The painted white metal railing was flaking away to reveal spots of rust that sent chills across her spine as she ran her fingers over the pitted surface. The encroaching weeds clung to her voluminous skirts, filled the air with the buzzing of cicadas and the scent of summer and honeyed sunlight. Twin stone columns, velveted with moss and spattered by bird droppings, stood sentinel. Charlotte gazed over the edge of the rail where the ground sloped, picking out the headstones that jutted like rotting teeth. Soft wind caressed her long blonde hair, murmured against her neck: Welcome home, Lottie.
Another offering to Friday Fictioneers, a little delayed due to a pesky virus.
photo copyright sarah ann hall
35 thoughts on “Little Lottie”
Love it! Your flash fiction is always so tactile. It’s great.
And Charlotte is an excellent name 😉
Thank you my dear. She is likely to be seen again in connection with one Mr. Joshua Hawkins.
Oh, darling, you really are on a roll with the Poe-esque tales of subtle southern gothic. “Twin stone columns, velveted with moss and spattered by bird droppings stood sentinel.” rolls off the tongue nicely as well.
Perhaps I’m just extrapolating from the start of your scintillating story, but I want to envision this as Charlotte Corday returning to her grave. You’ll permit my license-taking, I hope.
I am mildly ashamed of my French instruction—I had to google Mlle Corday. Envision la revolutionaire and murderess all you like!
I’m glad you got the southern gothic (if you cheated and looked at the tags, I shall let it pass). My Charlotte has a connection to our latest southern gothic hero which may or may not be revealed in the future.
I dinna cheat, Lassie!
Ach, weel I’ll be beggin yore pardon, miss. T’was my mistake!
Penelope would be pleased to hear I watched enough british TV/film during my two days of convalescence that my brain is now certain I should speak and swear in only the most british school-child of voices. Most inconvenient at the office…
Sorry — that was Penny — she’s trying out a new character — The Countess Penelope of Arrrcadia by way of Edinburrrrah.
I confess, my eye may have caught the tag, but the whole piece is so Poe-meets-Faulkner that no dilettante worth their salt could miss the gothic nature of this piece.
Tell her to give William Wallace my greetings…or is he too far back in history? I really must read some history books and quickly.
Well, I’m grateful this particular dilettante always stops by to read AND comment.
The Countess of Arrcadia via Edinburrrah is always welcome to drop in for tea…although I always seem to be out of biscuits…or would it be scones?
Shorrrrtbread, darling. And a wee dram.
Speaking of Scots, darling, I just recalled a story you simply MUST track down and read — The Body Snatcher, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Methinks it’ll suit you sweetly.
Never heard of the term Southern Gothic before but I think I might have to read some more of it.
I had to google it when I did a piece for a flash fiction sub-genre smashup last week–it ranges from Poe and Faulkner to Toni Morrison and other authors. Definitely a genre I’ve become interested in exploring. Thanks for stopping by!
Beautifully written and nicely creepy. I vote for scones and a good single malt Scotch. I’ll be right over and I can bring some of both.
Thank you ever so much! I’ll have some glasses and clotted cream and jam waiting.
I am a big fan of early American gothic writers like Hawthorne and Poe (and this story fits nicely in this genre). There’s a lesser known story by Washington Irving (he of the Sleepy Hollow fame) called The Adventures of the German Student (I know, I know – horrible title). I can’t help but think that your Charlotte might be the type of woman that comes calling in Irving’s story. Check it out if you can find it. (If not, I’m sure you can find a Wiki-synopsis or something)
Currently downloading Sleepy Hollow for my Kindle—what a travesty that I haven’t read it! I am a big fan of Poe (The Fall of the House of Hawkins is an obvious nod) and I will look up The Adventures of the German Student. Perhaps I won’t worry about my own titles so much anymore! Charlotte may or may not be lingering on the outskirts of Joshua Hawkins tale, in fact…so stay tuned!
“Velveted with moss and spattered by bird droppings…” beautiful description. I enjoyed the feel of this piece.
Thank you, Rochelle!
This really flowed.
Thank you so much!
Lovely description and well written. Thanks for the follow.
Thank you! Thanks for stopping by.
I am wanting more… I love “spots of rust that sent chills across her spine” there is so much to know about the chills….
I’ve always hated touching rusty things, so I wanted to evoke that feeling of general icky-ness. Thanks for reading!
I enjoyed this much. Wonderfully descriptive, and a chilling ending!
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.
Wow, this is one of my favorites this week love the descriptions.. and the maybe eerie end. The details leave enough room for a vivid fantasy to add a story to…
Thank you! One of my favorite things about the Friday Fictioneers challenge is how open ended you can leave things.
Great job. The last line is especially creepy. Your writing evokes so many images and emotions.
Thank you so much!
Love the lazy summery mood set up by this, which changes dramatically in that last line. Well done.
Thank you, Sarah. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I loved the atmosphere. The details were so real I felt like I was there. Well not literally there but in the way that good fiction has of transporting you to another time and place. You did that and you did it really well.
Thank you so much! That’s probably one of the best compliments a writer could hope for—it always helps to have a visual to write from as well.