Sunday Story: The Vanishing

Click on image for original story

*Author’s Note: I wrote this short story over five years ago.  It’s dark.  It’s creepy.  It’s one of my secular, mainstream stories that I decided NOT to submit for publication now on Wattpad. 

 

Story Blurb:

Leesa, a mother and wife, contemplates on the undesirable state of her life…but one should be careful, you might just get what you wished for in the most unexpected of ways.

 

Shadows wavered in the expansive backyard as the woman peered through the round window in front of her.  The reflection within the twilight didn’t reveal a happy face.  The skin under her brown eyes, fixed on the deck that spread beneath the small set of panes, sagged with a purplish hue.  Premature wrinkles lined her eyes and mouth.  No, she definitely wasn’t a happy person.  Her hands mindlessly moved each dish from the stainless steel sink, rinsed under cool water, and then carefully placed in the racks of the dishwasher.  She then reached for the knife and grabbed the wrong end.

“Damn it!”  She recoiled and placed the bleeding finger into her mouth.

Nope, it’s been the week from hell, and this was just another reminder that it hasn’t end yet.

Voices drifted into the room from a nearby television.

“Here are our top news of the hour.” A male news anchor said. “State and Federal law officials are investigating multiple cases involving children who have gone missing in the past three days. In every cases, each child reported to have disappeared sometime between bedtime and morning…”

“Frank.” She turned her head towards the living room. “Please turn it to something else.”

“Yes, dear.” A man’s voice said.

A click sounded and a commercial about a brand of soda came on.  She went back to rinsing a coffee mug with the uninjured hand when the floor board creaked.  She turned and smiled at her four-year old daughter who stood, wearing a pink nightgown, at the entrance of the kitchen.

Renee.  The small child was the only source of joy in her otherwise joyless life.

“What’s the matter, Renee? Did you have a bad dream?”

The girl shook her head, locks of blonde curls waved over her petite shoulders. “No, mummy.”

Mother picked up a towel to dry her hands. “What’s wrong then?

“There’s a boogeyman in my room.”

Click here to read rest of the story on Wattpad…

 


 

 

I have two other short stories also on Wattpad.  These two have been previously published.

His world was ending. How will he choose to go out? (Click on image to read the story)

Four college-aged people are dead on an island. The killer? Unknown, but definitely not human. Anna Mae Hart and her partner are called to help with the investigation and things get bloody from there. (Click on image for story)

 

 

 

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Story Sunday: The Pocket Watch (Flash Fiction)

the-pocket-watch

 

Rob gripped the steering wheel as he watched a brown leaf roll across the gray hood. His haggard face covered with salt and pepper beard helped conceal the white scar across his right cheek. He stared ahead as he half-listened to the car radio.

“The President is expected to address the nation tonight for the final time.” The radio garbled. “Before leaving with his family to an undisclosed location.”

He leaned over and changed the stations.

“CDC still have no answers as to what is causing the flu-like pandemic, nor are they any closer to an effective vaccine or treatment…”

Another station.

“With the death toll skyrocketing across the country and hospitals completely overwhelmed with the sick, medical personnel are urging everyone to stay indoors in hope of slowing down the spread…”

Yet another.

“Ten more police officers gunned down by looters as they struggle to protect the civilians still in the downtown area…”

The radio went silent when Rob opened the door. He didn’t bother to close it as he staggered into the expansive cemetery. Shadows lurked everywhere yet his own moved with each faltered step. His shoulders slumped forward as he buried both hands deep in the pockets of the ragged trench coat.

He passed rows and rows of old and broken stones until he approached a mangled oak tree. He stooped over a particular headstone, half-buried in yellowed grass. He pulled his right hand out and pressed it on top of the cold stone.

Julie Lerne
Born March 3, 1972-Died November 12, 2010

Craig Lerne
Born April 15, 2008-Died November 10, 2010

He bowed his head, eyes closed. “Jules…three years, Jules.”

He stood still for several moments. A dark lock of hair fell over his left eye as his lips quivered. Rob then deliberately reached into the right pocket, and pulled out a pistol.

“I’m so tired of just surviving.” He mumbled as he shifted the weapon to his left and then back to the right hand. “Everyone’s gone.” He pressed the trigger back. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.” And raised the gun towards his temple.

He suddenly paused midway when the branches of the nearby tree swayed and creaked. A breeze swept over his thin body as his hazel eyes searched each and every stone.

“Jules?” His voice shook.

Everything grew still. Including the shadows.

Rob sucked in a trembling breath as he extended the free hand into the left pocket, and extracted a tarnished, gold-colored pocket watch. He used the thumb to flip the lid open.

“7:15.” He whispered.

He blinked several times. There was something engraved in the lid as he continued to stare at it.

Safe haven
79 S 30 W

A smile slowly spread across his lips. “Dad, you son of a b–” He chuckled as he snapped the lid shut, and dropped the watch back into the pocket.

Rob leaned against the headstone as he pushed the trigger back down.

“There’s something I need to do, Jules.” He muttered with excitement. “I’ll be back to…” His voice trailed off when he turned around.

Crack!

A piece of wood slammed against the side of his head, and he instantly slumped to the ground. As he lied in a heap, his eyes remained open.

They saw nothing.

A murky shadow moved across the earth and enveloped the body, and lifted the watch out of the pocket.

“Whatcha got, Jim?” A scrawny girl in a tattered dress appeared next to the corpse.

The male teen’s crooked smile revealed two missing front teeth as he grasped the ticking object in his grimy hand. “Lunch!”

 

(First published with Asylum Ink on April, 11th 2014)

Published! The Pocket Watch-Flash Fiction

Francisco-Goya-4  The Pocket Watch

Is there hope in a world that’s lost?

Several months ago, I decided to try my hands at writing flash fiction again (the first time I tried to I sucked big time).  It took me a while to condense this down to as  few  words as I could without abandoning the “showing” part and resort to “telling.”  What helped me this time?

Screenwriting.

That’s right.  I initially wrote this in a script format using only dialogues and action sequences.  When I went back to re-write it, I added the prose portion.   Then,  I submitted the story to Jason Gerringer from the Weary Writer site for his one-on-one workshop to critique it, and received some very helpful feedback.

The result is that I found a home for it and the story was published with Asylum Ink.

Have you ever used any non-traditional technique when writing a story?