ON PARIS

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Monday, 15 October 2018

#WEPff - My #ff for the October challenge - Night in the Montmartre Cemetery



 Hi everyone!

Here is my ghostly story for the WEP/IWSG writing together October challenge. I hope you enjoy the read. The stories this month will all contain some scary elements. I hope I achieve this in mine. Whatever, I had a hoot revisiting Paris in my mind while writing it.



Night in the Montmartre Cemetery

Ciassia had seen a ghost. A ghost wearing black. Lurching behind her, rasping, grunting, reaching out his filthy hand, trying to snatch her as she hurried along the streets of Pigalle, Paris’s red light district.

Putting distance between them, gasping for breath, she slipped into an alley behind Moulin Rouge, as quiet as a crypt. The air was dark and thick, like a black cape had floated from the night sky and covered the earth. A beacon of light from the Eiffel Tower swept in arcs across the gloom – a sea of fog swirling like a fleeting ghost. Each time the flash passed overhead, the blanched fog and mist took on a shivering pallor, giving life to the unliving.

As crazy as it seemed, she was running from a ghost.

Creeping along the alley, touching the walls, she tried to ignore the shivers shooting up her spine.

What else might be lurking in the gloom? She pulled her red shawl tight around her shoulders. Fear gave her feet wings as she hurried through the darkness to the next corner where street lights shot a hole into the misty light.

She huddled under the streetlight, listening to the night sounds, but could hear nothing over the rasp of her jagged breathing and the blood rush pounding in her ears.

She sensed a movement behind her. 

She must leave the comfort of the light.

Reluctantly, she stepped into the darkness again. She ran, fast, faster, through the fog. One foot in front of the other, fighting the urge to run back to the crowds exiting the nightclubs of Pigalle. She fought the urge to run to her hotel and safety. To where she’d left her cell phone and purse on the night stand.

In front of her loomed an ancient stone wall wrapped in weeping moss. Montmartre cemetery. How did she end up here?

She’d seen the stone garden from a distance. In the daylight. A forest of small crypts adorned with stained glass and magnificent sculptures. The resting place of many famous bones including her idol, Simone de Beauvoir. Would hers be added to the pile? Would she sleep for eternity beside Simone?

No. Please God. No. No. No.

She huddled amongst the stone ghosts rising from the ground like resurrected souls, the darkness only broken by the beacon flashes from the tower bathing the dead faces in ghostly light, sharpening their features, sending shadows shuddering around her feet.

How could she see her pursuer in the crowded forest of stone?

Running steps. Clamping a hand over her mouth, stifling a scream, she veered off the main path. Knelt behind a large crypt with a high brick wall behind. ‘Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’ read the headstone. Long dead. They could not reach beyond the grave to save her.

She heard a screech. A cat. A black cat. Leaping over the crypts. She forced herself to keep still. The cat sounds faded, but she stayed crouched, her heart hammering so loud she was afraid the man in black would hear it.

Such a creepy, creepy place.

She couldn’t spend the night with dead people. She had to get back to her hotel at the top of the hill. She had to get back to safety.

Gathering what was left of her courage, she stood, her eyes beacons trying to cut through the darkness.

Is he here?

Then out of nowhere she saw … not a him ...  a her.

A white dress ghoulishly radiant.

‘Are you an angel?’ she whispered. Stupid question. This vision could be nothing else. She was one of the stone angels come to life.

The angel stood in front of her, arms outstretched, beckoning her. Then she pointed a finger the way Ciassia had come.

Is she warning me?

Telling me to turn around?

Fat tears ran down Ciassia’s face. ‘Please help me,’ she said through trembling lips. ‘A man chased me through the street in Pigalle and has followed me here.’

The Eiffel Tower beacon flashed again. It passed. The angel was gone.

Another figure emerged from the fog, arms outstretched. No angel. The man in black. As black as Poe’s raven.

She screamed, turned and ran. Down the hill. Toward the exit.

Stumbling over a crooked gravestone that jutted from the earth, she hit the ground on her knees. The pain was excruciating, but she jumped up again.

Poe’s raven was so close she could smell his fetid smell, like a pit of snakes. Mouldy. Rotten.

Her boots reached out in front of her. Into nothing.

She was falling. Falling. Falling.

The ground had opened up and swallowed her whole.

She bounced off dirt walls and hit hard stone ground, the breath knocked out of her.

The hole was pitch black.

She screamed, clawing the dirt walls, her fingernails tearing, her fingertips bleeding.

A grave.

She was in a grave.

She screamed and screamed. Clawed and clawed.

Then. Footsteps.

Overhead.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Out of the sky, dirt poured down upon her.

Filled her mouth.

Filled her eyes

Filled her hair.

Filled her.

‘Who’s there?’ she croaked, spitting dirt, trying to keep the terror from her voice.

The beacon flashed overhead revealing a tall, dark figure, arms outstretched, his cape giving the appearance of raven’s wings.

‘Help me. For the love of God. Where is your humanity?’

He grunted and tossed more dirt.

‘I lost my humanity many centuries ago, little girl.’ His voice was raspy and hollow, like he hadn’t used it for centuries.

Large clods. Then stones. Battering her.

‘Soon you will join me.’

He was a fleeting ghost.

He was burying her alive.

She screamed and screamed. Then a huge rock hit her temple, knocking her to the ground.

‘Soon your life will begin,’ the hollow voice rasped, growing faint as her consciousness fled.

 She heard his laugh. An eerie sound. Like a raven calling.



WORDS - 985
FULL CRITIQUE ACCEPTABLE.

To read more entries please click on names in my sidebar with DL (Direct Link) beside their name or go to the WEP site. 

You have until October 19th to post if you have some scary fiction or non-fiction to add to the list. It's easy to SUBMIT your name to the list.











Wednesday, 3 October 2018

#IWSG post for October. KEEP CALM and WRITE ON!

Another month has gone by -- the world is in turmoil -- earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, bushfires, floods, political turmoil -- you name it -- we've been through it -- I survived so far. Did you?


Now it's time for the IWSG again. Is your writing in turmoil because of what's going on globally or in your family or community or in your country? Or does turmoil help deepen your writing?


Top Site for Writers
Go HERE to read more posts!

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the October 3 posting of the IWSG are Dolorah @ Book Lover,Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken! Please visit if you can!

I've never been one to set myself a daily word count which must be adhered to no matter what, (except for the 5 times I did NaNoWriMo) so I have no problem not writing if something comes up. I don't get frustrated. I don't post about it. I don't whine about it to writing friends.

Writing is a part of life. It's not all consuming although it can seem like that at times.

I just read a post by an author in a Facebook group I'm a member of. She's totally consumed by her writing. She's written 65,591 words in 10 days!! Makes NaNoWriMo look like a tootle~~! She's got a serial due in 5 days and 9 books left to write in 2018 which will make it well over 30 books for the year - egad, one every 2 weeks. I could be dispirited, but I'm not, I'm excited for her. I checked out some of her book samples on Amazon and they're well written, so go Yumoyori!

But when I think about it, I've just finished Book Three in my paranormal romance and am pushing into Book Four while I go back and finesse from Book One now I know a lot more about my world and my characters and how to write a serial. Awesome progress for me, a slow writer who takes time out when called on or when travel calls me.

So all of the above sort of answers the October question. I suspect it wasn't what the question really meant, but my reaction just flowed out --

How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

I have the news on all day. I can just hear it from my writer's den. I get upset when I see over 1,000 people killed so far in the Indonesian tsunami and Japan's death toll growing from the latest typhoon. Paying attention to these major events, not  just what's going on in my life -- shows me that life is full of turmoil and most people are worse off than I am, far, far worse off -- some things we can control, some we can't. But we must deal as best we can. Sometimes writing helps get through negative, challenging times!



Speaking of keeping calm and writing on, the new WEP/IWSG writing together challenge is now live!

It's open to freaky or non-freaky posts which would suit the prompt! Please join us if you'd like to participate with a caring group of keen, supportive writers...and your entry might just catch the judges' eyes and you could win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and get to write a guest post. How could you resist? Share an extract from a WIP, pen a poem, post a photo essay on your trip to the catacombs in Vietnam, Rome or Paris, write a non-fiction entry...go HERE for more inspiration!


The October challenge is hosted by Yolanda Renee, horror author extraordinaire. This is her final gig as my venerable co-host so please make it memorable for her. WEP adds L G Keltner to the team!! Welcome L G! Along with Nilanjana Bose, Olga Godim and help from the IWSG in the form of C Lee McKenzie, Pat Hatt and Nick Wilford, we're going from strength to strength.

Hope to see your name on the sign up later today!!

Denise