Dark halls echo the sounds of the past. I put my hands to my ears, but cannot block them from intruding.
Bloodied and covered in filth, I cower in the murky dankness of my corner. A ray of sunlight leaks in just within sight – yet so far down the hall. Do I dare crawl to it, or will they come for me again? Unsure and frightened for my own safety in this house of illusions, I shiver with indecision as the glow slowly fades away, the hours tick past.
The last vestiges of light receding, my hope of sanity dwindling, I begin to crawl toward the retreating beam of hope. Nearing the doorway, I pause to make sure all is safe; clear for my passage. One splayed hand laid upon the long wooden floor before me, my body follows, curling around the frame as I begin to emerge from the room. My other hand is near to landing upon the hallway floor when I see a figure move through the arc of light.
No! On hands and knees, I quickly scurry back into the corner, but not quickly enough. They know I tried to escape, they know I reached for the brightness; they know my intent was to abandon them.
Enraged by my daring, they begin to assault my every sense as the light is snuffed. It’s always worse at night. Half crazed I scream for leniency, none is granted.
As my eyes adjust to the deeper darkness, I see the black shadows moving about me. “Please,” I beg of them, “please don’t hurt me anymore.” But they only laugh. The nearest whispers a rotted warning in my already damaged ear, as the others close in upon me for yet another night of terror. Cold fingers grasping, my screams echoing…
A sneak peek at my comparative flash piece in our August issue of The Sirens Call eZine. 300 words of flash fiction inspired by an image.
September 1st, 2012 at 4:11 am
well wriiten piece!
September 1st, 2012 at 10:34 am
Thank you very much! 🙂
September 1st, 2012 at 4:23 am
Very dark and unsettling, Nina! I really feel for the character. Intrigued to read more in the eZine. . .
September 1st, 2012 at 10:34 am
Thanks Tom! It’s a Flash competition we run among ourselves to see what each of us can do to convey a story in 300 words (no more – no less) based on one photograph. It’s actually my favorite part of compiling the eZine. But I’m a photographer – so most images inspire me in one way or another. Reading it back over, I wish it had been tighter, I think I rushed this one a bit. 🙂
Maybe I’ll expand it into the story it wants to be for Pen of the Damned. There really is a longer telling here…
September 1st, 2012 at 3:15 pm
I like it, too, Nina. Great teaser. It was everything I like about dark fiction. I don’t need to see the horror. I love it for the unsettling moments. I’ll look forward to seeing more.
September 1st, 2012 at 6:01 pm
Thank you James! The flash fiction is always a fun challenge. Kalla’s comparative piece was written from an entirely different angle, but still nice & creepy, and very mood provoking. I’m sure you’d enjoy her’s as well. 😉
September 2nd, 2012 at 5:26 am
September 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Thank you sip! ;}
September 2nd, 2012 at 8:02 am
So much power packed into one small punch! You scored again. Getting the visual and the emotional all in a few spare words is a gift.
September 2nd, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Thank you Hunter, but as I mentioned to Tom – I’m being a little hard on myself when it comes to this one as I think it could/should have been a bit tighter. My next Pen post might be an evolved version of this 300 word flash into a short story. It’s still screaming in my head to get out! LOL ;}
September 3rd, 2012 at 2:18 pm
I felt as if I was in the corner with your character, Nina…very unsettling; I always appreciate & admire how your fiction grabs me by the neck from the get-go! 🙂
September 3rd, 2012 at 4:10 pm
Thanks Joe – I appreciate your appreciation… LOL Honestly, thank you ;}
September 18th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
I like “whispers a rotted warning”, I might steal that 🙂
September 18th, 2012 at 4:31 pm
LOL – I’m glad you like it, but no stealing now… that’s not nice 😉