What Hunger Does | Microfiction

The noodles writhe in the bowl like worms. Jeb blinks at them repeatedly, wondering if it’s his eyes playing tricks on him.

“Hunger does funny things to our brains,” mutters the old woman from her armchair. “Eat up, lad. It’s delicious.”

It was hunger that had driven him towards the cottage. Hunger which had forced his knuckles to rap on the front door. Hunger which had made him ask for some scraps. Hunger had which pushed him into the home of a stranger despite his gut squeezing and churning in objection.

Jeb smiles at the old woman, who eagerly shovels noodles from her own bowl into her mouth.

Hunger had already done some daft things. Not much of a surprise, then, that it could make a benign bowl of noodles wriggle like a mound of worms…

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Where Monsters Lurk | Short Story

The monster leers at me with dull, sunken eyes, its mouth agape and spittle smeared across its chin.

Its grey skin is plagued with more yellowing warts than unusual. Its long hair is lanker, greasier, and more dishevelled. I’m sure its hooked nose is more crooked than I’ve ever seen it before.

It’s the last thing I want to look at first thing in a morning, but it can’t be avoided. It took up residence in my bedroom years ago; it’s almost part of the furniture.

I turn away, sick to my stomach, and retrieve my day’s outfit from the wardrobe. Black trousers. Loose grey t-shirt. Black, fine-knit cardigan. Black ankle boots. As close as I can get to an invisibility cloak.

I run a brush through my hair and that’s that — I’m ready. I don’t bother with makeup. Couldn’t bear it.

In the bathroom, I brush my teeth while avoiding eye contact with the monster that lurks in there. It’s a little smaller than the one in the bedroom and easier to ignore if I concentrate hard enough.

There have been times when curiosity has got the better of me and I’ve snatched a glance at it. The shortest of glimpses of its repulsive flesh under the harsh bathroom spotlights — its skin pale and thin enough that I can see the blood pulsing through the veins beneath it — is enough to make me retch…

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Soup | Microfiction

“The soup’s too thin!” the head chef squawked, over and over until the junior chef thought she could take it no more.

She’d done her best. She’d tried to reduce it. She’d tried adding cornflour. She’d tried dolloping in cream. And still the meat soup didn’t live up to the head chef’s standards. Continue reading “Soup | Microfiction”

Distressed | Flash Fiction

Bonnie and her mother both gasped as they entered Ragz N Bonez Clothing, but for very different reasons. Bonnie was overjoyed. Her mother was repulsed.

Bonnie threw her mother a warning glance – a look that said, “Don’t show me up” – before prancing to the nearest rail of clothes. She trailed her hand over the garments as though they had been spun from threads of gold. Continue reading “Distressed | Flash Fiction”

Biting Back

A man wakes with a start and finds himself wet from the waist down. He tries to take in his surroundings. He’s half submerged in a white, milky liquid, and all he can see around him is metal.

He tries to move his arms, but he can’t. He looks down and realises he’s been tethered with rope. He’s attached to a metal pole which is digging uncomfortably into his back.

“You’ll pay. We tried to warn you.” He hears the voice, but he doesn’t know where it comes from. Continue reading “Biting Back”

Schnitzel

“So, we’ve tenderized the meat, we’ve smothered it in a delicious coating of egg, flour, and breadcrumbs – seasoned to perfection, I might add – so what’s next?”

The audience remained quiet. The chef waited a few moments to allow them to marinate in their own silence, hoping they would realise how disrespectful they were being. Continue reading “Schnitzel”

Stage Fright

Three hours I’ve waited in line. This better be worth it. Best attraction in London, they said. Get there early to beat the queues, they said. I was here at 9am on the dot and I still had to join the line three streets away from the theatre. It must be good if it’s this popular, but these days it’s hard to know what’s genuinely good and what’s just hype. Group of kids hanging around earlier were talking about waiting in the line just to see what the fuss was all about. Had no idea what they were even queuing for. Idiots. Continue reading “Stage Fright”

Vial

Members of the queue shuffled from one foot to the other, stretching out their backs and necks now and again to relieve aching muscles and weary joints. Ripples of movement passed through the line which snaked out of the doctor’s practice, down the street, and around two corners. It was only getting longer, but those who joined the back were well aware that by now, their waiting could be in vain. Continue reading “Vial”

The Vampire

“You’re the only one who will not judge me when I tell you this story.”

“Oo, now I’m intrigued. Does it have anything to do with the date you went on last night?”

“Yep.” Faye bit her lip and wondered whether sharing the tale would do her any favours. But she’d already mentioned it now; if she didn’t spill all, Dan would only pester her and pester her until she cracked. Continue reading “The Vampire”

The Intern: Part 4

“Floor 3 today?”

RAPL’s receptionist looked up into Claire’s face with the same look that she would give had she stepped in something brown and noxious. Claire was different today. Her meek, mouse-like appearance had given way to self-confidence. Her chin was raised, and there was not a hint of a stutter in her voice. And that didn’t do at all. Continue reading “The Intern: Part 4”