New mention and review for Weaver of Darkness

Weaver of Darkness is featured today on Literary R&R blog.  Stop by and check out the great review.

http://literaryrr.blogspot.com/2011/07/review-weaver-of-darkness-by-melissa-l.html

While you’re there, take some time and say hi to Mandy. 🙂

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Images Of The Past- Friday Flash

IMAGES OF THE PAST

By Melissa L. Webb

 

Callie held the old photograph album open across her knees. Carefully she studied each photo before her, taking her time as her eyes moved over every detail they offered. Even as a little girl, she would do the same thing; staring at them over and over. Time stopped around her when she was immersed in the images of the past.

Everything in these photos called to her; the clothes, the homes. These were simpler times, where you knew where you belonged and worked hard to get there. She wished she had been a part of it. The past seemed so nurturing, so welcoming, nothing like the harsh future in front of her.

“Are you ready to go?” a voice demanded suddenly.

Looking up at the man standing in the parlor doorway, she a felt a rush of bitterness rise up in her throat. Why had she agreed to this? What had convinced her he was her savior?

Her future husband was worse than her family. He demanded so much more than they ever did. She had been a prisoner in her family; but with him, she was property, nothing more than a slave.

Her fiancé continued glaring at her. “Well? Are you done? I want to go.”

Nodding sadly, she resigned herself to the fate she’d become sealed into. “I’ll be there in a second. I just need to put these albums away.”

Grunting, he turned away. “You have five minutes. Not a second longer,” he warned as he walked away.

Callie felt moisture invade her eyes as she turned her gaze on her ancestor’s photo album once more. The smiles on their faces told her all she needed to know. These people were happy. Really happy. She knew once she left here, happiness would only be something she dreamed about. How she wished she could join the people in the pictures. A tear dripped down her cheek as she closed her eyes, mourning for the life she could never have.

The tear slid from her skin, falling on the opened album, soaking into a picture and disappearing completely. The book vibrated under her fingertips.

Callie eyes snapped open. Her gazed sought the pages before her. A blue light shone from them, washing over her as it did. Her look of shock ebbed and wonder replaced it as she stared deep into the light. She knew everything would be all right now.

***

Luis walked down the hall to the parlor. How dare she keep him waiting? If she thought this was the way their marriage was going to work, she was sadly mistaken.

“We need to leave now,” he told her stepping into the parlor. Stopping, he looked around the empty room. She was gone. He turned quickly, anger boiling in his eyes. So she thought she could play games with him, did she? It was time to teach her a lesson.

He left the room, not noticing the open photo album on the couch. Or the extra person in the photos, smiling as if she was having the time of her life.

 

© 2011 Melissa L. Webb

 

 

The Dead Guy- Friday Flash

It is possible to swim at the edge of the fall...

Image via Wikipedia

THE DEAD GUY

By Melissa L. Webb

My uncle sat across from me, his face pale in the flickering firelight. “So, you want another story?” he asked, looking around at all of us surrounding the campfire.

My friends nodded eagerly as I grinned. My uncle was a hotshot journalist who traveled all over the world. He would always return with wild tales of the supernatural and my friends loved him for it.

“Okay, I’ll tell one more story,” he said, glancing up at the cabins we had rented for the week and then over at me. “I’m sure your parents don’t really care how late I keep you guys up.”

I nodded in agreement. My family did this summer ritual every year. My uncle would come home, I would grab as many friends as I could, and we would join my family on a weeklong camping trip. We would hike, fish, and relax along the river during the day and at night my uncle would entertain us with the stories he collected from all over the world. This trip was no exception.

“Okay, the other stories I have told you tonight have been ones I heard from the people I’ve met, but this one I know is true,” he told us. “This one happened to me.”

There were slight gasp around the campfire as my friends digested that. My grin grew even larger. I wonder what my uncle had up his sleeve. He always loved to end his story sessions with a bang.

He looked around the circle once more, his eyes searching our faces. “I have a question for you first. Do you believe in curses?”

I watched as my friends shifted on their logs under my uncle’s scrutiny. “It depends,” my best friend Matt spoke, “On what the circumstances are.”

My uncle nodded. “I guess that’s true. I suppose all of you won’t believe what I’m about to tell you, but I do. I know curses exist,” he said softly as he stared into the flames. “I know, because I have been cursed.”

There were light chuckles as my friends tried to lessen the dread that had settled around us at my uncle’s words.

He smiled, his lips completely devoid of humor. “Go ahead and laugh. It’s not an easy thing to believe. I know it.”

“Come on, guy,” I told my friends. “Let’s hear him out.” I turned to my uncle. This was the first I’d heard of a curse. I wanted to know. “What happened? Where did this curse come from?”

He sighed. “It happened six months ago. I was in Africa at the time. I had some downtime and decided to a little sightseeing. I went with a group of people to Victoria Falls. They snuck us out to Livingstone Island, where we spent the night partying.”

“Awesome,” several of my friends spoke in admiration.

“It started out that way, but several people decided to swim out to the Devil’s Pool.”

“Devil’s Pool?” I asked. Now I knew he was making stuff up.

“Yeah. It’s a safe pool where you can swim right next to the falls. Everything would have been fine, but they had been drinking too much. One of the guys started drowning. The others shouted for my help. They knew I had been on the swim team and could handle myself in the water.” He looked away from us, a darkness creeping into his eyes. “I panicked. I had been drinking just as much as the guy had, maybe more. I didn’t want to end up in trouble, too. So, I stayed there on the bank and watched the whole thing. I watched that man die.” He looked back at us, his eyes bright with unshed tears. “I might have been able to save him, but I decided my life was more important than his.”

“You were cursed because of that?” I asked.

He nodded. “Yes. Essentially, I killed that man. Something like that always comes with a consequence.”

“It’s all in your mind, man,” Matt told him. “There’s no curse. It’s only your guilt eating away at you.”

My uncle shook his head. “I wish that’s all it was. Two nights later, I was in a hotel in Zambia, trying to come to terms with what happened. It was late at night and I couldn’t sleep.
I kept seeing that man drowning every time I closed my eyes. I was catching up on work, trying to occupy my mind with other things, when I heard a shuffling outside the door of my hotel room. I ignored it at first and it stopped.” He took a deep breath. “It started again. This time it was coming from my bathroom. I got up to investigate, not knowing what the sound could be. Before I could even cross the room, the bathroom door slammed open and that man stumbled out.”

“The dead guy?” I asked him in shock.

“Yes, it was him. His body was bloated and water ran off him as he moved, soaking the carpet underneath him. He reached his hand out as he closed in on me, his mouth opened as words formed. ‘Your life is mine,’ he said to me. I grabbed my things and hurried out of that room before he could take it and I’ve been running every since.”

I stared at him, dumbfounded by the story I had just heard. It explained a lot, like why we hadn’t heard from him in the last six months or why he had been acting so jumpy since we got here. But it couldn’t be real, could it? It was just one of his great campfire tales.

“Do you really think he wants to kill you?” Matt asked him.

“Yes,” my uncle replied. “It’s only fair, isn’t it? I could have saved him, but all I was thinking about was myself. I let him die. That creates something. Something that won’t rest until it’s revenged.”

“Come on, that story’s not real,” one of the other guys spoke up. “Ghosts don’t really exist.”

My uncle shrugged. “I told you not all of you would believe this. But it is true.” He turned and looked at the dark woods surrounding us. “I know he’s out there right now, watching and waiting. He’s looking for the perfect opportunity to get the vengeance he so desperately craves. And he will get it. I’m sure of it. My days are numbered.” He rose slowly from the log he was sitting on. “That dead man will kill me. He might go after anyone nearby when he does, just to satisfy his anger,” he spoke softly before looking back at us. “Good night all. Hopefully I’ll see you in the morning.” He turned around and headed for the cabins, slipping in one for the night.

I sat there, staring at the guys around me. What had just happened? Had my uncle told us his deepest and darkest secret or had he just woven one heck of a ghost story? I wasn’t really sure and I could tell my friends weren’t either. A twig snapped in the darkness around us, causing us all to jump. It was going to be a long night.

 © 2011 Melissa L. Webb

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Lost And Found- Friday Flash

A brocade purse

Image via Wikipedia

LOST AND FOUND

By Melissa L. Webb

 

“I found your wallet,” the woman’s voice carried across the line. Relief flooded through Morgan as she held the cell phone to her ear. It had been almost three days since she had last seen it; she had begun to think it was gone forever.

“Oh, thank God,” she breathed into the phone. “I was so worried. My whole life is in that thing.”

“Well, you can stop worrying now, dear. It’s safe and sound,” the woman told her. “If you want you can come over now and get it.”

“Thank you,” Morgan said. “I’ll feel so much better once it’s back in my hands.”

The woman chuckled. “I bet you will. And I’ll bet you’ll think twice before taking it to the beach again.”

“Yes,” Morgan admitted sheepishly. “It was a foolish thing to do, leaving it on a log like that.”

“We all live and learn, dear. No harm done.” The woman gave her directions before hanging up.

Morgan hurried to her car. It would be a relief to have that wallet back. She could put the incident behind her and move on, learning from this mistake.

She followed the woman’s directions, pulling up outside the house. It was a small little blue thing with red and pink roses surrounding it. It screamed grandmotherly. No wonder she had insisted on returning the wallet. The right thing always came easy to this kind of person. The world just needed more people like her in it.

She hurried up to the front door. It opened before she even made it up to the front porch.

“Morgan?” the elderly woman asked, stepping out the door

“Yes,” she spoke as she approached her. “Thank you again for finding my wallet.”

The woman smiled brightly. “I’m just glad I did. I could just imagine the trouble a young woman like you would be in if I hadn’t.” She motioned her forward. “Come inside, dear. I’ll get your wallet for you.”

She nodded and followed the woman inside.

***

Morgan stepped out the front door and headed back to her car. It was so kind of the woman to return her wallet. Nothing was missing from it. She couldn’t say the same thing for the old woman’s house. She made sure she had taken all the jewelry and cash she could find.

She laughed as she tossed the heavy canvas grocery bag in the back seat. No one would miss the batty old woman. She bet it would be weeks before the body was even found.

She pulled away from the curb and heading downtown, towards the park. It was time to place the wallet again. This time she would leave it where it would be found right away. There were more honest people in this world. She would take care of them. It was time to start the game again.

 

© 2011 Melissa L. Webb

The Girl Who Isn’t Me- Friday Flash

Reportedly haunted mirror within Myrtles Plant...

Image via Wikipedia

THE GIRL WHO ISN’T ME

By Melissa L. Webb

The girl I see staring back at me is not me. It should be, but it’s not. I don’t know why she’s there, lurking beyond that glass, filling me with dread with those eyes.

I thought it was my imagination. That I was only assuming I see someone else, but I do. She is really there. Who is she? Why does she stand and stare every time I’m near?

At first, she was only in the bathroom mirror, a faint grin covering her lips as she watched me. But soon she started turning up in the other mirrors around my home. I couldn’t stand it, walking into a room and coming face to face with the girl who is not me.

I couldn’t cope. Something had to be done. I got rid of all the mirrors; threw them out like the garbage they had become. I thought I was safe then. I was terribly mistaken.

I started seeing her in every reflective surface in my house. I can’t possibly get rid of everything, and she knows it. All I can do is sit in the dark and pray no light shines through the windows to anything around me. I know if I see her one more time, she’ll step into our world, following through with the dark plan she has. I have to find a way to stop this. To free myself and the world from the darkness lurking near.

Maybe I should gouge out my eyes.

 

© 2011 Melissa L. Webb