so go short or long.

I decided to write a poem. Well, what I consider a poem. Or something close to it. ha! Hope you enjoy.

 

birdcage

 

 

Paper bird in a cage dreaming to become real

To fly and soar and be free

To escape this cage of steel

Dreams are swirling like mist over a lake

Waiting to crystallize, to become wings

Feathered and light

Beautiful to behold

Up high it flies, no longer paper

No longer earth-bound

Dreams become reality, even for a paper bird in a steel cage

Instead of folded paper wings, feathers of magical dreams

 

 

 

 

It’s not much but it’s mine. Let me know if you join along! 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday is Challenge Day!

Hello, People!

Hope everyone had a nice and safe weekend. For today’s challenge, I found a picture to write a one hundred word story about. If you want to join me, please feel free to do so!

 

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The Punishment (102 words, I couldn’t resist the last two words. ha!)

 

“Come on, Ethel! Move faster!”

“I can’t! My knees are giving out.”

“If we don’t move faster, they’ll put more bricks in the box!”

“I’m doing the best I can, Ed. If you weren’t so damn argumentative we wouldn’t be in this situation!”

“I didn’t think he would be so uncivil about things.  So just keep movin’, Ethel”

“My knees are never going to be the same.”

“Could be worse, Ethel. The last man who argued with him had to clean out the sewers in nothing but his underwear.”

“Maybe this will teach you that you can’t argue with politicians.”

“Damn Trump!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Tuesday, Another Challenge

Today is another writing challenge for me and for whoever wants to participate. I still haven’t decided what to call these challenges. So every week it’ll probably be called something different. haha! If you have any ideas on what to call them, please leave a comment with it. I’m open to ideas.

Today’s challenge:…….I went to the Random Story Title generator and just clicked it and thought….whatever comes up I’ll (and you also if you want!) write a flash fiction piece from that title. Luckily, the generator came up with a fun title. Let’s see what I can do with it. In five hundred words or less.

 

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The Haunted Attic

 

It was three o’clock in the morning and I should have been in bed asleep. Instead, here I was with a small flashlight and a thudding heart trying to climb the attic stairs so they wouldn’t creak and wake my foster family. This was my fifth foster family in less than six months. The system labeled me as a ‘difficult’ case. Hey, just because those other foster parents were lame wasn’t my fault. They always take the adult’s word over mine, so I finally stopped trying to state my case.

This couple I landed with a couple of weeks ago seem ok. I mean, unlike the other ones, they didn’t beat me or make fun of me. They were actually kind of nice. The woman, Julie, was funny most times. The man, James, was more reserved but never raised his voice and always spoke to me like I had brains. Which I do. Have brains. I just didn’t show them much at the Home for Abandoned Children, having brains meant someone older would try to beat the crap outta you.

The last foster parents acted like I was their personal servant or something. Always ordering me around and if I didn’t do want they wanted fast enough I’d get a slap or a kick. So I got even one day and put a dead fish in their bedroom. Hid it good too. Man, that smelled after a day or two. They called the Home and off I went again. It was worth the beating I took. That dead fish smell is gonna last a long time.

I finally reached the attic door. I turned the knob and was rewarded with a small click as the door opened a crack. For the last couple of weeks, I’d been hearing soft footsteps every night above my head. The attic was above my bedroom. I asked Julie about it one morning and she just laughed and said that the house was old and I was probably hearing the creaks and groans of an old house. Then she gave me a few cookies and told me to do my homework. She didn’t make fun of me. So I let it go.

Until now. I was laying in bed and those footsteps overhead woke me up. I know they are footsteps! So, I’m here checking it out.

I ease the door open and was glad that the door didn’t squeak. I shine the flashlight around and don’t see anything much. A lot of dust, a few cobwebs and stacked up boxes. Then I spotted something in the dust on the floor. Footsteps! I knew it! So, I slowly opened the door wider and slipped inside the attic and closed the door behind me. I saw a light switch next to me on the wall and flipped the overhead light on.

Footsteps were clearly visible in the dust of the attic floor. I followed them. They stopped at a small door behind some boxes. Taking a deep breath and with my hand shaking, I slowly opened that door and stepped through. Wow! Smiling I thought to myself, I’m going to behave so I can stay in this foster home. It has the coolest attic ever!

 

 

 

 

My short story went slightly over 500 words. Give it a whirl! Tag me if you do and let me know. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

One Hundred Word Stories

Hello, people!

Today I thought I would start a new kind of series here on my blog. Not sure what the name will be. Maybe you can help me with that. On Tuesdays, I thought of writing 100-word stories.

I used to do something similar a few years ago where I’d write a hundred word stories from a picture prompt. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I thought, why limit myself to just picture prompts? Why not go for word prompts or subject prompts? Or as I did last week and took a random first line and added to it.

I had forgotten how much fun those flash fiction stories were to write. It also helps hone my writing skills. So I would say it’s a win-win situation. Of course, any of you are welcome to write along with me. If not write, then read and give feedback. It all helps.

Today I’m going to write about a random subject. There are all sorts of word/sentence/etc generators out there. It’s fun and educational! Let’s get started……..

The random subject the generator came up with is: Write about someone who irritates you.

 

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*The Loudmouth (99 words)

 

Everyone in the bar heard him. Drunk as usual.

“My siblings have no respect! I’m the oldest, they should listen to me!”

A few customers moved down the bar, hoping he’d get the hint and shut up. They’d all heard it before, many times the last few weeks.

“My parents loved me more than those morons. They did!” He argued with imaginary foes. “They left everything to me. Those idiots will find out soon enough.”

**************

“Mr. Stevens, your parents will is quite clear…your siblings get the majority of your parent’s estate. They left you ten dollars.” The lawyer stated.

 

 

 

 

*(Yes, this is based on someone I know)

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any ideas what to call my new blog series of flash fiction? I’m open to ideas. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever!

Today I thought I would do some actual creative writing. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I couldn’t think of what to write but then found this nifty page with a bunch of writing prompt generators. The one I’m using today is ‘Random First Line Generator‘.

I hope you enjoy my little flash fiction.

 

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There was something not quite right about the window. Nothing stood out odd but there was something ‘off’. Like it had some of that old glass in it that when you looked through it made things off-balance. Yet the realtor said it was a new house. Built about ten years ago. The reason Clair bought it was because of its location. It was in the middle of a small woodland area. Yet in the middle of a large city.

Clair fell in love with it as soon as she saw it. On the small size but just right for her. The woods surrounding it were full of birds and wildlife and Clair felt at home the first time she stepped foot inside. Which was odd as Clair was a city girl, born and raised. She loved the city with its bustle and hustle, people coming and going no matter what time of the day. Always something to do, something to see, people around. She never thought she would like a home like this one but she fell in love with it and bought it that same day.

Now that she was all moved in and pretty much settled she had time to think about that odd window. Clair sat on the sofa with a well-earned glass of red wine and looked at the window. Taking small sips of her wine she studied it. It looked like the other windows of the house. White trimmed, looking out the left side of the house. It didn’t have drapes on it nor window blinds. Which was kind of odd as all the other windows in the house had mini blinds on them and this one was bare.

Clair got up from the couch and walked in front of the window and looked out. Not having drapes or mini blinds wasn’t a problem as the window faced a rather dense thicket and she knew the sun never directly shown through this window. Now that she was thinking about the window, it was strange that this window was the only one on this side of the house. Walking closer to the window she saw her own reflection staring back at her. It was almost like she was looking in a mirror until she once again noticed the thicket behind her reflection. Standing close to the window she raised her hand and using just her index finger she put it close to the window pane, she didn’t touch it, just skimmed it as she watched a butterfly making its slow way through the thicket outside.

She always was fascinated by butterflies and her smile showed her joy in watching it. Once it disappeared she turned from the window and walked back to the couch. “Enough of these fanciful flights,” she muttered out loud.

She picked up her wine glass once more from the coffee table and glanced at the odd window. Something drew her to it so she slowly wandered over to stand in front of it again. Taking a small sip of wine she noticed a small smudge on the window pane. Clair thought she must have touched the pristine window after all. She drew a kleenex from her jeans pocket and stepping close to the window she wiped at the smudge her finger had left on the window.

Frowning she noticed the smudged fingerprint still there so she wiped harder. Clair’s eyes widened with sudden realization……the fingerprint was on the outside of the glass!

The glass slipped from her hand and the wine spilled over the floor like blood as Clair slowly moved her eyes from the fingerprint to her reflection. She drew in her breath as her reflection smiled and gave her a slight wave. She quickly stepped back when the reflection in the glass took a step closer to the window, pursed her lips and blew a fog onto the window. With her fingertip, Clair’s twin on the other side of the window slowly wrote out two words……..

‘Help Me’