A Christmas Peril- Friday Flash

The Last of the Spirits, from Charles Dickens:...

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A CHRISTMAS PERIL

By Melissa L. Webb

Darkness lay thick before him as Sean stepped into the house. The air was chilly as he tossed the bag containing his weapons onto the couch. Shrugging out of his leather jacket, he ventured deeper into the darkness.

The air hung thick around him, pressing against his flesh like a living thing. One thing he had learned during his years of hunting the supernatural was to listen to the atmosphere around him. It could tell you some really useful things.

For instance, Sean knew he wasn’t alone in the house.

He slipped into the hallway, venturing deeper into the darkness. Uneasiness settled like a rock in his stomach. He was weaponless. This had always been a sanctuary. He never expected to need a weapon in his own home.

Sliding his back against the wall, he let his eyes adjust to the jet blackness at the end of the wall. What would be laying in wait for him? One of the vamps he had tangled with last week? Or how about someone from the pack of lycanthropes he had busted up last month?

Sean shifted slightly. Who was he kidding? It could be anything. The supernatural world definitely had a bone to pick with him.

Taking a deep breath, he started down the hall. This was his house. Whoever it was in the bedroom would have to pay for invading his turf. He just hopped he didn’t have to die in the process.

He reached his bedroom and flung the door open wide, stepping into the darkness. Fumbling for the light switch, he prayed the thing wouldn’t attack before he turned on the light. He’d hate to die before he saw what was killing him.

Light bathed the room. Looking around quickly, his eyes fell on a figure in the corner. “What the…”

“Hello, Sean.”

He stood there in shock. This was definitely not what he had expected. “Uncle Charlie?”

The figure moved closer, stepping through a pile of dirty laundry. “How have you been, boy?”

“Um, busy,” Sean responded. He watched as the man who raised him, who had taught him everything there was to hunting, stepped through another pile of clothes. “What are you doing here, Uncle Charlie? Aren’t you supposed to be dead?”

The ghost gave a dry chuckle. “Oh, I’m still dead, boy, but it doesn’t stop me from having to save your sorry butt one more time.”

“I don’t need any help. I have it all under control.”

“Listen, Sean,” Uncle Charlie’s specter snapped. “You need plenty of help. Way more then I could ever give you.”

Sean folded his arms over his chest. “What are you talking about?”

The ghost shook his head sadly. “You’ve become jaded, boy. You’ve seen so much evil in this world that you’ve begun to think that’s all there is.”

“Damn straight,” Sean growled. “This world is sick and will choke on its own filth.”

Uncle Charlie sighed. “There is still so much good in this world, Sean, and you’ve turned a blind eye to it. All this hate and loathing you have inside you, it’s slowly killing you.” He looked away. “You’re going to die bitter and alone. That’s a thought I can’t even unlive with.”

“So, what? You think you can just fix it all?”

The ghost shook his head. “Not me. I’m just here to prepare you.”

Sean frowned. “Prepare me for what?”
“You will be visited by three ghosts tonight, boy. Hopefully they can knock some sense into that thick skull of yours.”

Seam glared at his uncle’s ghost. “Oh no, that’s not happening. I’ve just come back from a seven-day Creeper job. I haven’t slept. I need a shower and something to eat.” He took a step closer. “The last thing I’m going to do is play Dickens with a bunch of ghosts.”

His uncle looked down at him, fire in his eyes. “Listen to me, boy. I’m tired of your attitude. I’m not going to watch you rot away while you’re still alive. You’re going to listen to what these ghosts have to tell you. You got that?”

Sean rolled his eyes. Even dead, his uncle still had to lecture him. He turned around.

“Are you listening to me, Sean?”

Sean saw a duffle bag sticking out of his closet. He grinned. That’s exactly what he needed. He snatched it up fast and took a small container out of it.

“What do you think you’re doing?” his uncle asked, eyeing the container in his hands.

“I’m getting rid of you.” He pulled the pourer out of the box of salt, flinging the crystals in the ghost’s direction. “Sorry, Uncle Charlie. I’m in no mood for this tonight.”

Salt flew towards his uncle, making the ghost shimmer before disappearing completely.

Sean smiled. That would teach his uncle to mind his own business. He headed towards the kitchen to get more salt. It was time to salt the perimeter of the house. There was no way any ghost was getting in tonight. They would just have to come back next Christmas eve.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

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Waiting- Friday Flash

A Carrion Crow just after take-off from a fenc...

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WAITING

By Melissa L. Webb

The crow sat in the tree, the branch swaying under him in the wind. Tilting his head from side to side, he studied the building in front of him.

The school lay quiet around him. Its occupants hidden inside, going about their daily routine as they eagerly awaited the next bell to ring.

Fluffing his wings against the bitter chill, trying to warm the blood in his veins, the bird’s gaze never left the classroom door.

The bell rang, echoing down the corridors, breaking the silence that wove around the school. The crow sat up straight, eyes shining like glass in the sunlight, as he watched the students pour out the door.

A girl with a long black braid appeared in the doorway. Pulling her jacket tighter against her body she stepped into the chilly corridor. The crow leaned forward on his branch, letting his gaze drift over her as she stood back awaited the flood of students to lessen.

The child moved gracefully through the remaining students, gliding past them quietly; a shadow slipping through the night. She stepped off the cement and onto the grass, heading past the tree on her way to freedom.

The crow called down to her, his caw harsh in the crisp afternoon air.

The girl glanced up; bright green eyes locking onto dark obsidian pools.

Tilting his head, the crow waited, wondering what the girl would do.

The child’s eyes lingered a moment longer, then with a shrug she turned, heading away from the school.

Watching her go before taking flight from his perch, the crow soared over the roof of the school, landing in the back parking lot. Glancing quickly around, he took a few hops towards a car.

The air shimmered and got thicker, extending up from the ground. Suddenly, a man stood where the crow had been. Stepping forward he opened the car door. Sliding into the driver’s seat, he studied the sky above him. His dark eyes watched, as the light faded from it.

The time was almost here.

They needed the girl. There was no denying that. Sighing, he slammed the car door. Next time he would have to do more than just observe the child.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

The Tingles- Friday Flash

 

THE TINGLES

By Melissa L. Webb                                                                                                                               

Moonlight reflected off the pool of water collected in the gutter. Zane paid no attention as he stepped down off the curb and through it. The cuff of his pants eagerly soaked up the liquid, but it went unnoticed. Zane had bigger things to worry about tonight. Like the tingling sensation in his arms he was feeling right now.

He absently stepped over discarded plastic cups as he quickly made his way across the street and around the corner, turning onto the famous Bourbon St.

Zane cautiously stepped through the groups of people partying the night away. Their eyes drifted over him and back as if he wasn’t even there. The corners of his mouth turned up into a slight smile. That’s the way he liked it. It made moving through the busy city so much easier.

He slipped around another group of people and let out a groan. The tingling had now made its way into his legs as well. It felt as if a hundred needles were moving in and out of his flesh. Zane wasn’t supposed to feel like this. Something was very wrong.

With some effort, he got his legs moving again. He had to get to the bottom of this and he knew just the man to see.

Zane ducked off the busy street into a dark alley. The sounds of the city’s nightlife slowly died behind him as he walked further down the alleyway. Zane stopped under a single light which illuminated a rather plain looking door. Fighting the pain in his arms and legs, he entered.

Squinting in the harsh florescent lights, Zane surveyed the small voodoo shop. His eyes fell on a cautious-looking young man standing behind the counter.

“Hello, Carl,” Zane said with a slight smirk.

The man frowned at him before speaking. “We don’t want any trouble, Zane,” Carl told him. “We’re still fixing up the place from the last time you were in here.”

“Come on, Carl,” he said with a sigh. “That can hardly be considered my fault. That wart-crusted demon started it.”

Carl shook his head. “It’s not my problem trouble follows you where ever you go.”

Zane stepped closer to the counter, grimacing slightly as the pain intensified. “I don’t have time for this, Carl. I need to see Papa. Now!”

Carl narrowed his eyes at him, but pushed a small button next to the counter.

Zane smiled sweetly at him. “Thank you, Carl.”

The young man gave him a sour look in return then started rummaging through a box of new items.

A beaded curtain rustled at the back of the store, and a very tall man stepped out. The tailored white suit emphasized his dark ebony skin. Charcoal eyes burned in Carl’s direction. “What is it? I was in the middle of something.”

Carl frowned and pointed at Zane.

The charcoal eyes swept over him as a smile spread over the man’s face. “Why, if it isn’t Zane Redgrave,” he said with a chuckle as he flashed bone white teeth. “I haven’t seen you since you were tracking that Shanshaw demon. You left my store in fine disarray over that.”

Zane shrugged. “What can I say, Papa Bones? Things happen.”

“That they do, dear boy,” he said with a laugh that shook the building. “That they do.”

Zane took a step towards him. “Something’s happening. Something powerful,” he told Papa Bones through clenched teeth, fighting another wave of tingling pain as it coursed down his entire body. “What do you know about it?”

Papa Bones struck a dramatic pose. “My dear boy, are you accusing me of something?”

Zane raised an eyebrow. “This reeks of strong juju, Voodoo Man.”

All the humor went of Papa Bones’ face. He took a step towards Zane. “Listen up, Redgrave. If I had done something to you, you would know it,” he growled darkly.

Zane took a step back, causing the tingling to worsen. It was all he could do to stand there. “Someone’s doing this,” he told him flatly.

The Voodoo Man stepped even closer to Zane, staring intensely. “There is something different about you, boy.” He reached into a pocket at his side and pulled out a fist full of powder. Opening his hand, Papa Bones blew into it, sending the powder cascading over Zane.

Zane quickly wiped at his face. “What the hell was that, Papa?” he sputtered.

Papa Bones’ eyes had gone wide. “Curious. Most curious,” he muttered absently.

Zane squinted up at him through powder-covered eyelashes. “What? Do you know what’s happening to me?”

Papa just continued to stare at Zane, a confused look on his face. “I’ve never seen this before. Astonishing.”

Zane’s jaw tightened at the lack of information he was getting. His body screamed as the pain went from needles to blowtorches. Something was wrong with him and he needed answers now. “Damn it, Papa,” he growled as he quickly closed the distance between them, shoving Papa Bones hard against the wall. “Tell me what’s happening right now, Voodoo Man,” he hissed, his fangs glowing bright white under the florescent light.

Papa Bones looked at him, complete honesty in his eyes. “Why, dear boy, somebody is trying to bring you back to life.”

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Someone’s At The Door- Friday Flash

Door numbered 52

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SOMEONE’S AT THE DOOR

By Melissa L. Webb

The knocking started softly. Just a soft rap against the door and nothing more.

Jodie looked up from the table, where her textbooks lay scattered before her. She glanced at the clock as she rose from her chair. It was ten at night. Who would be knocking at this hour?

Her parents wouldn’t be home until after midnight and she told her friends she would be studying, much to their disappointment. She glanced at the door as she stepped towards it. What could someone want this late at night?

Jodi frowned as she moved closer to the door. It couldn’t be anything good, that was for sure. Worry knotted in her stomach as her hand reached out to turn on the porch light.

Three heavy raps echoed through the living room as the unknown visitor knocked again. These were confidant and loud, as if the visitor could sense her on the other side of the door.

She quickly flicked on the porch light and leaned towards the peephole. Her heart stuttered as she gazed outside. The front porch was completely empty.

Jodie blinked in shock. Somebody was messing with her. She let out a slow breath as she realized it must be one of her friends. They knew she was home alone and thought they’d have a little fun with her. She shook her head as she watched out the peephole. She wasn’t going to fall for their games.

The door shook under her palms as someone knocked again, their impatience sounding in each loud blow. She froze as her eyes took in the scene outside. The porch was still empty. She backed away from the door, fear trickling down her spine. Who was knocking on the door if no one was out there?

Once again, three more knocks sounded. The door shivered under the impact of them. Jodie turned and fled the living room. She didn’t want to spend one more minute near that door. She made her way past the kitchen and upstairs towards her parent’s bedroom. There she would find sanctuary from whoever was outside.

She quickly went in and shut the door behind her, sliding the lock firmly in place. Glancing around her, she nervously sat down on the end of her parent’s king-sized bed. She took a deep breath before letting out a relived sigh. She wouldn’t have to hear that knocking up here.

Jodie looked around the room, hoping to locate the remote to her parent’s TV. She could just watch movies in here until her parents came home. They wouldn’t mind. She got up from the bed and picked up the remote from the nightstand. Her fingers had no sooner curled around it when she heard three light raps on the bedroom window.

She froze, causing the remote to slide out of her hand. She couldn’t believe it. The knocking had followed her all the way up here. She backed up slowly, heading for the door. This was impossible. There was no way anybody could be outside that window.

Her parents’ bedroom was on the second story.

Jodie spun around, lunging towards the door. She frantically tore at the lock. She had to get out of the room. If it could manage to stand outside of that window, it could come through it with no problem.

Her trembling fingers managed to slide the lock. She flung the door open wide; escaping into the hall away from whoever was hovering outside the window. She headed quickly down the hall and towards the far end of the house, where her bedroom lay.

Her mouth went dry as she heard rapping from above her head. Glancing up, she tried to keep her feet moving. Tears formed in her eyes as she stared at the ceiling above her. Someone was knocking on the roof.

Jodie tried to make her mind go blank. She didn’t want to imagine what might be lurking just beyond the wood that sheltered her from the elements. Whatever it was couldn’t be human. She sprinted towards her bedroom and hurried in, slamming the door behind her. She dove onto her bed, remembering the safety it used to provide her as a child, when the darkness would terrify her late at night.

She slipped under the covers, pulling them over her head; too terrified to do anything else. Something was outside and wanted in. She held back a whimper as tried to steady her breathing. It hadn’t forced its way in yet. Maybe it couldn’t. Maybe she had to let it in.

A tiny surge of hope flooded through her with this thought. Maybe if she just stayed here it would go away. Childhood beliefs would be her shield as she hid deep in her blankets.

She laid there, trying to keep her body from shaking, listening to the silence filling her room. She would do this. She would out wait this thing.

Suddenly from under the bed, three loud knocks rang out against the metal frame.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb