One Last Hurrah – Friday Fictioneers

monsters-dmm

One Last Hurrah

Ever since the sleep study, Lenny wore the diver mask.

“It’s your husband’s old mask,” Ellen said to Margie over the phone, her voice shaking. “I don’t know how he got it.”

Margie sobbed over the static. All but the mask had disappeared. His body vanished at sea.

Ellen trembled as her son Lenny blasted the music and played air guitar.

“He won’t take it off.” Ellen called out to Lenny, “Turn that down.”

But Lenny pounded his head into the wall until he collapsed.

Ellen shivered, taking off the mask. Lenny’s eyes appeared like dark buttons on a shriveled doll head.

‘”Margie,” he said, and rolled over choking.

 

**************************

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her devotion to this group, and to this week’s photo contributor, Doug MacIlroy. Thank you, Doug.

I miss one week of Friday Fictioneers and I feel rusty. I drove more than a thousand miles and most of it in a two-day period. Why is it that we don’t have wings? Certainly, we need them now.

Please be kind. I’m just glad to be back.

Click HERE for more offerings from the Fictioneers. Why not give it a try yourself? Everyone is welcome to participate.

Genre: Mystery (106 words)

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

 

 

 

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98 Comments on “One Last Hurrah – Friday Fictioneers

  1. I’m not sure I get this Amy, but the image of the son playing the air guitar wearing a diver’s helmet is one that will stay with me.

    • Ha ha. I like that image myself. I think that would hurt all by itself, much less knocking one’s head into a wall. Not a good decision. I’m going to stay mute on what happens and see if anyone gets it. Hint: it connects to the late husband, Margie is his wife. Overall, I think we have a mystery on our hands!

  2. Here’s my guess, Amy: Margie and her husband are Ellen’s parents and Lenny’s grandparents. Lenny found the mask in the house because its the same house in which Ellen grew up. The mask is transforming Lenny into the late grandfather. And I don’t know what the hell happens after that. Am I close?

    • Uh, no. What really happens is that the mask transforms Lenny into the Joker. And, I know that Batman is not far behind to come to the rescue! I recall reading about him somewhere….(P.S. I rewrote my first version. Thanks for your very thoughtful, insightful guess.)

  3. This mystery is intriguing, Amy. The sleep study is obviously important. Now I know from your comment to Sandra that Margie’s husband has died but I couldn’t find any hint of that in the story. Lenny is wearing his helmet, so is Lenny getting the husband’s dreams – ties to sleep study – and denouncing Margie as his killer? Probably not because there’s no suggestion of even a death. I’ll come back later to hear from cleverer minds than mine. Congratulations on writing a story I can’t stop thinking about.

    • Oh, I used to have it in there that the husband had died. I see it’s not there now. No wonder this is an ever bigger mystery for people. Thanks for the kind words. I may rework a few details. I was thinking along the lines of Lenny getting the husband’s dreams through the helmet, like maybe the husband had died with it on, as if it still holds some power of the event. I hope my explanation helps. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      • Now that rewrite is seriously spooky, Amy. I understand what is happening now, but the mystery is still unexplained, which makes it all the more scary and horrific. Terrific story.

      • Thank you, Karen! I appreciate that you came back to read my revision. It means the world to me. Thanks so much for doing that. :)

    • Well, my explanation (I actually have one!) is that Lenny somehow got into the dead husband’s dreams. I rewrote it. I think it makes better sense in this second version. Thanks for reading, sir.

      • oh, duh, now i see what i was missing. he was calling margie because it was the spirit of margie’s husband who was connected to the helmet. i should have gotten that the first time. my bad.

      • Who on earth came up with such a silly story?! Ha ha. To read it this way, I just want to laugh, Rich. Seriously, it was confusing, which is why I rewrote it. No bad.

      • Eh, you know the type of creatures that hang around here. Can’t turn your back on any of them.

      • ” All but the mask had materialized. His body vanished at sea.”

        do you mean “disappeared” instead of materialized? what you have means that the mask was the only thing gone and everything else was found. but then it says his body vanished at sea. not sure what is happening. i’ll probably figure it out, just like i eventually figured out the helmet thing. a slooow day for me.

      • No, you’re right! Duh. My bad. Thanks, Rich. I will change. Thanks for coming back to read this version. I appreciate it!

  4. Sleep studies are creepy. There is no way they can monitor any kind of normal routine with you being hooked up to so much gadgetry. It is really unsettling participating in one. I shall consider myself lucky that I fared better than Lenny.

    • I agree, Michelle. Sleep studies are creepy. You never know what could be lurking in someone’s dreams, or someone else’s dreams! Did you participate in one? How did it go? I can’t imagine ever resting very well being all hooked up, unless I was drugged or something. I’m glad you came out in one piece. Whew!

      • I did participate in one. Beyond creepy. You know all the people in the lab coats are watching you all night at the monitor station you walked by. What if you scratch your butt or something while you are sleeping? That alone would keep me awake. Then add all those wires and electrodes…I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could go home and get some rest.

      • Oh, Michelle! This creeps me out. I applaud you for doing one, and hope you got the knowledge you were seeking from it. I’m sure I would never be a good candidate for a sleep study, because I wouldn’t sleep! This would make an interesting post. Hint, hint. :)

  5. A definite mystery. Who may be haunting the life of the sweet little Twosome? or is it just the ‘Typical Teens’. ;)

    • Yeah, right. He could be just a crazy teenager. That would fit the bill, because I did think of Lenny as a teenager. Thanks for your comments! :)

  6. I have to admit that I, too, have no idea of what’s going on. Alien? Turned into a bobble head from lack of oxygen and the effects of the helmet? Glad you survived the long drive. In a week and a half, I’m headed from Chicago to Philly, a nice 13-hour drive. I’d better start thinking about what book-on-CD to take along. I’m looking forward to it.

    janet

    • I’m thinking the power of dreams and this helmet is ghostly or alien. Perhaps, Tom died in it. Obviously, it’s not the end of this tale, but it is Tom’s last hurrah. Maybe I should make Lenny recognizable. I may change it up. Thanks for your feedback.

      That’s a very long drive. I hope you can listen to a great book! Will you do it at all once? Best of luck!

      Amy

      • I do it all at once, Amy. Driving long distances is something that I for some reason can do and enjoy. I’ve made it with only one stop but usually have two–for bathroom and to eat. :-) Gives me lots of tie to think and I have a notebook to jot blog ideas, all while keeping eyes on the road (which means sometimes I can’t read it later.) :-)

      • That sounds okay, Janet. A little quiet, reflective time sounds nice. It’s not quite the same with two young boys! :) Enjoy!

      • True, Amy. There were a few years when I drove 16 hours with both girls, but they were a bit older. I know lots of people don’t like to drive, but I do, so it’s generally fun.

  7. i don’t know but “‘margie,’ she said” instead of “‘margie,’ he said” makes more sense to me.

    • I could understand that. It’s interesting how one little word can change the entire meaning, too. Thanks for your comments.

  8. Amy, by now you know that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I can barely figure out how to eat a fudgesicle without poking myself in the eye. I’m totally baffled and don’t have a clue who Tom is. The real mystery to me is why the lights went out. This is a very intriguing tale and will be the talk of Friday Flash Fiction for the next seven days.

    • Ha ha. I can always count on you for a laugh. I’m rewriting this tale as we speak. A few details got lost in my rewriting. I’m glad it’s intriguing! Hey, maybe I at least get points for being creative! I will be over to read yours shortly.

    • Oh, then this was a nice little bedtime story for you. Thanks for stopping by on your way to dreamland. Sweet dreams, darling. Just think of flowers, pretty pink flowers and wide open spaces.

      • I’m a New Yorker, Amy. I’ll keep it real and dream that the subway is not crowded and for once my lungs are not getting crushed by someone’s backpack. That’s my idea of sweet dreaming. But that that diver’s helmet just might show up on my train … Joy.

      • Oh, okay then. An inviting, spacious subway then sans the creepy diver’s helmet. Ha ha. I hope it works out that way for you.

      • The train was not that crowded this morning, Amy, as I waited to enter while people exited at my stop. When I did enter, there was one airhead guy with attitude blocking the door. I had to step widely around him because to get on because he wasn’t moving. Then he cops an attitude and says to me: “You could have said excuse me.” I said, “You’re so right. But in the infinity of my ignorance, I was under the impression that you realized this is rush hour: not only do people exit but they enter. Oh, I am so very sorry that I was mistaken about you. Please accept my profuse apologies for being such an ignoramus.” Yep, he didn’t know what hit him. He had zero comeback. Not even his likely go to, “Fuck you.” I just hope that the next time he decides to crap on a small, middle aged woman, he remembers the one that dished it back. He should stuff his empty head in a diving helmet.

      • Oh, my god! Love this!! How could he possibly have a comeback. A+ Excellent! He will think twice next time, I hope. So, it appears you got your diving helmet on the subway after all. Too bad you didn’t really have it your hands. You could have stuffed it on his head for him! Hahaha

  9. completely creepy. i look at the headgear and see how old it is and since it belonged to someone who had mysteriously vanished, i don’t think i’d ever want to put that on. seems to me that through the mask, Lenny saw/experienced whatever Margie’s husband experienced and it drained all the life from him. shivers.

    • K.Z., you spelled it out exactly how I envisioned it, only Lenny doesn’t die in the end, although I could have wrote it that way! Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  10. Amy, I think you’re addicted to Friday Fictioneers. It’s like a drug. :) Of course, I’m addicted too, and I know you’ve been doing it longer than me, since I learned about it from you. Glad you didn’t miss more than a week.

    This story has a lot of intriguing, slightly creepy elements. I like the things it hints at, but I got a bit confused at who Lenny was in relation to the others. By the way, I love the image portrayed by “eyes appeared like dark buttons on a shriveled doll head”. That’s so awesomely creepy. :)

    • Yes, David, I think you’re right. I mus addicted like the lot of us. I’m always happy I do it even if the prompt is tough and a story doesn’t come right away. It’s such a great community, and people are usually very encouraging and supportive. I remember when I turned you on to it. Now look at you….leading the pack every week! :)

      This is a second version and I used to have Lenny labeled as the son. I guess I took it out. If I were to rewrite it again, I’d have less characters. :) Can’t win them all. Thanks very much!

  11. Dear Amy,

    As a fellow addict I can feel your pain at having missed a week. I don’t think I have in two years. What does that say about me?

    Your story has some intriguing images but I’m not at all sure how they tie together. I hope all of our comments aren’t discouraging you. I think this story needs to be longer.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • Dear Rochelle,
      I’d say you are definitely addicted. Where would we be without your story? You are an inspiration to me every week!

      This is actually a second version of the story. Some of the first comments belong to the first story, which was confusing. I had some return readers for my second version. Now what does that say about this group? Not discouraged at all. Thrilled, actually! I think I need less characters for this length. :)

      Amy

  12. I think the mask is a Horcrux (I have read too much Harry Potter :)) and the dead man’s soul lives on in it (a la Voldemort). We need to bring in Potter :D It was one engrossing story!

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your lovely comments. :) Mr. Potter would probably be right at home here.

  13. This is an interesting story but I also think it needs further explanation. I don’t understand about the shrunken head. Very creative. :)

  14. Certainly didn’t go were I anticipated … thus was waiting and wondering why the Borg-wanna-be was staring at a pile of stuff that must appear a gaggle of octopi.

    • It’s all about what you see in the picture and where you want to take it, Frank. You could even read one of these stories, and never see a hint of the picture. That happens, too. :)

  15. The only only thing that confused me was the ‘sleep study’ which I got later on after reading other comments. Duh! Maybe a hyperlink might help but otherwise a seriously creepy tale. I quite liked it.

    • I’ll admit the sleep study is a bit strange, but it’s what came to me. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading.

  16. That’s a long drive, Amy – yikes, I’m not a good traveler and would much prefer to fly! I like this story, the ‘air guitar’ is a great visual :D

    • I’m glad that trip is over. I haven’t done a whole lot of driving since! Driving in California is daunting at times. Thanks, Dianne! I’m glad you liked it!

  17. It was definitely a “thinker” story. I didn’t get the coming back through the helmet angle, but after reading all the comments, I get it. Glad your trip brought you back home safe and sound!

  18. I’m terribly late in reading, so sorry. It was an interesting story for sure, I got the husband came back through the helmet? I didn’t read all the comments LOL would take me forever and I”m behind as it is…..

    • Yes, the husband came back through the helmet. Ha ha. That’s ok, Jackie. You are not required to read the comments, or anything for that matter! So, thanks for stopping by. Did you do a FF? I looked, but I didn’t see one.

      • no FF for the last couple of weeks I’m afraid, been so busy. Maybe after this month is over with. Thanks for looking for me!

  19. Welcome back, Amy! 1,000 miles of driving… eek! You deserve a good, long rest! I’m thinking that the son somehow brings forth dreams (sleep study fodder) and his missing father now replaces him in the diving helmet? Very twisty turny! Poor Margie… she may lose her mind! (if she hasn’t already?) ;-)

    • Thanks, Dawn! I hope you’re feeling better, too. I understand you had quite a scare. I hope things are looking up and that you’re having a wonderful Easter!

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