Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Prompt - To Read

When the screaming ended Polly was surprised to find she had a really sore throat. There was a groaning sound coming from the other side of the lounge but Polly had no idea what it was. She felt a pain in her right hand and looked down. There was a broken mug clutched in her hand and there appeared to be blood as well.

Polly's ears were ringing. She gently shook her head to clear it but the ringing continued. And there was the groaning. Where was that coming from?   

Slowly Polly moved away from the dining table. Her legs felt heavy and she walked like an 80 year old woman. Gripping the back of the sofa she moved slowly around to sit down. She could still hear groaning, it seemed to be closer now she was in front of the sofa. Gingerly Polly sat down and released her grip on the broken mug. It hit the floor with a dull thud.

She rubbed her temples and shook her head again. The ringing was clearing and Polly was bothered by the groaning sound. Something was different, odd in the room. Polly struggled to work out what it was. Something out of place. The chair! The armchair was overturned.

Polly was aware of time passing. The clock on the mantelpiece ticked. She'd always hated that sound. It reminded her of long, boring visits to her maiden aunts when she was a child. The ticking of their clock seemed to be sucking the joy out of her life second by second. Now as she sat on the sofa it marked the passage of time between now and - what? Something had happened but Polly wasn't sure what it was.

That armchair needed picking up. Harold would be so cross to see the chair sprawled across the lounge. Getting up and doing something about it seemed like far too much effort. Polly closed her eyes and rested her head against the crocheted antimacassar.

With a start Polly woke up. How long had she been asleep? The darkness through the window meant that many hours had passed. Her head ached, her mouth felt woolly and she had a nagging suspicion that something bad had gone on today.

From across the room she heard a groaning, fainter now than before. Slowly, gingerly Polly rose from the sofa and walked carefully towards the sound. A foot protruded from beside the table, a foot in a greying sports sock, a foot Polly recognised at once. Harold's foot.

She knelt down next to him and reached out to stroke his head. The groaning was louder and more urgent now. Harold flinched when she touched him and Polly instinctively snatched her hand away. Gazing in disbelief Polly saw there was blood on her hand. Someone had hurt Harold, injured him in his own home. Polly suddenly felt warmer as her anger rose. How dare someone hurt her Harold!

Then, as quickly as it had risen, her temperature plummeted. She began to shiver as she remembered what had happened. Her mind cleared and she was certain she knew what had gone on.

Harold groaned again, 'Why Polly? For God's sake why?'

Polly licked her lips and felt the tears spring to her eyes.

'I'm sorry, Harold. I didn't mean to hit you. I just wanted a quiet half hour to read my book.' 


  1. Brilliant! The last line is just the perfect end. Such a little thing, to want some quiet, but it really can be the thing that breaks you! Fantastic read, thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

    1. Thanks Sara, glad you enjoyed it! I must try to write something less dark for the next #ThePrompt!

  2. Wow this was really gripping and chilling with mounting tension because you know something bad has happened. Sounds like polly almost has an out of body experience when she loses control. Scary stuff.

    1. Thanks maddy! I'm starting to worry about all the dark stuff I'm writing but it seems to be flowing that way at the moment so I mustn't complain!