The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Old Clock Tower
by Terrie Leigh Relf
Apparently, there was something odd about the old clock tower. Every time a new work team would commence to repair the beams or focus on the clock works, they would abandon the project, sometimes leaving tools behind in their haste to leave the site. Despite growing rumors that it was haunted, I would still spend the occasional afternoon there studying or drawing in my sketch book. It was always warm, even in winter, when the air itself seemed to pulse with a welcome energy.
One afternoon, a horrendous storm began to brew. Not wanting to get soaked through, I huddled inside, listening to the pounding rain, the occasional burst of thunder. A zigzag of lightning crackled through the air, striking the metallic clock works, causing the hands to creak into action. After a few moments, the hands began going forward faster and faster until they abruptly halted.
And then she appeared above me . . .
Startled, I managed to remember my manners. “Hello up there. I’m Mac.”
She lowered her head as if in greeting but didn’t speak.
I scanned the scaffolding, searching for an egress to the upper levels. “Do you need help getting down?”
The young woman continued to lean against a cross beam, seeming oblivious to her precarious position.
As if in response to my thoughts, she took a step off the beam. Startled, I stumbled backwards, then managed to gain my footing, hoping to catch her or break her fall at the very least.
There was another crackling sound, and she had disappeared.
Stunned, I collapsed onto the floor, hugging my knees. What had just happened? Could I have imagined her? But no . . . as within the next barrage of lightning, she returned. This time, however, it was on solid ground.
“You’re alright!” I exclaimed.
“Hurry! We don’t have much time.”
A dark funnel appeared above us where the clockwork had been. The young woman wrapped one of her pale arms around me in a crushing embrace, raising the other upwards toward the mesmerizing darkness.
I clenched my eyes right before we ascended into a maelstrom. Much later, I realized that it felt like being dashed about by waves when my family first landed in the New World. When I opened my eyes again, there was sheer magic about. Magic, and what the Elders would call witchery.
“Welcome to where you really belong, young Ian. We will alter history together.”
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:
For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?