Amy’s Story…Part 3

(To read from the beginning visit Part 1 and then Part 2)

[Recap:  For months Amy has been stalked by some unseen predator.  Finally the police takes  someone into custody, and so Amy is able to breathe a sigh of relief.  Sky, her girlfriend, suggests a week long get-away for some much needed rest. Amy and Rudy, her golden retriever, navigate snowy roads, but the two of them finally make it to their little cabin nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Believing herself safe, Amy lets down her guard and basks in her new found peace.  But then, something outside incites Rudy.  Amy steps outside to investigate, unaware that those steps would lead her into an unimaginable nightmare.  Rudy growls…a shadow…a gunshot…darkness… 

Later Amy awakes to find herself shackled and hanging in the darkness of a musty root cellar.  Not knowing if her beloved dog is dead or alive, she tries to call out to Rudy, however, her cries are stifled by the duct tape pressed tightly across her mouth.  Confused and alone, Amy’s tears fall to the ground below her.  She hangs in the darkness, awaiting her captor, knowing her horror has just begun.] 

*** 

He pictured Amy, hanging in the root cellar.  He knew of her excruciating pain.  He had once endured the same from the hands of his father.

He would never ask Amy to endure anything that he himself had not experienced first.  No, he loved her way too much for that.

The aroma in the tiny kitchen tantalized all of his senses.  Yes, of course he could smell the perfectly charred meat, anyone could do that, but he actually saw, tasted, heard and touched the aroma as he stood with his eyes closed.  All of his senses were heightened to the point of combustion.

He had always been that way, even as a child.  At first the strong sensations frightened him, but as time passed he realized he was special, and was indeed unlike any other.  He kept this secret and told no one, not his weak pathetic mother, and certainly not his self-righteous father.  This  revelation of himself created an euphoria that often erupted from his mouth in mad laughter.  He tried to contain it as much as possible because he knew others would think him crazy.

He wasn’t crazy.  No, not in the least.  He, unlike most, was…free…free beyond any bounds of humanity.

Being different made him lonely.  He craved someone as extraordinary as himself, and so he began “the search.”  There had been so many “disappointments” through the years, but he was confident that Amy would be different.  He smiled.   He knew “the search” was finally over.

He lifted the fillets from the grill and carefully plated them upon delicate bone china.  He then poured a Vintage Port, 1997 into crystal goblets.  This particular wine, crafted from Portugal’s indigenous grapes, was thick and juicy and pared well with fillet mignon.  The steaks were resting and the wine poured; the only thing missing was Amy.

He opened the cabin door to a clear and cold night.  The aged root cellar was visible from the porch.  He stood for a moment, surveying the crumbling stone and then took a step into the night.

******  

Amy hung limp from a splintered plank, that ran the length of the underground hole.  The cellar was old.  It had been built by Scotch-Irish immigrants during the early 1800’s.  The hole was barely six feet high, so Amy’s hair fell into blood, tears, and a dank soil, that reeked of mold, and decaying vegetables.

Amy shivered.  She closed her eyes to the dark and began to picture the two loves of her life, Sky and Rudy.  Her heart ached as she pictured Sky’s smile and Rudy’s wagging tail.  She determined, there in the darkness, she would live to see them again.  Her love for them would be her survival.

A screeching sound of rusty hinges, caused her to open her tightly closed eyes.  The darkness still engulfed her.  She held her breath and listened intently.  There was a brief silence and then a faint creaking of wooden stairs.

Amy realized she was no longer alone.  She heard footsteps, slow and methodical…

One…two…three, and then a pause…

four…five…six …another pause…

seven…eight…and then breathing…slow rhythmic breaths…in and out…

Amy’s heart seized with fear, and she was deafened from the sound of her rapid beating heart.  Then, with the strike of a match, her face was bathed with hues of warm gold.  She squinted from the shock of light, and tried to focus. The flickering light threatened to die, but a dank breeze quickened the flame, and she found herself staring into the bluest of eyes, only inches from her face.

He smiled and almost laughed aloud, when he saw his Amy’s eyes widen with recognition.

Slowly he pulled the tape from her mouth, freeing the question he had longed to hear from her.

“Why…?”

***

Fear is never Lukewarm

(To continue to Part 4 visit Here)


Amy’s Story: Part 2

(To read Part 1 first visit Survive: Amy’s Story)

Recap:  Our protagonist, Amy, awakens to darkness.  She’s hanging, from rusty shackles, that are biting painfully into her bleeding ankles.  Confused and alone she drifts in and out of consciousness.  She tries to remember what led her to this hell.

Conscious once again, Amy heard nothing.  She began to sort the snippets of memory, she had recalled…the cabin…a phone call…Rudy… barking and growling…a loud explosion…

Slowly, ever so slowly, the pieces fell into place and Amy was able to remember the sequence of events that had led her here…

***

Amy and Rudy finally arrived.  The snow storm had made the roads treacherous, so the two-hour trip had turned into four.  Amy called Sky, not wanting her worry.  Sky’s voice greeted her after the third ring.

“Hey you!  Yeah, I’m talking to you…the person with the phone growing out of their ear!  Obviously I’m unable to attach mine, so leave a message and “yours truly” will call you back.  If you’re lucky.”

Amy rolled her eyes. 

“Okay…the greeting is getting a little old…why don’t you change it already…”

 “Listen, didn’t want you to worry.  The roads were hellish, but Rudy and I made it to the cabin in one piece…err…maybe I should say two pieces…hmm… Anyway, we’re here, we’re safe and we’re sound.  Try to be good while I’m away.  I know for you, that’s quite the challenge!   Call me when you get a chance.  I love you, babe…bye.”

In spite of herself, Amy smiled, and tossed the phone into her handbag. 

Rudy, eager to escape the confines of the car, licked the closed window.  Amy reached for the passenger’s door handle, “Poor baby, how dare mama keep you cooped up for so long!” 

Rudy jumped into the undisturbed snow and rolled vigorously.

 Smiling, happy to see her golden so excited, she gathered her handbag, suitcase and easel and trudged through the deep snow towards the rustic log cabin, she and Sky had built together. 

The musty air, that had been trapped inside for months, assaulted her nose, causing her to pause for a moment, but Rudy nonchalantly padded past her and went inside.  He busied himself sniffing here and there, as Amy opened windows to let in fresh air.  A cold snowy breeze rushed in and Amy breathed it deep into her lungs.  Looking around at the rustic walls, she felt a peace she hadn’t known for a long time.  Secretly, she thanked Sky for insisting she take this week to rest, recover and perhaps, begin a new painting.  God knows she needed recovery, after barely surviving the horrors of the previous month.  Immediately her mind began to replay each horrific scenario; the letters, the calls, random gifts…the home invasion… 

“Stop it Amy, ” she chastised herself and willed her mind back into the present. 

Rudy, sitting on his haunches, stared at her and shifted his head sideways trying to understand what, “Stop it Amy” meant.  Amy noticed his quizzical look, laughed and ruffled the golden locks atop his head.  All at once his confusion dissipated.  He gave her hand a quick lick before padding away in search of stinky new smells. 

The cabin, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, was so isolated that cell-phone reception, became a dream that never came true.  So Amy, a lover of antiques, had purchased an old rotary phone, from a local flea market; and hung it on the wall, beside the entrance that opened into a  small kitchen.  The entire cabin was small; other than the kitchen, it contained only 1 bedroom, a bath and a cozy den with a stone fireplace and a cedar mantle.  It was a perfect “weekend get-a-way” for her and Sky. 

Rudy barked, startling Amy.  He anxiously scratched at the screen door that led outside.  Thinking he had to pee, Amy opened the door to let him outside.  Simultaneously the phone hanging on the wall began to ring.  Amy knew it was Sky returning her call.  She picked it up on the third ring and immediately said into the receiver, “Hey babe!  It’s beautiful here!  You should see the snow!”  

The voice on the other end replied, “Amy, listen to me.  Lock the door!” 

Amy recognized Sky’s voice, but Rudy’s incessant barking garbled her message. 

“Damn it Rudy, hush up!” 

In response, Rudy’s barking deepened with guttural growls, making it impossible for Amy to hear Sky.

 “Wait a minute, I’ll be right back,” she said into the phone, and then laid it to rest on the wooden table, they used to eat their meals.  As Amy walked toward the screen door, the voice from the phone, begging her to not open the door, went unheard.   

The screen door squeaked when it opened.  Amy stepped outside, and stood on the wooden porch.  Rudy, only a few feet from her, crouched low and snarled baring his sharp canines.  Amy felt a wave of uneasiness, for she knew Rudy, her happy-go-lucky retriever, rarely growled.

Amy scanned the edge of the woods looking for anything that would explain her dog’s vicious transformation.  Seeing absolutely nothing, she knelt and began to coax Rudy to come to her. 

“Come on boy…it’s okay…” 

A shadow, flickered quickly past her peripheral vision, before she could turn to see what it was, Rudy lunged in her direction.  Gnashing teeth and a deafening BANG were last things Amy remembered. 

Afterwards, came darkness.

***

Amy, cold and naked, hung from her shackles, her tears followed gravity’s path, to mingle with the earth below.  She tried to say Rudy’s name, but the duct tape, stretched tightly, across her mouth, sealed her lips shut.  She wondered what had happened to Rudy.

Amy did the only thing she could; she hung alone in the dark, a piece of meat, awaiting its captor.

She heard only the sounds of silence.

***

to be continued…

(To Read Part 3 Visit Here)

Daily Prompt:  Heard

 

 

 

Amy’s Story: Part 1

2-rusty-shackleAmy opened her eyes to nothing, and she was confused.  She tried to bring her hands to her eyes thinking she could rub away the dark, but her hands were bound behind her back.  A wave of panic surged through her body.  She tried to scream but  could only mew like a kitten.  Her mouth was sealed with a sticky substance she knew to be duct tape.   Her breathing came hard and ragged in and out of her nose.  The sudden loss of carbon dioxide brought her to the brink of hyperventilation.  

Cold fear tightened around her neck and suffocation like the grim reaper threatened her life.  Knowing death was eminent, she tried to concentrate on slowing her breathing.  Again she tried to move but to no avail except for a slight sway back and forth.  To Amy’s horror she realized she was hanging upside down.  Warm liquid ran down her legs from her shackled ankles.  The shackles that bit into her skin had been tightened by a man three times her size.  The pain was almost unbearable and Amy did the only thing she could. Silent tears dripped to mix with the blood and cold earth below.  

Amy hung helpless like a piece of meat waiting for the butcher’s saw.

******

He was confident she wouldn’t be able to escape.  The shackles he used were old but solid, and he had added a bit more force when clasping them to her ankles.  There was no way she could get out of them.  He hadn’t wanted to leave her but he had worked up an incredible appetite and he became grumpy when he was hungry.  He smiled at the thought, and looked at the spinach he sauteed and saw that it had reached perfection.   No, he didn’t like being grumpy; besides it was most important that he display his “good side” to his guest, hanging in the cellar.

Yes, he had already decided to play the perfect gentlemen.  He would be ever so kind and gentle as he cared for her wounds and afterward he would present a dinner cooked to perfection in honor of their first night together.   He reached for the steaks that had been marinating overnight.  The hot grill sizzled when both fillets kissed the iron.  God it smelled good.  He smiled knowing Amy would enjoy them.

He thought of Amy.  God she was beautiful.  Beautiful but not glamorous, and he liked it that way.  The first time he saw her in class he thought of Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.  Her innocence had captivated him so much that he found it hard to concentrate on the lesson she taught.  After a while he got past her smile…she was always smiling, and settled in upon the content of her lesson.  Not only was she a “looker” but the lady could teach.  She taught through example, so the technique developed right before your eyes.  It was almost as if they were the only two in the room; he was oblivious to the other twenty-five who sat under her teaching.

******

Amy floated in and out of consciousness as she hung in an old root cellar. Exhaustion and pain, from gravity, and her own, body weight, made even shallow breathing near to impossible. The vessels in her brain bulged heavy with blood, so no matter how hard she willed herself to stay awake, she eventually could do nothing but surrender to the darkness.

In those short waking moments, she tried to remember what had happened to bring her to this place of hell. Memory came and went in flashes, and the very moment she thought she understood, darkness clouded her mind and once again she fell into unconsciousness.  At first this was frustrating, but then, in a sick sort of way, it became a game of cat and mouse.  Amy conditioned herself to capture, hold, and tuck away every memory from each awakening moment.

Conscious once again, Amy began to sort the snippets of memory she had collected…a cabin…a phone call…Rudy… barking and growling…utter fear and confusion…  Slowly, ever so slowly, the pieces fell into place and Amy was able to remember the sequence of events that had led her here…

******

to be continued…

(To continue visit Amy’s Story: Part 2)

Tempted: The Cookie Jar

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Photo from: Pinterest

The last thing Anna said before leaving was, “Keep your hands out of my cookie jar!”

I wanted to ask why, but being the compliant person I am, I smiled, kissed her on the nose and said, “Whatever you say dear,” and in turn, she kissed my forehead, ruffled my unkempt hair, and walked out the front door, on her way to work.

Work?

It’s funny, but even after all this time, I’m still unsure what she does “at work.”

Well…yes…of course we’ve discussed it, however, her answers were so vague, I was always left feeling flabbergasted.

I mean, really…what could one say to…

“Honey, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.  Honestly, the most I can say is, what I do is very important to human kind.  Sometimes, I may have to bring work home with me, but for your sake, it’ll be on the rare occasion.”  

I must have had an idiotic look upon my face, because she laughed wickedly, wooed me into her embrace and whispered, “C’mon darling, enough of this silly talk…make love to me…”

And that was the last time I asked about her “work.”

I stared at the closed-door, and began to laugh.  I couldn’t believe it, she had just left and I was already missing her.  Shaking my head, I walked back into the kitchen, and reached for the coffee pot.  The coffee was strong and black, just the way I liked it.  I sat at the bar, enjoying the bitterness in my cup, when my eyes rested upon the cookie jar.

“Keep your hands out of my cookie jar…”  she had said, just before she left.

“Damn!  I love your cookies!” 

Running my hand through unruly, red curls, I pushed the hair from my face, and wondered just why the hell I couldn’t have one.  I took another sip of coffee and thought about the last batch of cookies she had made.  Oh my god…they were warm, soft and chewy and filled with dark chocolate chips.  That night she and I had lain on a blanket, in front of the fire-place, and shared a whole plate full, along with one tall glass of milk.  I remember laughing at her “milk-stache,” her blushing, and me kissing it from her face.  We made love and afterwards finished off the rest of the cookies.

I took another swallow from my cup, knowing the bitterness would pair well with the sweetness in the cookie jar.

I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer.  I reached for the cookie jar and pulled it forward to sit next to my coffee cup.  Slowly I lifted the lid, closed my eyes with anticipation, and slipped my other hand inside, to search for the prize.

At that very moment something clamped upon my hand.  I tried to pull it back, but it felt as if a million little needles had seized my flesh.  Excruciating pain radiated from my captured hand.  The pain traveled up my arm and settled upon the right side of my face.

Instinctively I slung my arm, and the cookie jar sailed across the room and didn’t stop until it crashed into the stone fireplace.  My eyes immediately went to the source of pain, and I saw a scaly creature attached to my hand.  Wild reptilian eyes stared at me, and its evil Cheshire grin, sunk beneath the softness of my flesh.  Oozing around each jagged tooth was a river of my blood.

Horrified at the sight, I let loose a blood curdling scream, and tried in vain to pull the monster off with my other hand.  Its response was to clamp even tighter, causing its teeth to crush the bones beneath.  The pain, more than I could bear, caused me to fall limp to the floor, at which point the creature began to ravenously  chew my hand.

Helpless, I felt myself slowly give way to unconsciousness, but before the darkness took me away, the front door opened…

“Damn it…not the cookie jar!”  

And as I faded into oblivion I thought I heard Anna’s whisper…

“Note to self…never bring your work home…never again…”

 

(In participation of today’s Daily Prompt:  Temptation)

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Photo from: Toyark 

The Angry Entity

The following is my participation in “One-Word-Prompt” and “Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.”  (175 word count; photo compliments of Barbara Taylor)

 

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Nye stared at the apartment where “it” had happened.  He was thankful for the body of water between; but the barrier did little to quell his fear.  Slowly he let his mind replay the events of that night.

The moment he emptied the last box, the clock struck midnight, and then a knock at the door.

“Strange…” he mused.  Curious, he opened the door…nothing.

“Even stranger…”  he said aloud.

Two minutes passed…another knock.   Again, nothing.

This repeated twice more.  Nye, finally threw the door open and yelled,

“Stop knocking or come the hell in!”

It came inside.

Immediately, he felt the evil entity.   Nye ran for the door, but the door closed and the lock turned.  A window opened and he felt himself being pulled towards it.  Horrified he watched as  five bloody claw marks ripped each arm.  Each time he resisted the jagged gashes grew deeper.

Screaming, he passed out.

Hours later, paramedics lifted Nye into the ambulance.    Nye overheard one say  “Poor bastard, probably threw the razor-blade out the window.

***

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Entity by lostknightkg-d515tnc.jpg

“Stay Creepy My Friends”

Visit my other blog Redhead Reflections

(Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge where you write a story from a single photograph.  The challenge:  It must be a complete story and word count cannot be over 175)

Siren’s Song

Siren's Song

Max’s stare was blank but his body was filled with longing.  Her song was the epitome of desire.  In all of his 50 years, Max had never heard anything to compare.

The first time it had happened, Max had been suffering from insomnia.  Sleep, always his distant friend, remained aloof long into the witching hours, and so, out of utter boredom, he had done the unthinkable…. he had walked barefoot to an empty dock, boarded his Irish Lady and taken her out into the calm sea waters.  Max knew sailing alone, especially in the dead of night, wasn’t the smartest thing to do; however a stifling loneliness prodded him to  curse all warnings and tuck them away into the deepest recess of his mind.

At first, all was quiet, save for  the wind’s gentle tug on the mainsail and the small waves kissing the sides of the Irish Lady.  With the waters so calm, Max relaxed by the rudder and enjoyed his cigar without interruption.  Nearing the end of the smoke another sound began to mingle among the wind and waves.  The mé·nage à trois slowly married and became  a sweet seductress caressing and whispering within his ear.

At first, Max wondered if another boat was near, but a quick 360 proved that he and his Irish Lady were the only ones upon the water.  As the song grew louder, he relaxed and was eventually enveloped within the soprano’s beautiful serenade.  The woman’s voice was soft and gentle and even though Max knew it to be strange he felt no fear, only a peaceful sense of longing.

“Strange…” he whispered, “so…so strange.”

The Siren’s song warmed him and put him in a blank trance  until it slowly left as it had come, leaving only the sounds of the wind and waves.  Max had stayed out another hour hoping to hear her voice again but it never came.  Disappointed he turned his Irish Lady and went home.  The moonlight sail proved cathartic, for he had slept like a baby once he was home and under the covers of his bed.

Max went out every night for the rest of the week and sure enough he was rewarded with his sweet siren’s song.  Never, not even once, had he any inkling  to jump overboard into the arms of some beautiful bare breasted mermaid.  Just the opposite, he laughed, her voice had made him feel warm and completely safe.

Fearing he was losing his mind, Max had promised that each night would be the last, only to break the promise the following night.  And so, here he was, once again, sailing under the milky way awaiting the siren’s song.  With each night his desire to hear her grew until tonight it was a consuming fire begging to be quenched.  Minutes faded into hours with no sign of his siren.   Max, unwilling to give up, continued to sail the dark waters like a mad animal ravenous for his prey.  Finally it became obvious that his siren was not coming.     Utter loneliness squeezed his heart so hard it physically hurt, but he had  no other choice but to turn the Irish Lady and head back home.

Max went straight to bed but once again sleep was a stranger. He lay awake in his bed watching the breeze flutter the curtains of the open bedroom window.  He was filled with the fear that he’d never hear his siren again.

“Why hadn’t she come?” he whispered into the nothingness.

Faintly…ever so faintly a voice…her voice… like a whisper drifted through the open window.   His heart quickened, and  quickened all the more, when he realized her song was gradually getting louder. Finally she sang to him right outside his window and just as it had been upon the water her voice soothed him.

Entranced he lay there listening until her song came to an end..  At first he was afraid she had gone but then he heard her breathing and he knew she was still there.  He thought it impossible but her breath outside his window was sweeter than her song.  Gradually her whispers of breath became heavier and huskier until his siren sounded like a woman consumed with orgasmic pleasure.  Max filled with need and he wanted her to come inside and slip beneath the covers with him.  Somehow he knew she couldn’t come inside until he offered an invitation.

He was about to beckon, only to be interrupted by her moaning…

“…Max…I came for you, I came for you upon the waters, but I couldn’t find you.  My heart hurt… my soul cried, and my body ached for you… and so, I have come to you, Max…please…please bid me come in…”

Max, throbbing with the pain of desire, could wait no longer, said, “Come to me.”

The screen that separated her from his room began to tear slowly from top to bottom.   Max looked for her presence, but could see no one, only the slow rending of the screen. Once it  reached its decent a head flowing with long black hair slowly emerged.   Max strained to see her face, however, it was downcast so that her hair fell forward and long. The figure climbed through the window and then stood naked within the moon’s glow. Her long hair fell strategically to cover her breasts and cascaded over her body to hide everything but the perfect rounding of her hips and the length of her legs.  Standing like this she didn’t move and  Max wondered if he should go to her; however, as if she heard his thought, she began to slowly move toward him.  Once at the foot of the bed she stopped to stand silently, her hair, still covering her face, had parted just enough to expose the nipple and swell  of her left breast.  Feeling as if he could wait no longer, Max begged her to come to him.  Once the plea left his mouth she disappeared.  He presumed she had vanished until he felt the rustle of the sheets around his feet, and he knew she was about crawl underneath the covers. Slowly he felt her womanly body inch its way over his until she lay full upon him.  Her body was warm and soft and she eased her softness over his hardness until he was totally consumed within her flesh.    She began to slowly move upon him.and he thought he would die.  Consumed in desire he arched upward and ran his hands over her buttocks, up the small of her back, and ever upward until they held each side of her head. .  His fingers entangled within her hair and slowly he was able to push it up and over her face, and in that instant his siren let out a blood curdling scream.  Max opened his tightly closed eyes and saw a hideous hag writhing in pleasure above him.  Her mouth, unhinged hung long and low, and rocked side to side like a metronome.  Horrified he watched as her jaw stretched even longer so that he looked down the black bottomless pit of her throat.  Feeling the pull this dark abyss, Max  looked to his siren’s eyes to beg for mercy, but her bulbous eyes were even blacker than the pit and he knew they contained no mercy.  Unimaginable pain wracked his body as he felt himself shrivel to a liquid that poured down her throat.  The hag hungrily drank every portion of him until all that was left was damp spot upon sheets.

Slowly the hag’s sagging mouth closed and turned into lips the color of rose buds; and her black eyes grayed and morphed  until they were the color of the Mediterranean Sea.  A beautiful naked women left Max’s bed, drifted through the torn screen and disappeared into the sea mist  that lay beyond.

The Blue Balloon

(The following is my participation in today’s one-word daily prompt:  Buddy.)

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Photo borrowed from Fine Art America

It was the blue one…always the blue one, and there was only one in the bunch. One blue balloon for one little boy.

The balloon man searched for his next buddy.

He pushed the cart of balloons and watched them all with a curious eye.  Children everywhere…the carnival had indeed, proved to be a smorgasbord of easy picking.

“Eeny meeny miny mo…Harry, Timmy or Jimmy Joe…  ”  He secretly snickered at the rhyme but was careful not to let his excitement show.  

He scanned his options searching for his Harry, Timmy or Jimmy Joe.  Finally his eyes landed upon the redhead who had strayed from his mom.

Bingo!  The winner-thought the balloon man.

He reached for the blue balloon, and handed it to the lost little boy.  The boy saw the balloon and reached in the air…

Then in a flash of blue, the boy is whisked away!

Blue lights are flashing everywhere, and the balloon man is sucking dirt from the ground.

The winded officer, on top of the clown, spoke into his shoulder mic, “We Got him!  The son-of-a-bitch will kidnap and hurt no more!”

The blue balloon drifted up and away…and then was gone.

***

“Stay Creepy My Friends”

Visit my other blog Redhead Reflections

(The Blue Balloon was previously published as The Balloon Man at Redhead Reflections)

(Photo borrowed from fineartamerica.com)