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You Can't Go Back - Take Me Somewhere - A Writer's Challenge

Updated on May 8, 2015

This is my response to the Take Me Somewhere A Writer's Challenge post by Availiasvision. You can read her original hub here.

Lizbeth had been on this train before. Before she got rid of the body that is. It was difficult getting rid of Pete's body but she had managed to do it without getting caught. It had been three months and hopefully the trail was getting cold.

She hadn't planned on travelling, especially not to her old hometown. Since her parents' fatal accident she really didn't want to go back and relive any memories but good old Lawyer John had called saying they'd found a Codicil to her parents Will and she had to be there for the reading.

What now? What could possibly be left undone? She was an only child and her parents had left everything to her.

The ride was uneventful. The steady sound of the train almost put her to sleep. The wheels meeting the tracks with a slight metal click over and over seeming to say, "you're going home, you're going home".

She remembered the poverty of those around her. Children coming to school with no shoes and jobless men hanging around on street corners. Temper was not a town you wanted to live in unless of course you were a Sperling. Lizbeth's parents had lots of money. Some they inherited and brought to their marriage, some they made on the backs of the small town people. She didn't want to see those dirty faces and tattered clothes. She hated them then and she hated them now. Leaving this place was the best thing she had ever done. She knew everyone in this town and had no desire to see them again. However, that guy talking to the train master looked very interesting. Dark hair, nicely dressed...he couldn't be from Temper. Well it didn't really matter because she wouldn't be here long. She had to find a cab to get her to the only hotel in town.

The next morning she rose early and took a shower. She was surprised at how clean her room was and how hot the shower water was. She had brought a nice blue wool sweater and tan skirt that landed in the middle of her knee. Her tan shoes had heels just high enough to show off her legs. It didn't hurt to still look like a Sperling, it was easy to fall back into old habits. She walked the two blocks to Lawyer John's building then up the two flights of stairs to his office. She wasn't surprised the elevator was out of order.

The receptionist was an elderly lady dressed very neatly. What a surprise. I guess things have changed a bit here she thought. The elderly lady was Mrs. Sky. She told Lizbeth Lawyer John was out of town but his son Bob would see her soon. Surprisingly his son Bob was the good looking guy from the train station! At closer look he was even better looking. His dark hair belied a light complexion with the most incredible green eyes she'd ever seen. The dimple in his left cheek didn't hurt her eyes either.

He was a bit aloof but smiled a lot. He offered his condolences about her parents and said he was sorry to have to ask her to return. He understood she was well settled somewhere else. He shuffled some papers then produced what he said was the Codicil to the Will. Evidently after the Will had been drafted her parents wanted to add one more thing and wrote it in the form of a Codicil. They had stipulated that the Codicil not be read until two years had passed. They wanted to be sure Lizbeth would have enough money to live on and held the three million in escrow until now. She thought the mill had soaked up so much of their money. She had plenty but this three million was a surprise.

Lawyer Bob went on to tell her there was one stipulation. She had to remain in Temper for one year before collecting the money. She laughed out loud. One year in Temper? "You must be joking" she said. He titled his head and looked at her with a touch of pity replying no, that is what the Codicil says and if you want the money it must be followed.


The next two weeks were busy trying to settle into this nightmare. She contacted her friend Suzie to take care of her house for the next year, explaining what had happened. She tried to purchase a car but Temper being what it was there was nothing decent available.

Lawyer Bob said he had an extra room in his house where she could stay until she found something better. He gave her the address and when she arrived there it was her old house. She had forgotten the address like she had forgotten so much about Temper. It was quite a shock to see. It was the same house but so totally different. It wasn't an old Victorian inside, it was totally modern. Outside the same but inside, sleek furnishings with chrome and mirrors everywhere. Walls had been knocked down and doors removed giving it a totally open and modern feeling. She could like this.

Her room was on the third floor. She'd never been on the third floor before, it was reserved for servants. When she finished climbing the stairs she was breathless, but not from the climb. Here the rooms were as they were. The old flowered wallpaper, four poster beds in each room. Fancy lace curtains and bedspreads like icing on the cake. Dark but beautiful in a Victorian sort of way. She didn't know what to think nor did she know how she could stay here a full year after all, why rent a room?

She stayed indoors as much as possible, not wanting to run into any more townspeople than was necessary. Bob was nice enough but somewhat cool. He cooked for both of them and they seemed to get to know a little about each other. All went well until the night Bob told her she already knew him. She of course didn't remember. He went on to explain that when they were in school he was one of the poor kids. She never noticed him because his clothes weren't fancy and he didn't have any money. He even asked her out on a date once but she laughed at him. She wasn't laughing now.

As he told her these things she began to get a creepy feeling, a feeling that somehow things weren't right. She heard a clicking noise, the noise of locks being locked. All of the windows and doors were locked and she realized she was now a prisoner in her own house! Bob laughed at the look on her face and explained in an icy voice that the tables had turned. She was in his house now and she would play by his rules.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Links to Other Responses


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Deb, glad I could catch your interest.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very nice. I was transfixed from the start.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Oooh Genna, I love your last line! May I steal that for the next chapter in Lizbeth's life? Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you enjoyed my little Lizbeth.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wow! I loved this! I was hooked from the very beginning. You left us with an open ending, Mary, but that is part of the power of this story. We can guess at what Lizbeth must endure next with the clicking of the locks -- all snapping neatly and tenaciously into place with a deep foreboding. Well done!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much alexadry I may have to do that.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago

      I agree with molometer, why not make it an e-book? Voted up and awesome!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Mike, to this reader and writer there is no higher compliment than to compare me to the great Stephen King!

      Actually molometer, I've just started thinking about it.

      Elsie the next episode is alive somewhere in my brain! Thanks for reading and for your great comment.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      That was a great story, looking forward to the next episode. For sure would like to know if she did stay the whole year.

      Enjoy reading, you are a great writer.

    • molometer profile image


      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This should definitely be expanded in to a full on novel or even published as an eBook.

      Have you thought of doing a eBook of short stories?

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Move over Stephen King. This is a thriller from start to finish,

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I'm so glad you liked it Availiasvision. Your challenge and your picture led me here.

      Thanks so much Vellur!

      Lorenzo how nice to know I kept you enthralled.

      Eddy, thank you for reading and for the vote and share.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant Mary ; voted up and shared.


    • Loreva13 profile image

      Lorenzo M Vasquez III 

      4 years ago from El Paso, TX

      Keep me at the edge of my seat and I hate that it is over!!! Well written and very enthralling.


    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      Spellbound from beginning to end, great write.

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Very creepy story! It goes to show that you should always be careful to treat everyone with respect. The ending was sure a surprise.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      It's scary but exciting. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Then I think you need to let her speak. That's how I started The Gifts of Faith. It was going to be a short story, but my characters took on a life of their own and are urging me to tell their story.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Sha you have caught a lot of my intention here. I'm thinking there'll be more of Lizbeth because she's such an intriguing character. She's actually taking on a life of her own!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow Mary, you really stepped up to the challenge. This is the best version of this challenge I've read so far!

      I love that you named the town Temper. I know that was purposeful. The message I get from this is: what goes around comes around (and bites you in the ass).

      I could see this as a Lifetime movie. Will there be a sequel?

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I wasn't sure about the ending Ann but it was the only one that made sense to me at the time. Glad you liked it. I appreciate the votes and share.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Ooooooh! You pulled me in and I didn't see that coming. I don't usually like open-ended stories but this leaves us with a chill feeling that maybe we don't want to know what happened! Wonderful story, well told, Mary!

      Up ++ and shared.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Oh but the thank you goes to you Audrey for reading. Victorians are so full of surprises!

      Faith how kind of you to return to make that comment!

      Jodah I truly appreciate your comment. After reading your fabulous entry (which I voted for BTW) it was especially nice to have you leave such a complimentary comment.

      DDE thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely comment.

      Suzette I explained in response to an earlier comment poor old Pete and Lizbeth were introduced in another story, "The Body's the Thing - Flash Fiction". Lizbeth is certainly a complex character. Glad I could entertain you.

      Ah Paula my dear. I feel like someone passed me the ball and I'm having so much fun running with it! A novel you say? Perhaps Lizbeth will lead me there.

      As for the weather I really don't like the idea of good old man winter!! I will certainly be hibernating. If I was you I don't think I'd come out till July ... it is a tad colder up there ;) Have a wonderful day GF.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      You can accept a challenge and then go on to victory. This piece is fabulous, Tillie. I so enjoy your very special style in writing fiction. Are you the next "author of a novel?" A suspense novel perhaps? I know you could do it easily....and I've no doubt it would be well-received!

      New York has opened the door to Old Man Winter, GF. Happy Hibernating! I will shiver with you.....Peace, Paula

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a great story and response to this writing challenge. What happened with the dead body? This woman is a skank. I loved reading this and was totally engaged. I love the ending, so right for this woman. Thanks so much for an entertaining story.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great write up here. I enjoyed the gripping story and you did a fantastic job.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Mary, real nail biter. I could tell something was about to happen, but that ending was a surprise, leaving me wonder what Bob has in store for her. Great addition to Jennifer's challenge. Voted Up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, I loved the ending! Bravo, again! I love great suspense and thrillers, and this one is just that, great.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Wow, Mary, fabulous story and full of suspense. You had me from the very beginning! Victorian houses are the perfect setting. Especially when they smell of must and the front door creaks. Yikes! Up and sharing and a big thank you!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Faith, eeks.... I love it. I've been a fan of King all my life ( practically) maybe it's paying off. I agonized over the ending, wasn't sure it was enough but went with it anyway. Thank you so much for the votes, shares, and kudos.

      Thanks so much drgj, I'm really loving this. Maybe I can build on it! Up vote appreciated.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      Your second line, Mary, was a masterpiece. Just creepy enough to grab me. Would not be surprised if Lawyer Bob ends up going the way of Mister Pete. Excellent suspense that builds and builds. Congrats, m'dear. Voted up of course!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Mary, I was completely drawn in right from the start! Boy, that ending certainly came out of left field and was quite a chilling surprise. This is my idea of ... "You Can't Go Back"! That video of the sound of the train is an excellent touch and then I read that line and it really did sound like those words you wrote ....eeks! Up +++ sharing everywhere. Bravo!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Ah Suzie, Pete was murdered in a previous story I wrote, "The Body's the Thing - Flash Fiction", but I thought I'd throw him in and keep Lizbeth on the front burner. Gripping is a wonderful adjective and is music to my ears. Thank you!

      Frank you flatter! I must admit I'm having a heck of a good time with this flash fiction.

      Always Exploring, I explained about Pete in my comment above. I love old Victorians too, always wanted to live in one.

      Oh Bill I feel like I've won the Academy Award of literature! Two seconds you say? Thanks so much.

      Cyndi Lizbeth is both a heroine and a charlatan. There is much to her character. Glad you enjoyed. Have a great night and a better day.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      4 years ago from Georgia

      Mary, that was great. I enjoyed every sentence. You expertly showed us life through the unfortunate heroine's eyes. Loved it!

      Take care.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The 10 second rule has just been perfectly had me hooked with the first sentence....two seconds....hook, line and sinker. Bravo, Mary!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Wow, I want more! I want to know who she murdered and why? I know it's flash fiction, I'll be thinking about this all day. You are a great story teller. I'm a sucker for old victorian houses and thrillers. Voted up and away....more-more-more...

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      you are really becoming my flash fiction favorite fast.. this is indeed a stand alone thriller that only you can do great hub my friend :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland


      This is griping a real WINNER, must be a novel my friend! It was edge of my seat with every sentence. Bravo my friend, a fantastic storyline to great challenge. So who is Pete?? Def need more chapters here I will be waiting Mary! UP +++++


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