Friday FREAKY Flash with Ed Mooney, Geoff le Pard and Jane Dougherty

Last week, it being the season that’s in it, I called for ghost stories. This was your prompt…

Give me your greatest, gruesomest, gory, ghoulish ghost story. have you got what it takes to frighten the life out of me?

Well, the short answer is yes, without a doubt! First up I am so delighted to welcome lovely blogger friend, awesome photographer and Ruinhunter, Ed Mooney, to the challenge…

The Hunter

Many years ago we lived under the sun. The land and sea provided us with everything we needed to live. Times were simple back then, but people were happy and life was good.

Then the darkness came, and with it, a cursed evil, like a pestilence that plagued the race of man. No one was safe, neither man, woman or child could escape it. Even the Sun and the Stars went into hiding.

It started with just a few, but as their thirst grew, so did their attacks. Farms, villages and eventually whole towns were over run and decimated. The lucky ones were drained and died. But as time went on, mankind began to defend itself and fight back. This was no war, it was a battle for survival. Then they began to turn their victims whom joined the ranks of the unholy walking dead.

As the enemy grew, the leaders of man made a pact with the vile creatures, and a truce was made, but at what cos. People were herded like cattle to the slaughter, sold out by their fellow man. The attacks continued but this time by the humans.

I never knew my family, for most of my life, all I have known is the hunt. It is all I know, and I am good at it. It does not matter to me, be they an Evil one or a human conspirator, when I find them, they will die…

Some may call it a curse! This was a path chosen for me, a lonely life. But it is my cross to bear and I shall bear it gladly. Who else can take a stand against this evil? Why should it not be me?

Ed Mooney, Ruinhunter. The man behind the camera.

Ed Mooney, Ruinhunter. The man behind the camera.

Creepy story, huh? I think Ed has the beginnings of a novel here. Thanks, Ed… I hope this is the first of many stories you will share with us. You can find Ed and his beautiful images of ancient Ireland, along with their legends, on his blog, Ed Mooney Photography.

Next up, it’s the effervescent, energetic, prolific Geoff le Pard, who is no stranger to this challenge or this blog. Last week’s story was macabre enough, but wait till you read this one…

A Question of Position

I’m very rational. Of course I can be startled, surprised and I’ll be the first to admit there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.
But ghosts? Spirits from beyond? Give me a break. Sure weird stuff happens but it’s only weird because we haven’t worked out how. There’ll be some modification of Newtonian physics, some subtle exception that explains it.
And then there’s the man at Victoria station, who, I’m about to meet.
It started on Monday. The station was chaos. They’re doing these rebuilding works. It was while I watched the indicator board, hoping my train would show as being on time. That is when I saw him.
I was in my favoured spot, near to the farthest left hand gate. The works have meant I’ve not been able to claim my spot but, happily, today I could. The works have moved.
I was staring up at the board when I saw him. For a moment I was sure he was hanging, and I must have gasped because the chap next to me asked if I was ok. He’s stood next to me for ever and that was a first. Name’s Gerald apparently.
I started to explain, but when we looked the man has gone, replaced by a workman in a hiviz jacket. I thought I must have been mistaken.
The next day, and the next I saw the man. Just glimpses. By the Maccy Ds. Going into the gents. It’s odd – it’s like he wants to look at me but is forcing himself not to.
Thursday, he was on the platform – no one else was there. He must be an employee, though the heavy blue coat looks like one of those old pictures.
I asked Gerald if he’d seen this fella but he said no. He made a joke about it, accused me of seeing a ghost.
When we reached the station on Friday, all sorts were going off. They’d cordoned the spot where I stand. Apparently they’d found a body. Seems like he had been buried there for decades and the ticket bloke said he’d heard he’d been buried deliberately.
We were all moved around, because three platforms were out of use. I saw him, as I knew I would, by my spot. I knew Gerald hadn’t seen the man even though he was there plain as anything. That’s when the man turned. He looked deformed, one side of his face damaged.
Even though the station was its usual noisy self I heard him say, ‘You!’
Like he knew me.
The weekend, I was anxious. The papers said he’d been buried alive. They did a mock up, in the uniform he was wearing. They said his face has been smashed. Like the man I saw.
I knew I’d see him on Monday. I knew we’d speak. I was responsible somehow. Maybe standing on top of him upset him. Or maybe there’s no logic to how ghosts choose those they seek to haunt.

Spooky story, well, I did ask for it! Thanks Geoff. Geoff has recently published his new book, My Father and Other Liars. You can read an excerpt from it here, when he stopped by my blog a couple of weeks ago. His first book is called Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle,  and you can buy them both here. You can catch up with Geoff on his blog.

And so we come to our final story from the very talented wordsmith, Jane Dougherty, who has another eerie, spooktacular tale for us today which she claims to be absolutely TRUE!

Dolly Mixtures

I noticed them up ahead, the young man in a dark-coloured hoodie, and a tiny tot dressed up like a dolly mixture. The tot was weaving unsteadily between the trees, chasing starling chicks. Light flickered between the tree trunks. Light but no sound. The man sat down on the steps by the side of the path and beckoned to the child. She sat down next to him, quiet and obedient, as he got out his tobacco and ciggie papers.

Tiny tots have an unsettling habit of running towards big dogs, shrieking with pleasure and their arms outstretched to give the cuddly thing a huge hug. Their parents generally follow at top speed, also shrieking, in terror. If you want to freak out a nervous dog, there is no better tactic. Not wanting any accidents, I bent down to clip the lead back on the dog’s collar. When I straightened up, the man in the hoodie was rolling up his cigarette, but the child was nowhere to be seen.

There was no reason for me to be curious, no reason to walk the ten yards to where the man was sitting with his back to me, head bent over his fingers as they flicked over and over. No reason, but a strong, morbid compulsion. I looked down the steps where he was sitting, up and down the cycle track beyond. A cold, damp sensation crept along the bare skin of my arms. There was nobody there. No child with her hair tied in a little blonde fountain on top of her head, no pink tee shirt and shorts, no pink sandles. Nothing. In front and behind the view was barred with the trunks of ornamental trees, tidy and neat, of the strip of parkland. To the right, behind a wall too high for a child to climb, lay the overgrown bank of the river.

I turned, a question ready on my tongue, but the hoodie was bent over his roll up, his face in darkness.

He’ll think I’m mad. Or a child abductor.

The dog whined and tugged on his lead. I walked away, troubled. At the end of the path I turned. He was still there, hunched over his cigarette. Alone.

Three days later, returning from our walk on the same path by the river, the dog slunk back to me, head down, whimpering unhappily. Voices came from the park benches ahead, irritated, loud. A young couple having words. She looked tired. Her hair was wild; a tiny baby in her arms was crying. He sat on the edge of the bench rolling a cigarette. The hood of his jacket obscured his face. A few yards away a tot dressed like a dolly mixture was chasing the pigeons.

A cold damp sensation crept over my skin, like water rising around the refuse trapped in the mud of the river bank.

Hmmm… I can feel a cold damp sensation creeping over my skin just reading that! Thanks, Jane. Jane is the author of The Green Woman Trilogy, and Grá mo Chroí, Love of My Heart, Love Stories from Irish Myth (which is FREE on Smashwords, btw!), which she co-wrote with yours truly, as well as numerous poems and short stories published in various fine magazines and anthologies. You can check them out on her blog, and buy them on Amazon.

Thanks everyone for being such good fun and sharing your fabulous stories with us. For this week’s Friday Fantastic Flash writing challenge, I want you to write about a building which has significance for you…

Friday Fantastic Flash Writing Challenge

Tell me about a building which is important to you; are its walls ancient and crumbling, or modern shining glass and cold steel? Does it mean home to you, or prison? What happened here? Why do you care?

You can submit here, I will include links to your blog and books. Entries must be under 500 words, but please remember that I write YA, so there may be young people on this site… please keep it family friendly. Please send to me by next Thursday 5th November @ 12:00pm. I really hope you will join me and take part in the craic!


60 Comments on “Friday FREAKY Flash with Ed Mooney, Geoff le Pard and Jane Dougherty

  1. Really enjoying the Craic on your blog Ali, nice to see all these stories with a spooky nature! I’m currently writing my first horror short story for a competition ( and it’s giving me the creeps!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic stories, everyone! I’m so behind, Ali! Attempting slowly to catch up… 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful samhain.


  3. Great pieces of flash fiction ghost stories Ali. All three very different but all three made the hair of my arms stand up. Geoff’s story was very creepy. So creepy that I’ll never look at Victoria station the same way again.
    I think Jane has also put me off eating Dolly Mixtures for life!


  4. I normally shy away form anything spooky or creepy, but I was compelled to read these. They were chilling all right, especially that last one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a spooky morning I’m having because of you, Ali! 😀
    Love the contrast between Ed’s and Geoff’s – one is creepy, the second is downright unsettling – well done Geoff!

    I think it’s time I gave those flash fiction challenges a shot. I’ll mark it in my calendar and submit my own entry for today’s prompt. (If an architect can’t talk about their favourite building, then I’m in trouble!)
    ha ha xx

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I enjoyed all three stories. However, Jane’s story deeply resonated with me because we had the body of a little girl found in a suitcase and it took something like 6 months to finally identify her. Here’s the initial story:
    I think the thing that shocked me most was that a little child could go missing and not be missed.
    The little girl has only been identified in the last week or so and it turns out that her mother was murdered by her killer. The killers pretended to be the mother and kept a little in touch with the family to cover their tracks. They’ve even been claiming social security for years under the Mum’s name. This is an absolute horror story.
    At least, they’ve made an arrest and the killers are finally being brought to justice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rowena, glad you enjoyed the stories. I still havent been able to bring myself to reading about that little girl though. What is it with us humans? Most animals kill for survival, be it for food or in defence of a percieved threat, but some humans seem to think they have the right to kill for entertainment, or whatever sadistic reason they like. I despair for mankind when I see stories like this, I really do. And my heart bleeds for that innocent childs suffering. At least the killers have been identified and brought to justice, although there is no real justice for acts like that, is there? Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really has been awful and to think that no one missed her really made it awful but it made sense once the story came out. I agree with you about getting disgusted with humanity when you read stories like this. However, the goodness also came out with a huge public outpouring of grief and the need to find out who she was.


    • The number of horror stories involving children is incredible. As Ali says, it seems sometimes that the only thing that makes us humans so special is our inhumanity!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Creepy is great inspiration. Ed’s story reminded me very much of the nightmares I used to have as a child (and an adult child too) of being tracked by all sorts of things. It used to be Daleks when I was small. One of the primal terrors—being hunted, not Daleks. Like Sacha, I thought Geoff’s story was leading to a macabre and sinister ending. He’s left which particular ending for the reader to choose. Very skillful. T

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great tales by Geoff and Jane, both had me gasping for more. I guess that is the appeal of a short story? Im dying to know more about the spectre in Geoff’s story. Who he was, what happened to him, and the connection to the man whom kept seeing him?
    And the stranger with the hoodie, rolling his ciggarette in Janes tale was so dark. A fine example of less is more to create a real creepy atmosphere. Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to try my hand at this, it was well out of my comfort zone, but most enjoyable 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Friday FREAKY Flash with Ed Mooney, Geoff le Pard and Jane Dougherty | Ed Mooney Photography

  10. Great stories, Jane’s descriptions and imagery were amazing – blonde fountains and the repetition of cold damp feeling loved it because it was so clear in my mind I watched the scene rather than read it – that’s the mark of good fiction if you asked me.

    I liked Geoffs concept although I had an eerie feeling if the story had been extended (which I think he should for NaNo) the guy he was speaking to Gerald was the real ghost!! That would be an awesome twist. I loved the setting too.

    And how awesome to see Ed giving it ago. Loved the concept of hunter and particularly liked the description of the sun and moon disappearing. Vivid. I agree with you Ali I would like to see this extended too it’s definitely got legs 😊

    Liked by 3 people

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