“Remind me why we’re here?”

“Ghost hunting”

“Why at night?”, quizzed Lisa.

“Because they only come out at night”, replied Terri.

The two friends, both in their twenties, walked from the woods into the ruins of the eight-hundred-year-old abbey. The roof had long gone, allowing the full moon to give some illumination to the very shadowy remains. Large sections of old stone walls still existed as a testament to better times.

“I feel that we are being watched”, remarked Lisa.

“Is it the ghost?”

“Let’s go back”

“It’s your imagination”, said Terri.

Lisa has always had an over active imagination, especially in such spooky surroundings. It was the same when they were at school together. Terri who had always been her best friend, was the dominant one. She was tall, slim with long flowing blonde hair and blue eyes, always had the boys showing off around her, like bees around a honey pot; whilst Lisa stood there unnoticed. Lisa, who was shorter, slightly curvier, with straight shoulder length black hair and green eyes, was always the ugly duckling at school; had now since flourished.

They searched both the ruins and grounds of the old monastery, for over an hour, but there was no sign of any ghost. Maybe the rumor of a ghost wasn’t true.

Eager to get back they decided to make their way through the woods. Lisa wasn’t keen on the idea of cutting through the woods, but Terri thought it would be fun. “I still think we are being followed”, laughed Lisa, “Me and my imagination.”

Halfway into the woods Terri suddenly stopped, sniffed and said, “I can smell excrement”. Looking around there only trees and more trees, against a very dark backdrop.

“I can. Is it sewage from the stream?”

Terri shook her head.

“GOT YA”, a drunk tramp jumped from behind a tree and grabbed Lisa. He was large in stature, with worn out clothes and a large bushy wild unkept grey beard. “Tried to kill mi?”

Terri spun and punched him on the side of his head with little effect, and then with a power punch, punched him between the eyes. The old man stumbled and fell.

The two ladies have never run so fast. They ran and ran, not stopping for breath until they reached the road. How they ran so far, so fast through darkness was astonishing.

“We should call the police!”, exclaimed Lisa trying to catch her breath.

Terri nodded, trying to catch her breathe. “They’ll not find him”.

* * * * *

The next morning Lisa was asleep at home in bed, when at seven the alarm clock went off. Lisa awoke, begrudgingly. Urgh, It’s Saturday! She reached over and slammed the alarm off.

“And so, it looks like Britain will leave the EU without a deal”, bleated the radio. “And now for local news. Police are investigating the mysterious death of a man in his seventies. His body was found early this morning in Parkbank Woods, and believed to have died sometime last night…”

Parkbank Woods. Oh F*ck. Lisa felt a cold chill across her body. Does this mean prison. It wasn’t murder, he attacked them. Self Defense.

“…Police are appealing for witnesses”

Lisa reached for her mobile phone and texted Terri, “Have you heard the news.”

* * * * *

“Murdered!” Terri exclaimed, “I hardly touched him”

Lisa and Terri met every Saturday afternoon in the local pub. The pub was usually quiet at this time as it would be a few hours yet before hordes of locals piled in.

“Well he’s dead. Anyway, it wasn’t murder”

“I didn’t mean to kill him”

“I think we need to tell the police everything. They’ll realize that it was self-defense”, explained Lisa.

“They’ll realize that someone is dead, and we are involved. It’ll be prison for sure”

“But if we tell them…”

“We keep quiet”, insisted Terri.


“We will go to prison for sure. Different prisons.”

“Anyway,” she continued, “No-one saw us, and no-one can prove anything”. This did little to reassure Lisa. She felt guilty. They say confession is good for the soul, but not so good for friendships.

* * * * *

“How was your weekend?”, asked Tanya, Lisa’s supervisor.

Again, it was Monday morning; and the events of the weekend were still whizzing around her head. She recalled the murder; she didn’t murder them. “Not as I wanted”, replied Lisa.

“Oh”, responded Tanya.

“I was going to go to a concert with a friend, but she let me down”, some excuse for her depression was needed. Depression caused by heavy guilt.

The day dragged for her, as she never really wanted to work in insurance. Looking up at the clock it was only twelve o’clock, time really did pass slower at work. She picked up a file and went to the photocopier. Number of corpses. Copies! One copy.

“Lisa”, came a voice. Turning round she realized it was Tom, her secret office crush, clean shaven, with short blond hair, he was always smartly dressed. She smiled. “I heard you were let down last weekend”, he continued.

“She's probably got a good reason”, bluffed Lisa.

“I’ve got two tickets for the ‘Screaming Demons’ concert on Saturday”.

The Screaming Demons wasn’t her style of music, but as it was Tom that asked, she replied, “I’d love to.”

“I’ll pick you up at seven”

Suddenly life seemed brighter. Although would he be so interested when goes to prison in connection to murder? Would he visit her.

* * * * *

Friday evening at last. Just as Lisa was settling down to tea, she receives a call from Terri. “Can you come round quick. The police are here!”

Once in Terri’s Living Room, Lisa and Terri are sat side by side opposite a policeman and policewoman. The policeman, in his sixties had grey hair and a grey mustache, pondered the facts. Adjacent was his colleague, who must be in her thirties had blonde hair mostly nested under her helmet.

“So, let’s get this straight, Ms Harris”, said the policeman. “You and Miss Hardy were in the woods that night, walking from the abbey, when Miss Hardy gets attacked by an old tramp.”

“He was a big and well built”, appealed Terri.

“And he had a big messy beard, worn out clothes, and stank”, said the policeman reading his notebook.

“I didn’t mean to kill him”, claimed Terri.

The policeman smiled, “Jack Barnes, the drunk, was picked up yesterday, still with some blood in his clothes. We’ve found the knife he used. He swears blind that he wasn’t in the woods that night, but you’ve told us otherwise.”

“He could have stabbed you”, added the policewoman.

After they left, Lisa turned to Terri and asked, “what made you change your mind and confess?”

Terri produced a crumpled piece of paper. On it was scrawled “I saw what you did in the woods”. “Creepy! Maybe we were followed.”

Lisa recognized the note. It’s the one she sent.

“Tom has invited me on a date”, said Lisa quickly wanting to change the subject.

Terri smiled. “I hope you accepted.”

December 04, 2020 17:44

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Karen McDermott
12:08 Dec 10, 2020

Hi, here from the critique circle! This kept me gripped throughout - a good response to the prompt. I would just lose the metaphor of the bees round a honeypot as that's a bit overused, but otherwise couldn't find fault :) P.S. The Screaming Demons definitely sounds like a band I would go see.


Michael Hayes
11:12 Dec 16, 2020

Thank you for reading it and for your feedback.


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