The Thief of Time (Friday Fictioneers, 9th March 2012)

Here’s this week’s photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, see

The thing in the cellar is becoming stronger; at night I hear it shuffling restlessly, keening softly, the murmur of a thousand lost souls.

The elders warned me, centuries ago: “The spell will not hold forever. You must be watchful.  And ready.”

Today I must act.  I have procrastinated too long; the thing must be silenced.

As I peer through the observation hole, fear strikes at the heart of my being. I am too late.

At this moment, around the world, death and destruction are being unleashed upon the innocent.  And the high pitched keening of a thousand souls swells by thousands more.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to The Thief of Time (Friday Fictioneers, 9th March 2012)

  1. Judee says:

    Wow, well done. A sense of fantasy and history and all kinds of things to come.



  2. Apocalypse argh! Loved it. Very dramatic ‘fear strikes at the heart of my being’ and the beast ‘keening’ sounds mournful and sad. Just goes to show you should do your tasks straight-away, before they end the world…

    My Lovecraftian effort over here:


  3. EmmaMc says:

    That first line sent shivers down my spine. Another great tale!


  4. unspywriter says:

    Oh, wow, [shudder], that was creepy and good and creepy and really good.


  5. “Keening.” What a wonderful word. Thank you for sharing this horrifically creepy story with us.

    Here’s mine:


  6. Jeannie says:

    Ewwww—shivers! Good story! I’d like to read more of what happens next!! What is it with cellars and creepiness? LOL But they go hand in hand so well…;)

    Here is mine: it is a prose poem rather than a story:


  7. elmowrites says:

    Obviously this picture brings out in the creeps in the Fictioneers! I loved the beauty and menace of the final line.

    I’m over here


  8. ron pruitt says:

    Hi Sandra,
    Damn, if only the keeper had been more diligent, this world-wide crisis would never have happened! I thought the story was imbued with a mystical, magical quality and I think this could be the beginning of a great monster story. Thanks for your comments on my story.


  9. Russell says:

    Sounds like Pandora’s box has been opened. Is there no hope?
    Nice piece, very well written.

    Thanks for visiting mine, Sandra.
    here’s the link for others


  10. Janet says:

    A warning to all procrastinators, never put off till tomorrow what can be done today!

    Here’s mine:


  11. niiko47 says:

    Such horrors lurk in cellars everywhere in our imaginations, so bringing it to life sends shivers down the spine! I do love a good bit of horror and creepiness.
    Great story!

    If anyone fancies a read of mine:


  12. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    I loved The Thief of Time from the very first sentence and especially your initial use of the word, ‘keening’. A very good story fraught with peril and an undercurrent of fear induced by the knowledge that we might not know all that we think we do; that other creatures may hold sway in these turbulent times and that there is nothing we can do. Caught up in your spell, I was shaken out of it by your repetition of ‘keening’ toward the end. It’s impact would be doubled by using it only once, in either the beginning or the end, but not in both places. I feel strongly about this or would not have mentioned it.

    Great, great story.




  13. Sandra says:

    Good point Doug. I repeated it purposely but I’ll have a think about an alternative. Thanks for commenting. Have visited yours and commented.


  14. teschoenborn says:

    Wonderful end of the world piece. They never go out of style.

    Here’s mine:


  15. Ahhhh…my own personal demon – procrastination. Maybe I should take this as a warning and get to taming all of the beasts I’ve been ignoring for so long. The symbolism in this one speaks to me…thank you for sharing.

    ~Susan (Here’e mine:


  16. Sandra says:

    Thanks for commenting. 🙂


  17. The Lime says:

    Goodness, this is very intense. I am glad I don’t live in the narrator’s world — or maybe I do and the keening just hasn’t reached me yet -? Uhhh… no please.

    Nice writing 🙂

    Mine is here:


  18. Lora Mitchell says:

    Like our title Thief of Time. Interesting take on your version of the end of the world… “Revelation” …Here’s mine:


    • Sandra says:

      Lora, I’ve been trying to comment on yours but I can’t get it to publish. I thought it was very good, a nicely thought out presentation. I’ll try again later.


  19. Atiya says:

    That was scary. The sense of impending doom. And the disappointment in failing to act. I almost feel the weight of the non action myself. Thanks for the look in my blog


  20. Madison Woods says:

    I think there must be something wrong with me because I so enjoy the darker side of our imaginations. There’s a whole ‘rest of the story’ waiting at the end of yours. Somehow your mc will have to put the beast either back in the cellar or to rest eternally. That’s a story I’d read if I got the feeling there’d be hope at achieving either end.


  21. erinleary says:

    Well, I’m one of those people who avoid scary movies and this would make me get the shivers. I like it, though. Very nicely done. Thanks for your kind comments about my entry. 🙂


  22. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Your first and last lines tie things together nicely. Well done!


  23. WOW–the goosebumps are running all over me. Deliciously intense–very well done.



  24. TheOthers1 says:

    I want to know what happens next! How is he going to fix it. This demonstrates the importance of acting quickly.


  25. Mike says:

    Wow. Just shows what problems can arise through procrastination.
    A great read.


  26. Lindaura says:

    Hmmm, a well told tale almost a fable – niicely done.


  27. Sandra says:

    Thanks for commenting. Pleased you liked it.


  28. Jake Kale says:

    The horror implied by that last line is chilling. I have no idea what was in the cellar, though I’m having fun imagining. At the moment, I’m imagining a Lovecraft connection. Well, either that or this:


  29. Sandra says:

    I’d go for the Lovecraft connection Jake. Not that the alternative isn’t … er … arresting. 🙂 🙂


  30. miq says:

    I was reminded of Pandora’s box while reading. I particularly liked the last paragraph. Very apocalyptic.


  31. Sandra says:

    Thanks for commenting. I suppose it does have Pandora’s box overtones; I hadn’t thought of it like that when I was writing it.


  32. Quill Shiv says:

    A very chilling tale and well-told. I think you have quite a knack for the darker side of storytelling ;D

    My drabble from last week is here:


  33. I loved this story, very Lovecraftian in tone. What a great use of the prompt. We’ll all be hearing the keening of a thousand lost souls for some time… Very well written


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