It had long been said that Fleming Forest was haunted.

The story is told, that two centuries ago a young servant girl had been brutally murdered in the nearby village of Gossip and her body dragged through the streets before being tied to a tree and left there for the local wildlife to feast upon.

For years, teenagers, daredevils, ghost hunters and poets all sought out the spirit of the girl. The spot she was alleged to have died became the hottest campsite in the South.

No one ever reappeared with evidence of a haunting.
They couldn’t.
Ghosts don’t exist.



Submitted for Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. See if you can write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

60 thoughts on “Gossip

  1. Dear Mr. Binks,

    And some enterprising harbinger of Gossip made a pile of money from tourists. And this week you really get the prize for being early. Ooops. Yes, I scheduled ahead and got the date wrong. Good story.



  2. I love the ending. A cynical ghost story, well I never. 😀

  3. That ending really made me laugh; surprisingly down-to-earth for the Friday Fictioneers 🙂 That’s how I feel too when I’m ghost hunting. It’s fun to explore creepy places but I don’t really expect to see a ghost.

    • MrBinks says:

      Actually I’ve noticed this place getting darker and darker, I thought it was time to ground it a bit 😉

      • It would be interesting to chart the types of stories week by week. There is usually a smattering of tragedy, horror, comedy and others every time. Lots of variety, which is good.

  4. Spooky! No one ever reappeared with evidence… because no one ever reappeared! Your story makes the photo seem quite spooky now to look at.

  5. Ghosts, they do exist. I work with one! Never say a pair of fresh eyes brings clarity to the party. Nice story, even for the non-believers.

  6. Spooky build-up to a solid ending – perfect 🙂

  7. Sandra says:

    Very sinister – very graphic. Well done. I think ‘sort out’ should be ‘sought out’.

  8. Nan Falkner says:

    Sinister is a good word to use for this story – I want to know what happens next. Good story! Nan 🙂

    • MrBinks says:

      What happens next?

      They all got on with their lives. Floods happened. Tornados ripped through towns and farmland. Famine ravished Africa. Two boys punched each other in the arms over a game of FIFA 14 on Xbox.

      You know… life.

  9. I like the way you worked gossip into the story. Oh, so true.


  10. Bryan Ens says:

    Ghosts may not exist…but Gossip can certainly live forever. Great take on the prompt!

  11. camgal says:

    I like the conviction lol ghosts don’t exist..nice tske on the prompt and clever choice of title

  12. MrBinks says:

    Next week, i’ll prove that camels are just shrunken giraffes.

  13. faithsfire says:

    I enjoyed that spook! Campgrounds are so ripe for these stories, too.

  14. wmqcolby says:

    Hawthorne would have liked this. Nice work!

  15. What a fun story! If I were telling it to my young charges around a campfire I would add a spooky “Or do they?” at the end. 😉

  16. Judah First says:

    Yes, I always appreciate a cynical tone (being a bit of a cynic myself, and all). 😉 Nicely done!

  17. Dee says:

    Nice one, spooky with a twist!


  18. Linda Vernon says:

    I’ve actually seen a ghost with my own eyes but I still don’t believe in them. I loved the way you ended this– perfectly unexpected!

  19. Ha.. yes ghost might not exist… but there are some occasional critter with tast for human meat…

  20. Carrie says:

    the simplest explanation 😉

  21. sounds to me like the ghost is getting a raw deal no wonder it doesn’t make an appearance

  22. Loved the end! Actually made me laugh.

  23. Good story. I love the name of the village. 🙂 They should just leave the poor girl rest in peace. I agree that someone is probably making money off the tourist trade.

  24. Isn’t it interesting how the things that terrify us most can also be dangerously intriguing?! I admire your talent to tell such an engaging story in such a direct, matter-of-fact method. Great post!

    • MrBinks says:

      What a wonderfully kind comment. Thank you very much, and thanks for taking the time to read a few other posts too!

  25. Clever and amusing.
    Well done.

  26. storydivamg says:

    Ending well played this week, Mr. Binks.


  27. elappleby says:

    Oh Mr Binks, what a surprise ending! I intend to end all my ghost stories this way in future 😀

  28. Great ending! I was all set for some grisly goings on, but it was all gossip — the stuff of Bigfoot, Nessie, and now Fleming Forrest too.

  29. Great story. Don’t believe there are no ghosts – that’s rumour put about by, yes, ghosts.

  30. Eeek! Loved the ending 🙂

  31. All that build up and then… I wonder if it might be better if the town were named Rumour.

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