Caveat Emptor- Friday Flash


By Melissa L. Webb



Somewhere in South America, a door opens. Light trickles into a chamber that hasn’t gasped fresh air since the world was new.

The shaft of light penetrates carved runes that line the walls. They reflect the light back, casting ancient shadows that seem to dance gleefully around the walls.

The jet-black shades seem to churn faster and faster until they congeal across the base of the room. Their inky mass absorbing into the mineral-enriched floor, as the stonework shifts against its self. A fissure forms, causing the rest of the darkness to slip down into depths unknown.

A breath shudders through the room, like the first gasp of air from a choking man. It has awakened. After three millennium of waiting, the time has come for the sleeping behemoth to rise once more.

Slowly, it emerges, flexing its powers. The world has just been handed a ticking time bomb.

Silently, that bomb ticks down, as the behemoth prepares to release its potential onto the unsuspecting world.


Grant sat in the small hotel room and stared down at the locked wooded box.

Jade glanced over at him in horror. “I can’t believe you, Grant. How could you buy that thing?”

He looked at her and shrugged. “I thought it would make a good conversation piece.”

Jade looked away in disgust. “You heard what the shopkeeper said; opening that box will only bring about the end of the world.”

Grant rolled his eyes. “Please, Jade. That’s only a ruse to scare the tourists.”

She glanced at the box nervously. “I don’t know, Grant. He seemed pretty serious to me.”

Grant smiled condescendingly at her. “Really, Jade, grow up. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen?” he asked as he slid the key into the lock and opened the box.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb


14 thoughts on “Caveat Emptor- Friday Flash

  1. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be Dr Pepper in that box… Typical man, not listening to fair warnings- but I think that’s probably what the shopkeeper intended.

  2. Grant! Yes, you. Over here a moment, would you? Hold still…yes…just about there… *SLAP* Next time, LISTEN to the shopkeeper!

    Loved this stoy, but I so want to batter Grant!

  3. I know everyone’s getting on Grant’s case but how did the shopkeeper get hold of the box and why is he selling it, if he knows it’ll bring about the end of the world?

    Terrific build up and atmosphere in the first half of the story – it felt like a cross between Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind – and I liked the sudden shift to modern day. So many questions about how the box got to the shop, and why, what happens next? Great story. I want to know more! Will you write or have you written more?

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