#StitchedSaturday 08/10/2019

Here is your prompt for #StitchedSaturday

Write a story in less than 750 words using the image above in the COMMENTS. Make sure you SHARE the link so others can read it and please make sure you LIKE this post.

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9 thoughts on “#StitchedSaturday 08/10/2019

  1. An invitation from the Deep
    by
    Becca Mitchell

    “I’m sorry ma’am, we did everything we could to find your husband. We believe that the tide must have carried him out after his tanks lost oxygen.” Ashley buried her face in her hands. “A widow at 33? What am I supposed to tell his parents? Let alone our daughter Ella?!” Those thoughts raced around her head until dizziness overtook her and she went to the bathroom to throw up.
    As if on some kind of mental auto pilot she went through the motions of living, planning the funeral, talking to lawyers, etc. She even talked to their seven year old daughter Ella to explain that daddy was in heaven where he could watch her.
    At his seaside funeral Ashley thought of Chris and their short time together. She glanced at their stoic daughter by her side, “She looks just like Chris and now I don’t even know how much of him she will even remember.” Clutching her by her side Ashley watched the waves roll in as the minister said a few kind words. Yet, as the wind picked up, she thought she heard the sound of a child’s laugh. “Must be the wind” she thought returning to her grief.
    That was the first night of the dreams of his death. In the dream she saw Chris preparing his gear when he was approached by an almost skeletal old man in old fashioned clothing. “Best not go in these waters son, the water belongs to the child of the deep.” When Chris would turn to him, he was gone. Shrugging it off, Chris headed for the water. He explored the deep until he froze at something in front of him as the sounds of a little girl laughing surrounded him. She saw Chris slowly turn and then everything went black. As Ashley would wake up she would see Chris trying to come up for air but he seemed caught and unable to move.
    For many nights it was the same, friends and family said it was grief that in time she would process it all and be ok. After a while the dreams stopped as had the trips to the seashore. After a year, Ella seemed to be improving a little as had Ashley though in her heart she missed Chris deeply. The dreams and the thoughts of the little girl were now just a memory. A symbol of all Chris had left behind.
    One misty afternoon before Ella was home from school Ashley opened the mail. There was an envelope that was personally addressed with no return address on it. Shrugging Ashley opened it and before she could read it, that little girls laughter filled her ears. “Its only my imagination.” She thought to herself and continued to open the letter. Ashley’s eyes widened in fear and her mouth widened, but no sound came out. She stared at the photograph with a childs writing around the picture in black ink. In the picture she saw Chris tied to a chain at his feet surrounded by corpses in the same manner. Chris’s eyes were wide and he was in the final stages of life before death would take him. In the center, as if walking toward her was a little girl in a white nightgown with glowing eyes in the dark ocean water. Ashley could hear the writing as if the little girl whispered them to her “You’re invited to play Ashley!”
    Ashley rubbed her eyes as she thought back to that day. That was nearly ten years ago, she had since remarried and moved much further inland. She wasn’t sure why it was on her mind that morning until she checked the mail. It was that familiar envelope from long ago, with shaking hands she opened it. Stifling a scream she saw Chris’s now rotting corpse as well as a few other new ones as well as some so old they were almost nothing. All of them silently floating around the little girl with glowing eyes. There was a new message that simply said “Are you sure you don’t’ want to play?” Ashley shut her eyes and grabbed her phone, shaking, she knew what she had to do. “Ella, about going to the beach for your birthday? Lets do the mountains instead.”

    The End

    Liked by 2 people

  2. CHUM
    By Peter Molnar

    People ask me, they say “Hey, Don, how the hell do you drag your ass out of bed so early every damned morning?” I tell them I’ve always been an early riser. That’s a lie, but what do you think they’d say (and how long you think my small business would last) if I told them a little girl who lives in the Atlantic Ocean wakes me with a siren song every morning at 4:30 a.m.? Without fail.
    For the last two years.
    Like a newborn in the dead of night screaming for her bottle, the Little Siren sings for her food.
    You know how well things go when you try to ignore an infant’s desperate, incessant screams for the bottle? Not so well at all.
    So how could I ignore the Little Siren.
    She’s a little bitch, to be honest. But I gotta keep her fed because she’s got this, well, this draw she uses that calls to a certain type of folk who find their way to Avery Bay all year long. Homeless people. Runaways. Lonesome travelers. Hitchhikers.
    This is no accident.
    She sings a different song for them than the one she sings for me every morning. Little Siren issues a very strong, compulsory sort of invitation to them. To take a deep-sea fishing trip. A buzzing in the back of their brains they can’t ignore. Only obey, without realizing they’re obeying anyone or anything.
    That’s where I come in.
    I run Bridal’s Fishing Expeditions. Billy Bridal, my pop, started the business back in the late sixties. He eked out a pretty good income, but nothing like what I’m pulling in.
    I take care of the Little Siren and she takes care of me.
    So, I take out this specific clientele on the Skipper, my deep-sea vessel.
    You wanna know what I learned from all this? There is a never-ending parade of lost, forgotten, and discarded people walking the planet. I know this, because I take eight of them out every day of the year. There has never been a time in the last two years I did not have a group of eight or more waiting at the dock to take a “trip”.
    They’re people who won’t be missed.
    We pull away from the harbor promptly at 5:30 a.m., and if you miss the boat then you’ll have to wait another day. They always come back and try again. They all have that lifeless look in their eyes, a film over the pupil like someone else is driving.
    Because someone else is driving, of course.
    I take them thirty miles out. I don’t bother telling them to put on their lifejackets and they don’t ask for one. To be honest, they sit down, and they don’t say nothing. Not to me. Not to themselves. They remind me of those kid’s toys, Weeble-Wobbles, the way they just kind list from side to side as the boat takes each wave and curl and swell. I figure she has them pretty dosed, pretty vacant. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it.
    They’re chum. And chum ain’t suppose to make you feel guilty because they’re chum, right?
    Little Siren steers my course and I know when I’m right above her, I throw anchor down and get to work. One by one I run a chain around everyone’s legs and then I fasten the other end to a heavy cinder block. They don’t resist. They don’t do nothing. I’ve had a few of them lock eyes with me and let me tell you, I wanted to die. The one couldn’t have been more than twelve. Left home for something probably only a twelve-year old girl would give a shit about. Her eyes watered over while we were looking at one another. Tears? I dunno.
    Enough of that …
    So, I make sure to dump them first. The ones who make me feel bad about what I’m doing.
    I’m earning a living’s what I’m doing.
    Now, I got no idea how much of them she eats after I send them down to her, but I will tell you not a one of them has ever surfaced or washed up on the shoreline.
    Nothing.
    Never.
    I collect their belongings. Wallets. Clothes. Toss it all below deck and sort through it later.
    If you got a missing loved one, whoever you are, you better work harder at bringing them home.
    Otherwise …

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Guardian
    By Thomas R Clark

    Hell is many things, and all things, at once. It’s fire and brimstone. It’s cold, and ice. And Hell is wet… and deep. This is Duffy’s curse, her home and her kingdom in the underworld. She walks through the Sea of Eternity, a silent sentinel watching over the damned as they float… and suffer. She’s an innocuous specter wandering the watery wastes, inspecting the chains imprisoning the damned. The rust of virtue could not be allowed to free any soul, no matter how repentant.

    A special sin sends a lost soul to her watery home. It’s not what you may assume. If you manage to meet the membership requirements for this elite club, you’re a special kind of fucked-up. Perhaps your demise has come at the hand of another, wrought with a vengeance. Or perhaps you have taken your own life in lieu of the suffering your mortal form may endure at the hands of your peers. Duffy’s playground is not for the unlucky who drown or otherwise find themselves in her grasp. Oh, no. Those pure, unfortunate souls are snatched up by God Himself. Satan then determines where the other, less saintly fall. Duffy’s chains are reserved, you see. They are set aside for the vile: pedophiles, deviants, and abusers find themselves drowning in Duffy’s lair.

    An absurd reimagining of the drinking Hall of Valhalla awaits those interned. The punishment comes at night, peeling your skin away, picking through the meat of muscle and tender fat, stripping you down to the bone with millions of strikes. Schools of flesh-eating fish swim and through your body as they feed until the sun rises. Then it all grows back every day, each bit of sinew and tissue, cell by agonizing cell until you are whole again. Only to repeat and repeat… and repeat in a never-ending cycle.

    The secret of Hell, what makes it Hell, is you can see Heaven. It taunts you, shining above the surface, just out of your reach, a blurred ball of light pulsating as your flesh regenerates. God is there, but He can’t hear your screams from under the surface. You are so close to God… and so far away. You know, at this moment, God gives zero fucks about you. But Duffy, she cares about you, her ward.

    Littered about the sandy bottom are the remnants of their sins. Luggage cases, canisters and ship’s holds, all full of horrible sins. Within each is the evidence of their transgressions against the innocent. The cries, slipping out of the seams of the vessels containing them, resonate through the chains. It’s another of the many, constant reminders of the innocence destroyed by their sins.

    All of it falls under the watchful eyes of Duffy, daughter of Jonah. Her memory brings bad luck to sailors. Who has not heard the presence of a woman brings bad luck on a ship? Those same gypsies of the Seven Seas believe they are invoking the Devil’s aquatic aspect, but they are wrong. It is this child, this demonic daughter, whom they praise. Indeed, her father’s original sin created this submerged plane, drenched in the salted tears of the groomed and abused. But it was Duffy’s patricide, her sin, which brought her here to oversee this watery Hell.

    Today Duffy discovers a new chain. This one is special and rests near her own locker, holding her ultimate sin. The new chain is chrome, shiny and bright. Its buoyed into an oil tanker, full of far too many sins to count. This man, a coward who took his own life while imprisoned, is of particular interest to Duffy. The chain is longer than most, an indication there shall be no remorse in his penance. The man tethered to it will be able to break the surface with the tips of his fingers before they’re eaten away.

    The girl smiles, her eyes illuminating the darkness of the sea. For God to tease this man so, to allow him to go as far as to feel His presence, indicates his sin was blasphemous and arrogant. She knows the suffering awaiting the man will be legendary. He, who once held riches. He, who owned islands and influenced world leaders. He who could not resist his urges to defile the innocent. He now fell under Duffy Jonah’s eternal suicide watch, and he will die forever through all eternities, drowning in the tears of those who suffered from his sins.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Forever
    by James D. Dean

    She stood before me, her golden hair swirling weightlessly around her head. Her dingy white night gown breathed, the torn cloth carried by the gentle ebbs and flows of the deep ocean.

    She was a statue, her smooth skin and closed eyes impressed upon me the visage of a sentinel standing watch over her garden of torment. Multitudes of men and women floated above her, iron chains holding them fast to rusted anchors scattered across the sand. They were long dead, their decaying faces turned upward, mouths agape as if screaming to return to the surface once more before their bodies succumbed to time.

    It was impossible. I could not be where I was, yet I knew I was standing deep under an unknown ocean. I should have been crushed, yet I felt no pressure. I should have drowned, yet I felt no need to draw breath. I should have frozen in the icy waters, yet no chill touched my skin.

    A strange light engulfed us, allowing me to see the hellish sights surrounding me. I could not understand this ethereal light, as I knew I was deeper than the sun could penetrate. Beyond the schools of fish swimming between the remains of humanity was a blackness deeper than any darkness I could imagine. It would have been easy to believe nothing existed beyond that veil.

    I could not explain my presence in this nightmare. I had not slept for days, but this was no dream. I hadn’t died, so this could not be the void. I was simply sitting in the kitchen, then I was here. There was no logic to this, no science to explain my predicament. It was insanity. I could not possibly be here, and yet I was.

    I felt myself drawn to the statuesque girl. Of all the creatures living and dead surrounding me, she was the only one who faced me. Though she was as unmoving as stone, I knew she was alive. I had no reason to believe this, but I knew it to be true. More than that, her attention was fixed solely upon me.

    I parted my lips, intending to speak to the strange child. Salty ocean water invaded my mouth. I panicked, thrashing about as my body tried to expel the brine from my lungs when my heart stilled. A brilliant white light shone from her now open eyes. Her gaze rested upon me, her stare so bright I could feel the warmth of her light upon my chest.

    “You will be silent!” a thousand, no, a million voices of haunted and tormented children spoke as one. Their words thundered though my head, my skull feeling as if thousands of needles wormed into my brain.

    Her eyes grew brighter still, the light so brilliant I could no longer see my surroundings. A raven-haired girl, young and beautiful with skin as white as ivory pierced my blindness. She reached out, caressing my face with thin, delicate fingers. Fear and regret welled up within me as I realized I knew this lovely child.

    “I’d loved her. I did not mean to hurt her. She was my everything,” I said, my hollow words carried away with the tide.

    “You do not know love!” the multitude screamed into my head.

    The girl’s fingers pierced my eyes. Through searing pain, my vision cleared, and I saw myself staring back. I witnessed her life through her eyes. I lived what she lived. I felt shame and helplessness as I watched myself that night. I knew her pain, her terror. I felt her panic… the fingers slipping around her throat…my fingers.

    I died her death. I heard the chains.

    The girl melted away and was replaced by another I did not recognize. I experienced the pain of her lonely freezing death. Iron hooks pierced my leg, the rusty points driven into my flesh as a young boy forced me to live his torture and die with his agony. I felt myself float upward, face upturned in an eternal silent scream as I relived the pain and sorrow of millions of lost children. Millions of deaths, and I knew I would live them all, over and over until time itself faded away.

    The girl, the sentinel, was gone, returning to stand watch once again over her garden of the damned.

    She was legion.

    She was my punishment made flesh.

    She is my forever.

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