Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 6

Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!

Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a prompt from Miranda Kate's sixth Mid-Week Flash challenge, you're going to get some! If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.
And so, here is my entry for this round of the Mid-Week Flash Challenge...

The Comforts of Home

Image Château à Cahaignes (Castle Cahaignes), located in Cahaignes, Eure, Upper Normandy, France. Abandoned in 1976

    The manor had long fallen into disrepair. Its magnificent halls, with their ornate decorations now covered by a layer of dust, were silent—save for the rustle of leaves or wayward bird that gained entrance through one of the many broken windows. Here and there, plaster cracked, paint peeled, colors faded. The great house was slowly crumbling, returning the landscape to its natural state, with entwining vines climbing the stone walls, their white blossoms filling the gentle summer breeze with sweet perfume. The once-stately dwelling was gradually, though inexorably, fading from existence.
    So would she, Penelope believed. This melancholy thought consumed her days and haunted her nights. She had already stayed too long. Still, the familiarity of her childhood home brought her comfort. She couldn't bring herself to leave. Each room, each carved mantle, even the play of light through the hazy windows brought back a memory. Most of all, it was the views of the countryside that thrilled her heart. The great oaks in the distance, the fields stretching over rolling hills, the gardens near the house—it had all been a part of her life. 
    To divert her mind from this sadness, Penelope took pleasure in her aimless wanderings among the rooms, delighting in the changing scenes as the days, the seasons, and even the years, passed. One room, however, remained unvisited. It was neither unique nor unusual in any way—merely a small, third-floor bedrooms in the northeast corner of the house that had seldom been used. From the lone window, however, one could spot the stone monuments of the family cemetery standing stoically on a small rise near the wood. The marble spires and obelisks, once brightly polished, now showed pitting and discoloration from age. Weeds sprouted from within the wrought iron fence that guarded the final resting place of her proud family. This disturbing reminder of how things return to nature was too much to bear. Therefore, the door was locked, the key tossed, and Penelope never again entered the room to preclude even the briefest glimpse of the cemetery in which she, too, was buried.   

 351 words without the title... 

© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved


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