The Iron Writer Challenge #200
2017 Summer Solstice Challenge #6
500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements
Dani J. Caile, Moira McArthur, Steven L. Bergeron, Bethany Totten, David Jobe
(Authors names will be posted to their stories next Thursday, after the voting is concluded.)
The Proclaimers: 500 Miles
The Evil twin
The Power of His Words
Steven L. Bergeron
Father Anthony Clousonetti scientologist, criminologist, he loved a good adventure about as much as spreading the good news. Christianity had been the rock which held St-Peters Christian United together. How can a simple chocolate covered Grail make such an impact?
His new adventure took us deep into the village of Baschurch England, the resting place of King Arthur. We must have walked 500 miles if not a thousand, Father Anthony’s philosophy remained in completion of our quest we shall be closer to God. As the proclaimers sang “we may walk 500 miles, but in the end, we will come back to you.”
The Grail as we know it, might be only a symbol, but being in the hands of my brother Joseph, that could only spell trouble. I was two minutes older than Joseph, and generally I can predict his every move. But since our Father’s death, it would seem that Joseph had ultimately followed in our father’s evil ways.
We where all pooped, dry and out of shape once we reached the end of the village. Smoke coming from a lonely hut indicated warmth, and quite possibly food. As we approached the door there he stood. He was dressed in black, with that evil grim in his face, he simply looked at me.
“Come in brother I been expecting you. I see you brought your entourage. Well hello Father Anthony. It’s been a while.”
“Cut it with the chitter chatter brother, you know why we are here. What have you done with it?”
“Whatever are you talking about.”
“The chocolate Grail, we know you have it.”
“Are you accusing me of stealing your precious cup. That is something our father would do” Joseph attention now turned towards Father Anthony.
“Father I’m surprised you of all people, would condone there thinking”
“I’m simply going with whatever your brother told me.”
“Enough of this Joseph what have you done with it?”
“Know, know brother relax, it is in it’s proper location. I buried it next to King Arthurs tomb. That is right I have put the power of the cup to rest, along with your precious Christianity.”
“See Father I told you he was evil.” The look that Father Anthony gave me was one I have never seen before.
“You are so wrong Micheal, you see I gave your brother the Grail, and instructed him to bury it next to King Arthur.”
“You did what. You led me to believe my brother was that evil?”
“It was all part of my plan. Your brother could not do this on his own. I led you on your quest make sure you arrived safely to learn the truth. You see you all where so much involved with the Grail you believe it over powered Christianity. Which is wrong, for all that I been teaching you, your brother is the only one who believed the real power of Christianity. You see the Grail is simply a symbol, but Christianity is so much more.”
Charlie’s (an) Angel
Dani J. Caile
“But I will walk five hundred miles..!” screamed Charlie my twin as I pushed him down the dirt road in the only wheelchair we could find at the village we passed through three days ago.
“Charlie, you’re not walking though, are you?” I said, and regretted it instantly.
“There you go! Moaning about how you need to push me in this wheelchair! I twisted my ankle on that rock! I’m the one who needs to suffer constant agony! And I’m the one who has terminal cancer!” shouted Charlie for all the vultures to hear as the sun beat down on our heads. I stopped pushing and looked around for any sign of life. A strange sound made me turn back to Charlie.
“What was that?” I asked, noticing something which looked like a wrapper in his hand.
“What?” said Charlie with his mouth full. He hid the offending item into his pocket.
“That… that was a chocolate bar, wasn’t it? You said all we have left are a few slices of bread and some milk!”
“I need to stay alive, Craig! I need to finish my Bucket List before I die! How can you be so self-absorbed? I’m going to die, Craig! Die!” I shook my head and continued on pushing him along the road. This quest to ‘find himself’ before he ‘moved on’ was beginning to take its toll on me. I felt so tired. An urge appeared below and I had to go.
“I have to go.”
“Over that ridge. I’ll be back in a minute,” I said, running up the slope and down the other side. There was a half-dead bush to pee on at the bottom.
“Don’t take too long! Those vultures look hungry! And you never know who’s driving down this road! Bandits, murderers, rapists!”
Rapists? As I finished off, my phone beeped. A signal? Since leaving civilization behind our phones hadn’t worked properly in days. Maybe there was a tower nearby. Fifty four emails, seven messages…wow… the messages were all from Janice at the company. The last one had a link to a news item. I clicked it. With only five percent on the battery, I slowly made my way back to Charlie. When I looked up from the page, shocked by the news, I saw Charlie standing by the wheelchair, having a cigarette.
“What the…! You can stand?”
“Oh! It’s a miracle! My ankle feels much better!” said Charlie, dropping his cigarette into the road. I held up my phone so that he could see it.
“Now I get it. What do you take me for?” Charlie squinted into the screen and smiled.
“A fool. As always,” he said, laughing.
“You bought me out,” I said, not believing my own words.
“Yep. I had to. You weren’t dying quick enough, so I had to spend a little money to get that deal of a lifetime from Havers.” He was evil, pure evil…dying?
“I swapped the files at the hospital. You’re the one with cancer, Craig.”
My head began to spin and I sat down as he continued to laugh. I didn’t feel well…
If I Could Just Get a Minute
I pick up my pen and start to write.
‘There’s an old mulberry tree in the grounds of the Abbey that I walk around three times widdershins.
An old chap sitting on a bench. He nods as I pass. Knowing the significance. High summer is when the mulberries fall. Ripe, fat and squashy.’
The door crashes open and a wet and dripping leather arm is waved in at me, then as quickly goes away. “It’s raining”, says husband from the hallway. “Hanging up my jacket.”
He comes in. “Not many at Ian’s retiral do tomorrow night, but enough there for the afternoon tea. ” He puts on the television. I start again, lifting my pen. “Just as well I had lunch before I went. Catering was awful. Tiny wee cakes.” He lapses into silence again, watching the tv. I wait..but that seems to be it.
This is like a quest. Can I finish writing before any more interruptions come my way? Told I had three hours in which to write, said goodbye to family and came home. Stuck at the newly erected traffic lights for the bit of road they keep digging up. Something to do with building of the new school on the opposite side of the road, no doubt. Lights changed and we were off again. All five metres before the bus stop. We waited in our single lane as the bus squeaked to a halt to let someone alight. Off again, we gained the roundabout. I turned left and joined the inexorable queue up the Main Street. I can see my house, clear as day off the other side of the dual carriage way. Just can’t get to it without the u-turn coming up. Around the island, wait and wait for a gap in the traffic coming down. Thank goodness this car is nippy. Judge and get round, indicator on right away and turn into my Street. Figure if other half is using Over 60s rail pass then won’t be home until after 6.
Alas and alack. Got a lift back from other side of the city to the Main Street. Torrential rain greeted him on exit from the car. Couple of hundred yards to home and he was drenched. Anyway, where was I..
“That’s some hill up to the department. Quite forgotten how steep. From the station too. Adds another hill.” I nod my head. Silence as he turns again to the television…
“Did I say the catering was bad? Should’ve gone to Costco. Got the lot. Maybe they had to go in-house though. Sorry, am I keeping you from something? You’re looking upset. Not your usual chirpy self.” I indicate the notepad and the list of elements. “Can I take you somewhere for a coffee, some dinner, cheer you up?” I give a sigh. Dang it, I’ll never finish at this rate. Interruptions. The Evil Twin of writing assignments.
Gathering my bag, I say ok, let’s go. Step into the car. Engine starts and my phone Bluetooths into life. “If I could walk 500 miles..” Singing, we drive in search of a coffee shop with wifi and chocolate.
Into Your Heart
Although the house was empty, the house creaked and moaned from not only age, but from the wind as well. It seemed alive, eager to tell its story.
“Man, this place is creepy,” Harper commented more to herself then her companions as she walked through the downstairs, casually peering into the rooms. “I can’t believe these people just up and left.”
“I know,” replied Daniel, her boyfriend as he wandered around. “This place is huge.”
Harper walked up the stairs, her camera light guiding her way. She rounded a corner into what appeared to be a bedroom. The wallpaper was peeling away from the walls and a single chair with a doll sat in the corner.
Harper snapped a picture and Daniel’s voice broke her thoughts.
“Yeah?” she called out to him and went into the hallway.
Daniel stood at the base of the attic steps looking at her with an eerie look to his face.
Harper looked at him with an irked look. “What?” she asked him again.
Daniel continued to look at her. He then turned and silently walked up the stairs. Harper rolled her eyes, sighed, and followed him up the stairs. She was met by an empty room.
“Daniel?” she tentatively called out as she walked around the massive room. Nothing, she was alone.
She frowned to herself and walked down the stairs. She started to head down to the first floor and was met by Daniel and their friend Josh on the landing. Harper stopped dead in her tracks.
“How did you get down here so fast?” she asked him.
Daniel looked at her in confusion. “What are you talking about? I’ve been downstairs the whole time.”
“But, I just saw you walk up the attic steps,” Harper protested as she looked towards them in equal confusion. “I swear I did.”
“He’s been with us the entire time,” Josh commented.
The three of them looked at each other in confusion as an eerie wail echoed down the hall. The quickly ran out of the house to their car. It was the last time they explored that particular place.
Mountain of the Dead God
Lore moved amongst the sprawling coca plants that would soon be turned into the delicious chocolate that made the Synti Tribe the richest traders in the south. Fields stretched from horizon to horizon, marred only by the lonely mountain that stood amidst their crops. Shaped like an inhuman skull with jutting horns that now haloed the setting sun, The Dead God Mountain would be the final destination on this long quest. Lore bundled tight her wolf-skin fur, making sure that it hid the markings of her tribe. While they were not at war with the Synti, they would find the mystery of her being so far from her lands reason enough to detain her. Five hundred miles as the crow flies is further than even the most brazen hunter might venture. Lore had to know if the myth of the Dead God was true. She would not rest until she climbed down its gaping maw and discovered if the doorway existed.
She hustled through the rows of plants toward the gullet of the mountain. Just as the horizon turned a murderous red, she slipped beyond a napping guard between two teeth that towered as high as trees, the space between just wide enough to allow her thin frame. Once beyond she found the steep decline that shifted from red clay dirt to some form of rock that gleamed in the torches that lined the walls. Her deerskin moccasins made faint whispers on the hard surface, her form making shadows dance across the smooth rock walls. Soon she began to notice that the torches became fewer, though the light grew brighter. The smooth rock appeared to have lines of blue lights running like veins across it. She found her fingers longing to brush the surface, but as she grew close, she could feel a hum in the air that made her fearful. Onward and downward she snuck, the walls were narrowing in around her. At the end of the throat of the mountain, she found herself standing before what looked like the smooth surface of a still lake, her reflection staring back at her, though the water’s surface was vertical.
“What dark magic is this?”
Her reflection smiled back, revealing pointed teeth that did not belong in her mouth.
Lore raised a hand to her mouth, fearful that she would find herself smiling and having gained sharpened teeth. Her mouth remained a frown.
“I come seeking the way.”
“The way,” her reflection whispered back.
“Enough. Reveal to me the truth!”
Her reflection remained still, though its eyes watched her hand with muted fascination. It was then that Lore noticed that its eyes held a darker hue, the iris near eclipsing the white of the eye. Then the reflection stepped from the waters, emerging to the sound of a thousand voices crying out in fear. The odor of decay and sulfur filled theair. Her evil doppelganger spoke in hushed and measured tones. “You were meant for great things. Now, that future is gone. I’ll show them all the way. The truth.” It reached for her, a cruel smile on its face.
Lore’s scream announced the Return.