Shadows in the Forest

“Mummy, why are we hiding?”

She won’t stop asking questions, won’t stay quiet. “Sweetheart, don’t worry about it.”

“Daddy said it was the waterwheel. Shadows playing tricks on us, Daddy said.” Her voice descended into a stage whisper, a vain attempt at secrecy.

What else could he have said? Shadows playing tricks, painting marching men across the forest. The whisper of the brook through the waterwheel their echoing voices.

We would never be rid of him. My Agamemnon, sent forth at his brother’s bidding, sent out to reclaim a runaway bride.

I hear voices, getting louder. A gunshot. My lover’s voice, ragged with pain. “She’s downstairs…”

Another bullet silenced him.

A quick drabble for Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers using Bittercharm’s wonderful photo, as well as some of this week’s BeKindRewrite‘s prompts: Stage Whisper and We Will Never be Rid of Him. I also adapted the legend of Helen of Troy for my own purposes…now I must be off to cook tea for the wife and kids, but there’s another story I want to write, a line I’ve had cooking in my head all day…Comments and criticism always welcome.

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22 thoughts on “Shadows in the Forest

  1. Sandra says:

    Very dramatic; a concise story in 100 words. Nice work.

  2. Linda says:

    An adaptation of history and fable, beautifully executed and enjoyable.

  3. Jess Schira says:

    Very well executed, lovely writing voice, and just a little creepy. What’s not to love! Nice job, Chris.

  4. writelindy says:

    Great story with wonderful images created by your writing voice.

  5. ron pruitt says:

    Hi Chris,
    Nice use of mythology to explain the situation and lend a sense of classical tale to the piece. Things really get moving as the story concludes. Nice pacing. Ron

  6. You combined a lot of ideas and purposes very effectively. I think you caught the way a parent would talk to a child just right.

  7. billgncs says:

    lovely and delicious… Helen, escaping to found a new Roman empire ?

  8. Love the contrast between the innocent questions and the all-too-knowing fear. Vivid.

  9. […] Shadows in the Forest by ChrisWhiteWrites ~ @chriswhitewrite ~ Suspense […]

  10. mgideon says:

    I loved everything about this, from the picture to how you played things out. The Agamemnon touch was great. Nice work.

  11. Paul says:

    Did you just finish reading Agamemnon? Or was it drilled into you during high school or college? I don’t mean that as an insult at all. I love how you were able to use the allusion. Love your story- so concise and yet a complete world. But I doubt any of my students would remember Agamemnon. The name, maybe. But not the story behind it!

    • I haven’t read it unfortunately (so many books, so little time.) The books that we were “forced” to read in school (always been a logophile, always will be) were things like Orwell, Huxely, Wyndham and William Golding. Needless to say, I read them all in a semester instead of over three years.

      This story came out of an argument a friend of mine and I had – I said Ol’ Aga was Helen’s brother-in-law, he insisted he was her husband. Wikipedia backed me up, and he’s been on my mind for a couple of days. Is the novel Agamemnon any good? I’ll hunt it down on your recommendation…

      • Paul says:

        Actually it is a Greek play. Depending on the translation it can be a pretty difficult, or pretty easy read. As a drama major in high school, a Theater Arts major in college, and a high school English and drama teacher in a past life this is probably sacriligious of me but I see no reason to read the entire play. Having a working knowledge of the plot and characters is worthwhile, especially if you enjoy reading and/ or writing. I would say read the Cliff notes.

      • But I hate Cliff notes! That’s cheating, surely! How does it stack up next to Astriphones (the only Greek poet I’ve read.) I’ve read Shakespeare and The Apple Cart, as well as The Prophet and various poetic religious works. I guess I’m about to say, “So, you think it’s not worthwhile?”

      • Paul says:

        It’s becoming less and less important for today’s society to read or have any knowledge of classical art preceding, oh let’s say Harry Potter. I enjoy watching a movie or reading a book and having, or retaining, enough of my education to know when something is Hamlet in high heels or a modern version of Dante’s Inferno. It adds to my enjoyment. But most people could care less. So I guess it would be an individual decision as to whether or not reading a Greek drama was worthwhile!

      • I’ll have to read it in that case…another book on the list…

  12. elmowrites says:

    InMon AND FF – you get judos for combining them in a single story, I have to keep mine separate! I like the relationship between Mum and the little girl, but what’s with the lover giving them up so easily?! Shocking.
    My InMon is here: and my FF is a couple of posts before it, if you’re interested.

Comments and criticism always welcome!

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