The Valley of Spirit

They’d warned her about Old Adavndo Valley. Locals, etched in lines of wisdom’s dust, shook their heads slowly. Raised a hand. Or a crooked finger.

“Don’t,” they said, “Disturb the dead.”

She brushed them off. Turned away.

“An’ don’,” they added, “Film nothin’ ’bout yourself…”

But she was Alda Evenfeld, two-times winner of the Fergus Film Festival. No age-worn, brain-worn superstitions stood against book-worn, theatre-worn critics.

Still, fans later reflected, what a tragic coincidence. Late opening night; neighbors, drawn in moonlight, found the shell of Ms. Evenfeld. Exactly as her film’s protagonist lay. With the same scare-worn, dusty face.

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

©2021 Chel Owens

Written for Carrot Ranch’s prompt this week:

November 4, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a film festival. It can be a small-town indie fest or the Festival de Cannes or anything in between. Who is in the story? An audience-goer, filmmaker, actress, or something unexpected? Through in some popcorn for fun. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by November 9, 2021. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

23 thoughts on “The Valley of Spirit

  1. robstroud November 7, 2021 / 5:30 pm

    Good job. Reads a little like a Halloween hangover. (Not the alcohol type, of course, but like some of the season’s impressions still linger.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens November 7, 2021 / 5:35 pm

      Precisely its roots, I imagine. 🙂


  2. Nope, Not Pam November 8, 2021 / 2:07 am

    That was a knock out punch Chelsea. Right up my alley, loved it ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens November 8, 2021 / 7:41 am

      I’m glad! The idea came to me because of literally the only film festival I attended. I had time for one film; I went with my mother and sister and learned that the director had been murdered. Too bad hers was a romance and not a mystery…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, Not Pam November 9, 2021 / 2:59 am


        Liked by 1 person

  3. Norah November 8, 2021 / 3:51 am

    Ooh. I think she should have listened.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charli Mills November 10, 2021 / 8:57 pm

    My goosebumps got secondary chills, Chel. Beautiful writing, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens November 10, 2021 / 11:12 pm

      That may be from The Lake. 😀

      Thank you, Charli. ❤


  5. Michael B. Fishman November 11, 2021 / 11:59 am

    A spooky little post-Halloween flash. If this was me the story would have been a 3-word story because after, “They’d warned her” I would have been walking away with my suitcase in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens November 13, 2021 / 7:17 am

      My scariness intake is extremely low; my imagination is quite high.


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