Writing prompt: Ghost, Flute, Moth

Join in my daily writing prompt! I don’t promise to respond to them all myself, but will try my best! Here is my response to the latest prompt.

She approached the house along the drive, fingers itching to tear at the weeds which all but disguised the once perfectly raked gravel. Night was falling, louring clouds massing over the western hills to flout the sun’s last attempts at brightness. She checked her phone. No signal, not here in the valley where the only signals came from nature, like the scarlet leaves of the creeper which, with no natural predator – man – had finally scaled the high stone walls and wrapped itself in a triumphant blaze around the leaning chimney pots.

She stood before the heavy wooden door, the great lionhead knocker barely breathing through the thickness of twisting leaves. Leaning forward, she clicked on her phone’s torch and holding it firmly, used her other hand to dig at the foliage in hope of a handle.

Ugh! She jumped back at movement among the leaves. A moth brushed at the torchlight, faltered, came again. Long pale green wings brushed her hand. A beautiful creature. She watched, and as she did so, the light fell on a round, rusted metal knob. Slipping the torch into the pocket of her coat, she used two hands to grab the knob, turning it hard. The door squealed a protesting inch inwards. She scrabbled at the creeper, which fell easily from the wood, shallow rooted. She pushed again, shoulder shoving.

She was in. Night had thickened, to match the darkness within the house. She pulled out her phone, pressed the torch. It was enough for a place she could have walked blindfolded. She stepped further in, smelling wet rugs, rotting wood, and the putrescence of rotting bodies. Animals. She hoped.

old stairs with light shining

And now a shiver ran down her spine. A dare was a dare and this was as much as she’d expected. But here was another movement, at the bottom of the wide staircase. A soft scattered light, like moonlight through a filthy window. Only, the moon was not yet up and hidden by clouds in any case. The scattered light gathered itself, wavering, shifting like foam on a beach, moving to gentle, flute-like music.

She stared. A ghost? And as she had the thought, the light flickered out, the music stopped mid-note, and she was alone in the hall.

Her dare fulfilled.

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Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories here!