Out of time flashfiction spooky campfire

Out of Time #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a spooky tale told around a campfire. It doesn’t have to include the campfire; it can be the tale. Go where the prompt leads!

I’m not overly familiar with campfires, and spooky tales are not a favourite genre. I remember a few stories about apparitions from my childhood and they gave me nightmares for a long time. I am pleased to be unlike Cole Sear in the Sixth Sense in that I am unable to see dead people. A few times when I thought I might, it totally freaked me out.

Additionally, there aren’t many spooky picture books, so as a teacher of young children I was not exposed to a great many spooky stories. There are the Funnybones stories by Allan and Janet Ahlberg which are delightfully humorous and not at all scary and, of course, Casper is a friendly ghost.

Needless to say, I hadn’t ever tried to write a spooky story, so Charli’s prompt raised the possibility as a now or never event. Here’s my attempt. I hope it works, even just a little bit.

Out of Time

Darkness fell as Martin hastened home. He hated passing the cemetery, especially at Halloween. Sometimes he crossed the road, but this night he was out of time. Hairs on his arms prickled and shudders crept up his spine as he passed the open gate. A light flickered inside. He tried to not look, to not be drawn by the group gathered around a campfire, beckoning, ‘Join us.’ Martin hunched further into his jacket. ‘Next year then?’ Their ghoulish laughter chased him down the street into the path of a speeding car.

‘Back so soon. Couldn’t wait? Mwahaha!’ they chorused.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

49 thoughts on “Out of Time #flashfiction

  1. Pingback: Spooky Tales « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Glad you chose now over never and wrote a spooky story for us. It put me in mind of the Emily Dickinson poem, “because I could not stop for Death he kindly stopped for me”…
    When I was very young we had Little Georgie books, I think that was the title. Little Georgie was a very good little ghost who lived with an elderly couple on their farm. They looked out for each other. Sweet books and probably put youngsters at ease regarding ghosts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, D. It was fun writing it. I hope I didn’t go too far. Martin probably thinks I did.
      I don’t know the Little Georgie books. I think there are as many different experiences of ‘ghosts’ and other supernatural ‘events’ as there are people in the world. I’d rather be at ease with the possibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mabel Kwong

    This is very cleverly written, Norah. As you said, Martin didn’t see it coming, and we didn’t see it coming either. Lovely play on words, scene and storyline. Sometimes things do go bump in the night.

    It’s interesting how you mentioned there aren’t many spooky children’s books out there. I guess maybe no author wants to scare children with ghosts and ghouls. Then again some authors do make this genre children-friendly. That part of your post made me think how Disney created many spooky villains over the last few decades and are popular with children and adults alike.

    Hope you are doing well, Norah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Mabel. The ‘bump in the night’ was very clever.
      I’ll have to look into those spooky Disney villians. 🙂
      I hope you are enjoying your new-found freedom, Mabel. Stay safe.


      1. Mabel Kwong

        Most Disney villains are colourful in colour and colourful in character. Looking forward to seeing more of your writing 🙂 It is great to have restrictions ease here, and we can finally go out now after so long.

        Liked by 1 person


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