Witch Hunt

Originally posted on Sept. 1 2008

This weeks prompt comes from: Mode Room Press, at
www.moderoom.com

Describe a witch hunt in a Scottish Village.
with a case of hand grenades.
Such misery is the result of too much sleep!
Two Policeman enter.
While a man in the shadows loads a rifle.


Witch Hunt Audio

Witch Hunt

“You know, there aren’t really any witches in Scotland any more,” I said.
“What are you talking about? Of course there are. What do you think that we have been doing for the last five years?” Matt looked at me with a look of pity.
“For one thing we have been getting wet every Saturday night instead of hanging out in the pub with the guys. And what have we got to show for it?”
“Well there are no witches in this village, that is what we have to show for it. And what do you mean by there are no witches in Scotland? You saw the same report I did just last week.”
We stopped under an eve and waited while two police officers walked by. We weren’t doing anything illegal, but the case of hand grenades that Matt insisted on keeping in the back seat of the car, just in case, was a sure bet to get us in more trouble then we were looking for.
“I saw the report just like you Matt,” I said after they had moved out of ear shot. “But what I didn’t see in there was what those people were doing that was wrong.”
“Sammy, their witches. They are going to be hexing our children and get them to come eat the gingerbread off their houses and then what? Then what will you do?”
“Matt,” I said grabbing his arm as he tried to step out from under the eve. “What are you talking about? That is a fairy tale. Did you read the report? Those people are Wiccan, technically that makes them witches but they don’t cast spells and they don’t have gingerbread houses and they said they just wanted to be left alone. I don’t agree with what they believe in, but they are not hurting anyone.”
“Sammy, they’re witches!” He said rounding on me. “Nothing good can come from them being here!”
“But that does not give us the right to do… to do what? What would we do if we found one? Blow him or her up with one of your grenades? What if they have children?”
“So you admit that there are witches and they have our children!”
“Your not listening to me Matty. I meant their own children. They are humans after all.”
“How can a witch have a child? What do they do, ‘magic’ them out of the fire? Then it would be more of a demon then a child, and we have to rid the world of them too!”
“You didn’t read any of that report at all, nothing after the title.” I sighed deeply. “This brand of witches are men and women, and they don’t do magic, they believe in trees and grass, and they have children of their own just like you and me.”
“Oh Yeah! Well what about that dream? What about the one where they told me to rid the country side of witches?”
“Matt, you had been sick and sleeping for three days. You had a nightmare, that is the only thing that can explain it. It is the only thing that could cause this much Misery.”
“Sam, if you don’t believe me fine, but I am doing to do what I have to do to keep all of us safe. You will thank me when your kids are grown and they have not been roasted and put on the diner table of some witch family.” He stopped then and took something out of his back pack. It was a rectangular box. As he opened it up I knew what it was going to be. He had bought a rifle, the kind you could take apart and put back together.
“Matt, what is that? You have gone off the deep end. You are going to hurt someone with that thing.” He turned to me, his eyes were red with anger.
“Go then!” he said waiving the unassembled barrel at me.
I ran back up the street the way we had come. Within a few moment I bumped into the two police officers, and I made a choice.
“Officers,” I said breathing deeply. “My friend, I think he is in trouble.” I wavered just a moment and then lied. “He must be drunk or something, but he has a gun. You have got to stop him!”

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Stone’s Cold

This post was originally published on June 2 2008
And I apologize ahead of time for my terrible accents.

Stone’s cold

The prompt for this comes from Moderoom Press:

Imagine a Castle in Scotland
With a terrible disease
the smell of saffron fills the air
a spinster is playing a Wagner
While the Insomniac holds a candle in the dark


Download and listen to Audio for Stone’s Cold.

Hear the Promo for Short Cummings Audio

“Carol, you have got to come see this.” I said staring at the screen in disbelief. I had been on this site for over an hour, and was still in shock about the whole thing.
“Did you find us a vacation rental?” She asked as she came in the room still in her bathrobe.
“Well.”
“Steven, you said you would find something for us so that we could do this trip with the kids and not be searching e-bay for, for whatever it is you search e-bay for.”
“I know but you have got to see this.”
“What…” Her voice told me I had only seconds.
“Look, I was looking for vacation rentals. some times people list them here. Not very often, but I thought I would include it.”
“Fine, what have you found. Was about to take a shower.”
“A castle, for sale! And look at the price.” She moved in closer so she could see.
“That has got to be some sort of a joke. There is no way that is real. It has got to be like some model in Scotland, Iowa or something.”
“I don’t think so. I have e-mailed the seller and, got the GPS coordinates, it is in Scotland, and I have done some research. It is a real castle, built in 1753,” I said gesturing to the new windows I brought up. “This place appears to be real.”
“But that can’t be the selling price.”
“That is what I asked the guy. He said that if we brought the check that he would have the dead of sale. Carol at that price if we brought it only as a vacation home then we would would still be making out.”
“I still can’t believe it. There has to be some sort of a catch.”
“The only thing that he said that I don’t get is that it was a cold castle, but he said it weird, he said, and I quote,” bringing up my e-mail, “You must be warned that the castle has a cold.”
“That is a little odd. Listen I am going to take my shower. Why don’t you call the bank and find out just what it would take to buy a home in Scotland. I am with you that at that price we would be fools to pass it up.”
“That is what I said.”

*****

Two weeks later the four of us sat in the back seat of a cab, on our way to the castle. Carol and I had worked around the clock. The owner wanted to sell immediately and we had not planned to go on vacation until summer. We had to deal with banks and the Scottish government and three of the minor officials of the local government. But, the kids schools had given us the hardest time, and in the end we told them that we were going to home-school. Then there was my job, but I convinced that my boss to let me have a month off and that when I came back I could edit from anywhere.
Despite it all we were all just about giddy with the idea of seeing this place for the first time. As we neared the place, all the brochure images of Scotland filled my head, the moors, the stone fences, the sheep, the tiny little farm roads, and cottages. It took me a moment to realize that I was not imagining it. there it all was right outside the window, and not for the first time I was glad that I didn’t rent a car. There was too much to see, and I didn’t want to miss any of it.
“If you look out out the window to the right you will get a view of Stone manor through these trees in a moment,” the cabie said, “We have to weave around a bit more, so couple more minutes till we get there.”
We all plastered our faces to the window and watched. It was like a dream. The trees broke and we saw the castle. It was just like the pictures had shown. There were two towers and a low wall all the way around it. The castle proper stood in the middle and looked like something out of a story book. I could not take my eyes off it.

*****

“Welcome to Stone Manner, I thank you for coming all the way out here,” The owner was a older man, with slightly thinning hair that was grey with some flecks of brown.
“It was our pleasure,” I said.
“Well let me show you around and then we can go down to the pub, I have arranged for the Mayor to be there to over see the sale.”
“Good we are dieing to see it.”
“This way.” He lead the way into the main hall. The first the we noticed was a powerful smell of saffron that permeated the whole place. It was a pleasant smell even if a bit over powering. “We have to keep the kettle boiling with saffron so keep the cold away,” he said as if reading my mind. “Otherwise you have to break out the chicken soup.” We all laughed but he shot us a dark look.”
“What do you mean,” I asked getting the first sinking feeling since the whole process had started.
“I told you, the castle has a cold. It has for over a hundred years, and we can’t seem to cure it.”
“You mean like it has a bad draft, have you replaced windows and things like that,” Carol ask?
“No, not it is cold, it has a cold. As in it is sick. Put your ears to the stone and you can hear the wheezing, and you don’t want to be around when it it gets bad.”
I put my ear to the nearby wall not knowing what I would hear, and sure enough it sounded like some one with a cold. “How does a castle get a cold?” I asked moving away for the wall.
“Don’t worry, you can’t catch it,” He said noticing the kids and Carol with the hand sanitizer. “Stone Manner was given this cold by a nasty old woman. She was my great aunt. She and my grandmother had vied for the love of my grandfather. She lost out,” he said with a little smile. “But not to be out done, she found a magic way to give their home a cold. It took most of her life, but right after she died the castle got sick.
“You mean she cursed the place,” Carol asked?
“You could say that. But it was not like you see in the movies. She was so jealous that she spend her whole life, brewing it up. The old spinster had to sit in her room night after night listening to Wagner on her Victrola and cooking of the odd herbs. Then day after day she would bring the foul smelling stuff in a tea pot and offer tea to my grandmother. She would refuse of course and it would get dumped in the the garden right out back. The old woman would sit up all night not able to sleep, candle in hand, staring out at the manor house. It was a slow process. But now It has a cold.”
“What do you do for it,” I asked and eying Carol. I was afraid she would want out, and I was still in love with the place.
“We don’t rightly know how to cure it. That is why we are selling it. I have not live here for a few years now. I live down in village, I just have come up here during the day to build the fire up and keep the kettles on. it too much of a pain on an old man, and I have no children of my own to take care of it.”
“Can you live here,” I asked?
“Sure you can. If you don’t mind the smell of the saffron and the wheezing sound when it gets cold. Some times you can hear it through the fireplaces. But enough about this let me show the rest of the place.” He said with a smile and walked out of the main hall.

Creative Commons License
Stone’s Cold by Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at GreatHites.blogspot.com.

Seeing Ghosts

Originally Published May 18th 2008

Well I have made it to week two.

This weeks prompt comes again from Mode Room Press. See their link to the side.

Imagine a man who has visions of ghosts
With a terminal illness
beyond the window is a Sylvan scene
the scoundrels line the wharves
while the insomniac holds a candle in the dark.


Download and listen to Audio for Seeing Ghosts

Seeing Ghosts.

Jacob has seen things all his life, but it was not until recently that he had known what they were. It was on his fifty second birthday that he was diagnosed with what he called terminal lung rot. As he walked out of the Doctor’s office he saw something pass in front of him, just for a moment, and then it was gone. He followed it with his eyes not wanting to see anything in the real word, and it formed a few feet off and stared at him.
It was a man in a striped suit of the kind that was popular a few years before. He carried a briefcase in his left hand and had a ancient looking cell phone in his right, that until he has spotted Jacob he had been talking into.
“Damn thing gets horrible reception in the city,” The man had said.
“They always do.” It was then that Jacob saw it. There was a hole in the mans suit… No not in his suit, right threw him.
“Just got the Diagnosis did you?” The man said noticing Jacob stare.
“What?”
“You just found out about the impending end right? Am I the first ghost you have seen?”
“Yes,” he answered not quite believing the conversation.
“Well you will see a few more of us. It always happens to people who are in tune to the universe. As soon as they know they are going to die things start to come into focus. But do try not to stare, I don’t mind but there are those that find it very rude.” He smiled at Jacob then and walked through the wall in to the office building.
That had been three months ago. It was hard not to stare at some of them, the ones that carried parts of their bodies around. The severed heads where the hardest. That was why he had to leave the city. Every where he turned there were more of them, men, women and children, all a with their particular method of death exposed to the world. He could not stand it any more. But the worst the absolute worst were the wharves. He made the mistake of going down there one evening to get some fish for dinner. There where the usual scoundrels until he looked closer and noticed that many of them had knife or bullet wounds. The sailors that had died at sea, skin green and fish eaten. The Slaves whose bodies had been dumped in heaps hanged or whipped to death, There were even a few men with bucket shaped concert around their feet. All of them seemed to know that he, unlike the rest of the population, could see them and so they spoke to him. He had to get out.
He had, had a hard time getting the financing, too many people already knew he was going to die and had nothing to leave behind. His real estate broker had even been able to see the dead as well, and they warned her about him. He thought at first this would be to his benefit having someone else that could understand his plight but she was as uncaring as the dead. In the end he was able to buy a house in upstate New York, out in the country away from most people. The scene outside his windows was beautiful, the farms and pasture land all around, but even here there was too much history. He did not see as many of the gruesome deaths, the killings or the maiming, but there were enough, the farm accidents and the older ones, from the fur traders and the native Americans before that. So long as he stayed in his home most of the time, he was ok, most of the time.
That was before the nearby farmer had come by. He was an older man, with a grey beard. Jacob was suspicious at first, but when he saw not obvious method of death, he let his guard down.
“Welcome to the area, my name is Brown, live down the road just a bit,” He said holding out a plate of cookies. “My wife baked some cookies.” Jacob reached his hand out tentatively and when his hand didn’t pass right them he was relieved.
“Thank you.”
“Sorry I have not come down sooner, but kind of a busy season. planting and all.”
“I understand,” He said relaxing quite a bit, he had not talked with some one in a while who was not a ghost.
“This land that your house is on used to belong to my father, but we sold off some of it a few years back and they split it up and built houses. At least it is not a subdivision.”
“I certainly understand that. I have seen enough of those.”
“Well listen I need to get back to work, but if you ever need any help around here, let me know. Oh and don’t tell my wife about the cookies, she don’t know I took’em and I ate about half of them on the way down here,” he said smiling mischievously. “The doctor says I have to stay off sweets but I don’t listen to them any more.” Jacob watched the man leave, walking down the driveway and across the field. He ate one of he cookies and truly enjoyed it. It had been on of the best human contacts he had made in a while, and for once he was not seeing a ghost.
“Brown works for me,” The voice behind him said. The plate fell to the floor and shattered as the spirit pushed his way through Jacob. “Surprised you didn’t see that he was one of us, but the plate and cookies probably threw you off.”
Standing before Jacob now was without a doubt death itself. He looked just as the stories had described him with one difference, the cowl was not totally covering his face and Jacob could see into it’s eyes.
“Don’t worry that you can see my face. Today is not your day, but it will be soon, so it is of no consequence. I use Brown to help me find people like you. People who can see the dead. I can use people like you. Think about it. have you ever seen another dead holding a solid object? I gave that to him. His weakness was the cookies… so I gave them to him. in turn he scouts for me. He finds the ones I can take early, the ones who will work for me and the ones who won’t.”
“What do people do for you?”
“What does death do? They kill for me of course. They take the walking dead like you and hurry them along and a few they refer to me, like you.”
“He kills people?”
“He can’t do that, not really, but he can interact with the living in ways that makes things happen.”
“Why?”
“Because he does not want to be stuck in hell… All the other dead you see live for ever with the pain of their deaths. They take their pain with them to the grave. Think about it Jacob, but not too long, you can’t decide once you are dead.” He disappeared then and he stood alone in his hallway, shattered plate on the floor.
That night he said in his bed, the candle by his bed, not able to sleep. He could hear all the voices of the dead in the area now, and he could feel death. He knew that death would never leave him now. Sleep would never come. He held the candle tightly in his hands trying to ward off the dark, and cried.

Creative Commons License
Seeing Ghosts by Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at greathites.blogspot.com.

GreatHites 1 – Adam and Eve

Originally post on May 15 2008

This prompt comes from Mode Room Press. See the link in the PROMPTS section to the side

Describe Adam and Eve breaking up

With a handful of poultry feathers

Such love one has had at times like these

A gypsy wagon comes traveling by

While a virgin discovers love


Download and listen to Audio for Adam and Eve

Like Lilith before her Eve loved Adam. Then again there was no one else for her to love, with the exception of Lilith, and she was a demon now, past love of her own or being loved, except as one loves all of Gods creations. Now there were just the two of them and the animals, and there was love between them. Love that you can only know before you lose that virginity, the virginity if ignorance and bliss. There was nothing but love. This afternoon that had all changed.

Before this afternoon, there had been no knowledge of lust or desire, but now they knew both. There was no anger or jealousy either, but now they were there too. And Adam was gone. He had seen her with the serpent, she had offered him the apple, and they had seen each other for the first time. There was lust and passion, as there had never been before, and all the things that came with them. It had lasted hours, or was it days, it was hard to tell but when it was over, there was the knowledge that it was over. He had left to find food for them both.

She had found him an hour later with a bird in his right hand and some of it’s feathers in his left and, and realized that he was using the same passion to prepare their meal as he had used a hour ago, when he had made love to her, and she left him. She had wandered though the garden with no where else to go, the garden was everywhere and everywhere was the garden.

She came upon a track in the garden, where there should have been none, but as the garden was everything, she thought little of it, and decided to follow the track. The trees closed in around the track and made it impossible for her to leave, but as all the creatures of the garden were under the control of man, and she was, after all made from man, she knew she had nothing to fear.

Then she remembered the warning, “Eat not of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest you shall die,” and she was afraid. In moments she heard a noise. It sounded like horses and of talking between her and Adam, but louder and as if there were more men and women. Then there were the sounds she did not recognize. She stood in terror for the first time in her life, there was no where for her to hide, she did not know how to hide, but she wanted to do it away.

Eve stared down the track in the direction of the noises and trembled, held in place by fear. Soon a group of horses connected by straps to a large object made of wood, that had round objects that it roll along on came into view. There were other horses that were ridden by men and women sat or hung on to the thing being drawn by the horses tethered to it. She knew at once, without knowing how, that this was a wagon and the people were gypsies. They wore brightly colored cloth covering their bodies and heads. The men stared at her. She could feel their eye roam over her naked body, with the same lust that Adam had had for her, but with none of the love that he had. These men just lusted for her body and not for her.

The women stared at her too, but their stares were ones of disapproval. They looked on Eve with shame and embarrassment. She saw in their eyes the need to cover herself. She did so with her hands at first, and when he realized this was of little good, she grabbed a fig leaf and pulled it close to her. They passed by her with only the noise made by the horses and the wagon breaking the silence. She ran then. Fear coursed through her, the fear of her nakedness, the fear of the gypsies, the fear of the animals and the fear of death from them all, and through it all she ran.

The track seemed to go on forever, but she didn’t stop, though she felt pain, that she had never felt before. She looked at her feet as they stepped on rocks that dug into them, and wondered at why they had never done this before. Then came the blinding paid of her head striking something heard and she fell over. Fear of death overwhelmed her, then. Though she did not understand what death was, she feared it, because God had warned against it.

It was the soft touch of Adams hands on her skin that convinced her to open her eyes and stop crying. When she did she saw only love in his eyes. Not the bawdy looks of the men on the horses, or the disapproving stares of the women on the wagon. She knew then that it was only at times like these that love can really be expressed.

She held Adam and cried until the tears would no longer come and his love for her was something she could feel. When they finally pulled apart she noticed that like her, he was covered in a leaf, and that there he been tears in his eyes as well.

“I looked for you Eve, but I could not find you. Then I followed this road. I saw a thing, people, on horses and a wagon. The men made me feel shame and the women stared at me almost like you but there was no love.”

“I saw the same thing, and then I ran and I ran until I hit something with my head.”

“I think you hit me,” he said rubbing the lump on his head that she now saw for the first time. They held each other then, until they heard God calling to them from down the road.

“I do not want him to stare at me like the Men on the horses.” Eve said

“Nor do I want him to look on me with their scorn. I think we should hide.” This time there was a place for them to do so, and they moved into the trees and hid until they could see God.

Eve noticed right away the way he looked. He no longer looked like herself and Adam, somehow he looked greater, more brilliant and in all ways untouchable by someone like her. They had touched him many times before. They often had walked hand in hand in hand through the garden, but now the idea of her hand in his seemed somehow beyond her reach.

Adam held her hand in his, and said “We must stay hidden. He must not know what we have done,” and she knew that he felt the same things that she was feeling.

Creative Commons License
Adam and Eve by Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at greathites.blogspot.com.