Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Mystery!

It’s time to join in the “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge,” co-sponsored with Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes, right here on silverthreading.com and myself, Silver Threading!

writers quote wednesday writing challenge

Please use #WQWWC on Twitter so we can retweet you.

Welcome!  This is an open invitation to join in on our blogging event called the “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge,” co-sponsored with Ronovan, of Ronovan Writes, and myself.

Ronovan and I have decided to change it up! Spring is in the air and it is time for something different! BUT WAIT!

If you like the OLD Writers Quote Wednesday where you selected a quote and talked about the author of the quote you CAN still do that. The quotes are a pathway to find inspiration in your writing. You can write whatever you would like as long as you include your quote with your piece. You can write poetry, music, share songs, write flash fiction…

SHOW US YOUR CREATIVITY!

NOW it’s your chance to highlight your favorite author’s quotes that give inspiration to you as a writer. Do you feel like your writing is getting stale? Are you looking for inspiration to keep writing? Then you have come to right spot!

Each week we will include a theme  for anyone who needs additional inspiration. You don’t have to follow our theme if you don’t want to. It is optional.

In fact, Ronovan and I will alternate each week with a themed prompt post written on Silver Threading. This will give you a different perspective weekly to keep your inspiration flowing. Make sure and join us. You never know what we will come up with!

To see all the Entries from last week click HERE for the links in the comments of last weeks Challenge Post.

This is my week, and Ronovan will be back next week to share his theme with you. We thought it would be fun to split the brain power needed each week. All of you get hosts that are reasonably fresh and fun to play with each week, so join in!

#WQWWC Mystery

This week’s theme is “mystery,” or any variation of the word: mystery, mysterious, etc.

So what do you do?

You select a quote that inspires you. Then, write a short piece of flash fiction or poetry to share with us all using the quote either in your story or as the title of your masterpiece. You can include photos, photo quotes, or anything else that helps to highlight your quote.

Either create your own sayings (because after all, we are all writer’s here) or use a quote from a famous author that you find gives you inspiration.  Just make sure that credit is given for other’s work.  You can use FotoflexerPicmonkeyCanva, or any other program that you wish to make your own images. Click the links to go to the programs.

Each Wednesday, we will post the prompt and all you have to do is take part! You have from that Wednesday until the following Tuesday night to share your creativity inspired by a quote. We will share your posts on social media for added exposure.

Each week, we will include a link to the previous week’s post so that you can go to the links and comments to see all the inspiration that was generated.

BOTTOM LINE: Have fun and be creative!

~*~

The Mystery of the Spider’s Lair

Miss Pensie Taylor walked down the dirt road toward the tiny three bedroom house behind the swamp where she had been born many years ago. Her walk was slower these days as arthritis had settled in her old bones. Her dress flapped forlornly around her thin legs as the humid sea air blew in from the Gulf of Mexico. Thick-trunked oak trees with massive limbs creaked in the breeze, as she walked by.

Miss Pensie shifted the bag of groceries to her other hand to ease the cramp in her wrist. She was almost to the swamp when she noticed dark billowing storm clouds building in the southern sky. The air was heavy and dank around the swamp. Mosquitoes buzzed. Large bullfrogs croaked as they splashed in the murky water. Birds scattered and flew in different directions between the gloom of the trees as if they were getting ready for the approaching storm by looking for shelter.

St. Michael’s cemetery was across the street from the swamp a ways up on higher ground. Years ago, Miss Pensie’s father had been the caretaker of the burial grounds. Miss Pensie had followed him around as a child while he read the names of the Confederate soldiers buried there out loud to her. The cemetery was an ancient place and had been there since the beginning of Pensacola. Miss Pensie was used to the solitude of the place and not afraid of living so close to a graveyard. After all, the King of Spain was buried there in 1807!

To Miss Pensie, the cemetery contained the history of the folks buried there. She sensed the stories of people who lived long ago when she walked around looking at the names of the dead. She never felt afraid. The cemetery was a retreat where she could visit with the people who once walked the earth before her.

The large ornate tombs of white stone were surrounded by elaborate wrought iron fences. Lightning pierced the dark clouds with jagged bursts of white fury. The cemetery felt desolate and gloomy in the fading light of the storm.

Miss Pensie hurried as she leaned into the wind. Quickly she rounded the edge of the swamp that was part of the backyard of her property. Sharp lightning flashes reflected in the windows of her house, startling her. She opened the back door with a shaky hand and walked into the kitchen to switch on the lights. She flipped the switch a couple of times.

“Damn,” she said. “The power is out already. The storm is not even here yet and now there is no electricity,” she fumed.

Rain and thunderstorms were a part of life in Pensacola, Florida. Miss Pensie never knew when one would blow up. Sometimes they lasted for hours, sometimes they only lasted minutes before moving on to the next location. Miss Pensie retrieved the candles and matches from the kitchen drawer where she always kept them. She lit a candle, placed it in the holder and set it on the table. The candle’s flickering yellow light made the room feel welcome.

Hurrying to the old stove, she struck another match and lit the gas. A welcoming flame burst from the burner filling the room with an eerie blue light. Miss Pensie filled the kettle and set it on the flame.

“A cup of tea sounds good right now,” she mused, thinking that maybe the storm would blow over quickly. It seemed stifling hot in the kitchen and she wiped sweat from her dripping brow.

Outside the small house, the storm began to build. The wind and rain whipped up into a fury beating against the windows with so much noise Miss Pensie could hardly hear herself think. She looked out the kitchen window. All she could see was the rain blurring and distorting her vision as it struck the glass running in rivulets. She could see murky dark tree shadows blurred by the rain swaying and moving outside in the yard.

Thunder rumbled deeply and shook the walls of her little house. Miss Pensie made another cup of tea and waited for the storm to abate. The wind howled, thunder boomed, and the rain tore at the house for almost an hour.

Miss Pensie sat patiently waiting for the storm’s fury to be finished. As quickly as the storm had begun, it was finished. The resulting solitude was as deafening as the storm had been. Suddenly, the lights flashed to life as the electricity was restored. Miss Pensie jumped at the harsh glare from the overhead kitchen light. It almost blinded her.

Glancing at the clock on the wall, she realized it was well after suppertime and time to fix a bite to eat. Miss Pensie made a sandwich and sat at the kitchen table in front of the bay window to eat her dinner trying to calm her nerves. The storm sure had stirred up some old memories in her.

She watched the gathering gloom descend around her tiny house. The swamp was especially beautiful in the dim light. She could see the stark contrast of the bottle green leaves of the river birch rubbing against the deep olive-green leaves of the magnolia trees. Water drops glistened on the waxy blossoms glistening in the twilight. Crickets chirped and lazy dragonflies perched on the bamboo sticks in her garden.

As the darkness rapidly descended Miss Pensie noticed something out of the corner of her eye. There seemed to be a green mist hovering in the cemetery across from the swamp. It looked like a green fog as it spread and thickened – then dissipated, and was gone. White orbs of light bobbed up and down between the gravestones. The lights moved round and round, circling some of the gravestones. The lights began to fade and then they were gone.

“Well, what could that be?” Miss Pensie said out loud. The hovering lights were the strangest things she had ever seen. Eighty years of living in these parts and she never saw a green mist with white orbs of light hovering over the cemetery before. She sat for a while more pondering the strange sight she had witnessed.

Finally, she decided that she would investigate and see what could have caused that fog and those lights. Miss Pensie grabbed her flashlight and went outside. The storm was long gone and stars sparkled overhead in the night sky. The grass was wet and squeaked as she walked on toward the swamp. A stray toad croaked as she made her way past the swamp to the front gates of St. Michael’s Cemetery.

The gates were left open at night since the property management company did not like to send someone out at night to lock up the gate. Most people did not come here at night anyway. They thought it was spooky. Too many lost souls floating about. Miss Pensie did not mind, though. The cemetery made her think of her Pa. She was not afraid.

Once through the black wrought iron gates, Miss Pensie flashed the flashlight about to see if the green mist or the white orbs were lurking about in the depths of the darkness. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing there except the gravestones she managed to light up brightly in the beam of her flashlight.

“Humph!” replied Miss Pensie. “Got me out here at night looking for nothing,” she said with irritation in her voice. “I must be losing it,” she thought. One more quick look around revealed nothing but blackness. It was a still night filled only with the sounds of the insects singing the praises of the dead.

Miss Pensie turned and walked back outside of St. Michael’s cemetery leaving the austere darkness behind her. Approaching the edge of the swamp closest to her backyard, Miss Pensie stumbled against a tree root that jutted out into the grass. She felt something on her arm. Instantly the hairs on her arms stood on end. There in the beam of the flashlight was the largest spider she had ever seen! The sticky strands of the spider’s web clung to her hair and arms as she tried to regain her footing. A pinprick of pain washed over her. No, cemeteries did not scare her, but big HUGE spiders terrified her!

Feeling a wave of nausea come upon her, Miss Pensie broke loose from the web, grabbed the flashlight that had tumbled to the ground in the altercation with the spider, and ran. She ran as hard as she could for her back door. Bursting through the door, she stumbled into the kitchen and plopped down into a kitchen chair panting hard! It took almost 10 minutes for her breathing to calm down and for her heart to stop beating. She felt as if it would burst inside her chest. Miss Pensie began shaking and sweating profusely.

She sat down and drank her now cold tea and looked out the window trying to settle her nerves. There in the distance, she could see the white orbs dancing around the tombstones again. It was as if they were taunting her! Shaking her head in wonder, and a bit unnerved, she knew what she would do. She was going to call Sam Pritchard, the County Sheriff. He could handle the strangeness in the cemetery. She was over it. Her hands still shaking, Miss Pensie picked up the phone and called Sam.

Sam Pritchard took Miss Pensie’s call and decided he would come out to investigate himself. He knew she was getting on in years and wanted to make sure that she was alright. He had never heard of a green mist or fog with dancing lights in the cemetery before. This was a new one. He had to see this himself.

Sam pulled up into Miss Pensie’s driveway in his old Ford pickup truck. He knocked at her back door. Her lights were on, however, she did not answer his knock. He called out Miss Pensie’s name, but there was no answer. He walked around the yard. Keeping a close eye on the house he looked across the street at the cemetery. He did not see any lights or mist. Where was Miss Pensie, he wondered?

Slowly, Sam opened the back door. Creeping into the kitchen he spied a shadow on the back wall. Miss Pensie was lying on her side, the phone clutched in her hand. Her mouth was open and a look of astonishment was captured on her face.

“Poor thing,” Sam thought. He figured she had a heart attack right after she had reported the strange lights to the Sheriff’s office. “She must have been really scared of whatever she saw tonight,” Sam reasoned out loud shaking his head in sorrow.

In a few days time, Miss Pensie Taylor was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery right next to her Pa, with her Ma on the other side of her. It was a short ceremony because not many people knew who she was because of her age. Her favorite flowers, white gardenias, were laid upon her burial mound. The white gardenias filled the air with their heady fragrance. The flowers smelled like death.

That night, the green mist and the dancing orbs surrounded the hallowed ground where Miss Pensie laid for her eternal rest. Sam Pritchard saw the lights as he drove by the cemetery late that night.

Days later when he shared what he had seen on the night of Miss Pensie’s funeral with the people in town, they said that they started seeing those eerie lights too. Everyone figured that night it had been Miss Pensie’s Ma and Pa showing her the way to her eternal sleep.

Folks in these parts never did figure out that it was that old spider that sent Miss Pensie to an early death. That very same ancient arachnid still weaves her particular kind of death down by the swamp across from the cemetery every time she is summoned by the white orbs. It appears her spider magic is linked with the spirit of Father Time. It’s all a mystery to me.

However, if you drive by St. Michael’s Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida any night of the year, you just might see those dancing orbs of light surrounded by a green fog! I know that people still see them because I have too! Just remember to watch out for the spiders!

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Now it’s your turn! Show me your interpretation of mystery!

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49 comments

    1. Thanks, Judy. Having lived in the south, I can say that the cemetery, the green mist, and the orbs are true. I read about the strange sights and then wrote the story a couple years ago. This is a rewrite of that story. 😊💖

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, I am not much of a spider person either. I chose the spider because there were so many of them at the swamps. I never saw such big spiders in my life! Yikes. Just fun to write and play with a ghost story. Thanks Bee! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Great tale, Colleen, and a super mystery. I love history, so it’s a delight to discover it was based on truth. I love the quote too. It’s how I feel when writing, most of the time the outcome of a story is as much a mystery to me as my readers and that’s part of the fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, Mel! You nailed it! I am finding out that “my characters” tell the story, not me. I have no idea where I am going next until those fairies start their whispering again. This story was just fun to write. I wrote the bones of it a couple years ago and tried to clean it up for the WQWWC. I do love a good ghost story. Don’t you? ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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