Five flash fiction pieces all under 1,000 words
Since it’s publication in 2012, Free Five has spent over three years in the top 50 Kindle Horror Short Stories category on Amazon.
Read the full pieces here by clicking the links below (or scroll down for excerpts).
- Another Oldie but Goodie
- I Spy, with My Little Eye
- The Death He Expected
- The Professional Crier
- Run, Rabbit. Run.
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Another Oldie but Goodie
Margaret Daniels awoke in the night to music that only she could hear. She sighed and wondered if she could go through with her plan, even though she knew she didn’t have a choice. The singing was only getting louder.
At being close enough to ninety that she didn’t bother counting anymore, Margaret was supposed to be finally allowed some peace, but she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since first hearing the music almost a month ago.
The Brookfield Retirement Home wasn’t much to write home about, even if one of the residents still had kids who cared to hear from them. The walls were paper thin, and Margaret could swear she knew more about her neighbors’ kids than she knew about her own. Consequently, the first night she woke to the muffled sounds, she blamed Barbara Young . . .
* * *
I Spy, With my Little Eye
Anthony Monsano stood at the bar, staring at the round, wooden box on the counter. About the size of a hatbox, except Tony knew it was no hat inside this particular box. He would’ve smiled at this thought had a fire not taken the elasticity from his face just six months earlier.
But he was sure as hell smiling on the inside. Not even the fact that his oldest friend, Danny Blaylock, lay in a bloody crumpled mess on the floor next to Tony’s boots could take away the satisfaction at finally having found the box.
Besides, Danny was in good company. All the men who were either dead or dying in the bar (and even some of the women) had fought bravely . . .
* * *
The Death He Expected
There’s power in superstition. I’ve never been too superstitious, but I can tell these three kids out hikingin the middle of the night got a strong streak of it running through ‘em. Why else would they be going out to the mesa on a full moon?
Well, for one, they’re hiking out there to try and scare the new kid. But I can tell that in each of ‘em there’s some small sense of belief. And a little bit of fear. They’re a little high off it. Even the redheaded one who likes to whisper for effect. He says not to be too loud if they don’t want the dead to hear them. I like this kid . . .
* * *
The Professional Crier
[Necromancy: the art or practice of supposedly conjuring up the dead, especially in order to obtain from them knowledge of the future]
My name is Penny Circe.
If I had any friends, I’d want them to call me P.C. It would be funny, you know? ‘Cause I’m not really that politically correct.
But I don’t have any friends. Can’t blame ‘em. I probably wouldn’t be friends with me, either.
My school counselor calls me P.C., but not to my face. I overheard her once, whispering to the secretary when I was waiting in her office. “The Professional Crier is back.” I could detect the exasperation in her voice, like maybe she wanted me to hear her . . .
* * *
Run, Rabbit. Run.
There was something about jackrabbits that always creeped out Pete Cantrell. Something about the way they moved. More gangly than their cuter cousins, they loped along when they walked, as if evolution got stuck somewhere between a cottontail and coyote.
Not long after Pete and his wife Wendy moved into their house in the middle of twenty undeveloped acres, Pete had a nightmare in which the world was a scarred apocalyptic landscape. The only humans that had survived were distorted into twisted creatures scouring the wasteland on all fours. In the nightmare, these aberrations loped, and they had the same glassy, lifeless marbled eyes of the jackrabbit . ..
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