The Preacher’s Boy, Part Three

A flash fiction series in three parts today, each part is rooted in one of the writing challenges I’m participating in this week. If you missed the first two, start here and follow the links forward. Here is Part Three:

Her rich fiancé’s family took Gillian and her parents away to be buried with their boy under the Spanish moss at Bonaventure. Martin’s Pa held a service to remember them here in the parish church, what remained of them nailed tight in pinewood coffins.

“Nobody needs to see that beautiful girl all burned up,” Martin’s Ma said. She was friends with Gilly’s Mama all her life, even though Missus Cooper married a doctor and brought their daughter up polished.

Not too proper to have a gentleman in her room after dark, Martin reminded himself grimly.

Sweating in the front pew, patting his Ma’s hand while Pa prayed over the trio of burnt bodies, Martin thought he saw a glimmer of spun-gold hair, a dazzle of diamond fire, in the cooler shadows under the gallery. The mingled scents of kerosene and rose-water tickled his damp upper lip.

Awakening from restless, crackling dreams that night, Martin heard a scratching at the window. Heart thumping, he untangled his legs from the damp sheets. Lighting a candle against the dark, he stared out into the inky, moonless night. He cried out when a scorched hand pressed up against the glass. His heart stopped long before the candle’s hungry flame devoured his room.

The whole town turned out for Martin’s funeral. He was buried in the parish graveyard, miles from the Spanish moss at Bonaventure. The preacher from the next parish gave the sermon. While his Ma wept for his death, Martin’s Pa buried a secret deep in his soul.

No one would ever know about the starburst diamond ring he found clenched in his son’s blackened hand.

 

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week, your prompt is a simple concept that can be fraught with complication. You have 400 words to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece about freedom, in any way that makes sense to you.

Freedom is found and lost here, even if the ending is rather a grim one.

15 responses to “The Preacher’s Boy, Part Three

  1. fantastic! i love your use of language, and the story’s end was very well done! :D

  2. Wow! That was not the ending I was expecting.

  3. I love the culmination of the tale. It was fun going from page to page. Thanks for your creativity…and the darkness. ;)

  4. What a powerful secret

    How u managed the prompts was brilliant

    Standing ovation

  5. He must think Martin stole it from the coffin. Either way, he knows who was responsible for those other three deaths. What a marvelous little horror arc.

  6. I see that it could be a diamond that indicates his guilt, but it could also be that he was in the process of making a proposition.

    Nicely woven Cameron.

  7. Love this. Some day I’m going to sit on a beach and read a paperback book of yours and say, “I knew her when…”. You really do have a gift.

  8. well for a HOLIDAY (while I was drinking and giggling and NOT writing) you blew me away with your words, your story in 3 parts and the secrets you hide in all your stories.

    this ending, grim and all, was pure summer perfection.

  9. such a dark tale. It began with an unexpended act, they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…I guess labour boys can experience similar reactions :)

    I love how you wove the prompts into one neat little flash fiction package.

  10. Excellent story, as always. I loved how you used the starburst ring as a connector. I did not expect the ending!

  11. I loved this read! The whole shooting match, right down to the three clicks. Perfect!

  12. Is it wrong to love something so creepy? Your tale is perfection and brilliance and I’m totally envious. Well done!

  13. I love that you killed all your characters! This is a great period stalker piece. I also love that even though he got his comeuppance in the end, I did feel a little sorry for him since it read to me that he didn’t mean to kill them, and seemed sorry that he had. Delightfully creepy!

  14. Wow. I had to go back and read the other two parts as well. I want more!!!

  15. “…what remained of them nailed tight in pinewood coffins.”

    Not tight enough, so it seems…

    Very grim, and I loved every word Cam!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>