The girl with bare feet and moonlit hair walked closer towards a mound of fresh earth. She stared for a moment and felt anticipation crawl over her skin (maybe it was just the dirt falling off of it).
“I’m here,” she said, her words flat. She waited for something, someone, and looked about her, as the wind whispered for her hair to tickle her jaw.
“You hear me? I’m here.” This time she spoke louder, her words breaking through the air. She watched the mound of earth at her feet. “Can’t…can’t you hear me?” she said, sitting, pulling her knees into her chest.
She waited a moment, expecting an answer, but one did not come. She traced her fingers across the top of the dirt, barely breaking the surface.
Hours later, she found herself strewn alongside the mound, and the waxing moon baring down upon her. She stood and sighed, flared her nostrils and as she opened her mouth to speak again, she felt the ground underneath her shift. A whimper of excitement left her lips. She fell to her knees and immediately began clawing at the earth like a furious rodent. She listened for a sound, and she felt for more movement, digging and digging anxiously.
Suddenly, a pallid, grimey hand broke through the surface, like a drowning man in an ocean coming up for air.
A pale light streamed in through the single window, giving sight to the particles of dust in the air. Lily sat still atop a desk, looking at her feet, dangling freely. Her dark hair fell over her face, hiding her grey eyes. Across the room, Luke said nothing, and only stared blankly back at her.
“I bet you’re thinking about what I’m thinking, aren’t you?” She said still looking at Luke through narrow eyes. “Try and guess.” She lifted her head and blew her bangs back over her forehead. “No matter what you say, I won’t let you go,” she said looking straight into his eyes.
He said nothing.
“We’ve been through so much,” she continued. “I know you say I may be too controlling. Too much for you to to manage. But you know what Luke? I love you. Don’t you understand that?” Her eyes stayed on his but he still had yet to speak. He didn’t even blink.
“I’m the one that taught you to be this way. I’m the one who showed you how to be strong. I’m the one, who showed you how to stand up for yourself! When we met…you were…how can I say this? You were pretty weak.”
He glanced at her.
“A pushover. Now? Now it’s as if nothing can harm you.”
She squinted her eyes in frustration.
“What’s that look? Luke?”
She walked over to him, her arms folded. Continue reading
I kept waking up last night, shivering. The shadows on the wall danced but…they weren’t happy. I heard something outside of the window and hesitated to look. I took a deep breath, got over it and looked. Nothing but the juniper tree hitting against it.
I decided to grab a snack, something small not too heavy. It was 3:33 in the morning after all! I wrapped my robe and scarf tight-it was cold out and the air was creeping in.
I ate my snack and exhaled. “Everything’s good,” I convinced myself then headed back to sleep…and then…I heard a knock at the front door. I opened my eyes and stared at the roof. “Are you kidding me?”
“Who’s there?,” I whispered and swallowed hard.
Silence for a minute or two. Then the tree began tapping the window. Good grief.
Then the knock started again. The rapping made my heart jump!
I had to answer so I jumped up without thinking, casting off the fear like my robe just a few minutes earlier.
I darted for the door and asked loudly, “Who is it! It’s 4:00 in the morning!”
Then the rapping continued…and stopped suddenly.
Why, oh why did I pick this cottage deep in the forest as a suitable place to live? I wondered.
I mustered the courage and told myself I was clearly delusional. Obviously from the lack of sleep. I thought of Poe for some reason and smiled. Enough of this, I thought to myself and started for the room-and the knock got louder. My eyes grew several inches in size and I turned, angry now, and opened the door.
“WHAT?” I yelled.
But there was no one there. I breathed in and out and looked to my feet. The October Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree was resting on the ground. I stepped out and looked through the trees. But no one was out. The cold air brushed my air and I swear I heard an eerie laughter in it. I bent down to grab the issue just it began to rain. “Great,” I grumbled.
I didn’t see the figure with the pumpkin for a head behind me, in my own house…’til it was too late.
Read the October Issue, out now!
He looked up at the sky and shouted to the clouds, “You said this wouldn’t happen again!” Then looked down at all the bones.
–Marjorie Merle, Underneath The Juniper Tree
That is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever read. Truly. For me as the reader it conjures an image of a man crying out to God. I can see it. That’s what great writing does.
See over the weekend on The Twitter, the epic hosts of the online blog and magazine Underneath The Juniper Tree invited all to write their very best short, and I mean short (140 characters) story. The darker and more twisted-the better. I put my knit writing cap on and it refused to be taken off! It was really fun and Marjorie and Tex showed the love. I thanked them for the chance of course and…I read so many great short stories!
Ahhh, Writers. Am I write?
So here I would like to share today a few of mine and maybe one or two of the others.
Note: they are all “dark” in nature.
As I walked into the valley of the shadow of Death I feared not his evil. My sword & my shield fought with me. I am he who killed Death! <new story I will “commence”. Continue reading