I’ll readily admit to never being the biggest fan of flash fiction, at least when it comes to writing it. Far too often I find word count restriction doesn’t gel well with the associated prompt. And almost as often I find the end results being a well-meaning, but ultimately missed attempt at recreating “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn” (a bit of flash fiction attributed to Hemingway, though no substantial proof of this exists). And I think the issue lies in the concise nature of the “baby shoes” piece being mistaken for ambiguity.
The following was originally published on r/WritingPrompts. The prompt (by u/talkingdolphin) was, “A short scary story, but no adjectives.”
Whisper in the Dark
It was November of 1955. The children were playing hide and seek at the city dump.
A boy, Thomas, thought to hide in a refrigerator resting atop a pile of cans and bottles. He slid inside, hearing a click as the door closed.
Minutes passed. He heard all his friends giggling and laughing as Patty Nelson snuck up behind them and gave them a fright. But she couldn’t find Thomas. No, Sir. Because he refused to hide behind boxes and trash piles like the others.
After a minute or so, he stopped hearing the laughter and the giggles. Instead he heard a voice calling out to him. Except this voice wasn’t Patty or Eric or anyone of his friends. No, this voice was right here in the dark with him. And it whispered in his ear, telling him how he’d never ever be found by Patty Nelson, or anyone else. No matter how much he screamed.