Beneath the Dereliction

copyright J Hardy Carroll

copyright J Hardy Carroll

As his fingers reached up as if to heaven Elaine wondered why she had come back to this place. It held such sad memories for her. A place of incarceration, that’s what it had been. A prison. Harry had seen to that. The iron gate to the outside world had always been padlocked.

It had been like that since the first day when he brought her here as a new bride. Harry had wanted to control her totally. She had gone from being a daughter of the sun to living in a darkened hell. That was until she found the knife.


Dedicated to Jane Rogers, who introduced me to adult education and gothic literature.





This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    Another stunning last line. I wasn’t sure whose fingers were reaching up to heaven – has she just killed him?

    1. Michael Humphris

      The fingers are the trees rising from over his grave, his is trying to escape you might say. She is now a very old lady and now so full of sadness that she could find no other way out of his grasp.

  2. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    A chilling scenario.



    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Rochelle, I am glad it worked, I so wanted to flesh it out a bit.

  3. wmqcolby

    Gothic, sinister, it makes the grade.

    1. Michael Humphris

      As usual the picture set the scene, but it’s really great to get feedback. Thank you

      1. wmqcolby

        I always love giving feedback. Likes are good, but it’s important to converse.

        1. Michael Humphris

          That is true, but also hard. The differing styles of writing offer so much.

  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Yes, sometimes the knife is the only key… a chilling end to a chilling story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Bjorn,

  5. Graham Lawrence

    Chilly and so Gothic!

    1. Michael Humphris

      I thank you on behalf of a teacher who attempted to show me the work of Edgar A Poe.

  6. Sandra

    Very chilling – well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, I was unsure of writing this story, but it arrived so had to be told.

  7. IfeomaO

    Beginning, middle and end lol. Neatly and nicely done 🙂 Wasn’t sure where the tale was going, but glad for an unexpected end.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, I was not sure about this story.

  8. helenmidgley

    Great last line. Jane would be proud 😉

  9. oldentimes

    well done!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you oldentimes, I like your idea of a little old and a little new, which is why I like the Friday Fictioneers site, as one can post short stories, both old and new. Thank you for reading. Mike

      1. oldentimes

        thank you Mike, I appreciate you stopping in and leaving comments too

  10. Margaret

    Never try to restrain a child of the sun. Elaine was obviously a force to be reckoned with. A very grim story with a satisfying ending.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Margaret glad you liked the ending.

  11. mickwynn2013

    Great last line, very dark piece

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Mick

  12. mjlstories

    There’s a lot of gothic about this week. Enjoyed this piece of darkness.

  13. Snow's Fissures and Fractures

    Very dark, atmospheric piece. Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you, it was good to get your feed back. Mike

  14. draliman

    A chilling story – it’s terrible when someone tries to control others so completely. She found her way out.

  15. Dreamer of Dreams

    That made my spine go cold. That last line, “… she had gone from being a daughter of the sun to living in a darkened hell, till she found the knife,” was both poetic and perfect for the story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, Mike

      1. Dreamer of Dreams

        My pleasure.

  16. gahlearner

    I like this a lot, very gothic. Even though she could free her body, her mind still seems caught.

    1. Michael Humphris

      You are so right, her mind has refused to let go of painful memories, could she loved him to much? in spite of everything.

  17. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    Yay for the knife!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Yay indeed, without the knife, the story has no end.

  18. madamewriter

    Very good, very Gothic. Well done!

  19. heidibusbybrown

    I love it Michael! Nothing beats a good ending and your last line is fantastic…glad she got her revenge! 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      The author believes that it was her only way out using only one hundred words. Thank you for reading.

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