Friday, April 27, 2007

The Witch of Blackberry Hill

(Anne Frasier has been a great friend both to me and to The Clarity of Night. After reading your entries, the Endless Hour photograph must have burrowed into her brain, because one morning she woke up and pounded out this story. You can find her, and more about her painfully cool novels, over at her blog, Static.)

***Keep those Readers' Choice Votes coming!***

The Witch of Blackberry Hill
by Anne Frasier

Once the snow melts, they come.

Curiosity seekers searching for my house, looking for a thrill and maybe a bit of immortality. They bring cameras and equipment meant to find me, meant to capture my shadow or the whisper of my feet against the stairs. Some of them have been here before. Some have been here many times.

But they don’t know me. None of them know me.

There is no one left to tell of the rivers I swam, the sandcastles I built, or the hearts I broke. They will never know of the man I loved and the children I never had. It doesn’t bother me. I look forward to the spring when the snow melts. Occasionally I will caress a cheek or the back of a neck. The curious will turn and almost see me, the fear and life in their eyes a reminder that I was once more than this.

I can hear them now, their voices echoing through the woods.

They come.


Joni said...

Very chilling, Anne. Your specialty. Truly, spectacular. Thanks for showing me how it's done.

How exciting to have you participate. It's a good thing you and Jason are exempt from the contest. The rest of us wouldn't have a chance.

Jaye Wells said...

Yay, Anne. I loved this. Very creepy. At first I thought you were talking about selling your house. ;)

Scott said...

I read this through twice. This is really sweet and mysterious. Tres bonnes. Seriously. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

wow that was good. i wanna know what happens to the witch.

Beth said...

From this, I'm not ordering some of your books. I am sincerely impressed.

Beth said...

ACK -- I AM ordering some of your books.

anne frasier said...

joni, thanks so much. i woke up with the story in my head and had to write it down!

jaye, haha!!! maybe it is all about selling my house!

awww, scott. thank you.

kate, i kind of wonder about expanding on this myself.

beth, LOL!! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice flash piece, Anne. Very nice!

The Wandering Author said...

Anne, that was incredible. You managed to write a chilling ghost story that at the same time made the ghost very human.

Now I know I was right not to enter the ghost story I wrote based on this photo - it would have seemed so much worse by comparison. Not that the story I did enter holds up all that well next to this...

Esther Avila said...

Ohhhh...very good.

AngelConradie said...

now thats brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's a WOW!!! And I also think you have a lot more story to tell. thanks for sharing.

Jeff said...

This is very good, Anne.

Esther Avila said...

I just read it again for the umpteenth time - I love it that you named the place. It's suddenly not just an abandoned house.

And that first line -- I love that lede - got my attention instantly with those six words.

Very good, Anne.

Anonymous said...

donnag, thanks so much.

wandering author, i'll bet your ghost story would have been great. i really liked your entry.

angel, sandra, thank you so much.

jeff, i missed seeing an entry from you this time.

september, i was thinking about how much i love writing flash fiction, and i think it's because it's so condensed. it's more like a song in the way it can circle.

briliantdonkey said...

Nice job Anne. The beginning of this reminded me a good bit of Evan.


Bernita said...

"I was once more than this."
Thank you, Anne!
I knew a theme was missing but couldn't think what it was - you supplied it!

Kim said...


anne frasier said...

BD: hmm. thanks for pointing that out! maybe i'll use this if i do a third book in the tuonela series.

bernita and jaycie: thank you!