Window of Opportunity – Friday Fictioneers, February, 2019

 

Copyright John Hardy Carroll

 

Eyes are the windows to the soul, they say, but at this abandoned asylum the windows are the eyes for a thousand tortured, captive souls.

She knows her gift renders her vulnerable, so she skirts the building cautiously, steeling her mental defences to malevolent forces which, seemingly sensing her proximity, surge in frenzied agitation.

Quickening her pace, she stumbles over an errant tree root, before pitching headlong to lie stunned upon the ground.

That brief lapse is all that’s needed; the wait is over. The channel opens, allowing the legions to spill gleefully through.

And now madness walks the world.

 My considered explanation after scanning the daily tabloids each morning.  Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers every week, a rock of sanity in a world that seems to get stranger, more cruel and lawless with every day.  Rant over. 😦 

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.
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79 Responses to Window of Opportunity – Friday Fictioneers, February, 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Maybe not so much a gift. More a curse

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sandra,

    This feels like the prelude to something sinister. Brilliantly written. (Me? A rock of sanity? Oy vey. 😉 )

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  3. ceayr says:

    Egads!
    A touch of Pandora’s box about this one.
    And love the title.

    Like

  4. pennygadd51 says:

    Great title and take on the prompt. I love the use of the word “legions” with its biblical overtones of maddened swine rushing to self-destruction.

    Like

  5. Iain Kelly says:

    It’s the best explanation I’ve read so far for the madness that surrounds us…

    Like

  6. My goodness, you led me along with your beautiful prose and then socked me with that chilling ending. Well done, Sandra.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  7. granonine says:

    Sandra, this is beautiful in its simplicity, and very scary. You’ve done it again 🙂

    Like

  8. Ominous piece. I like the pacing.

    Like

  9. k rawson says:

    Yikes! The set up is great, the payoff is terrifying.

    Like

  10. Gifts aren’t always giving. Hers was a gift too far.

    Like

  11. An excellent story describing the genuine “madness that walks the world.” I often scratch my head and say, “The world is upside and crazy.” I don’t recognize it anymore. Incredible writing, Sandra.

    Like

  12. Liz Young says:

    Oh that was chillingly good!

    Like

  13. Dale says:

    Iain beat me to it but I agree, that is the best plausible explanation for the madness that has taken over the world…
    Brilliantly done, Madame!

    Like

  14. Oh I can see how the madness has been captive even after the patient’s left… sometimes “if walls could talk” is not something to wish for.

    Like

  15. StuHN says:

    I guess we got to the root of her problem. Too bad it was so easily broken. Good fantasy

    Like

  16. Sue says:

    Ooooh, brilliant!

    Like

  17. I LOVE your story! Yours and mine could go together, for sure.
    Ronda

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve just been to read yours, Ronda. I think your character is happier with her ‘gift’ than mine is, but they are different sides of the same coin for sure. I liked your story – as I said before, I find it difficult to comment on your site but I wanted you to know I’d visited. Thanks for coming to mine.

      Like

  18. kislaya says:

    Brilliant description! I Iike the metaphor of madness taking over the world…

    https://evergreenleaf.blogspot.com/2019/02/home.html

    Like

  19. Abhijit Ray says:

    She is engulfed by the place she so desperately wanted to avoid. Nice tale.

    Like

  20. draliman says:

    A real supernatural event or a patient’s own explanation for the state of the world, I wonder? Nice one!

    Like

  21. This is fabulous, Sandra! I see now where Björn decided this was an asylum (from Dale’s comments), and love that you went this direction, along with the sci-fi’ish edge. Your word usage is sharp (“steeling her mental defences to malevolent forces which, seemingly sensing her proximity, surge in frenzied agitation–– love this!) and really pulls the reader into a pacing that reflects what she feels racing along the path. Great!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Many thanks Dawn. As I recall there was a hint in the caption to the photo. Otherwise I don’t think I’d have got there and I might have had to spend some time working out what that thing hanging from the window was. Glad you liked it. Off to yours now.

      Like

      • I’m going back to read again. I swear, I missed it entirely! The wasp nest, the local, all of it! I saw windows, something sticking to one, and couldn’t figure it out. It worked with the story I’d just written, so lucky me!

        Like

  22. Jelli says:

    Ohhh, that one is a scary one. Good write!

    Like

  23. Oh, I’m not liking where this tale is leading us (in a good way, that is!) Very well done, my dear.

    Like

  24. I love the “gleefully spilling through”.
    The piece comes across more like fact than fiction to me. A bit worrying.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. michael1148humphris says:

    Powerful and chilling, I fear that she is doomed.

    Like

  26. plaridel says:

    i guess it’s time for the superheroes to rescue us. 🙂

    Like

  27. 4963andypop says:

    I read this two ways. First as a fantasical metaphor for the world falling apary, with her actual gift of connectedness to these spooky, otherworldly, chaotic beings; and secondly as she, herself, being an asylum inmate, nurturing her illness as a prized possession,and experiencing and succumbing to her hallucinations, both wonderful and terrible. I think it works both ways.

    Like

  28. Well, madness does walk the floors of asylums. Me thinks … hehe
    It’s a great story with the potential to be longer, Sandra. Always an interesting read here when I visit. Have a lovely weekend.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  29. lisarey1990 says:

    Chillingly brilliant.

    Like

  30. Great title. All of those mad, hovering spirits waiting. Well done.

    Like

  31. Margaret says:

    Such a dark, spooky scenario. Loaded with ominous possibilities. I love your last sentence – ‘gleefully’ is exactly the right word. Wonderful writing.

    Like

  32. Russell says:

    It is a crazy world out there!

    Like

  33. Nicely written Sandra. I especially liked your opening para, it sets up the horror perfectly.

    Like

  34. The ending does point to something sinister. Makes me want to know more.

    Like

  35. gahlearner says:

    Like Iain said above, this explains a lot of what’s going on right now. Seriously, an excellent tale, kept me captivated from beginning to end.

    Like

  36. Her gift seems like a curse to me.
    Intriguing story, you really have my imagination in overdrive!

    Like

  37. Oh my, what has she unleashed on the world?

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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