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"Billybuc Photo Challenge Prompt: Installment 1" Travelers

Updated on August 13, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Dr. Dierker's short or flash fictions stories are just a bit truth like any good lies.

Off Script Here

I know the editors will not like it but I am doing this one so the pictures are in your mind.
I know the editors will not like it but I am doing this one so the pictures are in your mind. | Source

No Truth?

I thought I should add to this. I was there. My sisters were there. this is embellished but a correct accounting of where and when. I did in fact travel to a place above Lucerne that was like this. Maybe I kind of fibbed on this. But I did wake up on top of a grave and my sister did do a rub that was blank.


The three were traveling Europe on 5$ a day some time ago. On this particular night the train, after a 4 hour ride. Stopped in a backwater German township. Of course they carried sleeping gear. Not an inn was open in town so the trio went to look for a camping area in the dead of night. Across the tracks and up a bit was a large area with no lights and so no one to roust them. The clearing was perfect to camp and they did. Upon sunrise it became quite spooky as the mist seemed to rule the area. While two got ready to head out quick, the third grabbed paper and pencil and did some tracing.

Really? Doing a tracing of a head stone on which grave she just slept through the night. But the serenity soon over took them and it was time to move on and find the town.

Alright a small country road which would surely lead to the town. But which way would lead there or away from there. Standard protocol was followed. One stayed put while the others went in different directions for 100 meters or so and then to return. The sister who went left started hollering that she could see the town. Of course all she saw was a tall steeple. Generally you can count on a steepled church where folks are, meaning a town. They stayed the course of the road. It wound up and down and all around. After a kilometer or so they started looking at each with an uncomfortable feeling.

Good as anywhere to break out the sausage and bread and cheese for breakfast. The silence was broken by the sister who saw the steeple. Along the way they had seen endless hay fields untended to and with only rusty old equipment. “I was just thinking, which I know is dangerous” said the brother. “Did anyone notice that we were the only ones who got off the train last night?” “Have you noticed there has not been any sound, not even a bird?” “How about you two sit here and I scurry up to the top of that ridge to look down for that steeple?” The strangest thing happened as he trudged up the forest route. He could not hear the twigs breaking under the weight of his boots as he landed on them. So he gave it a shot and started whistling as he climbed. He could hear that just fine.

Where is Everyone

But at the top he could see a run down old farm house and a house of some sort with smoke coming out of a chimney that was shaped like a steeple. Out with the compass to get proper direction. Now that was strange his trusted compass did not work at all no matter what direction he pointed it, it always read south. OK the buildings were down about half a Kilometer from where the stopped on the road and there was smoke from that strange chimney and so a hard right down the next lane headed toward the place, whatever it may be.

When he reached the sisters they were really looking a bit puckish. Seems the tracing of the tombstone was blank. How sad I thought that there was a tombstone where probably the family too poor to pay for the engraving. The chatter picked up between them as they could hear each other, as that was some solace. Sure enough a lane headed toward the “farm”. And after a bit stood the buildings of course hollering hello and getting no response. They went to the house door to knock but it was quite wide open. A look inside and there was the fire in the fireplace. More hollering with no response. Then there was the rocking chair rocking in front of the fireplace.

The brother said “shush, do you smell that?” Both sisters said no. In just a second all eyes got real wide with the realization that they could not hear or smell things in this area, from this area. It seemed like they could see and feel here. They entered and everything was tidy with the only two things missing, someone and what was rocking that chair. To be blunt it was time to get the hell out of there. Thank goodness the lane continued on and looked used.

Clearly a Bad Dream. Or....

Far out! Down a bit and there was a fully normal looking very large home. A swing set in the yard and toys all about and a car, vintage but looked like it was used recently. A sense of relief with reservations. No indication of farming here so that would mean the bread winner probably worked in a town near by. The eldest sister marched right up and pounded on the front door. Not a sound from within. Of course they were now used to that. They carefully opened the front door. No fire in the fireplace and no rocking chair but a record player with needle about in the middle of a 78 record going round and round.

The trio would have run, but where too? OK there was a creek within sight. Good villages are built where the water flows so follow this creek down and we will find a village in a valley. Wonderful! A great foot path along the banks. Looked like it had been used for a century or more. But the danged creek ended in a large pond or small lake that had no outlet.

That place was as beautiful as could be so in hopes of changing their luck the brother through a large rock into the pond. No splash and no ripple. The three sat on a perfect bench log and agreed this called for them to open that bottle of wine and maybe try to relax and figure this out. They had carried this bottle after having it blessed in Venice of all places. Though not really religious the three of them had hope it would cure their predicament.

Then the elder sister started kicking the brother. And saying “isn’t this the perfect place?” As the fog cleared and the brother woke up he saw that indeed they had found a perfect campground with showers and all for a buck a piece. Like a camping hostel. What great luck. And what a crazy ass dream.

An old man sauntered up and said “you look white as a ghost son”. “Have you been down to that farm and family house?” “You know the ones down below the cemetery?” “I used to live there” he said as he kind of just disappeared into the woods.”


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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      16 months ago from SW England

      This is fun, Eric! They're trapped in a strange land...

      Well done.


    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      17 months ago from London

      Whao! I have a goofy feeling after reading this, Eric.

      I was never scared of ghosts but I am now since, I have got kids in my life.

      I loved your scary story and the ending just caught me up.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise I think you are talking about both me and the story :-) Appropriate at any rate. Thanks for your support.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      This is like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland where nothing makes sense. At least they didn't have to run as fast as they can in order to stay in the same place. Fun story.



    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Linda it is always great to hear from you. Sometimes I think dreams are real and real are dreams. Daydreaming and sleep walking?

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      18 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric as I read this it's after 9pm and time for sleep, but now I'm all creeped out. What a scary story. You do really well with this stuff.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Verlie I love having people doing some wandering wondering ;-)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Eric you left me wondering with your wandering tale. Scary stuff with just enough reality to make it believable.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Kari. Writing it I could not tell what was real. :-)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks for the challenge Bill, it is a lot of fun.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      18 months ago from Ohio

      Nice story Eric! Layers in layers, I love that.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm just telling ya, I would find another campground pronto! lol

      Well done young fella....great fun and adventure!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Liz it was a fun write out of my normal genres.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      18 months ago from UK

      You have crafted an interesting tale around the photos.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Oh Manatita, writing is so much fun. I am so blessed to have friends who enjoy it as much as I do. Or is that "life" is so much fun. I am blessed to have friends who enjoy it as much as I do? You should have seen these three at the "running of the bulls" in Pomplona Spain.

    • manatita44 profile image


      18 months ago from london

      Ha ha. Travel, ghosts and dreams. A noble effort considering it's not your forte. Cool ending though. You said prompt 1. Where are the pictures? Laugh. You're off script, all right. 'Nuff' respect.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bushra I recently went through a period of dreams that were so vivid it was strange. I would get up in the morning and quickly go check to turn off the hose that I had left on all night. Of course I hadn't done that except in the dream. Sometimes I do get confused I reckon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Suchismita, Thank you for leaving such a nice comment. The story still confuses me. And maybe it should.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      18 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Wow! You kept me the whole way through and didn't see the ending coming. You did a great job with this ghostly piece.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Flourish I like your comment. I think the brother probably wondered the same things. I also wonder if he ever told anyone about the....

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      What a tale, you had me guessing throughout. The old man disappearing into the woods was a surprising twist. Now I'm wondering why they couldn't hear noise?

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      18 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Good writing style but the ending confused me.

    • Suchismita pradhan profile image

      Suchismita Pradhan 

      18 months ago from India

      Interesting story Eric.Welldone.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      18 months ago from USA

      Very ghostly Eric. It made me wonder whether the guy was dead, whether it was a part dream, whether it was another dimension or afterworld, or even a drug experience. Maybe having to survive on $5 a day among them they were hallucinating from hunger? Interesting and more questions than answers.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Creepy indeed. It creeped me out. Thanks for your support friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      18 months ago from Gondwana Land

      This was quite a creepy story, Eric, and you left me scratching my head. A very unique response to Bill’s challenge. Well done.


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