Helen’s Prison

Image courtesy Bryan Finoki, subtopia.blogspot.com

This is an excerpt from a book I have not completed, yet: Dark Clouds. It’s a contemporary paranormal horror fantasy with a love story and a coming-of-age story mixed in. Or it will be. Some of my earlier posts — “Magic Love,” “Teri and the River” and “The Graveyard” — will eventually become part of a complete book , which I sometimes fantasize about being the first book in a series called The Witch’s Son.

This very short story originally appeared on my own blog as an entry in a flash fiction competition. The challenge was to write a story in under 200 words. Now that I don’t have that restriction anymore, I’ve added a few more words to clarify the situation.

Shadows crept across the wall, then slithered across the floor. Their teeth reflected the orange sunlight that slanted through the dirty, narrow window.

Matt slumped on the floor, back against the wall. How long he had been in the cell, he couldn’t say. His mouth was dry, his throat burned and his bladder ached. The window was the only opening in the concrete-block wall. There wasn’t even a door, but Matt knew how he had been put in the cell, and who had put him there.

He watched a shadow slide onto his thigh. It grinned at him. Its fangs tore wide rents through his jeans.

The shadow laughed, a sickening hiss. Its fellows joined it in shredding Matt’s pants. The lead shadow laughed again and sank its teeth into his skin.

Matt sighed and shook his head. Won’t she ever learn? he thought.

The shadows’ teeth did nothing to him. How could they? They’re just shadows.

All the shadows hissed, frustrated. They merged and faded into the gloom of the doorless cell. A new shadow appeared on the floor and grew into a tall woman, dressed in black except for a tiny silver tiara.

“So you are immune,” she said.

“Hello, Mom. Do you have anything to drink?”

“Wipe that smirk off your face…you’re no good to me here. And you are my son.” A door appeared in the concrete-block wall and swung open slowly.

“You’re letting me go?”

It was Helen’s turn to smirk as she faded back into shadow.

The last of the sunlight disappeared. Matt crawled out the door just as it, the bars on the window and the whole cell itself faded away.

Leave a comment if you liked “Helen’s Prison.” If you want to read the first chapter of Dark Clouds, “The Mandrake Ruse,” visit my blog.


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