“A Life for a Life”

“A Life for a Life”

The ritual was complete. He slumped to the ground, exhausted. It had worked, he could feel it. The witch would come. The very thought made him nauseous from fear.

It was the middle of the night, and he was all alone out here, many miles from town. His only comfort was the lamppost. Its light was strong, yet it faltered against the gloom of the marshes before him.

A shadow stepped into the light. He almost vomited. The witch was here.

He forced himself to speak. “M-my son died in these marshes,” the man said. “Can you bring him back?”

A chilling whisper reached his ears. “Yes… But there is a price… A life for a life…”

He nodded. “T-take mine.”

The witch hovered closer. “Don’t look back. It will be over soon.”

He could hear footsteps behind him. Then something gripped hold of his shoulder. It felt like a hand, a tiny, dead hand.

As his life drained away, the hand grew warmer. He focused on the lamppost. “Son, you’ll be home soon.”

To his amazement, the light seemed to answer him. “Dad, I’m already home,” it said. “That’s not me standing behind you.”



Thanks for reading!

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – August 21st 2016

197 words.


8 thoughts on ““A Life for a Life”

    1. Thank you so much! As soon as I saw the writing prompt I knew I wanted to write a ghost story. ^_^ It means a lot to me that the dialogue worked. Being a non-native English speaker I often struggle to make things sound “natural”. So thanks! (And if you do spot something wrong please don’t hesitate to point it out.)

      Liked by 1 person

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