Stream of Consciousness Saturday. 1/09/2018.

For this week’s #SoCs LindaGHill said: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “round.” Use it as a word by itself or find a word that contains it. Bonus points if you start and/or finish your post with it. Have fun!:

Rules and Pingback Here

Surrounds Acrostic.

Surrounded by clear blue ice water

Undercurrents pulling you out

Ruled by the changing climates

Receeding, the ice flows

Only make things worse

Unsafe for you

Now you starve

Drifting

Solo.

Finish the story 8/25/2018. Blog Hop

This story started with Tessa at The haunted wordsmith.

Teresa’s challenge details can be found here:
https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/finish-the-story-8-25-august-2018/

Rules

  1. Copy the story below as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
  3. Tag only 1 person
  4. If you choose to not participate or finish the story, please comment/tag the original post here so we know.

Part 1.

After serving thirty-five years in the military, Austin retired to a quiet little town in the middle of the Catskills. He had saved money every month since he enlisted so that he would never have to work another day when he left. His plan worked, but now he found life boring and uneventful. Every morning he walked down to Jennie’s Diner for coffee and a little conversation, then over to the library where he would whittle away the day. Three months of this routine and he was going stir crazy. That was until a strange woman asked if he had ever considered writing a book.

“I never really thought about it,” Austin said, flipping through a magazine.

“I have a story to tell,” the woman said, “and I have a good sense about people. You are the right person to tell my story.”

“Um, I’ve never written before. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

“Well then, it’s a good thing I do. Meet me here tomorrow and we’ll start.”

She disappeared before he could even answer. He looked around, but she was nowhere. Austin shrugged. He would be at the library the next day anyway, maybe he would be able to ask more about what she wanted…and why him.

The next day, as the grandfather clock rang eleven, the woman tapped Austin on the shoulder.

Part 2 by Melanie:

“I’m glad you’re punctual!” the woman said. Austin shrugged. Years of military life had drummed that practice into him. He was never late. And to be honest Austin was intrigued. His precisely regulated life was beginning to gnaw at him. Sure, routine and order were important, but he had no idea they were so damned DULL.

Even though he’d lived such a life in his military service, there was always something to DO…some place to go, some orders to follow. As he rose in the ranks of the Army, eventually topping out at Colonel. His pension was substantial because he’d always given first rate service to his country. He was secretly really proud of this.

“Now about my story,” she began…but Austin interrupted her. “Might I know your name first?” he asked. She turned a little pale, but nodded. Hesitantly.

“I’m Rose,” she said and extended her hand to Austin. He shook it, noting that she had fine bones, he could feel them right through the white gloves she wore. A bit dated, a woman wearing gloves. Those hadn’t been the fashion since he was a boy in the 1950s he didn’t think. Austin wondered briefly why his thoughts kept rambling all over like they were…and he forced his mind back to the woman in front of him.

“I’m Austin” he replied, “and I’ve spent the greater portion of my life in the Army. They weren’t big on writing in the Army, at least not my branch. Only Administration ever did much of that! Are you sure you want me to tell your story?”

Rose smiled. It was wistful and rather sad. “Yes I’m sure,” she said. “I KNOW you’re the right one to tell my tale.” Austin noted the powder blue suit and skirt Rose was wearing, and the hat with the netting and little blue flowers across the brim. Again it struck him that her clothes looked really dated and out of place. Man, she really reminded him of someone….

Part 3 by Fandango:

Haunted by Rose’s manner and attire, and how she felt simultaneously strange and familiar to him, Austin went home that night, went up to the attic, and located his mother’s old scrapbooks. She had been the family archivists when she was still living and had meticulously placed old family photographs and documents, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, and obituaries, in dozens of scrapbooks.

After his mother passed, he had all of her scrapbooks boxed up and shipped to him at his home in the Catskills. He had never bothered opening the boxes and sorting through them before. But there was something about this woman who had seemed to approach him from out of the blue, told him that she had a story to tell, and that he was the one to tell it. None of it made sense to Austin.

He spent hours opening up the boxes and searching through the scrapbooks, not even understanding what, exactly, he was expecting to find. But he felt compelled to do so.

It was sometime after 3 am, his eyelids growing heavy and his mind weary, when Austin opened up the last scrapbook and began leafing through the pages. Suddenly he let out an audible gasp at what he saw on the page. Were his eyes deceiving him? Was his tired mind playing tricks on him? Was this even possible?

Part 4 by Michael

He was holding in his hand an old creased and faded photo of a group of people standing under an old Oak tree. Austin didn’t recognise any of the people in the photo apart from the woman on the end.

There stood Rose, a grin across her face and her arm around a good-looking man in his work clothes. The others in the photo all stared towards the camera and Austin could see they were a happy lot of people.

He turned the photo over to see if there was anything written on the back. In faded pen he could make out September, 1919, Horsefold. The name Horsefold did ring a bell with him and he scurried back through the scrapbooks until he found a series of photos depicting the family on holidays at Horsefold. From what he could find Horsefold was a popular family destination and in the post world war one environment the place where great colourful and loud parties were held. The Rose in the photos looked the same age as the Rose he had encountered. But how could this be? She’d have to be over one hundred years of age by now if it was the same person.

He determined that the next day he would seek her out and show her the photo and try and get some answers.

Part 5 by Di

‘Ah, I wondered if you’d find it,’ Rose said looking at the worn photograph Austin had handed her. She seemed to know he’d be looking for her and now they were sipping lattes in the library coffee shop. Rose was relishing hers.

‘How did you know I’d have it?’ Austin asked. ‘You don’t know me from Adam, though I must admit you are vaguely familiar but I can’t figure out why! Is that you in the picture? Are you a member of my family? How come you haven’t aged?’

Rose smiled sadly.

‘That is my great grandmother. They say I look like her. The man is your great grandfather, but they weren’t married.’
Austin didn’t understand.

Rose went on to explain that her great grandmother was The Lady of the Manor at Horsefold and having lost her entire family in the hostilities, had opened her home to the less fortunate to have a family holiday after the war. She enjoyed having the laughter and gaity of children around, and her grounds were sufficient to provide treasure hunts and other activities for all ages. She had become taken with the young man visiting one summer and they had plans to marry.

Then tragedy struck in 1922.

Part 6 by Iain Kelly

Austin couldn’t believe what he was hearing as Rose told him of the events that unfolded all those decades ago.‘The fire that ripped through Horsefold Manor in 1922 destroyed the building. All that was left was a burnt out shell. The windows and doors were boarded up and the ruin stood there for another forty years before it was demolished,’ she paused. ‘But that wasn’t the worst of it. On the day of the fire children from the local orphanage were visiting the Manor. Fifteen in total. They were playing ‘Hide and Seek’ when the fire started on the ground floor. Ten children managed to escape.’

‘And the other five?’ Austin already knew what the answer would be.

‘The inferno was so hot that only fragments of remains were found.’ Rose sighed and continued. ‘The cause of the fire was never determined. No one was ever charged with any crime. Five graves were added to the cemetery in the village churchyard, near to the orphanage. And that was the end of the Manor. My Great Grandmother moved into a small house in another parish, met my Great Grandfather and they lived out their days in humble surroundings. She never saw your Great Grandfather again after that day.’

‘Why do I feel their is something more you have to tell me?’

Rose pointed at the young man – Austin’s Great Grandfather – in the photograph. ‘He was there on the day of the fire at Horsefold Manor.’

‘Did he survive?’ Austin asked.

‘Unfortunately, yes.’

A puzzled look crossed Austin’s face, ‘Unfortunately?’

‘Rumours persisted about the fire that day. Many blamed your Great Grandfather. You see, he was in the military in World War One, fighting for his homeland, Germany. He was badly injured at Ypres and taken prisoner. When the war ended he eventually emigrated to America, where he volunteered at the orphanage in Horsefold and there met my Great Grandmother.’
‘They blamed him because he was German?’

Rose shook her head. ‘The war had left him damaged. These days we would call it Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Things he had witnessed corroded his mind, corrupted him, made him unable to see evil from good. After the fire he fled. I’ve managed to track his movements in the years that followed.’

She took out a piece of paper from her handbag. It showed a list of places dotted around America. Next to the place names was another column, with a date and a name in it.

‘What does this mean?’ asked Austin.

‘This is a list of all the children he murdered.’

My Contribution from James Pyles at Powered By Robots

Austin gazed at the list of five names, the five murdered children, penned on a scrap of paper yellowed with age. He didn’t recognize any of them, but then he didn’t expect to. “You said you wanted me to write your story, but you’re telling me about my Great Grandparents.” The retired Army Colonel, dressed in his usual flannel shirt and jeans, short salt and pepper hair framing a well-worn face, spoke to Rose who was still dressed like a woman out of time, a refugee from another era.

She didn’t look older than thirty-five, but there was something about her eyes, as if they’d seen the fall of Rome, the sails of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria disappearing over the Atlantic’s horizon, the Conestoga wagon trains as they departed Independence, Missouri on their treacherous journey westward. But then, what about Horsefold and the fire? Had she seen that, too?

Rose sighed, her chest rising and falling within the silken lace of her blouse and the tailored powder blue jacket. White gloved hands clutched at her tiny handbag on her lap as the shadow of her wide-brimmed hat fell across her face. Long eyelashes fluttered across ocean-colored irises, and full, crimson lips pursed. “Austin, I haven’t been entirely honest with you.”

“In what manner?” He’d seen combat, led men into battle, faced death a score of times, and yet whatever secret Rose possessed frightened him more than any enemy’s rifles and artillery, more than any horror of war.

“Honestly, I was hoping you’d have guessed by now. How can any two people born a century apart be so identical in appearance?”

“You’re saying…”

“I didn’t know who he was at the time, not really. I carry not only the guilt of those five children with me, but the disgust of having consorted with a man so dreadfully evil, the man I have been hunting for countless centuries. I gave birth to his children and so I bear a certain amount of his shame. I know you won’t believe me, but I am the Rose in that photo, and if you will, I’m a good deal older than a century or even ten. I am a hunter. Like me, your Great Grandfather is an immortal, but unlike me, he is murderous and insane. The deaths of those five dear little children are the least of the crimes he’s committed across the ages. I need your help, Austin. He’s here, somewhere in New York. We have to find him, to stop him, or countless others will die starting with your grandchildren.”

“But I don’t have any children, let alone…” Then he stopped talking and Austin’s eyes opened wide with panic..

Part 8 from willowdot21

What is it Rose, asked studying Austin’s face. Shifting uneasily in his chair Austin looked her full in the eye and replied, how can he kill my children, and grandchildren, let alone my great grandchildren when I have never had or wanted any children.

Rose still sat quietly just watching Austin. Her eyes widened with horror as his last few words sank in. “Are you sure,” Rose asked “that you have no children?” “I am indeed” replied Austin.
Rose took a deep breath and then slowly said that somehow she had made a mistake and that she had obviously approached him in error.

Standing up Rose made to leave, Austin reached across and caught her arm. “Were are you going” he asked her gently. “I have already wasted two weeks approaching you I must get on I must find him! “

Austin looked deep into Roses eyes and he saw only beauty and kindness, he reached out and touched her cheek and said “Rose I am going to help you find this immortal. I may be a mere man but I see only good in you so I am ready to help in anyway I can.”

Rose smiled, it looked like she was about to turn him down when suddenly she took a deep breath and said. “Thank you Austin I would really like that”

They decided to have dinner at Austin’s house and he would show Rose all his mother’s photos and family records. Rose closed her eyes for a moment and thought, maybe this kind brave man could help her. Goodness knows she needed help and she was so lonely there had been no one special in her life for at least 75years.
Rose smiled at Austin as they looked through the old photos and thought ” I feel a true connection with this man.”

Thursday photo prompt: Watcher #writephoto

This is my entry for Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo‘s #writephoto.

The Angel surveyed the moors. He could see for miles infact he could see forever. The future the past and the present, all at once.

Gabriel had often confided to his fellow angels that he found this all seeing ability rather a burden. He had even mentioned this to the big man who as usual just smiled and reminded him that it was no more than a gift.

This place where he stood had aeons before been the scene of the first battle between heaven and hell. When the big man, also known as God and that upstart Satan had first fallen out. Well to say they had fallen out was wrong because the big man never really fell out with anyone, no he was all forgiveness. All the anger, smoteing and serious stuff was left to himself and Michael but mostly him.

Gabriel could see that first battle going on infront of him, the sound, the smell the slaughter. He could see it as it was now calm and covered with fog and at the same time he could see it how it will be in the future.

Gabriel looked up and saw Michael on the top of the hill, he spoke gently asking the other angel had he found the cause for the sulphur smelling fog. “Yes” came a clear and equally gentle reply. Michael answered that not only had he found the source but he had found their youngest and most easily let angel Azriel at the centre of it all.

Azriel a gentle soul not possessed of any of the attributes of angels or archangels was the big man’s most beloved because he was innocent and pure his capacity for love easily made up for his lack of brains or any sort of worldly or indeed heavenly knowledge.

He was alas Satan’s favourite angel too. All Satan had to do was to suggest a course of action and Azriel would carry it out.

Gabriel shook his head and took a deep breath. He did think better of it but he opened his mouth and in a dreadful voice full of anger he shouted. “Satan!” The whole world shook and Gabriel quickly regained self-control before is caused the death of the planet.

Somewhere a mobile phone rang, Gabriel ignored it! It kept wringing, Gabriel gently asked Satan , ” Why do you insist on using that thing when we can just communicate ?” No answer came, the phone just kept ringing. It was Micheal who answered it. “Yes, … Why did you get Azriel to create this fog it is causing havoc?” Michael could hear the snear in Satan’s voice as he replied. “Because I can and I know Gabe will not be amused, he is so sexy when he is angry.” Michael winced knowing Gabriel would hear every word.

Satan’s laugh echoed in Gabriel’s ears, “why, why” he asked silently.

Satan stopped laughing and and communicated fallen angel to archangel. ” Because I can, because I want to, because the big man doesn’t seem to want to stop me.”

Michael gathered Azriel up into his arms and took off to heaven.

Gabriel sat alone in the disapateing fog and wept , not tears of sorrow but tears of rage. This must stop he thought I am no better than a human right now.

The big man looked down and sighed. The weight of heaven, earth and hell was such a heavy burden.

August Stanza 30

It is August and so Jane is doing : a chain of images each one suggested by the last word in the preceding poem. They’ll be short, a single image of just a few lines. It will be interesting to see where it ends up by the end of the month.

Kat will be doing short 3,4, or 5 line poems no syllable counts of rhymes, starting with the word ‘August’ on the first day. The last word of the poem will be the first word of day two’s poem, and so on until the end of the month.

Finally I shall be doing all types of poetry but each poem will start with the last word in the preceding poem.

Today’s Poem is an Haiku.

Visions of love bloom

Hearts break like morning too soon

Lovers take flight zoom.

One-Liner Wednesday. 29/08/2016.

Just when you think you have reached a calm oasis a storm arrives.

Me today.

Part of LindaGHill‘s One-Liner Wednesday. #1linerWeds.

Wordless Wednesday

August Stanza 29

It is August and so Jane is doing : a chain of images each one suggested by the last word in the preceding poem. They’ll be short, a single image of just a few lines. It will be interesting to see where it ends up by the end of the month.

Kat will be doing short 3,4, or 5 line poems no syllable counts of rhymes, starting with the word ‘August’ on the first day. The last word of the poem will be the first word of day two’s poem, and so on until the end of the month.

Finally I shall be doing all types of poetry but each poem will start with the last word in the preceding poem.

Today’s Poem is a Cinquain.

Image from Pixabay

Dream time

The spirits speak

Aboriginal Mists

Clouds and earth have stories to tell

Visions.

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 99, “Change & Defy,” #SynonymsOnly

This is my entry for Colleen Chesebro of The Fairy Whisper‘s

Weekly Tuesday Tanka Challenge.

Image from Pixabay

Please alter me not

Be warned, I dare you to try

I am what I am

I will stand defiantly.

Too often you’ve clipped my wings.

Twittering Tale #99 – 28 August 2018

This is my entry for Kat Myrman of Like Murcury Colliding, Twittering Tales.

“All I said was let them out for a run” Satan mumbled. Michael was having none of it.Gabriel had been sent for time out by the big man. Azriel sat in the corner happily.
The heavenly herd had rampaged the earth leaving destruction in their wake. Satan just couldn’t see the problem

(280 Characters)
Prompt photo by Conquero at Pixabay.com

August Stanza 28

It is August and so Jane is doing : a chain of images each one suggested by the last word in the preceding poem. They’ll be short, a single image of just a few lines. It will be interesting to see where it ends up by the end of the month.

Kat will be doing short 3,4, or 5 line poems no syllable counts of rhymes, starting with the word ‘August’ on the first day. The last word of the poem will be the first word of day two’s poem, and so on until the end of the month.

Finally I shall be doing all types of poetry but each poem will start with the last word in the preceding poem.

Today’s Poem is an SoC (a stream of Consciousness poem)

Life,

What is

Life, is it

Really as it

Appears to be or

Is it like a thousand

Grains of sand upon a beach

Washed and moved by the living tide

Lit by the sun, the moon and the stars

What is life, is it real or is it dream.

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