Monthly Archives: May 2013

The One That Got Away – Flash fiction

So…here’s The One That Got Away

This is my offering for this weeks Blog Hop flash fiction challenge (see Leanne Sype’s original post –

The 5 must-use words were butter, evil, wardrobe, rescue, ballroom. Here’s the picture courtesy of Flikr Commons:

The One That Got Away

‘You be a good girl while I’m gone won’t you, poppet?’
He stroked her cheek with his nasty fingers and she fought the urge to recoil from his touch. If her hands were free, she would have scrubbed at her skin to get rid of the lingering vileness but the ropes held her wrists tightly. Instead she held her breath to block out the smell of his foulness and nodded.
A grin split his face, hideous teeth jutting out like sunken tombstones.
‘That’s right. See, it’s better when we love each other isn’t it?’
His hot breath smelt of stale whiskey and decay. She wanted to be sick but forced herself to smile sweetly into his twisted evil face instead. As if butter wouldn’t melt, her mum always said. Mum. The thought made her throat close up. No. She mustn’t cry. Not in front of him. Not ever.
‘I’ll try not to be away too long, poppet. You’ll be good won’t you?’
She nodded. Anything to get him out of the house. Anything to give her time.
As soon as the  key turned in the lock she started on the knot again. Wriggling, twisting, picking. One free hand; that’s all she needed. Come on. COME ON!
She wrestled with the rope until she was drenched with sweat and on the verge of giving up in despair. Just as she abandoned all hope of escape, she felt the knot give. Not daring to breathe, she made her hand as small as possible and pulled. Inch by inch her hand slipped between the coils until the rope released its hold.
With trembling fingers, she worked to free her other hand. Within a moment or two, she was on her feet and rubbing her wrists to get the feeling back.
She tried the door and window. Both locked. She was still a prisoner inside four bleak walls.
The room was empty apart from the bed, a chair and an old wardrobe. She ran to it and flung open the doors. Empty. Of course it was. He had taken everything. Her clothes. Her shoes. She was never meant to leave so why would she need them again? She looked down at the ancient nightdress he had made her wear. She hated it like she hated him. But better freedom like this than no freedom at all.
Grabbing the chair, she swung at the window. A crack jittered across the glass but the chair bounced back into the room. Strong with desperation she swang again. This time there was a crash and the pane shattered.
Clambering out onto the ledge, a shard of glass caught her leg and drew blood. She ignored it and kept going. A drainpipe ran down the wall an armslength away. She made a wild grab for it and half fell, half slid to the ground.
Trees reached for her with their gnarled branches she ran blindly along the path like Cinderella from the ballroom. Somewhere behind her a twig snapped.


Contains Strychnine – a flash fiction story

‘Right… This is my offering for the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. Thanks to Leanne Sype for recommending :-)! See Leanne’s blog for more info…

Hope you all enjoy it!


Contains Strychnine

The librarian peered at me over the top of her reading glasses.
‘And what would you be wanting a book about something like that for, young man?’
The fluttering in my belly started again. Maybe she knew. No, that was silly. How could she know? How could she possibly know?
The old woman was still waiting for an answer. And smiling. It was a grandmother kind of smile. At least I think it was. I’d only ever seen photos of mine so I couldn’t be sure.
The librarian waved her hand in front of my eyes and laughed.
‘Sorry. What?’
‘The book. What do you want it for?’
I shrugged and tried to look casual.
‘Just a school project. It’s for chemistry.’
She nodded.
‘OK. I think I can help you. Let’s see what we can find.’
We wandered down the aisles between walls of books. The librarian read the signs under her breath until we reached Science. She stopped and pointed to the fifth shelf.
‘No wonder you couldn’t see them. We keep them out of the reach of inquisitive schoolboys.’
She winked. That made me feel even worse about lying to her.
‘Now, what exactly are you looking for? We’ve got an A to Z of Poisonous Plants, How to Rid your Garden of Rats, Moles and Other Pests, or The Encyclopedia of Toxicology.’
I chose the encyclopedia.
‘It’s an adult book so you won’t be able to take it home, you know.’
I nodded. I didn’t bother telling her I’d never be going home anyway.
She left me to it and I lugged the book to a desk. I flicked through the pages until I reached S. Sarin. Sodium cyanide.
Strychnine. That’s what the box of pesticide said. Contains Strychnine.
I read the list of symptoms. Muscle spasms. Convulsions. I learned that death came eventually either from asphyxiation, whatever that was, or exhaustion from the convulsions. The end would come about two or three hours after exposure to the toxin.
My skin turned ice-cold and I shivered. Two or three hours? I thought it was supposed to be quick. A chill whispered down my neck as I realized. I didn’t care about him but I’d never meant to hurt her. I was protecting her. From him. From what he would have done.
I’d seen it in his eyes. She thought he was The One. After Dad left she thought that about them all. But this one took her out. Fancy meals. Concerts. Hotels. that sort of thing. But I saw through it and he knew. He hated me because I knew what he was. A monster.
My stomach felt like a giant was squeezing it in his fist. I imagined Mum’s face. Serving the food I made them before I left. Dabbing her mouth with a napkin. ‘Like a proper lady’ she’d say. Then, as the poison started to work, writhing and screaming.
I wanted to puke. I grabbed my bag and ran.