Friday Fictioneers: Hollow Debt

I couldn’t get anywhere when I looked at Madison’s photo prompt for the fictioneers and was going to give it a miss. One more look tonight and suddenly I’d done in in ten minutes. What do you make of the photo? there’s still time to enter, photo by Lura Helmstree

Twenty years since I last saw it and I still clean jumped out of my skin. It had decayed and sunk into the hollow, looking for all the world like some strange mystic fungus. I could still picture how it was back then, each week the flesh got blacker and the rancid stench warned me I was close. He was supposed to be a devil worshipper, so I always wore a cross, and carried garlic when I went to pay the debt for mom. Then one time mom, Aunt May and Aunt Wilma went together and he was never seen again.

19 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Hollow Debt

  1. Wow – don’t cross mom, especially when Aunt May and Aunt Wilma are with her! Nicely conveyed sense of wrongness and weirdness about the narrator’s childhood situation, Gilly. I like the way you intensify it from the grown-up narrator jumping out of her skin, to the decayed fungus, to remembered stench and her dread of the menacing “he”.

    I had similar problems with this week’s prompt – I finally dealt with it by creating a character who can’t make sense of the image either!

  2. Interesting take. I like “mystic fungus” and “rancid stench.” They say you don’t get sick if you were garlic, either, but I think it might be because no one gets close enough to give you any germs!

    Just one FYI–when you write “mom” as a name, (instead of “my mom”), it should be capitalized, just like “Aunt May”.

  3. Excellent. Love the reference to the garlic around the neck. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to garlic. Is there a substitute in case I need to ward off evil? I’m #30 on the list.

    1. Lora, I’ve tried several times to comment on your story which I really enjoyed – felt for poor Zach – It blows me out and wipe my comments away 😦

  4. Really great piece – I especially love the first two lines – the fact that you don’t start with ‘It was twenty years…”
    I was a little confused towards the end though. The narrator tells us s/he visits the spot again, s/he used to visit previously, suggesting that the devil worshipper died and rotted there, but the next sentence starts with ‘Then’, which suggests that his disappearance happened after he died.

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