'I Hate It When My Brother Charlie Has To Go Away'

A horror Flash. Too good – oops, actually evil – to miss by horrorinpureform

I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away.

My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.

I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighborhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets.

My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.

I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.

End

Source: Reddit

A Problem Child – Flash Fiction

My constant look-out for good FF posts led me to this, yesterday. Clever though fiendishly evil. Read till the end:

Source:  horrorinpureform

I hate it when my brother Charlie has to go away.

My parents constantly try to explain to me how sick he is. That I am lucky for having a brain where all the chemicals flow properly to their destinations like undammed rivers. When I complain about how bored I am without a little brother to play with, they try to make me feel bad by pointing out that his boredom likely far surpasses mine, considering his confine to a dark room in an institution.

I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighbourhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets.

My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.

I hate it when Charlie has to go away. It makes me have to pretend to be good until he is back.

End

From Reddit

The Dead Too Tell Jokes – A Dark Flash Fiction (Oxymoron?)

The man was sick – his hands that had killed and robbed manynow too feeble to move. Lights around the bed were dimmed for it hurt his eyes, save the soft glow of a solitary lighted candle set on the far-end of the fairly long bed-side table casting exaggerated shadows on the walls.  

Beyond the ubiquitous medicine bottles and flasks close at hand, the maid – a loyal servant of the house over many decades, now attending to the needs of the sick man – had also kept unobtrusively on the table a small picture of Shiva (*) in meditation, hoping against hope He helps her master recover.

She heard footsteps on the marble floor heading this way. A dreaded moment for her.

The footsteps stopped and a man in late thirties, well groomed, entered the room with a bustle. Looked at the man on the bed and then at the maid inquiringly with irritation and impatience.  

The maid informed him his father was tottering in and out of consciousness. Heartless as it might sound, she was in her mind thankful of being spared of another round of a nasty show-down.

“Good. I don’t know how – get his left thumb print on these papers, even if he’s dead. Will be back soon,” he shoved a sheaf of documents in her hand and set a stamping pad on the side-table.

She had seen them before in their hands.  

As he pulled the door open for going away, the sick man suddenly leapt up from the bed in one huge convulsion and dropped back dead. And caused a minor accident – his outstretched hand toppled the stuff on the crowded side-table cascading into the candle tumbling to the floor. It set the maid’s saree on fire. As she jumped in panic, the fire quickly jumped onto the sheets covering the dead man. Her screams, the flame and the smoke drew the other house-staff to the room; they quickly put out the fire before it assumed menacing proportions.

The damage caused by the fire did not appear to be heavy: The saree worn by the maid was charred for about six inches from the bottom. The full-length inner she wore saved her from serious burns. The papers in her hand too were both charred and soggy wet from the water they threw around. And the sheet covering the man was burnt for a couple of inches along the edges.  That seemed to be it.

Very quickly the staff cleaned up the place back to shape. All damaged clothes, sheets and robes replaced, toppled stuff put back where they belonged, the floor wiped dry

The son cursed his luck. Quickly collecting his wits, he saw it to be still a redeemable situation.

He made a show of checking on his father; and then sent away the rest of the staff playing down the fire. The maid was sworn to secrecy on his father’s death. A couple of phone calls made and he would get another set of papers in under ten minutes. So all was not lost.

His impatient wait on the couch was the longest he was ever in this room.

When the papers finally arrived, he summoned the maid.

When he lifted the frail left hand of the man, nay, the corpse to get a thumb print, to his horrorthe corpsehad blood on its hands, this time very much its own. And more, he found melted flesh oozing where the thumb once was.  

He immediately knew the ride from here was going to be rough or, worse, there might be no ride at all. He sat on the couch with hands on his head.

The maid was both sad – for, her master of long years, though evil, was no more; and relieved he was gone before the fire reached him; further evidenced by his face not set in any semblance of a grimace. Instead, strangely, there was a certain smirk on his visage, one might say!  

She certainly had another reason to be sad she was not aware yet: Her Shiva the Destroyer also disappeared in the fire!

Perhaps she might tell herself at that instant there was nothing more for Him to do, so He chose to go away quietly leaving the actors in the human drama unfolding in the house to their devices.

End

Note: Shiva is the designated Destroyer among the trinity of gods in the Hindu pantheon, also easily pleased and kind to his devotees.

Source: clipart.com and Guyana times.

A New Ending, Nay, Beginning (< 200 Words)

Good drabbles are difficult to come by – here’s another one. This is EagleAye responding to a picture prompt from here.

Includes a political sounding statement from the author that has not been edited. Note this blogger claims no familiarity with the subject to comment.

Raul was fishing off the Portuguese coast when he found her. Thalassa climbed into his boat as he hauled on the nets. The mermaid was lovely. Beneath her sea green hair were two huge, enticing, glistening…green eyes.

Thalassa told him of the wondrous castles below with lovely gardens. All the creatures lived in fairness and equality. She spoke for hours of the wonders of the deep.

“Your world seems beautiful,” said Raul.

“So is yours!” grinned Thalassa.

“How do you know about it?”

She held up a waterproof cell phone. “YouTube!”

Raul covered his eyes.

“I’ve fallen in love with you!” exclaimed Thalassa. “Don’t worry, I know how the story ends. I sacrifice my home, grow legs, and live with you!”

“Uh….,” hesitated Raul.

“Tell me more about your…my, new home! Isn’t it fabulous?”

Unemployment soared. Violent nationalism and racism spun out of control. The soon-to-be-elected populous president would likely deport Raul’s ailing Sudanese father, and otherwise wreck the country.

Raul sighed, “How about a new ending? Any chance I could grow a tail?”

End

Source: Original post here.

More Tiny Tales (Drabbles)

drabble  (Wiki) is a short work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

**

Darkness

By G. Allen Willbanks from The Drabble:

“Why are you afraid of the dark? Darkness is the natural state of everything. It’s the light that’s unnatural. When God said, ‘Let there be light,’ he was imposing an artificial reality on a universe that had previously only know known total darkness and emptiness, and every force in nature is currently trying to drive us back to that original point of neutrality. Everything around us is temporary, and at some point in the future we will all return to that initial state of nothingness. It’s inevitable.”

“Maybe,” his wife admitted. “But, I still want you to replace the light-bulb.”

           
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes.

**

Tucked In (98)


By Will Gilmer from The Drabble:

“Irrational fear is a luxury,” Youssef thought as workers at the refugee orphanage checked under beds and rummaged through the closets of the other children. Each received a smile and a thumbs up signaling that their area was free of ghouls and goblins.

Back home Youssef’s nightmares never had time for make-believe. The realities of famine and war didn’t leave room for Bogeymen.

“Any monsters hiding under your bed Youssef?”

Youssef shook his head and pointed to the window. The confused worker craned her head to the stars, never guessing that when Youssef dreamed, he dreamed of drones.

         
William Gilmer is a writer and poet living in Michigan where Fall never lasts long enough.

**

Going Home (70)

By Traci Mullins from The Drabble:

Dottie wheeled her small pink suitcase to the double doors and waited.

A smiling woman approached and asked where she was going.

“Home,” Dottie answered.

“I think you’re early for the bus,” the nice woman said. “I’ll show you where you can sit comfortably until it gets here.”

Dottie thanked her and followed her down the hallway, back to her room at Sunset Memory Care, as she did every morning.

“I once heard that a tiny story is like a work of art on a grain of rice. I’m enticed by the challenge to give readers a meaningful experience in a tiny package.” – the author.

**

A Woman’s Will

By S. H. Cheatham from 101 Words:

“No!” She tossed her blonde hair and marched angrily away, the clop clopof heels on wood telegraphing her fury.

You’d think I’d asked her to torture puppies or renounce chocolate forever, when I had simply suggested—very kindly—that she change into something slightly less revealing for dinner with my boss and her husband. And perhaps remove a bit of the lipstick and eye shadow she must have applied with a spackling trowel.

“Honey,” I said, tapping tentatively. The response was a thunk as an unknown object (shoe? hairbrush?) struck the bedroom door.

Such is life when mothering a three-year-old!

**

End

Until Death Parted Us?? A Horror Story (600+ Words)

She was reported missing by her husband a week ago.

The police machinery set in motion had no concrete information yet.

The husband was also questioned on rumors of marital discord.

That’s where it stalled.

He was sure there was some foul play in his sister’s disappearance. Asking around, he got nothing to go by. Yes, there were the usual domestic squabbles from time to time heard by the neighbors. But that was about all.

His friend took him to consult a baba known to have powers of vision.

The baba heard them out and said: ‘Unfortunately, I’ve expended all my tantric/yogis power. Not until the next full-moon day that is about three weeks away from now…’

Pressed by the friend to do something here and now, the baba went into a trance, promising to do his best.

Coming out of trance some ten minutes later, the baba was panting for breath and profusely sweating. The two visitors felt guilty of putting the baba to trouble and stood aside nervously heads down. The baba called them near and said: ‘I’m sorry, I couldn’t muster enough power to have a clear vision…I had warned you…All I could hazily see was a patch in front of a rose bush in what appeared to be a backyard of a house.’

He understood – the spot in front of the rose bush in the backyard of her house was his sister’s favorite place. Often she would sit there, read books, play with her dog or simply lie down looking at the sky.

He went to the police and raised a ruckus over their inaction so far. With great apprehension and reluctance, more to appease him and buy more time, they agreed to act on the baba’s input, quite at the risk of exposing themselves to ridicule for taking a mere baba’s word seriously.

It wasn’t easy either to get their way with the husband. Despite his protestations, finally they managed to dig up the patch on the yard where the soil did look disturbed.  

At two feet of depth they struck pay-dirt.

All hands went up to their noses as the overpowering stench of decaying flesh bubbled up.

In there was a dog’s body, its upper torso revealed clear off the soil. It was his sister’s, marked by the distinctive strap around the neck.

She had loved the dog like her own child – they had none of their own.

The husband was ready for it – he explained: after his wife went missing, the dog was inconsolable try hard as he might. Went without food or water. He even took it to a vet – they could check it out, his medication to no avail. It would go and lie down on the patch and not move in even in the cold nights. Two days ago it was found dead in the morning. The poor thing was buried at its favorite spot. That’s how it came to be where it was found.

He looked dazed, sat down on the ground disheartened hands on his head. It was back to square one. No doubt the baba had ‘seen’ – but it was not good enough. Now what next…

The police officer in-charge shook his head in dismay and, cursing himself under his breath, ordered the men to refill the hole on the ground, his mind racing to find a way to mollify the irate husband.

Thump…thump…It stopped as soon as it began. Commotion ensued at the hole, men inured to seeing the ghastly and gore clambering out of the hole like they were fleeing death.  Brought the officer rushing back to the scene.

Trying vainly to block the stench, the officer peered down the hole to see the dog’s body head to toe now fully cleared off the soil, his attention drawn to the lower torso where it was held in a close hug by a badly decomposed hand coming up from under.

End  

Source: Inspired by an Indian movie episode narrated to me long ago. Can’t recall which, who… Image from Masterfile

Update: M tells me the movie is Kamal Haasan’s Papanasam. Apparently the story takes a different route with no paranormal elements – only the dog remains the common piece.

Two Women In Their Graves And The Cat That Did Not Wait To Cross

This short piece is in response to flash/drabble photo-challenge posed here by Morgan Bailey.

He locked up the doors. One can’t be too cautious in these matters.  The call he had received in the morning…

He hurriedly took the car out of the garage – he was already running late.

Just in case…the gun was loaded and in its place, he had checked.

It all happened quite unexpectedly just when he exited the driveway slowly, easing onto the street…the darned cat did make it safely to the other side by a whisker not coming under the wheels or hit splat.

His old lady would have ordered him to get going – auguries and omens were not for her. Steadying himself he drove on – he could ill-afford to miss the meeting from start.

Half way up the street he saw a parked car with all glasses rolled up. Now his usual alert self, he sped past the car with one hand on the gun. Nothing happened. Must be his jangled nerves playing up?

In this time, as the black piece of fur scurried away for the nearest bush, ‘sh#t,’ the hooded man cursed his luck, and abruptly dropped to the floorboard inside the parked car. To heck with…his mom was not once wrong over these ‘messages’. Was it simply not the day to pick or it was something more portentous?  Needed figuring out.

End