#WritePhoto – Tranquil

Sue’s #WritePhoto prompt:

Now many of you asked for a sequel to last week’s prompt… (did you read it? If not, click here!) I shall try, using this picture…

Through the doorway, all I can see are bones.

Or skeletons.

Rooted to the spot, I glance back at the old woman who is standing there, staring at me.

“Grace, oh my dear Grace. I have been waiting for so long… Where did you go?” She creaks over, slowly, each step looks like she’s going to fall at any moment.

I inch back until I am against the closed front door.

“Come, Grace. They are all so excited. You must meet them.”

Finding my voice, I squeak, “Who?”

“Everyone! Your whole family. We knew you’d come back one day.”

Her frail hand circles my wrist and gently pulls me. I’m scared I’ll hurt her, so instead of pulling away, I gingerly follow her. She looks ancient.

We walk towards that room. The room full of skeletons.

There is a stench of decay as we approach the door and I balk at the sight of three skeletons sat around a table set for afternoon tea; except the plates are filled with the remnants of decomposed food, teacups empty.

“Look, everyone! Look who has come back. It’s our Grace.”

Rheumy eyes look back at me, and though a cold slice of fear is pulsing through my veins, I feel a shot of sorrow join it.

“Sit down. Let me pour you tea. Oh, there’s no milk. Let me go and get some.”

She hobbles out of the door and I think this would be the ideal time to scarper, when my eye catches sight of a yellowing newspaper on the sideboard.

“Saving Grace! Can They Save Her?” the headline screamed.

I look closer to read what the article says.

And feel shock, sympathy and fear again.

She lost her daughter, Grace, when she was 14 – my age – under mysterious circumstances. Abducted from her bedroom.

Then I see the photograph.

It’s me.

Or at least it looks like me.

A shuffling sound alerts me to her entering the room again with a small jug in her hand.

It’s empty.

She sits down and indicates to an empty space next to her.

I’m not sure why, but I go and sit beside her.

She puts her withered fingers on top of mine and smiles at me.

“I’m so glad you are home Grace. I can finally sleep now.”

She sinks back into her chair and closes her eyes.

If she’s sleeping, I can sneak out.

I try and lift her hand gently off me and as I move it, it slips, and her arm falls, swinging like a dead weight.

But she doesn’t stir.

Her face is just a picture of serenity.

She’s dead. I’m sure.

Jeez, what am I going to do? I’m sat in a creep old house with a possibly dead woman, and a bunch of skeletons around a table.

My phone. Why didn’t think of that earlier?

I root around in my pocket and quickly dial my Nanna.


It’s been a surreal few weeks.

The police came. The ambulance came.

I had to give a statement.

She was dead, yes, and she took a lot of secrets with her, but one thing was for sure. She had been waiting for her missing daughter to come home, and seeing me had given her that release.

Of course, being dead she isn’t going to face any charges, but those skeletons? They were members of her family who had been poisoned, for some unknown reason. I don’t even know who they were.

But yesterday I had to go to the funeral. They laid her to rest at the family burial plot, at the back of the creepy house.

And it was beautiful.

Who’d have thought there was a glade in the middle of our town? Trees surrounding a small body of water. And a cluster of headstones. A pretty tranquil place to rest in peace.

Apparently there’s no other family, so the house is being cleared and sold.

Not sure I’d want to live somewhere with a history.

And that other girl who went missing? She’s still not back.

Some mysteries will never be solved.


50 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Photo prompt round-up: Tranquil #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
  2. robbiesinspiration
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 17:23:51

    Oh, this is creepy and good, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Violet Lentz
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 15:55:53

    That was indeed creepy! Sounds like the girl made it out of there unscathed, but that poor mystery family…..

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Jennie
    Mar 10, 2019 @ 15:23:38

    This was so good, Ritu!! You just โ€˜hadโ€™ to finish that story. And you did it very well. I feel a YA horror book in there somewhere for you to write. Harry Potter-esque, told through the voice of the girl. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Trackback: Tranquil ~ Ritu Bhathal #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
  6. Book Club Mom
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 22:01:29

    This is really good, Ritu. The scary/creepy element is alive in your story!

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Erika Kind
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 21:16:01

    Hey, that is a cool sequel and there is still room for more if needed!

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Michele Jones
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 18:32:51

    You ended that perfectly. Sad how the woman waited for closure.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. syl65
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 15:02:46

    Nice closure to the first part and still have some mysteries left unsolved.

    Liked by 1 person


  10. Michael Ogazie
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 14:56:43

    Beautiful one!

    Liked by 1 person


  11. Michael Ogazie
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 14:56:07

    Reblogged this on Micworldwide.

    Liked by 1 person


  12. Sneha
    Mar 08, 2019 @ 11:02:09

    Good one.. brilliant

    Liked by 1 person


  13. Susanne Swanson
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 23:14:01

    Great job and so fun to read! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person


  14. Rebecca Moon Ruark
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 23:13:41

    Wow–very nice. I saw that “tranquil,” and I thought, how is Ritu going to manage peace and calm on PitMad day? But then I saw that it was more about bones and death. That sounds about right!

    Liked by 2 people


  15. Dan Antion
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 22:13:03

    The perfect sequel. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person


  16. Sue Vincent
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 21:40:12

    Great conclusion, Ritu. And I rather like the strangely happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person


  17. Susan Zutautas
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 21:37:30

    FANTASTIC! Can you ever write!

    Liked by 1 person


  18. OIKOSโ„ข-Publishing
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 21:29:02

    You are really mysterious Sis! LoL Sorry, meant you are a great writer of mystery too. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person


  19. Annette Rochelle Aben
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 21:25:18

    You have a knack for writing mystery…

    Liked by 1 person


  20. willowdot21
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 21:21:13

    Oh,! Ritu that’s brilliant ๐Ÿ’œ ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 1 person


  21. pensitivity101
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 21:19:44

    Good follow up Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person


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