Simon Said… (Friday Fictioneers, February 2013)

Simon said the barn was haunted; and he was usually right.

My Dad said one day someone would get killed there; the roof was dangerous.  Dad was usually right too, though everyone said he was a worrywart.

Nothing stopped us playing there though.  The roof creaked but held up fine.  Sometimes we’d sense something… a watchful presence of some kind, rustling, heavy breathing.

Simon said ghosts were more evil than people; they did things we could never imagine.

Dad was partly right, but Simon screwed up on both counts for once.

You never could tell Simon anything.

And certainly not now.

It’s another dark one I know, but in my defence (defense for my American friends ;)) I have written a frothy one and a childrens’ story already this week.   I’m not really in need of therapy… at least I don’t think so

Great photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers this week, courtesy of Janet Webb.  Check out her site for more captivating pictures. 

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. 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.

93 Responses to Simon Said… (Friday Fictioneers, February 2013)

  1. deanabo says:

    I really like this! Great writing.

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,
    So did Simon fall through the roof? I have the feeling something terrible happened to him. I love your title. As always well-written. And in my own defence/defense, I, too, went to the dark side.
    Shalom,
    Rochelle

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Rochelle, thanks for reading and commenting. If it turns out that one of my pieces isn’t clear, my first dilemma is whether I should blow the story straight away and give an explanation in the answer to the first comment. My second dilemma is whether I over-edited it, because it was clear to me when I did the first draft, but maybe lost it in cutting. And my third consideration, which is infinitely more diverting, is why on earth I always want to spell dilemma as dilemna, and why, when I google it, thousands of other people feel the same way. 😦 So I’ll suspend a decision on the first two whilst I thoroughly research the third. 🙂

      Like

  3. Didn’t quite understand this, but I liked the writing.

    Like

  4. yerpirate says:

    The therapy…yes, it’s a fine line! I remember your characters speaking with such realism before, and the same has happened again here; a totally genuine voice. That last line….well…that is the difference between language and magic. Just exactly the right touch with the ending, and the name Simon too, of course.

    Like

  5. Dear Sandra,

    What is evil about this tale is the way you make your reader go back over it to see what happened. I’ll get you for that….if you don’t do me in with a heart attack…or worse…first.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

  6. kz says:

    umm i think i understood this quite well..
    Simon got…. murdered?
    it’s true, why fear the dead when the living can obviously do more harm.
    but omg, what happened to Simon?..
    brilliant writing, Sandra. deliciously dark.

    Like

  7. claudia says:

    Spooky and with a subtle but firm ending.

    Like

  8. thevixenfiction says:

    Yes definitely a good piece.. I like it when the ending is left open yo your own interpretation and I can never understand why people ask me what I meant.. It seemed obvious to me when I wrote it..

    However I digress – Very well written and dark enough to give you a chill.. Well done..

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, that happens often to me. But the other day I wrote something for the first time (called Smack Head) where even I didn’t know what the ending meant. It was strangely liberating 😉

      Like

  9. Excellent! You did dark justice to the picture and had us in the palm of your writing hand as usual.
    Love the title.

    janet

    Like

  10. Well this American loves it. Chilling and scary. Great job.

    Like

  11. Yea ghost can be very evil and bossy. Nice work..

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  12. Marvelously creepy, Sandra. The title, so reminiscent of childhood games, adds to the horror of it all. The narrator’s casual recounting of events… I’m a little unsettled by this whole situation!

    Like

  13. Iris says:

    I do feel for poor Simon. Your story is so nicely matter of fact, once again. I really like that.

    Like

  14. I am still sadly learning to read into the writings from others, but after reading a few times I did get the gist …well executed Sandra – thank you for your contribution.

    Like

  15. nightlake says:

    looks like Simon, who knew so much about ghosts, was the victim…very well done..

    Like

  16. Poor Simon, but wish the Dad had been more assertive. A cautionary tale all right, and well-told.

    Like

  17. JKBradley says:

    I really like this. The evil within watching those innocent souls.

    Like

  18. Nothing wrong with good, dark stories.

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  19. writeondude says:

    Spot on as usual. Well done, Sandra. I’d also like to point out dat’s de fence in the foreground.

    Like

  20. rgayer55 says:

    What kid hasn’t played in an old barn? This was rather spooky, but I enjoyed it.

    Like

  21. Hi Sandra,
    If I’m getting this right, this is a reversal on the old Simon Says game. Great pretext for a story and it put the whole thing in context. Ron

    Like

  22. Debra Kristi says:

    Who isn’t drawn to a spooky run-down barn? But poor Simon. What a place to go. Will he haunt it? Wonderful writing.

    Like

  23. billgncs says:

    Sandra — that was another excellent one that left me wanting chapter two. I enjoy this side of your stories!

    Like

  24. Parul says:

    I liked this a lot. Though I am confused about Simon’s fate.

    The moment I saw this picture, I thought there could be Boo Radley (of To Kill a Mocking Bird) in this house! You got very close to capturing something like that in your piece.
    Very real characters and narrative. You did a great job, like you always do.

    Like

  25. Brian Benoit says:

    Haha, Sandra, no worries I feel like that after I write my darker stories too. This was a great one though. I loved the malice in the line “Dad was partly right, but Simon screwed up on both counts”

    Like

  26. unspywriter says:

    Dark, but delightfully so. Well done.

    Here’s mine, and I’ve also returned to the dark: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/death-throes/

    Like

  27. petrujviljoen says:

    One did have to read it twice to get it. Yuck!

    Like

  28. Bee says:

    Simon said, indeed! Another great one, Sandra!

    Like

  29. Excellent tale, well told.
    Loved it.

    Like

  30. Jan Brown says:

    Poor Simon! I hope his sister has given up playing in the barn, or she might encounter more than one ghost….

    Like

  31. Linda Palund says:

    Hi Sandra! I am back just to say your story is charming as usual – just floats along like a dark poem or parable, but I’ve always been a fan.

    Like

  32. elappleby says:

    Hi Sandra
    This is excellent spooky writing. I’m a bit confused, though, like some of the other commenters. I’m guessing that Dad was right that someone would be killed and that the person who was killed was Simon, was it by the ghosts?

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, Dad was partly right (someone would be killed) and Simon was wrong because the barn wasn’t haunted, though it was occupied by a human, who did something far worse than a ghost could. Making Simon wrong on both counts. 😉

      Like

  33. This will give me nightmares… Poor Simon 🙂

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  34. Nicely written! I gather the barn “got” Simon, and he’s now the ghost.

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  35. This is evil, but oh so good. Took me a few reads to figure out what happened. Nicely done!

    Like

  36. I liked the foreboding, just waiting for the “oh no” moment, and it came nicely, right at the end. great job.

    Like

  37. Sandra says:

    I love an “oh no” moment! 🙂 Thanks for reading.

    Like

  38. 40again says:

    Oh I do like this story Sandra. Thinking about the number of times my friends and I played games in or on old buildings, always brings me out in a cold sweat. We would never be told either. Thankfully, unlike Simon, nothing tragic ever happened to us. So evocative of childhood, well done. Dee

    Like

  39. Kent Bonham says:

    I think it’s a fine story, as usual. Reminds me of, “Little Willie/Pair of skates/Hole in ice/Golden Gates.” I don’t know if that was the intent, but it doesn’t matter. I liked it!!!! Thank-you!

    Like

  40. Sandra says:

    Thanks Kent, you not in again this week? Loved your er … poem. 😉

    Like

  41. That’s a gem of a little story. It may be dark, but it has such a great voice and the way the ending is left to the conclusions of the reader is just great. My kind of story. 🙂

    Like

  42. Would love to read a longer piece on this. Very ominous.

    Like

  43. Sunshine says:

    hmm, what was Simon told that should not have been told to him? that someone would be killed…and if Simon was wrong about the ghost being more evil than people and doing things not imaginable, was Simon the murderer? the suspense is a killer!!!

    Like

  44. C. Patrick says:

    But how can one write if one isn’t in need of therapy? 🙂

    Like

  45. yarnspinnerr says:

    Enjoyed this one 🙂

    Like

  46. claireful says:

    Very creepy Sandra. I wonder if what Simon sensed, where the ghosts that Rich wrote about this week. Nice story.

    Like

  47. vbholmes says:

    “Sometimes we’d sense something… a watchful presence of some kind, rustling, heavy breathing.” A hint here: ghosts are not usually accused of heavy breathing. Good story, Sandra.

    Like

  48. Ooh, ominous, Like it very much. Stay out of scary barns, kids. Just enough left unsaid to send a shiver down the spine. Lovely, creepy work 🙂

    Like

  49. Sarah Ann says:

    Nice and creepy. I admit I had to read a few times to work out what Simon was wrong about. And thanks for a new word – worrywart.

    Like

  50. Nice and chilling, with a touch of the self-righteous from the narrator, well done 🙂

    Like

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