Author of Dark Fiction
Day 6 of the Flash Fiction 10 for 10 Challenge: Intruders
I’ve found this challenge to be very inspiring. Not only that my fellow 10 for 10 challengers are turning out some kick-ass flash fic, but I seem to have gotten over my short story mental block. I felt like I absolutely couldn’t write a short story. The idea of deadlines and constraints did spur me on to come up with some stories that surprised me.
Here’s today’s story.
The boy slid down the banister of his majestic home, just as he had for so many years. He loved the scent of the wood and all of the wide-open rooms that allowed him free space for playing—tossing a football, running races; the place was so big he could even ride his bicycle around. Sure, he was lonely since his family had left him, but he could live with it. He thought of them a lot, though.
He remembered when the house sparkled with fresh paint and smelled of that lemon oil they used to polish the wood floors. But now, the grimy walls stood all alone and the furniture had transformed into linen-covered ghosts.
Lately, disturbing occurrences jangled his peace of mind. People came in at odd hours, banging around and piercing the dark with their torches. When that happened, he hid in a small room on the third floor. He did not want them to find him and take him off to some foster home. This was his home.
One night he was in the living room and before he could run away, he saw a flash of light in the driveway. A shiver of fear passed through him as he heard someone insert the key into the lock and rattle the doorknob. Since he didn’t have time to run, he cowered in a corner of the massive living room. He’d be fine, he told himself. People had tried to get him from time to time, but he’d been shrewd in avoiding them, like a feral cat that loved its freedom.
The invaders poured in through his front door. Terror overtook him as he watched them gather into a circle. He feared it was some kind of satanic cult, come to pollute his home. He smelled incense and heard chanting. “Exorcizámos te, ómnis immúnde spíritus.” But he cowered behind the old couch, afraid to raise his head.
Then he felt something very strange, a sensation of pressure that pulled on his skin and caused a loud noise in his ears. He started kicking and yelling, trying to fight the demonic force, but gradually the pull started to feel soothing and the din changed into the sound of the ocean.
A force sucked him down a long, dark tunnel, illuminated at the far end by a blazing light. A feeling of love so big he’d never known such a thing existed filled his body and mind. He let himself be pulled along now, until he ended up in an open expanse of perfectly manicured lawn that had flowers and pools and fountains.
Then he saw them, his parents. They looked young and healthy. And his little sister. His mom was the first to hug him. “You’ve gotten here at last. We’ve missed you so much.” An elation so strong he thought it would make him float, filled his being. When the others joined in, a whirling, illuminated vortex sucked them up into the pure light.
Many of the participants of this challenge are affiliated with the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University.
flash fiction, Seton Hill University, Writing Popular Fiction, Sally Bosco, 10 for 10 flash fiction, #FlashFic10for10