‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37) Entry Part 10) by Jacquie Biggar @jacqbiggar #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 10) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #37.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and the contribution.

door-1587023_1920

Where One Door Closes…

Hank straightened his tie and used the back of his pant legs to polish worn shoes, balancing like a flamingo in front of the dark wood door. Nervous perspiration coated his forehead and under arms covered in the only suit he owned– a heavy gray woolen affair he’d picked up for a steal when his father passed away two years ago.

His father.

It was because of the old man he was in this position. The letter from the lawyer was explicit; if he wanted to inherit (and Lord knows, he did) he had to show up to this interview and make a good impression, or the entire estate would go to his father’s favorite charity- cat rescue.

Fine. He could hop to his dad’s tune one last time; especially if it meant he’d have the last laugh. Five long years since he’d been banished from home. Five miserable, hungry, destitute years. When he got the money, the first thing he was going to do is eat the biggest steak he could buy. Hell, he might even buy a round for the house. That would get the old man’s knickers in a knot- wherever he was.

Filled with renewed determination, Hank lifted his hand to knock, vaguely surprised by the heat he could feel on the door. Number thirteen, Triskaidekaphobia. Trust his father to test his superstitious beliefs. Maybe this was all some sick game concocted by a mean-minded egomaniac determined to make his only son tow the line. It would be just like him.

Hank lowered his fist and began to turn away, his shoulders dejected, when the door swung open, revealing a black maw beyond.

“H… hello?” he called, his voice quivering though he tried to overcome his fear. “W… who’s there?”

The hinges creaked under the force of his hand, the shadows lengthening out to encompass his legs. Frightened, but curious, he pushed his way into the dark room. The air was stagnant and held the scent of incense- or was that kerosene? Either way, it made his head swim.

The door closed with a decisive snap, enshrouding him in the tomb-like atmosphere. A lamp flickered to life on a wide oak desk situated in the middle of the room. A man with benevolent features gestured for Hank to take a seat.

Left with little choice, he did as directed, perching on the edge of the hard chair. “Now what?” he demanded, angry at whatever sick game his father had arranged for him today.

The stranger raised a snow-white brow and pushed two sets of papers across the broad expanse of the desk. Next, he laid a gold pen within Hank’s reach. “Choose carefully,” he said, and sat back, fingers steepled under his chin.

Ready to walk out and forget the whole thing, Hank nevertheless picked up the first sheaf of papers and began to read. It was a journal of his life; an itemized list from birth to the day he left home- all the embarrassing tantrums, name-calling, stealing- it was all there.

Unable to keep reading, he set down the first set of papers and picked up the next. This one was also a journal, but more of a fantasy interpretation. It portrayed him as a sweet and generous child, smart, kind, well-liked. The opposite of how he’d been- truth beknown.

“Fine, I’ve read this crap. What do you want from me?” He threw the papers down and glared defiantly at the old man facing him.

The stranger shrugged. “It’s up to you. Choose the life you believe you’ve led, and sign. One will grant you eternal riches, and the other… won’t.”

Hank swore softly under his breath. Trust the old man to throw one last hurdle at him from the grave. Question was; which story would give him what he wanted?

Picking up the fine gold pen, he hesitated over one, then the other, before finally slashing his name across the page and shoving the whole works across the desk. “There, you have your signature. Where’s my money?”

The old man glanced at the papers and smiled, delight turning his dark eyes into flames. “If you’re sure that’s your answer, your quest begins on the other side of the door behind you.”

Hank rose and stared at the door he’d come through. What was this? There’d been nothing but a long dark hallway leading to this room. Certainly, no one waiting to bequeath him his money. Whipping around, he opened his mouth to complain, but the desk and old man had vanished!

The hairs rose on his nape, sending shivers scuttling down his back. He wished now he’d never heard from his dad’s lawyer. Never given in to the temptation of an easier life. Maybe, he’d give some of the money to help those like himself, guys down on their luck. Yeah, that’s what he would do.

Feeling better already, Hank strode across the room and swung the door open, only to fall back in shock. “Fa… father?” he whispered.

His dad held out his hands, his body backlit with flames. “Come, son, you’re one of us now.”

The choices we make in life
are ones that will follow
in death.
So, choose wisely, my friend,
that you will see Heaven
instead of Hell.
~~

Jacquie may be reached here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.



‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37) Entry Part 9) by Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021”  Week #37.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Mark Bierman.

 I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Mark’s contribution.

door-1587023_1920

“You hear that?” Mandy twisted her red locks into coils. Her wide-eyed expression moved her freckles, like dozens of islands shifted by an earthquake.

Dan put his ear against the door.

“Careful! What do you hear?”

“Chewing.” An icicle lodged in his spine.

“What? Dan Beamish! I can’t take it any longer! I’m calling Mom and Dad! I want to go home! George Binks was right, this place is haunted!”

“My gosh!” Dan jumped back. His jaw became a flag in the wind.

“Stop blubbering, out with it! You’re scaring me!”

“You should be.”

“Stop it!” Mandy’s eyes were red. It reminded Dan of the time he’d drew mustaches on her Barbies, with permanent marker. “Tell Uncle Bill! He’ll know what to do. He’ll call Mom and Dad to pick us up!”

“Don’t be such a wimp. Don’t you want to see what it is? Maybe it’s a Snog, just like in one of your silly books. Besides, Uncle Bill is away this afternoon. Mom and Dad are in the Bahamas.”

“I’m NOT a wimp, you’re just stupid! My books are NOT silly. Snogs are NOT real. Whatever’s in there, is! We should wait until Uncle Bill returns.”

“Get me something to defend myself.”

Mandy crossed her arms and scowled at her older brother. He was stubborn, just like his father, that’s what Mom said. Mom’s always right about Dan. She sighed. “Fine, there’s a croquette mallet in the hall closest.” She stomped down the ancient steps. Stupid, old, haunted house. Why couldn’t they’ve gone to Aunt Rita’s cottage on the beach? Oh, because Danny the Pansy was allergic to the sand. Whoever heard of such a thing?

She returned with the mallet to find Dan testing the doorknob.

Mandy performed a fake curtsy and handed the mallet over. “You’re lance, noble knight.”

Dan rolled his eyes. He counted to three, via the scenic route. “Two and a quarter, two and a half, two and three quarters, three!” He charged in screaming, mallet raised overhead, Brave Heart style.

Something large ran through what could only be described as a trash bin. Dan looked around, shocked by the mess. Uncle was a neat freak, but this was an episode of Hoarders.

Wind gusted through an open window. Papers blew across a desk and onto a floor that could have been hardwood. A huge lump moved underneath the pile, heading straight for him! A terrible hissing and growling came from the thing.

Dan’s arms lost feeling and the mallet struck his knee as it dropped. He was nailed to the floor.

“Dan! Get out!”

He tried to back away, but tripped on a power cord, that brought him and a desk computer, crashing to the floor.

A yellowed New York Times paper, a foot from his face, burst off the floor, to reveal a hideous nightmare of bloody teeth and fur.

The eyes were blacker than the pavement, velociraptor sharp claws, and a hiss like a thousand water snakes. It stood on it’s hind legs, belly fur covered in blood. The thing was about to rip him apart! His mind flashed back to all those nature shows he’d watched. What to do? Run . . . seriously? Play dead? No, he’d be dead. Act submissive, lower your eyes and bow your head . . . quick! He raised himself to a kneel and bowed, face to the floor. It was terrifying, exposing the back of his neck.

“Dan! What are you doing! Have you lost your mind?”

“Showing respect. Being submissive.”

It didn’t work. The thing hissed and moved towards him. Dan could feel and smell its hot and stinky breath . This was it, his life for hers. “Go, Mandy! Run! It wants me and you can still get away!”

The beast moved closer, coming in for the kill bite, just like a lion. It would be a less painful way to die.

Dan was ready too.

Something swept past his head. The creature let out a squeal and then began to whimper, as it fled.

“You rascal!” Uncle Bill yelled.

His new favorite uncle held a broom, as he chased the thing out the window. He shut the window, turned towards them and said, “Blasted racoon. Should have closed the window. Got into my bowl of ravioli again!” He held up an empty can of Chef Boyardee’s “finest” pasta. He looked embarrassed.

Dan smacked his head when he noticed the “blood”’ matched the color of the pasta sauce.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mark can be reached here …

Twitter

Blog Mark Bierman Adventures in Writing

Amazon.com

***

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Thank you so much for stopping by. Your comments are always appreciated.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37 Entry Part 8) by Kirsten Nairn @KirstenNairn #FlashFiction #WritingPrompt #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #37..
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry Part 8) By Kirsten Nairn
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Kirsten’s contribution.

door-1587023_1920

Joules took a deep breath before knocking. Number 13! She wasn’t superstitious, but this felt like she was tempting fate and would remind her every day of her miserable life; a failed relationship (it seemed Christopher preferred skinny blondes after all), no job (how was she to know the audition for Frida the musical was about Frida Kahlo and not Frida Lyngstad of Abba fame?), and now homeless.

A movement caught her eye. A black cat with emerald eyes was staring up at her. More sodding bad luck, she muttered, as she knocked at the door.

‘Joules. You’re here at last! I’m so excited. We’re going to be flat mates again! And you’ve met Lucifer already!’ Lucy rubbed the cat under the chin. He meowed loudly and walked past her, into the flat

‘Lucifer?’

‘Yes. He turned up last week and seems to have adopted me. Lucifer seemed the perfect name for him. I think he must be stray, but he’s so gorgeous I couldn’t leave him to roam the streets, alone and afraid.’

Joules wasn’t convinced about Lucifer’s inability to handle himself on the mean streets of Edinburgh’s Morningside.

‘I’ll make us some tea. I’ve created lots of new blends for you try. I’ve got St John’s Wort for depression, Valerian Root for insomnia, Chamomile for anxiety.’

Bloody hell, was this how Lucy saw her? Was she just another stray, like Lucifer?

‘I’m more of a Tetley girl remember? I brought my own in case you didn’t have any.’

Lucy picked the teabag up by the corner and dropped it, with distaste, into the mug.

‘Well perhaps I can do you a potion instead? You’ll need to become familiar with them if you’re to help me sell them. Actually, I’ve developed a special valentine’s potion with Cinnamon, Damiana and Goksuhura. We’ll be pushing this at the stall on Saturday. I can’t wait!’

Joules groaned inwardly. This was the price of a free room. ‘Lovely,’ she smiled.

Saturday came around soon enough and Joules found herself at ‘Au Natural’, the much-coveted annual Festival, manning the stall, alongside other new agers selling their wares. She hoped the pungent smell of patchouli from the neighbouring stall would put people off, but no! It seemed people were more in need of a little ‘help’ than she’d anticipated.

‘So, is this all it’s cracked up to be?’ a deep voice interrupted her thoughts.

She looked up, straight into clear emerald eyes resting under a mop of jet black hair. He was reading the ingredients on the Valentine’s packaging.

‘Yes. I believe so. I mean, I haven’t actually tried it, but I’m assured it does the trick.’

‘And what is that exactly? The trick?’

‘Well, it helps your, err, partner, to be a little more… enthusiastic.’

‘Ah right. And how does that work exactly? What do I do with it? Drink it? Rub it on? Is it for me or the lucky lady?’

‘Well, I’m not quite sure about the exact science behind it but I guess it acts in the same way as oysters, although with less gagging. Lucy there is the developer, so she can give you more detail if you like.

‘And what are her credentials then?’

Joules paused. ‘She’s a white witch if you must know. Don’t laugh. She’s no weirder than anyone else here. I mean, which muppet came up with the concept for this. Au Natural, a natural magnet for the world’s weirdos. I blame Harry Potter myself. I haven’t the heart to tell her it’s all codswallop.’

He raised his eyebrows, a smirk forming at the corner of his mouth. ‘Quite. Unusual branding though-No 13?’

‘Well, she says it’s something about dispelling superstitions.’

‘You haven’t actually told me if it’s for me to take or the lucky lady?’

‘I’ve no idea. Why don’t you buy two sachets- one for yourself and one for the lucky lady and see what happens?’

‘Yes, why not? Because I like pissing my hard-earned money away, but if it does the job, then it’s money well spent.’

Transaction completed, he held out his hand. ‘I’m Louie by the way, the muppet who came up with the concept for Au Natural. Nice meeting you.’

Her jaw dropped as she watched him disappear into the crowd.

Joules was exhausted when she returned to the flat. She pushed at the door and noticed the distinctive Valentine’s package trapped underneath it, with a note.

To Joules, the Dark Witch at number 13. Fancy giving it a try?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Follow Kirsten Nairn on 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kirsten-Nairn-1886899944963399/

twitter https://twitter.com/KirstenNairn

my website https://kirstennairn.wordpress.com/

Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17042903.Kirsten_Nairn

Amazon: https://www.amazon A sorry Affair

***

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37. Entry Part 7) by Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #37.
Today I’m featuring contributions from Karen Ingalls Entry 7).
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Karen’s contribution.

door-1587023_1920

Karen says …

SOME CORNY KNOCK KNOCK JOKES

KNOCK. KNOCK
WHO’S THERE?
SOOOZ
SOOOZ WHO?

SOOOZING IN BED

KNOCK, KNOCK
WHO’S THERE?

MARK
MARK WHO?
MARKING MY SPOT WITH AN X

KNOCK, KNOCK
WHO’S THERE?
JACQUIE
JACQUIE WHO?
JACQUIEING UP MY CAR


KNOCK, KNOCK
WHO’S THERE?
MAE
MAE WHO?
MAEBE, I SHOULD STOP WRITING THESE JOKES!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karen may be reached here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37 Part 6) by Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompt #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.”  Week #37.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here’s the image prompt and the contribution by Gwen Plano.

door-1587023_1920

APARTMENT 13 … or NOT
“What do you mean you fixed it?”

“Let’s just say, I took care of it. Trust me, Louise.”

“I trust you. It’s just that I’m curious. I don’t understand how you could have fixed it. You know what people say about that apartment.”

“I don’t believe such rubbish.”

“But others do, Bob, and they’ll be afraid to visit.” Her voice rising out of pure frustration.

“That’s why I fixed it!”

“Okay, enough of this. We’ll see.”

They turned the corner of the building and entered the refurbished apartment structure. Another couple hurried past them as they approached the elevator door.

“Second floor, right?”

“Yeah, second floor.”

She punched the elevator button and looked at the apartment list. There was no number 13. She looked over to Bob. “What did you do?”

“Nothing really. The one and three are still there. No harm done.”

“But, but where’s our apartment?”

“It’s there. I promise. It’s there.”

The elevator stopped abruptly at the second floor and the two walked down the long hall to their new apartment. Standing in front of the door, she hesitated. At first, she didn’t notice it, but then a smile stretched across her face. Turning she gave Robert a huge hug.

“You know I love you right?” 

some doors are just doors
others open to magic
maybe it’s our choice
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gwen Plano can be reached here …

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37 Entry Part 5) By D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 5) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #37.
Today I’m featuring a contribution By D L Finn.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and D.L.Finns contribution.

door-1587023_1920

Denise says, “I’m using the Haibun Poem format, which is a combination of a prose paragraph and a Haiku/Senryu.”

THE DOOR

I grasped the small brass key tightly in my hand. The wooden door was now within my reach. It was the opening to the dreaded thirteenth colony. This is the place they sent people who asked too many questions. I glanced back into the darkness of what had been my existence. There had been no tears shed, and no one had stayed to say goodbye. I accepted I was no longer a part of their lives. My hand shook as I inserted the key and heard the click. Taking a deep breath, I pushed the door open. Vivid colors and a warm glow welcomed me into a place of beauty where my mother was waiting. Smiling, I shut the door on a world of fools.

Stepping into light

Leaving the dark cave behind

I found my answer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

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On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37 Entry Part 4) by Anita Dawes @jaydawes2 #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 4) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #37.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and the contribution.

door-1587023_1920

What would you do if a strange door popped up in your bedroom?
A weird twilight moment
There are no signs, yet I feel it screaming, stay out, do not enter.
How many of us can resist the temptation?
Slowly, I push the door open, stepping into the dark space.
In the blink of an eye, I find myself in the centre of London.
Standing in Trafalgar Square, Nelson towering over me,
Four black lions standing guard, tour buses,
on their way to show eager eyes the Queen’s House
with its high black gated railings
Smart soldiers stand ready while the Queen sleeps,
Flag flying high on the pole.
There is plenty of culture for those who wish it.
Street art drawn with bright colored chalk.
Step inside the History Museum,
see how small you feel against the giant dinosaurs.
Sit on the pews of St Martins Church
Take a rest before going on to Piccadilly,
where Eros stands with bow and arrow in hand
Ride the London Eye, high above the River Thames.
Take a red bus to where you left the strange door,
hoping it’s on the tourist route…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be posting more entries as I receive them.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37 Entry Part 3) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #37.  Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Harmony’s Contribution.

door-1587023_1920

Faded

‘Who numbers an apartment 13?’ Jake shook his head.

Emma said, ‘Our last house didn’t need superstition to be unlucky.’

Jake shoved the key at the lock and missed. The sharp end scratched the pristine wood of the door. ‘We had a fortunate escape.’

‘Careful!’ Emma snatched the key from him and eased it into the keyhole. The door swung open. The couple shared a glance—not a single creak and a welcome change from their old place.

Nervous, the pair stood in utter silence and listened. Neither wanted to think about what had driven them out of their old—cheaper—home. Though the new flat looked gorgeous, it came at a steep price. How much is peace worth?

After a good five minutes, Emma let out a sigh and galvanised herself into motion. The rooms seemed quiet, non-malevolent, and the pair relaxed. The next few hours saw them busy with the business of moving in. Neither had brought anything from their previous home—not wishing to invite any trouble here. They’d moved clear across town … surely nothing could follow them?

Later that night, pleasantly exhausted from the novelty of physical labour, Jake and Emma fell straight into a deep slumber. In the morning, after the first solid sleep in months, fingers of sunlight pried open their eyelids, and the couple roused.

All was right with the world. Emma rubbed her eyes, yawned, and swung her legs over the edge of the mattress. Cold shock struck the soles of her bare feet. She lifted her toes from the chill laminate flooring with a gasp. To the offending wood she said, ‘You look nice but you sure don’t feel good.’ Then, holding her breath in dread anticipation, she lowered her limbs once more, groped with her toes for her slippers, which had slipped under the bed, and snuggled her feet into the faux-furry warmth.

As she dashed to the bathroom, the cool of the apartment filtered through to her sleep-fuddled brain. Why’s it so cold? It’s summer. Emma plonked herself onto the frigid toilet seat and braced her elbows on her knees. I’ll check the AC settings in a minute. While she peed, she gazed around the new space. A large mirror hung on the opposite wall. It took a few seconds for Emma to realise that she should be able to see her reflection. The mirror showed only an empty room.

Scared, she called out to her boyfriend, ‘Jake? Come here would you?’ Her voice sounded as pale as her body felt.

Jake pushed into the bathroom with a grin. ‘What? Found another spider?’

Emma pointed behind him. He turned and followed her gesture. Jake swore and spun around to face his girlfriend. ‘This some kind of joke?’

She shook her head. ‘I’m scared.’

Hurriedly, she finished her business and stood. ‘Come on.’

‘Where we going?’

‘Out. Anywhere. I don’t care. Just not here.’

Jake pulled on her hand and held her back. ‘Woah. Get dressed first.’

Emma swallowed her rising hysteria and dashed to the bedroom. Uncaring of the sweat and dust of yesterday’s activity, she pulled on the jeans and t-shirt that she’d discarded at the foot of the bed last night. Jake had dressed while she was in the bathroom. Hand in hand, they grabbed the apartment keys and left. Emma expected the building to keep them trapped, but it let them go.

On the street, Emma pulled Jake toward downtown. At the first store window she stopped and stared. The glass reflected an empty early-morning pavement. No Jake. No Emma. Horrified and confused, the pair raced to the next shop, and the next, and the one after that. All the windows failed to acknowledge their existence.

They reached a news stall. The headlines showed large type in bold …

Police Search Continues for Missing Couple

Emma said, ‘It got us, then.’

Jake squeezed her hand. ‘We should have known the rent on the old place was too cheap.’

The haunted house tugged them back—the pull started behind their navels and spread.

Trapped within the antique mirror in the hall, they gazed out and saw that the old place hadn’t given them a fresh start at all. A trick—an illusion. They’d never left. The months passed. The landlord cleared out their stuff. Helpless, Jake and Emma watched as a young family moved in.

Were they, too, fated to fade into the bones of the ancient timbers? Or could they thwart the evil?

© Harmony Kent 2021

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #37 Entry Part 1) by John Howell @HowellWave and Part 2) by Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Parts 1) and 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #37.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

door-1587023_1920

This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“The guy in 13 wants his walls painted fuchsia. Says he’s sick of brown.”

John Howell can be reached here …

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Here is my own contribution.

Friday 13th.  

Police Captain Henry Weisman lifted the crime scene tape and approached the officers guarding the stairwell and the doorway to Apartment 13. “Evenin’, Cliff. What have we got?”

“Same M.O as the last five deaths, Hank.”

“No deviations?”

“None that the CSI guys have come up with yet.”

“We have any ID on this one?”

The officer handed over the details and waited.

“Oh, God. Tell me this isn’t Senator Parker’s wife?”

“Wish I could. But yeah, it is. Thirty-seven-year-old Katherine Parker.”

“Has the Senator reported her missing?”

“Not as of a couple of hours ago when the 911 call came in.”

“Thanks, Cliff. I’ll take a look. The 911 caller?”

“Woman from the floor below called it in.”

“Good. I’ll talk to her shortly.”

***

Captain Weisman walked around the now familiar sign on the easel, pulled on his gloves and entered the apartment. He stood back away from the other investigators. He needed to absorb everything about his surroundings.

He inhaled deeply and the acidic stench of fear and urine permeated his consciousness. Katherine Parker’s body lay curved into the fetal position, she was fully clothed and looked to be sleeping. She had a crucifix clutched in her left hand, just as the other victims. And in a phenomenon equated to the onset of sudden stark terror her dark hair was now white.

The room had no windows. Henry was drawn to the closest wall and placed his gloved-hand palm down against its surface. He felt it again. That sudden jolt of adrenaline cursed through his body, he could feel a heartbeat pounding against his hand and moved back hurriedly. Before it overwhelmed him with its presence.

The room contained no furnishings. He knew from past experience that the only identifiable prints they’d find would belong to the victim.

He nodded his farewells to the team and gave the go ahead for the body to be removed. Now he needed to talk to the woman who’d called this one in.

***

Connie Barber opened the door to Apartment 12, checked the man’s identification and asked him to be seated.

“Thanks for speaking with me at such a late hour. I need to hear what prompted your call to 911 while it’s still fresh in your memory.”

“I understand. Guess this means that poor woman is dead. Go ahead, I’ll help in any way I can. But even I know how crazy what I have to say is gonna sound.”

“I don’t label things I don’t understand as crazy, ma’am. What prompted that call?”

“A couple of days back I heard someone upstairs using a buzzsaw, and there was thumping on the ceiling, and I figured they were finally converting that empty floor into apartments. The noise didn’t last long.”

“And then?”

“Yesterday I was down in the lobby and a workman carried a sign and one of those easel things in. He took the lift up to the floor above mine. I’m a scrabble junkie and I didn’t recognize the wording on the sign, so, my curiosity got the better of me and I keyed it in to my iPhone.”

The woman leaned forward and removed a piece of paper from the coffee table, she handed it over. “I don’t know how to pronounce it, but I Googled it. Triskaidekaphobia Treatment Clinic was what was on the sign, and Triskaidekaphobia means a total fear of the number 13.”

“I know the term. Did you get a good look at the workman?”

“I didn’t pay him that much attention, sorry. I was too intrigued by the sign.”

“Did you see the woman enter the building?”

“No, but dear Lord I heard her. She screamed and it was the most agonized sound I have ever heard. I don’t know how long the screaming went on for, but I rang 911 as soon as I could move across to the phone. It was almost as if I was frozen in place. I never want to feel that way again.”

Captain Weisman thanked her for her time.

***

He reached his car and called his boss.

“Taylor.”

“Chief. Forgive the late hour, sir. I’m afraid we have another one. This time the victim is very high profile. No way we’re gonna be able to keep the press away from this one.”

“Still not a damned thing to link back to that ‘clinic’?”.

“Nothing, sir. No trail whatsoever on the clinic. No social footprint. It’s as though they never existed.”

“I can’t tell that to the six families now mourning the loss of their loved ones. How long till the next Friday the 13th?”

“August 2021.”

“No more cold cases, Hank. Find that damned clinic!”

Henry ended the call.

He let himself into his house and poured a double shot of whiskey, then headed down to the basement.

He smiled and his eyes glowed red with pleasure as he began to  create his next Triskaidekaphobia Treatment Clinic sign.

~~~~~~~~~

/

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ NEW IMAGE PROMPT Week #37 Join in the fun! #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021″  WEEK #37.

Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment (ON THIS PAGE)  or email it to me at suzieb4burke@hotmail.com  by ,DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, February 25th.  Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM.

Here is the image prompt for this week.

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Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

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