>With nothing more to offer you (except for complaining about the constant struggle for publication), I thought I’d drop in with a couple of Flash Fiction offerings for you to peruse. Hope you enjoy them.
No sound came from a nearby street; no rumble of traffic or sound of feet. Not even a distant horn or passing aeroplane. No light. No steady amber streetlamp glow or pulsing blue (and I wished for that, and prayed and begged). No smells of civilisation wafted down the vent; it was too high and small to see through but I’d sit under it and sniff sniff sniff for the sweet scent of kebab or exhaust fumes. Anything that smelled like life and freedom. But I smelled leek and potato, and the broth he made from them; then it was all I tasted. No sound, but what he made. I never heard a single footstep that wasn’t his in the kitchen above. But I heard birdsong, and the crunch of leaves (always him with his thumping march, preceded or followed by the bang of a screen door I never saw).
So when he said I’d never be found, I believed him.
Not Before Bed
I’m outside your bedroom door.
Go take a look if you like. It will only take a second.
Nothing? But as soon as it clicks to the jamb, I’m there. Stood in the darkness, my toes curling in your carpet, my body tense with anticipation, inches from your door.
As you change, as you turn out the light. I’m there. As you slide down into your linen cocoon, I’m there. I’m patient. I can wait.
I press my serrated ear to the wood panelling. I can hear you breathe. I listen as you turn over, shifting your drowsy weight into that familiar position. It’s familiar to me too.
Your breathing slows.
I’ve listened to you for a long time, I know when you’re asleep. And when you are, I slip inside.
You are fascinating to me, you creatures that sleep. Slumber on sweet dreamer. I lay on your chest and breathe in your scent. Oh, you sleep on your side? I like that better. Then I can squirm up behind you, fold myself to match your form. Sometimes you feel my breath on your neck, or my delicate fingernails as they brush your hair. But you won’t wake. I won’t let you.
I lay beside you and sing soft nightmares in your ear. I know when you’re dreaming, I can smell it. When you mumble in your sleep, I’m the one who answers. When perspiration prickles from your tormented dreams, I’m the one who licks the brine from your skin. And when you open your eyes, and can’t move, it’s the fear of me that freezes you. It’s the fear of me that halts the voice in your fragile throat.
Lucky for you, I’m not hungry. Not tonight.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!