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Posts tagged ‘flash fiction’

Short Tuesday: The Dare

This was the first story I wrote for May’s Story a Day challenge. And I think the shortest.


I cared what she thought, so when she dared me I knew I was in trouble. “This isn’t smart,” I said, looking from her out into the darkness.

“Come on,” she said and slipped her hand into mine. “It will be fine. Fun even.”

She tugged on my hand, but I hesitated. It wouldn’t be fine. I knew that. It might be fun, but I knew it would never be fine.

“We shouldn’t do this.”

“Come on,” she said again. With a little less humor this time. And more irritation. “No one will even know we’re gone. Have some fun. You don’t always have to do the smart thing.”

But, I did. Sometimes it seemed I was the only one left who did. And someone had to.

Her hand slipped from mine and slid up my arm. “Come on. I promise you’ll have a good time.”

I knew I would go. Just as I knew everything would not be fine after tonight, I knew I couldn’t resist her. And she knew it too. She danced away from me. And I followed her. Out into the darkness. Down to the water where I knew both of our lives would be changed forever. Nothing I did would stop up. I could postpone it, but nothing would change the ways things were to be. So, I went with it. And she was right. I did have fun.

Short Tuesday: Here Then Gone

It had just been here, and now we couldn’t find it. I looked around me then out to the woods beyond. Then, over at my cousin. “I saw it go down, didn’t you?”

He nodded. “Right here. Your shot took it clean. It should be here. But, there’s no sign of it. No blood or anything.”

I sighed. Maybe the deer I had shot had gone off into those woods. But my cousin was right. There should have been at least a trail of blood to follow. I had seen it go down under my arrow as well. “Come on. We need that meat. We’ll have to go in after it.”

I could feel his hesitation though and turned to face him. And he shook his head. “I’m not going in there. Haven’t you heard the stories?”

“You know I have. I’ve told you some of them.” I turned back toward those woods, supposedly haunted, and away from him. “But, I don’t have a chance. Ma’s counting on me. If I don’t bring that meat home, we won’t have anything to eat. And the little ones need to eat.”

I knew he didn’t follow me as I started for those trees. His family wasn’t as desperate as mine. His father was still home, so he didn’t have to provide for his family when he wasn’t even a man yet. We were the same age, but by circumstance, I had to be older, to act older. I wasn’t bitter about it. It just was what it was. I took another arrow from the quiver on my back and held my bow ready for when I came across the animal. Not only did we need the meat, but I couldn’t afford to lose one of the arrows I had crafted myself.

I took another step deeper into the woods and heard the crunch of a foot on dead leaves and sticks to my left. I turned, bringing my bow up to aim at whoever it was. I wouldn’t let anyone get between me and my family’s next meal. But, there was no one there.

Then, another crunch. This one closer and behind me. Could it be the monster reported to live here? They said you wouldn’t see him until he was right on you. I shook my head. I didn’t believe in monsters anymore. At least not the ones that lived under the beds and in our nightmares. I turned again and still nothing. Letting out the breath I’d been holding, I started forward again.

Short Tuesday: Saying Good-bye

Another starting sentence prompt for this one. And once again, I had no idea where this one was going to take me. Seems to be the case with these. I had set a timer for 15 minutes, but ended up going longer than that.


Something brushed up against my foot. I jumped , nearly out of my skin, before settling back down. I swung my flashlight across the floor, the beam spearing through the darkness. And laughed when the light reflected off my cat’s eyes. MEOW.

“Yeah, meow,” I muttered. “Thanks a lot for scaring a few years off my life, Lara.”

I let out a breath and moved the light back to the boxes I had been looking through. Why hadn’t I just done this during the day? Then the sun would have been streaming through the window in the attic. Instead I just had my small flashlight and the light cast off from the moon.

I knew the answer to that though. I had not wanted to face this. And I had used all of my emotional energy the day before. Saying good-bye could never be easy. No matter the state of the relationship. Now, I had to go through all of his things and sort out what was to be saved, sold, or tossed. Going through the things he had accumulated in his life away from me was almost more of a task than I wanted to take on. But, I was the only one here to do it.

Mom had barely stayed through the funeral. I knew it was too much for her. She had never stopped loving him, no matter how much she said she couldn’t stand him. But, I saw her every time she dropped us off for our weekends with him. There was still feelings for him in her heart, and they weren’t just hate. No, she had not been able to move on from him even though he had left her, and us, nearly twenty years before.

I had always thought my baby brother the lucky one. He didn’t have the memories of dad my sister and I did. He still went on the weekends, but Dad was distant then. He only took us because it was his obligation to. There was no more closeness between us. And he was deployed with the Army now, so couldn’t make it. My sister was gone, off on some business trip somewhere. So, it was all left to me.

I had to force back a choked sob and turned back to the boxes. The sooner I got this finished, the sooner I could get out of this place. The place my father had made a home with his second family. And when his wife and son had died, it was said he had lost all his will to live. It sounded romantic, but I knew the truth. It wasn’t a broken heart that had killed him. It was the cancer that had eaten away at him. I felt a tear track down my cheek at that. We hadn’t been told about it until too late. Too late to help, too late to say good-bye.

I looked in the first box and the shock dried my eyes. Right on the top lay a picture of me in a frame. A picture from my graduation. I didn’t think he had even come to it. If he had, he had not stayed long enough to congratulate me or anything. Had just sent a check in a card a week later. I felt something take over me and dug feverishly though the box. There was a photo album under the frame, and as I flipped through it, I was taken back through my childhood. I stopped on the last pages. All my awards from school were displayed there.

I didn’t feel the tears now, but saw them as they dropped onto the plastic covered pages. Had he really cared? I shook my head. No, this didn’t mean anything. Collecting pictures and pieces of paper didn’t mean anything. He had never been there. That was what had mattered. Then, with shaking hand, I pulled out the last item from the box. The tears turned to sobs as I realized all the pictures I had drawn for him, all the stories I had given him, he had turned into a book. Spiral bound and laminated. He had taken more care with this than he ever had with our hearts.

I felt something brush against my foot again. But, this time I didn’t jump. Instead I scooped up the cat and accepted her offer of feline comfort.

Writing Wednesday: ROWing Right Along

I’ve been rolling right along for the last week. I have started making out a to-do list every morning. I don’t always expect to cross everything off, but it’s the things I would like to get done. If I don’t finish them that day, then I just roll them over to the next day. They are really just my weekly goals broken down into even smaller chunks. It has helped me to see what I need to do to accomplish my goals though. And it helps keep me on track.

Read through Chapter 22 of Guarding the Heart and mark sections to be changed(added to/cut/reworked)
I finished this on Tuesday. There are some scenes where most of the text is now highlighted red and others where there is almost nothing. I know I have a lot of changes to make, but I still think the story at the core of it is strong. I’m hoping to be able to start rewrites next week.

Be through the steps of Snowflake Method
I finished step 6 on Monday. There are more, but I usually skip them. Well, I do step 8 but my own modified version of it(which is my next goal in this list).

Start figuring out timeline for Slow Revenge and planning scenes
I started this on Tuesday. Got two chapters put into the Storybook program. This helps me see the actual timeline of the story and not try to cram it all into a couple weeks(did that with a story I wrote last year).

Write at least 1 more flash fiction piece
Wrote 2 more. The first one was a continuation of the last couple I had written, “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” and “A Ham Sandwich“. I didn’t realize that until I had started writing. The other one was another prompt from Writing Fix.

Keep up to date with blog
Got an excerpt from some of my writing on 750words.com for Random Thursday. And a post on how my kids are Growing Up too fast on Friday. On Monday, I posted about Busting My Stash of yarn and yesterday I got one of the flash fiction pieces up. So doing good with this.

Keep up with replying to blog comments
This was up to date as of last Thursday I think. I know I have a couple more comments now that I need to reply to though.

Finish reading Plot & Structure
I finished this last Wednesday, I think.

Be 50% through Yseult
I actually finished this on Monday. Got really into it towards the end and kept picking it back up after setting it down. Tuesday I started reading Sin by Shaun Allan. I’m 13% into it and currently withholding judgment. It’s in first person and I may have mentioned before that I struggle with reading(and writing) that viewpoint. Not sure what it is. And the character in this one rambles, so I’m having trouble with following that. But, I like to give books until at least the 25% mark, so I’ll wait until then to decide whether to keep going or not.

So, I’ve made pretty good progress on my goals over the last week. By next week, I want to:

Be finished reading through Guarding the Heart(by 4/30)
Start rewrites
Have through at least chapter 12 of Slow Revenge put into Storybook
Write at least 1 more flash fiction piece
Keep up to date with blog posts and comments
Be 50% through Sin(or have chosen a different one to read)

How has everyone else been doing this last week?

Short Tuesday: Stranger at the Door

I did not realize until I was in the middle of this one that it was pretty much a continuation of the last two pieces I wrote. That’s the way most of my flash fiction goes. I’m not exactly sure which direction it’s headed until I’m in the middle of it.


A stranger was knocking at the door. I had just come out from putting the baby down for a nap. Afraid the barking of the dog would wake her, I hurried to the door. I opened the door after quieting the animal and stepping in front of her. There was still a screen between me and the man standing on my porch. But, even I knew it would offer little protection if he harbored any ill intent. When he continued to stand there without saying a word, my heart rate began to pick up. What was he doing here? Why would he not speak?

“What can I do for you?” I finally asked.

“I am sorry to have to bring this news to you,” he said, and pulled something out of his pocket. As he turned it, I saw it was his police department identification. Instantly, dread settled in my stomach.

“What news?” I asked, feeling as if the words were trying to choke me. “Is it Frank?”

This strange man nodded. “Yes. I am sorry to inform you that your husband is dead.”

I saw his lips move but I no longer heard his words. I could not hear anything through the thoughts swarming in my head. No, it could not be true. He could not be dead. I had just kissed him good-bye before he left for work that morning. Only hours had passed. How could he be dead?

I did not realize I had fallen to my knees until I felt the pup beside me, nudging my shoulder. I shook my head and looked up at this man who had just destroyed my world. “No,” I whispered. Then again, stronger this time. “No. It cannot be true.”

But, the look in his eyes told me it was. “What happened? How could this happen? Are you sure it’s him?” I knew the questions rolled out one after the other, without giving him a chance to answer, but I could not stop them.

The man held a hand out to me to help me to my feet. “We’re sure, Ma’am. I’m so sorry.”

“What happened?”

“There was a robbery down at the corner deli. He must have been getting some lunch.”

I felt myself nod although it felt like it was someone else answering him. Someone who was numb to the pain I was feeling. “He was running late this morning. He didn’t pack his lunch.”

“The robbers were running out of the store when we arrived.” He paused for a moment then and didn’t seem to be able to continue. “I’m sorry for your loss, Ma’am.”

My sobs choked me, and I could not ask the question in my mind. Did anyone survive? But, I didn’t need the answer. I didn’t care. I couldn’t care. Frank was dead. What else mattered? I felt the man leave my side and looked up at him again.

He seemed to want to make his escape now that he had delivered his news, but was not sure how to. “I need to get back. Once again though, I am sorry for your loss.”

Those words, how I hated them. They meant so little and so much at the same time. And I would hear them more times than I could count over the coming days. And each time, whether meant sincerely or just said in passing, they would dig their claws into my heart.

Short Tuesday: A Ham Sandwich

This is another response to L.S. Engler’s Closing Line Challenge. The prompt for this week was “All I wanted was a ham sandwich.” This is kind of a spin off from the piece I wrote last week. Same situation, but from the first person point of view.


All I wanted was a ham sandwich. That’s why I had walked down here on my break. I knew I didn’t have much more time than it would take to walk to this corner store and back. I had gotten my sandwich and headed to the counter to pay for it when I heard the commotion. Two men stood at the front of the store. With guns pointed at the cashier. I dropped back behind a shelf, but they had already seen me.

I heard one of the men coming for me. My heart raced, and I wished I had listened to my wife. Wish I would have just made my lunch at home and brought it to work with me. Now, would I ever even see her again? Would my little girl ever reach her arms for me to pick her up again?

“Get down on the floor.”

I didn’t even look at the man who had given the order, just did as I was told. Then, I felt my face slammed into the floor. “Keep your eyes on the floor.”

I could feel the blood draining out of my nose and onto the floor. I felt something sticky by my hand, and hoped it was just a spilled drink. I didn’t even want to think about what else I might be laying in. I heard the same order repeated as the man moved around the store, subduing the other customers. I heard one man resisting the order. And flinched at the sound of the gunshot. From the cashier’s hysterical screams, I was sure they had not shot up into the ceiling.

I knew I couldn’t fight back against these men. Not if I ever wanted to see my wife and daughter again. The one person who had stood up to them now lay dying, if he wasn’t already dead. I said a quick prayer for him and that help would come for us before it was too late. Maybe I would make it out of here.

But, damn it. All I wanted was a ham sandwich.

Flash Fiction Tuesday: Late Train

This is one that I wasn’t too happy with the ending. I thought a couple times about taking out the last paragraph. Think it might be stronger without it. I’ll take any comments about that because I’m still not sure about it.


The train was late today, and it was always early. I stood at the station waiting for the telltale puff of smoke from the engine. I took my timepiece out of my pocket and glanced at it again. Fifteen minutes past when the train was due. I would give it another five, but I was sure something had happened. As soon as those five minutes were up and there was still no sign of the approaching train, I strode back toward my office.

A man stopped me before I could reach my destination. “Sheriff, where’s the train? It shoulda been here by now.”

“I know, Jim. I’m on my way to see what’s holding it up. Just need to let Deputy Fetz know what’s up.”

“Do you need someone to ride with you? I can close up the shop.”

I shook my head. “No, it’s fine. It may be nothing. I just need to check it out. Go on back to your store.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, Jim, I’m sure. Go on now.”

I waited until I saw the man cross the street to his store again before finishing my walk to the office where my deputy waited. He glanced up at me when I stepped inside. “I didn’t hear the train come into the station.”

“It didn’t,” I told him. “I’m going to go see if I can find the hold up. I shouldn’t be gone long.”

“All right, Sheriff. I can hold things down until you get back.”

“I know,” I said as I grabbed my saddlebags from behind the desk. “Like I said, I shouldn’t be gone long. Hopefully be back by morning.”

I rode out of town, following the train tracks in the direction the train should have come from. I started to grow worried as I rode and saw no sign of the delayed train. When I did see smoke in the distance, I knew something was wrong. It was not the puffs of smoke from a working engine, but a dark column rising into the sky.

I already had a feeling of what had happened, so I was cautious as I rode closer. When the train came into sight, I pulled my horse up and just stared at the wreckage. The tracks had been dynamited. And by the way the front of the engine was mangled, it had been timed so the dynamite had been thrown or placed on the track just as train came to that point. The engineer would not have been able to stop the engine in time to avoid the blast. The explosion had thrown the rest of the train off the tracks. I was not sure anyone could have survived that crash. And from where I observed the scene, I could not see any sign that I was wrong.

With a heaviness in my chest, I urged my horse forward toward the scene of destruction. But, he stopped just a few yards from the tracks, snorting and pawing at the earth. I knew he could smell the blood and death surrounding the train, and it made him anxious. I patted the animal’s neck to calm him then slid down from the saddle. “It’s all right, boy. I’ll take it from here.”

I pulled out my pistol as I headed for the train, in case any of the ones responsible for this were still around. I stepped into the first passenger car and did not see any sign of life. Bodies lay thrown against the wall and into the aisle, but by all appearances, none moved or even breathed. Still, I checked each for even the slightest sign they may have survived.

When I passed through that first car and back outside, I had to take a moment to gather myself again. I sucked in the fresh air to try to cleanse the smell of death from my nostrils. I knew I had to go on, but I was not sure I could take any more of this. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door to the next car. And what I saw nearly brought me to my knees.

I knew all of them. Each and every last person in the car was someone in my life. How could they all be dead? I made my way through the car, my horror growing as I went. At the end of the car, I did drop to my knees. In front of the woman who had been my wife, who had left just the year before when my drinking got out of control. Then, her eyes opened and stared directly into mine. “It’s your fault. This is all your fault.” Then, the darkness opened up and swallowed me.

I woke up in my own bed, my head pounding from the last night of drinking and the taste of stale alcohol and vomit in my mouth. Obviously someone was trying to tell me something. My life had become a train wreck, and I had hurt all the people that mattered, and probably even some that didn’t. It was my fault, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t change it. I got out of bed and going into the kitchen, dumped the rest of the bottle of whiskey down the drain. I would get cleaned up, for good this time, and get this train back on the tracks.

Flash Fiction Tuesday: Broken Window

This is a pretty short one, less than 500 words.


Someone must have broken the window. That seemed rather obvious to me as I stood on the porch. There was a large hole through the bottom of the window and glass scattered over the porch. I hadn’t looked inside yet, but I was sure I would find more glass and possibly the means of breaking the window.

I grabbed the doorknob, which wouldn’t turn. So why was the door locked, when it wasn’t even closed all the way? I wondered about that as I swung it open and stepped through, one hand on the weapon at my side.

As I had expected, glass lay on the floor just inside the window, but there was no sign of what had shattered it. “I’m Officer Durand with the Foxport Police. We got a call about a disturbance at this address.”

I waited for an answer but none came after a moment. I knew I needed to clear the house before I could call in to report though even if it appeared no one was here. I drew my gun out just in case. An eerie feeling settled over me as I walked further into the house. Nothing was out of place as I checked each room on the first floor though. But something just felt off to me. I hesitated before starting up to the second floor. There was a basement as well, but I decided to save that for last. I would only check it out if needed.

I started up the steps and felt that eeriness weigh even heavier on my shoulders. Was I actually alone here? I was not so sure now. But, when I found nothing on the second floor, I knew I would have to face that basement again.

I knew the dispatcher did not know of my history with this house. If fact there were only a select few I worked with who did. And barely more than that outside of the department. As I looked down into the darkness of the basement, I forced my mind away from the memories of the last time I had been down here. Away from the hours of terror, the pain, the death. I flipped on the switch I knew was at the top of the steps before starting down.

I drew out my weapon as I neared the bottom of the stairs, something alerting me to another presence in the house. Before I had fully stepped onto the floor though I felt cold steel pressed against the back of my neck.

“I hoped they would send you.”

I knew that voice. It had lived in my nightmares for nearly two decades. And now it was back. The monster from my childhood. “So, you’re finally going to kill me too.” I let him take my gun. As if I had another choice. “It’s about time.”

Writing Wednesday: Meeting Goals

Well, I have not met all the goals I wanted to by today, but I have managed most of them. Of course, I’m usually better at that during the first half of the week than the second. Not entirely sure why that is. I do have to say though, that I like having my big goals broken down into smaller chunks. I find it easier to keep up with them by stating what I want to have done by the next check-in. It seems to be more manageable that way.

  • Finish Step 5 of the Snowflake Method: Worked on this Monday & Tuesday and got it done. The purpose of this step is to write descriptions of the character’s, but I adapted this to writing the character’s back story from their own point of view. It really seems to help me get into their heads, and I learn even more about them.
  • Finish & Edit a flash fiction piece: Done this morning! Well, the writing part. It came in at just under 900 words so I don’t have to worry about word count. So, I’ll do a pass through for any glaring spelling/grammar mistakes, but otherwise I’ll consider it done. Not too sure I’m happy with the ending, but I’m usually not.
  • Post a flash fiction piece on Tuesday: Did this as well! I scheduled it on Monday so I couldn’t chicken out and “forget” to do it. Putting my work out there really makes me anxious and with an avoidant personality, when things make me anxious I tend to do whatever I can to avoid them, even conveniently forgetting I was going to. But, I did it and got a pretty good response to it. This was another one I wasn’t completely happy with the ending. But, it went over better than I thought it would.
  • Start reading Plot & Structure: Read the Introduction this morning.
  • Be halfway through The Search: Still not quite there. On Chapter 12 out of 31. Was wondering why it’s taking me so long, and it’s not a problem with the book but that between the writing, social media, and knitting, as well as taking care of 2 kids(who have been sick with some stomach thing for almost a week now), I haven’t been making the time to read. So, I need to figure out my schedule better to fit in more time for my reading. I have at least 10 minutes a day when I’m waiting for my daughter’s bus to come(I like to go down early just in case it is early). So if I take my book down with me(if it’s not raining or snowing) then that’s at least 10 minutes a day I can read.
  • Have my Knitting Monday & check-in posts done & up on time: Done & done(as soon as I get this one finished that is).
  • Comment on at least 2 blogs: Commented on 3! And replied to one comment on my Sunday post. I also posted to Twitter on Tuesday that wasn’t a blog post!
  • Publish Facebook page: Still haven’t done this one yet. Not exactly sure what’s holding me back here.
  • Workout Monday & Tuesday: Kind of accomplished this one. Didn’t work out on Monday. Kept daughter home from school since she threw up Sunday night, and that messes up my routine(usually work out after she gets on the bus). But, I did work out on Tuesday and again this morning. So, I still got two workouts in so far this week which is really what this goal was about.

I really don’t think 7/9 goals met is all that bad. Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the week.

Goals for Sunday:

  • Have step 6 of Snowflake Method(expand each paragraph from step 4 into own page) at least started.
  • Read one chapter of Plot & Structure
  • Get through Chapter 15 of The Search
  • Have a Family Friday post up on time.
  • Comment on at least 2 more blogs
  • Publish Facebook Page
  • Workout Friday & Saturday

Price of a Dare

Have not posted any flash fiction for a while, but also haven’t written any since the Fall since I was concentrating on my novel instead. Now, that I’m in the “planning one WIP while letting another rest” stage, I’ve picked the flash fiction back up. This one is a little different than what I normally write.


The door slammed behind him. “Is-is someone there?” Brian asked, jumping at the sound.

Only silence answered him though. Brian took a deep breath before taking another step into the darkness of the house. What was he doing here anyway? A dare? And a drunken one at that. “This is stupid,” he muttered, but switched on his flashlight and kept moving.

The silence followed him through the house. And he started to think it must have just been the wind that had slammed the door. Or one of his buddies. Wouldn’t surprise him if they tried to scare him. “Bunch of idiots.” Of course, he was one of them. Had been from the day they met at freshman orientation. He had been the outsider then, the only one not from within a twenty-five mile radius of the school. It was hard to believe that had only been three years earlier, and now they were as close as four brothers could be.

No one had lived in this house in over a decade. At least no one who breathed and had a beating heart, according to the locals. Brian had never been one to believe ghost stories. Not since his father had deemed him old enough to stop believing in ‘fanciful bullcrap’ anyway. And he had always just wanted to please his parents, especially his father. Maybe if he had tried harder, his father would have been willing to spend more time with them.

Brian shook off those thoughts. He did not need to believe in ghosts and demons. He had enough of them dwelling in his heart. He shouldn’t have even let himself be reeled in by this bet. If he hadn’t been drinking while his buddies were telling ghost stories, he never would have done it. But, when he insisted there was no such thing as ghosts, one of the guys had set down the challenge. After all, if they did not exist, he wouldn’t be afraid to enter the house. He could not turn down the challenge. He knew he would never live it down.

Sober now though, it did not seem like such a good idea. “Get over it, Brian,” he ordered himself. “There’s nothing here anyway. Get through the house and you’ll prove it to them.”

A floorboard above his head creaked, and he could have sworn his heart stopped for a second. When it started again, he had to take a few deep breaths before he could calm his racing heart into a steady rhythm again. It was an old house. Old houses had creaky floorboards. But, he would check it out to satisfy his friends and prove to them there was no such thing as a haunted house.

He started up the steps and for the first time since entering the house, felt fear. But, not his own. It was like a physical force weighing him down as he climbed toward the second floor. As he was about to step onto the landing, he heard a high-pitched scream that chilled his skin. “Wind must have picked up out there,” he told himself, even though it sounded too human to be the wind. Apparently the weatherman had missed the storm blowing in. “Better get this over with and home before it gets here.”

He flashed his light down the hallway in both directions. He did not see anything, but heard a moaning coming from behind a door at the end of the hallway. Wind must really be picking up now. He headed toward the door, his grip tightening on the flashlight as that weight of fear increased. “Just relax,” he ordered himself. “There’s nothing in there. Check it out, so you can tell the guys they’re a bunch of nutcases for believing this crap.”

Brian grabbed the doorknob and started to turn it. But, when he went to push open the door, it would not budge. What the hell? The knob turned, so it wasn’t locked. The sounds from the room intensified the harder he tried to open the door until they sounded like they were crashing together in his head. Was there actually someone in there?

He put all of his strength behind one last attempt to open the door, and it swung open as if there had never been a problem. He had not been expecting the sudden give of the door and staggered as it opened, dropping the flashlight in the process. The beam of light went out as it hit the floor. Brian swore and dropped to his knees to feel around in the darkness for the flashlight. His hand closed around it, and he hit it against his hand to jar the light back on.

As the beam of light cut through the darkness, he saw a rope hanging down in the middle of the room. A scream ripped out of him as he realized a man hung from the other end of the rope. Then, before his eyes, the man disappeared and Brian felt the scratch of a rope as it tightened around his neck.

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