Rumors

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by Sue Harris

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Rumors

“You know, Maude, you could stop some of the rumors if you’d just make the effort.”

“Dawn,” Maude said, a slight smile playing on her lips: “Why would I want to do that? It would only spoil their fun. And, besides, I find it all rather amusing.”

Dawn stopped walking. “Obviously you don’t know what they’re saying then!”

Before Dawn had a chance to elaborate any further they arrived at the gate. Maude opened it and stood aside to let her sister proceed up the path ahead of her. The sisters almost collided when Dawn suddenly stopped again and gave a screech of outrage.

“What on earth’s the matter now?” Maude asked, following the gaze of her sister with her own eyes.

“The... the vandals!” Dawn finally recovered the ability to speak. “Just look what they’ve done! How could they?”

Maude realized that her sister had caught sight of the paint on her door and had mistaken the symbol for some sort of graffiti. It didn’t seem quite the right moment for her to explain quite how long it had taken her to get the shape of the lines just right. Instead, Maude unlocked the door and led her sister into the kitchen. Filling the kettle, she busied herself at the counter while Dawn paced backwards and forwards, clearly still agitated.

“Perhaps if you just added a bit of color to your wardrobe... even that might stop the tongues from wagging so much. What about the scarf I sent you last year?”

“The red one? I really don’t think that would make much difference. Besides, why should I change? I like black and grey.” Maude poured steaming water into the cups then added a dash of milk into each of them.

“But there’s talk in the village that you are a... a...” Dawn paused, afraid to finish her sentence.

Maude took pity on her sister and finished the sentence for her. “I know they call me a witch,” she said with a smile, “but that really doesn’t bother me at all.”

“Why? I’d be outraged! No, I AM outraged that they would even dare to say such things about my sister.”

“Sit down, Dawn. Have a cookie.” Maude thrust the cookie jar towards her sister, then helped herself to one, too. For a few moments the only sound to be heard in the kitchen was the munching of crunchy biscuits.

Dawn took a deep breath then began to stand. “Now, let me get to work on removing that terrible graffiti.”

Quickly, Maude reached out and put a restraining hand on her sister’s shoulder. “We need to talk, I think.” Maude took a sip from her mug, then placed it carefully down on the table in front of her. “You might find this upsetting and might not want to believe it, but the gossip is all true. The stark truth of the matter is that is exactly what I am.”

Dawn frowned. “What? What are you saying?”

“I’m telling you,” Maude replied, her tone calm but firm, “that I am indeed a witch.”

“Don’t be so stupid! Father would turn in his grave if he heard you say such a thing.”

Maude climbed to her feet. “You think so? Well, let’s go and ask him. See what he says.”

“Oh, no, Maude. You’ve not gone and gout yourself one of those ouija boards, have you? Please tell me you haven’t. Father always said they were the Devil’s plaything.” Dawn followed her sister towards the back room of the house.

It was always dim in that room, as thick trees stood outside the window. The drapes were drawn back but there was very little sunlight making its way through the glass. Dawn reached for the light switch but Maude grabbed her hand before she did so.

“Dad said lots of things then, but I think you’ll find he feels quite differently now.”

“Maude, have you gone mad? He’s been dead for...” Dawn gasped, pressed her hand against the wall to steady herself. There, sitting inside the back room beside a smoking cauldron, was a figure. Even in his part-decayed state there could be no doubt of who it was. The creature... man... monster... was their father.

“Dad,” Maude said. “I’ve brought you a visitor. Look, it’s Dawn.”

The man’s head turned from one woman to another, then finally settled his dead stare on Dawn.

“But,” she wailed, “he’s dead!”

“Not any more,” said Maude.

 

 


Submitted: April 28, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Spooky-good again, Hull!

Tue, April 28th, 2020 7:05pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike.

Wed, April 29th, 2020 12:15pm

Vance Currie

Ha! Wonderful, Hully. I love the closing line. You have confirmed my view that dialogue brings a story to life. You are good at making dialogue sound (in my head) natural.

Tue, April 28th, 2020 8:56pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Joe. It means a lot to hear you say that.

Wed, April 29th, 2020 12:12pm

Sue Harris

This was definitely not what I was expecting... you always do it, Hully, shocking surprises! Keep them coming... excellent!

Wed, April 29th, 2020 12:42pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you didn't see it coming!

Wed, April 29th, 2020 12:09pm

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