The Old Castle (fiction)

The Old Castle

Somehow I had taken the wrong road and found myself lost. I was still new to the area and had gone for a walk along the idyllic country roads. A mist had unexpectedly come down in the late afternoon and it was now getting cooler. On the hill above me there rose an old crumbling stone castle. In need of warmth and safety, I walked up to the main gate and knocked on the solid wood door not really expecting to get a response. To my surprise the door opened up with a loud creak, and there stood an old man slightly bent over and dressed in rags. He leered at me.

“How can I help you miss?” he asked in a coarse voice. Taken aback, I was for a moment speechless.

“I’m lost and it’s getting cold. I was wondering if I could come inside for a time so I can get warm again, kind sir?” I asked him while feeling doubtful whether I should really go inside that old castle with him. He smiled and laughed crudely.

“Certainly miss. Come inside, the Mistress will be awake soon.” he said holding the door open for me. I had some reservations about walking in there, but it was cold and so against my better judgement I walked across the threshold. He closed the door behind me. “This way miss.”

I followed him as he led me through old dark musty rooms with his lighted candelabra dreading where it might end. We went up some stairs and he opened a door and beckoned me to go inside. No sooner had I done so, then he shut the door loudly behind me. I heard him lock it, and then he walked off laughing again.

“Let me out!” I screamed at him.

“Enjoy your brief stay miss.” I heard him say with a voice moving further away.

I tried forcing the door open, but it was locked fast and made from the same solid wood the main gate was. I looked around the room. It was dark, but there were some narrow slits in the wall which the fading light came through. Once my eyes adjusted to the gloom I saw in the middle of the room there was a black coffin. I thought it an odd place to house a coffin, so I went to investigate and opened it up. To my shock there was a dead woman inside it. She had long dark hair and ivory skin. She wore a black dress. I closed the lid and went back to the door and started pounding on it as loudly as I could.

“Please let me out!” I screamed, but there was no response. “There’s a corpse in here for God’s sake!”

Slowly the light in the room died out and I reckoned it must be dusk by now. To my shock the coffin lid suddenly opened up and the woman I presumed to be dead slowly emerged out of it. She looked at me and gave a dark smile.

“So nice of my servant to bring me some breakfast!” she said. She opened her mouth to reveal long white fangs. She approached me with a hungry look in her black pitiless eyes. I screamed, but no one else heard it.

Joanne Fisher

I’ve been watching a lot of the old Hammer vampire movies lately…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Tenacious (flash fiction)

Tenacious

No one had expected Amelia to survive her death, but here she was standing by the grave she had just dug up from. It had been difficult at first, but her will to endure overcame any problems digging through the earth had posed. She was alive. She was tenacious. She was immortal now.

Amelia walked out of the graveyard. Having overcome death, it was now time to feed, and she was so very hungry.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 73 + prompt

This was written with the prompt tenacious provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #192.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dressing Up (flash fiction)

Dressing Up

As the sun set, they rose out of their coffins in the crypt.

“Shall we hope someone walks through the graveyard tonight? Or shall we get dressed up and go into town?” asked Samantha.

“Yes let’s go into town!” Katherine replied.

They dressed up in their finest gowns and coats, then headed off. When they got to town they were surprised by the sheer number of people there.

“Are you going to choose one?” Samantha asked after a while.

“There’s just too many of them! I can’t decide!” Katherine replied. Samantha rolled her eyes. Why did this always happen?

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt dressing up provided by the Carrot Ranch January 14 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Visit (fiction/repost)

The Visit

“You may come in.” said the voice behind the door.

Melissa opened the door and walked into the room. The door closed behind her and shut with an odd click. She was now in the doctor’s office. In front of her beyond the chair was a large heavy desk made of oak or possibly walnut, Melissa really had no idea. Seated behind the desk was a man in his 50s, Melissa presumed, with short grey hair and who looked slightly portly. He was wearing a dark suit with a blue tie and was writing something down when she entered. He looked up briefly at her and then continued writing.

“You are Melissa Adamson?” he asked her in his loud authoritative voice.

“Yes I am” Melissa confirmed. He looked up at her again and this time looked her over for sometime as if he was checking for something. “Thanks for seeing me so late.”

“So what brings you here?” he asked her. Melissa sat down on the chair in front of the desk. She didn’t know where to begin. She flicked the dark hair out of her eyes.

“I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately.” she said to him.

“What do you mean by out of sorts?”

“Well I can’t keep any food down, but I feel so hungry all the time. Also, I can’t sleep at night and instead fall asleep during daytime. If I ever go out in the daylight I get very nasty sunburn. My skin is paler than usual. I wonder if I’m anemic” she told him. The doctor nodded his head making hmm noises as he continued writing things down. He then looked up at her.

“How long has this been happening?” he queried.

“About a couple of days.” she replied.

“Did you notice anything before this?”

“Well I did wake up with a nasty pain in the right side of my neck for a few weeks. I seem to have been bitten by something. I think maybe it was bedbugs or maybe something like that, but the odd thing is that I don’t think I’ve been bitten since I fell ill. I did seem to sleep for a few days before I woke up feeling like this.” she told him. He sat back in his leather chair and took a long look at her.

“Have you had any odd cravings lately for any particular food or drink?”

“Well I ended up eating some raw steak yesterday and I…” she didn’t really want to tell him what she had been craving. It was too weird. He thoughtfully nodded his head and began writing something down again on his notepad.

“Any other odd symptoms?” he asked.

“Well all my senses seem to be heightened. I can see a lot better in the dark now, and I can hear people’s hearts beating and hear their blood flowing in their veins and arteries.” When she said the word “blood” she could feel the cravings again, but she quickly continued on… “Also it isn’t a symptom, but dogs seem to be barking at me a lot now and quite viciously, and cats won’t go near me at all. Maybe they can smell something’s wrong with me.” The doctor briefly smiled, but then resumed his thoughtful expression. He got up from his chair and walked round the desk to her.

“I thought I would listen to your heart. Take a deep breath.” he said as he took his stethoscope from around his neck and put on some rubber gloves. When he placed it against her chest it wasn’t as cold as she thought it would be, though she was feeling it through her t-shirt. The doctor went hmm again. He touched her pale arm “You’re very cold.”

“Yes I can’t seem to get warm these days either.” she said laughing nervously. Saying it all out loud made her realise she must really be ill. The doctor grabbed a tongue depressor from his desk and placed it in her open mouth. He peered into her seeming to check her upper teeth at the same time. She could hear his heart beating slow and steady. He then threw the tongue depressor into the bin and walked back around his desk while removing the rubber gloves. He sat down and looked at her.

“I’m afraid you have a case of vampirism.” he said to her.

“Vampirism?” she repeated in an alarmed voice. “Are you serious?”

“Yes vampirism.” he confirmed. “Obviously a vampire was feeding on you the past few weeks, hence the sore neck. Somehow, whether by intent or accident, some of their blood got into you, which would have been around the same time they obviously drained you of enough blood to kill you. Obviously you must have died, but due to having their blood in your system meant that you regained consciousness as an undead entity.” Melissa sat there with her mouth open in shock. She didn’t know what to say. Maybe the doctor was insane?

“So is there anything I can do about it?” she asked slowly.

“Well thankfully there is a cure.” he proclaimed. Melissa gave a sigh of relief. He opened a drawer in his desk and produced a wooden stake. “All I have to do is insert this into your heart with a certain degree of force and then remove your head and you’ll no longer be a vampire.”

“But won’t that kill me?” she asked alarmed. The doctor looked at her blankly.

“Well yes. You are an abomination now. You have to die.” he said as he stood up.

Melissa then also abruptly stood up and quickly ran to the door, only to find that it was locked. She looked around to see the doctor was quickly advancing on her with the stake in his right hand. She was so hungry now and could hear the blood gurgling through his body as his heart-rate increased.

She turned to face him with her fangs out for the first time. This time she would feed and her hunger would finally be sated…

Joanne Fisher

This was the first piece of fiction I ever published on this blog. Up till then I had published articles, poems, and recipes. I remember feeling nervous as hell when I published this, as it was the first fiction I ever had published online and I wasn’t sure if people were going to like it. Thankfully they did 🙂

I did re-edit this piece as it needed some reworking.

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

The House Next Door (fiction)

The House Next Door

“My new neighbour seems to be asleep all day and awake all night.” Rose told Nicole.

“Maybe she’s a writer, or a sex worker.” Nicole replied.

“Sometimes I’ve noticed people visit her and they never seem to come back out again.” Rose told her.

“A sex worker then. Just because you haven’t seen any visitors leave, it doesn’t mean they don’t.” Nicole responded. “Anyway, you’re obviously spending way too much time observing her.”

“She intrigues me.” Rose admitted.

“Sounds more like an obsession to me. Be careful or you’ll end up becoming one of those nosy neighbours everyone despises.” Nicole warned her. Rose shrugged her shoulders and looked away.

After Nicole had left, Rose looked out the window at the house next door. It was an old wooden house which had white paint that was slowly peeling off. It was now early evening and she could see her neighbour close her front door and walk down the steps. She looked both ways and then walked off into the night. A few minutes later Rose left her house and went next door. She walked along the side of the house trying to peer through the windows, but the curtains prevented her from seeing into the rooms. She looked over the fence into the back garden and saw dead flowers, overgrown weeds and long grass. Clearly her new neighbour was no gardener. She tried opening the back gate but it was locked with a strong padlock. She walked back to her house feeling defeated.

A few days later Rose was walking back home. It was getting dark and she saw her neighbour standing outside as though she was waiting for someone. As she walked past her neighbour smiled at her.

“Do you live next door?” her neighbour suddenly asked. Rose stopped and looked at her. She was taller than her and had long brown hair and wore a long black coat and dark pants.

“Yes. My name is Rose.” she answered holding out her hand. The woman smiled and took her hand in hers. It felt cold to Rose.

“My name is Amber.” she replied. “Do you want to come in for a coffee?” Taken aback, Rose nodded. Now she would finally see inside her house.

“Yes that would be wonderful.” Rose replied. Amber smiled and walked up the steps. She opened the door and motioned for Rose to enter. Rose crossed the threshold and heard Amber follow behind her. Amber then closed the door behind them. It was now pitch dark and Rose couldn’t see a thing in front of her. The air smelt musty. Her heart began to beat wildly.

“Keep walking.” Amber said softly beside her.

“I can’t see a thing. Can you turn a light on please?” Rose asked beginning to panic.

“Just move forward. Put one foot in front of the other.” Amber softly whispered into Rose’s ear. Her breath felt cold. Rose could feel Amber walking silently behind her, like a jaguar that was stalking it’s prey. Rose came to end of the hallway. All she could feel was a wall in front of her.

“I can’t find the door.” Rose told her. She could feel Amber right behind her now. Her cold breath was on her neck.

“I know you’ve been watching me. Keeping an eye on my activities and snooping around my house.” Amber whispered into her ear. Rose’s heart began to beat even faster than it had been.

“I’m sorry.” Rose replied. “I was just curious about you.” Amber laughed. It was a laugh that was devoid of any joy or mirth. She felt Amber move to her right and suddenly a door opened and a blinding light streamed in.

Rose staggered through to find she was in the kitchen. Amber followed her in and closed the door behind them. She removed her coat and threw it over a chair. Rose turned to face her, but was then unexpectedly pushed to the ground. She looked up at Amber standing over her. Amber’s eyes were now black and long fangs protruded from her mouth.

“You’re going to pay for all your meddling and nosiness.” Amber said looking down on her. As terrified as Rose was, she also felt a strange twinge of desire coursing through her body, as though this is what she had wanted all along…

Joanne Fisher


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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

Awake (flash fiction)

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Awake

I awoke. It was pitch black and slowly it dawned on me I was in a coffin. I opened it to find I was in my family’s vault. The last thing I remembered was falling asleep in my bed. What had happened? I arose from the coffin and walked out into the night. I was so hungry.

Joanne Fisher

Word count 56 + prompt

This was written with the prompt vault provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #180.

After writing The Dead Dance I thought of this:

“Would you like a Bloody Nicola?’

“Don’t you mean Bloody Mary?”

“No, we’ve run out of Mary.”

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

The Dead Dance (Day 11, flash fiction)

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The Dead Dance

Millie got ready. She applied makeup to make her skin look pallid, and then darkened her eyes. Tonight she was going to The Dead Dance, and she was going as a corpse.

She had received the invitation in the mail. The invitation was on black card with crimson writing that shimmered when you moved the card. Apparently the Dance was very prestigious and was invite only. How she got invited she had no idea, but she was thrilled to be going.

The Dead Dance was held in an old mansion on the edge of town every Halloween. She had no transport of her own, so she traveled by bus part of the way and walked the rest while getting the occasional odd look from passers by, despite it being Halloween. When she arrived at the mansion, there stood a single man by the entrance wearing a dark suit, as she approached he looked down on her.

“Invitation?” He asked as she walked up to him. He held his right hand out before her. Millie handed him the black card, though she was sorry to let it go.

“There you are.” She said. The man smiled at her. It was a cold smile that made her shiver.

“Excellent!” He replied. “You may go through, my lady.”  He swept his hands towards the entrance rather theatrically. Millie walked through.

Millie thought the place was incredible. The mansion was full of wood paneling and rather ancient looking artifacts. The dance itself, was held in a huge ballroom. A string quartet was playing waltzes and almost the entire floor was full of people dancing. Millie thought their costumes were spectacular.  It seemed as though a lot of people had decided to come as vampires, and Millie marveled at how well their costumes had been done. It made her own look silly and childish.

“Care to dance miss?” Asked a man dressed as a vampire, holding his hand out to her.

“Sure.” She replied, and the next thing she knew she was swept up and suddenly in the midst of it all. She didn’t really know how dance a waltz, though she did her best to fake it, it must have been painfully obvious to her partner she didn’t know how, but still he skillfully guided among the throng. His hands were so cold. Millie wondered if he had problems with his circulation.

After what seemed like hours of dancing, Millie managed to free herself and took a break. She felt tired and thirsty. She went to the bar and asked for a drink.

“How about a Bloody Mary?” The bartender suggested.

“Okay.” She replied. She took the drink and took a sip, and almost immediately spat it back out. It tasted atrocious! It was as if they had made it with actual blood… Then she found herself dancing again. Her head was spinning.

At midnight the dancing abruptly stopped. A tall blonde pale woman wearing a long red dress stood on the dais at the end of the room.

“It is now midnight! It’s time for the Big Reveal!” She called out among the revelers. They replied with clapping and cheering. Behind her the cloth covering the back wall came down revealing a mirror that covered the entire wall. To Millie’s shock, she could only see herself and handful of others in the mirror, though in reality she was surrounded by people. She looked at them and found many were now in a circle around her, all looking at her hungrily with their fangs out.

“And now it’s time for the End of Dance Feeding!” the woman on the dais exclaimed.

Joanne Fisher

The ending of this is sort of stolen from the film The Fearless Vampire Killers (aka The Dance of the Dead) where at the end of the film there is a dance in which the protagonists are disguised as vampires only to be undone by the mirror on the wall, in which the actual vampires become aware the protagonists can be seen in it… It’s a bit of an uneven film, but I remember seeing in on TV when I was 11 and really loving it.

This was written with the prompt Day 11 – The Dead Dance provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

Truth or Dare? (Day 10, flash fiction)

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Truth or Dare?

 

The two of them sat in the dark room.

“Truth or dare?” one of them suddenly said.

“Dare!”

“Okay, go next door and feed on the next door neighbour without charming them.”

“But they’ll scream and be heard.”

“That’s the point.” The other raised their eyebrows.

“Okay.” they said and quickly left. A short time later screaming could be heard. They came back with blood streaming from their mouth. “My turn now. Truth or dare?”

“Dare!”

“Make a video of yourself saying you’re a vampire, showing your fangs at the end, and then post it on YouTube.”

“Fine.” They took out their phone. “I’m a vampire!’ they said and then bared their fangs. They then tapped on their phone screen a few times. “Done! My turn. Truth or dare?”

“Dare!”

“Run around the block screaming out “I am a vampire!” as many times as you can.”

“Right!” They got up and left the house. Repeated shouting of “I am a vampire!” could be heard, at first growing fainter, and then getting louder again. They came back into the room and sat down again. “Truth or dare?” they asked.

“Truth!” the other replied.

“Why do you hang out with me doing this so often?” they asked, still taken aback they had chosen truth.

“Because I like spending time with you.” the other replied.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written with the prompt Day 10 – Truth or Dare provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

Unexpected Guests (Day 8, flash fiction)

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Unexpected Guests

 

Late one evening there was a loud knock on the door. Tom answered it to find two well-dressed strangers standing there. They both looked very pale.

“Excuse us for bothering you at this late hour, but we are your new neighbours. May we come in?” the man asked.

“Sure, come in. My wife and myself happen to be night owls too, so it’s no problem. Come in to our living room.”

“My thanks for your hospitality.” the man bowing slightly. He and the woman walked across the threshold.

“Darling our new next door neighbours are here.” Tom said as he walked into the living room followed by the two guests.

“Oh they haven’t moved into that frightful old mansion next door have they?” his wife asked.

“I think they have. This is my wife Katherine by the way.” Tom said. “Please sit down.” The couple sat down looking slightly uncomfortable.

“My name is Vlad, and this is my wife Svetlana.” Vlad said.

“Pleased to meet you!” Katherine replied. “Can we interest you in a drink?” She picked up a wine bottle.

“No thank you. We don’t drink… wine.” Vlad answered.

“Oh you’re teetotalers?” Katherine asked surprised.

“Not exactly.” Svetlana replied.

“Tell me why do you wear a cape?” Katherine asked Vlad.

“It’s part of my look.” Vlad told her.

“How interesting.”

“Anyway, we should go. We just came her to introduce ourselves really. I guess we’ll see you again shortly.” Vlad said suddenly standing up.

“Well drop in whenever you wish to. We’re often up all night it seems.” Tom informed him.

“Oh darling really!”

Vlad and Svetlana nodded to them and left. Tom closed the door behind them.

“What do you think?” Tom asked Katherine.

“I think they seemed a bit pretentious.” Katherine replied.

“But it might be useful having another vampire couple nearby.” Tom said. Katherine frowned.

“I guess we’ll see. More blood?” she asked holding up the bottle.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written with the prompt Day 8 – Unexpected Guests provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

Batts in the Belfry (flash fiction)

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Batts in the Belfry

 

A guy I knew had recently converted an old church into a living space. After giving me a tour of the place, we ended up in the old bell tower.

“I found this area was very cold in winter, so I decided on getting some insulation installed, so now there are Pink Batts lining all the walls here which helps keep this place snug and warm.” he commented.

“So you’ve got Batts in the belfry then.” I replied and we both laughed.

“Very witty. By the way I’m actually a vampire.” he unexpectedly announced. He opened his mouth revealing his fangs.

Due to his excellent soundproofing, my screams were not heard.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Pink Batts are a brand of insulation here. I have no idea if they’re also available in other countries.

This was written with the prompt Day 3 – Bats in the Belfry provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher