Thursday, November 8, 2012

#writing: It Was Nothing (short story)

When I read that Karen Wojcik Berner was looking for flash fiction horror to be published on her blog--Bibliophilic Blather--through the month of October I was inspired. So I grabbed my pen and set to work. 
I submitted my story. And Karen... And Karen published it on Friday, October 12th.  
Karen has over twenty-five years of experience as a writer/editor. And when she uses her considerable skill to help you polish your work it's like... well, it's like being pampered at your favourite spa. Thank you, Karen. 



It Was Nothing
by Leanne Dyck


In pink flannel footie pajamas, Petal crept onto her mother’s bed, eased back the covers, and curled up. 

Click. 

The lamplight cut the darkness. 

“What’s the matter, Honey,” her mother asked.

“I want to… I want to sleep with you.”

“Oh, Petal, we’ve been over and over this. You’re a big girl. You have your own room.”

“No, I can’t. It’s under my bed.”

“I’m sure there’s nothing there, but I’ll go with you, and we’ll look.”

Armed with a flashlight, together Petal and her mother entered her bedroom. 

No, we shouldn’t be here. No, don’t wake it. Please. Petal prayed silently as her mother scanned the area under her bed.

The beam of light hit something. It moved. 

“It’s there. It’s right there.” Petal covered her eyes.

“See, it’s nothing.” Her mother held something in her cupped hand. Petal stared at the dust bunny.

Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.

“What’s that?” Petal wrapped her arms around her mother’s leg.

The flashlight’s beam fell on the window. “See. It’s nothing—just a tree branch.” Her mother frowned. “Now, please, it’s late. We both need to get to sleep. Don’t wake me again.” 

Reluctantly, Petal crawled into her bed. 

Her mother left the door open a crack. “Remember, it’s nothing. Just your imagination playing tricks on you.” 

Clutching her teddy bear, Petal laid her head on her pillow, pulled the covers up to her chin, and forced her eyes shut. It’s nothing. It’s nothing.

Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.

"Mommy says, you’re just a tree branch. But you sound so close. Like you’re under my bed."

“I’m going to get you.” 

"Mommy says, you’re nothing—just my imagination. But I can hear you breathing, talking, waiting."

A furry, brown arm reached out from under the bed.

The next morning, Petal’s mother called, “It’s time to wake up. We have to hurry.” 

Walking into the bedroom, she flicked on the light. Petal wasn’t asleep on her bed. She wasn’t in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, or outside playing on the lawn. She was gone. 

Barely breathing, she desperately returned to the bedroom, hoping and praying, but all the mother saw was the abandoned teddy bear. Her face wet with tears, she cradled the toy in her arms. “But it was nothing.”
***
From my email inbox...


This November, Canada Writes (in association with the Canada Council for the Arts and The Massey Lectures) is looking for your Close Encounters with Science. And we’ve got $1,000 to give away to the best story!

The Close Encounters with Science writing competition opens on Friday, November 2 at 12 pm ET. Deadline is Tuesday, November 20 at 12 pm ET.




***
Work in progress
Look to your right. Scroll down to Work in Progress. Yes, right there. You noticed it--The Sweater Curse:   a novel. It's in a reader's hands while I take a rest. 
And while I wait...what?
I have a short story collection, one novella and two sequels singing sweetly to me. They're all attractive--and I don't know who to dance with. So, I'm going to do what I usually do. Wait until one yells, "Write me!"
Until then I'm developing a marketing plan.
I hear you...
You:  "What? Now? But you don't even have a book yet?"
Ah, yes, but when I do have one I want to be ready.
I'll write about marketing in a future post. Look for that. : )
***
Next post:  Please welcome Knitwear Designer/Writer Fiona Ellis

2 comments:

Laurie Buchanan said...

Hula burgers, that was great!

Author Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thank you, Laurie