Occupancy

six sentence story copy.jpgSitting at his laptop to do his pre-season reconnaissance as he called it, he reviewed the recordings from the an-cam to see if it warranted a return to that overgrown cellar hole to erect his tree stand before bow season began next week.

This clearing was especially attractive to deer because of a gnarled apple tree, the only surviving witness to the time when a family would have occupied a house that would have stood where now there was a barely perceptible depression that held fifty-foot maples.

Though tumbled stonewalls provided ample evidence that all these wooded acres had once been fields and farmsteads, the wildness of the treed land made it hard to imagine, but thinking back to that overgrown cellar hole surrounded by thick brush and swamp on one side and steep ledge on the other, it was somehow easy to imagine that that particular farm would have been isolated and poor even back in its heyday.

Looking through the images from the an-cam he knew the trek in to that spot had been worth it; the motion sensor had been activated by a doe and her fawn and then another, and finally an enormous ten-pointer.

He sat up, intent on the screen, curious as to why the deer suddenly froze, then leapt away into the woods and out of camera range; he shivered involuntarily, knowing for certain only that he would not be hunting in that area.

Forever afterwards he would try to reconcile the presence of a little girl in an old-fashioned dress and thick leather shoes in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night, a little girl who smiled right at the an-cam before vanishing far more abruptly than the deer had.

***

Denise has put the prompt out. It’s “clear“. Go to GirlieOnThe Edge to link your story and read and comment on others. The link opens on Thursday. Rules? Six Sentences. Play nice.

14 thoughts on “Occupancy

  1. Excellent ghost story.*
    I like your imagery of tall-treed woods threaded with stonewalls. It’s like a total jumpstart for anyone inclined to try to time travel in they head.
    (Don’t tell anyone, but sometimes when I’m out driving through especially isolated and rural areas, I stop the car, turn it off and walk away down the now silent road. Then I try to imagine how long it would take a real estate broker living in, say 1698, to get back to his office.)
    Hard (but fun) to imagine what reality and the world was to a person in the way, pre-industrial New England.

    *I’ve always found that the most effective of such stories not only incorporate the trappings of the modern world, but embrace them and, by doing so, lets the fright sneak into the tent of the rational. All the better to scare the reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great SSS, but now I want to know more about the people who once inhabited that area, and more specifically, if they had a little girl who passed away when she was quite young.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I don’t know. The thing about flash fiction, the constraints, is that you can get a story out without knowing the backstory- leave the filling in to the reader. (The thing about comments is they make me wonder if maybe I could write the backstory…)
      Thanks for coming by!

      Like

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