Tomi Todstuhl as told by Guest Storyteller Selena Wolff

Today I have Selena Wolff visiting the campfire to spin this spooky tale! So get comfortable and grab your friend or blanket to hide under. I hope you enjoy it (I did).

It was a dark and stormy night…no, wait, that’s the wrong tale.

Here we go….

There was once an old woman that lived at the edge of the village. With a raggedy patch over one eye, and her wiry grey hairs dancing wildly around her head as she dug in her garden. The children of the small hamlet would hold their noses when they ran down the lane to pass her cottage on the way to school. They knew if they breathed the air, she would suck them into her cauldron and eat them for breakfast.

Once a week, when the night was deep and dark, the youngest villagers could hear her cackling from within her little thatched abode. It was filled with glee, echoing through the streets and seeping into their dreams. On more than one occasion a young boy or girl would wake whimpering in fear, knowing full well that the old woman was riding her broom across the full moon, seeking tasty tidbits for her supper.

But there was one boy who would scoff when the others whispered of the horrors that must surely be hidden behind the purple door of the old woman’s cottage. Tomi Todstuhl, his tufts of fiery red hair crowning a face filled with freckles, laughed at their fear.

‘I’ll show you’ he warbled when the children gathered in the schoolyard one summer evening to share their terror. He turned and strutted stridently toward the old woman’s cottage. It was the Night of Cackles, and they all knew what that meant.

‘No! Tomi!’ His sister, young Eliza wailed, fearing for his life. Tomi was a round little boy, and would make a perfect stew for the witch’s pot. She reached to stop him.

Tomi shook her hand from his arm and continued on toward the darkened hovel. The others followed him and when they neared they noticed an eerie blue light flickering from the windows. The young boy hesitated for only a moment, fighting back the fear that filled him. He entered through the rusty gate and as it squealed, the crowd of children gasped.

Tomi turned, and with one final defiant glance at his friends, he tiptoed to the purple door. Beneath the shadow of the porch roof, the darkness was nearly complete and the strange blue light reflecting from a small window caused the boy’s face to appear pale and ghostly. He raised his hand to pound on the door, and it opened. Just a crack.

With their hands raised to their mouths, the children watched as a wrinkled hand reached through the opening. Grabbing Tomi by the shirt, the boy disappeared into the gloomy interior and the great purple door slammed shut.

Something snapped inside Eliza. Her brother was in danger! As the other children screamed, she cried out “NO!” and ran toward the door. The others trailed behind her in a tightly knit pack, scurrying like sheep in front of a storm. She slammed against the door and it burst open revealing the source of the witch’s evil magic to them all.

Eliza’s mouth hung open as she saw the scene before her. Slowly the corners of her lips turned upward toward a smile and finally a giggle escaped. The old woman had her hands deep in a bowl of popcorn and Tomi was howling with laughter as they sat on an old sofa in the darkened room. Before them was a wide screen TV and Seinfeld and Cosmos were up to their old antics.

Tomi turned to look at his sister and grinned evilly.

Please take the time to visit Selena’s site. Here 

Storytellers Wanted!

Many thanks to Meghan of Mesulli’s Medley of Musings for telling me about this show

Thank you to all the visitor’s that have joined us here at the campfire over its first 2 weeks. Everyday I can hardly wait to sign in to check the site, to see who has dropped in for a visit. But alas, I am only one voice in the darkness.

The campfire is a place where many come together to share their stories, and a truly great fire will have many storytellers. So I hereby invite all those brave enough to stand in the circle to please step forward and spin a tale for us. Please don’t be shy, just contact me at the email in the sidebar and we can discuss it. I look forward to hearing from you!

To start us off, my friend Selena Wolff of Selena Wolff’s Solitary Words will gracing the Fictional Campfire with a truly spooky tale! Tune in tomorrow…

The Husband

I’m pleased to say I have taken up another Flash Fiction Challenge. This one is being offered by Selena Wolff. The weekly challenge requires that the writer use her 3 “solitary” words, be of no more than 500 words in length, and be in the genre of the week.

For this edition of Flash Fiction Fridays, she chose the words Enigma, Conundrum, Perplexity, and assigned Mystery as the genre. Below is my submission for Selena’s challenge this week.

The Husband

Photo by Yenchi Hsu (Flickr)

My hand rested on the Colt .45 in my overcoat pocket. This was the tricky part, where all am my work could come crashing down like a house of cards in the wind. The gun was my insurance policy in case that happened. I barely listened to the detective drone on about the perplexity of the case. I was busy watching the suspect, my mind painting a target between his eyes. Just one twitch, one word from him, and I would close this investigation myself .

I could still remember when his wife had walked into my downtown office. The woman had been a wreck. Through the sobs, she told me a story of an abusive power hungry husband, and the long trail of mistresses. She added that I came highly recommended as a private investigator, and that if anyone could help with her conundrum, it was me. Then she had collapsed onto my shoulder sobbing again. With her soft hair against my face and the scent of her perfume surrounding me, I realized she was special. Taking the case, I promised that I would free her from that life.

It had taken weeks to get the goods on her husband. But once I had decided to get my man, there is little that he could do to stop me. Close beside me on the couch in my office, she seemed almost seemed relived when I handed her the photos. Afterwards as I had walked her to door, she turned and softly whispered in my ear “thank you” and planted a kiss on my cheek. Later that night her husband had reported her missing. Two days after that, she turned up dead on a slag heap over in the cheap side of town. Hubby cried robbery gone wrong. I knew the truth. I could solve the enigma.

"Perle" by NAKKERO (Flickr)

It wasn’t hard to walk the police through the details. Power hungry man marries for money, then ignores his wife while cutting the rug with every skirt he could get. The wife realizes whats happening and asks for a divorce. They argue. During the struggle he grabs her by the neck and strangles her.  Taking her earrings to substantiate robbery, he dumps her in an abandoned alleyway and cries foul. A solid case. Open and shut. Any jury would give him the chair. The detective claps me on the back, thanking me again for a job well done.

Sitting in the darkness of my office, I drop the Colt back into the top drawer. Pausing, I pick up the earrings from inside it. I had kept my promise to free her from him. Just not in the way she had thought. I visualize her confused look as I throttled the life out of her. Smiling, I place my souvenirs back inside and pour myself a drink. There’s was a knock on the door. Opening it to a crying young woman, I greet my next client.

Guest Storyteller – Kelsey G.

I am very proud to present my first guest storyteller here at the Campfire. Of course, I’m also proud because she is my niece. Because Kelsey loves to write stories so much, I knew that I had to ask her if she would like to write one for the “Fictional Campfire”, so I did that yesterday. In the true spirit of flash fiction, Kelsey immediately grabbed pen and paper and got to work. Soon afterwards, she returned to where the “big” kids were talking and presented me with her submission.

After a quick discussion about possible editing, she confidently gave me the go ahead to post it for her (alas she has no blog of her own yet!). Below you will find her story, “Mouse Tunels”, complete with illustrations, I might add!  So I ask that you please quiet down while I let her take her place in the fire circle to begin. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you Kelsey for sharing this wonderful story with everybody here. Well done and keep writing!

Uncle Ken

“Mouse Tunels” by Kelsey G.