© Lisa Fox

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

The building was old enough to have a fire escape. It was perfect. Now that Brian’s divorce was final, he was free to move back to the heart of old downtown and be nurtured by urban variations. He was so close to finishing that best seller he had always wanted to write. The sum he would be offered for the film rights alone would throw his ex into a spasm. He sat at the keyboard and tried to put his fingers to work. Nothing happened. A mist slowly seeped through the walls. The alluring ghost said, “Perhaps I can help.”

I wrote this for the 17 February 2023 edition of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a story or poem no more than 100 words long. My word count is exactly 100.

I like old buildings and urban neighborhoods for their visual appeal and sense of “otherness” as in inspiration (after all, I’m a child of the suburbs). A few years back, I had a job in downtown Boise, but no place to park. One of my sons lived in a house converted to apartments in “old town” so I parked at his place and walked the fifteen minutes to work. It was really very lovely and peaceful, at least in the morning before dawn. Afternoons were a different matter.

I imagined a person starting over in life, believing he would be free of whatever he thought had been inhibiting him, so he could write and become successful. As in many such cases, freedom isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and inspirationally, he came up dry. Fortunately for him, the apartment he rented had a resident ghost (naturally, she was a beautiful woman) who will act as his muse. Interesting tales should result.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to inlinkz.

Last Halloween, my seven-year-old granddaughter and I started writing a story together. She crafted a great deal of it including its premise. We finished a few days ago (children tend to let their focus wander so she ignored the project for quite some time) and now she wants it published. I decided to put it on my blog in eight weekly installments. To read the beginning of what we crafted, go to Frank and the Plot of the Hypnotizing Slime, Chapter 1. New chapters will be posted every Monday. Let me know what you think.

30 thoughts on “Specter

  1. I’m not surprised his expectations were thwarted by ‘freedom’, but I’m definitely intrigued by the arrivals of the new muse. I wonder whether she will help or hinder in the long term.


  2. Brain divorced from his wife and being haunted by a beautiful ghost is the last thing he would expect. Will he trusted this apparition or go mad? Hopefully he has a clean break settlement from his Ex or else she’ll chase him for every penny.


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