Category Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

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30-Oct-2020

This is my last Spooky Flash Fiction.

I hope you enjoyed them!

Death is Only the Beginning

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
An Old Native American Shaman
A Raven or a Crow
and
A Bat Screeching in the Night Air

The eastern sky glowed with the onset of morning. A bat screeched and flapped over my head in the opposite direction I was going, speeding for its morning solace.

I walked down the middle of the broken road, keeping half an eye on the murder of crows perched in the skeletal trees. Emaciated grass crackled in the breeze, which brought with it the undeniable stench of the dead.

There had been a town just over the next rise. Hope had driven me here. Hope that this place had survived. When I reached the top of the small hill I stopped and stared.

Roofs had been torn off. Initially unstable buildings leaned to one side, some with a wall flapping in the wind. Metal groaned. Wood slapped.

Flies buzzed around bodies in the streets.

I pulled my bandana up over my mouth and nose and moved closer. Gravel crunched beneath my boots. I shook a small rock out from a hole in the sole.

The reason I had come was likely dead. Normally I wouldn’t go near a gone town, but this hadn’t happened more than a few days before. There could still be good supplies

I stopped just outside the first ring of houses, not too far from the nearest body, and waited.

The flies either didn’t notice me or they didn’t care. A couple of crows swooped over my head and landed beyond my field of vision. Probably feasting on a corpse.

No tingle ran up my spine. No wariness that came from the things of the other world. The feet of the man lying ahead were close to the same size as mine. I didn’t see any holes. With one last look around, I crept to the house and peered inside the gaping maw of a door.

Light streamed through a sizable hole in the roof, illuminating a single room with a stove in one corner and a bed in the other. Two figures lay on the bed. Several pots sat on the stove. A flat board on the ground indicated a space under the soil.

I went through the door, careful not to make any noise, and waiting for the eerie pressure that came from the other world.

Nothing.

A quick search afforded me a few strips of dried meat, a pair of socks, a knife, and a small rag doll. I gathered the items. I avoided looking at the bed. They were dead, there was nothing I could do.

I stepped to the board and nudged it aside with my foot. It slid easily, revealing a hole just big enough to put a small child. A bundle of clothes lay inside. I reached toward it, and it moved.

I jumped back, withdrawing my hand. My heart raced.

Had someone survived? Were they still human?

A squeak sounded. The clothing stirred again.

I turned to run out the door, but a small rat scurried past me. This time I cried out, and bolted outside.

It had been a while since I’d been afraid like this. I may as well be a little kid with how fast I was breathing and my sweating palms. The rat ran around the side of the house and behind a body.

Moisture beaded on my brow, and I wiped it away. I needed air, and the mask wasn’t helping. Breathing my own hot breath only added to my trepidation.

A crunch sounded behind me.

I whirled, drawing the knife I’d just acquired.

A dirty boy of about ten stood before me. Dark hair fell to his shoulders, and he wore only a pair of ragged shorts. He looked harmless, but I knew better than to trust my eyes. “Who are you?” I asked.

“Are you here to see my grandpa?”

I was here to see someone, but I truly doubted that anything human was left. “Who is your grandpa?”

“The Shaman.”

My sweat turned cold. “How are you alive?”

“We stayed in our house.” He studied me. “You’re here to see him.”

This kid seemed human, and he was right about the Shaman. What the hell, if he was one of them, I was probably dead anyway. I nodded.

“Follow me.” He turned and walked toward the center of the town.

“Don’t get too close to them.” He indicated a woman lying in the middle of the road. “My grandpa says they’re not clean.”

That was obvious to me, but maybe the Shaman meant something different.

We wove a complicated path through the destruction, and I noticed small blue rocks every ten feet or so. Was there a trail? When the kid stopped, he stood in front of the only undamaged structure I’d seen. Barely a hovel, corners of wood held the mis-matched metal walls together, and the roof was made of branches.

The kids pulled a ratty gray blanket aside, revealing the cramped interior. Barely enough room for an adult to lay down or stand.

An old man sat cross legged in one corner. His skin hung in leathery wrinkles, and he wore less than the kid. Except that a dozen or more necklaces made of bone, wood, and stone hung around his neck. Milky white eyes peered at me.

“Welcome, stranger. Enter. We have much to discuss.”

Again, I felt nothing from the other world. Nothing that said I was about to suffer a fate worse than death. So I walked past the boy, who indicated that I should sit in front of the old man. I did so, then waited.

I expected him to ask why I had come. He did not. “Your wife cannot be saved.”

I swallowed. I believed him. “And my daughter?”

His eyes narrowed. “Only a fool would try to get a child back.”

I leaned forward. “Then call me a fool.”


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23-Oct-2020

Welcome to this week’s Spooky Flash Fiction!

Just one more week of haunting fun to go!

When the Joke’s on You

This Week’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
The original Annabelle (Raggedy Anne) Doll
One of those Hay Bale Hooks
and
An Abandoned Farmhouse

“You ready to do this?” I asked.

Mary scoffed. “Of course.” She jerked her chin toward the boys. “Think they’ll scream like little girls?”

“Of course they will.”

Eric and Peter. Juniors. Hot. Popular. Twins. They’d asked us to Homecoming, and we’d been going out ever since.

Peter and I were dressed as Raggedy Anne and Andy, while Mary and Eric were dressed as Princess Ariel and Prince Eric. Mary thought it was ironic.

“The wisps of fog are a nice touch,” Mary said.

I looked across the field. “We couldn’t have asked for a better Halloween night. There’s even a full moon rising.”

Mary held her fist out.

I bumped it with my own, then turned somber. “Time to act scared.”

Mary took my hand, and we walked close to one another.

The boys, who had gone before us to check out the old gate, waved us forward. Our footsteps crunched on the gravel driveway, and brittle grass rasped as we moved into the field.

“What’s the legend again?” Peter asked me in a low voice.

I let Mary go and moved to his side. He slid his shaking hand into mine. I fought to keep the smile off my face. “Years ago, when our parents were kids, a farmer and his family lived here. Normal people. They had a son and a daughter. They went to church and participated in the community.”

Our footsteps seemed to get louder. The grass grabbed at my socks and dress. A cloud moved over part of the moon, taking some of our light. Peter’s fingers tightened around mine.

Mary continued with the story.

“One fall, no one saw them for a few days, so the Sherriff came to investigate. He expected to find them sick with the flu that had been going around, but he found nothing inside the house.”

My eyes darted to the sagging structure to our right. The line of the roof looked like a swayback horse, and most of the windows had been boarded up.

I took it from there. “The Sherriff could hear the animals in the barn, so he went to check it out.” We stopped in the shadow of the tall building. My words turned to a whisper. “The door was shut, but the Sherriff pushed it open.” I reached out and pushed the door.

A loud screech sounded as it swung open a foot.

Peter was holding on so tight that I was losing feeling in my hand, and Eric’s arms were wrapped around Mary.

Even my heartbeat sped up.

I glanced at Mary, who swallowed and continued. “Inside he found all four members of the family hanging on hay bale hooks, which had been hung from the wall. Legend has it, that the hooks are still there.”

I could hear Peter breathing hard. I gave the door another shove, and got it open another six inches. Before Peter could object, I slipped inside dragging him behind me.

The layout of the barn was familiar, so I didn’t bother with my phone, but Peter had his out with the flashlight on in a second.

The inside was just as Mary and I had left it the day before. Dirt floor. Old shelves. A few rusted tools, and on the far wall…

Eric used his phone as well.

“I don’t like this,” Mary said in a scared voice. “We should go.”

That girl should be an actress.

“I can’t see the far wall.” Peter squinted into the darkness.

I took a step forward. He followed. Our feet shuffled, kicking up dirt which settled on my tongue. “I’ve heard that other families have tried to live here, but one of them always dies, and they leave.”

We went around the broken-down plow. Peter has strangled the life out of my hand, but I didn’t let go. I pulled my phone out with my other hand so I could record their reaction.

The beam of their lights got closer to the far wall.

“What’s that on the ground?” Mary asked.

The small lump had yellow yarn on it.

“Is it a doll?” Peter asked.

I squatted down and picked it up. Mary had found it at an estate sale. “It’s old. Maybe it belongs to the little girl who died here.”

“Anne?”

The tone in Mary’s voice pulled my eyes up. I followed the light, and found the hooks still in place. Only they weren’t empty. I glared at Mary. “Did you do this?”

She held up her hands. “No.”

We both turned on the boys. “Did you?”

Peter looked at me with confusion. “What are you talking about?”

Each hook had a doll impaled on it. Raggedy Anne. Raggedy Andy. Princess Ariel, and Prince Eric.

“Not funny,” I said to Mary.

“I told you, I didn’t do it.”

“Do what?” Peter asked with anger in his voice.

I sighed. There went our perfect video of boys screaming like little girls and running out of the barn. It was sort of a ritual for all the new kids who moved in. I opened my mouth to explain, but a low growl filled the air.

The world stopped. My ears seemed to open enough to hear my own breathing and the blood in my veins. They also picked out a scrape of something on the dirt behind us.

“Very funny.” Peter let go of my hand and crossed his arms over his chest. “I assume this is some stupid joke you play on the new kids?”

I shook my head and slowly turned around. The growl sounded again, and I saw a pair of glowing yellow eyes.

“What’s that?” Eric asked.

Before he could answer, something pounced on him and started ripping him apart.

I screamed, then a weight hit me, I felt something go through my stomach, and the world went black.


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16-Oct-2020

Welcome to this week’s Spooky Flash Fiction!

Just two more weeks of haunting fun to go!

How Fast Can Your Heart Go Before it Bursts?

This Week’s Flash Fiction Friday is bought to you by:
A Creepy Hooded Guy
Crunchy Leaves in the Gutter
and
A Black Cat

I hated it when my friends wouldn’t walk me home. My mom said they had to, but when I told them that, they just laughed.

They  never had to walk alone, they were twins. And they had brothers. No one messed with them.

Me, on the other hand…I was short, I couldn’t run very fast, and I was very much alone.

It wasn’t that far from their house to mine, just two blocks over and one block up, but tonight it felt like a mile. The sun had slipped behind the mountains an hour before, leaving everything looking not quite real.

The thump, thump of my Keds on the ground echoed in my ears.

The sound of a car coming made my heart pound. I didn’t like it when the cars shone their headlights in my face. I held my breath, but the car didn’t come around the corner ahead.

A breeze rustled the crackling leaves on the trees, sending a shiver down my spine.

My legs sped up. Breathing started to hurt as I got to the halfway point.

Why did it have to be all uphill? I should have ridden my bike. It was hard to pedal up the street, but at least it was faster than walking.

Of course, then I would have to put it in the backyard. The dark, quiet, eerie backyard where anything could be hiding.

Maybe walking was better.

Since the car hadn’t come, I decided to cross the street. I waited for a driveway, then stepped into the road.

Only then did I see the guy on the other side. He was a few houses ahead. In the dim light I couldn’t be sure, but I thought he was wearing a hood. And something was glowing red under it.

Just a cigarette, I assured myself. There was just one glowing point—not two, like eyes. He was just outside smoking.

But I didn’t smell smoke.

My feet wanted to run back to the sidewalk I’d just left and back to my friend’s house. They would laugh at me, but I’d be safe. Then I wondered, if he was a bad guy, would he like it better if I ran? Like a mean dog?

I’m the slowest runner in my grade, so he’d catch me no matter what. I took a steadying breath and decided to stay in the middle of the road. That way I could see him coming, and scream.

The woman in the house at the top of the street was a friend of my mom’s. She would help me.

Although her husband was really grouchy. What if he heard me and got mad?

I didn’t look over at the guy in the hoodie. If I pretended he wasn’t there, maybe he would pretend I wasn’t here either.

By the time I passed him, my whole chest heaved, and it felt like my heart might explode. He could probably hear me. I wanted to put my hand over my mouth, but didn’t, even though a scream sat right behind my lips.

I heard the scrape of his shoe on the sidewalk, and somehow walked faster. Any quicker and I would be at a jog.

Another scrape.

I was just two houses from the corner. If I got around the corner, I would be safe.

Footsteps echoed behind me.

The air was too thick to breathe. I tasted blood.

One house to go. This is where my mom’s friend lived. Should I go to the door?

A growling yell came from the house. Her husband. I kept going.

Thump, thump. My feet kept up the pace.

Thunk, thunk. He was coming.

The road curved. I cut the corner, stepping in the gutter. Leaves crunched under my foot, sounding as loud as a hundred papers being crumpled at the same time.

I could see my house. Just one block over to go.

The thunk, thunk got louder.

I cut across the road. Could I make it? I had to make it.

Leaves rustled again, but not from above. I looked back.

He was close.

I turned to run, but a black shape darted out in front of me.

I screamed, and before I could tell my legs to go, I was going.

It took me a minute to realize the figure had been my friend’s cat. It hated everyone.

I thought I heard it spitting and hissing, but I’m not sure I could hear anything over my scream.

I’d never been so grateful for the light on the front porch. When I got up the three stairs, I doubled over, shaking like crazy.

This time I did hear a hiss. I looked up, and found him across the street.

Red lit his face.

A cigarette.

My eyes went wide when I remembered something we’d learned at school.

I shouldn’t have led him to my house.

I swallowed hard, and in the time it took me to blink, he was gone.


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9-Oct-2020

Welcome to this week’s Spooky Flash Fiction!

Three more weeks of haunting fun to come!

What if Krampus was in Charge of Halloween?

This Week’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
Krampus
A Jug of Apple Cider
and
Razor Blades in Snicker’s Bars

Applause

Tooth Fairy: Welcome to this week’s episode of Holiday Swap.

Jack Frost: Because we’re in October, we’re swapping Jack Skellington out of his role as the Pumpkin King, and letting three other holiday mascots vie for the mascot of Halloween.

Tooth Fairy: And boy do we have a diverse set of challengers. First we have Cupid. Master of love and keeper of Valentine’s Day. Second, we have Uncle Sam. The ultimate patriot and the one and only man of the Fourth of July. Third, we have Krampus. He likes to call himself the anti-Santa Clause.

Jack Frost: What a lineup. This ought to be interesting. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Tooth Fairy: We should.

Jack Frost: As you all know, we ask the challengers a set of questions about how they would run the holiday if they win. In this case, all three are going to tell us what they would do if they gained control of Halloween.

Tooth Fairy: First question, what do you bring to the table for Halloween? Cupid, why don’t we start with you?

Cupid: I bring light and love to Halloween. Understanding. Reaching out to others. I have experience in this area, and I think Halloween could use some of my expertise.

Jack Frost: Interesting. Uncle Sam?

Uncle Sam: I bring a fighting spirit to the table. Some people might want to skip Halloween, or go light on it. Not on my watch! I can get people riled up and more excited than they have been about the holiday in years! Hoo-rah!

Jack Frost: I can see you’ve thought about this. Krampus, what about you?

Krampus: Halloween is dark holiday. I like dark holiday. I bring myself. Dark mascot. I live for this.

Tooth Fairy: Uh, is that it?’

Krampus: Yes.

Jack Frost: Next question. What is the biggest change you would make? Cupid?

Cupid: Well, as you know, my own holiday is about bringing people together. Bonding. Traditionally Halloween pits adults against children. I’d banish that, and have people roam the streets and give candy to everyone. Gatherings around the apple cider jug. Young and old.

Tooth Fairy: I see. Uncle Sam?

Uncle Sam: Let’s face it folks, Halloween is an American holiday. Capitalism at it’s best—besides Christmas of course. I’d give tax breaks for those who participate. Double candy for anyone wearing a patriotic costume. Incorporate more red, white, and blue. Who’s with me?

Jack Frost: Uh-huh. Krampus?

Krampus: Halloween is fake. Scary costumes, but no actual scary things. Entitled children who demand candy and give nothing in return. Adults forced to give treats instead of tricks. I would change this. Real ghosts. Adults who can trick instead of treat. Razor blades in the Snickers bars. Make consequences. Consequences get results.

Tooth Fairy: We’re going for consequences?

Krampus: You want change, yes?

Jack Frost: I’m not sure that’s what this is all abo—

Krampus: It is. I win.

Tooth Fairy: This is judged by us, you can’t declare yourself a winner.

Krampus: I have.

Cupid: Krampus, don’t be ridiculous.

Krampus: You ridiculous. I’m quite sane.

Uncle Sam: Sounds like you’re looking for a fight.

Krampus: Not from you, funny little man.

Uncle Sam: What did you call me?

Cupid: Now, now, can’t we get along?

Krampus: No.

Uncle Sam: Out of the way, scantily clad, round man.

Tooth Fairy: Uh-oh, this is getting out of control.

Cupid: We need more love, less fighting.

Uncle Sam: You need more clothes on.

Krampus: You need to get rid of those stripped pants. You look like tall candy.

Uncle Sam: That’s it! I’ll knock you to the other side of New Year’s. You’ll sail right past your holiday, you devil.

Krampus: Try it, skinny.

Jack Frost: Security!

Tooth Fairy: Wait, Cupid. Put the bow down!

Uncle Sam: Why you little…

Krampus: You die, loincloth man!

Jack Frost: Uh-oh.

Tooth Fairy: Well, this is an interesting development.

Krampus: You look nice in stripped pants.

Uncle Sam: Your horns make you look bad-A

Krampus: You really like them?

Uncle Sam: Do you really like my pants?

Tooth Fairy: Oh boy.

Jack Frost: We have a problem.

Cupid: They’re not fighting.

Tooth Fairy: Nope, they’re making eyes at one another.

Jack Frost: This is going to go downhill fast.

Tooth Fairy: Sorry, folks, looks like we get to cut to commercial before these two do something we can’t share on national television.

Jack Frost: We’ll let you know how it goes.


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