Friday, October 22, 2010

THE SAD BRIDE (#fridayflash)

Please press play for some mood music

As I vacuumed the hallway at The Hotel Traymore, a gorgeous woman in a wedding dress ascended the stairs to the landing where I was. She was breathtaking but at the same time seemed so sad. I asked her if she was okay.

She sniffed back a few tears. "I'll be fine," she muttered. "I just need to find Franklin. Have you seen him?"

I shook my head. "No one but you..."

"Oh dear, we're set to start soon," she said. She asked me for the time and I thought nothing more of it as I watched her enter the bridal suite.

* * *

When I was finished with my shift, I asked innkeeper Mr. Finley, if he had seen Franklin and he just chuckled.

I felt dumb so I asked him what gives. "Oh that's just Lady Margaret..." he said. "She won't be bugging you anymore."

"Who?" I asked, watching the cozy fireplace crackle.

"She visits all of our new workers" he said matter-of-factly.

My blood ran cold. Was he telling me what I thought he was telling me?

"In 1925, Margaret was all set to be married here. Biggest shindig in three counties. The story went that Franklin got cold feet and flew the coop. Never came back..."

"And..." I said, knowing there was way more to the story.

"And... she was so distraught that she hung herself in the bridal suite."

Old man Finley went on to tell me that ever since, Margaret has been roaming the halls of the Traymore searching for Franklin and asking every new face -- worker or guest -- for the time.

But I wanted to help her. Even ghosts need closure, right?

* * *

The next day, I went up the staircase and stood still on the landing. I called out for the sad bride and said that I had information about Franklin.

In the nicest and most gentle way possible, I told Margaret that her groom was not coming back and that she should just let go.

That's when the weeping started. And then came the violent nudge.

When I hit the bottom of the stairs, I saw Mr. Finley looking down at me, shaking his head.

"What'd you go and do?" he asked.

What was I gonna say? Oh nothing, just antagonize a sad ghost while cracking three ribs and breaking my arm in the process.

He thought it best I give my two weeks notice right there and then.

Last I heard, the sad bride was still roaming those halls.

Photos by Sunnybrook100 and Matt Andrews at Flickr. Music by Curt Siffert, "Dirty Water."


  1. Don't stir the pot; hell hath no fury, right?

    Nice ghost story. Well played. Survived the notice period at least. :)

  2. Perfect Halloween ghost story. Great job ¡

  3. Nice work, Anthony. A great ghost story isn't easy to do but, like everything you do, this was excellent.
    Loved the grainy photos as well - nice touch!

  4. This has all the earmarks of a classic ghost story, with a few Venutolo twists. Nicely done.

  5. Oh! I loved this one Anthony. Your bride character is really, really cool... I don't often say this, but I think this one needs fleshing out. Don't fire the helpful employee right away. Bring him back. Have him fall in love with the ghost as he tries to help her, or find out what really happened to Franklin. Both characters are endearing in a nice, spooky way. Just loved this.

  6. I knew those stairs were going to be trouble for somebody. Looks like a long tumble too! Spectacular Spectre-ing Anthony, good choice of music too!

  7. Sometimes haunted hotels are creepier than haunted houses. You knocked this out of the park, Ant.

    I love the bride pushing the hapless worker down the stairs. Priceless.

    Wonderful ghost story!

  8. Very cool story! He's lucky he got off with just a few broken bones. All those years of pent up sorrow could have exploded into so much more.

  9. do-gooders see where it lands you up? Cracked ribs. Just let folk be, even if they're not full beings...

    Great stuff

    marc nash

  10. So sad. The "don't get involved" ethos extends even into the afterlife.

  11. That's what yuo get for trying to help the poor lady out. Great story, told in yuor classy vibe.

  12. Super spooky photos, Anthony. I figured one of them would wind up as a ghost...

  13. Really nice!
    I love ghost stories. I wish they had the same impact on me now as they did when my grandmother used to tell them to us around the campfire.....brrrrr

  14. Boo!!!

    You do this so well.. makes me a bit of writer envy.. Love a good, thriller read and this was one of those..Nice...

  15. I liked this ghost story, Ant. Told in a nice way through the innkeeper. When will young guys listen to the older fellas?

  16. Obviously, he had never heard the cliche of killing the messenger!

    Great flash fiction for Halloween. Come check out my flash fiction for Erin Cole's 13 DAYS OF HORROR for my Halloween flash :

    (A link as courtesy only)

    Have a great Halloween that is all treat and no trick.

  17. And that would be the way of it...try to help and you lose your job and break some bones in the process. :) Great story!

  18. He should have felt more rapport wih her.It looks like he let his moment pass him. Very coitus interruptus ending. On top of that not only you enslave the character; whose voice sounds like he has a soul; but you fire him.

  19. See, that's what arrogance will get you. A ghost doesn't move on just because some janitor says to. Great story, told in your signature wry voice. Loved the photos too.

  20. Great ghost story. I quite liked the bride ghost, wouldn't mind seeing her again. The photos provided the perfect mood, too. peace...

  21. Anthony - I got chills. This one was my all time favorite - EVER!!! (Deserves every last exclamation.) Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

  22. Nice and spooky, Anthony. Could almost be a flashback, no??? :-)

    Apologies for my usual lateness.


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