The fire continued to crackle noisily and the girls began to sweat a little.
Chang sat beside Evie in a huff because he was no longer the centre of attention,
but he still wanted to be in the middle of the action.
The rain finally managed to gather enough momentum to pour down outside,
tapping against the windows in a steady rhythm. The clock on the mantle began to chime.
"Midnight!" Evie exclaimed. The fingers on the glass began to shake; it was suddenly becoming more serious. "Spirits of the other world," she said in a dramatic voice, "we ask that you show yourselves! Communicate with us!"
There was a collective intake of breath around the table. Nothing happened.
"I don't like this," chirped Sarah, her voice wavered, eyes wet.
"Don't you dare take your finger off the glass, it's already started!" Amanda whispered next to her. Amanda and Sarah were very similar in appearance. Amanda was petite and childlike, with tumbling curly blonde ringlets She had a very old head on young shoulders.
"Spirits!" Evie commanded. "Show yourselves to us; communicate with us through this board. We come to you with love and light and ask that you prove your existence!"
Slowly, the glass moved. The girls' mouths hung open in horror as it travelled across the middle of the table towards the word 'yes'. Amanda gasped in shock.
"I don't like this!" Cried Sarah, but her finger remained on the glass, the girls were glued to the spot.
"Evie, you've gotta be moving this glass!" Lori exclaimed.
"Shh! I'm not, I swear!" Evie hissed, looking across at Gemma. Gemma looked equally as shocked as the rest of the girls.
Taking control of the situation, Evie asked; "Spirit, what is your name?"
The glass moved from letter to letter, spelling out T-H-O-M-A-S.
"Thomas, how old are you?"
The glass pointed to the number six card. Evie lifted her eyes up from the glass to scan the faces of her class mates. They were buying it! She stifled a laugh, as she asked 'Thomas' another question.
"Do you have a message for any of us Thomas?" The glass did not move for a while, then it flew across the table to the 'yes' card. It moved so fast that Gemma's finger couldn't keep up and it fell off. She quickly put it back on. Evie frowned a question at her.
The glass moved across to the letters E-V-I-E. "What?" She asked, rolling her eyes.
Why did Gemma have to make this all about her? It was bound to give the game away.
The glass continued to move in a quick motion from letter to letter; it spelt out the words: B-L-O-O-D-I-N-T-H-E-B-A-T-H.
"What?" Evie forgot about the pretence and questioned Gemma directly. Gemma had taken her finger off the glass and placed her hand over her mouth as the glass repeated the phrase with increasing speed ...
The glass was now moving so quickly none of the girls could keep up with it. Their fingers fell away and all six of the girls watched in horror as the glass spun frantically around the board on it own!
"Stop it!" Amanda screamed.
A wind began to pick up in the living room, spinning around the girls, causing their hair to fly up around their heads.
"Make it stop!" Gemma cried above the sound of the wind, "Stop the glass!"
She smiled as she handed him the bottle. He took it from her and poured himself a glass.
'So what do you think?' she asked.
'I'm not that bothered,' he replied.
He was pretty drunk by now and he attempted to think of something to say, but the silence remained stagnant. She took a gulp from her glass,
Fiction - Lessons Learnt By Nick Quantrill
DS Richard Coleman pulled into the lay-by and headed towards the flashing blue lights. An hour later it would have been someone else's problem. But it wasn't. An articulated lorry had been isolated from the other vehicles, cones placed around it, linked together by barrier tape.
A mobile generator providing power to the small floodlights
Fiction - Mr Keith Fortner By The Silver Fox
In assessing the nature and worth of Mr Keith Fortner, it helps to be acquainted with one or two salient facts about his background. This is true of anyone, of course; understanding can rarely come without some awareness of their past experiences and emotional development after all.
Even the vast majority of people who tend to exist in a very limited context - the parameters
Fiction - After The Rain By Joe Hakim
He noticed there was another crushed snail by the doorstep. It was the third one he'd found this week. It was funny because he could never recall standing on the snails, but there they were.
He opened his back door and lit a cigarette. He'd been in this place for a month now, but it still didn't feel like his home, just a place he was staying in for a while.
Fiction - The Suicide Park, Self Surgery And Brutalised By Affection By Christopher Skolik
Dennison followed Snaith from the road, through trees, to a wire fence. Snaith slipped through. Beyond the skeletal
trees, Dennison could see a smoky illumination. Snaith and Dennison walked around as if inspecting a gallery.
It looked like a derelict industrial estate from a distance. Only when he got closer could Dennison hear the sound
of 22 engines humming.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 4 By Frank Beill
'There, there bai'n. It's o'right now. The bad man's gone away.' Sal walked up and down her bare living room, hugging her sobbing baby.
'Sorry, Sal. I shouldn't have done that.'
'Don't matter, Sammy.' She kissed the child's tearstained cheek. 'He deserves a good hidin'!'
'What was it all about? Sounded as though he was up to no good.'
I put two large lumps of coal
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Rosemary By Merle R. Stone
"Have you the time?" she asked. As always when our eyes meet, my thoughts turn to tender things.
Cuddling naked by the fireplace, chilled chablis in hand. Her charming giggle rising above
the crackle of the flames. Twenty-five years married and still we idle like teens, content
in each others' embrace. The children grown, grandchildren on the way.
How long we have
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2 Chapter 3 By Frank Beill
The red brick Board School stretched for nearly half the length of the street. Did Sal still live 'somewhere opposite'? My heart sank seeing all the doors to be knocked on especially after the Westbourne Avenue experience.
Fortunately, shops and other businesses occupied most of the buildings facing the school.
One caught my attention: Henry Tiplady,
Fiction - Smooth Operator By Edward C. Lynskey
Kenny was a thief. Nothing big. He'd only rip off the 'swag' owners wouldn't miss right away: CDs, auto parts, jewelry, tools, handguns from nightstands. Yeah, he was a smooth operator, nickelling and diming 'ditch-digging chumps.' A pawnshop run by his pal (never mind who) did a bang-up business, too.
Why did Kenny steal? Can't say. Could be he swore the world owed him
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Shipwreck By Michelle Dee
I sat on a shipwreck, the proud bow pointing at the river slowly drifting by. Most of the ship had rotted away long since. I sat there wondering what lay ahead, what life had in store.
The afternoon sun warmed the wood, until hot to touch. I sat longer.
The water lapped against the vanishing timbers. I sat until the sun dipped the water; waves turned gold,
the air turned cold.
Fiction - Merry Christmas, Here's A Present By Nick Quantrill
Brett 'Razor' Rawcliffe; 'Razor' to his friends because they thought he was sharp as a tack. He was 16 years old but he'd already built a rapidly expanding drugs empire specialising in supplying his schoolmates and friends. It was one day away from being Christmas Eve and he was sat in a city centre pub with his trusted side-kick, Stevie.
The Christmas CD compilation
Fiction - Fighting the Drink By Jose Escobar
My opponent stands before me, tall and proud. We size each other up, bare knuckle fighters circling each other in the ring. He feints towards me but I don't flinch. Then one move and combat begins. The rules the same as always, last man standing wins.
I make the first move, one quick slug and the rasping and burning in my throat begins. Discover an old ulcer
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - One Shot, One Kill By Merle R. Stone
I watched him every day for two weeks. I learned his habits; where he slept, how he spent his days, his favourite watering hole, his acquaintances. Every aspect of his life did I observe, as my years of experience in this line have trained me to do. Not once did I sense that he suspected anything. Not once did he peer over his shoulder in my direction,
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Justice By Merle R. Stone
There was never a time when Al wasn't my friend. Children learning music together. Adults sharing liquor and time. He had a special beer glass for me, and placed it by the tap when he sensed my approach. We agreed to disagree about everything as we grew into wise and ancient men. We would live forever.
Five crackheads robbed the bar where we would meet and shot him dead
Fiction - Cinch Hand By Nick Quantrill
Joe Berry, Private Investigator. That always grabs the attention. I'm a PI, but it's not as exciting as it sounds. No way. I say that with confidence as I stare out of the window of my detective agency into the overcast Hull night. That's right, Hull - the jewel in the crown of East Yorkshire. It's not a glamorous city, but it's where I lay my hat and I've just about scraped a living from
Fiction - 100 Words Competition - Escape By Merle R. Stone
Shock registered on his face as his mind raced and his vision blurred.
Maybe I could have been kinder, more loving.
Their history together ran uninterrupted on the viewing screen of his subconscious.
Standing out in stark relief, the happy times and the bad.
Must it end this way?
His knees grew weak, and his pulse quickened; he suddenly knew the answer.
Fiction - The Post Office of Doctor Moreau Part Two By Kenton Hall
Previously on The Post Office of Doctor Moreau...
Sandy (tears in her eyes): But, Jonas, I love you.
Jonas (squinting): I know that, Sandy. But you must know this. I can not love anyone. My life is one of danger. Of intrigue. Of brooding handsomely in wine bars.
Sandy (suspiciously): Uh-huh.
Jonas: Yes. I am a lone wolf,