Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Flash Fiction

I belong to a Write Club. I'm actually the only US member as the rest are primarily based in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. Thanks to Facebook, we are able to facilitate our little band of writers.

Our last challenge was to write a piece of flash fiction - a ghost story set in Blakeney Chapel.

I struggled with this challenge. Short pieces have always been my bane )hence my lack of updates to my blog lately). After several false starts, I finally finished what I think is a decent piece.

Without further ado, I present The Witch of Blakeney Chapel:

A chill wind blew in from the sea and whipped her hair into her face. She brushed the loose tendrils back then rubbed her arms to keep warm as she walked through the marshes toward Blakeney Eye, where lay the ruins of Blakeney Chapel. Though called a “chapel,” no one really knew what the building was, or how long it had been there. Artifacts dating back to the Romans had been found there, and there was archaeological evidence that “substantial time and money” had been spent on building the place. No one knew why it was left deserted, but there was evidence that the main building seems to have suffered a major fire at some stage. That in itself had fascinated Lila, but in truth, there was something about the desolate chapel in Norfolk that drew her in like an invisible string or the pull of a magnet. She had to answer this mysterious call.

Lila crested the sandy Eye and surveyed what little was left of the chapel. As she walked through what was once a small room, she was hit by what seemed like a wave of memory. Her spine tingled and gooseflesh erupted along her arms. She stumbled and stepped into the larger room and the wave hit again, this time stronger. It carried with it sounds of wood and metal and muffled voices. The voices were angry and she was scared.

Lila’s head ached and she felt as if she were being held under water. The world around her rippled she was overwhelmed suddenly by strong smells and loud noises. There were angry people pounding on the door. They were yelling about God punishing them with poor fishing yields, floods and a bad harvest. . She backed against the wall, shaking. They blamed her as these things started after she came to the village.

She was brought here by the old man to whom her father had sold her for a few pieces of gold. He was the wealthiest man in the village. He built this fancy home to house his beautiful new bride. But shortly after it was finished, he had died of the fever. Now, she was alone.

The pounding got louder and more violent. They were trying to break down the solid wood door. “The witch has cursed us!” a voice yelled. “The children started to die when she arrived,” wailed a woman. “We must purge the evil!” An acrid smell filled the air, and she knew they were going to kill her. “Burn the witch!” the villagers cried.

The wood of the door started to burn and smoke began filling the room. She knew there was no way to escape. Even if she were to somehow get out of the building, the men would catch her and burn her at the stake. She decided it was better to die in her own home with her walls protecting her from the accusing stares and shouts of the villagers. She slid down the wall, tears running down her cheeks. The air was getting hotter and she began to cough. Her vision began growing dim and her body felt heavy. Her head hit the floor and the last thing she saw were the flames licking up the walls toward the ceiling.

She was dead.

But then, she was cold. And wet. Lila’s eyes fluttered open. A fine mist was swirling through the air as she lay on the ground next to the ruined wall of the chapel. She stood shakily and brushed the dirt off her clothes as she surveyed her surroundings. There was no fire and no angry villagers. Just a chill wind and the lonely screech of sea gulls and the ruins of Blakeney Chapel.