drama, horror, thriller

Let Me Out!! flash fiction-thriller

KELLY

“Let me out!” I scream. “Let me out! Somebody! Please!” My screams fade out. I can only yell so much, because I can only breathe so much. The air is thick…no, thin. Is it thin? God, I don’t know. “Please!” I yell. Tears run down my face. I try to wipe them away, but I can’t. They just trickle down my cheek, past my ear to the wetness below my head that I hope is an accumulation of my tears, not an accumulation of my blood. My hands are at my sides, and this box I am in barely lets me raise my chest in and out let alone move my arms any higher than the thickness of my body. I wear it like a snug snow suit. No room to move. No room to breathe. And the air…the lack of air. “Please, please, please, please,” I repeat in a low voice to no one.

Wherever I am, I am in motion. I can’t tell which direction, but I feel a very slight sway like I may be on a boat. If I am on a boat, it must be in the lower cabin, because it’s not just dark in here, it’s black.

I touch the wood that surrounds me, hoping for a clue, praying for an opening that will set me free.

I was…I was putting groceries into the trunk of my car. It was raining, actually it was a downpour, but I had to get home to Ryan.

The air is thin, not thick.

Everyone was inside the store, waiting for the rain to stop, but I didn’t wait. The babysitter was going to leave, so I had to get home to Ryan.

Not thin…the air, it’s barely there.

Ryan,” I whisper. The box is too tight for me to hit upward, but I can move my arms to their sides. A little. I hit the walls on each side of me as hard as I can. “Let me out!” Hitting the walls is doing nothing. There’s not enough room to gain momentum.

I didn’t realize it until now, but I am famished. I feel like I haven’t eaten for days. Maybe I haven’t. I was… I was at the grocery store. It was Tuesday night. I shop on Tuesdays. I woke up here maybe an hour ago. Or was it two? Maybe just ten minutes.

Why is there so little air? Am I buried? I know I’m not buried, I swear I am moving. I breathe in through my nose, praying I don’t smell dirt. I smell urine and feces instead. I can’t tell if it’s mine or if someone else had been in this box before me. I go from being hungry to turning my head just in time to vomit. It’s warm as it slithers down my neck. The smell and feel of it make me hurl again. It’s a vicious cycle until my mind comes to terms that I am going to lay in my feces and vomit and I cannot allow myself to give into the repulsiveness of it.

I’m going to die. People don’t put people into boxes unless they are going to kill them. Or send them off to be sex slaves. Or… “No.” I hit the walls again. “No. no.no. no NO!!” The black market. They are going to slice me apart and sell me piece by piece. That’s why they’re shipping me somewhere. They are selling me like an animal.

As scared as I am, I can’t… I just can’t. I need to stay in control. Ryan will be alone. He’ll end up in the foster system. I need out. I have to get to my boy. “Please! Please!” I sob, “Somebody, please! Help me! Let me out!” I scream, not even words anymore, just terrified screams that originate from every inch of my body.

Then, between my cries, I hear a long, low horn. Am I on a…barge? I quiet to listen. My body weight shifts to the left. I am. I am on a barge. They are shipping me for body parts. Oh my God. God! I scrape at the wood walls trying to get out until I can’t feel my fingertips anymore. I have to get out!

LISA

The sun’s reflections bounce off each ripple in the river, making it hard for Lisa to pull her gaze from it. Not that she wants to. She reaches into her insulated lunch box and pulls out a sandwich.

Everyone else in the office went to some restaurant in the city, but Lisa takes this time to be alone and relax. Boats seem to calm her. And every day at this time, she is guaranteed to see at least one boat, the 12:00 barge that rounds the river’s corner and passes her as if to give a friendly hello. Every day she watches it while her mind wanders and the breeze twists in her hair.

The horn of the barge blows, warning other boaters that it is turning into their area. She pulls her focus from the river and places it onto the barge. She needs this boat more than ever today. Her mind is constantly on her best friend Kelly who went missing Tuesday after work. The local authorities found her car at the grocery store a few blocks from her home. Her purse was on the ground, her keys a few inches from it. They ruled out robbery and linked it to the series of missing women and men that had been taking place in their city for months. One person goes missing every day. This past Tuesday, it was Kelly. They have yet to recover any of the missing people, dead or alive.

Lisa watches it pass and forces herself to take in the strength of the structure, the beauty of the deep red metals, and the hypnotic waves pushing up and down the sides of the barge. And for just those few moments, her mind is off Kelly, and Lisa is at peace.

KELLY

“Let me out!!!!”
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Written by Sheryl Marasi
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drama, love, Uncategorized

About Time – flash fiction-drama

Jerry was the quiet neighbor. The one who never had a television blaring, music playing, or kids yelling. He was that neighbor. The good neighbor. At least that was the case until one week ago at 2:00 am. Yes, 2:00 am…on a work night.

I met Jerry six years ago. It was noon and the summer sun had clearly turned its hot focus directly on me as I was moving items into my new home. I’m pretty sure he took pity on all one hundred pounds of me as I tried for ten minutes to push my sofa through the front door all by myself.

“You need some help, Beautiful?” he asked as he walked up the pathway that divided my yard of weeds into two.

“The name is Katie,” I said being sure to make eye contact. “Katie.” I walked into the house and grabbed the end of the sofa that refused to enter its new home. “Sure, I could use some help.”

As he walked closer to the couch, I could smell my Grandpa. It was a scent I sadly hadn’t smelled in years. Freshly burned, sweet pipe tobacco. “I’m Jerry,” he said. “I live right there.” He pointed to the green-vinyl home to the left of mine.

It took an hour to finish. My clothes were sticking to me and Jerry’s tank was no longer dry.

“I wish I could thank you with something cold to drink, but I don’t have anything other than tap water.” I looked toward the kitchen. “Or glasses.”

“Don’t worry, Beautiful,” he said. “I have lemonade. Why don’t you come over for a drink.”

“Katie,” I said a little more firmly as I followed him to his house.

I felt like I was walking into a home in one of those outdoor historical museums set in the early 1900’s, except this home, thankfully, had air conditioning. The wood floor had a large oriental rug covering most of it, the far wall contained multiple wooden book shelves that were stuffed full with antique books, the curtains were off-white with mini red flowers all over them, and the sofas were dressed in red velvet. Most interesting, though was the record player to my right that was built into a wooden display case. “It’s beautiful,” I said. “Does it still work?”

Jerry ignored my question and made his way into the kitchen. “Come have a seat,” he called from the kitchen.

I sat at a tiny wood table that was covered in a thick table cloth lined with plastic. He placed a glass of iced lemonade in front of me. The ice clinked while he used the table as leverage to lower himself to the chair.

“I haven’t played it for ten years,” he said, looking at me through his glasses. “Not since Barbara passed away.”

I looked back into the living room at the record player and was surprised at all of the pictures that I missed. They covered the wall above and on both sides of the player. I excused myself to take a closer look at them. There were black and white photos from their younger years which transitioned to brown tinted photos and then to color photos over the years. They looked like a very happy couple. They were beautiful.

Jerry joined me in front of the pictures. “That’s my beautiful Barbara. When she was here, we would play that record player every night and dance at least one song together. Every single night. You see that mirror up there with the pictures?”

I did. It blended in with them. Same shape and frame, just a little larger. It was directly in front of me.

“Barbara liked to watch us dance in that mirror. She would comment that out of all the couples dancing, those two right there were the best.” He chuckled. “She made me smile every day.”

Barbara passed away at seventy-two in her sleep. It was peaceful. They never had children. Jerry said they tried for years, but it just wasn’t meant to be. He still had some nieces and nephews that came around on occasion, but he would have loved to have had his own children, especially since they would have been pieces of his Barbara still with him after she left. He explained that the saying that time flies when you get older is only true until the love of your life dies. Then time goes slower than it did when you were a child impatiently waiting to become an adult. Every morning was a reminder to him that he would have to wait at least one more day to be with her.

Over the years, Jerry continued to call me “beautiful” rather than Katie. I came to learn that every time he was able to call someone “beautiful”, it was his way of remembering Barbara, and if I could be any comfort to the old man, I decided it wouldn’t hurt.

***

A week ago, Sunday, I was awoken. Before I fully pulled myself from whatever dream I may have been having it was already quiet again. Some faint noise, somewhere in the night. I drifted back to my slumber.

The next night, it happened again. That time I woke up soon enough to hear the clarinets and saxophones playing to the blackness outside. Swing. It was a swing-styled song. And then, it was over.

By Friday night, it became a ritual. 2:00am, Glenn Miller – Moonlight Serenade, and then it was over. The odd thing was that it seemed to be coming from Jerry’s house. Quiet, Jerry’s house.

By Saturday I had had enough. 2:00 am hit, the song began, and within the thirty seconds it took for me to painfully assault my eyes with my 100 watt lamp, blindly put my slippers on, and angrily whip on my robe, I was in my driveway playing sound detective. Jerry. I stomped over to his house and knocked. Loudly. The music continued. In fact, the song oddly started over a second time. I knocked again, with no answer. I tried the door knob, and it turned.

“Jerry?” I said over the music as I opened the door. There was no answer. When I stepped into the room my lungs momentarily stopped as I was greeted with what smelled like garbage that missed last month’s trash pick-up. I covered my nose and continued to breathe at a bare minimum. The room was dark aside from a glow traveling in from the oven light in the kitchen. “Jerry,” I said again. Then, I saw him. He was sitting on his red velvet sofa with is head tilted back, mouth open. The song stopped.

“Jerry!” I ran to him. He was cold and firm. The song started for a third time. It wasn’t as loud this time. It was quite pleasant, but I thought I should turn off the record player anyway. I walked over, but as I approached, the record wasn’t moving. In fact, the needle was at rest in its slot. Movement in the mirror above the record player caught my attention. There was a soft glow in the room’s reflection. And I saw Jerry dancing in the image with his beautiful Barbara. He looked happy. Much happier than I had ever seen him in the six years I had known him. I looked behind me half expecting both of them to be dancing behind me yelling “Got ya!”, but there was only Jerry, firmly attached to the sofa. The music faded and when I turned around, the only person I saw in the mirror was me.

***

The ambulance technicians said it looked as though Jerry had been dead for about a week.

It was a week ago when I had begun to hear the music. One song every night. Every single night.

It’s about time, Beautiful Barbara, I thought. He has been waiting sixteen long years for that dance.

AUDIO VERSION HERE
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Written by Sheryl Marasi (pen name)

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thriller

The Seeing – flash fiction-thriller

Mom used to see a psychic when I was young. Dad thought she was nuts. To tell the truth, so did I, yet here I am, twenty-three years later, knocking on her door. I’m covered in day-old sweat. Scratches cover most areas of my skin that are showing; bruises continue to form on most of the areas of my body that are not showing. The lump on my forehead, I’m confident, will be noticed by her. She will ask, and I will avoid giving her the answer. I am here to ask her questions, not the other way around. I never considered, though, that she may know the answer as soon as she sees me. If she is truly psychic, she will know…everything. I should leave, but before I can turn to walk away, she is at the door.

“Danny,” she says with a smile. She is a short woman, no taller than five feet. Thin, and dressed in layers of decorated cloth from head to ankle. On her head, strands of gray hairs are pushing their way out from under the drapes. The piercing in her nose does not surprise me. I should have known Mom would only go to a true Gypsy. “Your mother spoke quite well of you, dear. Come in, have a seat.”

As I entered her small home, she gestured ahead to a small table with a crystal ball placed perfectly in the middle. I took my seat, peering into the ball hoping to catch a glimpse.

“Let me look at you, dear.” She grabs my hand and my heart begins to race. Is she going to know? Can she read my mind? What exactly do psychics know? “Oh yes, you look just like her. I’m so sorry she’s gone.”

“Thank you,” I respond without making eye contact. I should just leave right now.

“Cards, crystal ball, or palm reading? Which do you prefer, Dear?”

My hands are covered in sweat. Definitely not a palm reading. “Cards, I guess.”

“Great choice,” her eye gets lost in her wrinkles as she winks at me. She reaches behind the chair she is sitting in and pulls out a black cloth, which she opens to reveal Tarot cards. After a slight shuffle, I cut the deck and then she deals. She turns the cards over slowly as if not to give away any secrets before she is ready. She then explains to me that the cards are merely a tool she uses to pull messages from the spirits that come to her in visions.

Card one. “You are in danger.”

Card two. “Someone is seeking justice against you.”

She stops before turning card three. She places the cards on the table, along with both of her hands and slowly looks up at me. Oh God, she knows. “Why are you here, dear?” she asks.

“I…I’m in trouble,” I say.

She nods her head. “And?”

I look at her mouth and then her ear as I speak, “and I’m hoping you may see a way that I can get out of it.” My gaze finally finds safety and rests on the cards. I know the minute I show her my eyes, my soul, she will know.

There is silence. Silence, and I feel her unwavering gaze peering at my soul that refuses to peer back. I start to back my chair up in an effort to leave.

“Stay,” she says firmly. “I will look.” She hovers her hands over the clear ball and begins to hum. Her hum falls silent. “Who is Brian? Is that your brother?”

I sit quietly. I want to answer. I was asked a question and the correct thing to do is answer, but I don’t. If I do, she will know.

“Yes, I see him. Your brother did this to you,” she says as her eyes take in my scratches and bumps. My eyes divert back to the ground. “Why would your…” I look up at her as she looks back to the globe. I want to push it off the table. I lift my hand to slide it off but see her head slowly rising up. The stare that was once on the globe is now peering down at me as she stands up from her chair. I am now looking directly into her eyes, if only out of pure fear of what is going to come out of her mouth next. “How could you?” she growls in a deep whisper.

I jump up from my chair and stumble towards the door that slams shut before I get to it. There is no one at the door that could have shut it. Only me and the gypsy are in the room. I turn to look back at her to see her eyes have turned gray. Her head is tilted back so she can look down her nose at me even though I am two feet taller. Her eyes tell me she knows everything, has seen everything. “Your mother was a wonderful woman. I watched you kill her,” she continued to growl. I turn back to the door and try to get out, but the nob won’t turn. “I will set you free…to your death. Take your fortune with you,” she says while holding out a piece of paper. “Take it!” she demands.

I grab the paper and am then able to open the door. I run from the house to the street that is unusually vacant for a weekend at noon. I run a few houses down before looking back at hers. She is nowhere to be seen. I continue to walk down the middle of the street while opening the paper she handed me. There are two words: Look up. I look up and see nothing, but I do hear a noise to my left. As I start to look left, I see a car in my peripheral vision coming fast at me. There is no pain. Only blackness and then nothing.

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Written by Sheryl Marasi (pen name)

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photo by 422694