Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge

Well, folks, it's been some time since I've participated in one of Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenges, and I've really missed them. I love stretching my twisted mind muscles and putting my little bit of insanity out here for you to peruse. It's what makes a writer satisfied. Plus, he's giving away one of his awesome books to the 10 stories he likes the most, which sweetens the pot.

So I cracked my knuckles, spit on the floor, and cranked out this fun little story with a smile on my face the entire time.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did creating it. Here goes...



AN UNEXPECTED GUEST



Trudging through snow up to his knees, he felt the cold in his bones. The snow swirled and howled around him. He fought against it, leaning into it. Guessing he had walked about a mile, Trevor squinted to see if he could make out anything in front of him.

Nothing.

He moved on.

Fresh out of college with a business degree, he took the only job offered him in six months – a traveling salesman. It didn’t matter that he never sold anything in his life. What did matter was his rent was due, and the water would be cut off any day now.

This was how he came to be in this predicament. Stuck in some backwards county town where there were hardly any road signs, no cell phone reception, and there hadn’t been a gas station since lunchtime.

The blizzard hit hard and fast, leaving his car immobile. He figured if he started walking he would surely come upon a house sooner rather than later.

Trevor’s hands and feet were beyond cold, and had grown numb. He bent his shoe more than needed and could not feel anything below his ankle. Flexing his hands he noticed they barely moved. Fear crept up his spine and the reality of dying in this godforsaken land was propelling him forward.

The faint outline of a building came into view between the bursts of snow. Ducking his head in his coat he walked toward it.

It was a house, an old house that was in need of some repairs. His eyes watered in the frigid wind and he blinked to clear his vision. There was a soft glow of light coming through one of the windows as he climbed the steps to the porch.

Thank goodness, he thought, it looks like someone’s here.

His hand wouldn’t form a fist to knock, so he pounded on the door with his palm instead.

After what seemed like forever, but was probably only a minute or two, the door slowly opened. An elderly woman with white hair piled on top of her head and a pair of thick glasses that magnified her eyes, gave him a welcoming smile and ushered him in quickly.

“Hello, ma’am,” said Trevor, nodding his head and rubbed his hands together. “Thank you for letting me in. My car is stuck in the storm and your house is the first one I’ve seen.”

She still smiled brightly at him, her hands clasped in front of her.

“Do you have a phone I could use?” he asked.

“Oh my, no. We’ve never had a use for one of those,” she said cheerfully. As she spoke, an old man sauntered up behind her. He was wearing the same thick glasses and his few wispy strands of hair combed across his lumpy head swayed as he walked.

“Are you hungry? I’ve just made some meatloaf. Come sit down and eat,” she said.

The lady guided him into a small kitchen and pointed to a chair. The old man stood in the doorway, watching him with a strange expression on his face. Trevor could see four large pans of meatloaf and thought she must be freezing it for the winter.

After a hearty supper, the couple insisted on him staying the night to wait out the storm. Seeing no other real option, he agreed.

Walking down the hall, a high whistling noise came from behind a shut door. Trevor saw there was light peeking out from the bottom. As they passed, the woman barked, “Be quiet!” It became silent.

The couple showed him to a room a few doors down.

Smiling, the lady said, “There’s some of my husband’s old clothes hanging in the closet, and a few books on the nightstand. Sleep well.”

There was something unsettling about this place. The sooner he was out of here, the better.

Lying in bed, he heard the same whistling noise. He quietly walked to the door and cracked it to see what it was. The old man was carrying a tray packed full of food to the door where the noise had come from earlier. From his angle he could only see the light from the open door and the man go into it. The noises became louder, and the floor shook briefly with a loud thumping. A few minutes later the man reappeared. He carried the empty tray back toward the kitchen.

Getting back in the bed, sleep came slowly.

It was dark in the room when Trevor woke to a sharp pain in his feet. His eyes adjusted and he could see movement at the foot of the bed.

He reached over and flipped the switch on the bedside lamp.

A squeal broke the silence.

Trevor saw a quick flash of movement followed by a thud as something hit the floor. Whipping back the sheets, he jumped up, his bloody feet smearing the floor. A tail was squeezing under the door.

He ran into the hall in time to see it disappearing under the same door the noise had come from.

Curiosity trumped better judgment and Trevor ran to it, busting in.

He was horrified to find a huge creature in the floor. There were many smaller ones crawling all over it. Shrieks filled the room as they took notice of him and lifted their small heads. He could see they had red glowing eyes and mouths full of teeth.

“Our daughter, she’s always hungry.”

Trevor turned to see the old couple standing behind him, their eyes glowing red, smiles plastered on their faces. 

The large creature roared. Trevor turned back to the slithering mass.

His body fell forward as he was pushed from behind. Landing on the belly of the beast, the smaller ones fell upon him first.

They shut the door and his screams gargled away.


11 comments:

  1. That was creepy as hell! Great story and well written too.

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  2. Thanks! Creepy as hell is just what I was going for! You have made my day. :)

    Thank you for stopping by, Julia. I hope to put more flash fiction up here again.

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  3. That was unpleasant, but in a good way. I liked it, though I don't often go for scary stuff

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  4. LOL. Loved it. Very fun, if you have a dark sense of humor--which apparently I must.

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  5. Hello, Snellopy! I'm glad I could appeal to someone whose not much into horror. I believe that's flattering. :)

    Hello, Crystal! I hadn't thought about employing a dark sense of humor with this story, but I like it! Now if I can do this on purpose... Lol!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. soooo eerie!
    great job, amber =)

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  7. Very nice Amber. You have a great touch of Lovecraft about your writing. Always a good thing. :-)

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  8. Hey Tara! Thank you for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

    Hey Phil! Thank you for hopping over and reading my story. :) And, Wow, I am in awe of your Lovecraft reference. What an amazing compliment! Thank you so much!

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  9. Oh, wow!

    What a spooky read. Thank you, btw, for the nightmares.

    Well done, Amber!

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  10. Oooh . . the "high whistling," that's what got me! Scary stuff!

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  11. Hey Bryce! You're very welcome for those nightmares. ;) It's nice for others to see what madness swirls in my grey matter. Thanks for the compliments!

    Hey CM! Yeah, I can hear, see, smell, feel everything when I write. I only hope I can convey it like I experience it. Isn't that every writer's goal? :) Glad you enjoyed!

    Thank you both for stopping by!

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