• Gaudie Arts

Blood-chilling Flash Fiction by Murray Caldwell

by Murray Caldwell


Mummy’s home

‘Mummy, don’t go out there. Please.’

There’s a purple tug on my sleeve and I should turn. I won’t. I can’t look at my child. There’s a shadow, outside my door. Something wants in. You won’t have my baby!

‘Mummy; you’re scaring me. Don’t go.’

The thing outside is shuffling, squirming and sweating; I can feel its heat like it’s inside my skin. How dare you try to come into my home.

Tug two. ‘Mummy, pleeeass-’

‘Quiet, girl! It’ll hear you.’ I won’t let you get the drop on me, no; I see you, and I will not give in.

My hands feel slippery and wet against the smooth wood, and I pray I do not drop the bat. I cannot.

Taps against the glass. I will not drop the bat, I will not miss. I will protect what’s mine.

What mother wouldn’t?


Shelved

There is a man and a loft, and the sky is cold and grey. The sun is almost hidden, buried beneath the steel-cloud film.

He types on a computer, and the weak rays don’t quite reach him. The keys clatter, and he mutters. The sounds end. He grunts. A key is mashed. A pause is taken


burst of speed, frenzied rhythm of clacking and clicking,

like insects chattering in the night. Satisfaction low in the rolling,

mumbling tongue.

He lounges back and the ink-leather chair whines. The large shelf behind is stuffed. Books, every colour and creed. Neat, and complete. Full. Filled.

He drums his fingers, brown soldiers marching on the desk. They leave tiny treads of sweat. They linger on the oak skin, and dry up.

The sun’s digits find the shelf. There is a jaggedness to the dust upon its wooden peel. Light at the front. Like once there was space for something else.

The man stretches his sweating fingers, and coughs. A few more motes lay like sugar on the shelf, evening out what the sun has seen.

He coughs again, and it comes from deep in the lungs.

The key clacks resume, and the sun surrenders to the grey cloud.

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