WE PAW Bloggers E-zine — Issues 54

This year, because it’s 2020 and the horror is real, we suspended our “Pandora’s Box of Horrors Annual Halloween Contest” — Don’t worry; we plan for it to be back next year. This year instead, we ran a just-for-fun Halloween flash fiction prompt. Contributors were asked to share 300 words or less, in story or poetic form, inspired by the image below.

Image from the public domain

Karina Kantas’ Mary Celeste

We pulled alongside the ship. Its ancient sails still blowing although torn and ragged. The sails were still strong enough to push the ship through the cold and murky sea.

Our crew have been looking for this ship for a very long time. We are a team of investigators that hunt for the strange and unexplained happenings on the sea.

There have been so many sighting of ghosts ships but none more than The Mary Celeste, a French clipper that disappeared in the 19th century but had been sighted many times in the distance, but then vanished through a misty haze of fog.

We were the first to have boarded the ghost ship, at least to our knowledge. You could feel the history, the creeks of the wood as we stepped on the bridge and went below to the Galley. Whispers and ghostly voices followed us. But this wasn’t our first rodeo and anticipation and not fear, drove us on as we travelled through the empty ship.

It wasn’t until we entered the Keel that we first smelt the odor of burnt wood, but then we felt the blazing heat. We ran through to the middle of the ship, pushing the now closed hatches that were stuck solid from age, but we knew differently.

We choked on the smoke is it reached our lungs before the whole ship caught on fire. It was then we heard the ghostly laughter as we all realized that we had not boarded a ghost ship but a Fire Ship. Our screams echoed as the blaze burnt through our clothes and melted our skin. All that was left were ashes that blew away as the ship sailed off into the misty fog.

BYLINE: © 2020 by Karina Kantas, Author

Shariara’s Lament

The inspiration for “Shariara’s Lament” was actually through a prompt in WritersCafe.org, back in 2015. I used a tune I had composed when studied music at Carson-Newman College, c. Fall term 1982. The song then inspired my short paranormal romance novelette ebook, The Dance Plays On… — A delicately sad tale of transcendent love, a perfect kiss, and haunting, beautiful tragedy.

The lyrics for Shariara’s Lament

I lift my eyes to see you
Your smile once shone on me
We danced a while as one heart
Now I dance alone

The dance plays on
and alone I weep
for a promise los
t
in fading memories
You sailed away
on a stormy day
And sank beneath the briny sea

I lift my eyes to see you
Your smile once shone on me
We danced a while as one heart
Now I dance alone

So now I wait
for your shade’s return
I stalk this shore
dancing here for you
With your faithful hound
trailing by my side
I embrace the foamy brine alone

I lift my eyes to see you
Your smile once shone on me
We danced a while as one heart
Now I dance alone

BYLINE: © 25 January 2015, by D. Denise Dianaty a.k.a. MomzillaNC

The Ship

It was out there again. Lurking off the rocky shore, just a bit too far to swim. I tried, when I was 15 and brave and strong as an ox. I swam until I was exhausted. While the shore receded, the ship did not seem to get closer. Just before my body gave out and I sank below the waves, I thought I saw someone moving on deck.

I woke from that adventure with my face in the sand and my throat burning from seawater. I never learned how I made it back to shore. I staggered home to find my mother weeping at the kitchen table and my father kneeling in front of her, head bowed, with his arms around her shoulders.

It’s been 10 years since that night. My folks still speak of that night often. About the terror and loss they felt when they could not find me. I do my best to reassure them that I will never do such a thing again. I will never, ever sneak out and do something stupid. I’m done with the sea, too. I won’t even put my toes in the water.

Mother seems to understand. She nods and wipes away her tears a she hugs my cloak. It’s old and tattered, and seems a bit stiff from the tides that came and went before they found it where I dropped it before my swim. Still, it seems to comfort her.

Now and then, I see the ship. And every time it appears, another child goes missing. No body is ever found.

BYLINE: Sherry Smith Gray

Genevieve

Genevieve stood on the shore waving, the tide lapping at her skirts. It didn’t matter that the ship was too far away to see her. She always watched until she could no longer make out the sails among the clouds on the horizon, feeling that she and her husband would stay connected as long as she didn’t look away. She knew Mitchell stood on the deck, gaze fixed on the shore, sending love to her in turn. When he returned, she’d be standing here, looking as if she had never abandoned the spot where he’d last held her to him.

The ship slipped from view, lost in the parting of dark clouds opening onto sparkling water. Looking around to make sure no one could see her, she unhooked the simple fastenings of her dress and let it fall into the water, rose-colored lawn darkening into garnet as the salt water saturated the cloth. She wore nothing beneath and the cold sea sent shivers through her flesh as she walked into the waters, already returning to her natural form.

By the time she had sunken to her hips, her tentacles ached to swim, to feel the pulse of the sea flowing in and around her. Her gills opened and she gulped in the salt-freshness greedily as her head elongated and eyes became a single glassy orb in her soft, orange-tinted flesh.

Three months he’d stayed ashore this time. She’d worried she’d have to return to the sea before he did, but the offer had come and she’d seen him off again, no wiser as to her true nature than he had ever been. Diving deep, she sought the peace of the waters of her birth, happy for her chance to live her other life until her sailor’s return.

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WE PAW Bloggers E-zine

WE PAW Bloggers E-zine

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An ezine for members of the FB group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/wepawblog, as well as being the place to curate featured writing prompt contributions.