Category Archives: Flash Fiction

I love flash fiction. Short and juicy, this kind of writing is best for those times when I need to make up a story short enough to make me feel good that I finished something and long enough to actually make sense.

The Great Hall – flash fiction


I wrote this for the Random Flickr Flash Fiction Challenge I found on terribleminds. After finishing the entire piece in one go, I went back to look for the photo on Flickr to post here, but it was gone. That will teach me to save things first. These things are elusive. No matter how hard I tried I could not find that photo but I do remember the title which is also the name of this story.

*Edit: After seeing Deepika’s doodles I asked her to draw one for this story. I’m very pleased with how well it reflects the image I had in my mind. Thank you, Deepika.

 

The Great Hall

That is the strangest thing, Jack thought as he made his way through the undulating sea of people heading for the subway. In his hand he had a crumpled piece of paper he’d picked up from the street, maybe even right outside his favorite coffee shop which sold his favorite coffee, black with the tiniest bit of sugar, which he desperately needed on this, the least favorite day of working mankind, Monday. He could actually feel the hot liquid making its way though his benumbed veins, and grateful, took another sip. He had managed to peel the paper from his left shoe with an embarrassed grin, realizing the annoying swishing sound he’d heard behind him did not belong to anybody but himself. Well, at least it wasn’t toilet paper. In fact, the picture intrigued him.

He threw the empty paper cup into the nearest bin and descended into the open mouth of the subway station.
He found a not-so-crowded corner in one of the cars and after waiting for his fogged glasses to clear, proceeded to study the piece of paper carefully.

The Great Hall My God, he almost said out loud as he scanned the image with the shocked expression of someone who’s seen the exact same picture but couldn’t quite remember when or where. He looked closer, trying to see as much detail as possible, swaying with each jolt of the subway train making its way into the belly of the city. In a way, he felt he was descending into the very bowels of the earth and into that mysterious room that he was sure he’d seen somewhere but couldn’t quite remember where. The stark white of the black and white tiled floor, the arched doorways, the ascending stairs, three doors, one open just a tiny bit – at this stage he brought the paper closer, trying to see if there was someone holding open the door. There wasn’t. The high ceiling supported by white beams, the small chandelier , the long table pushed into the far right corner, all this made Jack feel as if he was watching one of those hypnotic images that looked like something but were actually something else.

By the time he raised his eyes from the paper, he realized his stop was behind him and he was going to be late for work. He got off the train and went and sat down in one of the red plastic chairs on the platform. He felt a sudden craving for another cup of coffee to shake him out of the lethargy. But the coffee only made him remember the coffee shop and then the paper which he was now gripping into a tight fist. He looked around at the people walking, standing, sitting, talking on their phones, but he could not focus on them too long. With a shudder he realized where he’d seen the image.
But it’s not possible. He shook his head, dashing a furtive look to his right where an elderly gentleman was reading the paper. He had an unlit pipe in a corner of his mouth and gave Jack a quick look before returning to his reading.

Jack felt himself sweating despite the cold draft of air that signaled the approach of the subway train. He shivered and looked at the paper again. This time the floor was dirty and looking closer Jack thought he could see black footsteps leading to the barely open door. He raised a hand to his forehead, pushing his slippery glasses all the way back to the base of his nose. The footsteps were actually coming from the door towards him and with a shudder Jack remembered where he’d seen the image. The whole thing looked like a scene from The Shining, and it could have very well been from the damn book, he thought. He was sure now that he’d never seen this image in real life, that it had been just how he had imagined one of the rooms in The Overlook Hotel to be when he’d read the novel, years ago. A mad thought flickered somewhere inside his brain and Jack was almost afraid the mad man with an axe in his hand – or maybe a fire hose (remember the fire hose, Jack?) had come out of that door and was well on his way to murdering him, this Jack, the other Jack in this world who wanted nothing than to drown his horror in the black comforting abyss of a big cup of coffee, sugar be damned.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. After a few minutes, when he’d called his boss explaining why he couldn’t come to work – Mr Holloway seemed to be perfectly reasonable and sympathetic to hearing his feeble excuse of catching a cold, yet another anomaly to add to the day – Jack decided to head back home and go straight to bed.
He had no memory of the way back. He must have crossed to the other platform, got on the train and by some miracle this time got off at the right station. He must have walked back, past the coffee shop, never mind the thoughts of coffee, and straight to his condo. Somehow he made it to the door of his apartment on the twelfth floor, turned the key in the lock and got in. Before his eyes stretched the impossibly shiny black and white tiled floor, and the doors, three of them, just like in the picture, were all halfway open. He searched frantically for the crumpled paper in his pockets, even on the back of his shoes, as if that could ward off the evil he felt rising from the magnificent solitude of the room, but it was gone.

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Flash fiction – The Bleeding Snowflake

In an attempt to take my mind off Lolita (Oh, Lolita! I feel sorry for you, poor corrupt child, but more on that in another post) I went over to terribleminds and found a new flash fiction challenge – the random title. Now I bent the rules a little and took my pick of the words given and came up with this title. Maybe it’s because December is here, and it’s hot, and today I saw a plastic Christmas tree, and it made me remember snowflakes. And maybe it’s because I do miss winter just a little bit, not too much, and in writing this I conjured up for a moment the feeling of holding a tiny snowflake in my hand.

*

In the great space that was the quiet night, the clouds gathered. They rumbled and grumbled and shook their great bulk. Then it was decided.

As with every year, this was not easy, the violent and suave separation, the letting go of the great whiteness only to be swept with the others, buried, dead, forgotten. What was it that made them fall year after year? And still, it must be done. The clouds were full and soon they would let their children fall and watch them float away from their great bulk and they would be burdened with sadness while their bellies became lighter and lighter, until they could float again, instead of being anchored towards the earth, forced to relinquish their treasure, their sweet, soft darlings who would float into the void below.

At the appointed time they stood dispersed across the great sunless sky and began to shake. The snowflakes fell with a great silent roar, leaving deep white wounds in the great clouds. And they continued their journey, swirled around by the melancholy breeze, their life but a glimpse, a whisper of white flurries, going to their doom. And one of them would be caught by tiny hands and marveled at and then squeezed, bleeding through tiny fingers that would remember its iciness for one brief second.

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Flash fiction challenge – finishing the story

This week’s challenge at terribleminds is to finish someone else’s story in 500 words. So here it is:

The Shrine

(beginning by Doom and Gloom in Austin)

I don’t know why I have come back to this place. The old two-story building before me has never been a home in any sense of the word. It was more of a monument of suffering; a temple of affliction with my father as the high priest. There isn’t a room in this place that hasn’t been decorated with my blood at one point or another.
Now he’s gone and this house stands as the last testament to his brutality. So, why am I here? To find any shred of decency and happiness within and rescue it? Not likely. That all died with my mother when I was still an infant. What, then? Maybe to get one last look around before I sell it off? Or maybe, just maybe…to destroy this place.

I push the thoughts of setting the house ablaze aside and make my way up the steps to the porch. My hand grows ice cold with dread as I reach for the doorknob. It turns with a metallic grind and I push the door open. The smell of age and dust and stale cigarette smoke hits me in the face. My stomach lurches a bit with childhood panic. My skin prickles in remembrance of each and every cigarette burn mark given to me.

I slowly walk in and look around. Other than a thin layer of dust, nothing has changed in this place in 15 years. Every piece of furniture, every picture, every memento is exactly where it was when I was a child. Even the bloodstain on the rug in front of the fireplace is still where I last left it; black with age. I couldn’t say what I supposedly did or didn’t do to ‘earn’ that particular beating. They all ran together like a flipbook of pain. Each beating was partnered with the threat of much, much worse if I ever told anyone.
No, I still don’t know why I have come back to this place. It’s serving as nothing but a bruising reminder of my past. This place was filled with nothing but rage and fear and, in all the years, I never knew why.
Perhaps it’s best that this place and the past it harbors should be brought to the ground and removed from the world. Just blow out the pilot lights on the stove and let the place fill with gas. One spark and this place is consigned to Hell.

My footsteps carry me through the rest of the living room and into the dining room. Like the living room, nothing has changed here. The familiar setting brings forth the past in my mind once more. I shove aside the fresh wave of memories and continue to the door that leads to the kitchen.
Pushing it open, I stop short. Within the center of an otherwise unchanged kitchen is a large, round hole. Cautiously, I approach the edge and look down into the void.

Middle part by almosthuman1blog

The rhythm of ragged breath stutters as the sides of the hole undulate before me. Heat oozes over the jagged edges and pool around my feet, grasp at my knees. The kitchen swims around me and I begin to lose my balance. A hand grips my shoulder, pulls me from the edge. I am too frightened to turn. I slide to my knees, hands grasping the edge of the pit. I almost allow myself to topple forward into the gaping hole, but I pause. Anger grows inside me and I stand, the hand still pulling at my shoulder, and I allow myself to turn.

“Jacob.” It was him. My father, long and thankfully dead, stands before me, hand on my shoulder, smiling in my face as though nothing but love had ever passed between the two of us.
“It’s been a long time, my son. Too long.”
“Father.”
My tone is curt, cut short intentionally for fear if I allow myself to speak freely, I would unleash years of anguish, terror and pain in a single gasp and our conversation would end. Despite this man’s horrific actions toward me in the past, I want to hear what he has to say. I need it. I crave it.
“I was wondering when you would come back here, Jacob.”
I allow myself to be led to the dining room where my father pulls out a chair for me.
“Please,” he says. “Sit.”
I, as always, do as I am told. Now the old man places both his hands upon my shoulders, squeezing, patting as if he were making sure I am real. He exhales and mumbles something about how good it is to see me here. The room begins to smell of death and the heat from that hole in the kitchen roils its way into the dining room.
“I suppose you have some things you would like to discuss. About the past?”
“Yes,” I say forcefully, surprising myself. “I do.”
I feel the floor rumble. Hear floorboards crack. I turn to face the old man, but he turns away too quickly for me to catch his eyes. It seems his flesh leaves a smear in the air as he steps away from me.
“Your mother and I missed you. You realize that, don’t you? She was always so fond of you. She got so angry when you left.”
My skin begins to flush. Sweat pops up in beads on the backs of my hands. Whether it was anger or the rapidly increasing temperature in the room, I couldn’t tell.
“My mother died,” I shake my head, sweat dribbling into my eyes.
“I had to leave. I had to make your abuse stop. I had to protect myself. I had to leave.”
I begin to feel sick. Father whips around and slams his open palms down on the table before me. His eyes burn red and his flesh drips from his face.
“What if I told you your mother never died?”

The end (my contribution)

“You lie”.
He looks at me, a smile curving his lips.
“Am I? Have you seen her body?”
“I was too young, you know that.”

My mother had died when I was just a few months old. A series of women had taken care of me, my father’s girlfriends, a long line of them, each driven away by the man’s sadistic nature, his violent ways, his drunkenness.
He sits down heavily, facing me, his hands leaving shiny trails, like a snail’s, on the dusty table. I stare at him, revulsion and anger mixed inside me. I very much want to hit the man but I try not to. I don’t want to be like him. I clench my hands under the table.
“Your mother was always here with me until the day you left.”
“What?”

I stare at the man, and my brain refuses to accept what he just said. I close my eyes and see Janice, my mother’s sister, holding my hand, leading me towards my mother’s grave – a simple stone engraving with her name. That grave was all that was left of my mother.
“She always tried to protect you, you know.”
He stands up, and a piece of flesh from his right hand remains behind on the table. I stare at it, repelled but unable to look away.
“Pushing me away, hiding my belt, making me trip on the stairs. The more she tried the more I wanted to hurt you. And her.”

The heat had plastered my hair to my forehead and the shirt to my back. “If that is Hell”, I think looking towards the hole in the floor, “if that’s where he came from, I hope he roasts in there forever.”
I stand up. My voice comes out hoarse, my throat parched. I need a drink but I’d sworn off alcohol a year ago. It was easier to control my anger if I was sober.
“I don’t believe you.”
“Why are you here?”
“How is that even possible?”

He turns to face me for a moment, his cheeks drooping. He has no eyebrows and no eyelashes, and the eyes look large and shiny, almost popping out of his face.
“One night a year…” his voice feels like sandpaper rubbed over my skin.
“…I can come back.”
I wait but he says nothing.
“Why? What do you want?”
He comes closer and I involuntarily take a step back. Waves of putrid smell emanate from him, making my eyes sting. He spreads his hands as if giving me a hug. His lips peel back and for a moment I think he is going to tear a chunk out of me.
“Why, can’t a man talk to his own son?”
Suddenly, I want no more of it. I run to the door and yank it open, stumble across the hallway and almost make it to the front door before I feel his hands grabbing me from behind, dragging me back to the stinking heat of that hole.

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Flash fiction challenge – Night Terror (middle of the story written by Dave)

A couple of weeks ago I took part in a flash fiction challenge hosted at terribleminds. I wrote the first part of a story. Somebody else was supposed to finish it. In the meantime rules got changed and the next person had to write the middle part instead of the end. Here’s my beginning, followed by Dave’s middle part. Next week we should know how the story ends. In case rules don’t change again, that is.

Night Terror – Part I (the beginning, by Delia)

The noise came again, and this time there could be no mistake: somebody was in the house. Worse, somebody was in my bedroom. I strained to hear, holding my breath, hoping that what I heard was just something from outside on the street, a drunk perhaps, a stray dog going through the garbage bins, but no. It was faint but unmistakably closer. I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again, trying to see in the dark without moving. It was there, a scratching sound on the wooden floor, like something scrabbling frantically in the same spot. Perhaps a rat, I thought as I lay, face up, cursing silently the fact that I stayed up late, trying to finish that damn book – the one with rats on the cover. No wonder I was imagining things.

The noise had stopped and nothing else could be heard, except for the occasional car going down the street but even that faded away and the fear began to loosen its grip on me. My eyes grew heavy, my body relaxed. Then it came again, closer, the scratching, and in my mind I saw a huge rat, as big as a cat, its teeth sharp and hungry for meat, the beady eyes glistening in the dark. I considered my options. Option one, pretend nothing happened, it was a nightmare (a persistent one at that) and try to go back to sleep. Option two, stretch out my hand over to the nightstand and turn on the light. Perhaps it was a small mouse and the light will frighten it. Or perhaps the light would scare it right into my bed.
I began to shiver under the blanket. I tried to move my hand as quietly as possible but the thing must have heard me and it stopped. I breathed slowly, trying to give myself courage. Now this is truly stupid, there is no rat, it was all in my head. I shifted slightly to the left, reaching out with my hand.

The noise began again, and this time it was so close it made my skin crawl and my heart beat like a war drum. It must be under the bed now, whatever it was. Perhaps I could use my pillow, swat it away. Or my tube of hair spray, or the chunky volume of ghost stories. All on my nightstand, if I could just reach over and turn on that light.
I inched closer, my fingers stretched to find the switch of the reading lamp. I knocked over an empty glass, and it tumbled to the floor, rolling, before coming to an abrupt stop. I cursed silently, and in the next instant I heard the scratching on the floor, followed by a soft thud. It was on the bed now, whatever it was. I bit my lip and swallowed the scream that threatened to spill out; I felt the blanket slipping from my body, slowly, cold air on my skin, my blood turning to ice…

Part II (middle of the story, by Dave)

Suddenly a giggle and a look of confusion washed over my face. It giggled again as it crawled closer to my face. Fumbling for the light and twisting the switch, I turned back into the face of a child.

The little boy smiled, “found you!” he squealed.

Her heart was still racing but the fear had all but disappeared. It wasn’t a woman eating rat a child, who wasn’t hers, right in front of her as if it was no big deal.

“Hi there little guy. How’d you get in here?” she asked in as soothing high pitch voice as she could muster.

“Mommy said I should go play hide and seek. So that’s what I did. I found you. You weren’t really hiding very well.”

I tried to recall who in the building had a child but nobody came to mind. Recovering and throwing a big smile, I asked where mommy was.

“She’s at home.” he replied as he sat on the bed, crossing his legs as if he’s ready for a story.

“Where’s that?”

“Hmm, I don’t know. At school we are learning where we live to help us.”

Great she thought. This kids probably 5 or so, doesn’t know where he lives and somehow got into my locked apartment.

“Well, why don’t we go into the kitchen and get something to eat. We can figure out where you live and take you home. Does that sound good?”

“Yeah, I guess. But mommy said to stay out until the sun comes up. And the sun isn’t up yet.”

She started moving off the bed, reaching for her robe and the boy followed. Walking down the hallway she finally asked the odd question.

“That’s a long time from now. Why did she want you to stay out so long?”

“She always says I should go explore at night. Because I feel better when I do. She’s right. I don’t feel good when the sun is up. Mommy says it’s a condition I have. I don’t remember what it is but she told me. I know she did.”

“How does some cereal sound?”

“Does it have marshmallows?” his face brightening.

“Sorry, no marshmallows.”

“Aww, man.” he said with defeat.

“But it’s got sugar” trying to cheer him back up.

“I guess. It’s not as good without the marshmallows.”

“Yeah, I agree”

They sat at her small table, the boy scarfing down the cereal and sipped some tea herself. He was pumping his legs back and forth while humming and chewing.

She started asking a series of questions that he might be able to answer, helping her narrow down where he lived.

“Do you live in this building?”

“No”

“One nearby?”

“No”

“Where do you live?”

“In the woods”

The woods she thought? She lived in the heart of a small town, the woods are a few miles away. Something wasn’t right and she went to grab the phone, something she should have done minutes ago.

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Flash fiction challenge – finishing somebody else’s story, sort of

Last week’s challenge over at terribleminds was to finish a story begun by somebody else. But this week Chuck’s gone and changed the rules, saying that this had to be the middle part of the story and not the end. On top of that, the limit is 500 words. Well, I have no problem with the first rule, as the story can be continued after my contribution (and I even have an idea about how to keep going) but I’m going to break the second rule and write more than the allowed number of words. So here’s the first part, courtesy of Kriti.

*

It was a dark and stormy night, the night that I was born. My mother gave birth without help because the villagers thought her cursed and dangerous. My father was absent, as always when the moon was dark.
Next day as she slept, my father’s servant came and slipped a bag of gold and jewels beneath her pillow; it wasn’t a gift from my father, but Renwick had a soft heart and had been fond of my mother. He also left a note, I still have it. It simply says that my father had left for England and that he might see me when he returned, but he never came back. He came to a bad end near Whitby; the English having proved to be less cowardly than the good folk of Transylvania.
As soon as she could get out of bed my mother slipped away, with me wrapped close to her body. She travelled east because her people came from beyond the mountains. I think her people were gypsies because she was a raven-haired beauty with a fiery temper. We never found her family, but I don’t think we’d have been welcome anyway.
The years of my childhood were years of constant travel; we’d stay a few months somewhere, my mother would prostitute herself to make money and sometimes she would sell a jewel. She never stayed long anywhere because she knew I would eventually give us away. I had my father’s taste for blood and I would scream constantly until my needs were met.
When I was about ten years old we met an elderly monk travelling the same hills as us. We camped together and he talked all night with my mother. The next day instead of heading to the large town in the valley we accompanied the monk on his journey home.
At his monastery I was drugged and bound while my mother sobbed. When I awoke my mouth was pure agony. My lips were swollen and I had no teeth.
The monk came to see me.
‘Your poor mother has suffered long for her sins. We have taken you so that she can be free to live with ordinary people. You will not see her again; however we will love and care for you. We will teach you how to live a good life.’
The first years were terrible. The monks’ diet was vegetarian, but it did me no good to scream or threaten. They would smile, pray and put me in solitary confinement for a day or two. The same cycle would repeat until I was willing to eat their food. I still do not like rice but I learned that it fills the belly. Discipline was strict but they didn’t make me take part in their worship, instead I was allowed to read or draw. Some months later, as they knew I would, I asked to join them in the temple. I began to be a Buddhist.
A life of tranquil peace and study was mine until the day the armies came.

********************** My contribution***************************

One morning, the field in front of the temple was empty, the next, it was black with soldiers, some on horseback, most of them walking, the noise of their armor piercing the quiet like sharp spears driven through the flesh.
The monks gathered in the meditation area, a room without walls, the roof supported by great pillars of stone, unadorned. No one knew who the armies belonged to and no one seemed to concern themselves with that.

‘We cannot interfere, the monks told me, but we will take care of the wounded after the battle is over.’

I nodded my assent, but inside my blood stirred, and for the first time in months I felt the pangs of a familiar hunger.
The battle began the same day, and I watched from my small room as the field was soaked in the blood of the fallen and the air carried the shouts of the dying to my window; I grew restless, like a caged animal.
Visions of blood greeted my mornings and haunted my dreams at night. And for the first time since the day my mother left, my teeth began to grow again. White, strong teeth, the incisors sharp and long, and I drew blood every time I ran my tongue over them. And with them came pain, and I didn’t know which was worse, my teeth growing or my unnatural hunger.

The monks saw, and wanted to restrain me, but the head monk didn’t let them.
‘Now is the time, he said, when temptation is hardest. You must fight this, for if you give in, all is lost. Think of all these years you lived here with us, of the quiet life you have, of what you have accomplished.’
I didn’t say anything. He didn’t know how hard it was to live like this, didn’t know how close I’d come to losing my mind that day when one of the monks had cut himself with a kitchen knife while cooking. I can still see the bright red blood on the blade, and the smell nearly drove me insane. The monk saw me and turned away quickly. No one would turn away now, the field was red with blood day after day.

Then the nightmares came. A dark figure cloaked in black, with fiery red eyes staring at me. He would point to the field outside my window and say, ‘Drink, my son, this is for you.’ But he was dead, wasn’t he? Renwick had written to my mother years ago of his death and I had accepted it, although I sometimes wondered what kind of man my father was and why my mother never spoke of him.
I tried to forget about it and spent my days and nights avoiding sleep, hunched over ancient books and even more ancient scrolls in the library. The candle light threw a sickly yellow shade on the texts, and for small stretches of time I was able to forget about my hunger, although the pain still beat a rhythm in my head. The food had no taste for me anymore. The monks’ rice and boiled vegetables were tasteless anyway, and the one spice we were permitted, salt, made me thirsty beyond belief.

Then one night I went out to the fields. The battle had been more vicious that day, and corpses littered the ground. Flies were already at work on the bodies, and I could hear their buzz and see them crawling in the faint moonlight. I drank in the rich coppery smell of blood, and felt it coursing through my body. For a moment, a spell of dizziness came upon me and I swayed on my feet. It passed.
I touched one of the dead. He was still warm but lifeless, a deep gash in his neck already black with flies. I turned away in disgust and breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe I had learned to control my hunger, I thought. Maybe the years spent among the monks have finally paid off. As I turned to leave, movement caught my eye – a white sleeve, a small hand. I turned and walked towards it, and waves of hunger crashed over me with each and every step. It was a woman in a white dress stained with blood, and she was crying over one of the fallen, a hand on his bearded face. She didn’t see me as I came from behind and wrapped my hands around her slender neck.

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Flash fiction challenge – Night Terror

It’s been almost two years since I wrote a flash fiction challenge. The first time it was a 100 word challenge called The Heart. Today’s challenge: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/09/05/flash-fiction-challenge-the-first-half-of-a-story-only/
I cannot end it, but if you want to, feel free and let me know so I can come over and see if she lives…or not…

*

The noise came again, and this time there could be no mistake: somebody was in the house. Worse, somebody was in my bedroom. I strained to hear, holding my breath, hoping that what I heard was just something from outside on the street, a drunk perhaps, a stray dog going through the garbage bins, but no. It was faint but unmistakably closer. I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again, trying to see in the dark without moving. It was there, a scratching sound on the wooden floor, like something scrabbling frantically in the same spot. Perhaps a rat, I thought as I lay, face up, cursing silently the fact that I stayed up late, trying to finish that damn book – the one with rats on the cover. No wonder I was imagining things.

The noise had stopped and nothing else could be heard, except for the occasional car going down the street but even that faded away and the fear began to loosen its grip on me. My eyes grew heavy, my body relaxed. Then it came again, closer, the scratching, and in my mind I saw a huge rat, as big as a cat, its teeth sharp and hungry for meat, the beady eyes glistening in the dark. I considered my options. Option one, pretend nothing happened, it was a nightmare (a persistent one at that) and try to go back to sleep. Option two, stretch out my hand over to the nightstand and turn on the light. Perhaps it was a small mouse and the light will frighten it. Or perhaps the light would scare it right into my bed.
I began to shiver under the blanket. I tried to move my hand as quietly as possible but the thing must have heard me and it stopped. I breathed slowly, trying to give myself courage. Now this is truly stupid, there is no rat, it was all in my head. I shifted slightly to the left, reaching out with my hand.

The noise began again, and this time it was so close it made my skin crawl and my heart beat like a war drum. It must be under the bed now, whatever it was. Perhaps I could use my pillow, swat it away. Or my tube of hair spray, or the chunky volume of ghost stories. All on my nightstand, if I could just reach over and turn on that light.
I inched closer, my fingers stretched to find the switch of the reading lamp. I knocked over an empty glass, and it tumbled to the floor, rolling, before coming to an abrupt stop. I cursed silently, and in the next instant I heard the scratching on the floor, followed by a soft thud. It was on the bed now, whatever it was. I bit my lip and swallowed the scream that threatened to spill out; I felt the blanket slipping from my body, slowly, cold air on my skin, my blood turning to ice…

Posted in Flash Fiction | 16 Comments

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Heart

This is a post I wrote for a challenge over at terribleminds. The challenge was to write a story no longer than 100 words. I quite enjoyed the exercise and here is the result.

***

‘You ate my heart’, he said, in a small, disappointed voice.
‘I did’, she replied, smiling.
‘Was it any good?’
It was very good, not too sweet but not bland either, just the way I like it. That was a perfect heart, thank you. She looked at the remains, the red smears on the white plate, and smiled again.
There’s still half of it left, I’m saving that for breakfast, it’s going to be great in the morning with tea. And she took the plate with the strawberry cake, and put it in the fridge next to the sparkling wine.

Posted in Flash Fiction | 9 Comments