Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Wednesday Briefs - Catherine's Revenge - Chapter 8

After not having participated for two weeks it still seems like no time since I posted the last installment of Catherine's Revenge. Since then, there's been a lot of water under the bridge. It's been a very full two weeks. In another two weeks it will be Christmas WOOOOO.

Anyway, here is Catherine's Revenge 8. I hope you enjoy

There were some very interesting prompts this week and it was gutting that none of the pics fit with what I was writing this week, I would love this one to have applied.


But no, so instead I chose  "Damned if I know!"

Emma must have fallen asleep where she was sitting, because she woke suddenly to find herself lying across Tristan’s lap, her head pillowed comfortably on his thigh. Someone had wrapped her in a sleeping bag and blanket, and she was warm and contented.

The crack of a knot popping, as the fire settled, startled her. That must have been what woke her. In the eerie, flickering firelight, she raised her head, for a last glance around before settling again. Ash’s chair was empty.

Emma raised her head a little more, and looked around. There was no sign of her brother.

“What’s wrong?” Tristan asked, his voice sleepy. She’d thought he was asleep. Did ghosts sleep?

“Where’s Ash?”

“He may have needed to relieve himself.”

“Maybe. I should check.” Emma reluctantly sat up, shivering as the blanket slid from her shoulders.

Putting his hand on her shoulder, Tristan rose quickly. “Remain here, in the warmth of the fire. I will locate your brother.”

Emma covered his hand with hers and looked up into his eyes. “Thank you,” she said and Tristan gave her a shy smile, his eyelashes fluttering as he ducked his head. Emma thought that if he hadn’t been…whatever he was, he’d have blushed.

“It is my pleasure M’lady.” Tristan raised her hand briefly to his lips, before stepping away. With a last smile, he hurried to the door.

“What’s happening?” Adam asked sleepily, sitting up.

“Nothing. It’s okay. Go back to sleep.”

“Why are you up?” Adam sounded more awake. He looked around.

“Where are Tristan and Ash?”

“I don’t know where Ash is. Tristan went to look for him. He’s probably only gone to the loo.”

“Probably,” Adam echoed in a tone that sounded unconvinced.

Emma pulled the sleeping bag up to her chin and huddled against the sofa. The cold that began to seep into her had nothing to do with the temperature outside.

It seemed to Emma, that Tristan was gone a very long time. When he returned, he looked very grave.

“I have searched the house,” he said. “Ash is not here.”

“Not here? Are you sure?”

“I am very sure.”

“Well, where the hell would he have gone?” Adam asked, scrambling to his feet. “It’s the middle of the night.”

“I’m damned if I know. We must search. You make a better examination of the house, while I—”

“You know where he is,” Emma said, her heart fluttering wildly, almost choking out her words.

“The summerhouse.”

Emma and Tristan locked eyes, fear flashing in both.  Then Emma was flying. Throwing off her covers, she would have run as she was, if Tristan hadn’t stopped her and pointed out she wasn’t wearing shoes. With immense impatience, she pulled on her boots and grabbed a coat from a pile of clothes on a chair. It was only when she was doing it up, she realized it was Ash’s. Somehow, that made things a whole lot worse.

Adam followed them across the room, but Emma stopped him.

“You should wait here, in case he comes back.”

“But, I’m his father. I—”

“Yes, I know, but I don’t want to think of him coming back here and being alone. That might be the very thing Catherine wants – to lure us all away.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Adam admitted reluctantly. He pulled Emma into a brief, fierce hug. “Be careful.”

“I will. Tristan will take care of me.”

Grabbing Tristan’s hand, she ran.

Outside, the night was cold and very still, as if the world was holding its breath. It was the same deep hush that falls with snow, although there was none.

Without a word, Tristan and Emma started to run toward the lake, their feet leaving footprints on the dewy grass.

It was the time of day known as ‘the time between time’ – not quite day, but already leaving behind the night. With every step, the world lightened around them, and as visibility increased they were able to run faster and faster.

They burst out of the trees, onto the bank of the lake and froze.

The summerhouse was ablaze with lights. The sound of music and laughter carried to them through the still air.

“What the hell’s going on?” Emma demanded.

“I don’t know but it’s not likely to be good. Stay close.”

With more hesitant steps, they crunched across the frosted ground, drawing closer to the building, which appeared to be hosting a party.

As they drew closer, they could see the front doors stood open. A jumble of colour swirled and flashed within, eventually resolving into gorgeous ballgowns. The notes of what sounded like a live string band hung thick the air and brittle laughter tinkled like broken crystal.

“What’s going on?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

“Is it real? Is it a vision?”

“It might well be both.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look.” Tristan stalled any further questioning with a hand on her arm. He pointed through the doors and Emma caught a glimpse of blue jeans through the whiling satin.

“Ash.” Emma would have bolted, but Tristan dragged her back.

“Wait. We can’t just go rushing in there.”

“Why not?”


“To hell with this.” Emma wrenched her arm free and ran for the summerhouse.  Ignoring Tristan’s calls, she fled across the lawn and up the steps. No one paid her any attention as she pushed through the press of bodies, searching for her brother.

She didn’t stop to wonder why the huge chandelier hanging above her was unbroken, or why the mirrors were intact again. She didn’t worry that the dancers stopped dancing and drew back to the walls, leaving an open space at the centre. She didn’t notice that the dancers were thickest near the door, blocking her way back.

All Emma saw, was Ash.


  1. He's dead - no, wait a minute, scratch that- there should be more torture. He's probably almost dead and now Emma is trapped too and they're in big, big trouble. She should have listened to Tristan... great flash, Nephy. Looking forward to next Wednesday!

  2. There are already two dead people in the story. We don't want to get the graveyard too crowded too fast :)

  3. Love the line - Emma caught a glimpse of blue jeans through the whiling satin. - such a great visual. Now what was it Emma saw when she spotted Ash -- Hmmm?