Behind the Sofa…

My first attempt at what I would call a ‘proper’ flash-fiction piece. I hope you enjoy it…

The room was pitch black but for the small light source at the end of the room. Tom was scared, very scared. He crouched down out of sight of the man brandishing the dagger, who appeared to be looking for something or someone

Tom’s eyes were tightly shut. He knew he should keep them shut and stay out of sight till the man left but curiosity kept prizing them open, just a squint, while he ever so slowly edged his head to the side to catch a glimpse of what was happening…

The dagger was glistening in the man’s hand. Tom watched the man as he continued to silently search through the room, opening drawers, moving furniture, determined to find what he was looking for, or maybe some clue to finding who he was looking for.

Whatever it was, Tom was sure this man was dangerous. Tom tried holding his breath so the man wouldn’t hear his breathing. He needn’t have worried, for that moment the room erupted into life as another figure burst through the door, laughing and hissing like a snake. The man with the dagger jumped back, pulling a religious cross from his jacket, which seemed to stop the other man in his tracks. The other man hissed again, but he had stopped laughing as he raised his arm, holding his black cloak up to shield his eyes.

Tom didn’t understand what was happening but he knew it wasn’t good, that his own life would be in danger if he should be discovered. He knew he should never have come downstairs. Tom’s eyes closed tightly shut again as he instinctively curled into a foetal position, praying that it would all soon be over. Tom could hear the two men shouting and arguing, and then a crashing sound and a cry of pain. Tom curled his body up even tighter, his hands clasped over his ears to try and block out the sound…

“I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist one last look round the castle,” the man in the cloak hissed, “It’s time we put an end to this…”

The room immediately lit up as if it were ablaze. Tom feared the worst as he heard that familiar scream…

“Tommy!” Screamed his mother, “How many times have I told you not to creep down at night to watch horror films, you know they give you nightmares.”

Four year old Tommy crept from behind the sofa, his tearful wide-eyed innocence more than a match for his mother’s initial anger, and skedaddled back to the safety of his own warm bed…

This was a sort of twist on those early episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ that so many of my generation would tentatively watch from behind the sofa, worried that the monsters on screen might just be real. I made the TV program a horror film, as a Doctor Who episode probably wouldn’t be shown late at night…




About RuddersWriting

Middle-aged man, aspiring writer, book blogger/reviewer, and author, one grown-up son and young grandson, now retired, actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on January 30, 2014, in Flash Fiction, Short Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You got me tricked there, man. I was thinking the man with the glistening dagger would see Tom, that he was in fact searching for Tom, but then . . . hell, man, it’s a movie. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ha really had me going there with this. My favourite short one so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Paul. I’ve listed you on my Blogroll along with the handful of others I’m aiming to follow this year. Having tried many other methods, I’ve decided to go for a weekly ‘fix’ on a weekend – visiting all the blogs I’m following.
    I like the idea of ‘Behind The Sofa …’ and being Flash Fiction, I was impressed to see that you kept it under 500 words. You’ve managed to use simple, but effective imagery, and you maintained suspense right to the final paragraph.
    On the flip-side, I wondered how many titles you listed before you selected the one you’ve used. I think you could do better, but that’s just me. I also wondered how many drafts you wrote before deciding the job was done. Even for Flash Fiction, I leave my work aside for a day or two, and then I re-read/edit and leave it again.
    It would be useful to use different descriptions if you can, for the ‘other man’, so you don’t end up repeating yourself. I’d also consider a comma here and there, just to ensure the reader pauses, or takes a breath.
    Overall, I liked it and if you’re not already registered on a ‘writing’ site I would consider it. You’ll get a lot of feedback, and I think it will give you more confidence in your ability. Keep up the good work mate.


    • echoesofthepen

      Cheers for those kind words. I must admit, I wrote that piece late the other night, did a quick ms-word spell check on it, and posted it ‘as is’, so to speak, with the title being the first that came to mind. Btw, I thoroughly enjoyed your story of acquiring a soldier, very funny indeed.


  4. Nice one. You had me hurling down several alleyways of probability for a while (vampire, robber, contract killer, psycho…). Mission well accomplished.


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