Hey book reading people,
I entered the NYC Midnight 500-word Flash Fiction contest, and though I didn’t win, I wanted to share my entries (Got through the first round and into the second round, at least!). Each one is 500 words or less, and I think they’re fairly good. Enjoy!
Dee Summers squished through the mucky spring mire as he approached the derelict and mold-choked mansion. It was a small wonder that he hadn’t lost his boots yet, but the night was young. His father’s fishing lures clinked on his hat, a reminder that he was here to find his Pa. The mansion before him, astride the great Hidden Valley Lake, was a relic from a time when menwere free. Now it was swollen and sucking all the houses lining it into the inky black.
The front entrance was hidden under a large red banner, emblazoned with the logo of the cult. Pushing open the door, it whispered as fungi and greenery dragged against the floor. Dee raised his gun, gripping the flashlight tight against it. Nothing moved in the dark, but he smelled it. The fishy reek of cult. Stepping inside, he cast the light around. Movement towards the back of the musty great hall caught his eye.
Then his light went dim. If it went out, he was dead. Of course, it did just that. Feeling the pounding of his heart, he was wondering if it was that he was hearing, or the approaching flap of fins.
He scrambled to find the batteries in his hip pouch, they should be right next to his shotgun shells. His wife had reminded him several times to take them, and he hadn’t listened. Then he heard the definitive, blubbery slap of a fin, somewhere in the dark vault of this overgrown sarcophagus.
Splashing. Somewhere to his right. Shallow claps of water, indicating that at least some of the house was flooded. The lake had begun to take this monstrosity as well.
Burbling and gurgling, and a stench like moldering meat. Dee cursed under his breath, thinking he was likely to feel clammy hands on his arms within seconds. He found the cold cylinders of the batteries, just as he heard a gasping moan from his right.
He unscrewed the flashlight’s battery compartment, and shook until the old batteries flew out, plopping in the ankle-high water. He dropped the two new batteries in, and juked to the left. He couldn’t see, and plunged into ice cold water where the floor had given way. The breath was knocked out of him, and he was in even darker blackness.
Pressing the button on the flashlight, he saw he was floating in huge basement of the house, murky blue all around him. Feeling the hat on his head, he remembered his Father’s lesson about fish and how they loved a sparkly lure. He shone the flashlight on himself, bouncing the light around his head.
Sure enough, he felt the water around him deform as something dove in next to him. In the light, he saw a terrible, semi-human face appear before him. Scaley, with gaping dark eyes and fins rippling on the side of it’s neck. There was enough of a mustache left on its lips for him to recognize his Father.
“Hey Dad.” He said, raising his gun to the thing and pulling the trigger.