Thursday, October 4, 2012


I gave three outstanding authors this photograph and asked each to write about it in 150 words or less. Three very different visions of the same thing came back. Amazing how imagination works!
Anger churned in my chest when I saw Jason standing in the doorway of the barn wearing that insipid mask. Twenty-five-years old and he hadn’t any sense. The night before he had tried on different masks, like a child effecting poses and attitudes of Halloween spirits. Now, he wasted time when he should have been completing chores.
“Jason, what are you doing?” I said, approaching him. He peered from the mask. Was that outrage in his eyes? He manipulated something. “What are you fiddling with?” 
“You criminally stupid hag,” he said. He grabbed my shoulder, spun me around, clamped a wire around my neck and squeezed. I fought, knowing I would lose. Perhaps stealing the boy twenty years ago hadn’t been my best decision. I’d raised him, instilling fear when he asked too many questions. Had he learned the truth? How could I know his real parents were billionaires?  
Hello my dear Mary, I knew you wouldn't disappear completely from me without at least one more meeting to say goodbye properly. I've waited here on every anniversary of your passing.
I was sure you'd come. You'll notice the cottage is not as it was. I never cared to tend to it after your murder. I want you to know that the madman who killed you is also now dead.
I expect some day the police will come and ask me about that, but I don't care. What he took from me can never be replaced. What I took from him goes some way to paying for that. I still miss you.
At first glance, the crumbling stucco building proposed by Mark as a setting for a Halloween Haunted House held little promise. Too small to set up multiple jack-in-the-box thrills for kiddies. A weed-choked field separated the yawning black entryway from the nearest road. Getting people here would be a bigger nightmare than any jangling skeletons or severed heads rigged inside.
I stumbled over a half-buried car door. The field was a dumping ground. Great. I looked up. A man blocked the doorway. Jeans, black hoodie, white drama mask. Was Mark trying to scare me? Same height, same build. Why did he pick a woman’s face as a mask? “Nice try, Mark,” I called, “but you’d frighten me more wearing a Tricky Dick mask.”
No answer. I noticed his hands. All ten fingers. Mark had nine—a missing index finger. My heart shifted into overdrive. “Who are you?”    

At Amazon
E.B. Davis’s lives in the Washington, D. C. Virginia suburbs and longs to live at the beach. She is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, Sisters in Crime and its Guppy and Chesapeake chapters. Her short stories have appeared in online magazines and in print, including the Shaker of Margarita anthologies. “Lucky In Death” appeared in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder, and “The Acidic Solution” was published in He Had It Coming in August. Fishnets, a Guppy anthology, will include her short story, “The Runaway.” She blogs at
At Amazon UK  and US

Seumas Gallacher lives in Abu Dhabi and has two crime thrillers on Kindle now, THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACY and VENGEANCE  WEARS BLACK, the first two in a series. The novels spin around  three former SAS commandos, owners of a specialist security firm that tackles major crime gangs using their black operations expertise to deadly effect.
The latest book VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK can be found on these links :

Amazon Author Page
Linda Lovely writes mysteries and romantic thrillers. Her Marley Clark series features a 52-year-old retired military intelligence officer. DEAR KILLER is set in the South Carolina Lowcountry where Marley works as a private island security guard. NO WAKE ZONE moves the action to Lake Okoboji, Iowa. In the next installment, Marley returns to the Carolina Coast.
FINAL ACCOUNTING, a romantic thriller set in Atlanta and Jamaica, is set for release in late October.
Lovely is a member of Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and the South Carolina Writers Workshop. Click on book covers on Lovely’s Amazon author page—–or visit her website——for buy links.

Join in! Add your vision in 150 words or less. After a taste of these authors, check out their books for some good reading.


Linda Lovely said...

You're right, Ellis. Imagination is a wonderful thing. The picture inspired three very different stories--though all were quite suitable for Halloween.

Sandy Cody said...

Three interesting, provocative, and totally different reponses. Kudos to all three writers. And kudos to Ellis for providing another imagination-freeing picture.

Polly Iyer said...

Loved all three interpretation. Dark, spooky, and foreboding. Wonderful job, Davis, Gallacher, and Lovely. Another great First Friday, Ellis.

Leslie Ann aka LA said...

Absolutely fascinating. Love the image, and the three different takes all had a different tone, yet all portrayed the image so well.

Fun exercise and a great job by all three.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks, everyone. I left a comment earlier, which posted, but it seems to have disappeared! That's google for you. This was a fun exercise, Ellis. Thanks for the opportunity.

Kaye George said...

I love these Friday posts. Fun stories! Thanks, E.B., Seumas, and Linda! And Ellis, of course.