Archive for October, 2013


This year for my October Friday flash pieces I’m doing homages to my favorite four Stephen King horror novels.

Last week was The Shining, which you can read here if you like: 217

As always, I hope you enjoy.

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The dog couldn’t have known how his day would go, playing in the field as he was.  There was sunshine.  There was field.  There was rabbit.  Rabbit was fun to chase.  Rabbit was always fun to chase.

The bat flew into the small cavern’s wall.  Again.  Up was down, it seemed, and the bat thought the glimmering ray of sunshine streaming into its domain might possibly taste of red-heat-pain-shiny.

It wasn’t so much that the dog particularly wanted the rabbit, not really.  It was just so cocky with its bounce and dart and weave, its fluffy cottony tail and – oh! almost got it.  So close.

The bat twisted its head quickly, back and forth, the froth building up around its mouth like an overzealous child learning to brush their teeth.  It looked to its fellow bats, squinting its beady eyes in confused hate.

This rabbit was a quick one, the dog must give credit where it’s due.  Terribly fast.  But he thought he would wear it down eventually.  And then, once the rabbit was tired – when he caught it and won, the rabbit would lie down (the dog would flip it up in the air once or twice to make sure it was sleeping) and then he would bring the rabbit to his boy.  He loved his boy, more than a nice steak bone.  Well, just as much.  No, no, more than a steak bone.

The trembling. . .the red-heat-pain-shiny noise that the bat heard in its ears/head/wing/heart was BARKBARKBARK and it trembled and could not stop trembling.  The cave vibrated, the bat felt, with waves of thumping.

Oh no you don’t – dang it! – that rabbit bunnied its way down that hole.  But that wouldn’t stop the dog, no way.  Well, he’d just follow in and. . .nope.  Hole’s too small for that.  Well, the dog figured he’d just have to call the rabbit back.  This was no fair, after all, no fair at all for a chase, running where the bigger dog couldn’t run.  So he barked and he barked.

The fever rose up then in the bat.  Restlessness in all of his company.  Annoyance at the noise.  NOISE.  “Get the noise” the bat thought, “make it stop” thought the company.  And the bat knew that to stop the noise it must bite and scratch.  It followed the swell of bats that attacked in the dark, attacked the noise.  Maybe the bat could lose the trembling red-heat-pain-shiny in the blood.

The dog heard his boy calling him home and was happy to heed the call, trying his best to lick and groom his aching nose, his face.

Those funny-looking mice played too rough.

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217

This year for my October Friday flash pieces I’m doing homages to my favorite four Stephen King horror novels.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

*     *     *     *     *

“Enjoy your stay!” the clerk says, handing you your room key.  Is it odd that the chipper tone of his voice in no way matches the haunted, hollow look in his eyes?

No matter.

Thanking him with a nod you gather your overnight bag and head for the lift.  As you wait you feel a chill run down your back, goosefleshing your arms.  Well, it is Colorado.  There’s bound to be a nip in the air.  You can pull a sweater out once you’re in your room.

The lift arrives, doors sliding open to reveal its operator standing attentively.  You look up and stifle a gasp.  For a second, merely the quickest flash, you would have sworn that the man’s face was. . .wrong, though you can’t explain it beyond that.

“Going up?” his game show host smile painted on.

You enter the lift, shaking the fading image of his jagged, tilting face dismissively from your mind.  You tell him your floor as he closes the lift’s doors, his eyes looking forward.

You feel the presence of others now, like the lift is overcrowded; forcing you to share space, share breathing air – arm to arm and crotch to butt.  Only there isn’t anyone else there but the operator.

The chill goes up your back again.

You hurry from the lift as it opens, unable to find the nerve to look back at it.  It must be the mountain air.  Making you think childish thoughts; seeing things, feeling things that aren’t there.

You’ll feel better once you’re in your room.

The hallway is a long one, the only sound the soft wooshing of your steps on the carpet.  Not a soul around.  Well, maybe souls but none inside a living body.

Stop it!  Why did you think that?  What a creepy thing to ponder.

Your hands give an involuntary shudder.  It’s because you’re so chilly, so unaccustomed to this climate.

Mountain air.

Wait, was that –

The peephole of that room as you walked by. . .the way the light from the other side of the door moved, blinked, like someone, someone inside that room was watching.

Watching you.

No!

Ridiculous.  You’re being silly.

You quicken your pace anyway, all but running until you get to your room, slide the key in the door, turn it and shut the door behind you.

You realize that you are gasping – completely out of breath.

Shh-hhh.  Shh-hhh.  Shh-hh.

Just relax.  Slow it down.  Close your eyes.  Breathe in, breathe out.  It’s okay.  There you go, getting back to normal.  You’re just tired is all.  A good night’s rest will do you.  There we go.

Only.

There’s a second faint sound now, isn’t there?  It’s music playing; big band.

Now a New Year’s Eve countdown, and

Shh-hhh.  Shh-hhh.  Shh-hh.

That’s not your breathing.  It’s not –

Shh-hhh.  Shh-hhh.  Shh-hh.

Something, something coming from the bathroom.  Water sloshing.  Is someone there?

Shh-hhh.  Shh-hhh. Shh-hh.

Is someone there?