#writephoto — The Tomb

“Hey buddy, are you okay?” the cemetery groundskeeper asked, as he helped the man who passed out in front of the tomb to his feet.

Charles nodded his head. “Yeah, thanks, I’m feeling better.” He reached up to his head and felt something wet on his forehead. It was blood.

The groundskeeper handed Charles a handkerchief and said, “You’ve got a bit of a gash on your forehead. Let me take you to the office. The adjunct director, Mr. Natas, is on duty and he can get you cleaned up.

Charles was a little unsteady on his feet, and the groundskeeper gave him a hand as they walked toward the cemetery’s office. “I guess I didn’t look too suave back there when I passed out,” Charles said when he was introduced to Mr. Natas. “I was on my way to visit my late wife’s grave when I felt a blast of cold air coming from that open tomb. I looked over and saw what appeared to be the devil himself rising from it. Then he beckoned me to join him in the tomb. That’s when I must have lost consciousness.”

“You know,” Mr. Natas said in a comforting voice, “a number of visitors to this cemetery, especially at this time of year with Halloween just right around the corner, have complained about unusually cold air around that particular tomb. Some have even claimed to have seen an apparition of a Satan-like being. But I can assure, Charles, nothing like that has ever actually happened.” Mr. Natas’ eyes suddenly got bloodshot, his ears grew to sharp points, and an evil, sardonic smile crossed his face. “So don’t you worry, Charles, you’re in good hands and I promise that I will take very good care of you.”

Written for KL Caley’s #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: KL Caley. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (thanks), My Visual Blog (better), Your Daily Word Prompt (adjunct), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (suave), The Daily Spur (devil), and Word of the Day Challenge (apparition).

#writephoto — Emerging

Is it a figment of my imagination or am I actually seeing some creature emerging from an archway on the side of a building? Am I getting sick? Might I have a fever? Am I hallucinating? Maybe that is what is to blame.

I know. I’ll wave my hand in front of my face and it will be gone. No? Now I’ll cover my eyes, sure it will disappear when I look back. Nope, it’s still there, staring down at me with a mischievous — or maybe even an evil — grin.

That creature — an elf, a sprint, a gargoyle, whatever — may be intrinsic to the brick building. But whatever it is, it’s mocking me, making me question what my eyes are seeing, making me doubt my own sanity.

Now it’s moving again, no longer frozen in place. It’s coming closer to me, reaching out to grab me. With that damn grin on its face. My heart is pounding, my chest is feeling tight. My vision is fading to darkness. That figment of my imagination will be the death of me.

Written for KL Caley’s #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: Geoff Le Pard. Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (figment), The Daily Spur (sick), Word of the Day Challenge (blame), Ragtag Daily Prompt (wave), Your Daily Word Prompt (intrinsic), and My Vivid Blog (tight).

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

I always thought
That having
A lot of
Would make me
I was wrong
I Fear

Written for:

KL Casey’s #writephoto (money). Image by KL Caley.

Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration (happy).

Stephanie Colpron’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt (fear).

#writephoto — And the Band Played On

My small apartment, the one I’ve lived in for the past forty-five years, faces the green space just on the other side of the hedges. There is a small gazebo that I can see from my bedroom window and when my wife and I first moved here, every Friday and Saturday night, the gazebo was used as a bandstand.

Sometimes a folk group would be featured. Sometimes a pop band, or a small classical ensemble. Even a polka band or an old fashioned barbershop quartet would perform every once in a while.

My wife and I would bring a bottle of wine, some French bread and cheese, and lay it all out on a blanket as we sat out under the stars enjoying the delightful music. And sometimes, we’d even wind up dancing to the irresistible rhythms being played by the musicians.

Those were simpler times back then. Maybe about a decade ago, though, the gazebo turned from a place for lovers to enjoy music on peaceful, starry nights, to a hangout for drug dealers and their late-teen and twenty-something customers. The whole bandstand nature had shifted from a lovely place to spend time to a place to be avoided. My wife and I very much missed our evenings at the bandstand. What a shame.

She died around a year ago, leaving me alone with my memories of our life together in our small apartment by the green space. I often reminisce about our weekend evenings listening to music at the bandstand. But last night, I was awakened near dawn by the sound of music coming from the direction of the gazebo. I looked out of my bedroom window and saw lights shining at the bandstand. I also saw ghost-like figures playing their instruments.

I got out of bed, put on my robe and slippers, and stepped outside. I walked, almost as if I were floating, through the hedges and toward the bandstand. The music grew louder and I could see the musicians, still ghost-like, shadowy figures, making beautiful music.

And then I saw my beloved wife, dressed in white robes, beckoning me to come closer to her. I heard her angelic voice telling me it was time to join her at the bandstand once again. As I approached her, the angelic music of the band played on. And I realized that my heavenly wife and I were together once again, this time for all eternity, listening to music at the bandstand we both loved so much.

Written for KL Caley, #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: KL Caley.

#writephoto — Bring Your Kids to Work Day

I brought our two-year-old son to the annual Bring Your Kid to Work Day at my office. My wife was skeptical, feeling that he was too young to appreciate spending the day with me at the office and would be a burden on me. But I persuaded her that it would be fine and I’d be able to keep him entertained, so she reluctantly acquiesced.

Andy seemed to enjoy walking around the building and being introduced to my co-workers, who thought he was adorable, fawned all over him, and answered his never ending “what is that?” questions as he pointed to various objects around the office.

At around 10:45 I got called into my boss’ office for a meeting, so I sat Andy down in my chair in front of my computer monitors and streamed a cartoon movie for him to watch. I said, “Andy, be a good boy and watch the movie. I’ll be back soon.”

When I returned to my cubicle about an hour later, I noticed that my monitor screens were dark, but I didn’t think much of it as it was almost lunchtime, so I grabbed Andy and took him to the employee cafeteria.

When we got back from lunch, there was a sticky note from my boss stuck to my primary computer screen. I sat Andy back down in my chair and went to see my boss. He was not a happy camper.

“Someone opened an attachment and it installed ransomware onto our main server. They’re demanding one hundred thousand dollars in Bitcoins by close of business today or they’re going to start deleting all of our sensitive files, which they have encrypted so that we can’t access them.”

“That’s awful,” I said. “Who would be stupid enough to open up an attachment from someone they don’t know?”

“We traced it back to your computer,” my boss said. “Did you leave your computer on when you went to our meeting earlier?”

“Yeah, but I put a cartoon movie on for my son to watch,” I said.

“It seems that something popped up on the screen,” my boss said, “and your son began to cry and started pounding on the keyboard to get it off. In doing so, he must have accidentally opened up the ransomware and infected our network.”

“Oh shit,” I said. “Am I in trouble?”

“No,” my boss said, “but we’re canceling all future Bring Your Kids to Work Day events going forward.”

Written for this week’s #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: KL Caley.