Flash Fiction: Coming Home

As part of my course, I have been developing my writing skills, in particular, we have been looking at short fiction. The following is my first attempt at crafting a piece of Horror flash-fiction capped at 500 words.

Coming Home by D.S.Coremans

Shock and surprise adorned the face of the dead man who lay in the hallway. His head lay inches from the door, the once cream carpet held his blood like a sponge, seeping under the doormat, impossible to walk around. Wide eyes and mouth open his surprise was understandable. The husband of the woman whose house he’d tried to rob was 87, I doubt he expected to be overpowered.

Yet another emotion was on his face, one that I couldn’t identify.

As I entered the living room the frail-looking woman sat where I’d left her only moments before. Her hands bloody they clung together, a cloth handkerchief clutched in between them. She didn’t notice me enter the room, her eyes were glazed, not with shock, but as if she were dreaming.

“When is your husband due back Mrs Allison?”

Her eyes met mine, but she stared right through me.

“Mrs Allison? You’re husband Geordie…” she cut me off, eyes suddenly focused and sharp.

“Only I call him that. Call him George.”

“I’m sorry Mrs Allison. When are you expecting George home?”

Her eyes darted to the mantle, then once again glazed over. Those bloodied hands wrung together like the hands of Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan.

“Shut that door son, your letting all the heat out.”

I did as she asked. As I turned to look at her, she once again faced the mantle. As I followed the gaze of her eyes, I saw the urn sitting in the centre. The inscription, embossed onto the surface was simple and bold ‘George Allison’.

Beside the urn, the mantle held photographs of the woman with her family, her husband and pictures of their son, the son who looked so similar to his mother.

“Mrs Allison, the man who broke into your house, did you recognise him?”

“I’ve never seen him in all my puff. He came barging in so he did, but Geordie got him so he did.” Her hands wrung faster, a silent tear trickled from the corner of her eye.

I returned to the hallway.

He lay there still, in a t-shirt, jeans and socks. One shoe already lay next to the shoe rack, the other he still wore.

The look on his face was one of surprise and shock…compared to all of the pictures of his smiling, happy face which adorned the walls, and on the mantle that his father’s ashes lay in, I finally recognised that emotion that I could not place. Sadness.

She stood behind me now.

“Who are you? What are you doing in my house?”

The blood on the knife she held was dry. Her arm swung in a wide arc, ferocity replacing frailty. I saw the fresh blood on the blade. Felt blood ooze into my shirt as the carpet underneath me had earlier filled with her son’s blood. The same carpet my knees now came to rest on.

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