#SwiftFicFriday – Week 131 Prompt

#SwiftFicFriday – Week 131 Prompt

Welcome to the new and improved flash fiction writing prompt series – #SwiftFicFriday!

I’ve changed the rules, so if you didn’t see my tweet, check them out!

The gist:

  • You have THREE DAYS (AM Friday-PM Sunday on the east coast) to submit your entry.
  • Include social media links/handles/anything you want to promote (Twitter, FB, etc) & word count in the comment with your submission.
  • Submission must be between 150-300 words.
  • All stories are property of the authors.
  • Winner will be determined via reader votes on Mondays.

Ready, set, write!

Prompt: It’s been a while since we’ve done a picture prompt, so here you go! Write a piece inspired by this image:

Staircase in the creepy, gothic mansion from the 2015 movie, Crimson Peak.
Image from Crimson Peak (2015), found on Pinterest

Happy writing!

7 thoughts on “#SwiftFicFriday – Week 131 Prompt

  1. A Laugh a Minute

    Yeah, that’s the staircase. The old family staircase. Forbidding, eh! Damn ed impressive. I must have been seven, maybe eight when I realized that I could stand at the top and tell jokes and pretend it was my stage. Of course, initially, I had to be alone in the house. Humour was not a prized response in my family. I can still hear my father tell my mother, ”that boy needs to take things in life seriously, Mabel. Life isn’t a lark.”
    I didn’t even know what a lark was, but it rhymed with dark which most of our mausoleum was, and also rhymed with bark which my father did all too often.
    We had servants but they had Sundays off. Not that my mother approved of folks having free time, but she relented.
    In the beginning, once I realized that the staircase could be a stage, I whispered. Its hard being funny when you’re whispering. Funny people, comedians, are rarely quiet people. Mimes, I guess, but who laughs at a mime?
    Not me.
    My old man might have. In a snickering way.
    So I whispered my jokes. The first one was pretty sad.
    “What did the snowman say to the other snowman?”
    A classic.
    A pause. There, me on the stairway, ready to fire away with the punch line…
    Here goes…”Do you smell carrots?”
    And on and on.
    I was a laugh riot of one.
    In no time I had a repertoire.
    Specialized in fart jokes till I was ten
    Then I got more sophisticated.
    Ran away at twelve.
    And thirteen.
    I’m forty-six now.
    Working in a mill.
    I’ll make it big someday.
    Just have to find the right staircase.
    And slightly better material.

    289 words

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There Will Come Soft Rains

    Lucy floated down the stairs, her tiny wings helping her hover over the dusty and ill-kept stairs. She’d spent all of her eight months in this house and loved it as much as any place she’d ever lived.

    Not in this life, of course.

    Wyatt bounded up to her as she entered the den, his long, shaggy ears flopping in time with his pointed tail. Lucy grabbed on to his thick fur and laughed with delight. She’d been a baby more than a dozen times before, but she’d never had a dog, hell-beast or otherwise. More often than not, she’d been called on to rule from the moment she crawled out of her mother, and that put a damper on playtime.

    When she’d opened her eyes this time around, though, she heard Wyatt bark and saw Rufus smiling down at her. Rufus never changed from one life to the next. They’d tried to explain it to her more than once, but while she was adept beyond all others at magic, science was never of interest to her. His giant metallic hands were somehow warm and soft, though, and he loved her.

    In the 40 years that always passed from the end of one life to the beginning of the next, something strange had happened. No battles took place outside her door. The smell of blood didn’t permeate the air. The night air didn’t resonate with cries of pain. No one knelt to her and asked her what to do and how to do it and when.
    Lucy’s giggles rang down the hall as Wyatt leapt after sunbeams and barked at shadows. She could smell the breakfast that Rufus was cooking, and the last three beings left on Earth began another day filled with joy.

    299 words

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Countess Caroline hated being up during the day. She grumbled, lowering herself down the stairs of the dark old house one broad step at a time. The house groaned sympathetically with the ancient dame’s weight on the banister.

    “You know where I’m going. You could make this easier for me.”

    She could have rung for Frank, but she loathed dealing with that oaf when Myra’s daughter wasn’t around for damage control. The next step whined as the aged aristocrat planted one foot and then the other. Caroline sighed heavily.

    “I know. I miss her too.”

    A door creaked gratingly open deep below in the basement.

    “Absolutely not!” Caroline snapped.

    Furious banging rose through the walls from the basement to Caroline’s position on the stairs. The old woman hissed at the wallpaper.

    “You know I can’t! If Myra couldn’t handle him, our only hope is her daughter.”

    The house rumbled, and cascades of dust flowed mournfully down around Caroline. She snorted and continued working her way toward the ground floor.

    “Oh, YOU have problems? Do you know what the girl is bringing home today?”

    The next step creaked with rising intonation as Caroline rounded the last corner toward the first-floor landing.

    “No, of course, you don’t; I’ve only been complaining about it for the last two years!”

    “Madame?” Bibiana intoned nasally up from where she had been dusting the banister candelabra for who knows how long. “May I assist you?”

    The old woman waved the maid off.

    “I couldn’t sleep. I’m just getting something to drink.”

    Bibi’s always large eyes widened further.

    “Oh! Today is the day?”

    Caroline nodded glumly.

    “The future is unclear from here. Things are about to be much too interesting.”

    283 Kerri’s Creatures words

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “You are a stupid, common boy,” I said and I saw that it struck him hard. I did not care. He was a man. Well, not yet a man. Someday he would be and he would be cruel as all men are and ever will be and if I could strike him, however glancingly, it was what he deserved.

    I thought he might begin to cry. He gripped his little cap, the cap he held in his hands, tighter and began to move his hands, like he was wringing a towel.

    But his eyes while moist did not explode and I was strangely pleased that they didn’t.

    My aunt upstairs had sent for him. He was a pitiful creature from the village. I doubted he could read. For all that, there was something about him that I found attractive. Nothing would come of whatever that was, I knew. But it gave me some sort of thrill I quickly banished as I opened the thick door in the foyer for him to go.

    “Come here! You may kiss me, if you like,” I said. He leaned and placed his lips on my cheek and was quickly gone and I didn’t know if I’d ever see this Pip boy again. I don’t know if he valued what he’d done. I, though, valued what he’d given me in that slight, sweet action I demanded of him.

    My aunt, having heard the door close behind him, called to me. “Estella. Now that you’ve done with that coarse boy, come back up to me.” And I did, though I glanced back at the door when I was on the third or fourth step of the house’s front staircase.

    The Coarse, Common Boy’s Kiss, by Joseph P. Garland, 283 words. @JPGarlandAuthor

    Liked by 2 people

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