Photo Prompt: Cliff Stairs

I was talking with Goldy (https://fishofgold.net/) the other day and we came up with the idea of trying to do a photo prompt to get ourselves back into writing a bit more and to try and engage with others in the blogosphere a bit more too.  So, here we are.  A photo.  And the prompt?  Write whatever you want, whatever the photo inspires.  I’ll try to do something like this on a regular basis. 

Play along if you want and tag your post into the comments so I can read your words as well.

My own response is below.

…..

I was hopeful that the change was made before the wooden stairs fell apart.  Can you imagine?

Step, step, step, nothing.

You can’t see the mismatch from the top where we started. And there’s no warning (Watch your step.  Proceed with caution.  That last step is a doozy…) just the sudden jarring change from old to new.

Not that the newer one, the metal one, felt much safer.  The cliffs were crumbling before our eyes and the roar of the breakers, constantly churning the beach, filled our ears. 

In time, more of the stairs will fall.  It is inevitable. I hope nobody is on them when they do. Can you imagine?

Step, step, step, nothing…

A Ghost Story, Part 13

Lucky number 13? Cursed number 13? Read on and find out as Revis and I bring you another segment of our little tale of family and demons. As always, we hope you enjoy.

….

Jake started chanting again but the demon rushed at them, even faster than it had when it still inhabited his mother’s body, and Jake felt himself yanked aside just before the creature could slash him with its clawed hands.  The demon roared and spun towards him again, slashing with its hands, trying to grab him and puncture him at the same time, and once again Jake felt himself moved aside just in time. 

It was a very weird sensation to be so detached from what his own body was doing.  He didn’t have much time to dwell on it though as the demon rushed at him again and again.  Each time it missed it snarled louder and eventually a layer of white foam began to form around its mouth, like a raging animal gone rabid.

“This will work better,” his father’s voice came to him, “if you could be in charge of moving yourself out of the way so I can focus on the magic.”

“That makes sense,” Jake replied glibly, and he immediately sensed his father smirking again.

Once more, he began to chant.  Jake didn’t want to wait for the demon to rush him so he began to move in a circle around it, always trying to keep it in front of him while forcing it to spin likewise if it wanted to charge him.  Then the chanting stopped and Jake’s armed raised and pointed towards the demon.  Flames, not black but white, shot from his outstretched hands towards the demon.

Screaming echoed throughout the entire area. Whatever magic he’d just unleashed must’ve hurt it. The demon, Mocregork it had called itself, jumped backwards to escape the flames. It  didn’t jump far enough. The white fire licked its flesh as it continued to roar in pain. 

Jake smiled, but his father reminded him that the fight was far from over. To prove that point, the demon reached down, tore a chunk out of the ground, and threw it at him. He’d seen the entire movement, so he had time to get out of the way. As he did, however, his hands dropped as he darted to the side. When they did, the white flames disappeared. Mocregork must have anticipated that because he was moving toward him the moment the magic blinked out.

It took all Jake had to get away from the attack. Even then, he didn’t fully dodge the attack. Two of the demon’s claws dug lines into his back. They weren’t deep, though they didn’t need to be. The wounds burned with Hellfire, a bit of information that could’ve only come from his father. Soon enough, that pain went away, just like the pain in his leg.

“That’s about the extent of my ability to block your pain,” his father said. “If you get hit again, you’ll feel every bit of it.”

“Let’s try not to let that happen then.”

His voice began chanting again.  Mocregork seemed to have no interest in getting hit by another spell because the demon rushed forward trying to disrupt the casting.  Jake, in control of his body, if not his mouth or his mind at the moment, rolled under another slashing attack.  The claws caught in the tatters of his shirt but missed his flesh.  That didn’t keep Jake from feeling the searing the heat radiating off them.

After continuing his roll, knowing he needed to buy his dad time to finish the spell, Jake then sprang to his feet and moved swiftly away from the demon.  He could hear Mocregork laughing and then all of sudden Jake had to jump away from another attack.  The demon had somehow gotten in front of him again.

“This is my plane, you mortal fool.  I can shape it how I desire.  You can’t run away from me.”

“Who said I was trying to run away?”  His dad had spoken through him, having just finished his chanting.  And then Jake once again felt his arms move of their own accord.  His pinkies and index fingers were pointed at Mocregork and then a blast of energy shot from his body, rocking him backward at the same time.

Jake scrambled to stay on his feet and then watched in awe as a wall of stone, twice his height, formed into the symbol of a cross and slammed into Mocregork. The large stone cross fell on top of the demon, pinning it to the ground. Smoke rose from every part of Mocregork touching the magic construct. An ear piercing shriek erupted from under the cross. Jake was forced to use his hands to cover his ears. He was afraid that if he didn’t, the demon’s cry would rupture his eardrum.

“Quickly,” his father urged. “We need to get over to him so I can cast another spell while he’s distracted.” 

Jake made his way over to where Mocregork lay under the cross. The demon’s wail became louder and more intense with each passing step. His legs began to shake as he moved. Determined to not give up, Jake pushed himself forward until he was standing next to the howling demon. He felt his hands start to move away from his ears and he did everything he could to lock his muscles in place.

“Don’t fight me,” came the plea into his mind. “I need your hands to complete the spell.”

“But I’ll probably lose my hearing if I move them,” Jake protested. 

“That’s better than losing your life,” his father countered, to which Jake had no argument.

Reluctantly, he let his father move his hands for the spell that would hopefully vanquish the demon. 

It was all Jake could do to relax enough to let his father take control.  The demon’s shrieks were so painfully loud that every instinct demanded he protect his ears.  The sound enveloped him and rattled his teeth.  His eyes watered.  He tried to force his mind and thoughts away from it but couldn’t.  It was too much.

In the few short seconds he was grappling with that internal struggle, his father had used his hands to draw symbols in the air and then chanted off another spell.  His arms reached forward and white flames shot from his fingertips again.  The fire spread over the stone cross and the demon, reaching from the tip of its horns down to its wickedly curved clawed feet, burning so brightly, so intensely, that Jake stumbled backwards a step so he didn’t get caught up in the flames.

“Hold steady,” admonished his father.

Jake was going to reply sarcastically but the demon suddenly disappeared and his father cursed.  The flames died away as his father ended the spell.

“Get ready to move,” his father warned, “the beast likely flipped the plane on us again so it could get out from the cross.  I’d hoped it wouldn’t be able to.”

Jake came up with another sarcastic reply but before he could give it voice, a snarl of pure hatred and pain rolled over him.  He whipped his head around looking for the source.  He couldn’t see Mocregork anywhere.

“Move.  Move randomly.  It doesn’t matter how or where. Just move so you aren’t a standing target for it!”  There was panic in his father’s voice and Jake didn’t need to be encouraged more than that.  He started zig-zagging, hoping it was at random, away from the cross.

“Left!”

Without thinking, he dove to his left. Jake always saw people in movies be able to roll back into a standing position when they do that move. It was at that moment when he realized that he was not an action movie star. He tried to roll with his dive and smacked his head against the ground as he did so. His vision went blank for a moment and if his head wasn’t momentarily spinning, Jake might have remembered how scary that was in his current situation. 

“Right!”

As his mind recovered from the bump to his cranium, he felt his body respond to his father’s command, rolling off to his right. It once again crossed his mind about how strange it was to have so little control over his body, especially when the one controlling it was someone he just met hours ago. Wait. Had it been hours ago? Or just a few minutes? With all that had happened that night, it was hard telling. Time was not flowing as it normally did.

“Focus on the problem at hand!”

There was a hint of irritation in his father’s voice on that call. Jake wanted to do what was asked of him, but he couldn’t. His thoughts were swimming and he wasn’t able to get them under control. Irritation turned to sadness during his father’s next words. “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do this. I was hoping we’d get a little more time together. Before I go, I just need to tell you that, even though I wasn’t around, I have loved you since I found out your mother was pregnant.”

With that, Jake felt his father leave his body and watched as his spirit raced for the demon. 

A Ghost Story Part 12

And after a delay entirely of my own doing… Here’s some more ghost story goodness for your enjoyment. Now, excuse while I go get started on part 13.

33 Grams of Blog

Another installment of A Ghost Story? Yes, please!!!

“You will soon regret your bravado,” the demon hissed.

Hearing a voice that evil coming from his mom was unsettling, especially when it was directed at him. Jake almost regretted his statement. The only reason he didn’t was because he hadn’t made it. Not consciously, at least. To be honest, he didn’t even know what was said. It was like the other words his father made him say.

Sharing a mind with his dead father was another thing that was unsettling him at the moment, especially after his father took control, mumbled a bunch of gibberish, and taunted a demon.

“Don’t worry,” a reassuring voice told him. “This isn’t the first time I’ve fought a demon.”

Flashes of a memory that wasn’t his played in his mind. Feelings of rage and terror flooded through him. Fire and darkness originally dominated the vision…

View original post 1,306 more words

A Ghost Story Part 11

Revis and I are back and things are getting explosive. That might be a bit of foreshadowing… Read on to see what I mean.

…….

“Dad?  Shouldn’t we stay?”

It felt weird using the word “dad.”  It wasn’t something he was used to saying.  Jake’s mom hadn’t talked about him much and growing up without him, not having a father was what he knew, so Jake never felt the need to ask a lot of questions. 

“You should run,” his father replied.

Jake studied the ghost next to him.  In their very short time together he had seen a lot of different emotions displayed on his dad’s face.  In that moment there was a look of determination.  But, the ghost wasn’t looking at Jake.  It was looking at the house.

The ghost began to slide forward and Jake asked, “Where are you going?”

“You should run,” his father repeated.

“That didn’t answer my question.  If I run, what are you going to do?”

“Hopefully nothing.”

Jake was getting angry now.  He was tired of the half answers.  He was tired of not understanding what was happening around him.  He was just plain tired, too.  He knew it had only been one night but it felt like he hadn’t slept in a week.

“I need to know what you are going to do!  I need to know what is happening inside!”

“You need to run,” his father stated just before the roof from the front half of the house exploded upwards in a blaze of black flames.  Timbers and shingles began to rain down on the lawn and street.

Jake dove onto his stomach, hoping for cover, but there was none to be had. Debris pelted him all over. He did his best to not cry out in agony. It was too much, however. A chunk of wood the size of a closed fist landed on his left thigh and he let out a shriek of pain.

“I know that last one hurt you,” his father began, “but can you please move? Now.”

He turned over to see his father standing protectively above him with his hand reached to the sky. Just above the outstretched hand was a much larger piece of the roof. This one was about the size of a small car. Jake almost peed in his pants at the sight of such a large object almost crushing him.

“I can’t hold it much longer!”

As his father said it, the light that made up his ghostly form dimmed once again. That was all the motivation Jake needed to snap out of it. He crawled as quickly as he could until he was no longer under the large piece of his house. His thigh protested with his every movement, but he didn’t care at that moment. All he cared about was that he’d made it to safety.

“Well, well,” came a deep voice from the direction of the house. “Look who I found.”

Out of the wreckage came his mother, holding the head of Marten Revulus in her right hand and the head of the other animated corpse in her left. 

“Jake, it’s going to hurt, and I’m sorry about that, but you really should get out of here.”

Jake was too stunned by what he was seeing to even acknowledge his father.  How do you behead a ghost?  What kind of madness was his mom into?  Was his mom even there anymore or was it all this demon she had summoned?

“Jake!” 

His father’s voice was urgent and startled Jake out of his thoughts.  Focusing again on his surroundings, he immediately saw that his mom had continued to get closer.  He scrambled back to his feet, pain shooting from his injured leg up his spine, causing everything in the lower half of his body to tremble and nearly sending him back to the ground.  He managed to keep his feet and began to shuffle away.

“Where are you going, son?”

Jake glanced over his shoulder.  The grin his mom was wearing wasn’t human.  He pushed through the pain and started to jog. 

“Don’t you want to thank me for saving you from the big, bad ghosts?” 

Her question was full of mirth and then she laughed. Jake picked up his pace further, turning his stumbling jog into a stunted sprint. 

It was like ice shattering.  The laughter.  The pain in his leg.  He’d only made it 4 doors down when he fell to the pavement. Jake looked over his shoulder to see her stalking toward him. He crawled forward, the only thing he could do to try to get away. When he looked back a second time, he knew it wasn’t enough. His mom, or whatever was inside her, would be on top of him soon.

His injured leg erupted again, but it was a new pain this time. Jake’s ankle burned as his mother grabbed onto it and pulled him closer. He twisted around, ending up on his back. She dragged him closer while his mind tried to not only think of a way out of the situation, but also wondered how a person’s touch could burn him like this.

“Back off!”

His mother’s face jerked to the side and she took a few unsteady steps backwards. It looked like she had been punched in the cheek, but he didn’t see it. At that point, Jake didn’t care. Whatever it was, it broke him out of her grip. He scuttled away from her as quickly as his injured leg would allow.

“You dare strike me?” she roared at the space in front of him. 

“You’re not taking my son,” his father’s voice proclaimed. For a moment, Jake wondered where he was, but then he saw him right where she was looking. His glow had faded so much that he was barely visible. 

“You can’t possibly stop me,” his mother laughed. 

“No, but we can.”

With that, his father’s spirit came right at him and entered his body, connecting the two of them together. 

Jake felt like screaming.  Every fiber of his body and mind tingled as the ghost entered him.  Before he could voice this discomfort and growing terror, his father’s voice filled his mind, “She can’t hear me so don’t worry about that.  And remember to breathe.”

Jake released the air he had been holding and the feeling of escalating anxiety he had been feeling started to ebb.  He filled his lungs again and felt even better. 

His dad’s voice continued, “Good.  Keep doing that and to set you at ease further, I am not a demon.  When I’m done helping you I will leave without a trace.  You don’t have to worry about me corrupting you like the demon that’s still controlling your mom has done to her.”

Jake thought, with a small spark of hope, “Is there a way to save her?”

“No.  She is beyond our reach.”

The hope ebbed just as his terror had a moment before.  He felt deflated and weak.  But then his father started talking again and that helped stabilize him.

“Your life, your potential, is more than who she has become.  Don’t let her destroy you in her downfall because her choices have already been made.  She is doomed.  There is still hope and time for you.  Let’s fight her together.  Let’s make that choice and then see what comes of it.”

His eyes focused once more. Before him, his mother still stood there laughing. “You have no more strength to give him,” her demonic voice cackled. “What you just did won’t even be enough to delay the inevitable, you sad, pathetic spirit. I’ll destroy the boy just as easily as I would if you weren’t in him.”

After seeing the diminished form of his father’s spirit, Jake was afraid that the demon was right. “Don’t worry,” his father’s voice soothed. “It’s not strength that I plan on giving you. You have enough of that on your own. You don’t need mine. What I’m going to give you is all you need to defeat this bastard: knowledge.”

The tingling in his body started all over again. Words recited over and over again in his mind. Jake mumbled them aloud even though he didn’t know what they meant. When he was done, he did his own laughing. The demon inside his mother stopped its mirth immediately upon hearing it. Before it could ask what Jake found so funny, he smiled wickedly and said, “Do your worst.”