Flash Fiction – Gothic-ish

From Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge-57.



A few minutes is all I need. When all the lights go out, I go in, fix the alarm, go around the rooms, put new dreams in their heads with a drop of the drug on their tongues. It hides the mind from what’s waiting for deep sleep.
I never let it get that far.
Never again will this place do what it did to my family.
We found what we thought was a beautiful old house in a state of total disrepair. Fixed it. And suffered torment every night, not knowing what it meant or where it came from.
It’s the house. It’s sentient. This old house traps the living as it once trapped us, but I learned how to get around the things that hide in the walls, that slip out of the walls between the jambs and from under the floorboards.
It’s simple, in a way.
All I have to do is stop my breath for 90 seconds, stop my heartbeat for a moment, just a few beats. The lure of imminent death is compelling to the many-pronged mind within the fake-fronted Gothic style house.
It gathers above my head, waiting to dive in, to dig out the memories of a life lived. That’s the trick. Once I feel it on my skin, I press the self-medicating patch on my neck. If that’s not enough, I press the one on my belly. If I fail with these and fall from the psychic weight of their attention, there’s one on my back and one behind my ear, stuck with glue under the scarf.
The drug is fast. High-risk. I could overdose. That doesn’t matter.
Once that thing touches me, feels the pull of a near-death and sticks those tendrils under my skin — done! The drug fuzzes the contact, but won’t let it loose. It’s stoned. Big-time. A heavy dose of this drug blocks logic, desire, memory. Over time, memory becomes less and less. Not mine, I’m a high-functioning addict now.
This may be the last time I have to do it, or it may be the time I go too far. Whatever happens, it will be less.
And if I fail, if I die, my will has instructions for legal action against the current owner of the house. They won’t know I’m saving them, but they have to get out.
I don’t know how deep the foundations are, or how many mind-tendrils remain. I can only trap one at a time. Hundreds roil in my body, separated from my mind by constant use of the drug.
I’m going in. Pray for me.

That’s a bit of off-the-cuff practice … now I really should go back to work. And I did try for 250 words, but, but, but … yeah, it’s nearly double that word count. *shrug*

7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction – Gothic-ish

  1. Oh wow. The narrator of this macabre tale appears to me to be totally mad. I wonder if he or she is a resident in a mental hospital, or what they used to call an “insane asylum.” Compellingly told!

    Liked by 1 person

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