Friday, January 14, 2011

Designated hitter……Flash Fiction

Fear. That little trickle that ices down your spine when you wake at three am, chest tight, existential dread sitting on your ribcage, its dirty yellow toenails digging into your diaphragm, smiling that smug I know something you don't know smile.

There it is again. The scritch scritch that woke you. A small sound in a big world. But you don't live in a big world. Your world has been a tiny tight ball of terror each and every moment since the last time he found you.

Sliding trembling feet to the floor, heart pounding, you creep toward the door, Louisville slugger at the ready. He calls out in a sing song voice,

"Guess who….oo." But this time only one of you will be surprised.

The door swings inward, and you swing away….



40 comments:

Michael Solender said...

scritch...i know 'zactly what you mean..

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

And a HOME RUN for Karen! Woot! Man I love the attitude in this piece!

Valerie said...

I don't know who it is, but I hope he enjoyed his bat sandwich. Nice short.

Gracie said...

I've met that middle-of-the-night fear a time or two. You nailed it.

No loss of personal power here, though. Swing away...

Good one, Miss Karen.

Laura Eno said...

Jezebel gives it a two tentacles up!

KjM said...

*Whack* - now, there's one upside-the-head.

Beautifully distilled flash, Karen.

"... this time only one of you will be surprised..."

Delightful.

Nicely done.

John Wiswell said...

No, I'm a sound sleeper. I only wake up for sharp pains and loud phones, and I go right back to sleep. You must intend to kill the guy in the next house over. I get that a lot on this road, fair mistake.

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

You've been spying on me, Karen. So you better watch out because I not only have a baseball bat, but also a billy club. Seriously, this was me last night for some wacky reason. Great story and perfect flash.

ganymeder said...

I hope it's not just her husband coming home or something! Fear can make you do crazy things...

Tight and scary, great read!

Deanna Schrayer said...

Wow, wow, wow, Karen, this is utterly fantastic! I was about to go to bed, but now I'm going to have to read a humor piece in the (doubtful) hope of getting this off my mind.

bsain said...

Yep.
Think I'll go to bed now and see if I can swing away myself.

Steve Green said...

I have met the middle-of-the-night fear on occasion, and you have it drawn so well.

As for the unwelcome cause of her fear? yeah let him have it!

Harry said...

This is execellent flash. Every line in this compact kit just bursts with rich detail. Love the image conjured in the first paragraph.

Outta the park home run!

Lou Freshwater said...

Excellent job creating tension in this. I could *feel* every second.

j said...

Holy cow. I love this piece. I was trying to think of what to say (besides "holy cow, I love this piece," and then I saw Kevin's comment. "Beautifully distilled flash, Karen." Yes, that's it.

Jodi MacArthur said...

This reminds me of the old film Night of the Hunter. Excellent suspense, the last line says much abuot her past and of cuorse, her future.

Daniel W. Powell said...

Word...swing away!

Eric J. Krause said...

Sounds like she's gone through hell, so her "home run" swing should be quite satisfying. Good story!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Don't ya just hate that 'scrith, scritch' sound...nice revenege piece.

estrella05azul said...

This ending is fit for a baseball game, and I know how great it is to swing away.
Great piece of microfiction :)

Karen from Mentor said...

Wow, you guys threw quite a house party while I was off gallivanting.

And that explains the tortilla chips in the light fixture in the dining room.

Karen from Mentor said...

j I have a feeling that one could follow Kevin around on any given day and just repeat the pearls that fall from his lips.

I wouldn't suggest doing that on St. Patrick's day though, you're kinda tiny and I think after repeating "I'll have another" a couple of times you'd have to be poured into your bed.

I think the use of the word "distilled" may have been what led me down that particular tangent.

Thank you both for the lovely words about the piece.

HugZzzzzzz!

Karen from Mentor said...

Lou thank you! I was going for tension. Glad that played out for you.

Deanna, I don't think I've ever gotten three wow's in a row. *marks calendar* That was a great thing to open my day with.

Karen from Mentor said...

Steve, Alan, Eric, Daniel and Michael, thanks for stopping in to read and comment guys. Always a pleasure to have you in my space.

*happy sigh*

Karen from Mentor said...

I've only seen part of Night of the Hunter Jodi, but the part I saw was terrifying. Thanks for the comparison.
*buttons pop from her vest*

Karen from Mentor said...

Harry I wish I could draw the little creature. In my mind's eye he kinda looks like a cross between the cartoon creatures that live under the giant toenail in that foot fungus commercial and a really nasty miniature ogre....

Thank you for your lovely comment.
*hugs you*

Karen from Mentor said...

*smooches Laura and Becky and Cathy and Estrella*

Karen from Mentor said...

Rachel, I only watch you for your own good. We don't want a repeat of that thing that happened that has now come to be known in song and story as "The Incident" .....

Karen from Mentor said...

Cathy O, I knew you'd like this piece. :0)

Thank you gracie for the lovely words. She's certainly taking back her life.

*snorts* at Valerie's "bat sandwich"

Oh and John? I'll double check the house numbers next time before traipsing mud into your house. By the way, you're out of milk...

Lauren C said...

ooh, this is a lean mean scary flash. taut, icy, goose-bumpily. wonderfully done!

Lauren C said...

and oh hey, I guess I can finally post comments again! WIN

Karen from Mentor said...

SWeeeet! It makes me happy to see you in my thread again my lovely Lauren. Hope you didn't have to whack anybody to fix the gremlin in the machine keeping you out of blogger. Or if you did, I think it's a forgivable crime since it was perpetrated in the name of good, not evil.....

Thank you for the wonderful words.
*basks in the glow of the lovely Lauren*

jim bronyaur said...

Awesome... I love the dark feel of it. And it's quick and to the point. :)

Jim

lindacassidylewis.com said...

Once again, I'm coming in late, but Ooooo ... zinger! Excellent job, Karen.

Adam B said...

Strong imagery perfectly ties up the ending. Subtle and very effective.
Adam B @revhappiness

Mike Robertson said...

Third person present! First time I've seen that technique used so intelligently in a long time. It takes confidence to write something that strong with so few words. Nice one Karen.

Karen from Mentor said...

Wow Mike thanks. I didn't even think about a label for this piece. I like third person present. Has a dandy ring to it. Three isn't a crowd in fiction. And in some fiction...um...it can become quite an interesting plot point...

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Adam. Lovely to see you.

Linda you're never late. The party doesn't start til you get here.

Wow for Jim to call it dark I must have hit the right tone. *basks a bit*

Thanks for stopping in guys. It's always appreciated.

*BiG smile*

Magaly Guerrero said...

It reminded of SIGNS, except that movie wasn't half as terrifying as this.

Karen from Mentor said...

I don't know the movie Signs Magaly, I'll check it out. Thanks for stopping in.
:0)