First Steps of Recovery

A short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – April 2019

04.19 - image

First Steps of Recovery
A Short Story by Lynn Miclea

 

Danielle grimaced in pain and massaged her right thigh. It was aching again, even more than usual. Both legs ached, but the right one was worse today. She wondered if she would ever stop hurting.

Rage surged through her as her mind drifted back to the accident that had left her crippled. She had been crossing the street and was in the crosswalk when some guy who was high on something came barreling down the road, driving much too fast, and hit her. She had gone flying, and both legs were shattered, along with a fracture and dislocation of a vertebra in her lower back. If only she could take that day back and have walked somewhere else instead. But she couldn’t. It happened. And she didn’t want to lose herself in the depths of anger and self-pity. She needed to move forward and not dwell on the past.

When she had first come to the hospital, the doctors had said that she may never walk again. There was the possibility of being paralyzed from the waist down. But after lumbar spinal fusion surgery, and now with plates and pins in her legs, she was getting feeling and movement in her lower limbs again. She spent many days working through the pain, going to physical therapy, and learning to walk again. It was now time to let anger go and to heal.

And finally, it was time to be discharged. Today was the day. She couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital, but at the same time, she did not feel ready. She felt safe and protected while in the hospital, and her stomach fluttered with nerves at the thought of being on her own. Was she ready to be independent yet? A lump rose in her throat. She had been dreaming of walking on the beach, but that dream now seemed distant.

“Hey, beautiful!” Miles strode into the hospital room, a big smile on his face, his light brown hair hanging over his forehead. “Today’s the day. Ready to go?”

She smiled back at her boyfriend. “I think so. I can’t wait to get out of here. But I’m nervous, Miles.”

“I know, sweetheart.” He placed a light kiss on her lips. “But you’ll be fine. And I’ll be here to help you every step of the way.”

“I know. You’ve really helped me through all of this. I could not have done this without you.”

“Hey, where do you want to go on your first day of freedom?”

Danielle’s smile grew wider. “To the beach.”

“Dani, there’s a storm coming in.” Miles’ face got serious. “The beach is not the best idea today.”

“I don’t care. It’s my first day out of this hospital, and I really want to go to the beach. Even if it’s only for five minutes.”

“Okay, sweetheart. The beach it is.” He ran his fingers through his disheveled hair. “Ready?”

Danielle nodded and pointed to her small bag. “That’s it. I’m ready.”

A young woman in a scrub suit entered the room with a wheelchair. “Okay, dear, we have to take you down in a wheelchair, it’s hospital regulations.”

Danielle checked her back brace, then carefully eased into the chair and sighed. Even sitting in the wheelchair was awkward. How would she walk on the sand? But she was determined. This was all she had thought about for the past week—walking on the beach. Especially on her first day out.

After being wheeled out of the hospital and slowly shimmying into Miles’ car, Danielle licked her lips. “I’m scared, Miles.”

“Do you really still want to go to the beach?” He leaned into the car and pointed. “Look at the weather. The wind is really strong.”

She looked through the windshield at the heavy, dark gray clouds overhead, and spoke softly. “Yes. I still want to go.”

“Okay, the beach it is.” He closed the passenger door, got in on the driver’s side, and started the car. “You doing okay?”

Danielle nodded. “I think so. I really want this.”

Miles reached over and squeezed her hand. “You got it.”

Twenty minutes later, he parked the car in the empty lot next to the desolate beach. The entire area was deserted.

Danielle giggled. “It’s beautiful.”

“What?” Miles’ gaze searched her face. “You can’t be serious. Look at it out there! The storm is crazy! It would be hard to walk out there even if you were in great shape.”

“I know,” she whispered. “It’s fresh and real and raw and exciting. Nothing like the hospital.” She returned Miles’ gaze. “I have to do this.”

She put her hand on the car door and hesitated. What if she couldn’t walk here on the soft sand? She wasn’t sure she had the strength yet. This was probably a bad idea. She bit her lip and gazed out at the storm whipping the waves as whirlwinds of sand blew across the beach.

Miles reached out and touched her cheek. “You don’t have to do this today.”

“Yes, I do.” She quickly wiped a tear that ran down her cheek. “I have to do this.”

“I’m here for you, sweetheart. I believe in you.”

Danielle looked up into his eyes. “Miles, I’m not sure I can.”

“Sure you can. I know you, Dani. Let’s go. Show me. I’ll be with you.”

She took in a deep breath. “You’re right. I have to. If I don’t do this today, I’ll regret it. I don’t care what the weather is. I won’t let anything get in my way—not a hurricane, a tornado, or a downpour. Nothing will stop me. This is my day. My first day of freedom and recovery.”

“I’m here. I will walk beside you no matter what.”

“Okay, here I go.” Danielle opened the car door and swung her legs out. The wind wrenched the door open and she gasped. She slowly stepped out of the car, grabbing for the door. Her hair whipped across her face and up in the air as she slammed the door shut. She squinted against the wind as tears formed in her eyes. It didn’t matter. This was her time.

Miles ran to her side. “Dani, you got this. You will be fine.” His fingers brushed her hair back. “You hear me?”

Danielle nodded, as tears ran down her cheeks.

She stepped off the pavement and took two steps forward in the sand, feeling the gale-force wind buffet her, almost knocking her over. She took a few more steps. A powerful gust of wind threw her off balance, and Miles grabbed her. Two more steps.

Fat drops of rain splattered down from the heavy, dark clouds. Danielle laughed, threw her arms out to the side and spun in a slow circle.

A brilliant flash of lightning split the sky.

Danielle glanced at Miles. “Okay, maybe it’s time to go.”

Miles nodded and helped her back to the car. Once inside, she turned to him. “Thank you. This really meant a lot to me. Even just a few steps.”

He nodded. “I know. This was important to you.”

“All those days in the hospital I dreamed of this day. My first day being free. The start of my independence and recovery.” She wiped the raindrops off her face. “I feel on top of the world now. I know I’ll be okay.”

Miles looked at her, his eyes misty. “Dani, you’ll be more than okay. You amaze me. You can do anything.”

“Well, I don’t know about that, but I know I’ll walk again. And I feel great.”

Another flash of lightning lit up the sky, and a powerful crash of thunder immediately followed. Rain pelted and splattered on the windshield in huge drops, making it hard to see.

“Okay,” Danielle said with a laugh. “That was enough. I think it’s time to go home.”

“You got it,” Miles said, driving out of the empty, wet parking lot and back onto the road. “You doing okay?”

Danielle sighed. “Yeah, I’m achy and sore, but I’m glad I did this.” She leaned her head back on the headrest. “And now I’m exhausted and I can’t wait to get home. I need to rest for a while. It’s been a big day.”

Miles nodded. “But you did it.”

“Yeah, I did it. After all I’ve been through, I walked on the beach.” Danielle smiled. “I am no longer a victim. Now my recovery can really begin. I am free.”

 

————————————————————————————

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

 

Please visit my website here for information on all my published books. Thank you!

And visit my author page on Amazon here to see and order any of my books. Thank you!

Please see more incredible stories related to this image here from other very talented writers at the Writers Unite! blog.

 

 

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Escape

A short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – March 2019

03.19 - image

Escape
A Short Story by Lynn Miclea

 

The slap stung her face and brought tears to her eyes. She had to find a way to get out of there and away from that man.

“Now don’t you give me a problem, girl. You’re mine now. I can do anything I want with you.” His sour breath washed over her as his eyes frantically looked around the small room. “Don’t you even think of escaping or it will be even worse for you, I promise.” He backed up and reached the doorway. “You just sit tight now and don’t move. I’m gonna go get some rope and I’ll be right back. Don’t you dare try to get out of here. If you try to leave, I’ll kill you. You hear me?”

Heather nodded, her lips pursed tightly, trying not to let the tears fall. Her face still stung from the slap, and she felt nauseous with fear.

Just this morning, she had been walking the six blocks to high school like she did every day. And this man had pulled up next to her in his car. He had gotten out, said his name was Karl, and he asked for directions. She had hesitated, taking in his old clothes and foul breath. Then he had quickly grabbed her and forced her into his car before she even realized what was happening. But she couldn’t think about that now. It didn’t even matter anymore. Now she just had to somehow get away.

Karl left the room and she heard him lock the door from the other side. She was trapped. She jumped up, desperate. There had to be a way out. She ran to the door and listened. She heard footsteps that seemed to be retreating, and then silence. She tried the doorknob. Locked.

Her eyes searched the room. There was one window, old and dirty. She tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. That seemed to be the only way out. Anxiety clawed at her, and she felt frantic. She pulled her shirt sleeve over her elbow and rammed the back of her arm into the window. Nothing. Again. A small crack. She had to get out!

One more time, harder. The glass splintered. She broke more of the window and pulled out as many shards of glass as she could. Time was running out. She didn’t know when he would be back.

Heather looked out the window. Many tall trees surrounded the cabin. But no Karl in sight. She hoisted herself up on the window sill and scrambled forward, the remaining glass scratching her as she pushed herself through. She dropped to the dirt floor outside. She quickly crouched down, froze, and listened. Nothing.

She took off, running blindly through the woods, her heart thundering in her chest. Roots and small branches reached out to trip her, but she managed to keep her balance and run. A few minutes later a larger root snagged her foot, and she crashed down to the dirt floor. A whimper escaped her with the impact. Filled with terror, she listened. She could hear him stomping through the woods, but she was not sure how far away he was. She got up, stumbled, and ran again.

A path showed up ahead. It would be easier to run on that, but she would also be more visible. She stayed in the woods and ran parallel to the path. Her heart was pounding. It was hard to breathe.

“Hey, you bitch!” Karl’s voice reached her. “Where are you? I’m gonna find you, and you won’t be happy when I do.”

She stopped running and scrambled behind a larger tree trunk. Her breathing came heavy and ragged. Could he hear it? Where was he?

After a few minutes, she didn’t hear him anymore and she ran farther into the woods, away from the cabin. The underbrush was tedious to run through, but she kept going until her chest ached. She stopped, breathing hard, her heart thundering.

“You miserable piece of shit, I’m gonna find you!” Karl’s voice was menacing and it sounded closer now. “Where are you, bitch?”

Heather took off again, sweat and fear drenching her as she ran.

Laughter up ahead got her attention. She looked down the path. A young man and woman were walking toward her, hand in hand, talking and laughing.

Heather ran out onto the path. “Excuse me,” she called out to them.

The couple stopped, and their eyes grew wide with concern. “Are you okay?” the man asked.

“No, I’m not. Do you have a phone? Can you call 9-1-1? Please. Hurry.”

“Sure.” The man took out his phone and looked down at it. “What is wrong?”

“There you are, you bitch. You won’t get away from me.” Karl stepped onto the path, his eyes wild. “And you,” he blared at the young couple, “you two stay out of this. This is none of your business. She’s mine.” He narrowed his eyes at them. “But if you interfere, I won’t hesitate to kill all three of you. You hear me?” He took out a switchblade and waved it in the air. “Enough of this. C’mon, little girl, you’re coming back with me where you belong.”

“No!” Heather stepped closer to the couple. Would they help her? Or would they not want to get involved and risk injury themselves? Had they even had time to call 9-1-1? She wasn’t sure.

Karl took a few steps forward. “C’mon, bitch. Don’t make things worse. You’re coming with me.”

“No,” she muttered. “No.” Terror filled her, and her breathing was fast and shallow.

The young man on the path pulled Heather next to him. “Hey, leave her alone,” he called out.

“All of you are going to die for this.” Karl glared at them, his eyes spitting fire. “Mark my words, you will be sorry.” His venomous gaze narrowed on Heather. “And you, little girl, you will pay for this. And I will have fun making you pay.” He licked his lips.

“No, please, leave me alone.” Her voice was shaky.

“I will not be stopped. And you will be—”

“STOP! POLICE! DROP YOUR WEAPON!” a voice thundered behind Karl.

Karl glanced over his shoulder and then lunged at the group, his knife thrust forward, his eyes wild with hatred and venom.

Heather screamed and backed up. The young man grabbed his girlfriend and took a few steps backward, next to Heather.

“You will die, bitch. All three of you will die!” Karl was ten feet away. He rushed at them.

Shots rang out. The man staggered and took one more step. Another shot split the air and his body jerked. One foot came forward, and then he dropped to the ground, two feet in front of Heather.

One of the two cops rushed to Heather, while the other stopped next to the fallen man, his weapon trained on the body.

The cop who reached Heather looked serious but kind. “Are you okay?” She read the name on his uniform—the name printed was Julian Michaels.

“He … he … he kidnapped me.” She felt woozy.

“We know who he is. We’ve been searching for this guy for months now.” The cop’s face looked grim. “Where did he take you?”

“Back … back there,” she said, pointing in the direction of the cabin.

“We’ll check it out. Your call to 9-1-1 just saved your life. Dispatch contacted us and we happened to be just down the street. You were lucky.” Michaels glanced at his partner who was speaking into his radio. He looked back at Heather. “We’re calling for backup now. Are you injured? Do you need medical help?” He pointed to her arms. “You’re bleeding.”

Heather shook her head. “I cut myself on the window while escaping.”

“You were lucky to get away. Many others didn’t.” The officer shook his head. “We have a lot of questions to ask you.”

Heather gestured to the couple. “They helped me.”

The young man nodded. “I’m sure glad we were here. But to tell you the truth, I was scared myself.”

Heather gave a quick nod and bit her lip as silent tears rolled down her cheeks.

Sirens blared in the distance, getting closer. The cop’s eyes scanned the woods and then looked at the three of them. “We’ll need to talk to all of you.”

“Yes, of course.” Heather shivered and swallowed, a hard lump in the back of her throat. She glanced at Karl’s body and saw a small pool of blood forming in the dirt around him.

Michaels gestured at Karl. “You helped us catch him and bring him down. We are really glad this ended here. And you can rest assured he will not hurt anyone again.” He glanced down the path. “Backup is here. It’s over now. You’re safe.”

“I need to sit down,” she murmured, easing herself down to the dirt path.

“We’ll have paramedics look you over,” Michaels said. “We need to make sure you’re okay.”

“That was too close,” she whispered. “Way too close.”

“I know.” The officer sat down next to her. “I have a daughter your age.” He looked at her, his eyes wet with tears. “Had. My daughter didn’t have a chance to escape. She didn’t make it.”

 

———————————————————————-

 

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

 

Please visit my website here for information on all my published books. Thank you!

And visit my author page on Amazon here to see and order any of my books. Thank you!

Please see more incredible stories related to this image here from other very talented writers at the Writers Unite! blog.

 

 

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I have published 21 books so far — and more are coming! I have published fiction, including thrillers, suspense, paranormal, murder mysteries, and romance. I am currently writing science fiction, thrillers, and more romance!

I have also published non-fiction, including two memoirs of medical issues and self-help guided imagery covering many issues.

I have also published many children’s books, which are sweet and fun animal stories, with lots of silly and fun humor, about kindness, helping others, seeing the best in each other, believing in yourself, and becoming more than you ever thought possible. Great, entertaining books for any child’s library!

For more information and detailed descriptions of my books, please visit my website at www.lynnmiclea.com.

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Always follow your dreams, live with joy and passion, see the good in everyone, and be kind to each other.  I wish much love, joy, and fulfillment for each of you!

 

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Hide and Seek

A short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – March 2019

03.19 - image

Hide and Seek
A Short Story by Lynn Miclea

 

Benjie kept his eyes covered as he sang out. “… 6 … 7 … 8 … 9 … 10. Ready or not, here I come!” He dropped his hands and opened his eyes, taking in the back yard. His eyes roamed over the swing set, the picnic table, the big oak tree with the tree house, and a few smaller trees. But no Stevie. Where did he go?

Benjie knew he didn’t hear Stevie climb the ladder to the tree house, but maybe he’d check anyway. He ran to the oak tree and climbed up the ladder. At the top, he leaned forward and peeked into the small, square, wooden room. A few coloring books, a box of crayons, and two juice boxes. But no Stevie.

He climbed back down. Where did his friend go? He ran around the back yard. “Stevie?” No answer.

A creaking sound made him turn toward the back of the yard. The gate was open. Did Stevie leave and go into the woods?

He knew they weren’t supposed to leave the yard, as they were only six years old, but maybe that’s where his friend went. He glanced back at the house. No one was visible. He knew his mom was inside making dinner. He wouldn’t be gone long. A quick look and then he’d be back.

Benjie pushed open the squeaky gate and walked into the wild brush that grew up above his knees. Was it safe out here? He felt a little nervous. He had never been back here by himself. But he wouldn’t go far.

“Stevie?” He looked at the tall trees. Maybe his friend was just a little farther in, behind one of the trees. “Hey, Stevie, answer me.”

He nervously glanced behind him. He wasn’t too far from home. He’d be okay. He’d find Stevie, they’d laugh, and then they’d go home.

He walked farther into the woods. A path became visible on his left. Maybe he’d follow the path for a bit. Maybe that’s where Stevie went.

Benjie walked for a while, looking at the trees and listening to the chirping birds. A sudden cold wind cut through his thin t-shirt and he shivered. How far had he walked? Where was he?

He turned in a circle. He was on a path surrounded by tall trees and thick underbrush. How long had he been walking? He felt cold and hungry. His mom would be mad at him. Leaves rustled behind him and he jumped. He heard a thump. What was that?

Shivering with fear and the cold, he ran off the path and hid behind a tree. Silence settled around him, but his belly churned with fear. His hands shook. Panic rose in his chest and he tried not to cry. Where was he? Which way was home? He wasn’t even sure which way he had been walking anymore.

He sat down in the dirt near a bush covered in thick leaves and shivered. Looking up, he saw the sky getting dark. How would he get home?

“Mommy?” he called out into the trees. He started to cry and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. Then he broke down in choking sobs.

Footsteps and men’s voices startled him. What if they were bad guys? What if they killed him? His mom would never find him.

The heavy panting of an animal filled the air, and he heard the pounding of running paws on the ground. Benjie gasped and pulled in closer under the leafy bush. No!

The men’s voices got closer. “Abby!” a man’s voice called out.

“There she is,” another voice said.

Benjie’s eyes grew wide as the animal crashed through the trees and stopped next to him. A large German Shepherd sat down in front of him and barked. “Woof!”

“Good girl, Abby!” Two policemen stepped off the trail and stood next to the dog.

One of the cops peeked under the bush. “Are you Benjie?” he asked.

Benjie nodded and wiped tears off his cheeks.

“Benjie, we’re cops, and we’re here to help you get back home. I’m Sam, and that’s Mike.” The boy stared back at them, shaking. “Your mom called us. She’s really worried about you.”

Benjie sniffed and turned to look at the German Shepherd.

Sam kneeled down next to Benjie. “And I see you’ve met Abby.” He stroked the dog’s fur. “This is Officer Abigail, our K-9 officer who helped find you.” He looked at the dog. “Good girl, Abby,” he added and pulled a dog biscuit out of his pocket, holding it out to the pooch. Abby wagged her tail and took the treat, chewing noisily.

Sam looked back at the boy. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

Benjie’s eyes met Sam’s, and he shook his head. “I’m okay,” he whispered. “I’m cold.”

Sam spoke softly. “Let’s get you home. Can you get up okay? Can you walk?”

Benjie nodded and stood up, brushing dirt and leaves off his dungarees. “Is my mom mad at me?”

“She’s worried about you. We’re gonna call in and let your mom know we found you and that you’re safe, so she won’t worry anymore. Then we’ll take you home. Okay?”

***

Benjie ran up the steps to the front porch of his home and rushed into his mother’s arms, crying. “I’m sorry, Mommy,” he choked out.

She scooped him up and hugged him tightly, rocking back and forth. “It’s okay, pumpkin. I’m glad you’re home and you’re safe.” She kissed his head, breathing in his scent. “Where were you?”

“Out in the woods.”

“You know you’re not supposed to leave the yard.”

I … I know,” he stammered. “I was looking for Stevie and couldn’t find him. Where was he?”

“Stevie was hiding behind a trash can on the side of the house. Then he got worried when you didn’t find him, and he came inside and got me. We searched the yard, found the back gate open, and I called the police.”

Benjie sniffed. “Their dog Abby found me. She’s a good dog.”

His mother turned to the officers who were waiting patiently on the porch. “Thank you, officers. I really appreciate all your help.”

Our pleasure, ma’am. We’re glad this one had a happy ending.”

“Me too.” Her voice caught in her throat. “Oh, God, me too.”

The officers and the K-9 turned and walked to their squad car. Benjie looked up at his mom. “Mommy?”

“Yes, pumpkin?”

“I like Abby. Can we get a dog?”

His mom laughed. “That’s not a bad idea. A dog might help keep you safe.” She kissed Benjie’s cheek. “Are you hungry? Let’s go in and have dinner.”

“Okay. I’d really like a dog. And I know what I want to be when I grow up.”

“What, pumpkin?”

“A policeman. Just like those nice men. And I’ll have a big dog just like Abby.”

“That sounds nice. Now go wash your hands for dinner and we can talk about it, okay?”

———-

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

Please see more incredible stories related to this image here from other very talented writers at the Writers Unite! blog.

Please also visit my website here for information on all my published books.

And visit my author page on Amazon here to see and order any of my books. Thank you!

 

 

 

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Returning Home

A short poem based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – February 2019

02.19 - image

Returning Home
Poetry by Lynn Miclea

 

I glide into the room
Frosty coolness permeating the air
I circle around the chair
Trailing wispy, ghostly fingers
Along the seat and the back
Where I had taken my last breath
My body choking and gasping at the end
It had been a tough life

Remembering the heart attack
That finally set me free
Releasing me from my sick, earthly body
Floating weightless in misty light
A deep sense of peace
Greeted by my wife’s open arms
Warmth and love radiating from her
She had been waiting for me

Now one last good-bye to the chair
And I return to vast fields of flowers and euphoria
In a place of indescribable joy
And my wife’s warm embrace
Brilliant light
Endless love
Infinite peace

I am healed
I am whole
I am finally home

 

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

 

Please see more incredible stories related to this image here from other very talented writers at the Writers Unite! blog.

Please also visit my website here for all my published books. Thank you!

 

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Memories of Murder

Another short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – February 2019

02.19 - image

Memories of Murder
A Short Story by Lynn Miclea

 

Keegan stood there, staring at the chair. He had loved using that chair and he cherished what it represented. The memories flooded back. He remembered tying his victims to that chair. The red-brown bloodstains on the floorboards were still visible.

The memories made him smile. He could see the terror in the eyes of his victims when he brought out the knife. He could still hear the screams. He hadn’t killed again in all these years since then. But that chair brought back the cherished memories, and he chuckled.

Keegan remembered how the police were closing in on him and how he quickly left. He had been careless, and they had gotten too close — they had almost caught him. He had barely managed to stay one step ahead of the cops, but it was not easy. They were good.

He fondly ran his hand along the back of the chair as warmth filled him. He was too old now to kill again — he was no longer interested in that. But the memories were wonderful.

They did not bring back the family members he had lost, but they had brought him some relief, even if it was only temporary.

He silently said goodbye to the chair and the memories. It was dangerous to even be here.

Tomorrow he would retire from the police force. This case would remain unsolved, and his record would be spotless. He thought about retiring on Maui, with endless sun and sand — a fitting end to a brilliant career.

A broad smile erupted on his face. He had done it. He was free.

As he turned to leave, he heard tires screeching out in the street in front. A neighbor in a hurry? Then he heard more tires. What was going on?

A loud voice thundered through a bullhorn. “Police! You are surrounded. Come out with your hands up!”

Images of Maui beaches dissolved into images of a jail cell. Where did he mess up? What had he done wrong? How did they know?

He glanced out the front window. Four cop cars were out in front. His own squad — he knew them all. A huge sigh escaped him. He knew they were already at the back as well. All exits were covered.

He would not go to jail. There was only one way out now.

He opened the front door and saw the shocked looks on the faces of the officers who he had worked next to all these years.

He raised his handgun, aimed it at the cop who he knew was the best sharpshooter … and felt his body jerk backward as rounds of ammunition hit him.

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Please see more incredible stories related to this image here from other very talented writers at the Writers Unite! blog.

Please also visit my website here for all my published books. Thank you!

 

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The Haunted Chair

A short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – February 2019

02.19 - image

The Haunted Chair
A Short Story by Lynn Miclea

I stood outside the house, gathering courage to go inside. I had briefly lived here over twenty years ago. When we had first bought the house, we knew someone had died in it, but we thought nothing of it. We just cleaned the place up and moved in.

Then we discovered the house was haunted. A ghost roamed the halls, and it was not friendly. It terrorized us. There were always strange noises, doors opening and closing, lights flickering, pockets of icy cold air, and the sound of footsteps.

But the worst was the chair. The chair in the living room would shake and bounce and creak. I was always terrified of it. I could still remember the day that it bounced after me and chased me across the room. The memory made me shiver.

We didn’t last long in the house, and we left after a few months, taking all our belongings but leaving that chair behind. The house never sold after that, and it remained vacant all these years.

Now I was back to see it one last time. Was it still haunted? Had we imagined it all?

I slowly entered the house. It smelled stale and musty. Gasping, I noticed the chair still there in the living room. The chair that had sparked terror in me so long ago, and it still filled me with fear now. Looking at it made my skin crawl.

The room felt cold. Goosebumps rose on my arms. I still didn’t like being here. I needed to go. As I turned to leave, I heard a thump. A lump rose in my throat. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw the chair bounce. Then it bounced again. The ghost was still here.

A shriek escaped my throat, and I bolted for the front door. As I approached the door, it slammed shut and the deadbolt engaged. I was trapped!

Panicked, my eyes wide with terror, I raced into the kitchen to the back door. That door was still unlocked. I could hear the chair loudly thumping on the floor behind me as I fiddled with the doorknob. I could barely breathe.

My hands shook so badly I could hardly turn the knob. Finally I opened the door and quickly ran out, my heart thudding heavily in my chest.

Blinking back tears, I walked around to the front of the house and glanced back at the building. A shadow crossed the front window.

I knew one thing. I would never go back to that house again. Never.

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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