A short story

I started this blog mainly to promote myself as a writer.  But lately I’ve mainly been blogging about my health concerns.  While they’re important to me, I thought for this post I’d get back to basics.

Here’s a short story I wrote a while ago.  I wrote it for a Flash Fiction challenge for a writing forum I belong to.  The site is absolutewrite.com.    It’s a great site with a lot of helpful people who know a lot about writing.  I’d strongly encourage anyone, especially those who are just starting out as writers, to give it a go.  Anyhoo, here’s my story.  I hope you enjoy it!

The Knock

 

            “Knock once for yes, twice for no.”  With those words the séance began.  Edith looked round the table at the five anxious faces staring intently at her, waiting for something to happen. 

            They had all introduced themselves earlier.  There was Lucy, desperate to get in touch with her mother, wanting to ask why she’d changed her will before dying.  Brad trying to contact his dead wife because they’d had a row and the last thing he’d said to her before she got hit by a bus was ‘drop dead.’   Dennis looking to get in touch with his brother who had been killed in a motorbike accident.  Mary trying to contact her friend Marge and last but not least, Jack, slouching indifferently in his chair.  His wife, Alice had fallen to her death off the edge of a cliff.  There were strong rumors he had a hand in that. 

            Knock.

            The rap when it came, was quieter than most people would expect.  Not a thunder-clap, more a timid little tap.

            “Welcome friend,” intoned Edith.  “Are you here for someone at this table?”

            Knock.

            “Is it Lucy?”

            Knock.  Knock.

            “Is it Bradley?”

            Knock.  Knock.

            And so it went all round the table until it came to Jack.

            “Is it Jack?”

            Knock.

            Edith watched Jack sit up straighter in his chair.  She noted with some amusement he had a look of trepidation on his face.  Perhaps there was something to the rumor after all.

            “Welcome friend.  Are you a relative of Jack’s?”

            Knock.

            “Are you his dear departed wife?”

            Knock.  This knock sounded louder than the others.  Maybe she was gaining in confidence.  Or maybe she was just pissed as hell.   If the rumors were true.

            Jack’s face turned a positive shade of green.  Edith hid her smirk well.  “Do you have a message for him?”

            Knock.

            Edith closed her eyes.  “Can you tell me what the message is?”  She assumed a look of concentration.   After a moment she opened them and stared directly at Jack, noting the beads of sweat on his balding forehead.  “She says she is very unhappy with you, Jack.  You did a bad thing.”

            Jack went as white as a ghost, and his mouth worked furiously but no words came out.

            “You know what she’s talking about, don’t you, Jack?  Why did you do it, Jack?  Why?  That’s all she wants to know.”

            Jack looked like he was ready to bolt for the door.  He stammered some more before finally slumping in his seat.  “I didn’t mean to do it.   Honest.  But I just couldn’t take it any more.  I was seeing Jennifer, her best friend.  Alice was just in the way.  We went for a walk along the cliff.  I had no intention at the time of pushing her off.  It just came to me as a solution to my problem.”  He looked shame faced round the table noting their accusing eyes. 

            “Was that enough evidence, Detective?” 

            Dennis smiled grimly at her, as Lucy produced handcuffs while Brad and Mary stood on each side of Jack.  “Yes, I think we can use this as evidence.  Thank you, Mrs Cromwell.  We were at a real dead-end until you came to us.  And thank Alice for us, will you?”

            Knock.

            Edith smiled.  “I think that means ‘you’re welcome.’

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