Quote Prompt Mini-Drabbles
“This place is abandoned. Don’t worry.”
Arching an eyebrow, Lorraine glanced at her companion. “Actually, that’s when I tend to worry more.” She spoke matter of factly as she looked up at the rickety old house. It could definitely use some work. The paint was peeling, the roof was bowing, the boards were broken, the windows cracked. A couple of steps were missing and the weeds surrounding what had once been a walkway – at least she assumed that was what it had been – and was now crumbled cement were at least knee high.
There was no electricity and she figured that had been the case for some time, while large overgrown trees loomed ominously over the sides of the house and the roof that looked like it might cave at any moment. To complete the picture, clouds hung low as the sun was beginning to set, bathing the house in an eery light that was slowly fading even as they watched.
“Places thought to be abandoned aren’t always as empty as they seem.” She continued, dragging her eyes away from the dilapidated building to look at the man beside her once more. “And if it is truly abandoned, then why are we here?”
“Ghosts don’t exist!”
The words were barely intelligible as Judy clung to her for dear life, tears streaming down her cheeks as she buried her face in her chest. Her shoulders heaved with terrified sobs and it was clear the words were more an attempt to convince herself than anything else.
Lorraine wished for nothing more than to be able to agree, but she couldn’t because she didn’t lie, and Judy knew the truth even as she tried to deny it. She had seen something. Something real and frightening and trying to deny that wouldn’t make it go away. Though she had hoped and prayed that Judy wouldn’t be…blessed with gifts like her own, or that they would at least not manifest until she was old enough to handle them, she had known better. And was anyone really ‘old enough’ to handle such things?
Her own gifts had been a part of her for as long as she could remember, even when she didn’t know they were different, what they were…even when she had tried to convince herself that they weren’t, and she could make them go away. She had grown up having people fear her or tell her to stop making up stories, not believing anything she said. She hadn’t had the support that she so desperately needed…she wasn’t going to allow Judy to grow up that way.
Focusing on soothing her daughter as much as she could, she waited until the sobs died down to silent tears, Judy’s grip loosening just a bit as the desperation and terror faded slightly. Stroking her daughter’s hair, she pulled back just enough to meet her eyes. Wiping away her tears, she was silent for a long moment.
“Baby, I know you’re scared. But, we need to talk…”
“This is crazy…none of this is real.”
Lorraine arched an eyebrow from her position leaning against the door she had just slammed closed behind them. As if that would really stop anything. Closed doors weren’t really a barrier for the kind of thing that inhabited the house they were currently in. There weren’t many things that were now that it had a firm grip and could manifest not only psychically but physically anywhere on the property that it chose.
She understood that if you didn’t deal with this kind of thing on the regular – and even sometimes if you did – it seemed like it wasn’t possible for the things that occurred to be happening. But, they were both bruised and bloody and you would think that would be convincing enough. Of course denial was a very strong and convincing thing.
It was random how they had ended up together in the first place. Tatum and her friends had decided to throw a little ‘horror themed’ spooky party, because that sounded fun, and that the best place to do so was in an abandoned and rumored to be haunted house. Lorraine and her husband were in town to give a lecture at the local high school, where she had actually seen this little group earlier this afternoon. Taking a walk to clear her head, she had been drawn here. Now she knew why.
She wasn’t sure where the rest of the kids were. She and Tatum had been alone when the demon had appeared and she had shoved the younger girl into the nearest room hoping, not necessarily to get away – she knew that wasn’t going to happen so easily – but for a moment to breathe and figure out what to do next. It seemed they really were going to get only a moment as the thing threw itself at the door, the wood shaking under it’s weight. She was surprised it didn’t just fling it open and send her flying, but grateful that that wasn’t the case.
Her gaze shot to the door she leaned against and then back to Tatum who still stood staring at her with wide eyes. After a moment she finally spoke. “You wanna tell that thing out there that?”
“Calm down! We aren’t going to die!”
For someone who was trying to be reassuring, Andy’s words were loud, her eyes wide and she shifted her weight anxiously while continuously looking over her shoulder as if she expected something to come barreling around the corner they had just rounded at any minute. Which wouldn’t be surprising at all if that was exactly what happened.
Lorraine often wondered how she managed to find herself in situations such as this almost every time she saw Andy. But, then she realized that they both seemed to be magnets for the strange, unusual, and often scary things that most people didn’t even want to believe existed. Why wouldn’t this happen every single time?
She just arched an eyebrow at Andy as the other woman returned her gaze to her and offered what she clearly thought was a reassuring smile but fell rather short. She appreciated the effort nonetheless and she offered a small smile of her own to show that, but she didn’t agree with the initial words. Though she didn’t necessarily disagree either.
“You really should work on your reassuring appearance and stuff. Words aren’t everything, you know.”
“Did you just touch my shoulder?”
It took Lorraine a moment to comprehend what he was saying and then she frowned a little. She wasn’t usually one to be star struck, but this was Elvis Presley. Was it really possible to be any other way? That thought made her frown a little more because it was possible, and she knew that very well. She knew how to be professional and how to deal with people. Or she should by now. It shouldn’t matter who it was, and this wasn’t even the first time they had talked. Not that she’d felt any less intimidated the first time. Almost like those obsessed teenagers that seemed to be everywhere. But, she wasn’t one of those…
When the words did finally sink in, she glanced around because they were alone, and she had most definitely not touched him. She wasn’t even close enough to do so. She returned her attention to him as he turned to look at her, shaking her head and murmuring a ‘no’ in response to his question. Now that she wasn’t focusing on not being a complete fangirling idiot, she realized that something was off. She couldn’t immediately pick out what it was, but she could feel something. Some…thing.
Suppressing an obvious shiver, she shook her head again and then met his eyes. “No. I didn’t…”
a lost god
With a slight groan, Lorraine looked up at the one standing above her. “Yes, we mere mortals tend to bleed when injured.” She didn’t quite snap the words, but they were harsher than she normally would be. Of course pain did that to people sometimes and it was a stupid question with an obvious answer. She finished tying the makeshift bandage around the wound and slowly got to her feet.
“That’s not what I meant.” His tone was nearly impossible to read, as was his expression. Though, honestly, she didn’t try too hard. She had experienced some pretty out there things in her life, but this was even more out there than she was used to, and she didn’t really know how to react to his presence, let alone his words and so her own continued to be snappish even as she asked for elaboration she wasn’t sure she wanted.
“Oh, pardon me. What did you mean?”
Mary Savarese JLU
“Did you just see what I did?”
Lorraine blinked and her gaze moved to Mary’s face as she slowly nodded. “I think so.” She finally managed to speak. Mary had used some kind of…power and she was still trying to comprehend what she had seen. It wasn’t any kind of trick or anything like that, she was sure of that much. Instinctively she wanted to take a step back, but as someone often on the receiving end of a fear brought on by a lack of understanding, she didn’t do so. She had no reason to think Mary was a threat just because she was…different. Just because she didn’t understand. After a moment she lifted her eyes to Mary’s and spoke again.
“How did you do that?”
Gabriel (your name never copy/pastes for me, sorry!)
“You need to believe me, please!”
She wasn’t sure why it was so very important that her words be heard and heeded, but she was practically begging as she said them. She had just encountered the beautiful woman before her and didn’t know who or what she was, but still this concept was extremely important to her.
As someone who was used to being scoffed at and laughed at, feared, ridiculed, called a fake a phony and a liar, it shouldn’t have mattered nearly as much as it did. And she couldn’t explain why this time was different. Why she couldn’t just brush off the idea that she might not be believed about what she saw just because not everyone was a believer. Skeptics were a dime a dozen and there wasn’t always anything she could do about it, so she often just had to let it go. She couldn’t do it this time. “Please.”
There was a long silence and her gaze dropped with the realization that she should probably prepare herself for one of the former reactions rather than the one she was asking for. But, they slowly lifted when the other finally spoke. Her voice was soft and understanding and there was a gentle smile on her face.
“I believe you.”
“If something bad happens, I’m blaming you!”
Lorraine arched an eyebrow as she looked back over her shoulder. “You’re blaming me because you can’t listen and not follow when I tell you not to?” She shook her head. “Okay, if you insist.” She had specifically told Amora to hold back, to not come with her, to let her handle this on her own because this was what she did. Clearly her words had not been heeded.
She and Amora had gotten rather close rather quickly, each learning from the other more than they had thought possible. She had taken the girl under her wing like another child as easily as if she were her own. And like her own, one thing she hadn’t been able to teach her was to listen when she thought she was right or when what she was being told was something she didn’t want to do. She should have expected it. Amora was headstrong and stubborn, but she wasn’t stupid. She also cared more than she often wanted to let on. Which was why she hadn’t been able to stay away.
Lorraine knew this, but it didn’t make it any better because Amora’s words, though somewhat playful, were legitimate. Something told her that things were going to go badly and yet she had come despite that feeling. So, maybe Amora wasn’t too out of line with what she had said.
“How about I blame me, too?”
“Shh, be quiet!”
Lorraine sighed at the words. “You told me that before and I didn’t listen.” She pointed out. She wasn’t sure how she had found herself in almost exactly the same situation a second time. Only this time, she wasn’t a captive witness to whatever he was doing to this ‘villain’ before him, only a witness. How she kept running into him was a mystery to her. As was why.
“Well, listen this time!”
It was clear he was irritated with her and she was distracting him. But, she wasn’t sure that was a bad thing without knowing exactly what was going on. The person who was captive was watching them with amusement, eyes skipping between them. Maybe he thought her distraction was going to give him some opportunity to escape or something like that. She didn’t care what he thought.
“Um…I don’t think so.”