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Friday, April 26, 2013

Up, Always (#FridayFlash)

Thanks to Helen Howell for looking this over!

Image source: openclipart.org
Up, always.

The stairs are endless. I’ve forgotten everything but the need to stay ahead of whatever it is coming up after me. Sometimes, I think my pursuer has given up the chase. But when I stop to catch my breath, I hear footfalls from below.

Up, always.

I think I’m in a fancy hotel. The center of the building is open space. I can’t see the bottom, though. And when I look up, I can’t see the top. Forever down, forever up. But…

Up, always.

The stairs are beautiful, when I pause to look. But they’re not always the same. Sometimes, they’re carpeted. Sometimes, tile. Even marble. Sometimes, the stairs are split by a wall of sorts. Occasionally, I’ll jump on it and scramble up. I don’t think I go any faster, but it’s a change of pace.

Up, always.

My pursuer is gaining. I think about just stopping. Whatever happens, let it happen. But I must have had a reason to run in the first place. If only I could remember it.

Up… or I could jump. If it’s forever down, whatever it is could never catch me.

“Whoa! Temperature just dropped big!”

“What’s the reading?”

“Just a flicker. It’s already back to normal.”

“Hey! It just passed here, too. It must be coming up the stairs. Lynn, get ready—”

“There it is! And gone.”

“You think it’s her?”

“Probably. If she’s a repeater, she’ll be back around in a few minutes. Get the cameras ready, let’s see if we can get anything on the next pass.”


  1. Ha! I love the transition between parts. Felt really true to life.

  2. Ohhh, I see. I thought it was a kid's imagination at first, because I've definitely fantasized that way as I rushed up the stairs. But the second part works with its meaning, too.

  3. this is really nicely rhythmic and paced.

    marc nash

  4. Nice piece, Larry. I was on the edge of my seat.

  5. Hi all! I forgot to mention: my writing prompt was a dream on Tuesday night. I wasn't a ghost, and I was trying to get somewhere rather than away from something, but the endless stairs with different features was its centerpiece.

    Thanks, Tony!

    John, could that have also been the woodcut I grabbed for the illustration? Cool little peek into your internal narrative there, too. ;-)

    Thanks Marc. The pacing was part of the dream, too.

    Thanks, Nick and Patricia!

  6. Woah! I am with John! It really did feel like a kid's POV and then the twist got me and I went woah!!! Great story!

  7. The opening sounded like a version of hell, always caught doing the same thing and never able to stop to catch your breath. Bit like life, really.

  8. I don't think I understood the meaning or significance of the 2nd part. But the 1st part I liked, struck me as very capitalistic, that constant desire to move up, some forgetting what motivated them in the beginning.

  9. I love how this sounded somehow innocent in the beginning, then it slowly transited to a terrifying loop and ended with a nice twist that cleared all hesitations above. Great stuff!

  10. This definitely works on multiple levels, I think. Pretty sure I only understand one or two of them, though!

  11. Oh, ok, I didn't get it at first. Nicely done!

    Just a note, I went to a talk about ghost hunters a few months ago, and they said that the reason the temperature drops and batteries go dead, etc. is that the ghosts suck all the energy to be able to manifest themselves. Interesting thought. :)

  12. Thanks, Helen, and thanks again for looking it over!

    Much appreciated, Sylvia!

    Icy, most of the "big building" dreams I have are like that, running on an endless loop and never finding whatever it is I'm looking for.

    Sorry about that, Richard. The first part is a ghost, stuck in an endless loop. The second part is ghost hunters trying to track it.

    Thanks much, Cindy!

    Jack, a lot of times, I think the other levels are only in my sub-conscious. ;-)

  13. I just finished watching an episode of Murdoch Mysteries which involved a bit of ghost-hunting. I'm glad this was the Friday Flash I hit next.

    Great use of POV in this one. I wonder if they know where they are.

  14. I agree with everyone above. Nicely done Larry.

    I was thinking how much Far Manor has changed since I first came here many years ago. I like it. I am also glad that your writing is going so well. Of course I do hope you would get a best selling book worldwide and one day I would be able to say, "I know him". :)

    Take care Larry.


  15. Oh nice- I didn't see that switch coming!

    The beginning felt like being thrown into the middle of someone else's nightmare. That not-quite reality element. And then learning that it's a ghost made it fit.

    This was great, really enjoyed it!

  16. Katherine, I'm glad the timing was good!

    Thanks, Whit. My fantasy Accidental Sorcerers (the ice dragon one) has done pretty well. I keep hoping the White Pickups story will get some sales-ish traction, but the sequel/conclusion is in the final stretch before publication now.

    Beverly, it was based on a dream I had, although I wasn't a ghost and I was trying to get *to* something rather than *away from* something. ;-) Thanks much!


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