Monday, May 29, 2006

In a Flash - Isolation

Here are two firsts: my first flash fiction and my first horror story.
So in less than 600 words here is my submission for Tastes of the Darkness:


"Don't do this," Jacob said. The knife on his throat was cold and sharp. "Don't do this," he said again. "Please."

There was silence. Jacob couldn't see his attacker but he could feel his thoughts. Another endless moment of rapid blinking passed and finally, "Why?"

"Why?" Jacob's surprise nearly drove the fear away but as soon as the knife dug deeper into his throat, it returned, full-blown. "Why? Because I want to live, that's why."

Silence. The wheels turned in the mind that belonged to the hand holding a knife. "I don't think so."

"What? What do you mean 'you don't think so'?"

"I don't think you want to live."

Jacob considered that for a moment. So this wasn't a random attack, someone thought this through. How did they get to him anyways? Wasn't he all alone here?

"I know what you're thinking," the man said, "and you're not wrong. I've been watching you for a while now. Just as I said, you don't want to live." The hand moved away, easing the pressure on his neck but Jacob knew it was misleading; it only moved to gain momentum before plunging the knife into his throat, slashing it.

"Wait," he nearly yelled. "Wait."

The hand stopped.


The knife rested back on his throat. Jacob was almost relieved to feel it again.

"Why do you think I don't want to live?"

A snort. "Obvious, don't you think?"

Jacob managed a slight shake of the head but stopped as the knife cut him somewhat. A trickle of warm blood started running down his throat. His mouth dried.

"Careful there. I thought you wanted to live," the voice sniggered. "See, any man who chooses to live away from civilization, basically shuns the living."

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2005
by ghostbones
"But it is only temporary. I just needed some time alone."

"And that 'some time alone' turned into how many months?"

Jacob's head would have slumped if it could. "Fourteen months, one week and two days," he said in a defeated voice. "I justÂ…" He closed his eyes. "Ever sinceÂ…" He swallowed carefully, feeling the blade as he did. "You knowÂ…"

"Oh, but I do know." The hand moved away again. "And that's why you want to die. I'm doing you a favour, really."

"But wait."

"Now what?"

"What if I promised to return to the land of the living? You know, go back to my home in the city, resume work and all that?" Jacob was scrambling, he knew, but hoped this would help nonetheless.

Silence. Knife back at his throat. Then, "I don't think so."

"Why? Why not?"

"I don't think you could do that anymore. You would be just as miserable if not more." Pause. "Come on, it's time you accepted this."

Jacob's heartbeat increased, his mind clambered for another way out. "Then what do you want?"

Jacob tried to count his quick breaths while waiting for the answer. When it came, it was final in its calm delivery. "I want you dead."

The hand pulled the knife again and Jacob followed it with his eyes.

No, he couldn't accept this. "But who are you? How did you find me? How did you get here?" Jacob asked in a final attempt, his breaths now quick and shallow.

The chuckle was followed by the quick slash of his throat.

As he fell to the floor, Jacob caught his distorted image on the metal side of his desk. His right hand was still holding the knife.

Death Screams
Uploaded on January 29, 2005
by ghostbones
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Benjamin Solah said...

Wow! You sure you've never written horror or flash fiction before? That was great. The twist made it perfect. This carnival is going to be a ripper. :D

Melly said...

My my, Benjamin. Blush.
Thanks :)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure about the flash, not so much about the horror because I was told before that I should write horror, that is to say that if I had written horror before, it wasn't intentional...

I'm really glad about this carnival, it sure is going to be exciting!

rdl said...

Wow Melly, creep and good. :D

Melly said...

Thanks rdl :)

Fred Charles said...

"I don't think you want to live."

That line really caught my attention. The whole premise was very suspenseful. Great job!

Melly said...

Why thank you, Fred.

As my first horror it was weird, because I didn't feel it was suspenseful when I edited it. But I guess I knew what was coming. I wonder if that's something horror writers always encounter.

Deborah said...

Yes, it is. The best part (and the most challenging part) about writing horror is devising twists and turns that will surprise the reader. Loved that twist at the end!

Melly said...

Deborah, thanks.
It's quite a challenging genre, it seems. I don't read much horror so I'm not that familiar with, but this was fun :)

jayne d'Arcy said...

This was very good. I'm sad the fellow didn't win.

Melly said...

Thanks Jayne. Very kind of you :)

Clublint said...

Woah nice twist at the end there.

That was a fantastic story and I can't believe you've not done this before.

Melly said...

You're too kind, clublint :)
I've written fiction, so I guess it's some practice...

Anthony J. Rapino said...

Wow, great story. And talk about a twist! As I read this one I was getting all these flashbacks of Hawthorne and Thoreau. Hawthorne's idea that no one can live away from society. Anywho, great stuff.


Melly said...

My, Tony. Thank you :)

cesarcarlos said...

Really cool story, Melly. Grabbed me and didn't let go. Nice pace and very good twist. Flash fict is so interesting, hard to move around it but when you find the way you can get very nice results. Well done :)

(adding u to my blog links ;))

Melly said...

Thanks, Cesar.
Thank you very much.
I will come see you soon and add you too :)

Forbidden Snowflake said...

That was extremely well done!

Melly said...

Thanks Forbidden Snowflake. Thank you very much :)

briliantdonkey said...

great post melly, intresting twist at the end that i didnt see coming at all. Mind if i add a link to my blog? My only suggestion, and keep in mind i am VERY new at this so i am not even sure if it is appropriate(if not i sincerely apologize) would be to tweak the wording of the last maybe,,,,,,,and saw the knife tumble out of his hand" instead of a whole new sentence. Other than that(and again i may be wayyyy off base about that part) it was awesome.


Melly said...

Briliantdonkey, or INKcogKNEEdough :)
On the contrary. I appreciate your comment quite a bit more for its honesty and thank you for taking this seriously.
Everybody here, I must say, were wooses!
Yes, everybody, I'm talking to you!
I'd much rather have it straight and believe a good praise much more when it is intermittened with criticism (cause it can't be that everybody liked it).
So thanks, you really put a smile to my face to start my weekend :)

Oh, and re link, of course I don't mind.

briliantdonkey said...

I guess it is true. Great minds think alike. That or maybe NOT so great minds(guilty your honor guilty) think alike. I am always flattered to get people telling me my writing is good on the rare occasion when it is at least. However, if EVERYONE has nothing to say but total praise i get a bit skeptical. Likewise, if the same person reads every single thing i write and never has a 'well thiss could be done better" comment or even a "dude i like a lot of your writing but that pretty much sucked." comment i get pretty skeptical then too.


Melly said...

Hear, Hear!