Terrible Mistake- Friday Flash

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...

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By Melissa L. Webb

“There. That’s it. The last box,” Jennifer said, setting it down on the plush carpet of her new house. She looked around her and smiled. She had finally done it. She was on her own.

With a sigh, she plopped down on her ratty old couch, surveying the disaster area that currently was her living room. Sure, there were unpacked boxes all over the place, but it was her space and hers alone.


Leaning back into the couch, she shut her eyes, letting the peace and quiet sink into her bones. Growing up with four brothers in the house, she’d never gotten to relax at home. It was always a jumble of horseplay and hollering. But those days were over; she was on her own.

Getting up, she made her way through the house. It was spacious and wonderful, something a college student shouldn’t be able to afford. She still couldn’t believe the rent was so cheap. A place this big should be five-times what she was paying for it.

Jennifer went into the master bedroom-her master bedroom-and glanced out the sliding glass door leading to the balcony. This place was a dream and she wasn’t going to let cheap rent stop her from enjoying it. This was her paradise, her new start in life.

A thud sounded from behind her, pulling her from her thoughts. She turned quickly, puzzled by the sound. A box was lying in the middle of the floor, her things scattered about.

Frowning, she looked around the room. She knew that box had been in the middle of her bed. How did it end upside down on the floor? Bending down, she began to gather up her items. Suddenly something struck her from behind.

She jumped up, looking for the thing that hit her. One of her tennis shoes was lying behind her. Picking it up, she looked around the room. Someone was messing with her.

“Okay, you can come out now,” she called, anger dripping from her voice. She should have known her brothers would pull something like this. Couldn’t she have anything to herself?

No one emerged as she waited in silence. Fury began to rise in her throat. They couldn’t give her an evening of peace, could they? “Where are you?” she demanded.

A crashing sounded from downstairs. Quickly, she sprinted along the hall and down the stairs. Tears flooded her eyes as she stared at the living room carpet. Her grandmother’s lamp lay in pieces, jagged reminders of what she could never get back.

“No,” she cried. “How could you guys do this to me?” She looked around the living room, trying to find where her brothers were hiding. “Noah, Brett,” Jennifer yelled. “Tony, Richard. Whichever one of you did this, is toast. Mom’s going to come unglued.”

Nothing but silence answered her. Wiping away tears, she stood there, frustrated. She knew she never really got along with her brothers; but she couldn’t believe they’d go this far to torment her. “How could you do this to me? I’ve done nothing but put up with you all these years.”

A chair squeaked in the kitchen. She stomped forward, ready to throttle whoever was in there. Moving through the archway, she stopped in shock. The kitchen was empty. She was tired of this. Turning around, she headed back the way she had come. “Get out of my house…right now!”

A dark shadow pulsed in the middle of the living room. It grew larger until an outline of a man formed. It looked at her, hatred in its pale eyes. “THIS IS MY HOUSE!” it bellowed.

She stepped back; terror engulfing her as she stared at the thing. This wasn’t a trick of her brothers’. This was something else. Something sinister. She suddenly realized why she had gotten this place so cheap. It was already occupied.

The shadow stepped towards her. “How dare you invade my space, then make demands of me,” it roared. “I will teach you how to act in my presence.”

Jennifer backed up, reaching for the front door behind her. She had made a terrible mistake coming here. She had been in such a hurry to be free of her family, she hadn’t really thought about why this house had been standing empty. “I’m sorry,” she spoke to the thing in front of her, her fingers tightening around the doorknob. “You can have your place back. I don’t want it.” She pulled the door opened and flung herself through, disappearing into the chilly evening.

The entity moved, slamming the door, its faint chuckle like rusty hinges protesting in the night. “It isn’t that easy,” its voice spoke, filling up the house. “Once you’re here, you can’t escape me. Ever.” The shadow disappeared, waiting for the clock to roll back and another chance to feed on her soul.

“There. That’s it. The last box,” Jennifer said, setting it down on the plush carpet of her new house. She looked around her and smiled. She had finally done it. She was on her own.


© 2011 Melissa L. Webb



16 thoughts on “Terrible Mistake- Friday Flash

  1. Marvellous! Your ending really hits the mark and turns this creepy tale into something altogether more sinister. You don’t over-play the atmospherics and it all comes together to make a satisfying read.

  2. This is why if I ever move I want to have a dog or cat along with me. They can use their senses to detect ghosts for me. I do like stories of haunted houses though, that way I can live that experience through books.

    Red sent me. http://redtash.com/

  3. Your ending really brings this piece together and gives the reader even more of a shudder (well it did me anyway) Poor girl is going to be trapped there forever. Nice piece

  4. “….once you’re here you can’t escape,” makes me want to read more!
    Thanks for playing Red’s Trick or Treat Bash! RedTash.com, Red sent me!

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