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Written by TheSword in portal Fiction

In a town as lonesome as this one

It was as lovely as a day could be in a town as lonesome as this one. A light rain was falling; it was the kind of rain that would feel remarkable to dance in, if only there was someone to dance with. Alas, an empty heart longs to be filled until it is a pitcher that has overflowed.

She appears, roaming through the town, as if she was a dancer on a stage. The rain did not seem to faze her. However, the loneliness did for she was a dreamer and she dreamed that one day she would not have to dance alone.

As if pulled by a string a fate, he appeared. The reason he came was to visit an ailing grandmother, but that is not the reason he will stay. Most men would be wearied by the weather now stormy, but he gazed at the sky and laughed a melodious laugh. He made a sound so lilting and magical that she heard him, and like a moth drawn to a flame, she was at his side. In his eyes, she seemed to glow. Her sopping clothing did not hinder her appearance at all, in fact the rain drops on her skin glowed like a million stars, and when the pair began to dance, the stars exploded.

Rarely are two people’s thoughts as synchronized as there two’s were. As they leaped and twirled together, so did their hearts, as they thought about how they would not have to be lonely anymore because they had found each other. Every day they danced together in order to make up for the sorrow they felt before.

However, sad as it is, even the best things must end. His grandmother was healed and he had to go back to whence he came. She wept for him. She wept until she had no tears left for loneliness hurts more once one knows what it feels like to be found. She wept so much that she took all of the water of the atmosphere and the world fell into a drought. The blaring sun made it impossible for her to dance. It was too dry and too arid.

Until one day he returned to the little town, rushing straight towards her as if they were magnets and the pull was too strong for them to be separated. Words fell from his lips like flower petals as he stated how much he regretted leaving her. He was holding her, and kissing her.

It was as lovely as a day could be in a town as lonesome as this one. A light rain began to fall; it was the kind of rain that would feel remarkable to dance in.

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Written by TheSword in portal Fiction
In a town as lonesome as this one
It was as lovely as a day could be in a town as lonesome as this one. A light rain was falling; it was the kind of rain that would feel remarkable to dance in, if only there was someone to dance with. Alas, an empty heart longs to be filled until it is a pitcher that has overflowed.
She appears, roaming through the town, as if she was a dancer on a stage. The rain did not seem to faze her. However, the loneliness did for she was a dreamer and she dreamed that one day she would not have to dance alone.
As if pulled by a string a fate, he appeared. The reason he came was to visit an ailing grandmother, but that is not the reason he will stay. Most men would be wearied by the weather now stormy, but he gazed at the sky and laughed a melodious laugh. He made a sound so lilting and magical that she heard him, and like a moth drawn to a flame, she was at his side. In his eyes, she seemed to glow. Her sopping clothing did not hinder her appearance at all, in fact the rain drops on her skin glowed like a million stars, and when the pair began to dance, the stars exploded.
Rarely are two people’s thoughts as synchronized as there two’s were. As they leaped and twirled together, so did their hearts, as they thought about how they would not have to be lonely anymore because they had found each other. Every day they danced together in order to make up for the sorrow they felt before.
However, sad as it is, even the best things must end. His grandmother was healed and he had to go back to whence he came. She wept for him. She wept until she had no tears left for loneliness hurts more once one knows what it feels like to be found. She wept so much that she took all of the water of the atmosphere and the world fell into a drought. The blaring sun made it impossible for her to dance. It was too dry and too arid.
Until one day he returned to the little town, rushing straight towards her as if they were magnets and the pull was too strong for them to be separated. Words fell from his lips like flower petals as he stated how much he regretted leaving her. He was holding her, and kissing her.
It was as lovely as a day could be in a town as lonesome as this one. A light rain began to fall; it was the kind of rain that would feel remarkable to dance in.
#romance  #microfiction 
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Part 6 of the 6 part challenge Please see details and - (Please do part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 first) We are writing a short story 300 words or more at a time, give or take a few words.
Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fiction

MAJOR RAGER Part 6

The smoke cleared and the flash faded. All that remained of the final boss was a pile of ash, scrap metal, and bloody organs. But hovering above the remains was a golden chest that shined brighter than the gates of Paradise.

All six friends gazed at the object with great awe. The vast prizes was just in their reach. Rosemary and Dominic smiled the largest. But they both felt something odd. Looking down they noticed that their hands were gently clinging together. They flinched away, embarrassed by the compassionate act. Both the human girl and the demon boy tried to keep their eyes on the television, neither one noticing their faces blushing red and small smiles curve their lips after they touched. 

The six players slowly approached the chest. Their minds raced with all the treasures they would earn. The new armor and armor upgrades, the best weapons, unlimited ammo, and thousands of credits—the game's currency—was about to belong to them.

Suddenly, they heard a gunshot. Blood and brain bits splattered out of Rosemary's avatar and it dropped dead. Soon Dominic's followed beyond with a similar fashion. And then Joshua, then Krystal, then Kayleigh, then Ashley. All avatars were dead. Their prize just short from their reach.

Rosie and Dominic dropped their controllers. Their jaws followed too.

"WHAT THE HELL?!?" Rosie angrily screamed.

"THAT'S BULLCRAP!" Dominic also ranted.

Rosie shouted again, "WHO KILLED US?!?"

A single armored avatar, with the gamer tag MOTHERMERCY, stepped onscreen, claiming their prize. Inside the privacy of her office at Brimestone Elementary, Mrs. Wordworth laughed as the in-game riches now belonged to her.

"Oh, bless you, Lord," she gave a fiendish cackle, "Bless you for giving me the strength to pwn these noob suckers! Ahahahaha!"

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Part 6 of the 6 part challenge Please see details and - (Please do part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 first) We are writing a short story 300 words or more at a time, give or take a few words.
Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fiction
MAJOR RAGER Part 6
The smoke cleared and the flash faded. All that remained of the final boss was a pile of ash, scrap metal, and bloody organs. But hovering above the remains was a golden chest that shined brighter than the gates of Paradise.

All six friends gazed at the object with great awe. The vast prizes was just in their reach. Rosemary and Dominic smiled the largest. But they both felt something odd. Looking down they noticed that their hands were gently clinging together. They flinched away, embarrassed by the compassionate act. Both the human girl and the demon boy tried to keep their eyes on the television, neither one noticing their faces blushing red and small smiles curve their lips after they touched. 

The six players slowly approached the chest. Their minds raced with all the treasures they would earn. The new armor and armor upgrades, the best weapons, unlimited ammo, and thousands of credits—the game's currency—was about to belong to them.

Suddenly, they heard a gunshot. Blood and brain bits splattered out of Rosemary's avatar and it dropped dead. Soon Dominic's followed beyond with a similar fashion. And then Joshua, then Krystal, then Kayleigh, then Ashley. All avatars were dead. Their prize just short from their reach.

Rosie and Dominic dropped their controllers. Their jaws followed too.

"WHAT THE HELL?!?" Rosie angrily screamed.

"THAT'S BULLCRAP!" Dominic also ranted.

Rosie shouted again, "WHO KILLED US?!?"

A single armored avatar, with the gamer tag MOTHERMERCY, stepped onscreen, claiming their prize. Inside the privacy of her office at Brimestone Elementary, Mrs. Wordworth laughed as the in-game riches now belonged to her.

"Oh, bless you, Lord," she gave a fiendish cackle, "Bless you for giving me the strength to pwn these noob suckers! Ahahahaha!"
#fantasy  #fiction  #horror  #comedy  #sinsofthefather 
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Part 5 Six Part challenge (Please do parts 1 through 4 first and see details) We are writing a short story 300 words (give or take) at a time.
Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fiction

MAJOR RAGER Part 5

After much progression, after battling reptilian monsters, killer robots, mutated experiments, and other online players, they made it to the final round of the tournament, Level 10. 

It was going to be their greatest challenge yet, but the grand prize that at the end was going to be worth all the hours spent sitting around a television set during the daylight over the weekend.

"This is it, everyone," Rosemary radioed all her friends, "This is what we've been building up to." Her avatar guided the others toward the doorway. "We've won many battles together, and now that grand prize is ours."

Her friends all agreed as their armored avatars raced down the dark hallway to the locked door. They listened to the mechanized whirly sounds as the gears started unlocking. The door opened its metallic maw and the six entered inside. 

There inside was their greatest challenge. There it stood at the center of a lava chamber: a monster, half demon and half machine. Its muscles fused with tubes and wires, flames blazed from its maddening eyes like ritualistic torches. The lower half of its legs were not normal but a centaurian appearance complete with eight robotic legs that resembled spider limbs. Its hands were replaced by a pair of gatling guns that fired rapidly at the players.

The avatars ducked behind cover from the barrage of animated lasers. They fired their weapons back that the behemoth but it laughed as their feeble attacks took small pieces of its health. A carnage of rockets shot from its guns that hit around the players, dealing some damage to their avatar's health. All six friends frantically tapped the buttons on their controllers, trying desperately to stay alive and damage the final boss. Their eyes locked heavily on their screens. Their teeth ground tightly with each counterattack and quick dodging. 

"Any ideas, anyone?" Joseph called out.

Ashley had her avatar scan the battlefield. There on the rafters was a glowing orb with an image of a mushroom cloud inside. Her avatar pointed at the distant object and her friends took notice.

"Ash found an F-Bomb!" Rosemary said. "Cover me! I'm making a break for it."

Her friends continued their assault on the final boss as Rosemary's avatar ran for the orb. The beast's guns were now aimed at Rosemary. Dominic's avatar protected Rosemary with a absorbent shield while the other focused on its head. 

Their hearts pounded sporadically as they moved closer to the orb. Rosemary made her avatar dive at the shining object. A single touch then made it evaporate into thin air. Suddenly her avatar pulled out a gigantic bazooka and shot a single pellet, no bigger than a golf ball at the mechanized brute. It gulped when it felt the small object poke its sternum. 

The T.V. screens gave a blinding flash. When the light ended a massive mushroom cloud formed where the final boss stood. The sole sound it made was an offensive term the kids dared not repeat.

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Part 5 Six Part challenge (Please do parts 1 through 4 first and see details) We are writing a short story 300 words (give or take) at a time.
Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fiction
MAJOR RAGER Part 5
After much progression, after battling reptilian monsters, killer robots, mutated experiments, and other online players, they made it to the final round of the tournament, Level 10. 

It was going to be their greatest challenge yet, but the grand prize that at the end was going to be worth all the hours spent sitting around a television set during the daylight over the weekend.

"This is it, everyone," Rosemary radioed all her friends, "This is what we've been building up to." Her avatar guided the others toward the doorway. "We've won many battles together, and now that grand prize is ours."

Her friends all agreed as their armored avatars raced down the dark hallway to the locked door. They listened to the mechanized whirly sounds as the gears started unlocking. The door opened its metallic maw and the six entered inside. 

There inside was their greatest challenge. There it stood at the center of a lava chamber: a monster, half demon and half machine. Its muscles fused with tubes and wires, flames blazed from its maddening eyes like ritualistic torches. The lower half of its legs were not normal but a centaurian appearance complete with eight robotic legs that resembled spider limbs. Its hands were replaced by a pair of gatling guns that fired rapidly at the players.

The avatars ducked behind cover from the barrage of animated lasers. They fired their weapons back that the behemoth but it laughed as their feeble attacks took small pieces of its health. A carnage of rockets shot from its guns that hit around the players, dealing some damage to their avatar's health. All six friends frantically tapped the buttons on their controllers, trying desperately to stay alive and damage the final boss. Their eyes locked heavily on their screens. Their teeth ground tightly with each counterattack and quick dodging. 

"Any ideas, anyone?" Joseph called out.

Ashley had her avatar scan the battlefield. There on the rafters was a glowing orb with an image of a mushroom cloud inside. Her avatar pointed at the distant object and her friends took notice.

"Ash found an F-Bomb!" Rosemary said. "Cover me! I'm making a break for it."

Her friends continued their assault on the final boss as Rosemary's avatar ran for the orb. The beast's guns were now aimed at Rosemary. Dominic's avatar protected Rosemary with a absorbent shield while the other focused on its head. 

Their hearts pounded sporadically as they moved closer to the orb. Rosemary made her avatar dive at the shining object. A single touch then made it evaporate into thin air. Suddenly her avatar pulled out a gigantic bazooka and shot a single pellet, no bigger than a golf ball at the mechanized brute. It gulped when it felt the small object poke its sternum. 

The T.V. screens gave a blinding flash. When the light ended a massive mushroom cloud formed where the final boss stood. The sole sound it made was an offensive term the kids dared not repeat.
#fantasy  #fiction  #horror  #comedy  #sinsofthefather 
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The story will start with "she died without knowing that i love her"... Try to make a story that full of emotional scene as possible
Written by jgonzalez5671 in portal Fiction

Hush

She died without

Knowing I love 

Her

This unborn child

Of mine

I whispered love

But I can't

Be sure

She heard

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The story will start with "she died without knowing that i love her"... Try to make a story that full of emotional scene as possible
Written by jgonzalez5671 in portal Fiction
Hush
She died without
Knowing I love 
Her
This unborn child
Of mine
I whispered love
But I can't
Be sure
She heard
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Part one of the 6 - part challenge again? For those of you not familiar with this one make sure you see the details.
Written by TheTallOne in portal Fiction

The folly of youth

The car was new one, a 1930 something or other. A four door beauty of an automobile, probably sleek black and all bright chrome in the city, where water and soap were easy to come by. Not here though, the desert marred such things. It moved slowly, wheels swerving around potholes while skirting washouts. The dirt from the road kicked up behind it in a plume of brown. It dusted the car, blurring the smooth lines of the vehicle, dimming the sun shining on the polished chrome. It slowed and turned onto the path leading to Jim's house. It would take them awhile to get to his front door at their current pace. Jim hated cars, so he never paid much attention to the damn things. He couldn't even be certain as to the brand of the thing. They all seemed hot to ride in and uncomfortable by Jim's standards, he preferred riding a horse, an animal with a brain. Debatable on a whether the animal was intelligent, though that mattered little. He never had a horse steer him over a cliff, which is exactly what happen the Stanley kid last week, car and all.

He leaned back in his chair and frowned at the vehicle. A feeling of ill ease crept over his spine and settled on his stomach. Despite his 73 years Jim had every intention of living another 73, regardless of what anyone told him about impossibilities. In all those years Jim knew what kept him alive was listening to his feelings when it came to himself and his family, and right now he felt in danger.

Jim leaned back in his chair. "Abby love. Get my brother on that damn telephone and tell him it looks like we have uninvited guests. And bring me that cane."

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Part one of the 6 - part challenge again? For those of you not familiar with this one make sure you see the details.
Written by TheTallOne in portal Fiction
The folly of youth
The car was new one, a 1930 something or other. A four door beauty of an automobile, probably sleek black and all bright chrome in the city, where water and soap were easy to come by. Not here though, the desert marred such things. It moved slowly, wheels swerving around potholes while skirting washouts. The dirt from the road kicked up behind it in a plume of brown. It dusted the car, blurring the smooth lines of the vehicle, dimming the sun shining on the polished chrome. It slowed and turned onto the path leading to Jim's house. It would take them awhile to get to his front door at their current pace. Jim hated cars, so he never paid much attention to the damn things. He couldn't even be certain as to the brand of the thing. They all seemed hot to ride in and uncomfortable by Jim's standards, he preferred riding a horse, an animal with a brain. Debatable on a whether the animal was intelligent, though that mattered little. He never had a horse steer him over a cliff, which is exactly what happen the Stanley kid last week, car and all.

He leaned back in his chair and frowned at the vehicle. A feeling of ill ease crept over his spine and settled on his stomach. Despite his 73 years Jim had every intention of living another 73, regardless of what anyone told him about impossibilities. In all those years Jim knew what kept him alive was listening to his feelings when it came to himself and his family, and right now he felt in danger.

Jim leaned back in his chair. "Abby love. Get my brother on that damn telephone and tell him it looks like we have uninvited guests. And bring me that cane."
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Part 3 - 6 part challenge! Please read details and see Part 1 and 2 We are writing a short story 300 words at a time..(Give or take a few)
Written by Azothwords in portal Fiction

If A Table Could Whisper - Part 3

No matter the quality of the overcoats or the suits layered inside, the Boss’ gang froze as they stood in the massive warehouse. The men they waited on were late. Everyone knew it, but no one mentioned it. In fact, no one said a word. The only sound was that of the opening and closing of pocket watches. The clicks echoed.

Six of them waited inside, two more at the door, and three drivers waited in running cars. The money sat in leather bags at John John and Mackie’s feet. When a sharp honk buzzed from outside, each man’s ear turned towards it a held their breath. The second honk felt to take forever, but it came. This was the sign that all was clear and their guests had arrived. The young men relaxed at the news. Those more seasoned in the business grew tenser.

The loading dock door opened and filled the room with mid-afternoon light. A truck backed in and armed men piled out. Ragged and tanned by the sun, these weren’t city boys, no, these gents called the backwoods home. Only one suit stood among them, his name was Winston, but was known as Slip. In his youth, he got away with enough pickpocketing to start his own gang and move on to more lucrative pursuits.

“You’re late, Slip,” The Boss grumbled.

“I am here. So shut your mouth.”

The Boss’ men clinched and their brows pinched. John John brought the bags and set them next to the Boss and stayed there at his side.

“Won’t be needing that,” Slip said and snapped his fingers. Just then more men piled from the back of the truck, guns in hand. It wasn’t clear which side fired the first shot, but the room lit up in bullets. John John threw his big body over the Boss and one of the bags of money. He laid there with his eyes closed. When quiet finally came, John John found himself in a room full of corpses and a bag of money. No more Boss, no more gang, but somehow still alive.

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Part 3 - 6 part challenge! Please read details and see Part 1 and 2 We are writing a short story 300 words at a time..(Give or take a few)
Written by Azothwords in portal Fiction
If A Table Could Whisper - Part 3
No matter the quality of the overcoats or the suits layered inside, the Boss’ gang froze as they stood in the massive warehouse. The men they waited on were late. Everyone knew it, but no one mentioned it. In fact, no one said a word. The only sound was that of the opening and closing of pocket watches. The clicks echoed.
Six of them waited inside, two more at the door, and three drivers waited in running cars. The money sat in leather bags at John John and Mackie’s feet. When a sharp honk buzzed from outside, each man’s ear turned towards it a held their breath. The second honk felt to take forever, but it came. This was the sign that all was clear and their guests had arrived. The young men relaxed at the news. Those more seasoned in the business grew tenser.
The loading dock door opened and filled the room with mid-afternoon light. A truck backed in and armed men piled out. Ragged and tanned by the sun, these weren’t city boys, no, these gents called the backwoods home. Only one suit stood among them, his name was Winston, but was known as Slip. In his youth, he got away with enough pickpocketing to start his own gang and move on to more lucrative pursuits.
“You’re late, Slip,” The Boss grumbled.
“I am here. So shut your mouth.”
The Boss’ men clinched and their brows pinched. John John brought the bags and set them next to the Boss and stayed there at his side.
“Won’t be needing that,” Slip said and snapped his fingers. Just then more men piled from the back of the truck, guns in hand. It wasn’t clear which side fired the first shot, but the room lit up in bullets. John John threw his big body over the Boss and one of the bags of money. He laid there with his eyes closed. When quiet finally came, John John found himself in a room full of corpses and a bag of money. No more Boss, no more gang, but somehow still alive.

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The story will start with "she died without knowing that i love her"... Try to make a story that full of emotional scene as possible
Written by nceguy68 in portal Fiction

She knew

She died without knowing I love her.  She had so much pain at the end, I thought it was 

selfish to tell her about my feelings as she laid there in the oncology ward, retching uncontrollably from the medicine that was to make her better.

It all started when I answered the ad for a math tutor, she was in her senior year of college and needed this class to graduate.  She answered the door, and I was struck by her smile. 

As we went on, I'd steal silent stares.  We grew close over those weeks, we became friends too.  But then she started looking like she had lost a lot of weight in those last few sessions.  She had asked me to come to the doctor with her, because she was scared.  She said she had a feeling she knew what it was.

So I went with her, all the while, taking in those long silent stares as much as I could.  I didn't say anything then because she just needed a shoulder at that time.  A hand to hold on to.  And that's what I did till the end, held her hand, somehow, I felt like she knew.

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The story will start with "she died without knowing that i love her"... Try to make a story that full of emotional scene as possible
Written by nceguy68 in portal Fiction
She knew
She died without knowing I love her.  She had so much pain at the end, I thought it was 
selfish to tell her about my feelings as she laid there in the oncology ward, retching uncontrollably from the medicine that was to make her better.

It all started when I answered the ad for a math tutor, she was in her senior year of college and needed this class to graduate.  She answered the door, and I was struck by her smile. 

As we went on, I'd steal silent stares.  We grew close over those weeks, we became friends too.  But then she started looking like she had lost a lot of weight in those last few sessions.  She had asked me to come to the doctor with her, because she was scared.  She said she had a feeling she knew what it was.

So I went with her, all the while, taking in those long silent stares as much as I could.  I didn't say anything then because she just needed a shoulder at that time.  A hand to hold on to.  And that's what I did till the end, held her hand, somehow, I felt like she knew.
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Written by carolinemills in portal Fiction

Interactive Fiction Project

I'm excited to announce that I'm working on an interactive fiction project using Twine. The genre will be YA fantasy, and it will read like a choose-your-own-adventure book with the bonus of an in-game inventory system. I will release more information about this project soon! If there's anything you'd like to see in the storyline, please comment below. Thanks!

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Written by carolinemills in portal Fiction
Interactive Fiction Project
I'm excited to announce that I'm working on an interactive fiction project using Twine. The genre will be YA fantasy, and it will read like a choose-your-own-adventure book with the bonus of an in-game inventory system. I will release more information about this project soon! If there's anything you'd like to see in the storyline, please comment below. Thanks!
#fantasy  #fiction  #adventure  #interactivefiction 
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To celebrate the release of my new book, I am inviting you all to participate in a contest. The concept: Explore a person's struggle to come to terms with a strange, sinister, or surreal reality. This is a broad theme to encourage you to be as creative as you choose. Flash and full length stories welcome in horror, fantasy, surreal, or any hybrid genres. The only rule: Prose fiction only. Three winners will be chosen, who will receive 2000, 1000, or 500 coins + a signed copy of my collection.
Written by kecogan in portal Fiction

Until Death Do Us Part by Karen Cogan All Rights Reserved

Karen Cogan

All Rights Reserved

UNTIL DEATH DO US PART

At the edge of the water, white-capped waves began to break, harbingers of the wrath to follow. A short while ago, the clouds had been merely gray. Now they boiled with ominous darkness as they sank toward the cowering earth. The wind whipped off the lake causing the tops of the trees to sway, as if groaning under great weight. Annoyed at having his fishing trip cut short, Joe turned the car away from the lake and the storm that brewed above it.

The road back to the main highway was ravaged with ruts. He steered between potholes, aware of the heaviness in the air and the darkening of the sky. He grimaced. Everything was going against him lately, even the weather.

Rounding a sharp curve, he saw an old man trudging along the muddy roadside with a fishing rod and tackle box. The man’s face was hidden beneath the wide brim of a frayed straw hat.

Beside him, ambled a short-haired mutt of a dog. It had once been a handsome creature. But now, age had grayed its fur, caused its legs to bow and its skin to fall in loose folds.

Joe drew alongside the old man who plodded steadily along as though he were unaware of any human presence. As the thickening mist engulfed them, Joe had an odd feeling of inexistence, or, at the least another dimension.

He banished this crazy thought. The old fellow probably had bad eyesight and didn’t see Joe. He had to be soaked to the skin and in need of a ride. Joe rolled down his window. The old man turned his vacant eyes on Joe, as if he could see through him. The weathered face held a pale, ghostly pallor. A rainy night and an old ghoul made Joe’s mouth so dry he was unable to speak. He struggled to banish the foolish idea and remember he had only stumbled upon an old man who was caught in a storm.

The man looked away, dismissing Joe’s presence. As he continued his lone trek into the mist, Joe let out the breath he had been holding and pressed the gas pedal with a panicked desire to hurry down the road. There was something strange about the old fellow. As Joe left him behind, he couldn’t shake the feeling he hadn’t seen the last of him.

No more than five miles down the road, the car began a familiar shake and rattle. Joe knew the screws in the carburetor often worked loose. Why hadn’t he checked them before he started this trip? He knew the answer. He was anxious to prove to himself he wasn’t the overly cautious and predictable person Tina accused him of being.

He pulled to the side of the road and opened the trunk. Rain pelted down in huge drops that stung his back and chilled him. Nothing indicated it was going to let up soon. Fishing around in his tool box, he made one quick discovery. He had neglected to put the short-handled screwdriver inside.

Without it, he couldn’t maneuver to reach the screws on the underside of the carburetor. He used his pocket knife to tighten them as best he could and got back in the car.

He started the engine. It jolted like a mechanical bull and died as he rounded a curve. It was raining harder now. He glanced down the road, hoping not to see the fisherman. How long since Joe left him? Ten minutes, perhaps? He shivered at the thought of having the apparition catch up with him.

An old, two-story house sat across the road. Dashing through the rain, he reached the cover of the porch. The house was in need of repair. The paint was peeling off the front door and the doorbell wires hung loose outside the buzzer. The front windows were criss-crossed in spider web veins of broken glass. Joe hoped someone still lived here. If it were vacant, he would be stuck here with a dead car.

He knocked, shivering more from nerves than the chill of wet clothes. A sound of stirring came from within. The knob turned and an elderly woman peered through the crack. Her eyes went wide with surprise and Joe knew, soaked as he was, he must be quite a sight.

“My car’s broken down and I wondered if I could borrow a screwdriver. If you have any tools, that is,” he said.

The woman’s crinkled face broke into a kindly smile. “Why certainly, you poor thing. You’ve gotten all wet. Come inside and I’ll see what I can find you.”

Joe glanced at his muddy feet. “I better not. I’ll get your floor dirty.”

“Then pull your car into the garage. You can work on it out of the rain. I’ll show you where to find the tools.”

“Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

He raised the rickety garage door. The garage smelled musty, like the rot of an ancient forest. An old Buick was parked inside. Joe pulled alongside and got out, glad of shelter. Now, if only she had the right screwdriver.

The old woman appeared, carrying a cup of coffee. “Drink this. It will warm you up.” Joe sipped the hot drink gratefully.

She studied him a moment, and then said, “Now let me see. I have to think back to when I used to watch Walter work on the car.”

She squinted as she surveyed the garage. “I think you’ll find some screwdrivers in here. “

She pointed to a metal box that sat atop the workbench. Joe opened it and found a short- handled screwdriver that looked like it would do the job.

“Walter used to work on the car all the time. It was his pride and joy. I used to come out here and read the paper to him while he worked. If I were the jealous type, I would have taken a tire iron to that car.”

She tilted her head towards the Buick. “When he wasn’t fishing, he was working on that.”

Pausing, her face softened and a small smile parted her lips. Then she added softly, “I miss him a

lot.”

“Was Walter your husband?”

“Yes. We were married forty-six years. It’s hard being parted after so long.”

Joe felt a twinge of pain. Would he and Tina be together to celebrate forty-six years?

He sighed. “It’s hard, no matter how you part. My wife moved out last month. We’ve only been married two years.” He was surprised to hear himself blurting this to a stranger.

As he maneuvered around the carburetor, she said, “Walter and I broke up once. We hadn’t been married very long.”

She gave a soft chuckle. “Nowadays, they’d say we were incompatible. Our dispositions were very different. Walter was a precise person. Everything had a place. It used to drive him crazy when I’d

move things around and forget where I put them. Anyway I got tired of his constant harping about being organized and moved back with my parents. They weren’t surprised to see me. They thought I’d made a mistake marrying such an intolerant man in the first place.”

She paused, lost in the past.

Curious, Joe prodded. “You must have decided you could make it work.”

“We did. We missed each other terribly. All we could agree on was to work on the things that bothered us most and ignore the little things. It’s funny, after a few more years, those things didn’t seem important anymore.”

“I wish Tina and I could make things work. She complains I’m not spontaneous. But it drives me crazy when she does things without planning. Last month, she talked me into going on a weekend trip. It turned out there was a convention in the town she picked. We had to stay in a ratty hotel in a crummy part of town. I told her she should have let me handle the arrangements. I guess that was the last straw.”

She smiled softly. “Love sometimes means you have to accept someone and stop trying to change them. Goodness knows, Walter put up with my sloppy housekeeping for years.”

Joe tightened the last screw and rubbed the screwdriver across his jeans. The old woman was right. He had been trying to change Tina. Being an independent woman, she had resisted. He glanced at the old woman. She had a far-away, wistful look on her face again. “I wish I could touch Walter, kiss him one more time. I miss our life so much. I even miss that old gray dog he took fishing. I used to watch him come down that road while I did my knitting by the widow. He’d come in and tell me, ‘Aggie, I caught us some fish.’ He’d clean ‘em and I’d fry ‘em and that dog would wait for the scraps.”

“Old gray dog?”

“Yes. He was Walter’s most constant companion, if you don’t count that old straw hat.”

The hair rose on the back of Joe’s neck. The old man walking along the road had an old gray dog.

Was his ghost coming back to his beloved wife? He was seized with a desire to get away from here.

“I appreciate your loaning me the screwdriver. Will you take a little something for your trouble?” Joe spoke hurriedly as he reached for his billfold.

“Goodness, no. I just hope you and that young lady get back together. Don’t grow old alone. You have so much life to live together.”

“Thanks. I won’t, at least if she’ll have me.”

Joe jumped into the car and backed out of the garage. He could see the old woman looking down the road. She was waiting for Walter. She knew he was coming. In his rearview mirror, Joe saw the ghost trudging along, unaware of the soaking rain. He was heading for the house.

In less than a half hour, Joe made it to the nearest town. He stopped for gas at a truck stop. Still shaken from his near miss with the apparition, he decided another cup of coffee might calm his nerves.

The café had a homey atmosphere with checkered tablecloths and a counter where the country folk could sit elbow to elbow and talk. It made him long for Tina. He hadn’t talked to her since she left. He’d been too proud to admit he missed her. When he got home, he would give her a call.

He sat down at the counter and waited for the matronly woman who was serving food. She glanced his way and gave him a quizzical smile. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”

“I did. There was an old man coming home with his dog from fishing at the lake. He had the strangest expression I’ve ever seen. It still gives me the creeps.”

“Oh you must mean old Walter,” she interrupted.

“Yes. That’s his name. He was heading back to his house to see his wife. Have you seen him since he died?”

The woman smiled. “Wait a minute. Old Walter may look like a ghost, but he ain’t one. At least, not yet. He’s just an old fellow who likes to go fishing.”

She paused. A sad look filled her eyes. “He ain’t been the same though, since his wife Aggie died."

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To celebrate the release of my new book, I am inviting you all to participate in a contest. The concept: Explore a person's struggle to come to terms with a strange, sinister, or surreal reality. This is a broad theme to encourage you to be as creative as you choose. Flash and full length stories welcome in horror, fantasy, surreal, or any hybrid genres. The only rule: Prose fiction only. Three winners will be chosen, who will receive 2000, 1000, or 500 coins + a signed copy of my collection.
Written by kecogan in portal Fiction
Until Death Do Us Part by Karen Cogan All Rights Reserved


Karen Cogan

All Rights Reserved





UNTIL DEATH DO US PART





At the edge of the water, white-capped waves began to break, harbingers of the wrath to follow. A short while ago, the clouds had been merely gray. Now they boiled with ominous darkness as they sank toward the cowering earth. The wind whipped off the lake causing the tops of the trees to sway, as if groaning under great weight. Annoyed at having his fishing trip cut short, Joe turned the car away from the lake and the storm that brewed above it.

The road back to the main highway was ravaged with ruts. He steered between potholes, aware of the heaviness in the air and the darkening of the sky. He grimaced. Everything was going against him lately, even the weather.
Rounding a sharp curve, he saw an old man trudging along the muddy roadside with a fishing rod and tackle box. The man’s face was hidden beneath the wide brim of a frayed straw hat.
Beside him, ambled a short-haired mutt of a dog. It had once been a handsome creature. But now, age had grayed its fur, caused its legs to bow and its skin to fall in loose folds.
Joe drew alongside the old man who plodded steadily along as though he were unaware of any human presence. As the thickening mist engulfed them, Joe had an odd feeling of inexistence, or, at the least another dimension.

He banished this crazy thought. The old fellow probably had bad eyesight and didn’t see Joe. He had to be soaked to the skin and in need of a ride. Joe rolled down his window. The old man turned his vacant eyes on Joe, as if he could see through him. The weathered face held a pale, ghostly pallor. A rainy night and an old ghoul made Joe’s mouth so dry he was unable to speak. He struggled to banish the foolish idea and remember he had only stumbled upon an old man who was caught in a storm.
The man looked away, dismissing Joe’s presence. As he continued his lone trek into the mist, Joe let out the breath he had been holding and pressed the gas pedal with a panicked desire to hurry down the road. There was something strange about the old fellow. As Joe left him behind, he couldn’t shake the feeling he hadn’t seen the last of him.
No more than five miles down the road, the car began a familiar shake and rattle. Joe knew the screws in the carburetor often worked loose. Why hadn’t he checked them before he started this trip? He knew the answer. He was anxious to prove to himself he wasn’t the overly cautious and predictable person Tina accused him of being.
He pulled to the side of the road and opened the trunk. Rain pelted down in huge drops that stung his back and chilled him. Nothing indicated it was going to let up soon. Fishing around in his tool box, he made one quick discovery. He had neglected to put the short-handled screwdriver inside.
Without it, he couldn’t maneuver to reach the screws on the underside of the carburetor. He used his pocket knife to tighten them as best he could and got back in the car.
He started the engine. It jolted like a mechanical bull and died as he rounded a curve. It was raining harder now. He glanced down the road, hoping not to see the fisherman. How long since Joe left him? Ten minutes, perhaps? He shivered at the thought of having the apparition catch up with him.

An old, two-story house sat across the road. Dashing through the rain, he reached the cover of the porch. The house was in need of repair. The paint was peeling off the front door and the doorbell wires hung loose outside the buzzer. The front windows were criss-crossed in spider web veins of broken glass. Joe hoped someone still lived here. If it were vacant, he would be stuck here with a dead car.
He knocked, shivering more from nerves than the chill of wet clothes. A sound of stirring came from within. The knob turned and an elderly woman peered through the crack. Her eyes went wide with surprise and Joe knew, soaked as he was, he must be quite a sight.
“My car’s broken down and I wondered if I could borrow a screwdriver. If you have any tools, that is,” he said.
The woman’s crinkled face broke into a kindly smile. “Why certainly, you poor thing. You’ve gotten all wet. Come inside and I’ll see what I can find you.”
Joe glanced at his muddy feet. “I better not. I’ll get your floor dirty.”

“Then pull your car into the garage. You can work on it out of the rain. I’ll show you where to find the tools.”
“Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

He raised the rickety garage door. The garage smelled musty, like the rot of an ancient forest. An old Buick was parked inside. Joe pulled alongside and got out, glad of shelter. Now, if only she had the right screwdriver.
The old woman appeared, carrying a cup of coffee. “Drink this. It will warm you up.” Joe sipped the hot drink gratefully.

She studied him a moment, and then said, “Now let me see. I have to think back to when I used to watch Walter work on the car.”
She squinted as she surveyed the garage. “I think you’ll find some screwdrivers in here. “

She pointed to a metal box that sat atop the workbench. Joe opened it and found a short- handled screwdriver that looked like it would do the job.
“Walter used to work on the car all the time. It was his pride and joy. I used to come out here and read the paper to him while he worked. If I were the jealous type, I would have taken a tire iron to that car.”
She tilted her head towards the Buick. “When he wasn’t fishing, he was working on that.”

Pausing, her face softened and a small smile parted her lips. Then she added softly, “I miss him a

lot.”


“Was Walter your husband?”


“Yes. We were married forty-six years. It’s hard being parted after so long.”


Joe felt a twinge of pain. Would he and Tina be together to celebrate forty-six years?

He sighed. “It’s hard, no matter how you part. My wife moved out last month. We’ve only been married two years.” He was surprised to hear himself blurting this to a stranger.
As he maneuvered around the carburetor, she said, “Walter and I broke up once. We hadn’t been married very long.”
She gave a soft chuckle. “Nowadays, they’d say we were incompatible. Our dispositions were very different. Walter was a precise person. Everything had a place. It used to drive him crazy when I’d

move things around and forget where I put them. Anyway I got tired of his constant harping about being organized and moved back with my parents. They weren’t surprised to see me. They thought I’d made a mistake marrying such an intolerant man in the first place.”
She paused, lost in the past.


Curious, Joe prodded. “You must have decided you could make it work.”

“We did. We missed each other terribly. All we could agree on was to work on the things that bothered us most and ignore the little things. It’s funny, after a few more years, those things didn’t seem important anymore.”
“I wish Tina and I could make things work. She complains I’m not spontaneous. But it drives me crazy when she does things without planning. Last month, she talked me into going on a weekend trip. It turned out there was a convention in the town she picked. We had to stay in a ratty hotel in a crummy part of town. I told her she should have let me handle the arrangements. I guess that was the last straw.”
She smiled softly. “Love sometimes means you have to accept someone and stop trying to change them. Goodness knows, Walter put up with my sloppy housekeeping for years.”
Joe tightened the last screw and rubbed the screwdriver across his jeans. The old woman was right. He had been trying to change Tina. Being an independent woman, she had resisted. He glanced at the old woman. She had a far-away, wistful look on her face again. “I wish I could touch Walter, kiss him one more time. I miss our life so much. I even miss that old gray dog he took fishing. I used to watch him come down that road while I did my knitting by the widow. He’d come in and tell me, ‘Aggie, I caught us some fish.’ He’d clean ‘em and I’d fry ‘em and that dog would wait for the scraps.”

“Old gray dog?”

“Yes. He was Walter’s most constant companion, if you don’t count that old straw hat.”

The hair rose on the back of Joe’s neck. The old man walking along the road had an old gray dog.

Was his ghost coming back to his beloved wife? He was seized with a desire to get away from here.

“I appreciate your loaning me the screwdriver. Will you take a little something for your trouble?” Joe spoke hurriedly as he reached for his billfold.
“Goodness, no. I just hope you and that young lady get back together. Don’t grow old alone. You have so much life to live together.”
“Thanks. I won’t, at least if she’ll have me.”

Joe jumped into the car and backed out of the garage. He could see the old woman looking down the road. She was waiting for Walter. She knew he was coming. In his rearview mirror, Joe saw the ghost trudging along, unaware of the soaking rain. He was heading for the house.
In less than a half hour, Joe made it to the nearest town. He stopped for gas at a truck stop. Still shaken from his near miss with the apparition, he decided another cup of coffee might calm his nerves.
The café had a homey atmosphere with checkered tablecloths and a counter where the country folk could sit elbow to elbow and talk. It made him long for Tina. He hadn’t talked to her since she left. He’d been too proud to admit he missed her. When he got home, he would give her a call.
He sat down at the counter and waited for the matronly woman who was serving food. She glanced his way and gave him a quizzical smile. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“I did. There was an old man coming home with his dog from fishing at the lake. He had the strangest expression I’ve ever seen. It still gives me the creeps.”

“Oh you must mean old Walter,” she interrupted.

“Yes. That’s his name. He was heading back to his house to see his wife. Have you seen him since he died?”
The woman smiled. “Wait a minute. Old Walter may look like a ghost, but he ain’t one. At least, not yet. He’s just an old fellow who likes to go fishing.”
She paused. A sad look filled her eyes. “He ain’t been the same though, since his wife Aggie died."



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6 Part Challenge Part 2 - Please see details And make sure you do Part 1 Challenge first
Written by Charlton_Ghosh in portal Fiction

Ariac Castle (Part Two)

The man in question was Isaac Mortimer. He was the last member of the Ariac Castle to live. The only one who had managed to escape the plague. His face was rugged and pock-marked from the disease, but he had used his magic, his forbidden magic, to heal himself.

He could not quite bring himself to feel sorry for those who had scoffed at him. They had sneered at the herbs he used to heal wounds and cure colds. They had jeered when he went out in the street dressed in his long robe. They openly mocked his "mumbo jumbo" he used to ward off the Terrinati. No, he did not miss them. As far as he was concerned, they had received their just reward of death by plague. He had survived.

Isaac, an old man by many standards, was still in the figurative prime of his youth. As a Mage, he could increase longevity, and he had. It was of course an "unnatural" use of magic. At least that is what the Mage Council had said shortly before they had expelled him from their ranks. Bah! What did they know. They were just as bad as the rabble of the Ariac castle. He had happily let them die by their own hands. And what of the Wizards? They had no standards, they had no practices worthy of note. They had merely been an off shoot of the Mage council from some bygone age. The Wizards hated the Mages, and vice versa. And worse still, the lukewarm middle men would easily switch their allegiance from one side to the next. All based on what they thought would best suite them in the moment.

Isaac hated them all. None of them had ever agreed with his practices, each in turn had called his ideas dangerous. Oh, if only they had known. He had studied the works of Forteu, Gretnu, and perhaps most scandalous, Gthrre. Ah yes, Gthrre had had the right ideas about immortality. Forteu and Gretnu had only scratched the surface, but the great Gthrre had managed to bend time and reality to his will. Isaac wanted that power. Ever since the betrayal of his friend. His friend.... he hated that man more then any other. He had left Isaac behind and Isaac intended to get revenge on him. But first he would gain immortality. That would make him invincible.

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6 Part Challenge Part 2 - Please see details And make sure you do Part 1 Challenge first
Written by Charlton_Ghosh in portal Fiction
Ariac Castle (Part Two)
The man in question was Isaac Mortimer. He was the last member of the Ariac Castle to live. The only one who had managed to escape the plague. His face was rugged and pock-marked from the disease, but he had used his magic, his forbidden magic, to heal himself.

He could not quite bring himself to feel sorry for those who had scoffed at him. They had sneered at the herbs he used to heal wounds and cure colds. They had jeered when he went out in the street dressed in his long robe. They openly mocked his "mumbo jumbo" he used to ward off the Terrinati. No, he did not miss them. As far as he was concerned, they had received their just reward of death by plague. He had survived.

Isaac, an old man by many standards, was still in the figurative prime of his youth. As a Mage, he could increase longevity, and he had. It was of course an "unnatural" use of magic. At least that is what the Mage Council had said shortly before they had expelled him from their ranks. Bah! What did they know. They were just as bad as the rabble of the Ariac castle. He had happily let them die by their own hands. And what of the Wizards? They had no standards, they had no practices worthy of note. They had merely been an off shoot of the Mage council from some bygone age. The Wizards hated the Mages, and vice versa. And worse still, the lukewarm middle men would easily switch their allegiance from one side to the next. All based on what they thought would best suite them in the moment.

Isaac hated them all. None of them had ever agreed with his practices, each in turn had called his ideas dangerous. Oh, if only they had known. He had studied the works of Forteu, Gretnu, and perhaps most scandalous, Gthrre. Ah yes, Gthrre had had the right ideas about immortality. Forteu and Gretnu had only scratched the surface, but the great Gthrre had managed to bend time and reality to his will. Isaac wanted that power. Ever since the betrayal of his friend. His friend.... he hated that man more then any other. He had left Isaac behind and Isaac intended to get revenge on him. But first he would gain immortality. That would make him invincible.
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