Hello my wonderful readers!
As you know, The Flash Fiction Ponder is all about great storytelling. I’ve never been an author who confines himself to just one genre. As a reader, watcher, listener, the core element I always look for in a tale is substance. Drama, Horror, SciFi, Western, etc. The setting is the least of my concerns. Just give me a great story and I’m happy!
(Besides, confining oneself to just one genre can be quite boring, don’t you think?)
So yeah, I take the same approach when it comes to writing. And so what do I have for you guys this time around?
A Psychological Horror trilogy, starting with Part 1!
Let the counting begin…!
All Rights Reserved.
Sam lay on the floor snug as a bug in a rug, in deep concentration thinking about the happiest place on earth. From the sweet smells of Main Street to the rocket ships of Tomorrowland. The wood-soaked Pirates of the Carribean to the spinning tea cups of Alice’s Wonderland. A pleasant childhood memory of him and his family exploring Disneyland for the first time.
No three-headed monsters, no scary sharp numbers to stab at his brain.
Just Mickey, Goofy and the rest of the gang.
All there to distract, to enthral, to keep him sane.
Yeah, he didn’t even mind the rhyming that crept up every now and then, just happy to be happy at the happiest place on earth.
But he couldn’t manipulate memory, it wouldn’t let him. What had happened was set in stone, could not be erased, he and his family coming upon the two little kids running around staring down at the ground.
“I think I see one…”
“No, that’s just a sewer drain.”
“Nah-uh, look, it really is a hidden Mickey. There’s his head, and there’s his ears…”
Sam couldn’t help but look down for himself. From the round sewer drain that served as the head, he looked up in search of the ears, and sure enough there they were, two smaller circles. He then let his perspective fall back to indeed see the outline of Mickey Mouse.
Sam tore his gaze away from the hidden Mickey, only to find the real one now staring down at him. That big wide smile from ear to ear, telling him he should have known better to think that he could escape, those three huge circles imposing their will upon him.
Sam turned and ran as fast as he could, through families, Disney characters, food stands, all in three’s, all penetrating, sinking their triggers deep into his chaotic mind. He could hear the three voices at his back: Aunt Olivia, Dad, little brother Kenny, all three of them yelling out for him to stop. But he knew he couldn’t. Knew he had to find two more Mickey characters before he could stop, so as to match the number three, so as to prevent him and his family from dying in a plane crash on the way back home.
His searching eyes fell on a body of water, bringing to mind the image of a creek, which took him back to Cross Creek…
Where Sam’s eyes burst open, back to the present, back to the cushioned room he now lay in, back to the tightness of the straitjacket, with its three buckles. He could feel each one pressing against him. One, two, three…
All that was needed to set him off.
And so the dark images came…
The first was Harry, the kind old man that was a couple of halls down. He couldn’t hurt a fly, but needed the meds, the protection, the structure of this place in order to live out the rest of his days in peace after suffering a breakdown from losing his dear wife.
Unfortunately, peace would not be a state in which Harry would die tonight, the flies he could not even harm on their way in a swarm, through the vents and into his room, to attack with a vengeance every crevice of the poor old man. Unless Sam could somehow, someway unbuckle those three straps within the next thirty seconds.
And so the horde of insects invaded, each crawling with their six legs into Harry, making the multitude of tickling steps the most unique of death marches.
Then came the most unpleasant part, the flies using their complex mouths to first lubricate Harry’s brain, throat, stomach, and all other insides before moving on to the piercing and sucking, his screams reduced to a muddled plea, until finally, after several torturous minutes that felt like an eternity his body gave out and embraced death.
Oh, why didn’t they listen to me…
The next image to pop into Sam’s head was the nurses station, only three working at this time of night. The pretty middle-aged Asian with almond eyes, the stocky bitch-of-a-woman who enjoyed abusing her patients in her own little sadistic way, and the intern, always on edge, afraid one of the lunatics would snap at the wrong time; while in his company.
Indeed, the intern had chosen the wrong night to work.
Sam strained to hear any of their voices. Three words were all he needed to prevent their deaths. Just three words that he could make out through the pillow-soft door.
But he knew it was useless, the room not only built to keep a patient from hurting himself, but to keep his disturbing screams to himself as well.
And so the horrific images came, so vivid it was like a movie. Make that a 3D movie, as up close and personal as you can get as the intern’s overheated cellphone charger sent a surge of deadly energy to the oxygen tank it was touching, the result being an instantaneous explosion which sent flames engulfing the three nurses in one fell swoop.
Those beautiful almond eyes lit up and melting like marshmallows on an open fire…
The bitch-of-a-woman frying up like pork skin…
The cautious intern who would always so carelessly leave his cellphone charging in the most dangerous of places, as Sam had witnessed several times before, now grabbing at his face as it disintegrated into his hands…
As mayhem reined throughout the corridors of this rat’s nest Sam’s attention now went beyond it all, out the asylum and in search of Dr. Russell, who would be at home asleep at this hour, cuddled up close to his wife, his two darling children all cozy in the next room. Of course Sam had never been to Russell’s house, but with images of the doc’s family having been imprinted in his mind from the photographs atop the desk in his office, such facial recollection was all that was needed to turn thought into deed.
But Sam only had one target in mind, or so he hoped. The doctor himself, not the three innocent lives that made up his loved ones. But there it was again: three
Focus, focus, focus!
You need the doctor if you’re gonna put an end to all this…
And so with as much concentration as he could muster Sam tried picturing only Dr. Russell, counting ‘One, two, three. One, Two, three…” in repeated succession. But no matter how much he tried the two little kids kept popping up.
Ten miles away, Dr. Russell woke to a blood-soaked pillow. He immediately flipped on his bedside light and searched his face. It was coming from his nose.
Three seconds later, his two children ran into the room, both bleeding from the nose as well.
Russell couldn’t believe what was happening, even though he had been warned that very afternoon by his patient who was suffering from extreme OCD. Warned that if he continued to ignore Sam’s pleas for help there would be dire consequences, that the power in Sam’s mind was indeed real.
But he had rejected Sam’s claims, going so far as to discontinue the medicine that helped keep those inner demons at bay, and choosing to get even tougher when the patient’s imploring turned in to what he perceived as threats.
“Please, Dr. Russell, Don’t take away the meds. It’s all that’s keeping me from losing control of everything. Don’t you see?! I’m not gonna be able to stop it if you do this! Everyone is going to be at risk! Everyone here, everyone I’ve ever known, ever seen. Even your own family!”
A strike to the ego the doctor could not accept, ordering that the patient he strapped up and confined to a padded cell.
“It will start with the nose, doctor…!” Sam had yelled while being dragged away. “Bleeding from the nose…”
And now here Russell was, not dreaming but wide awake, heart pounding so hard in his chest at the sight of such a ludicrous claim now being proven correct, his precious offspring now falling victim.
Jumping up out of bed with the panic of any sacred parent, the doctor checked their pupils, heart rate, then yanked the pillow cases off the remaining two pillows on his bed and pressed them up against his children’s noses.
“It’s gonna be alright kids, tilt your head back and apply pressure.”
“What the hell’s going on?!” his wife demanded.
“Sweetie, I need you to get the kids to the hospital right now. I’ll explain later. I have to get to Cross Creek.”
“But… You’re bleeding too, what’s going on?!”
He grabbed her by the arms and spoke as clearly and calmly as he could…
“Everything will be explained later. I need you to focus now. Get the kids to the hospital and have them checked, now.”
And with that he grabbed his keys, jumped into his car, and sped off to work.
To Be Continued…
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