New Beginnings

Hello once again! I’ve gone through two busy seasons since I last posted and I will admit that I was afraid to come back and put myself out here. Thankfully for me, there are a lot of people who support my desire to write and have helped me get back on the horse.

I’ve decided that my first post back will be a short story. I had a good friend of mine [fablesquill] draft up a prompt for me and gave him my word that a post would be coming. Feel free to take your own stab at today’s prompt and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the prompt and piece! This will be written in one sitting with minimal editing so that I can practice on not being as much of a perfectionist. It’s important to challenge ourselves in different ways so that we don’t get so focused that we miss out on the world around us.

Prompt:

A woman goes to the estate sale of a mansion from a rich neighborhood in her town. She can’t afford much, but she finds a small statuette that she can spring for and takes a liking to. When she gets it home, she swears there’s a soft sound coming from somewhere inside it….

 

Whispering Willow

Sasha felt more tired than she had in weeks and this estate sale had been more hectic than she was anticipating. The event had been a wash until she found a pristine weeping willow statue hidden behind some books that were haphazardly stuffed on a rack. It didn’t have a price or item number on it at all, but when she brought up her concerns to the estate agent in charge of the event she received a shrug for her effort. They settled on a price of fifty dollars, which was all the money that Sasha had budgeted for the event so she left soon after.

When she got home, she set her new statuette on the dining room table and headed into her bedroom. The only thing she wanted to do more than sleep right now was to soak in a bath and read a book. It was going to be the start of her first relaxing weekend in a long time.

Having gotten settled into the bath and already on the second chapter of her book, Sasha didn’t hear the rustling right away. When she did finally notice, she waved it off as a neighbor or a car going down the street with music that was too loud. Those excuses did not hold up when the rustling turned to whispering and her indifference turned to fear. She carefully got up from the tub and wrapped a towel around herself before grabbing a pair of scissors from the counter. They were rather small and meant for trimming hair, but they would do in a pinch. She listened at the door, hearing nothing but whispers. There were no discernible words or voices and the whispers were so gentle and even that her fear started to fade. Maybe there was something rustling a curtain or a plastic bag being carried by a breeze from an open window.

She didn’t lower the scissors, but she did quietly open the door and sneak down the hall. The sounds lead her to the dining room where her statuette was sitting innocuously on the table. The cause of the sounds was immediately noticeable; the strands of metal leaves and branches were swaying gently back and forth, making a quiet metallic rustling. Seeing the metal strands waver back and forth from a nonexistent breeze caused the panic to slowly form in her gut. Despite the rising panic, she couldn’t look away from the branches and leaves twinkling back and forth.

Before she could even comprehend her own actions, she was standing right in front of the table, listening to the rustling and realizing that thereĀ were voices. She listened to them for hours, standing and swaying in time with the tree. She didn’t remember going to sleep, but woke up the next morning in bed and in her pajamas. She felt more rested than ever and decided she was going to skip work today. It was time to take a drive down the coast and really get back to her roots. She reasoned that she deserved it after working so hard of late.

Hours later, on her way down the coast, Sasha stopped at a little cafe to get lunch. The server kept giving her weird looks (probably for ordering soup in the middle of the day), but otherwise it was an uneventful lunch. She paid and left, smiling at the still concerned looking server. He must be stressed, she thought. She was driving over one of the many long bridges down the coast when she started hearing whispers. It’s just stress getting to me, she reasoned with herself, shaking her head to clear the cobwebs. “It’ll pass soon and I’ll get to enjoy a nice afternoon on the beach with a book in hand. Maybe I’ll even take a nap,” she said out loud. It was easier to talk over the whispering than to just ignore it.

There was a huge jolt and crash as her car went through the guardrail and over the side of the bridge. She plunged into the river below and as the car filled with water, she heard the whispers getting louder. She didn’t feel any fear or panic and just listened to the voices, swaying back and forth.

Go to sleep…… it’s just a dream…. relax little one…. sleep now……

She didn’t remember falling asleep, but she woke up the next morning in bed, completely dressed. It was a bit weird, but she felt more rested than ever and decided she was going to skip work and take a personal day. It was time to take a drive down the coast and really get back to her roots. Maybe she’d lay on the beach and read a book for a while.

She finished getting ready and headed out the door, not noticing that the small metal willow on her dining room table had started to sway.

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