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

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

#WEP October Challenge - GRAVE MISTAKE - #flashfiction - Be Careful What You Wish For - Paranormal Romance

Hello there!

Here's my entry for the WEP prompt for October, GRAVE MISTAKE. I've expanded a vampire tale I wrote for the A - Z Challenge in conjunction with the WEP team.


Be Careful What You Wish For

 

The hazy moon hovered in the inky sky, watching the shenanigans below. Two shadowy figures ran together, weaving through trees and undergrowth in the perfect silence of the night.

Her name was Enya. His was Julius.

‘Let’s go to our favorite place.’ Julius pointed deeper into the forest, where a scarcely-used track led away from what passed for a highway on the island.

‘Oh let’s. I feel the need for some excitement.’ Enya tugged his arm and dragged him under an overhanging branch.

Through the piles of musky leaves they ran, hummus flying around their feet. They jumped over huge tree trunks bent and broken through years of storm and wind.

In no time at all they reached their special stream. Stopping, they knelt and played the game. Pushing their faces close to the water, they tried, they really did. But no. Nothing. No image. No reflection. No chance of being Narcissus. Do I even exist? Enya plunged her face into the water. ‘Ohuhuh…aagh...’ Electricity shot through her body. Julius clutched her and held her while she trembled with shock.

When the trembling ceased, Enya sighed. ‘Perhaps one day I’ll see myself again.’ She bent down and scooped up a handful of shimmering water and let it trail through her fingers. A distant memory triggered of drinking from clear and sparkling waters in the hills on the little Shetland island she called home. She might be slowly forgetting what she looked like, but she’d not forgotten the past and the events that had brought her to a place where her reflection didn't reflect.

She’d made a grave mistake.

Julius wrapped his arm around her shoulder and drew her upright. That night when everything changed came rushing back with such power she felt her head would burst.

 



She was out with her crowd. Her boyfriend hovered attentively, plying her with her favorite white sauvignon blanc until the rough edges of her dissatisfaction blurred.

‘Why are you so unhappy?' He'd asked. 'What more could you want? Your life is perfect.'

Over the rim of her glass, she saw him. The stranger. He stood out from the raggedy crowd in his Savile Row suit and designer haircut. He oozed grooming and glamour. What she wanted.

And excitement. He oozed excitement from every pore.

She had the eerie feeling he saw right through her. He saw her boredom with her ho-hum life on the island, her desire for genuine thrills. Obviously he was "big city". Glasgow? London? Maybe he’d rescue her. Maybe he was her knight in shining armour. Over his shoulder, she watched the rain batter against the window panes of the pub. Some was rain, some was seawater from the waves coming clear across the harbor wall and crashing against the glass. The island knew how to put on a display of weather. Looking back, she realized it was an omen of dire things to come.

The stranger granted her wish. Rescued her from her life.

She thought it was part of the game when he ran her from the pub, covering her with his fancy cloak and took her driving into the forest in his sleek black Maserati. She’d never seen such a car. She was used to clanking old tractors driven by dour farmers. She thought it was part of the game when he drew her close and pushed away her long curls and kissed her neck while he murmured endearments and threaded his fingers through her hair until her whole body shivered. She thought it was part of the game when she felt a strange sensation where his lips touched her skin. But she knew it wasn’t a game when his teeth moved over her throat. And bit.

Panic, sheer panic coursed through her. Her heart hammered. Her throat burned. Her body trembled.

It was too late. The myths about strange creatures who lurked on the island were true. Why had she dismissed them like she dismissed everything else about her home ...

 

                                     

Finally, Enya and Julius reached the soft grasses where it’d happened.

It was as if it were yesterday. Niccolo, the stranger, turned his Maserati into the bush and turned her into a creature of the night. ‘Come, my lifeless bride. Come away with me. Be mine eternally.’

‘Remember?’ Julius took her in his arms and trailed kisses down her neck.

‘I remember.’

Julius had followed them into the forest in his old beat up Toyota.

He’d wrenched open the Maserati door and dragged Niccolo outside.

Niccolo had spung up, pounded a fist into Julian’s temple. While he lay unconscious, and while Enya lay inert inside the car, Niccolo had drunk from Julian too. He'd followed her into the Otherworld, away from her island. 

That was Niccolo’s grave mistake ...

‘You reap what you sow,’ Julius said, kissing the top of her head.

 'Payback.’ Enya smiled to herself as the forest wrapped her in its arms. When Julius grew in vampire strength, he’d overpowered Niccolo and disappeared into the night with his love, Enya. To return to the island they loved.

‘I never want to leave this island.’ Enya looked deep into Julius’s eyes. What had seemed boring and ho-hum, was now exciting and fresh. Every day brought a new wonder.

She saw herself in the villagers. She watched their comings and goings. Did she envy them their short mortal lives? She wasn’t sure. This was her new reality. She must embrace it.

It was like a song in her head:  

 

For your grave mistake
You can't save yourself
Or save your soul
You can't save yourself

Rage, scorn, misery
What’s the point?
Let hope, love, sanity
fill your days

  Here's to believing in ghosts
When you look into my face, you'll know.


WORDS: 956
FCA

I hope you enjoyed my ghostly little flash. To read more, go to the Write...Edit...Publish website or click on names in my sidebar.

If you can't join us for October, think about joining us for December. The prompt is:



Thanks for coming by.





58 comments:

  1. Her 'grave mistake' identified her true love - and brought them together for eternity.
    If only all mistakes ended so well.
    It is wrong of me I know, but the no reflection thing, gives me a new appreciation for becoming a vampire...

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    1. Ha ha. One good thing about the vampire life eh Sue.

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  2. LOL, I have to agree with Sue, no reflection what a blessing.
    Hi, Denise!
    What a great entry for the 'grave mistake' prompt. Because it surely was. Still, I loved the happy ending! I'm looking forward to reading all the entries for this one.
    PS: I've voted, now I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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    1. Thanks Renee. All holding our breath til Nov 3.

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  3. Loved your submission and how the drama really increases when she meets the stranger. And I sure wasn't expecting your ending. Great job!

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  4. Hi Denise - oh to be lost in time with the love of my life ... and perhaps fun to watch the world as we live our ghostly existence - it's the horrifying thought of the throat being bitten in to. Well done - great descriptions ... we need happy endings right now. All the best - Hilary

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  5. Wonderfully spooky Denise. Many flashbacks and forward in such a short piece maybe. Enjoyed the descriptions and endtwist immensely.

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    1. Thanks Susan. I think the flashbacks were necessary.

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  6. Hi,
    This is sooooo good. You write wonderful vampire stories. You had me from the beginning to the end. They can never be what they once were but it is good that they can be together.
    Shalom aleichem
    Pat

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    1. I know you like your happy endings Pat. Glad you liked it.

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  7. What a lovely ending to a spooky set-up! I can't decide if no reflection is good or bad. I find that I like seeing myself as I age and change over time but do wish my size would stay the same. Oh well, can't have it all, but at least you can have the love of your life, however long that is.

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    1. No reflection would be off putting I think. But nice to have a companion.

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  8. I wonder how many others has Niccolo turned into vampires đŸ€”

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  9. Nicely spooky, Denise, and I loved the wrap up. This is a great entry for the theme this month.

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  10. Nice take on the vampire trope. It backfired for Niccolo alright. Glad there was a happy ending!

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  11. Wonderful and seasonal with a great twist. I love your phrasing, Denise - like: "...until the rough edges of her dissatisfaction blurred." As others have said, this was a neat variation and angle on the 'vampire trope' - fresh as mountain water.

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  12. Loved it, Denise.
    Nancy
    Having trouble signing into Google, so it's a blank picture.

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    1. Thank you Nancy. So lovely to see you doing WEP again!

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  13. Great twist!! I love that the couple can be happily together for eternity!

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  14. I can see how she was tempted by the handsome stranger. Who hasn't yearned for excitement and adventure? I'm glad she ultimately appreciated the love she had and the island she came from, but I also felt some of the loss she feels. Still, she's right. This is her reality now. She should make the best of it.

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  15. Luckily she had a champion who saved her and returned her home.

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  16. I always love it when smarmy creeps in flashy cars get their come-uppance :)

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  17. Ooooh. From finding the start a little bumpy, I really got drawn in. Great atmosphere and a lovely denouement. Thank you. :)

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  18. A refreshing take on the classic vampire cliché. The prose flows with vivid imagery and pace. Well done, Denise.

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  19. If a grave mistake ends in a HEA does it remain a mistake? :) The grass is always greener on the other side, but turns out to be Astroturf when you get there. Glad she was rescued from the Maserati driving villain, flashy cars always make me super suspicious!

    Your imagery is always captivating. Perfect flash for the spooktober fest!

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  20. I agree with Nila, your imagery always captures. You take us right into the scene so we can almost smell and taste the forest, the water. Great twist to the story as well.

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  21. I like the idea of the moon watching the shenanigans going on below. Great story with a lovely twist.

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  22. Love, immortality, revenge. This has it all. Really loved the opening.

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    1. Glad that you said that Donna as not everyone did LOL.

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  23. I love that the moon is watching them.
    Hummus? Mmm... delicious.
    Ohhh, why don't they have a reflection?
    Vampires!
    Thanks for this excellent journey.

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    1. Thanks JLenni. Hummus is also dead undergrowth. Glad you liked it.

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  24. That was a surprisingly sweet vampire tale! Thanks for sharing :)

    Question: do vampires show up in photos? Can modern vampires take selfies to find out if they've combed their hair?

    BTW, the soil is spelled "humus".

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    1. Apparently vampires don’t show up in photos. I can’t imagine a vampire running around with a selfie stick but who knows? Thanks for correcting my spelling.

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  25. Great take Denise, sad, but somehow true love won through. Why does it take us so much of our "short mortal lives" to appreciate what we have? As some have already said, the grass is always greener... Great take and written with a wonderful flow.

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  26. Well done! Like others have already said, I like that your vampire story had a happy ending. (Um, except for Niccolo, I reckon...) Enya may have wanted more excitement, but she got a heckuva lot more than she bargained for. After all the "excitement" of 2020, I think most of US would like to see a bunch of "Nothing of consequence happened today" kinda newscasts. I'm more than ready for a healthy dose of boring.

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    1. Boring has taken on a gloss it once didn't have. Hmm. How is this election going to end?

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  27. An unexpected end and a great take Denise. Sorry I'm turning in really late. Trying to catch up with all the entries gradually.
    Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

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