Lucky Seven

@RenWarom decided to tag me in the Lucky 7’s meme that is currently going around. The basic premise is that you go to your current writing project and then head to page 77. From there, start at the seventh line and then post the next seven lines or paragraphs with no explanation or modification.

I love this idea, but I haven’t written anything that has 77 pages yet, so I am going to be picking different 7’s to make this work. My WIP is in the outlining stage of what I hope will be my first novel length work so that’s out to.

Let’s see. How about most recent completed story? Rock Garden was recently finished and has been posted to Critique Circle where I am looking for people to read it and tell me what is wrong. Seventh line for seven lines? That should work.

Ya know, I hope. :-)

*****

The wind blew their hair back and had I been standing off to the side each would have had a halo of spun gold behind them. It was far too windy for me to fish but I never turned down a request to catch frogs and skip rocks. So instead of mending fence or putting a new roof on the chicken coop I was going with my girls to play in the water.

The day had started as it always did. I had fed the animals while my wife made breakfast. My daughter had played with her pets and we had checked the weather to help plan our day. As far as we knew, today wasn’t supposed to be special, just hot.

*****

And so there you go. Now I will try to tag seven others to do the same before I say goodbye for the week and offer another story for you. So I will tag seven that I have been talking to recently. So to you I have to say, “Your It!”

1.) Belinda Frisch @b_frisch

2.) Michael Tat @Michael_A_Tate

3.) Kendall Grey @kendallgrey1

4.) Kristen Lamb @KristenLambTX

5.) Ash Krafton @AshKrafton

6.) Jessica McHugh @theJessMcHugh

7.) Thea Gregory @TheaIsis

L. E. White

Runner

I was frozen in place. You have to admit that staring into the yellow eyes of a large predator could do that to anyone. It wasn’t moving yet. Simply watching and sizing up its prey.

I looked down at my shoes. They weren’t running shoes but considering my days of high school track it didn’t matter. I didn’t need to be faster than the bear; I just needed to be faster than the other people.

Looking at the party made me cringe. My wife would be carrying the cake covered birthday girl and my son was only ten. I was faster the rest of my in-laws. I was faster than any of them.

But my family would not be.

If I did out run them, I would never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.  But I guessed that the hard part about being a coward was living with what you had done.

As the creature stood, I realized that it wasn’t a bear, but rather some cross between a man and animal. It was the sort of thing you see in a bad horror movie, not at your daughters first birthday.

It growled, a low and rumbling sound that you felt as much as you heard. That sound alerted everyone else to its presence. They turned and stared for a moment before it lunged.

That was when I ran. I hated myself but I couldn’t stay. I was crying as I heard the first scream but I didn’t see what happened. I was faster than everyone else.

*****

Two months later, I was sitting in my recliner, drunk out of my mind. My house was covered in newspapers that told of the carnage. Front pages that asked how a small suburban park could host such a bloodbath or how the only survivor could be left to roam free.  I hadn’t been out of the house to do anything except buy more red label and I intended to keep doing that as long as I could.

I hated myself. I hated that I was a coward. I hated that I had vomited on the detective’s shoes when they had shown me photos of the shelter house and the intestines that had been strung around it like party streamers. I hated that I had sobbed until I pissed my pants when they showed me the photo of my daughter’s half eaten first birthday cake with a finger stuck in it to replace the candle.

The sun was setting and I was wondering if I could manage to get up and go to the bathroom when I realized that someone was in the house.

“Take what you want but leave my booze alone.”

My wife stepped around the corner as she said, “We aren’t here to rob you. We just came to see you.”

I squinted one eye as I looked at her. She had my daughter in her arms and my son stood just behind her. “Ghosts again.” Tears stared as I looked down at my lap. “I’m sorry I ran. I couldn’t help it. Please stop haunting me.”

She walked over a put my daughter in my lap, I felt the weight of our girl on my legs and wrapped my arms around her as I hugged and sobbed. “You can’t be real. How can you be real?”

“We came back to visit Dad.”

“Yeah, we wanted to see you after you ran away screaming and left us in the woods to die.”

I looked at them as my girl started squirming. “How did you get away? I thought you were dead?”

My son started shaking as my wife stepped closer. “We got out because we changed. He wanted a family, not food.”

I yelped as pain shot up my arm. When I looked down I saw my daughter’s finger tips carving groves into my arm, her tiny finger tips looked like little black claws and I could see black hair growing on the back of her hand. I pushed her to arms length and looked up to see my son ripping off his shirt. My wife took another step closer, her eyes turning yellow as fangs appeared in her mouth.

“We learned that you don’t leave family behind, so we came back for you.”

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