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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Flash Fiction Contest, Week 4 Winner!

I am pleased to announce the winner of Week 4 of the Tales of Whoa/Potato Chip Math Flash Fiction Contest!

The prompt was the following:

"I have a secret.  No one in the world knows it but me.  And if I tell you, you have to promise never to tell another soul."

This week was this creepy little tale, by KBR:

"I have a secret. No one in the world knows it but me. And if I tell you, you have to promise never to tell another soul." Simon awoke with a violent start. That voice again. Stone cold, but somehow he was sure it was a child’s voice. It never varied, and never came when he was awake. It wasn’t natural.

Something inside him had changed: he didn’t know quite what, but since the girl started to contact him in his dreams, he knew something had changed. He didn’t think he was mad. He had no family to confirm it, but he didn’t need that. His boss had noticed a problem – he didn’t shave as often as he should, and his shirts were that bit more crumpled than is acceptable – but didn’t seem to consider him mad. By this stage though, he was mad: he believed he was being contacted by a demon.

It had started about 3 months ago, that dark utterance. She didn’t come every night – some nights he’d tried to stay awake to avoid it, but lapsed into a comatose state. Other nights he’d become outrageously drunk – both stopped it, that night.

She would never continue though; never tell him her secret. Tonight, enough was enough.

Without turning on the light, for this was a journey he’d made many times since the voice first invaded his dreams, he trudged across his bedroom to the en-suite. The chill of the floor tiles marked his arrival. This was when he’d normally take two steps to his left and reach into the medicine cabinet for some sleeping pills. But they wouldn’t fix it this time, he sensed. He knew what had to be done.

He stepped towards his toilet; reaching behind the old cistern he pulled out a padded envelope. Inside was the answer. It was so clear now. He’d put this day off, but there really was no alternative. He HAD to know her secret. From the envelope he extracted his answer: so fucking obvious now he studied it. He stuck it in his mouth, and pulled the trigger.

Meanwhile in the adjoining flat, separated from Simon’s body only by a plasterboard wall, Sarah lay wide awake. She’d heard the bang, but had been awake anyway. Even after 3 months in her parents’ new house she was unable to sleep consistently. She was afraid, as she was most nights, but this time there was a noise that seemed worse than anything before. Even her infant mind could sense the damning finality in that bang, which was followed by what sounded like a heavy sack hitting the floor. It was extremely unsettling. She turned to the only comfort she had that could assist in her quest for sleep: her doll. She pulled the frayed drawstring on its dirty fabric back, and sighed, comforted, as it whispered conspiratorially its only programmed message: "I have a secret. No one in the world knows it but me..." Sarah, finally, slept well that night.


Thanks to all who participated!

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