Gillian Church posts Writing Prompts every week and I like to take part with a few snippets and pieces of flash fiction.
I’ll never forgive myself for what I did this last Christmas. Are you sure you want to hear the story?
“You don’t know what it’s like!” Mum wailed from across the basement. She was still holding the crowbar; in the dim light I could see flacks of rust being swamped by the dripping blood. “The moaning…the screaming!”
I sat in a crumbled heap on the floor, my hands wrapped rightly around my knee as blood seeped through my fingers. Roger lay across from me, sprawled out on the dirty stone floor with his gaping, vacant eyes staring lifelessly at me.
“It gets worse every year!” she insisted, her eyes bulging behind her straggly, bloodstained hair. “The demands, the scratching…oh God, the scratching! And…and then, one day, they came calling…”
I turned my head slightly, following Mum’s gaze, and immediately regretted it; corpses, skeletal and ripped to ribbons, were piled in the far corner of the basement. Flies buzzed all around them and hollow, black skulls screamed back at me. So that’s what that smell was, I thought incoherently.
“They just wanted to spread the Lord’s word…they had no idea…” Mum continued; she lowered the crowbar, but her grip remained so tight that he knuckles turned bone white. “I invited them in, sat them down right where you had been sitting…we had cookies, lemonade, and I could hear him shuffling around down here and I just snapped…!”
As if on cue, a shambling figure lurched out of the darkness; the thing that my father had become dragged itself across the floor on limbs malformed into rudimentary stumps. His face was a dropping, gaping wail, his eyes glistening with an impossible darkness, and I turned away with a whimper as he clamped rotten, jagged teeth down on Roger’s neck.
“You see!” Mum cried. “You see what it’s like! You try listening to that every goddamn day!”
The crunch of flesh, sinew, and bone was sickening; bile boiling up from my gullet and exploded from my mouth. My shambling wretch of a father glared at me as is jaw worked ravenously, viscera dripping down his cracked and leather-like lips.
“I’m not proud of it, sweetie,” Mum said softly, stepping closer. “But I can’t take another second…”
Dad’s warped form heaved in my direction. Mum loomed over me, crowbar raised, her woolly Christmas jumped splattered with Roger’s blood, and I consoled myself that at least I wouldn’t have to hear that nightmarish chewing anymore…
What did you think to this week’s writing prompt? Did you submit anything for it? Have you ever written any flash fiction before? I’d love to know what you think to my snippets and writing prompts, so feel free to sign up and let me know what you think below or leave a comment on my Instagram page. You can also follow Gillian Church to take part in her Weekly Writing Prompt challenge.