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Flash Fiction: “A Castle of Souls”

June 2, 2014 Leave a comment

My feet pad silently on floors of unforgiving stone, the tread of each step having worn smooth a circuit around the small room. I have long since stopped searching the walls with arms outstretched, seeking an opening, some small crevice with which to cling to in this claustrophobic darkness. Sadly, I find nothing. The clammy walls pitter-patter with rivulets of dampness, the air thick and suffocating.

One more step. Then another. The number of my footfalls have been lost to the ages. I reach out wasted fingers to brush the passing wall, nails dig into the divets packed tight with mortar. On and on hunting, searching, seeking out an end to that monotony of wet stone. Trace them up, trace them down. Nothing. Nothing.

Am I back at the beginning again? Was there ever a beginning?

I pause. I can’t breathe.

Confined within these walls my body continues it’s relentless search. In this abyss, my soul seeks out its unrequited salvation. Freedom comes only at the gentle touch of cold, wet stone on flesh, again and again.

One more step. Then another. The number of my footfalls have been lost to the ages.

(Word Count: 194)

Flash Fiction – “The Little Death”

May 21, 2014 5 comments

“Sleep, those little slices of death – how I loathe them.” – Edgar Allen Poe

Time seemed to stand still. No one can see your desperation in the dark, when sleep never comes. Being locked in here, not in this building, or in this room, but in this mind… it’s a wonder I’m still alive. The snoring beside me breaks the silence, as does giggling from the hallway and the faint sounds of the oldies station on the radio. You would think this late they’d have turned that crap off, listening to Elvis again is enough to make a person want to slit their wrists. Ok, well, again.

I must have counted the ceiling tiles a hundred times. The number doesn’t matter, I’m sure I’ll forget and start all over again. Rolling over I glance out the room’s only window lit by a single glaring orange street light. They can’t see me, the passing cars, the wandering drug dealer or the random prostitute. Oh no. Couldn’t afford the nice place across uptown, I had to end up here.

It’s been six days since I’ve slept. Even longer since I last dreamed. Dreams don’t have a place here, behind these walls. They won’t let me go home until I sleep, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take. I can’t relive what happens in the darkness behind my eyelids. Nobody needs to see the things that I see. The night brings the unspeakable, the undefinable, the unknowable, clawing at the inside of my skull, screaming to get out. Digging at my skin to find some kind of release, to tear away what traps this evil inside me, all I found was blood and tears. That’s how I ended up here.

They won’t let me go home until I sleep, but nothing they try will overcome my will to survive. What waits in the night can’t get me, as long as I don’t close my eyes. They don’t understand, and how could they, ignorance being bliss and all? If they could see the things I see, they would break out their scalpels and slice their lives away as well.

I’m not afraid of dying, it would be a welcome release from what lurks beyond mere human perception. True terror isn’t death. What you can’t see is far more terrifying than anything that you can. I can hear them, scratching and scrambling behind my eyes, and I know that one day they’ll find an exit, a way to crawl out from behind flesh and bone. Death of the body is nothing. Consumption of the soul, of everything that makes us human – now that is true horror.

The first rays of dawn cut a dagger across the far wall, and I’ve survived another night. They’ll bring me another chemical cocktail in the hopes of bringing the little death, but it won’t work. I have to be stronger than the pills. Stronger than the voices. My strength will keep me from that oblivion that waits for me when the lights go out.

It’s been seven days since I’ve slept. Even longer since I last dreamed. Dreams don’t have a place here, behind these walls. All that exists for me here is my own extinction, when the night comes that sleep takes me, and drags my soul to hell.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

(555 words)

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