Ghostly Advice – Part 3

Flame in the Darkness 

Previously published May 2011. If you have been following my flash fiction you will recognize that this continues the story of Lindy and Isabelle. If you haven’t read the first two installments please do. The first one is Ghostly Advice and the second one is Isabelle’s Bargain.

She drummed her fingers on her thigh and shot the kind of look that would start a fire. Her translucent hands could not hold objects but that did not prevent her from protecting me. From keeping her bargain. She narrowed her eyes and focused on the pile of wood.

“Hurry,” I said, through chattering teeth. My went dress clung to my skin. My aching, cold skin.

“No one told you to fall in,” she said matter-of-factly.

“You think I fell in on purpose?” I snapped. “No one told you to travel so fast.”

Ignoring me, she hovered above the wood, staring at it with her distant, souless eyes A spark emitted then went out. Her jaw tightened, her hands tightened, her gaze tightened. She tried again. This time the crackle of flame remained strong.

I stretched out my hands with a contented smile. My flesh soaked in the warmth. Soaked it clear to my bones.

“We have to be more careful,” she said. “The lake threw the dogs off. They can’t track through water but they will catch up. Soon.”

I shot her a worried look. I envisioned my legs being torn apart by the sharp, gnashing teeth of the hunting dogs. The dogs hunting me.

“Where do we go now?”

She pressed her lips together. The line on her forehead let me know she was in deep thought. “I wish you could hover.”

“I don’t,” I said quickly. “If I could hover that would mean I was dead.”

She let out a soft, shrill laugh like a bird announcing its nest.

“We have to keep walking. Stay off the main road. You are dry now.” She took a deep breath and blew out the fire.

My skin goose pimpled at the instant chill. I restrained my anger and disappointment. I knew that fires were risky. The bright light could be easily spotted.

I followed her through the woods. All the trees looked the same to me. If she stopped I knew I would be lost. I quickened my pace to keep up with her.

We came to a clearing. I squinted and saw a farmhouse. The house was much smaller than the Big House at the plantation. It was well crafted but merely a single story. There was a single candle burning in the window.

“This is dangerous,” I hissed.

“Wait here,” she ordered. I watched her float up the steps. She focused on a rock and it rose off the ground. She turned her head and the rock slammed against the door.

A minute later, an elderly woman answered, lantern in hand. She stared right at Isabelle but didn’t see her. She took a few steps outside and glanced around.

“Lindy,” she called softly. “Lindy is that you?”

Isabelle motioned for me to join her. She trusted her so I knew I should.

Still, one wrong move and I was dead.

Please comment. Obviously the story will continue. What do you think should happen next?

I think I will continue the story in first person. It feels more natural to write that way. As I wrote before, I do hope to turn this story into a middle grade novel. I have developed the characters of Isabelle and Lindy, but the plot is not cemented. I only have bits and pieces. Do you have any suggestions?

About Haley Whitehall

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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