#FinishThatThought Week 37 : The Basement

I knew I shouldn’t have opened the basement door. But, I’d never been one for doing what I should. I’d always done what I shouldn’t. So, I opened the door.

And stared at a black hole. It was like someone made a three-dimensional painting of black, outlined in pale blue that flickered, fading in and out. “Cool!” I thought. “I wonder where the light switch is.” I reached into the black, feeling for the inevitable light switch on the wall. I couldn’t find it.

I couldn’t find the wall.

I pulled my pocket flashlight out, turned it on, and shined it into the black. It didn’t do a thing. The beam hit the surface of the black, and vanished.

I remembered what Diana said when I told her I was spending the night in the Thompson house. “You know. The haunted one.”

“You’re an idiot.” Yep. Her exact words.

“You know what happens to people who stay there. You’ve read about it in the newspapers. The ones that come out alive babble about the basement door being a gateway to another universe.”

“You don’t believe that crap, do you?” I’d laughed. “It’s probably just an urban legend.”

“Of course not. But, something happens to the people who stay there. Something strange. You know that.”

We argued about my plan for hours. Until she finally made me promise I wouldn’t open the basement door. “I promise. I won’t open the door. OK?” It was a lie. But it was what she wanted.


She didn’t need to know I was going to explore that basement. I didn’t tell her.

I stood there, staring into the blackest black I’d ever seen. I stuck my hand into it, and my hand vanished. I could still feel lit. I could move my fingers, wave, make a fist. My hand was fine, even though I couldn’t see it.

I stuck my arm in, up to the elbow, and watched it vanish. I moved closer, until the black was between my elbow and shoulder. I bent my arm, and poked my fingers back into the room. I laughed as I wiggled my fingers. “What the heck, why not?” And I stepped into the black.

And fell on my face, hard. Everything was black. My ribs hurt, and I’d probably broke my nose. “Jesus!” I shifted, on the ground, got to my knees and stood up. I couldn’t see a thing. It was that dark. I waved my hand in front of my nose, and couldn’t see it.

I couldn’t see my watch to check the time, and my phone didn’t work at all. It wouldn’t even light up. I tried to find my way out, but couldn’t. I had no water, no food. I wondered long it takes to starve to death?

I heard one thing, a while back. The only thing I’ve heard. Diana. “I told you not to open the basement door.”

490 Words

I wrote this for Week 37 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.


#FTF 10 : “BOOM!”

I was uncertain, though there was plenty to be certain about.

I looked around the kitchen, and pondered if its appearance resembled a room where a series of live hand grenades exploded in a redecorating effort. Or if it more resembled a painting by Salvador Dali, or Pablo Picasso.

I was certain the wife was gonna be pissed off. Hell, I was certain pissed off wasn’t nearly descriptive enough. Incensed? Outraged? Nope. I couldn’t think of anything descriptive enough.

I looked at the remains of the range, wondering what I’d done wrong. I’d followed the instructions in the cookbook. I even made a copy of the steps, and checked them off as I’d gone down the list. I’d read each step three times before I’d implemented it.

I stared at the bits of chicken stuck to the remaining bits of ceiling and walls, as I considered how well-engineered the house was. I’d never have expected drywall, fiberglass insulation, little bits of wire, and a bunch of two by fours to hold up to that kind of destructive force.

The firemen had all patted me on the shoulder as they left. Some laughed hysterically. Some just shook their heads. “You married?” I’d answered yes.

I was uncertain where I’d be sleeping that night. I was certain it would not be in my bed, or even in the house. She might let me sleep in the car. If I was lucky. I wondered if I should take my tent, and sleeping bag, and flee.

I was certain I’d tried. She’d asked me to try. “Cook something special for dinner.” That’s what she said. “There’s chicken breasts in the ‘fridge.” I’d found the recipe on the ‘Net. How to cook chicken and rice in the pressure cooker.

I was certain I’d followed the instructions.

I was clueless why the damn thing said, “BOOM!”, shook the entire house, and decided to redesign the kitchen. Although it was interesting to see the shards of pressure cooker embedded in the refrigerator. They looked like a word of abstract art, like you see on city streets these days. Where you wonder what drugs the artist was taking.

The firemen said it wasn’t my fault. The pressure release valve on the cooker had failed, and the unit had over-pressurized. They said the homeowners insurance would cover it. They wished me luck dealing with her when she got home.

I told them, “No pressure cooker is ever getting within 100 yards of my home again.”

After they left, I stood in the remains of the kitchen, staring at my cell phone. I was certain I should call her.

I was certain I didn’t want to.

446 Words

I wrote this for week 10 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought flash fiction challenge. It’s a fun challenge. Now, go read all the other entries in week 10.

#ThursThreads Week #78 – I’ll See You There, Darling

Diane signed the last of the paperwork, handing it to her lawyer. “That’s the last of it, Diane. You’re now free from him.”

Free from him, her former husband. All the work, the years, the time, gone, burned to the ground. He’d started an affair with that 30-year-old whore, who was still young enough to be pretty, without the baggage of a family, or the age 27 years of marriage puts on you.

Now, he had his whore. And she had a house full of memories to destroy. It would have been easy to sell the house, move somewhere and start over. But it was her house. She’d picked it. She’d picked the furniture, painted the walls, planted the flower beds, cooked in her kitchen, done the laundry in her utility room, and parked in her garage.

She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing she couldn’t live in it any more.

The first thing to do was get rid of the bed. The bed reminded her of the nights he’d slept with her. All the nights she’d let him explore her body. She called over her girlfriends. They helped her disassemble the thing, haul it downstairs, and out to the curb.

Good riddance, she thought. She’d hated what he’d become. What he’d done to her. “I hope you burn in hell!” she’d screamed at him when she found out about the 30-year-old bitch.

All he’d said in response was, “I’ll see you there, darling.”

249 Words (Per MS Word 2010)

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 78. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#MidWeekBluesBuster : Week 9 – I Think She Likes Me

The Three Musketeers, that’s what they called us. Steve, Greg and I went always went to lunch at the mall. I always picked up a cheeseburger, side salad and large Coke from McDonald’s. Steve always brought his lunch with him, and Greg picked a different fast food place every day.

On that Monday, we talked about the weekend. I took a chug from my Coke and Steve asked, “You go out with Lisa again?”

“Yeah. She had a movie she wanted to watch. Then she wanted something to eat.”

“You guys go out ever weekend, don’t you?” Greg just grinned as he asked that. “And during the week too, right?”

I shrugged, “Yeah.”

They laughed, but I didn’t know why. Steve asked another question, “How long have you known her?”

“We met in our freshman year.”

“Dude,” Greg was still grinning, “That’s like, eight years now!”

“We’re friends.”

Steve looked at Greg, and winked as he said, “They’re friends.”

Steve started laughing too, “She just bought a townhouse, didn’t she?”

I nodded.

It was Greg’s turn, “And she’s been shopping for house stuff, like a washer and dryer, a fridge, and furniture?”

I nodded again.

Then it was Steve’s turn, “And she takes you with her when she goes to shop for that stuff?”

I nodded again. My cheeseburger was almost finished. I took another chug of my Coke. “Yeah. The sales people are so funny. They always ask me if they can help me. I just point at her and tell them she’s the one shopping. They just nod their heads, smile, and then go help her.”

I didn’t know why the two of them were laughing. Greg continued, “She make you try on the sofa and the bed?”

“Try on?”

“Yeah, try on. Like you had to sit on the sofa, maybe even lie down on it? Stretch out on the bed? That kind of stuff?”

I nodded, stuffing a fork full of salad into my mouth, “Yeah. But I don’t know why. It’s her stuff.”

I thought the two of them were going to die of laughter. “And she won’t buy anything unless you like it too?” Steve was hinting at something, but I didn’t know what.

“Yeah. Strange thing, ain’t it? I don’t know why she does that.”

Greg poked Steve in the ribs, “She ask you to spend the night yet?”

I didn’t say anything, I just smiled.

“Oh, she did, didn’t she!” Steve’s grin looked really silly. “Like she wants you there every night?”

I had to think about that one a moment. “Yeah. I noticed that.” By that point the two of them were grinning, and looking silly. “She seems to ask me over to her house ever day.”

Steve laughed so hard he couldn’t talk, so Greg talked next, “And she wants to cuddle all the time? And maybe more than cuddle?”

I thought hard for a bit, “What are you guys asking?”

“Oh, nothing!” They both held their hands up at the same time, feigning innocence, “Nothing at all!”

Greg looked at Steve, “I think she likes him, that’s what I think.”

Steve looked at Greg, “Yep. I think she likes him, I really do.”

Greg winked at Steve, “Do you think he knows?”


“Of course she likes me. We’re friends!”

Greg shook his head, “I don’t know, man. I don’t know.”

Steve shook his head too, “Yeah, she likes you. If you know what I’m saying.”

“What are you saying?”

They both just grinned, “We think she likes you. That’s what we think.”

Greg shook his head, “He’ll be the last one to figure it out again, won’t he?”

“Yep. He will.”

Took me eight days. I thought about it, and thought about it. And I think she likes me. That’s what I think. I mean. I think she really likes me. You know.

What do I do now?

681 Words

Trying Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge again, and finding I had to cut oceans of words out of this one to get it under 700. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

#5SF : Empty

I looked into my own eyes in the mirror, and wondered. Married with a beautiful wife, and beautiful children. A nearly perfect job, with lots of vacation time, great medical benefits, and great pay. The house, and car, and all the things I’d always wanted. And yet, staring into my own eyes in that mirror, I couldn’t help but see how empty they looked to me.

Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Empty.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#VisDare 6 : Emerging

#VisDare 6 Prompt : Obscure

Leighla led me to a small house in a field, her voice echoing in my head, “We’re here.”

She walked to the door where a beam of light enveloped her. I heard a hissing sound, and a quiet shush, as the door of the house opened. Leighla stepped inside, and I heard her voice again, “Taran, come in.”

There was a bench along the north wall of the house, and an empty picture frame on the south wall. Leighla sat down, and indicated I should too. A beam of light from the edge of the picture frame shined into Leighla’s eyes. Shortly, the bare wall inside the picture frame turned into a hallway. A woman appeared,  walking down the hallway, toward the picture frame.

She had on a long skirt and a corset, and was carrying a lantern. She walked out of the frame, and into the room.

150 Words

This piece is the third in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. I like all of them.